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How 'the nanny state' turned Aussies into hooligans

How 'the nanny state' turned Aussies into hooligans

Thu August 2, 2012 9:13pm

PEOPLE tend towards "hooliganism" when they're allowed unmoderated and unfettered access to a publishing system, a senior IT researcher says.

And Australians tend to behave worse than most because we are not used to having so much freedom.

“We live in nanny state where everything is controlled and you can't do anything without getting in trouble,” Dr Christine Satchell, a senior research fellow in computing and information systems at the University of Melbourne, said.

“So it's hard for us as Australians to be in a space with no rules.”

Dr Satchell said users should be encouraged to moderate themselves rather than relying on police and real world laws.

She said a successful example is Slashdot, one of the world’s oldest tech websites, which is almost entirely moderated by its users.

Each is rewarded with privileges depending on how they do it, creating a system that encourages better online behaviour.

“It shows that users are savvy and capable of defining what is acceptable and what is unacceptable,” Dr Satchell said.

“At the end of the day it's about building a culture about what is acceptable and unacceptable. While Twitter is largely unpoliced, it's not as bad as it's made out to be, I'm impressed by how well the unpoliced Twitter world behaves.”

Online aggregator, BuzzFeed has also implemented reward systems where users are given badges, a ranking and “special reactions” like “LOL” and “AWWW” as a prize for contributing to the site.

Karalee Evans, APAC digital media strategist for creative agency, Text 100 told news.com.au that two social media sites with bad reputations have both used this sort of social engineering to clean up their acts.

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