[OSM-talk] Responding to vandalism

Mikel Maron mikel.maron at gmail.com
Mon Mar 20 17:23:53 UTC 2017

Frederik wrote
> Hence, the #1 strategy against "there's no local community that helps newbies and reports vandals" for me is always: Attract a local community. Put more cynically: A map without a local community is not able to survive, and has never been, and it was perhaps a mistake to put it there in the first place.
It's an interesting question -- what is the ideal local community, what is the way of building one, and what is the role of the global OSM community in this? I don't think we have the answer to this, nor is there one answer -- what has worked in Germany, or even particular parts of Germany, is not going to work everywhere. I doubt that participation of the global community has dampened the growth of local communities, quite the contrary in my experience. 
Anyway, I feel this thread has wandered and I'd love to focus on what I take is Manohar's intent in writing this email...> Building better support systems to respond to bad edits could help more experienced mappers focus on community building activities. Even well developed local communities could simply use better support systems to monitor and respond to issues on intentional vandalism and unintentional errors. What do those systems look like? How can we improve the osm website, other services in the OSM ecosystem, documentation?
For example (this may have been mentioned before on the thread) .. the OSM US community has set up a Slack channel with notifications of every new user editing. We monitor this channel, give a quick look at edits, and send welcome emails. That said, it's an overwhelming number of new users, and improvements which helped the community both focus on problematic new edits and scale welcomes would help a lot.
I work with Manohar at Mapbox, so do have some rough ideas here from our internal QA work. But really wanted to learn what else is used currently, and what we'd all like to do together. Curious to hear if there's some commonalities among Tomas's tools for Lithuania, Joost's approaches, Michael's osm-analytical-tracker. Maybe we could also schedule a time to chat together on IRC and brainstorm approaches.
* Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron 

    On Thursday, March 16, 2017 2:07 PM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:


  I find it a bit unfortunate that you have chosen to use "vandalism"
in the subject, even though you later write

On 16.03.2017 14:47, Manohar Erikipati wrote:
> ... protect the map against common mistakes and intentional attacks. 

I think that "common mistakes" (mostly, beginner's mistakes) and
intentional attacks are two very different things that need very
different strategies.

And in vandalism, I would also distinguish between teenage doodles
("penis! ha ha ha!"), and serious concerted efforts to harm OSM. The
latter we haven't seen yet, but need to be prepared to face in the future.

> Much of the world lacks an active mapping community

It is my personal belief that OSM can never work without an active local
mapping community. That's one reason why I am always skeptical about
armchair mapping or massive imports (or even using machine learning to
generate data). These techniques help to fill the map with nice colours
but they don't give us what OSM thrives on - local mappers.

Hence, the #1 strategy against "there's no local community that helps
newbies and reports vandals" for me is always: Attract a local
community. Put more cynically: A map without a local community is not
able to survive, and has never been, and it was perhaps a mistake to put
it there in the first place.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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