48 votes

Tildes Daily discussion - let's talk more about filtering

In the daily post yesterday, I mentioned that I was planning to add filtering for topic tags fairly soon. I have this working now, but I'm balking a bit on actually adding it. So before I do, I wanted to take some time today to talk specifically about filtering, and how we can try to make sure that it doesn't get "out of control" and hurt the site in different ways.

"Filter bubbles" can be a real issue, but on the opposite side, I don't think that trying to force people to see content that they don't want to is a good approach either. You can't force that—people will add their own filters with browser extensions, just "mentally filter" the posts, or even leave the site if there's too much that they don't want. Overall, it's one of my goals that people should have control of what they see, and being able to filter some things out is an important part of that.

So there's not really a specific question I want to ask or anything, I'm just looking for a general discussion about filtering and if there's any specific things that you think would work well, or pitfalls we should try to avoid with it. Thanks, I'd appreciate any thoughts.

95 comments

  1. [13]
    cfabbro (edited ) Link
    I have tremendously mixed feelings about tag filters because of the potential for encouraging echo chambers. At least with subgroups and bubble up mechanics for higher level groups it forces some...

    I have tremendously mixed feelings about tag filters because of the potential for encouraging echo chambers. At least with subgroups and bubble up mechanics for higher level groups it forces some level of interaction between conflicting ideological groups. However tags are pretty useless without filtering and allowing people to custom tailor their experience is also somewhat important.

    Ultimately I think tag filtering (topic & comment) is fine, so long as we don't cross the line into allowing user filtering. And hopefully a lot of the downsides from topic/comment tag filtering can potentially be overcome by encouraging a culture of civil interaction between groups, rather than artificially limiting mechanics.

    It's a tough call though.


    edit: Just wanted to add that I think ease of use for filters could also be very important. If ~ allows users to create custom filter lists (e.g. "no serious topics", "articles only", "no casual chat", "self-text only", etc) and makes enabling/disabling them super quick/easy (like with the push of an easily accessible button) so the front page can be instantly changed to suit their particular mood for the moment, that would also help a great deal IMO. Whereas if it's a PITA to do (buried deep in the settings somewhere), it will likely turn into a "set and forget" feature as a result, which would then that could lead to echo chamber problems.

    RES does this (one click filter conditions) already with their filter bar and I think that might be a good model to copy.

    25 votes
    1. SaucedButLeaking Link Parent
      I would just like to agree that user filtering should not be a site feature. People will create them, but that's not the type of thing that we should be encouraging.

      I would just like to agree that user filtering should not be a site feature. People will create them, but that's not the type of thing that we should be encouraging.

      16 votes
    2. merick Link Parent
      I'd like to highlight this. Not everything needs to be locked away. If we can foster a healthy community, people will naturally behave appropriately. That's also not limited to this specific...

      And hopefully a lot of the downsides from topic/comment tag filtering can potentially be overcome by encouraging a culture of interaction between groups, rather than artificially limiting mechanics.

      I'd like to highlight this. Not everything needs to be locked away. If we can foster a healthy community, people will naturally behave appropriately. That's also not limited to this specific discussion, I believe this can be applied to many other problems and the website in general.

      6 votes
    3. [5]
      Whom Link Parent
      Without provoking a conversation about echo chambers, would it not be possible to have guidelines and rules for proper tagging? Perhaps trying to make it more what a post is about rather than what...

      Without provoking a conversation about echo chambers, would it not be possible to have guidelines and rules for proper tagging? Perhaps trying to make it more what a post is about rather than what the post contains. Maybe that's a poor way to put it, but I mean more tagging "politics" and frowning upon tagging something "left-wing." Personally I think that guts the feature a little too much but it seems like a decent compromise.

      I've been preaching this up and down the site, but I think if keeping contributions both civil and substantial is a goal, giving users additional tools to avoid situations where they can't be civil or provide anything of substance is a necessity. Like for me personally, I like to think I do a good job of keeping it cool but I know a lot of situations could come up where I could explode and I think having the choice to just keep it out of sight allows me to keep that in check and keep myself only getting involved when I've determined it's actually the best thing for me to be doing.

      As for your suggestion about the speed and ease of use, I was actually thinking the opposite. It seems to me like having it be a long, intimate process makes it more likely that you're filtering out things that you are really compelled to not interact with, while making it quick and easy makes it more of a kneejerk "I DON'T LIKE IT" response. I definitely see what you mean, though, and I wonder way would actually have the most influence.

      6 votes
      1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
        I think standards for tagging and titles are inevitable and once trust, trusted user tag/title editing and action auditing are in place I think they will likely begin to be established....

        I think standards for tagging and titles are inevitable and once trust, trusted user tag/title editing and action auditing are in place I think they will likely begin to be established. /r/NeutralPolitics and /r/ChangeMyView both do a tremendously good job of keeping the submission titles and self-text there neutrally framed and I think using them as a model for standards here in regards to self-text, titles and tags is definitely a good idea.

        I also understand how you feel about wanting to avoid certain topics you're passionate about so you don't say something you regret... but at the same time I kind of feel that allowing people to completely avoid certain topics entirely is not very productive either. It's one of those balancing acts again, I think.

        And ease of use doesn't necessarily mean people can't set & forget if they truly want either. You can add a "no gender politics" filter list and always leave that one enabled if that's what you want. The filter lists you create would not be mutually exclusive either... So you could have "no gender politics" + "no casual conversations" both enabled at the same time. And if you were suddenly in the mood for casual conversations, you could simply disable that one but still leave "no gender politics" enabled.

        3 votes
      2. [3]
        Zeerph Link Parent
        I am, personally, in favour of either limited the scope of tags (by curation or majority decision) or just limiting how often tags can be used. That and when the trust system comes into being,...

        Without provoking a conversation about echo chambers, would it not be possible to have guidelines and rules for proper tagging?

        I am, personally, in favour of either limited the scope of tags (by curation or majority decision) or just limiting how often tags can be used. That and when the trust system comes into being, users that have gained high trust can be able to negate a tag or replace a tag with a more suitable one.

        It seems to me like having it be a long, intimate process makes it more likely that you're filtering out things that you are really compelled to not interact with

        A solid point here. This is one reason why I would like to be able to edit filters like

        Only show me #topic posts with tag and tag

        It takes a bit more work and a bit more thought, but gets to the point where you only see certain topics when you want to see them. A much nicer experience altogether.

        1. [2]
          Whom Link Parent
          This seems more like a suggestion in response to the comment tagging system that we used to have. Is it, or am I just misunderstanding? Limiting tags on posts seems like an absolute disaster, we...

          I am, personally, in favour of either limited the scope of tags (by curation or majority decision) or just limiting how often tags can be used. That and when the trust system comes into being, users that have gained high trust can be able to negate a tag or replace a tag with a more suitable one.

