103 votes

General Tildes feedback/questions, primarily around becoming publicly-visible soon (but still invite-only)

Things have been pretty quiet and steady for the last few weeks. This is mostly deliberate on my end—I'm going to be away for about a week around the end of the month, so I didn't want to make any major changes or push for a big burst of new users when I might not be very available to deal with any issues. Most of my time lately has been working on stuff in the background, including doing some cleanup, finally getting around to various things I've been putting off for a while, and so on.

However, in early December I'm planning to move forward into the next "phase" for Tildes, which will be making it publicly-visible so that people are able to visit and read the content here even if they don't have an account. Registration will remain invite-only, but I'll probably try to make the process a little easier or automated in some way so that it doesn't require so much effort from people like me and @cfabbro (who's been diligently running invite-request threads on reddit for months).

Overall, I think that being publicly visible should help a lot, both to increase interest for the site as well as addressing a few common misconceptions about it (which are mostly because people can't see anything for themselves). Right now we're effectively "wasting" a lot of invites by forcing people to get an invite and register before they can even see if Tildes has anything they're interested in, so opening it up for everyone to be able to view should make invites a lot more efficient when they're only requested by people that want to participate.

One thing I should mention is that I'm not intending to have a "default front page" for logged-out users. They'll need to choose specific groups to view, and I've been playing around with a few ways to try to make this convenient (that will probably end up being available to logged-in users as well).

It's also been a while since I gave everyone more invite codes, so I've given everyone 10 now. If there's anyone else you want to invite before we get into the publicly-visible stage of things, you can get your codes through the Invite page (linked in your user page's sidebar).

Please let me know if any of you have any thoughts, questions or concerns about becoming publicly-visible, so I can see if there's anything else I'll need to make sure to address before being able to open it up. For example, are there any features that might have a privacy concern when public? Should we consider making any changes to the current set of groups? General feedback and questions unrelated to the public visibility are fine too (and always are—you can always feel free to message me or post in ~tildes).

145 comments

  1. [16]
    Amarok (edited ) Link
    I'm going to plug invite links again. I want more ways to send out invites. Not that we need these before going public, or even anytime soon, since they'll likely bring in much larger groups of...

    I'm going to plug invite links again. I want more ways to send out invites. Not that we need these before going public, or even anytime soon, since they'll likely bring in much larger groups of people and we're probably not ready for that yet. We are going to need to move beyond codes eventually, and there's a lot of room between what we have now and open-registration. I think it's wise to move down that road very carefully.

    I like our current one-to-one invite codes just fine, especially with those codes resulting in an immediately active account. That shouldn't change - it's a direct vouch for a new user. The downside is that these require a lot of effort - you have to generate and send each individual code directly. Great for friends and family, not so great if you know of a cozy little community out there somewhere that you'd like to offer more than five or ten invites.

    Invite links seem like the next logical step in an invite process. You'd generate a link in your user profile and share that link in a thread in a specific subreddit or on another forum/board, or in a slack/discord channel. Anyone clicking that link gets directed to a signup page where they can create an account without the need for an invite code. That way groups of users can all come in from other places.

    Now, we can't just have eternally active invite links out there waiting for anyone to hoover them up from google, or we're basically in open-signup mode. These links have to expire to avoid bringing in large groups of users and groups of users from places other than the one where the link was originally shared. The logical metrics for expiration are number of invitees who have used the link, and the time period since the link was posted. That way any link that goes viral will burn out, and any that don't get fully used won't live long enough to end up in google's search results. No explosive growth.

    We could just set these at some default number, such as 24 hours and twenty five users, and make them all the same. I think it might be better to let the user generating the link set those numbers (with sensible defaults) up to some maximum limit. Maybe I want to share one in my MMO guild's discord, and that's up to a hundred people and shouldn't expire for a month. Maybe I want to share one in a thread on 4chan /g/ and only let in two dozen people. Maybe I want to send one to a mod team of a specific subreddit and that's just ten people. These could operate in a lot of different ways, and I'm not particularly wedded to the specifics. I think it'd save a lot of time and provide bursts of new user activity - well, compared to what we have now. It's still small potatoes compared to growth rates in places like reddit.

