I created a Mastodon account today, and am interested in filling my timeline with interesting people and ideas.
The active development of Tildes and the feedback/discussions about features and mechanisms had me thinking. Is the conscious design and moderation of forums for public discourse a manner of...
The active development of Tildes and the feedback/discussions about features and mechanisms had me thinking. Is the conscious design and moderation of forums for public discourse a manner of social engineering?
I know the connotation of social engineering is usually negative, as in manipulating people for politics. But it's a double edged sword.
Most recently I was reading this feedback on removing usernames from link topics and while reading the comments I was thinking of how meta this all is. It's meta-meta-cognition in that we (well, by far the actual developers) are designing the space within which we execute our discourse and thinking. To paraphrase the above example: user identification can bias one's own impulse reaction to content, either to a beneficial or detrimental end, so how do we want this?
The moderation-influenced scenario is a bit more tricky because it can become too top-heavy, as in one prominent example many of us came from recently... But I think with a balance of direction from the overlords (jk, there is also public input as mentioned) and the chaos of natural public discourse, you could obtain an efficient environment for the exchange of ideas.
I'm not sure what my stimulating question would be for you all, so just tell me what you think.34 votes
I am a constant lurker in the Apple subreddit but I always wondered if people defend the company so much because they really are rabid fans or are they shills? Don't get me wrong, I know that some...
I am a constant lurker in the Apple subreddit but I always wondered if people defend the company so much because they really are rabid fans or are they shills?
Don't get me wrong, I know that some people there can be really critical of Apple but it is still surprising to me the attitude of some of its users.16 votes
A common topic I've seen so far on Tildes is what exactly differentiates it from other online communities. This doesn't just encompass vision and meta-rules, but also the current state of the...
A common topic I've seen so far on Tildes is what exactly differentiates it from other online communities. This doesn't just encompass vision and meta-rules, but also the current state of the forum, and it's userbase. I wanted to propose a possible metric for gauging the quality of a forum, and would love to hear feedback on it. The metric is as follows: when all the content on the platform is no longer realistically consumable by any given member of the community.
I feel like Tildes is still currently at this state, but is somewhat quickly getting to the point where it's unrealistic for any one user to absorb all the content on the site. Once this tipping point arrives, the community has to change. The choice will be between whether one should start consuming all the content on specific sub-forums, like ~talk or ~comp, and ignoring the discussions and other subforums one cares less about, or accept that one will only ever see what is popular overall within the site.
I feel like this falls into 3 main categories: Community, growth, and that "magic" feeling of nascent internet communities.
I think it's important to define what I mean by "information" or "content". Information is meant in the more information theoretic context - it's a more abstract representation of content. It's context specific information that can be manifested as an image, a post, a comment, or even a set of rules. Information is, broadly, what makes up the discussion. If anyone has read Information: A history, a theory, a flood, I mean information in the same way it is defined and used in that book.
When every user is able to see what every other use posts, everyone involved has a singular point of view into the content of that community. It's never sharded or split - the information is distributed evenly, and everyone has close to 100% of it. Everyone might not agree or interpret content in the same way, but the very fact that everyone is seeing the same content, and the information is presented identically, makes it so that there is a very dense set of common ground. It's nearly impossible to "miss" big events - these being singular, really well written comment chains, unique posts, or thought provoking ideas. The sense of community is there because no one is excluded due to sheer amount of information - if someone puts in the effort to see everything, and it's still possible to see everything, they're almost automatically a part of that community.
Once a forum becomes so large that any one person can no longer realistically consume all the content it starts straying towards the lowest common denominator. These are posts that share common ground with everyone, which unfortunately means that you lose that unique community. Most people one site will no longer have seen every single post. You no longer run into posts or comments that are as thought provoking, simply because there is so much content only that which appeals to everyone will make it to the top.
This ties in closely with what I mentioned above - the growth is what spurs those changes. Once you no longer have that feeling of community, you interact with it differently. You no longer can rely on the same people seeing your content, and the content itself starts decreasing in quality. This isn't due to "dumb" people joining - it's due to the sheer amount of "Information" being generated. The idea of Eternal September is tangential to this - you're not just losing out on community due to a lot of new users, it's also a loss of community due to sheer amount of information.
