Users can now be (manually) granted permissions to re-tag topics, move them between groups, and edit titles
It's a bit late tonight (for those of us in North America, anyway) so I'm not sure how much attention this will get today or how many people I'll start granting permissions to yet, but it's now possible for people-who-are-not-me to start helping with some moderation-like tasks.
As of right now, these abilities are restricted to (and I can grant each individually):
- Changing the tags on topics
- Moving topics between groups
- Editing topic titles (I may not actually give anyone this permission yet)
All these actions will be logged publicly, and if any of them are taken, they'll display in the topic's sidebar, in the "Topic log" (which you have to click to expand, and will only show up at all if anything's been done). I've changed the tags on this post so that you can see an example here.
For the immediate future, these permissions will be getting granted manually, will apply site-wide (not to specific groups), and will probably only be given to people that specifically express interest in helping with these tasks. I've written about grand, vague plans for a "trust"-based system that will hopefully help with doing this automatically in the future, but for now we'll have a more rudimentary trust system. Here's how it works:
- I trust you, and give you access to more powerful tools.
- If you abuse it, I take the tools away, and don't trust you any more.
It's not very sophisticated, but I think it should do the trick for a while.
So if you're interested in helping keep things organized, please let me know (post here or send me a message if you prefer). I'd probably prefer if you had at least some history of submitting well-tagged/titled topics to appropriate groups, but it's not necessarily required.
Edit: I would prefer that you have at least been around on the site for at least a week or two though. This is mostly important because the tasks are mainly organizational, so I think it's best if you've had some time to get accustomed to what's "typical" on Tildes for tags, which types of posts go in which groups, and so on.
Blunt and simple. I like it!
Overall, I think this is a good step forward. As I've said before and you said earlier today (your time), having one person do everything here is a limiting factor in how much this site can develop and grow. You need to spread the load.
I hate making lists of people like this, because inevitably someone will be sad that they didn't make the cut. 😢
That's true, and there are definitely a lot of great candidates that I'm sure the community noticed and didn't list. I know I have a few more in mind myself (that I'm not going to list).
It's almost like an unconscious decision to create a heirarchy.
This would also be my list.
Aw thanks for including me!
And now that @cfabbro and @Amarok is also include, that's basically my list too (including both @Kat and @Algernon_Asimov of course).
Basing it on popular vote or nominations doesn't solve the problem of people seeking power. It just introduces politics. Charisma and visibility don't mean someone is good at the job.
I think it's better if moderators aren't seen as some elite ruling class, but a more open role that anyone well behaved and willing to put in the effort can step into. Especially for small, mostly janitorial tasks like these I think it's fine to let people volunteer and weed out those who abuse the privilege.
I don't think there's an issue in the more prominent members being some of the first to be trusted (although it does come off as elitist and I agree with you), but as I understand it tildes will have a relatively large percent of moderators compared to other sites so it ultimately won't matter anyway. I would expect to see at least 1% of the active user base modded in some capacity, I'm not sure what we're on now but ramping up to around 50 mods sounds about right
Nah, no activity requirements. One of the main goals of this whole plan is to spread out moderation-like tasks across a lot of users so that it's not necessary to put so much weight on so few people. Some of the more "dangerous" abilities will still have to stay pretty restricted, but I think a lot of the routine ones can be distributed way more.
I like that lurkers aren't penalized. Even in real life I tend to like to listen a lot before joining in. I think that's a wise position along with the diversification of responsibilities.
I'd be interested in helping out. I feel like there should be some guidelines written up to help ensure direction. Establishing goals will help justify cases of abuse too.
Guidelines would be great, but for now I think it makes sense not to have them and approach any moderation very cautiously. I don't see it being something that will happen regularly. Once some precedents are set I'm sure guidelines will soon follow.
Precedents have been set by Deimos. For instance, I made a tongue-in-cheek joke tag on one of my posts and he removed it. It was also a question, he added "ask."
No one knows this unless it's documented. Is this a recommended standard? Are joke tags not allowed? When a question is asked, should we use "ask."
I agree that guidelines will come through the group identifying leaders and following their lead, but it should be documented along the way. Or else, you're going to get unnecessary drama when someone new who doesn't know all of the historic precedents does something against the culture and gets accused of "abuse."
In short, why not take the time to make something clear when given the opportunity?
Have you read the "tagging help" page that's linked above every tagging field? https://docs.tildes.net/topic-tagging
It's not very comprehensive at all, but it explains what the "ask" tag is for, and some other guidelines.