          This seems more like a suggestion in response to the comment tagging system that we used to have. Is it, or am I just misunderstanding? Limiting tags on posts seems like an absolute disaster, we should encourage authors tagging EVERYTHING they post, otherwise filtering or any future functionality which relies on tags becomes useless.

          2 votes
          1. Zeerph Link Parent
            Oh, sorry, I was thinking about posts, but I do agree that submissions should be tagged, maybe by both authors and trusted community members.

            Oh, sorry, I was thinking about posts, but I do agree that submissions should be tagged, maybe by both authors and trusted community members.

            1 vote
    4. [3]
      crius (edited ) Link Parent
      I think that if we allow only tag filtering and not group filtering, the echo chamber issue could be weakened. What I mean is that I can unsubscribe from ~food.insects but I'll stay in ~food...

      I think that if we allow only tag filtering and not group filtering, the echo chamber issue could be weakened.

      What I mean is that I can unsubscribe from ~food.insects but I'll stay in ~food because I like the rest.

      If a part in the subgroup is so good that emerges, I should see it anyway. I probably would like to at least.

      This can be done by allowing the tags to filter only for the groups you subscribe to, just to go more in details.

      Of course to works it depend on how the weight of subgroup topics is calculated to emerge in parent groups.


      Nevermind, I saw the comment here: https://tildes.net/~tildes.official/1t8/tildes_daily_discussion_lets_talk_more_about_filtering#comment-il5 and it's just such a simple and effective idea.

      When I begin to have convoluted solutions, that's my call for "time to go to sleep" :P

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
        ;) p.s. I can't wait for the "whisper reply" mechanic so we can still reply with fun/personal/offtopic stuff like that without increasing the noise of the thread.

        ;)

        p.s. I can't wait for the "whisper reply" mechanic so we can still reply with fun/personal/offtopic stuff like that without increasing the noise of the thread.

        2 votes
        1. crius Link Parent
          Oooh, that's a good one

          Oooh, that's a good one

          2 votes
    5. [2]
      senatorskeletor Link Parent
      Sorry, what’s the difference between tag filtering and user filtering?

      Sorry, what’s the difference between tag filtering and user filtering?

      1 vote
      1. cfabbro Link Parent
        Tag filtering = filter out all topics/comments with certain tags, e.g. politics, casual conversation, gameIdontlike, joke, etc User filtering = hide all comments from @userIhate (which is what...

        Tag filtering = filter out all topics/comments with certain tags, e.g. politics, casual conversation, gameIdontlike, joke, etc

        User filtering = hide all comments from @userIhate (which is what reddit is doing now with user blocking)

        1 vote
  2. [33]
    blender_cuttingham Link
    Maybe the filtering could be "off" when some posts (or comments) reaches a certain level of votes... maybe you are not really interested in seeing X topics but if its really popular... maybe you...

    Maybe the filtering could be "off" when some posts (or comments) reaches a certain level of votes... maybe you are not really interested in seeing X topics but if its really popular... maybe you should acknowledge it's existence and take a look.

    I concur it's rather difficult to have the perfect solution. So food for thoughts I guess.

    22 votes
    1. [19]
      cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      That's actually a really good idea for a compromise IMO. Allow users to filter certain tags but once a topic/comment rises above a certain metric (>mean # of votes/comments/whatever else, for that...

      That's actually a really good idea for a compromise IMO.

      Allow users to filter certain tags but once a topic/comment rises above a certain metric (>mean # of votes/comments/whatever else, for that group) it is automatically exempt from the filters. Sort of like a "break through" mechanic so exemplary topics/comments can still be seen even by those who generally want to filter that tag out.

      8 votes
      1. [17]
        Archimedes Link Parent
        I'd hate this. For example, there's so much stuff on Reddit about gaming (completely irrelevant to me). Unless the breakthrough mechanic had a very high threshold, I'd still get a ton of useless...

        I'd hate this. For example, there's so much stuff on Reddit about gaming (completely irrelevant to me). Unless the breakthrough mechanic had a very high threshold, I'd still get a ton of useless clutter.

        11 votes
        1. [15]
          cfabbro Link Parent
          I imagine it would be a high threshold but I also think you're misunderstanding the idea. Topics would only "break through" the filter within groups, not your subscriptions. So if you were...

          I imagine it would be a high threshold but I also think you're misunderstanding the idea. Topics would only "break through" the filter within groups, not your subscriptions. So if you were subscribed to ~games and filtering out #whatevergame the post was about it could potentially break through your filter. However if you're not subscribed to ~games it wouldn't suddenly appear on your front page despite being a ~games related topic.

          11 votes
          1. [3]
            Zeerph Link Parent
            Still, if I've opted out of seeing a specific #game, I've opted out for a reason. That reason being, I don't want to see it. If I did see a topic about #game, I would just hide it .... Maybe, a...

            Still, if I've opted out of seeing a specific #game, I've opted out for a reason.
            That reason being, I don't want to see it.
            If I did see a topic about #game, I would just hide it ....
            Maybe, a more granular control is useful. Something like:

            It's OK to show me #game sometimes

            Or

            It's never OK to show me #game

            13 votes
            1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
              Yeah, that is also a nice compromise of the compromise. ;) This is why I love ~tildes ... it feels like the /r/theoryofreddit and /r/ideasfortheadmins of old, but with the possibility for good...

              Yeah, that is also a nice compromise of the compromise. ;)

              This is why I love ~tildes ... it feels like the /r/theoryofreddit and /r/ideasfortheadmins of old, but with the possibility for good ideas to actually be implemented instead of just perpetually being ignored.

              8 votes
            2. hook Link Parent
              The granular filter control could work also for the so called nsfw filters. E.g. I'd also hate seing gore if I filter that out (and we decide to use tags for marking it) and just because a...

              The granular filter control could work also for the so called nsfw filters.

              E.g. I'd also hate seing gore if I filter that out (and we decide to use tags for marking it) and just because a majority found it fun, I would suddenly see it as well.

              Or, if we go even more extreme and leave the world of preferences and enter health. Let's say someone with visual epilepsy has a filter to not see quickly flashing videos. Just because that music video is hugely popular, it definitely shouldn't break though that person's filter.

              2 votes
          2. [10]
            Tetracyclic (edited ) Link Parent
            I've got to concur that I don't think this is a particularly good idea in most cases. The most common usecase for filtering is probably when a particular topic suddenly gets incredibly popular and...

            I've got to concur that I don't think this is a particularly good idea in most cases. The most common usecase for filtering is probably when a particular topic suddenly gets incredibly popular and begins to be discussed ad nauseum. This can be seen a lot on Reddit, where certain subreddits have to add specific filter options because popular subjects will suddenly dominate the subreddit for a couple of days or weeks before dying out.

            The filter bubble concept is definitely more applicable to some subjects rather than others. If I'm subscribed to ~hobbies.woodworking, I might not be interested in reading any posts about lathe work and so I opt to filter them out. In this context it seems very odd to suggest that it's important to expose me to the joys of woodturning so I'm not warped by a lack of rotational symmetry in my life.