- Magic internet moments:
I don't have a good definition of this but I think most people will know what I mean. Every popular online community has these moments - they're the random acts of pizza, randomly encountering someone else from the same site in real life, crazy coincidences, etc. These are often what kick start the crazy growth in the previous post - they're just really cool events that happen because of the internet, and specifically happen on that site. The new reddit book We are the nerds goes over a ton of these in the early days of reddit, and how they propelled it to what it is today.
I wanted to ask the current Tildes community what they thought about this, whether they had any major disagreements, and if anything can be done to remedy this./
This is something I've been grappling with for a while. For context I'm a long time mod on reddit, primarily of r/IAmA, r/damnthatsinteresting, and r/churning. I've helped grow and curate these communities over time, and each is drastically different. The most relevant here is probably r/churning, though.
It used to be that there was a core set of users that contributed all the content. They were known by name, everyone that visited knew who they were, and they built up the hobby to what it is today. All the things that I mentioned above started happening there - the content started skewing towards the trivial questions, new members weren't properly acclimated, and the sheer amount of information caused the mods at the time to implement fairly drastic rules to combat these issues. Once you could no longer realistically consume all the content the community aspect sort of fell apart, and it became more akin to a Q&A subreddit, with new users asking the same questions.
Do you believe there is something unique/special about those "early" users, and what changes have you noticed historically once that "content" tipping point arrives?13 votes
@wendys: @THEONLYKOH @Michaelramos227 @EvanFilarca @GailSimone You wanna do this? We got time. Saga is on hiatus. It's not really bandwagon when you've been reading for decades.11 votes
hey all! i think this is my first ~talk post, 👀 nice place ye got here! so, i got to thinking about social media sites a few days ago (whilst trying to brainstorm a sideproject that isn't a social...
i think this is my first ~talk post, 👀 nice place ye got here!
so, i got to thinking about social media sites a few days ago (whilst trying to brainstorm a sideproject that isn't a social media site) and i got to thinking about Voat.
it seemed like an interesting idea at first, a nearly literal copy-paste of old reddit meant a system that i was already used to, but i'd also be early enough to get whatever username i want, and they even have a cute little goat!
and then uhh
reddit got rid of a lot of hate-communities
and they all went to voat.
now - i guess that's fine. if they want to all exile themselves into their own corner of the internet, i can't stop em
but my question is like - what about the people behind Voat? obviously there's people running the site, there's investment money involved, and they have to know that their site is the front-yard above-ground pool with green water of the internet, right?
i tried looking for some interviews of the founder - but i couldn't find anything.
any of you lot know what's goin' on with voat? what are your thoughts on the site itself? its longevity?32 votes
Have you quit social media? Why? Why not? I have been thinking about it (specifically Facebook). I have not done so, because I fear that I'll lose contact with friends from my past (even though I...
Have you quit social media? Why? Why not?
I have been thinking about it (specifically Facebook). I have not done so, because I fear that I'll lose contact with friends from my past (even though I have not messaged any of them, or seen their profile, in years).27 votes
Most social media users enjoy some design features and dislike others. However, there are often things that, while minor, significantly worsen these users' experience. What are your social media...
Most social media users enjoy some design features and dislike others. However, there are often things that, while minor, significantly worsen these users' experience.
What are your social media design pet peeves?20 votes
Some of you may have heard that Google+ will be shutting down in August, 2019. Though much criticised (including by me), the site offered some compelling dynamics, and I've reflected a lot on...
Some of you may have heard that Google+ will be shutting down in August, 2019. Though much criticised (including by me), the site offered some compelling dynamics, and I've reflected a lot on those.
I'm involved in the effort to find new homes for Plussers and Communities, which has become something of an excuse to explore and redefine what "online" and "social" media are ("PlexodusWiki").
Part of this involves some frankly embarrassing attempts to try to define what social media is, and what its properties are (both topics reflected heavily in the recent-changes section of the wiki above).