    Tildes should be tracking the referrer links and whoever generated the original link, in case one shows up in a hostile community that decides to raid the place - that way banning the lot of them is a single action. We'll also know where people are coming from, which could be interesting and useful information.

    The problem is this... these accounts are much riskier invites than users inviting friends, or the threads on /r/tildes where we've been doing some basic history checking before sending them out. I think it's a guarantee that bad actors will come in with these links - hopefully a minority, but they will be here. That means more administrative overhead dealing with them, so we might want to hold off on this until after we have more substantial mod tools ready.

    It's tricky business finding a way to keep a weather eye on new accounts without also doing something that makes the user experience worse in general for new users who intend to participate well. We've all run into this shit - posting limits, singling out newbies by highlighting them on the page in some way, etc. I'd like to find a better way to manage it than resorting to that old school stuff. If we had mods here, I'd start by marking the accounts with a subtle highlight on the page, but so that only mods can see it, so only mods can tell a new user is making the post. That way when a new user runs afoul of malice tags it's very obvious. We might also start any new accounts that come from invite links in a 'lurk mode' where they can't post for a day. That basically means new users get to sleep on it before making their first post.

    Invite systems don't seem to get much thought today - most websites are in such a hurry to grow their numbers that almost no vetting of any kind ever occurs. A lot of people want Tildes to remain invite-only forever, or at least until the trust systems are fully cooked and we have an 'old guard' at the helm to hold the place together. I'm not against open-reg myself but I am wary of it and I think we should take a long time to get there. We'll be needing something more than one-to-one invites if we plan to take it slow.

    Anyone else have ideas on invite mechanics? Seen any groovy ones in the wild?

    Edit: A few more thoughts about this... These invite links might require some level of trust and participation before any given user account can generate them. That trust level might also affect the maximums for the time and number of users.

    We probably also want these to be limited-use per time period, not unlike exemplary tokens for comments - that's working quite well. There's really no reason for someone to generate a dozen invite links in a week. Most people only know a couple places they'd want to share them anyway. Maybe we go with one a week or something like that.

    It's a basic risk assessment. Put yourself in the shoes of a troll (or a forum of trolls). It always starts with one person. If it's one account sending invite codes, and then ten accounts sending invite codes, and then a hundred accounts sending invite codes, that's pretty easy to spot, and equally easy to banish, since that invite tree all begins with that single user's account. It's also a lot of work by the trolls going down the drain, so they aren't likely to continue considering how much time they'll be wasting with every attempt.

    The invite links are a bit trickier, and they can be shared in private without associated referrer information being available for Tildes to track. If everyone who uses an invite link to register can - without any building of trust/participation - also send out invite links, that can turn into quite a mess very fast. This can still be tied into a nice invite tree - account a creates link 1 which brings in accounts b-z which create links 2-25 and bring in accounts aa-zz etc... but it's a lot less work for the trolls to invade this way than if they have to deal with the invite codes. I think these invite links need to be behind a trust barrier. It'll greatly curb their abuse - and make the ones that show up in the wild more rare and valuable, since we know they are coming from good users.

    39 votes
    1. [2]
      CrazyOtter Link Parent
      Good thoughts. As you say I think limiting who can generate an invite link would be very important to avoid a potential cascade of bad actors. They could be cleaned up sure, but better to stop...

      Good thoughts. As you say I think limiting who can generate an invite link would be very important to avoid a potential cascade of bad actors. They could be cleaned up sure, but better to stop that before it happens. Probably set a hard time limit (say 3 months as a member) plus some degree of trusted status.

      One other idea I've had is an "invite pool". Basically someone who wants to join could submit a request which includes information like why they want to join, links to profiles on other sites etc etc along with their their email address. Then current tildes users with invite codes could view the "pool" and give invites to people who seem decent. The prospective user would then get an email with a custom registration link.

      There would need to be controls of course, but maybe worth thinking about? It would let people who find tildes organically start the invite process faster rather than waiting around.

      16 votes
      1. Amarok Link Parent
        I like that idea.

