Is lurking ever indefensible?

Jenny Mackness, Jenny Connected, Dec 15, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

If lurking were disallowed I wouldn't be able to do half the things I do. I frequently follow along in groups, conferences, committees, etc., in lurker mode. Yes, it irritates active participants sometimes (sorry about that, SCC-ISO people). But it's how I need to manage my time if I am to participate in the event or discussion at all. And don't think it isn't participation - think of it as being akin to the role of scrutineer. My very act of watching has an impact (the desired impact) on the outcome of the proceedings. So I'm with Jenny Mackness - lurking should be tolerated, and people who don't like it should deal with their control issues.
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