            If I've gone to the effort of filtering out #GameICouldntCareLessAbout, it's going to be particularly annoying when popular posts about it, that were probably the reason it was filtered in the first place, keep breaking through in a misguided attempt to break me out of my "bubble".

            I would definitely be more in favour of an option to either "never show me #topic" or "only show significant posts about #topic", but I'm not sure if that's really worth spending the resources implementing and fine tuning.

            8 votes
            1. [8]
              cfabbro Link Parent
              What do you think about @Zeerph's idea for granular support?

              What do you think about @Zeerph's idea for granular support?

              It's OK to show me #game sometimes

              Or

              It's never OK to show me #game

              3 votes
              1. [4]
                Tetracyclic Link Parent
                Yes, that's essentially what I was getting at with my final point, however from a purely technical perspective I think the amount of work involved in fine tuning the algorithm for deciding when it...

                Yes, that's essentially what I was getting at with my final point, however from a purely technical perspective I think the amount of work involved in fine tuning the algorithm for deciding when it is okay to display something a user has opted to filter out could probably be better spent on more pressing features. An algorithm that gets it right some of the time wouldn't be too difficult, but I think one that satisfactorily shows just the right amount of filtered content would take a lot more finessing.

                5 votes
                1. [3]
                  cfabbro Link Parent
                  Every mechanic on this site is going to need finessing and constant refinement... trust/rep especially. Even the simple ones already implemented like Activity sort have shown some weaknesses...

                  Every mechanic on this site is going to need finessing and constant refinement... trust/rep especially. Even the simple ones already implemented like Activity sort have shown some weaknesses already which need to be addressed eventually (possibly by removing OP from the bump mechanic and back & forth replies as well).

                  And I think even if filtering was added today this "break through" mechanic wouldn't be worked on for a while, so you don't need to worry about that taking @deimos away from more important things. He knows how to prioritize. People are just theorycrafting and discussing possibilities at this point.

                  4 votes
                  1. [2]
                    Tetracyclic Link Parent
                    Oh definitely, I was just saying I'd personally put it at an extremely low priority, compared to straight-forward filtering of topics (which going by the original post, seems to be mostly...

                    Oh definitely, I was just saying I'd personally put it at an extremely low priority, compared to straight-forward filtering of topics (which going by the original post, seems to be mostly functional now).

                    Yeah, I wouldn't expect the activity algorithm to be perfected for a long time and it's likely going to need to be overhauled as the user base grows, however much it tries to anticipate the future. These are hard problems!

                    4 votes
                    1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
                      Yeah, the worry about encouraging echo chambers by allowing hard filtering, which this "break through" mechanic might potentially help alleviate, is a far off one... so I agree it's not a high...

                      Yeah, the worry about encouraging echo chambers by allowing hard filtering, which this "break through" mechanic might potentially help alleviate, is a far off one... so I agree it's not a high priority. However once ~ is opensource then priority is relative since if someone really really wants a feature and is willing to devote the time to implement it, then they can. And because of that it's still worth discussing and refining the ideas at the theoretical level even this early before they become a critical issue, IMO.

                      Plus, you never know... someone might come up with a brilliantly simple idea that addresses the issue without requiring much work or refinement so encouraging discussions, even on things that might not be an issue for a while, is also worth doing.

                      3 votes
              2. [3]
                Zeerph Link Parent
                I think a better idea occurred to me further down the thread. Making filters based on tags. Of course, it would be better with curated tags, but overall less work than a sorting algorithm.

                I think a better idea occurred to me further down the thread.
                Making filters based on tags.

                Only show me #topic with tag important or interesting

                Only show me #topic with tag serious and high quality

                Of course, it would be better with curated tags, but overall less work than a sorting algorithm.

                5 votes
                1. [2]
                  cfabbro Link Parent
                  I do like the idea of tiered tags so you can set the level of content you want to see in terms of "quality", "depth", "seriousness" etc. But yeah, like you said, it will require tag curation but...

                  I do like the idea of tiered tags so you can set the level of content you want to see in terms of "quality", "depth", "seriousness" etc. But yeah, like you said, it will require tag curation but that is definitely something that is coming... there just needs to be an auditing system in place first so abusers can be identified and sufficiently punished.

                  2 votes
                  1. Zeerph Link Parent
                    I'm hoping to see the trust system soon-ish, so everyone that has gathered a high amount of trust can do those sorts of things.

                    I'm hoping to see the trust system soon-ish, so everyone that has gathered a high amount of trust can do those sorts of things.

                    1 vote
            2. crius Link Parent
              Sorry just wanted to let you know that I'm laughing like an idiot at this.

              it seems very odd to suggest that it's important to expose me to the joys of woodturning so I'm not warped by a lack of rotational symmetry in my life.

              Sorry just wanted to let you know that I'm laughing like an idiot at this.

              2 votes
          3. Archimedes Link Parent
            Gotcha. That makes more sense. On Reddit, I usually browse a heavily filtered /r/all and it's a pain trying to block all of the distinct gaming reddits.

            Gotcha. That makes more sense.

            On Reddit, I usually browse a heavily filtered /r/all and it's a pain trying to block all of the distinct gaming reddits.

            3 votes
        2. Axelia Link Parent
          I think in this case you could avoid gaming news altogether just by not subbing to ~games. You'd only see gaming-related news in the rare event that something related to gaming happened to be...

          I think in this case you could avoid gaming news altogether just by not subbing to ~games. You'd only see gaming-related news in the rare event that something related to gaming happened to be noteworthy AND relevant to a non-gaming topic.

          1 vote
      2. DonQuixote Link Parent
        That sounds like a Facebook feed.

        That sounds like a Facebook feed.

    2. [8]
      Axelia Link Parent
      This sounds like a good way to allow people to filter out noise but still be aware of things that are going on. For instance, other comments have used particular games as an example. Maybe I don't...

      This sounds like a good way to allow people to filter out noise but still be aware of things that are going on. For instance, other comments have used particular games as an example. Maybe I don't give a crap about Overwatch and don't want to see the spam. I won't, for the most part, unless some extraordinarily noteworthy event happens and the topic breaks through the filter. This should happen fairly rarely and it's good to be aware that something that impactful happened in the gaming community (at least in my opinion).

      The tricky part will be determining what the threshold should be for a breakthrough. For example, if we continue with the Overwatch example, I would expect topics about seasonal events to be way more popular than average topics, but if I don't want to see Overwatch content, I probably don't care about the seasonal events going on either. The kind of events I would want to see would be controversies about microtransactions, questionable decisions by Blizzard, etc. High-level controversies that could have an impact on the industry as a whole moving forward.

      I don't know the best way to implement it, but I do agree that if an event is impactful enough, it's probably good for the rest of the group to be aware of it even if it's filtered.

      5 votes
      1. Zeerph Link Parent
        How about implementing a rating of sorts for the filter? From 0-9, with 9 being the aggressive "I never want to see this, ever" and 0 being "it's OK to show me some popular posts from this topic"...