        I like that idea.

        3 votes
    2. [2]
      mb3077 Link Parent
      I think this problem can be solved if we only give the ability to generate links to older accounts (2 months+ old), or accounts that made comments and posts. This way you can't give out links...

      account a creates link 1 which brings in accounts b-z which create links 2-25 and bring in accounts aa-zz etc... but it's a lot less work for the trolls to invade this way than if they have to deal with the invite codes.

      I think this problem can be solved if we only give the ability to generate links to older accounts (2 months+ old), or accounts that made comments and posts. This way you can't give out links without participating in the community first.

      13 votes
      1. uselessabstraction Link Parent
        This is essentially how Slashdot's "moderation jury duty" system worked back in the day. Moderator points were only assigned to active participants who have been around for some time. If you...

        I think this problem can be solved if we only give the ability to generate links to older accounts (2 months+ old), or accounts that made comments and posts.

        This is essentially how Slashdot's "moderation jury duty" system worked back in the day. Moderator points were only assigned to active participants who have been around for some time. If you barely logged in, and barely posted, you wouldn't get moderator points.

        I could see the same system working well for invite codes - provided it only factors into eligibility, not quantity.

        6 votes
    3. [7]
      Soptik Link Parent
      It would be interesting to see some kind of automated invite system. For example if unregistered user spends few days reading through lot of topics, he's probably really interested in Tildes. At...

      It would be interesting to see some kind of automated invite system. For example if unregistered user spends few days reading through lot of topics, he's probably really interested in Tildes. At this point, system might give him chance to sign up, for example a bar at the top that would say something like You've been invited to join Tildes! Click here to register.

      It would create nice, slow but steady grow from which would probably come lot of high-quality users, just because they showed such level of activity and interest in Tildes before.

      8 votes
      1. [5]
        calcifer Link Parent
        That would require client side session tracking for logged out users (with cookies or local storage) and Tildes is very opposed to that sort of thing in general.

        That would require client side session tracking for logged out users (with cookies or local storage) and Tildes is very opposed to that sort of thing in general.

        13 votes
        1. [4]
          Soptik Link Parent
          From Tildes privacy policy: It looks like the data are already tracked. However, you're right that the passive invite system would actually require to link the data together even on anonymous...

          From Tildes privacy policy:

          We automatically log all requests and the associated information (your IP address, user-agent, etc.) that your browser or device sends while using the site. This information may be associated with your user account, if you are logged in at the time.

          It looks like the data are already tracked. However, you're right that the passive invite system would actually require to link the data together even on anonymous accounts. But I don't think it would be that much a problem, I assume short living cookie with guid and record in database that could even have just number of visited articles would be enough, while it would be trivial to game system with such little data.

          4 votes
          1. Amarok Link Parent
            Part of Tildes' privacy policy isn't so much avoiding the data as avoiding retaining that data for any lengthy time period. We've been throwing around 30 days - one month - as the wipe threshold...

            Part of Tildes' privacy policy isn't so much avoiding the data as avoiding retaining that data for any lengthy time period. We've been throwing around 30 days - one month - as the wipe threshold for everything, keeping only generalized non-specific information (such as site activity levels etc) for periods beyond that.

            This isn't really a privacy invasion. It's simply storing a unique token in a user's browser that's also linked to a unique token on the server side - but all this token needs to do is basically count visits. It's just a counter, and once it hits the invite threshold it can self-destruct in both places, no need to keep it around. The server-side bit is only necessary to prevent forgery/fuckery, it's more like a unique key.

            I'm not sure we'd ever do this, but it doesn't seem like a serious privacy issue.

            12 votes
          2. [2]
            calcifer Link Parent
            IP address, user-agent etc. are all parts of standard HTTP requests so they're sent with all requests to all websites, even if they don't do any tracking. What you are suggesting requires actively...

            IP address, user-agent etc. are all parts of standard HTTP requests so they're sent with all requests to all websites, even if they don't do any tracking.

            What you are suggesting requires actively writing JavaScript tracking code and running it on people's browser. I don't think Tildes will ever do that.