Tildes is ... among the potential target sites (there are a few Plussers, some of whom I really appreciated knowing and hearing from there), here, though the site dynamics make discovering and following them hard. This site is evolving its own culture and dynamics, parts of which I'm becoming aware of.
I've been online for well over 30 years, and discovered my first online communities via Unix talk, email, FTP, and Usenet, as well as (no kidding) a computerised university library catalogue system. Unsurprisingly: if you provide a way, especially for bright and precocious minds to interact with one another, they will. I've watched several evolutions of Internet and Web, now increasing App-based platforms. There are differences, but also similarities and patterns emerging. Lessons from previous eras of television, radio, telephony, telegraphy, print, writing, oral traditions, and more, can be applied.
I've got far more questions than answers and thought I'd put a few out here:
What does online or social media mean to you? Is it all user-generated content platforms? Web only? Apps? Email or chat? Wikis? GitHub, GitLab, and StackExchange?
Is social networking as exemplified by Facebook or Twitter net good or bad? Why? If bad, how might you fix it? Or is it time to simply retreat?
What properties or characteristics would you use to specify, define, or distinguish social or online media?
What emergent properties -- site dynamics, if you will -- are positive or negative? What are those based on?
What are the positive and negative aspects of scale?
What risks would you consider in self-hosting either your own or a group's online presence?
What is/was the best online community experience you've had? What characterised it? How did it form? How did it fail (if it did)?
What elements would comprise your ideal online experience?
What would you nuke from orbit, after takeoff, just to be sure?
Are you or your group seeking new options or platforms? What process / considerations do you have?
I could keep going and will regret not adding other questions, but this is a good start. Feel free to suggest other dimensions, though some focus on what I've prompted with would be appreciated.19 votes
~talk seems to fit this criteria, but as I browse Tildes to my dismay the majority of content is re-posts of links from external sources. Obviously, there are also quite a few posts which are more...
~talk seems to fit this criteria, but as I browse Tildes to my dismay the majority of content is re-posts of links from external sources. Obviously, there are also quite a few posts which are more than simply URL pastes, and even in the comments of a URL post, there can be healthy discourse happening.
But I am interested to discover whether anyone here knows of any other platforms that are entirely dedicated to written discussion and communication, where external links do not play a big part in that ecosystem of discourse.16 votes
So I was following this discussion on Reddit today about someone finding evidence of Russia trolls finding a safe haven on reddit and the admins not addressing it. And then also this one on Tildes...
So I was following this discussion on Reddit today about someone finding evidence of Russia trolls finding a safe haven on reddit and the admins not addressing it.
And then also this one on Tildes that clears up why the OP deleted his account and the Reddit admin's overall poor response.
So I was wondering...is there any way to fix reddit? I've all but left it, but I really wish it wasn't so horrible a place to be.
In one of the reddit threads, a user posted an idea of having many many redditors all refuse to log in to reddit for a single day as a protest against how the site is being ran. Would this be advisable or effective? What other things could be done to "wake up" the site owners to what has been going on for so long?
EDIT: Here was the reddit admin team's response to the incident.24 votes
This was the QAnon subreddit. I filtered it a while ago so not really sure what they’ve been up to of late, but I expect just more of the same. That subreddit genuinely terrified me honestly.48 votes
I personally think that if it doesn't get reigned in, it will destroy a LOT about reddit.16 votes
On Tildes I don't have any filtered tags yet but I did unsubscribe from ~anime, ~books, ~food, ~games, ~movies, ~sports, and ~tv. Wow I just made that list and realized I cut out most of the fun...
On Tildes I don't have any filtered tags yet but I did unsubscribe from ~anime, ~books, ~food, ~games, ~movies, ~sports, and ~tv. Wow I just made that list and realized I cut out most of the fun groups... I'm not sure what that says about me haha. I unsubscribed from all of those because I either don't enjoy those things or if I do, I know what I like and don't have any inclination to discuss them.
