In February, shit hit the fan in the usual way: An old tweet resurfaced. Brantly Millegan, director of operations at Ethereum Name Service (ENS), a web3 business, had written the following in May 2016: “Homosexual acts are evil. Transgenderism doesn’t exist. Abortion is murder. Contraception is a perversion. So is masturbation and porn.” After Millegan confirmed that these were still his beliefs, debate in the crypto and ENS community exploded. One side argued that Millegan’s personal beliefs had nothing to do with his role at ENS, and besides, cancel culture is a web2 thing, not a web3 thing. The other side took the “Well why should we support and work with an asshole” stance.
This kind of situation is exhaustingly familiar on a platform like Twitter, where the power to moderate online communities has ballooned into a matter of constitutional importance. But being a mod didn’t use to be this hard. In the heady days of the early internet, [...]