PubHubs Moderation Tools

Rooted Software Ltd., September 2023

I am delighted to be joining the PubHubs project, working on adding moderation tools.

PubHubs icon

Public Hubs

The purpose of PubHubs is to enable real-world public organisations such as libraries, broadcasters, schools or health care, to provide online group communications for local citizens, in ways which match their real-world values and needs.

See the overview of PubHubs in Pubhubs-position-paper.pdf and on the web site .

Moderation Needs

Online discussion facilities need moderation tools. Each discussion group in PubHubs is hosted by a real-world organisation which, in providing a virtual space for the discussion, sets the rules in accordance with its own real-world rules and values, similar to how visitors would be expected to behave in person.

We need tools that can be used by discussion leaders, appointed moderators, and everyone present, to help keep behaviour within the rules and expectations, and to report and deal with unacceptable behaviour.

It is widely recognised that social issues, such as behaviour in a discussion, are best handled by social means, such as welcoming people and gently teaching them what is expected by the group. It is good to remember that tools and sanctions are secondary, not the final answer to any problem, but just there to help the people achieve their social needs.

Moderation Tools

PubHubs is presently built on Matrix technology. As such, the available moderation tools for Matrix provide a good starting point for the Matrix aspects. Other parts of the moderation tooling must be built to deal with non-Matrix parts of PubHubs such as its Yivi authentication system.

Aims of this project:

  • the practical, immediate aim is to integrate into PubHubs existing Matrix support for moderation ("Draupnir") and to adapt it to the characteristic features of PubHubs, namely Hub-specific pseudonyms and attribute-based authentication.

  • the research aim is to learn and share insights and techniques about managing moderation in PubHubs context.

Project Funding

PubHubs is a Dutch research project. My funding for this sub-project comes from the Dutch government's support for open-source public-interest projects. I am most grateful for their support.

Open Source

PubHubs is an open source software project, built on open source technologies, and in the broader sense is a development for public benefit. While development so far is conducted mainly within the research team, there is a public mirror of the source code . All of my contributions will be open source.

#PubHubs #awesomeFOSS #matrix