        How about implementing a rating of sorts for the filter? From 0-9, with 9 being the aggressive "I never want to see this, ever" and 0 being "it's OK to show me some popular posts from this topic"

        Then again maybe we don't need 0-9, but some other set of numbers that is appropriate to the filter levels we need.

        Possibel Filter levels
        show me some popular posts
        show me only posts also tagged with serious
        show me only posts also tagged with interesting
        show me posts also tagged with important
        show me no posts

        4 votes
      2. [6]
        Arbybear Link Parent
        What about if the option for filtering a tag is "only block if Overwatch is the only tag", so if an Overwatch post is tagged "Overwatch" and "Microtransactions" you would still see it.

        What about if the option for filtering a tag is "only block if Overwatch is the only tag", so if an Overwatch post is tagged "Overwatch" and "Microtransactions" you would still see it.

        2 votes
        1. [4]
          ZaphodBeebblebrox Link Parent
          Looking at the posts we get, this seems impractical. We average more than three tags a post, and only have one post with one tag currently on the frontpage.

          Looking at the posts we get, this seems impractical. We average more than three tags a post, and only have one post with one tag currently on the frontpage.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            Zeerph Link Parent
            I'm thinking that a filter system we can control by saying Or Might be a usable implementation.

            I'm thinking that a filter system we can control by saying

            don't show me tag and tag

            Or

            Only show #topic with tag or tag

            Might be a usable implementation.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              Arbybear Link Parent
              For the second one, it would be best to whitelist newly created tags by default, or else the user would never see them.

              For the second one, it would be best to whitelist newly created tags by default, or else the user would never see them.

              2 votes
              1. Zeerph Link Parent
                True, then the user could opt out at their leisure.

                True, then the user could opt out at their leisure.

        2. Axelia Link Parent
          Eh, but then I'd see it if someone decided to be cheeky and add another tag in there like "potg" or "pro play" or something.

          Eh, but then I'd see it if someone decided to be cheeky and add another tag in there like "potg" or "pro play" or something.

          1 vote
    3. Eylops Link Parent
      In addition to that, maybe only show negative(offtopic, spam, troll, etc.) after a certain threshold is reached (could be based on user trust, distribution of votes/number of tags in that...

      In addition to that, maybe only show negative(offtopic, spam, troll, etc.) after a certain threshold is reached (could be based on user trust, distribution of votes/number of tags in that topic/community). That would hopefully prevent a few trolls from misusing negative tags. Positive tags could be shown earlier, helping those posts come to the attention of users more easily.

      4 votes
    4. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      Why? I'm not interested in discussions about Star Wars. I don't care how popular those discussions get (and I know they get popular!). I'm just not interested. If I filter out "star wars", I don't...

      maybe you are not really interested in seeing X topics but if its really popular... maybe you should acknowledge it's existence and take a look.

      Why? I'm not interested in discussions about Star Wars. I don't care how popular those discussions get (and I know they get popular!). I'm just not interested. If I filter out "star wars", I don't want to see it. Full stop. Same with hundreds of other topics, ranging from heavy metal music to romance novels. I just don't want to see those topics, even though I'm subscribed to ~music and ~books.

      3 votes
    5. [2]
      Zeerph Link Parent
      I'm going to disagree on the basis of I still don't want to see certain topics, no matter how popular they are. If I've opted out of it, I don't want to see it. Ever.

      I'm going to disagree on the basis of I still don't want to see certain topics, no matter how popular they are. If I've opted out of it, I don't want to see it. Ever.

      2 votes
      1. Dogma Link Parent
        Yeah sometimes on reddit I want to filter a sub or a thing because it's annoying, not because it's hurting my world view or anything. I just don't want to see that stuff any more, it hurts my...

        Yeah sometimes on reddit I want to filter a sub or a thing because it's annoying, not because it's hurting my world view or anything. I just don't want to see that stuff any more, it hurts my experience and provides nothing in return.

        2 votes
    6. Bear Link Parent
      I can tell you that if this were to become the case, I would just not use the service. On Reddit, I use RES, and with it, I have many subreddits filtered out, per my choices. If this were done,...

      maybe you are not really interested in seeing X topics but if its really popular... maybe you should acknowledge it's existence and take a look.

      I can tell you that if this were to become the case, I would just not use the service.

      On Reddit, I use RES, and with it, I have many subreddits filtered out, per my choices.

      If this were done, and then anyone asked me about Tildes, as they might because I do work in IT - I would make it a point to tell them that the site would force popular topics into their views, despite their settings.

      2 votes
  3. [2]
    eladnarra Link
    I'd be interested in seeing tags be able to be used as a sort of search... I guess as a flexible whitelist rather than a blacklist? (If I'm using those terms right.) It'd be neat to navigate to...

    I'd be interested in seeing tags be able to be used as a sort of search... I guess as a flexible whitelist rather than a blacklist? (If I'm using those terms right.) It'd be neat to navigate to ~science and quickly go "Show me everything tagged 'video,' 'biology,' this visit" as opposed to "Don't show me things tagged 'physics.'"

    But maybe that's just better suited to an actual search.

    12 votes
    1. Neverland Link Parent
      I think along those same lines, I would like to have the tags on a post be clickable. So that I could explore other posts with that same tag. Though I assumed that was in the pipeline already for...

      I think along those same lines, I would like to have the tags on a post be clickable. So that I could explore other posts with that same tag. Though I assumed that was in the pipeline already for some reason.

      7 votes
  4. silva-rerum Link
    I posted earlier about the rise and fall of Delicious, and an interesting thing I learned from preparing that post was the reasoning Delicious used for adding tag functionality to their service:...

    I posted earlier about the rise and fall of Delicious, and an interesting thing I learned from preparing that post was the reasoning Delicious used for adding tag functionality to their service:

    Tagging can be... easier and more flexible than fitting your information into preconceived categories... You don't have to rely on the designer of the system to provide you with [the] category... You just make up tags as you need them. That's great for organizing personal data, but it goes even further when someone else posts related content with the same tags. You begin building a collaborative repository of related information, driven by personal interests and creative organization.

    That's generally the view that I have towards tag filtering too. I see it as an informal form of categorization that allows for cross-subject (or in Tildes' case, cross-group) pollination, but I also think there are plenty of potential downfalls that can result from it as others have pointed out.

    Here are a few random thoughts about functionality that would be cool to consider:

    • A way of establishing filter types or levels – a.k.a. meta-tags denoting meta-information about the post versus tags related to the content- or subject-related tags (I know the distinction between them is kind of fuzzy...)
    • Having the option to switch between types of filtered views so that curated collections of popular or important tag filters are possible within a given group, or even across several groups
    • A dedicated section or page on the site that highlights popular or recommended tag filters, and/or collections/views of them
    • A way of establishing a spectrum of filter weights based on the frequency with which posts are tagged with certain phrases or words, so stronger filters gain more weight in terms of deciding what content shows up on the home page, whereas gibberish filters or unpopular ones don't get weight.
    8 votes
  5. pseudolobster (edited ) Link
    I'm a big fan of filters. I'd love to see the search/filter function become a central part of how people view the front page. I want to see posts from groups x, y, and z, between yyyy-mm-dd and...