I went through all of the docs when I first joined back in May. I don't specifically remember reading through the specific tags section. That page is basically what I was proposing. :)
Ah yeah, if you were here that early it wouldn't have existed yet. Looks like I added it on June 29.
Bugger. I forgot that page existed. Saving it as a favourite now. :)
It is sort of documented - in the Topic Log of your topic. We can see the changes that Deimos made. We can see that he removed the joke tag. We can see that he added "ask" to your question. Looking more broadly, we can see that he has added "ask" to all question topics, and he has added "survey" to all questions about people's preferences and opinions ("What's your favourite X?" "What type of Y would you recommend?").
I agree it would be nice to have some written standards but, even as someone who's written a lot of this sort of documentation and prefers to have these things available, I would say that this isn't necessary... yet. We kind of need to work out what our standards are before we can document them - and a good way to do that is for people to start tagging posts, and finding out what works and what doesn't work. This is part of what being in "alpha testing" is all about: trying things out, and developing policies and processes (not just writing code).
By getting our hands dirty, by trying things out, and even by making mistakes, we are doing exactly what we're supposed to be doing in this "alpha testing" phase of Tildes' development.
Again, my point is that the documentation (via the topic log) is not collective. It's a log and it's progressively disclosed within individual topics. Hard to gather meaningful philosophies and trends.
If everyone is against documentation, maybe having access to a global log would be beneficial and you can have meta discussions about it to establish philosophies and trends.
As I mentioned in another reply, I'm not proposing a legal document where things aren't fluid. You make a good point - this is alpha and people are trying things out. I'm proposing general direction and philosophies. I'll quote my other comment.
Thanks for the discussion!
Some basic guidelines would be great, I don't think it would be comprehensive enough but something is better than nothing, I agree.
I'd question why joke tags exist if they aren't allowed though. Perhaps a sarcasm tag is in order?
My tag wasn't "joke" it was a phrase that was funny in the context of my thread. And general guidelines is what I'm proposing. It doesn't have to be a legal document. Just like "remember the human" and "be a profile with a website and not a website with a profile" are general guidelines - they speak a lot about the philosophies that moderators/users should follow on reddit.
Ah I misunderstood, I thought you were referring to the Joke tag for comments.
They don't exist. We currently don't select tags from a list. Every tag on every topic is manually typed in by the person who posted it (and, now, by other people who edit the tags). If I want to add the tags "haha" or "fuck you" to a topic I post... I can. There's absolutely nothing stopping me. Within the limitations of what characters are allowed (only letters, numbers, and "."), I can write any tag I want for any topic.
I'd volunteer, but don't think I can participate actively and consistently enough. My group coverage is wide and thin - there isn't a particular group that I think I'd have strengths in normalizing tags and topics for. It seems like the biggest potential issues would be around inconsistency and arbitrariness, and I'm not sure that very intermittent effort will be much help.
I think this should be private. I don't think it's really other users' business in general (unless the ability is actually used, in which case it will be in the topic log), and I'd be worried about it being used in ways to cause fights, like "your trust is so low you can't even change tags" or "I know you could change the title on this post, why are you deliberately ignoring it?!"
I would love to help out with this if I'm considered trustworthy enough.
Though I do think we need to have a conversation about tagging and hierarchy use over on ~music at some point. It seems like it would be a prime place to have a standard hierarchy and have the more active users enforce it until there's a norm. Music genres have been put into hierarchical structures by other projects that we could totally pull from, there's a lot of opportunity there.
Agreed. There's also some serious potential in pulling (or at least giving the option to take) this data directly from high quality music databases (e.g., MusicBrainz, Discogs) that I'm particularly interested in, or I will be once work calms down.
Anyways, I'm still fairly burnt out from reddit moderating and I don't know that I'dreally want to take on editing duties here yet, but I'm very interested in a part in steering ~music such that it becomes the truly bad-ass musical discovery platform it can be (as I imagine, are @Amarok and @Parliament)
I'm not subscribed to ~music, so I have no vested interest here. However...
Why do you three get to decide what ~music should be? And why do you believe it should be a "bad-ass musical discovery platform"? That seems to me like you're arrogating to yourselves the right to dictate what that group should be. It's not your personal playpen.
We don't? Each of us have been moderators of two of largest music subreddits for quite some time. We know what works, what doesn't work, and we have a ton of ideas about things we would do differently on a better platform than Reddit. That said, if for whatever reason people don't want to go that way, I'm not going to fight.
