This respost from 2018 was triggered by this post over at Monsters and Manuals. There is no "gatekeeping"? Come on! Sure, everybody can do whatever they want, even publishing. That's just not what gatekeeping means. Gatekeeping means that those who took the same path earlier and with success, will do their best to keep that high position in the hierarchy, which MUST lead to gatekeeping, one way or another. As I say in the post: the matter is not if there is gatekeeping (that's just a reality of life), it is if it's benevolent or not ... Anyway, here we go once more:
"In sociology, gatekeepers are people who have the ability or position to influence the rise of people, also known as mobility in sociology."
|Example of malevolent hierarchy ... [source]|
"Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain."
- TRANSPARENCY: We already established that the scene is not the hobby, but the same is true for commercial interests. The clearer a distinction can be made between the commercial interests of an individual acting in the community and its contribution to said community, the better (the more transparent, the less corrupt).
- FAIR MODERATION: A hierarchy comes with responsibility for those higher up. How easy it is to address the hierarchy and how those in the higher positions interact with the rest (benevolent, malevolent, indifferent), gives indications how healthy or corrupt a community is.
- QUALITY OF ARGUMENT: What discussion culture is apparent in a community. Are extreme politics tolerated? How common are personal attacks? How are opinions categorized in general? The way a community discusses (or allows discussions) gives indications about corruption in as much as people tend to get more aggressive and polarizing, if they believe they are not heard or taken serious.
- QUALITY OF CONTENT: The quality and the amount of the content a community produces as well as the restrictions that are put on that output (pay walls, for instance) gives an idea about the decision processes behind the content. If bad stuff is hyped or if publications are ignored, it's a sign that the processes are corrupt.
- MOBILITY: How likely is it to become popular (or known) in a community? Can everyone do it, if necessary from scratch? Or are always the same people in the spotlight? How open is the community to new people? Stay those at the top of the hierarchy at the top? How? By what measures? Are those successful parading their success (which would, again produce aggression)?
- GRATUITOUSNESS: One final, but very important indicator is how many people are willing to contribute to a community for free. Whose taking the time to do all the little administrative things that make a community work and are they (in some way or another) charging for it? Gratuitousness is a sign of good will in a community. If there is none, it's most likely because people perceive the community as unfair in some way or another and that would be another sign for corruption.