Campaigns Wikia
This page is an attempt to summarize the topic of the K5 community from the POV of the K5 community. Please read the guidelines for 1POV articles before editing. Edits critical to this point of view aren't really welcome on this particular page, but feel free to comment on the talk page or contribute to an alternative article at:
  • Critiques of k5

Kuro5hin (K5) (pronounced "corrosion") is a community discussion website focused on technology and culture. It is intended to be community-driven.

(See similar pages for Slashdot and Digg.)

K5's Issues[]

One thing that stands out about K5's approach to issues is that it is frequently very personal. The community tends to vote up writing that has an authentic voice. In 2006, K5 promoted the following stories to prominence in it's politics section:

Other themes K5 visits:

  • "Governance Software" - The community was in some sense founded in opposition to Slashdot's system of promoting stories to the front page that a handful of individuals found idiosyncratically interesting. K5 retains a streak of "democracy via software" in it's interests. For example, K5 is one of the places Liquid Democracy got some attention and as recently as August of 2006 it voted onto the front page an article titled "Search Engine Symbiosis and the Quiet Cybernetic Revolution" about artifical intelligence applications "able to independently seek out novel information that is compatible with your goals. It could read a long text and automatically form an opinion about it that would approximate the opinion you’d arrive at if you read the text yourself".

Users' politics[]

On the Political Compass survey, K5 tend to end up in the bottom left corner (social-libertarian), with some overflow into the right corner (economic libertarian), and very few polling above the X axis (authoritarian) [1]. Even keeping the libertarian bias of the survey in mind, this seems consistent with the spread of opinions on the site.

Who Is Kuro5hin?[]

Rusty Foster is the founder of K5 and decides what rules by which the site will run.

He is a liberal activist, currently fighting for the independence of Peaks Island, Maine from the City of Portland.[2] His wife Christina is currently serving as the Recording Secretary of the Island Independence Committee.


Rusty Foster named Kuro5hin - which is, as noted, pronounced corrosion - as a pun on his first name. The number 5 was inspired by a character called Da5id in Neal Stephenson's 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. Dylan Griffiths (Inoshiro) was second in command as site administrator for some time, but more recently has been largely absent from the community. Additionally, there are a number of other people with powers of story editing (although not comment editing) and site administration.

In November 2000 Rusty proposed a K5 constitutional convention [3], though nothing came of it.

In June 2002 Rusty suggested that he might be forced to sell or shut down Kuro5hin due to lack of funds, and he solicited donations to support the site.[4] In response, readers gave more than $37,000 in donations and other support in less than a week.[5] Shortly thereafter Rusty announced plans to create a non-profit organization known as the Collaborative Media Foundation (CMF) to manage K5.[6] Since then, some users have been critical of a perceived lack of active management and functional improvements to the site. As of 2006, the CMF is not legally incorporated, and ownership of the CMF domain name has been transfered to a private art club.[7]

On March 25, 2004, Rusty closed off new user accounts because of posting of an image he found offensive, which superimposed his wife's face onto a pornographic image. He later announced he was going to implement new user sponsorship [8]. Many users believed that it would be the beginning of the end of Kuro5hin [9] [10] and some believed the whole scheme wouldn't work at all. [11] On July 13, Rusty reopened new user accounts and informed the community that he was abandoning the idea of user sponsorship. [12]

On July 23, 2004, Rusty announced that he was going to alter the way editors modify peoples' diaries to make it more visible to the K5 community [13]. This was done in response to the way that an unknown editor modified circletimessquare's diary [14]. There was confusion over whether the diary was a troll, and a subsequent diary by curien underscored this further [15] [16]. As of June 22, 2005, almost one year later, these changes to editor powers have still not been implemented.

On June 14, 2006, a Cross-site scripting vulnerability was used to compromise cookies belonging to administrators. This access was then used to embed an Iframe redirect to "Last Measure" into every page on the site. The site existed in this state for about 15 minutes before being taken down entirely. After approximately 2 hours of downtime, the site was restored to its normal state.