What's the downside here? We have a wealth of data, lots of ideas how to use it to greatly improve this aspect of music on Reddit, and can co-exist (and thrive) with articles, and pretty much every other aspect of that group.
Maybe it was my phrasing? I'm sorry if it came off that way, I was typing half-asleep in bed after driving all day yesterday. I think you're making a bit of a mountain out of a mole-hill.
I don't think such an aggressive response is warranted - I don't think they're trying to decide what ~music should be or take control of it or anything. They all seem like they have a lot of experience with similar music communities, and from what I've seen, the community has expressed interest in a structure to ~music. At the end of the day, it's just a system to more accurately categorize music, which would be very helpful with the tag system.
Edit: also, not sure if that's how you meant your response to come across, so sorry if I'm interpreting the tone wrong!
No, you interpreted my response and its tone correctly.
If you want to know what ~music and the associated groups are going to look like here on Tildes, check out this reddit post. It's a bit old, but it gives you a clear picture of the natural evolution of that hierarchy. It's not dissimilar to the way the music newsgroups unfolded, though they never reached reddit's level of activity and diversity.
Since Tildes is planning to allow for form-based submission pages at some point, all of the annoying draconian systems that exist on reddit to create title uniformity simply won't be necessary. Neither will all of the arbitrary filter systems that are used for popularity in a place like listentothis. The site will tag all the music submissions automatically, so the search function here can do the work of grouping things by genre, popularity, decade, etc.
That means we can finally pull up the entirety of the content of all the music groups and sort it any way that anyone wants to see it sorted. This can be used to generate time-period charts based on any criteria (probably stored in the ~music wiki and updated daily/weekly/monthly), and those charts can then be turned into playlists on all streaming services so people can consume them however they like, whenever they like.
That should draw lots of people back to Tildes over time to visit the music groups, because that's where you have to go to submit the music that shows up in those lists on those services.
That's how you turn the chaos of 12k tracks a day that no one sees or votes on in the reddit subs into something of high quality value for everyone.
We've wanted to do this on reddit for years, but frankly, reddit isn't interested, and since we've all become disillusioned with the site, any coding efforts to build this sort of thing into reddit are much better spent here building this capability into Tildes directly. We give the groups a chance to reset, and we give content types that died on reddit (like genre intro threads, listening clubs, mix competitions etc) a chance to thrive here on Tildes.
It's gonna be great. It should eventually turn into the most impressive music community on the entire internet. The single feature that will make it outclass everything else is that the entire system is driven solely by human recommendations instead of algorithms. Millions of people collectively listening to and curating the entire universe of musical expression.
The best part? We will never have to remove a single music track again, ever, from anywhere. Every submission will be kept around, and no one will ever be 'punished' for sharing it, or for their musical opinions here.
Broadly speaking, this model should work for any/all other artistic appreciation groups as well.
I'm not really concerned with the details of what ~music will look like. As I said above, I'm not subscribed to that group.
What bothers me is that a few of you seem to have already decided what that group will be, how it will work, and what content it will have. I thought Tildes was supposed to have a more bottom-up democratic approach, rather than a top-down autocratic approach.
I wouldn't say we decided. It's more like we observed and listened, for almost a decade.
There's a natural order to how that music hierarchy unfolded, and it's got similarities to many prior examples. The whole time we're wondering what we can do to help it along, what the site needs to do to facilitate the process. That natural evolution is better than anything we could have ever come up with, which is why it was so interesting, watching topics find homes, build connections, create networks. It was alive on its own, without anyone directing it consciously.
That's where the group-subgroup dynamic proposed for tildes comes from - the natural evolution of the music subs suggested it clearly, and there were echoes of it spread across many different groups of subreddits for other topics. Each topic was different and unique in the way they formed because the topics all have their own little quirks, but they always bubbled out from some genesis point and tried to form a network. Most of those networks on reddit collapsed due to it being a gigantic pain in the ass to maintain them without tools built into the site to do it. Some survived.
There were plenty of threads about it in theoryofreddit, dataisbeautiful, etc. Not a whole lot of rigorous science, but more of a 'gee that's neat' record of commonalities. I'm sure anyone who modded a networked topic spread across multiple homes on reddit can attest to watching this happen.
This can't be rushed or artificially created, Imzy proved that. It's just got to grow on its own over time, in whatever way the topics want to go. At least here on tildes, they will have tools to support the network itself, and help it breathe. Who knows what kind of effect that'll have long term? I think we're going to see some pretty awesome stuff happen here.
