27 March 2014


Quora is a site where questions and answers are collaboratively discussed and modified through a community of users. Essentially a social process. However, this social process is flawed and at times opinions are taken personally from users which means the site lacks integrity in respecting every ones' opinions and not of specific few. In that process, it discriminates on opinions for answers to questions. Which in a lot ways diminishings the whole collaborative and social aspect of the process. The model is flawed and the answers will often not be objective. It also means people will get into heated discussions when they take things too personally which can be derived as anti-social behavior by personal attacks on individuals. The moderation process is also very discriminating and perhaps can also be viewed as bigoted as their opinions on evaluation are also surmised in discriminating users. It seems in all intents and purposes if one cannot handle a variety of opinions then perhaps it is not the best place to be as one will often end up taking things too personally. There is a rather big social issue on the internet that arises from people taking the aspect of comments seriously losing the perspective and context of reality. It may even be taken as the fact that an opinion is every ones essential right whether it is agreeable or not. However, what turns into anti-social behavior is when personal attacks are taken on which is not very conducive to the openness of the social web on the basis of which the internet has been so successful. Perhaps, the view of social media and networks needs to be taken with a more open view by users when using such sites knowing that there will often be views that they may not agree with but having the sense of respect to understand that others have a right to hold their own opinions whether right or wrong. This is one failing factor of social web where people blur the lines between reality and internet and often end up taking things too personally. It is also perhaps why there needs to be a certain awareness of such issues as well as understanding that the global space like the internet necessarily will have variety of content not necessarily agreeable to all. Such sites also display a very significant level of bigotry in the way they define terms of service through discrimination and the way content and users are moderated. It often leaves one with a bad taste when such sites blur the perspectives and lose the whole defining objective of an open social web. Maybe, one way to avoid such sites is to not support their use until they are able to provide an equal and open approach for the way they handle users and content. In general, the collaborative approaches are not effective towards objectivity. They are also not efficient for establishing constructive and accurate ways towards intelligent solutions. For open question and answering as well as recommendations the approaches need to utilize semi-automated techniques to provide for better alternatives. They even could use a pure automated approach but that avoid social collaboration entirely. In a manner of speaking, social collaboration is only as good as when it enriches or adds value to an algorithm as part of human assistance, but they should be necessary in guiding an intelligent system towards a logical conclusion. Quora as a social platform does not work nor does it provide accurate answers. But, what it does do is provide variety of stagnating inputs in form of collaborative insightful answers which can be classed as opinions with very little added intelligence - not a very smart solution to an uncomplicated problem. Alternatively, they could provide an open question/answer search function alongside the community of answers that would add richer contextual value towards building a more natural semantics as well as discoverable analytics. An ontology could increase in harnessing more semantics as well. The natural step, in process, would be to spontaneously link the social web of discussions via linked data through which an evolving graph emerges.