    I'm a big fan of filters. I'd love to see the search/filter function become a central part of how people view the front page. I want to see posts from groups x, y, and z, between yyyy-mm-dd and yyyy-mm-dd with tag "foo" that have activity higher than x (arbitrary units) or votes over x etc, sorted by etc etc etc.

    If we had infinite servers it'd be really amazing to have these filters as prominent buttons and sliders at the top of the page that apply in realtime using websockets or whatnot, but I'm sure these things get computationally expensive quickly at scale.

    Edit: I should clarify I'm a fan of filters, but give the user the ability to see absolutely everything. Filter bubbles are a huge problem, and the site shouldn't decide what gets filtered, the user should.

    7 votes
  6. [6]
    BuckeyeSundae Link
    I would put more stock in being able to hide submissions and comments than I would filters, to be honest. The reason why is because various ~community subscriptions are already tag filters. So...

    I would put more stock in being able to hide submissions and comments than I would filters, to be honest. The reason why is because various ~community subscriptions are already tag filters. So with that functionality already being expressed, it's hard to see how we're going to get much of an improvement to user experience from this change alone.

    Submission and comment hiding is much more important because what someone thinks is uninteresting content does vary a bit from user to user. It's hard to say out the gate whether something with a specific tag is going to be something you're not interested in. It's super easy to see whether that fifth introduction thread is something I'm interested in seeing, or whether I really want to see that 18-comment chain about some offtopic usage of a word in a ~news thread about Guiliani's claims about presidential pardons.

    7 votes
    1. eladnarra Link Parent
      Yeah, even those of us who accidentally create such offtopic chains might want to "mute" them >_> The ability to mute/hide topics or comment chains feels powerful without letting things you'd...

      Yeah, even those of us who accidentally create such offtopic chains might want to "mute" them >_>

      The ability to mute/hide topics or comment chains feels powerful without letting things you'd actually be interested in being filtered out accidentally. (Although I think there's a place for both. There's potential for them to complement each other.)

      4 votes
    2. [4]
      Zeerph Link Parent
      I completely agree that hiding posts or threads is an important feature, but I also think it can work in conjunction with filtering and subscribing to specific groups. For example, I'm subscribed...

      I completely agree that hiding posts or threads is an important feature, but I also think it can work in conjunction with filtering and subscribing to specific groups.

      For example, I'm subscribed to ~talk, but I don't care for casual conversation, so I filler it all out, rather than having to hide every single one I'm not interested in.

      It's about granularity, I suppose, hiding would be for posts in groups that you might want to read, but don't. Filtering would be for posts you definitely won't want to see.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        BuckeyeSundae Link Parent
        I'm okay with filtering tags eventually, but I'm also going to have to be brutally pragmatic for a second: I think that we're not up to speed on how to tag our stuff yet, and frankly with influxes...

        I'm okay with filtering tags eventually, but I'm also going to have to be brutally pragmatic for a second: I think that we're not up to speed on how to tag our stuff yet, and frankly with influxes of new users constantly on the horizon, training people how to tag appropriately will be a permanent feature of this site. Until we have auditing mechanisms that don't involve @deimos manually checking and updating each submission (which is where we're currently at), I really have no interest in distracting the main programmer of this site with labor that is better suited for less technically skilled hands.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          Zeerph Link Parent
          Oh, definitely, but I figure they have a small labour force in the rest of us (i.e. trusted users) that can help curate the list. No reason for @Deimos not to delegate it to the community. For...

          Oh, definitely, but I figure they have a small labour force in the rest of us (i.e. trusted users) that can help curate the list. No reason for @Deimos not to delegate it to the community.

          For example, we all could agree on some of the 5 or so most important global tags to be implemented and then work from there.

          Or, perhaps making two separate types of tags, one simple, general tags that measure quality, the other community based tags that filter on topics.

          4 votes
          1. BuckeyeSundae Link Parent
            If that is part of the implementation package (and it isn't clear that it is from the OP), then fine. If it isn't, which I suspect to be the case, I'm against tag filtering at this moment.

            If that is part of the implementation package (and it isn't clear that it is from the OP), then fine. If it isn't, which I suspect to be the case, I'm against tag filtering at this moment.

            4 votes
  7. [2]
    meristele Link
    On tagging and filters: I see a lot of discussion about abuse of tags and definition of trolling with tags and whatnot. So I've been wondering - can't the tags be structured as binary? Deviantart...

    On tagging and filters:

    I see a lot of discussion about abuse of tags and definition of trolling with tags and whatnot. So I've been wondering - can't the tags be structured as binary? Deviantart requires media/genre category selection as a part of posting. You go through a tree and all the branches are "is it this or not?" When you get to a point where there are multiple things that fit, you pick what you feel is the best one. You can always tag alternates after.

    It is hard to have value arguments with yes/no categories. Is a "I found a heart shaped potato in my garden" thread socializing or debate? The op can choose the appropriate category. People can look at the content and have a threshold number of votes to recategorize.

    But tags like "trolling" and "gaslighting" and such are subjective. I'd rather have concrete ones like "swearing" and "off topic" or "research supported". The answer is mostly yes or no. The definition of the tag can be standardized and put in a faq. If there is a warning or ban because a swearing threshold has been reached, the mod or automated message system can say, "you have garnered xxx swearing tags in the last xxx period, which is defined as language beyond casual emphasis with the use of derogatory adjectives or names ." Or whatever.

    Has this been tried before? Would it be less subject to abuse? Easier to give less biased warnings or bans? It's hard for me to tell...

    6 votes
    1. eladnarra (edited ) Link Parent
      I've been thinking about your last comment on tagging, where you mention the idea of having different category tags for posts within ~creative (your suggestions were Activity, For Critique,...

      I've been thinking about your last comment on tagging, where you mention the idea of having different category tags for posts within ~creative (your suggestions were Activity, For Critique, Inspiration, Socialising, and Theory/History, which I like). That, combined with your description of how DeviantArt works with genre/media, reminded me of how Wordpress has both categories and tags.

      When I set up blogs, generally I use categories for the type of post, and tags for the content. So I might have "video" and "photo" categories, with tags like "nature" and "people" that can be applied to any post in any category. What if certain groups/subgroups had this distinction built-in to posting? So in creative, instead of applying tags "activity," "poetry," "fun," you'd select "activity" as a category in a drop down and then be able to type whatever tags you wanted. It creates a bit of structure, because presumably there are finite categories in each group/subgroup.

      Other possible examples of categories: "journal article" in ~science, "trailer" in ~movies, "review" in ~tv, "ask" in ~talk.