I'm unsure if you're including me in your assessment here, I'm going to hope not since I was just suggesting that we have a conversation and I'm not part of the reddit mod teams in question, just mentioning that for clarity's sake.
What do you think users taking initiative and trying to create something would look like other than this? Trying to apply a vision is naturally going to look like pushing your ideas on a space that you don't necessarily own. Should we just not have any goals or direction? It seems to me like anything other than posting relevant links to groups is, in some way, trying to force a group in a certain direction. If you have a problem with that across the board...well, I don't agree and I don't think that'll budge.
I recognize this all gets a little weirder because the group we're talking about were involved with planning this site before launch and have a bit of a different position which causes some to get the impression that they're true admins, but I think it's a little unnecessary to be so hostile. Imo user-lead initiatives trying to take groups in certain directions should be applauded, that's what takes groups from being subdivisions of ~ for specific content to communities with character of their own. Specific disagreements with the vision of these users are totally valid and should be voiced (as is the case with alternate visions and directions to pursue), but I don't see much of a point in shutting down people who want to do something regardless of what it is.
You need to talk to @Amarok. He's all excited about pulling tag info from outside sources, too.
Heh, arghdos and I have been waxing philosophical on the metadata stuff for like four years over in listentothis. The metadata for music has been there for a loooong time, much longer than the recent explosion of tagging on other services.
There are open public databases for many topics. ISBN book numbers, television shows, science journals, etc. I really love it when there's a database, because that means tildes can run a local copy of it somewhere and not have to 'hit the net' every time to look something up. That's not an issue now, but if you have several hundred submissions a minute, it can become a bit of a bottleneck. Local lookups, though, are essentially free. :)
I was even wondering if there's a way that tildes users could contribute updates back to those public databases. If a new artist is posted in ~music and there's no data in the sources, could we somehow push the metadata we tag/create as an update back to them? It'd be nice to give back like that.
I wrote a bit on how to do this for music in this post. I haven't researched other topics as much.
Yep, I'm open to help in ~music and elsewhere. Really curious to see what we're capable of using outside databases.
I would be happy to help when I can.
Can feedback be given if you disagree with a tagging or a moving? I don't want to come off as abusing if something about what I did seems weird and I am always pretty open to feedback.
I would be surprised if there wasn’t feedback, especially considering how much feedback and discussion most things here get. The important part is to make sure the feedback is constructive and friendly rather than aggressive or just whining.
Ha, I should have worded that better but I was also meaning feedback from Deimos him self when a move/tag is made that doesn't seem to be fitting to his vision for site structure/culture.
While feedback from users is important, it's much better to collect that information in a way that can be aggregated and more big picture (i.e. surveys and such). I have noticed in online communities that one issue may come about in a thread and the thread then details to be about the individual moderator and their effectiveness rather than the actual original topic.
It would be interesting if there were a group of trusted non-mod users that did a performance like review on a continual basis of moderatation in a group. Make the results public and give the moderation group a goal to aim for that's related to community satisfaction. But that's off topic and just a thought that sparked up!
Yes, it does. I've already added a few tags here and there. Funnily enough, even editing a tag displays as "deleted tag us, added tag usa".
I'm willing to pitch in.
Honestly, while Tildes is this small, I think we should have a large group of proto-moderators to help out. Spread the power around, that's the plan for the trust system and even though that's not built yet, let's take it to heart. None of these powers are negative or disruptive like banning or removals can be - they are pretty safe, mild applications of power focused more on the basic housekeeping end of the spectrum.
We can all keep an eye on each other, help figure out the standards, and spread out the work so the load is light. More people also means more time zones and greater coverage overall.
I'd like to help with curating tags.
I'm not sure about the "group move". Not for the mechanic itself but because something that feel like should belong to another group could be a subjective opinion.
How that should be managed by a user that have this ability enable?
I'm willing to help. No guarantee I'll be any good at it though.
And my ax. (This is a good addition that hopefully will free up a bit of bandwidth for you.)
In a previous comment I said I would be happy to help with mod duties, but I would like to retract that statement. Don’t worry, I think that I have good reasons. Also, I have no idea if I was going to get these additional privileges but I gave this whole @Adams as mod vs user thing more thought.
First, I see that there are plenty of folks who are willing to help, many with lots of mod experience which I lack. So it looks like there are plenty of good candidates.