Reddit is where I have the most things filtered out. Mostly entire subs from r/all but I have some users blocked too. Like poem_for_your_sprog. Don't get me wrong I like poems in the right context but it throws me off too much when I'm reading an askreddit thread and suddenly find myself reading a poem. A dumb pet peeve.
Facebook it's just random people blocked from showing on the newsfeed.
I have said "not interested" to videos on youtube more times than I would ever care to count. I'm not sure why but they have a really hard time giving me content I want to see. There's usually like 3 videos in the feed I'm down with and the rest is just garbage. They're good about not showing me things I said I'm not interested in but they can't seem to pinpoint what I actually want.15 votes
Today, The New Republic posted a piece about the ethics of doxxing and how it has been used against members of the altright and other neo-nazi groups, as well as details some of the history of...
Today, The New Republic posted a piece about the ethics of doxxing and how it has been used against members of the altright and other neo-nazi groups, as well as details some of the history of exposing the identities of racists in the United States.
Also in the last week, the founders of Sleeping Giants were doxxed by the right-wing website Daily Caller. For those unaware, Sleeping Giants is an anonymous Twitter account which has been engaged in a campaign to get brands to drop their ads from the altright website Breitbart for the last couple of years.
The Sleeping Giants founders names and family members were outed, and following that a series of right-wing trolls have been using Twitter and the comment sections of Breitbart to share their phone numbers / addresses, and harass the founder and their family both online and in real life.
Interestingly, following the expose by the Daily Caller, Sleeping Giants has seen a huge surge in activity and support, and even more brands are leaving Breitbart. They even got a cover story on the front of the business section this week highlighting their efforts.
So my question for you all on Tildes is, when is doxxing acceptable, if ever?
Is exposing, naming, and shaming racists an acceptable action?
Is there a difference between doxxing individuals for their actions in public / real life vs. for things they say on the internet on say Twitter or Reddit?30 votes
A bit of context: in July 2017 germany implemented the Netzdurchsetzungsgesetz, a law which allows german authorities to fine Social Media companies with over 2 million users if they persistently...
A bit of context: in July 2017 germany implemented the Netzdurchsetzungsgesetz, a law which allows german authorities to fine Social Media companies with over 2 million users if they persistently fail to remove obvious hatespeech within 24 hours and all other cases within a week. A write up of the law and background information. Information about the definition of hate sepeech in germany.
I am interested in your opinion: Is this governmental overreach and infringes on the freedom of speech or is this a long needed step to ensure that people feel safe and current german law is finally being followed?16 votes
I do this a lot. I did it just now. I wrote about five paragraphs on a topic, deleted it and started over, wrote about five more and did the same thing. Got frustrated. Some thoughts that went...
I do this a lot. I did it just now. I wrote about five paragraphs on a topic, deleted it and started over, wrote about five more and did the same thing. Got frustrated. Some thoughts that went through my mind:
"this is not concise at all. It's disorganized and needs to be re-done"
"this is going to trigger an emotional response and that will filter how they read it, so I'll be less likely to get interesting responses"
"maybe I should just do this as a journal entry and keep it private"
"these thoughts are worth something, and even if they aren't super cogent, maybe they can be a starting point for a collaborative thinking process"
"that's dumb, nobody cares about my ramblings anyway. everyone has thoughts like this, mine aren't more important"
So what usually ends up happening in instances like this is I just don't post. Other times, I get wrapped up in trying to make a post super-high quality and it comes across as over-produced... and if I've somehow triggered an emotional response then that aspect becomes an avenue for attack.
Does anyone else experience something comparable to this? Is it a good thing for helping to maintain quality content and discussions? If not, what are strategies to improve situations like these?26 votes
I imagine that I'm not the only one here now that was part of the Digg exodus to Reddit many years ago and I wonder what you all think we can learn from the rise and fall of these platforms to...
I imagine that I'm not the only one here now that was part of the Digg exodus to Reddit many years ago and I wonder what you all think we can learn from the rise and fall of these platforms to better design our new community.
Is it inevitable that our social networks degrade with population until a new one rises from Its ashes, so to speak?
What can we do to protect ourselves from this pattern and maintain a healthy populace?48 votes