      I don't know if that's exactly what you're talking about, or if it'd be useful in practice, but it's where my mind went.

      3 votes
  8. [4]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [3]
      Zeerph Link Parent
      Perhaps the solution to tag bloat is to limit available tags and/or suggest tags based on content.

      Perhaps the solution to tag bloat is to limit available tags and/or suggest tags based on content.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        SpaceCowBoi Link Parent
        tags should also be able to be used like a voting system. Reader of a post should be able to tag it and maybe the top two or so tags are what can be used in the filter option!

        tags should also be able to be used like a voting system. Reader of a post should be able to tag it and maybe the top two or so tags are what can be used in the filter option!

        1 vote
        1. Zeerph Link Parent
          I like it! That way we can see useful comments, and maybe have a few specific tags only for top-level posts in a thread.

          I like it!

          Only show top-level posts tagged contributing

          That way we can see useful comments, and maybe have a few specific tags only for top-level posts in a thread.

          1 vote
  9. [5]
    UrsulaMajor Link
    I think that allowing people to vote on post tags would be very useful for the filtering system; perhaps a tag can be applied with a mass of 5 votes, and perhaps poster-applied tag can be...

    I think that allowing people to vote on post tags would be very useful for the filtering system; perhaps a tag can be applied with a mass of 5 votes, and perhaps poster-applied tag can be overruled with enough votes to remove the tag.

    the filter bubble problem is definitely real, though. I'm not sure how to fix it, but I think that having "exemplary" posts for a group bypassing any filters would be a good first step; I may not care about star wars posts in general, but I'd definitely be interested in a star wars post that got enough momentum to be exemplary of ~movies, if only out of curiosity.

    that would also help break the politics bubble; posts that give exemplary representations of views I disagree with would break through and give me the opportunity to consider them while low quality discussion could still be filtered out.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      Zeerph Link Parent
      While I like the idea of voting for tags, I don't think breaking the user's filter settings is going to be a good experience. For example, I wouldn't mind seeing Star Wars posts if I set my filter...

      While I like the idea of voting for tags, I don't think breaking the user's filter settings is going to be a good experience.

      For example, I wouldn't mind seeing Star Wars posts if I set my filter like:

      Show topic starwars if tag is informative or interesting or high quality

      However, if something was shown that I explicitly said I didn't want, that is if I set my filter as

      Show topic harrypotter never

      I should bloody well never see it, to do otherwise, feels like a breach in trust of the user. As if the website knows better than you do as to what you want to see.

      I do not think overriding user filters is a good thing, but given the right sort of tag curation, that is more general tags, rather than specific, it would work to break any filter that people might, otherwise, be building.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        UrsulaMajor Link Parent
        well, it's my understanding that "exemplary" posts are posts that aren't just good, but examples of the highest quality content possible in a group. I think that when a post hits exemplary status...

        well, it's my understanding that "exemplary" posts are posts that aren't just good, but examples of the highest quality content possible in a group. I think that when a post hits exemplary status it should break filters because:

        1. Being left out of an exemplary discussion that will probably be the talk of the community seems bad for building the kind of culture we'd like to see on tildes. it's like if a group of friends decided to all go out to dinner and nobody bothered to invite you.

        2. I don't necessarily want to be on the kind of site that would fully support a "show 'trump' never" tag. I'm as burnt out on discussing Trump as the next guy, but if a post about Trump reaches exemplary status then it's probably something I should pay attention to even if I don't necessarily want to. "Trump signs peace agreement with North Korea" would be a topic I would want to see that would be filtered out.

        2 votes
        1. Zeerph Link Parent
          So, I think we differ here entirely. Mostly I wouldn't care if I missed any exemplary posts if they were filtered out, because I filtered them out I should not see them. There's no edge cases...

          So, I think we differ here entirely. Mostly I wouldn't care if I missed any exemplary posts if they were filtered out, because I filtered them out I should not see them. There's no edge cases here, I never want to see them. Unless the user chooses to filter them in, only then should it be OK to "break" the filter.

          Being left out of an exemplary discussion that will probably be the talk of the community seems bad for building the kind of culture we'd like to see on tildes.

          If it so happens that I or another user missed something so exceptional that everyone is talking about it everywhere on tildes, then we can follow a link from one of those discussions, otherwise the amount of cares I or other users have for a topic that is completely filtered is limited to none.

          it's like if a group of friends decided to all go out to dinner and nobody bothered to invite you.

          I actually wouldn't mind this. I'd rather miss out on all the noise and uncomfortable talking and all the "just going through the motions" sort of things, but I recognise that that may not be a widely held viewpoint.

          I don't necessarily want to be on the kind of site that would fully support a "show 'trump' never" tag.

          I'm not advocating for something like this, but rather for a never show US politics or never show video or never show any list of curated general topics, not necessarily every sub-topic off those general topics that can be discussed. I'm advocating for giving options to the user to control what they see so, maybe something like

          Only show topic US Politics and topic Trump when post is exemplary

          or

          Show topic any when post is exemplary

          That way, if someone really wants to see that post, they will have to put an opt-in for it. Otherwise I am strongly against any leaky filters.

          1 vote
    2. chocolate Link Parent
      Voting on tags, and applying new ones, seems really crucial to me. A person could make a post about an incident at a festival. Maybe they didn't tag the band who was performing, just the festival...

      Voting on tags, and applying new ones, seems really crucial to me. A person could make a post about an incident at a festival. Maybe they didn't tag the band who was performing, just the festival and the location. This means that people who are interested in the band wouldn't see the submission despite it being relevant to their interests.

      2 votes
  10. [4]
    666 Link
    I have nothing against variety, not even against content that may not be interesting to me, but I tend to "mentally filter" posts that have favicons and link to external websites. I don't come to...

    just "mentally filter" the posts

    I have nothing against variety, not even against content that may not be interesting to me, but I tend to "mentally filter" posts that have favicons and link to external websites. I don't come to Tildes to leave Tildes, I generally come here for the content that originates here which may be enhanced with some added external links, but when a post is just a link to somewhere else on the web I tend to ignore it.

    That said, I would like to have an option to filter out link submissions. Or, even better, something like https://tildes.net/?type=link and https://tildes.net/?type=text to only display posts of a certain type.

    Edit: the reason I dislike link posts is that I consider most of them, and especially YouTube links, fluff.

    Offtopic edit: I miss that feature that auto-voted on things I replied to, what happened to it?

    4 votes
    1. UrsulaMajor Link Parent
      Thank to for putting into words a behavior that definitely describes my use pattern. even if I don't consider the link fluff, I think that external links should probably be accompanied by an...

      I don't come to Tildes to leave Tildes

      Thank to for putting into words a behavior that definitely describes my use pattern.

      even if I don't consider the link fluff, I think that external links should probably be accompanied by an explanation from the poster that explains what about the video merits discussion.

      maybe only ~fluff should even allow external link posts, and external links should only ever be found within the body of text posts supporting the link.

