For years, Slashdot has used its moderation system to filter out the trolls. The “mods” are given “mod points” intermittently in a feedback mediated system that keeps the site clean. This does not stop people from making troll posts, it keeps them out of sight to an extent that you can choose, using a threshold selector. If you have set your threshold low, you will see all the noise and trolls like, “first post”, and “Free BSD is dying” and other staples of Slashdot. If you set your threshold high, you will only see posts that have scored highly.
But there is another, better way to moderate posts, and Reddit has almost done it first:
By using Bitcoin as mod points, troll posts will not only be better controlled, they will diminish in number. It will literally be worth your while not to troll or waste peoples time, and if you are insightful, you could actually make some Bitcoin that you can use to buy real things in the real world. Slashdot has its own internal currency called “Karma”. You cannot take it away with you, you cannot spend it, even on Slashdot, and it is entirely meaningless to everyone in the world except the users of Slashdot who are paying attention or who even care.
Bitcoin is a different matter however. You can spend it in places other than Slashdot; it has a life outside of the site. The reward for posting thoughtfully in such a system is therefore, many times greater than collecting Karma.
As I have said before, Bitcoin does not have to take over the entire world for it to be a successful project. If it is used in only a small fraction of all transactions world-wide, it will change everything. Its not hard to imagine a world where the thumbs up and group moderation systems that are found in tools like Discus no longer exist, replaced entirely with Bitcoin. Given the number of blogs and newspapers that use these systems, and the number of comments that are made every day on them, it is not hard to imagine just how huge a market and Bitcoin driver this could become.
Bitcoin is going to monetize areas of life online and off that are not immediately obvious, and each one has the potential to make adoption of Bitcoin wallets go viral. Furthermore, the effect of Bitcoin adoption is beneficial wherever it touches; it is an instant international money transfer medium, a potential spam moderation facilitator, and many more things that are hard to imagine.
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