Second, I would like to be a Tildes user advocate. So I would like to keep my privileges at normal user levels so that I can experience Tildes in that capacity.
I want to help with Tildes, but maybe given my skillset and personality I would best do that as a normal user advocate.
Does any of that make sense?
Sorry if this is pointless pontification, I just thought I’d share my thoughts.
Makes perfect sense to me.
I'm going to think of you as my union rep, looking out for us little guys out on the shop floor, under the jackboot of moderator oppression.
Power to the people and down with the systematic oppression and exploitation of the hard working Tilder.
Seriously though, it makes sense to me.
I'd be happy to help in any way I can.
I'd be happy to help when I can
I'd be happy to help out with this if I'm trustworthy enough. I spend enough time lurking ~games and ~talk and posting in ~music so I figure I could at least help it stay organized.
I'm not a super active poster, but I'd love the chance to help the site in any way I can.
I bravely volunteer as
human sacrifice to the computershelper monkey. :)
edit: in the interest of being specific, I'd like to help out with tag editing and moving topics between groups. I really like strong organization, and I don't really want the editorial responsibility of editing topic titles, haha.
Nice. I wasnt expecting some of these site roles to roll out for awhile, good to hear things are moving in this direction so quickly.
I would be interested in helping out with tag editing
Like most people here, I'm interested in helping out any way I can. I very much enjoy discussions on this website and want to give back.
I'll throw my name in the hat as well. I can't say I've noticed many titles worth changing, and most posts I see are generally in the right groups, but tags could certainly be better. Though, I may just be seeing things after they've already been changed or moved by you.
This is an exciting change! You should feel proud about one of your grand plans for the site kicking off! Congratulations.
Sounds interesting, glad to see more people will be able to help with the site in any way.
I'd be happy to help with any of these tasks. Would also be great to edit my own topic titles.
Edit: Actually, I'd prefer to stay a normal user. See explanation.
Created an issue for it: https://gitlab.com/tildes/tildes/issues/214
If there weren't a public log I'd say this would be an awful idea but it would actually be a very neat feature that wouldn't be able to be abused as far as I can tell. Any abuse could be spotted and corrected by the relatively high percentage of trusted users before it has any further affect. I really like the direction tildes is going in.
Yup, I've thought about asking for this for a while but didn't have any way to avoid misuse of it. Now we have a log, and soon people who can correct it.
Not a lot of use in the feature in such a small window. The common uses of title editing are often typos and clarity improvements. Sometimes posters catch typos themselves after submitting, which would likely fall within the 5 minute window, and sometimes they're caught by fresh eyes. The latter can happen any time, with the minimum time being how soon someone happened to see the topic.
You could argue that with a relatively high percent of users trusted to modify titles it would be simple to request the change and have someone else perform it should they consider it to be valid.
If that is where we're headed, yes.
I posted a topic yesterday, someone pointed out it was a confusing title for a reason I hadn't thought of (even though I copied the website headline), so I re-posted it under a better title.
I think we should err on the side of few restrictions on when you can edit titles (as long as the audit trail of edits is publicly-viewable) and trust that most edits will be benign.
If it gets abused it can always have more restrictions added or be temporarily disabled, like comment tags.
That kind of makes it no different to deleting your topic and reposting it with a fixed title, though admittedly it would be more streamlined.
Unless someone comments on your topic before you realise the title is wrong. Then it's awkward to delete your topic, leaving that other person's comment orphaned.
@Kat mentioned you wouldn't be able to modify your title if someone has posted.
Ah. So she did. I misunderstood that, and figured she wanted an identifying mark on titles that were edited after the first comment was posted, rather than to prevent editing titles at all.
Thanks for making that!
If there is still a need foe people I'd gladly help out with tagging posts etc. Love the direction tildes is going and want to help move it forward.
I've only been here a couple months, and am a bit of a lurker but this seems like a nice opportunity to start getting involved in the community. Would love to help!
I'd be happy to help, although with this many people throwing their hats in I'm not really sure how helpful I'd actually be.
I love the direction this site is taking. It's so much nicer than a traditional top-down system. I'm too new to Tildes so I don't think I should get any extra privileges yet though.
I can help.
I'd be happy to help. I'm on tildes long time and I know, how it works here. Especially in ~talk, ~comp and ~tech.
Although I would like to throw my hat in the ring on this, I'm a new user so I understand I'm obviously not the most trusted on this one.
I can help with tags and groups.