      3 votes
    2. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Thanks for commenting, I think it's really interesting to get these different opinions, especially when it's quite different to my own. One of my favorite parts of sites like Tildes/reddit/etc....

      Thanks for commenting, I think it's really interesting to get these different opinions, especially when it's quite different to my own. One of my favorite parts of sites like Tildes/reddit/etc. are finding links to interesting articles and other content from sites/people that I don't personally follow, so I generally enjoy seeing a lot of external links (as long as they're not just to images and such).

      Offtopic edit: I miss that feature that auto-voted on things I replied to, what happened to it?

      I'm not sure what you mean, there was never a feature like that.

      3 votes
      1. 666 Link Parent
        I do too, but in the way @UrsulaMajor describes: I like that way because it feels more like a real life conversation with a friend who found something interesting and wants to tell you about it. A...

        One of my favorite parts of sites like Tildes/reddit/etc. are finding links to interesting articles and other content from sites/people that I don't personally follow

        I do too, but in the way @UrsulaMajor describes:

        I think that external links should probably be accompanied by an explanation from the poster that explains what about the video merits discussion.

        I like that way because it feels more like a real life conversation with a friend who found something interesting and wants to tell you about it. A link alone with no explanation feels like someone advertising or promoting something and it is something difficult to tell whether it is legit, spam or self promotion.

        Speaking about self promotion, and related to the previous point, it annoys me when people drop links to their YouTube channels, art pages, streams, etc. and then never participate in the discussion it generates. That is why I like links if they are accompanied by an explanation or opinion, it makes people who post them participate in the discussion. I don't mind someone posting their own content if they are willing to talk about it and reply when asked about it.

        I'm not sure what you mean, there was never a feature like that.

        Then it was just a visual glitch I experienced once so you can ignore what I said. I remember that the vote square turned purple sometimes after I replied (or was it after I reloaded the page?). I could still click it and vote even when it was purple.

        2 votes
  11. [2]
    panic Link
    I think tag filtering would be nice! The problem is usually getting people to tag their posts properly. It might make sense to allow users to add their own tags (which get promoted into global...

    I think tag filtering would be nice! The problem is usually getting people to tag their posts properly. It might make sense to allow users to add their own tags (which get promoted into global tags if enough users add the same one). You could even have a page where you can see which posts you’ve tagged, a la del.icio.us.

    3 votes
    1. chocolate Link Parent
      So is tildes a 'what's hot' site or an archiving site?

      So is tildes a 'what's hot' site or an archiving site?

  12. mistouflon Link
    I'm most keen on being able to filter out "ask tilde"-type posts in favor of linked content. A good third to half of the posts I'm seeing on the front page are either questions (e.g. "what's your...

    I'm most keen on being able to filter out "ask tilde"-type posts in favor of linked content. A good third to half of the posts I'm seeing on the front page are either questions (e.g. "what's your favorite X?") or feature suggestions. They tend to dominate the activity ranking.

    3 votes
  13. [3]
    tomf Link
    At this time are you intending that filters will sort of act as a faux-subgroup (e.g. ~talk [ask] instead of ~talk.ask?) Also, down the road would it be possible to put weights or some sort of...

    At this time are you intending that filters will sort of act as a faux-subgroup (e.g. ~talk [ask] instead of ~talk.ask?)

    Also, down the road would it be possible to put weights or some sort of threshold on the filters? For me, I like the [ask] threads, but I don't want my feed to be consumed by them. Having a small handful of active ones slip through would be perfect.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Somewhat, yes. Sub-groups and (some) tags have a lot of similarities, and in fact that's probably a lot of the way that we'll determine which new subgroups we need. For example if there are a lot...

      Somewhat, yes. Sub-groups and (some) tags have a lot of similarities, and in fact that's probably a lot of the way that we'll determine which new subgroups we need. For example if there are a lot of posts in ~science tagged "biology", that could be an indication that ~science.biology could be a good idea.

      6 votes
      1. tomf Link Parent
        perfect! I think that's an excellent way to choose new subgroups. Every time I think I have some new, fancy idea, you have it in your roadmap somewhere :)

        perfect! I think that's an excellent way to choose new subgroups.

        Every time I think I have some new, fancy idea, you have it in your roadmap somewhere :)

        2 votes
  14. [2]
    Algernon_Asimov Link
    One major point to consider is whether the filters are inclusionary or exclusionary: am I filtering things in to my front page or filtering them out? If I click on the "star wars" tag in ~movies,...

    One major point to consider is whether the filters are inclusionary or exclusionary: am I filtering things in to my front page or filtering them out? If I click on the "star wars" tag in ~movies, will I see only posts about Star Wars, or will I see all posts except Star Wars posts? Based on your post here, it seems that you're talking about exclusionary filters: clicking on the "star wars" tag would exclude Star Wars news from my page.

    On that basis, I don't think this is a problem. Excluding topics from my view is a good thing. I'm not interested in Star Wars. When ~movies inevitably starts having a lot of posts about the latest Star Wars movie, I don't want to see that stuff. It's not like I'm closing myself off to everything: I will still see all other posts in ~movies. If someone starts discussing the classic 'Citizen Kane' or the brand-new 'Deadpool II', I'll still see those. I've just been selective about one topic.

    On the other hand, if it was an inclusionary filter, that would be a problem. If click on a 'star trek' tag to fill my front page only with ~movies posts about Star Trek (yay!), I would be shutting off every other possible discussion about movies. That's bad.

    But exclusionary filters are okay.

    Would these work only within a group, or across all groups? If I filter 'star wars' in ~movies, would this also filter posts about Star Wars in ~talk? Do I have to do that separately in ~talk? Or are the filters site-wide, in that I click on the 'star wars' tag once and it filters all posts with that tag across all groups?

    3 votes
    1. hook Link Parent
      The inclusive filter could perhaps be done the other way, e.g.: I’m not interested in movies in general ↦ so I do not subscribe to ~movies but, I’m very interested in all things Star Wars ↦ so I...

      The inclusive filter could perhaps be done the other way, e.g.:

      • I’m not interested in movies in general ↦ so I do not subscribe to ~movies
      • but, I’m very interested in all things Star Wars ↦ so I subscribe to everything tagged as “Star Wars”

      That way you would be able to see all things Star Wars, even though you in generally don’t follow movies.

      Granted, my suggestion here is probably (over?)simplifying the problem you pointed out.

      1 vote
  15. SpaceCowBoi Link
    I think if filtering is to be an option it needs to remain relatively broad so ideas and opinions are still able to clash. Also with tagging it would be nice for people viewing the post to be able...

    I think if filtering is to be an option it needs to remain relatively broad so ideas and opinions are still able to clash. Also with tagging it would be nice for people viewing the post to be able to tag it so it gets sorted correctly by majority vote

    3 votes
  16. [4]
    hook Link
    So far we’ve mostly dealt with the issue of creating the filters and had quite a discussion about it. The other part is how to enable and disable the filters. It seems to me that one of the...

    So far we’ve mostly dealt with the issue of creating the filters and had quite a discussion about it.

    The other part is how to enable and disable the filters.

    It seems to me that one of the potential issues pointed out by many is that while more flexible filters are very desirable, the worry is that one would set and forget them.

    To counter that, perhaps a solution is not in the writing of the filter, but in the accessibility of its on/off switch.

    If we put the actual switches for enabling and disabling filters somewhere easily accessible (e.g. the side bar, but I’m not a UX expert), the user would always see which of their filters are enabled and if desired disable and/or re-enable them on the fly.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      Zeerph Link Parent
      Interesting, maybe the user can see which filters are currently in use on the screen they are looking at? For example: I'm looking at a thread and my filters are thus But if I'm looking at my...

      Interesting, maybe the user can see which filters are currently in use on the screen they are looking at?
      For example:
      I'm looking at a thread and my filters are thus

      1 post filtered out by star wars
      12 posts filtered out by only length

      But if I'm looking at my front page the filters would be thus

      2 topics filtered out by fluff
      9 topics filtered out by video games

      And there the user would be given an option to turn the filter on/off at will.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        hook Link Parent
        I was thinking something in that lines as well, but was not sure enough to actually suggest it :)

        I was thinking something in that lines as well, but was not sure enough to actually suggest it :)

        3 votes
        1. Zeerph Link Parent
          Feel free to suggest anything in the future! The more voices heard the better, in my opinion.

          Feel free to suggest anything in the future! The more voices heard the better, in my opinion.

          1 vote
  17. [4]
    tan (edited ) Link
    I think it's totally fine for different people to see different sides of the same group or topic, since that's how it happens anyway (different communities and threads have different tones). I do...

    I think it's totally fine for different people to see different sides of the same group or topic, since that's how it happens anyway (different communities and threads have different tones).

    I do think the filters shouldn't be absolute, though. Things are never totally clear cut and there should be some mechanism for posts of a kind the user is filtering out to sometimes be shown.
    Maybe kind of like the 'temporarily promote a random comment and maybe quickly move it back if its rejected' idea?

    I think tags would be a great boon to the site's ability to stay serious-by-default by providing a systematic marker for fluff (and by that I mean stuff that's easy to consume but isn't nutritious food for thought).

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      Zeerph Link Parent
      I disagree that some filters should not be absolute. I never want to see anything about Harry Potter no matter how good the content may be. However, if we can choose which filters are absolute and...

      I disagree that some filters should not be absolute. I never want to see anything about Harry Potter no matter how good the content may be.
      However, if we can choose which filters are absolute and which are not, that would be more rewarding in the long run.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        tan Link Parent
        Yeah, fair point. There is the option someone suggested here of choosing 'never show me this' vs 'show me this if it's exemplary', but asking lots of questions can make for annoying UX.

        Yeah, fair point. There is the option someone suggested here of choosing 'never show me this' vs 'show me this if it's exemplary', but asking lots of questions can make for annoying UX.

        6 votes
        1. Zeerph Link Parent
          I like the extra options to be able to control what is seen. Perhaps, though, it could be hidden and only accessible if someone wants more control over their filtering, otherwise it may be too...

          I like the extra options to be able to control what is seen. Perhaps, though, it could be hidden and only accessible if someone wants more control over their filtering, otherwise it may be too much of a blunt instrument for my taste.

          1 vote
  18. burntcookie90 Link
    Unfortunately, I don't see a middle ground. You either make folks see everything, or they get to choose what they see. Anything in between (ie. setting limits on filtering) will just make people...

    Unfortunately, I don't see a middle ground. You either make folks see everything, or they get to choose what they see. Anything in between (ie. setting limits on filtering) will just make people unhappy.

    2 votes
  19. SaucedButLeaking Link
    Filtering is definitely an important feature, but it does require a tagging culture (which it is possible to abuse, see the issue that led to ban #1). But I think the userbase we have won't mind...

    Filtering is definitely an important feature, but it does require a tagging culture (which it is possible to abuse, see the issue that led to ban #1). But I think the userbase we have won't mind tagging their threads judiciously to help establish a baseline for the filters to work off of.

    One suggestion is to be able to filter both ways: that is, filter certain posts out to prevent them from showing in the feed, and filter for certain posts and see only, for instance, threads tagged "discussion"

    I'm assuming here that you're referring to both comments and threads when you talk about tagging posts.

    2 votes
  20. Whom Link
    I'm excited to see filtering as I think it encourages being a positive community member. People know what they are and aren't able to meaningfully / positively contribute to for the most part, and...

    I'm excited to see filtering as I think it encourages being a positive community member. People know what they are and aren't able to meaningfully / positively contribute to for the most part, and anything which gives them the tools to change their own experience in a way that can let them get out the stuff where they can't just means the site gets better in proportion.

    Only thing is, we all gotta figure out how to use tags. I know I've been tagging more lightly than I should.

    2 votes
  21. Zeerph Link
    Perhaps, initially, only having certain tags available, or only certain tags for certain groups, would work to limit both what we could all see and better understand how the system works in order...

    Perhaps, initially, only having certain tags available, or only certain tags for certain groups, would work to limit both what we could all see and better understand how the system works in order to iterate.

    2 votes
  22. Mumberthrax Link
    Just in case anyone wants a short video introduction to the "filter bubble", here's one I have seen and found useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KQ-mJVGiw4

    Just in case anyone wants a short video introduction to the "filter bubble", here's one I have seen and found useful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KQ-mJVGiw4

    2 votes
  23. [3]
    Eva Link
    I think that, as long as people keep to the correct ~groups, there won't be a real need for filtering.

    I think that, as long as people keep to the correct ~groups, there won't be a real need for filtering.

    1 vote
    1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      So, if I'm subscribed to ~movies, I have to see news and discussion about all movies and franchises, even the ones I know I don't like? I already know I'm not interested in Star Wars. When the...

      as long as people keep to the correct ~groups, there won't be a real need for filtering.

      So, if I'm subscribed to ~movies, I have to see news and discussion about all movies and franchises, even the ones I know I don't like? I already know I'm not interested in Star Wars. When the latest Star Wars movie comes out, I don't want my front page flooded with posts about a movie I have zero interest in seeing.

      5 votes
    2. Zeerph Link Parent
      I'm going to have to disagree, here. I want to see interesting discussions in ~talk, but I don't want to see the more casual, fluffy stuff. Since, right now we want to limit expansion of groups,...

      I'm going to have to disagree, here. I want to see interesting discussions in ~talk, but I don't want to see the more casual, fluffy stuff. Since, right now we want to limit expansion of groups, there's no real avenue for just what I want to see. Therefore, the easiest method would be to implement a filter feature, to filter out what I'd rather not see.

      There's also certain topics I don't want to see, again, filtering them out to fill my frontpage with stuff I do want to see, would be ideal.

      3 votes