            3 votes
            1. Soptik Link Parent
              No, I just suggested adding tracking cookie (so we would know it's the same user) and we would save how many articles did the user view on server side (the same way it's done with logged-in...

              JavaScript tracking code

              No, I just suggested adding tracking cookie (so we would know it's the same user) and we would save how many articles did the user view on server side (the same way it's done with logged-in users).

              If Deimos adds the feature that guest users can come to the site, subscribe to groups and interact with Tildes as we do - except PMs, voting and creating new content - Tildes will still need to have a system to differentiate anonymous users. What I suggest is to extend this system with read articles (which can be used to display unread comments as well).

              5 votes
      2. Amarok Link Parent
        I got a better one for you. Here's the hypothetical. Tildes has an AMA thread. We've got a bunch of physicists ready to answer all kinds of groovy questions in their fields, and the spine to...

        I got a better one for you. Here's the hypothetical.

        Tildes has an AMA thread. We've got a bunch of physicists ready to answer all kinds of groovy questions in their fields, and the spine to promote it properly unlike reddit and everyone else out there. The guests tweet about the AMA. Thousands of people show up to participate in the AMA and talk to the guests.

        Oops. Can't post without an account - it's invite only.

        So, clearly we're going to need 'guest' posting modes of some kind. More interesting question - can we promote these temporary one-thread accounts into full active users somehow?

        Nobody ever stays invite only very long, so this is a largely unexplored problem space. I think figuring out clever ways to make all of this work for us is going to be a lot of fun. Invite only doesn't have to be all that exclusive in the long run, as we build new/interesting/good avenues for people to come into the site.

        What you're suggesting is kinda like a lurker conversion system. I like that idea, though figuring out how to do it without people being able to hack/game the system and without getting into dicey realms of user tracking is a bit of a challenge. Also we don't want to hassle the lurkers who don't want accounts with it, because not all of them will. ;)

        8 votes
    4. [2]
      Maven Link Parent
      Links can absolutely track who created them. An obvious way would be to have the URL be of the form tildes.net/invite?GUID where GUID refers to an entry in a database that records who created the...

      The invite links are a bit trickier, and they can be shared in private without associated referrer information being available for Tildes to track.

      Links can absolutely track who created them. An obvious way would be to have the URL be of the form tildes.net/invite?GUID where GUID refers to an entry in a database that records who created the link, when it expires, and how many users it has left on it. Then you can track down the whole "troll tree" without any trouble.

      I also think codes should be replaced entirely by links. What we have now is essentially the same as a 1 user link, just more cumbersome. But I agree that anything past that should definitely require trust. Giving fresh accounts full privileges is begging for abuse.

      5 votes
      1. Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
        What I mean is, if I post the link on 4chan or somesuch, people clicking it will have that referral reference in their browser, and Tildes will know 'this link was shared on 4chan while it was...

        What I mean is, if I post the link on 4chan or somesuch, people clicking it will have that referral reference in their browser, and Tildes will know 'this link was shared on 4chan while it was active'. This is handy as hell since it'll let us know where the links are making the rounds.

        If I want to deny Tildes that info, all I have to do is tell everyone to paste the raw link in their browser, and now Tildes has no idea where the link was shared. Trolls can deny the referrer info if they want. Like you said, it's not really going to do them any good, though. :)

        By the way - changing invite codes over to one-shot single-use links... is not a bad idea imo.

        11 votes
    5. [2]
      adamthephantump Link Parent
      I’ve seen a neat mechanic on yayhooray.com where you have random questions that applicants answer when signing up and every member gets access to a dashboard with the latest applicants and if the...

      I’ve seen a neat mechanic on yayhooray.com where you have random questions that applicants answer when signing up and every member gets access to a dashboard with the latest applicants and if the applicant gets a lot of votes, their account becomes active. It even shows the IP they’re signing up from and if they have any existing accounts. Maybe that could work?

      3 votes
      1. Amarok Link Parent
        Someone had mentioned the idea of having an open invite pool for people who request one directly from the site itself. That method seems like an interesting way to do just that. It's also pretty...

        Someone had mentioned the idea of having an open invite pool for people who request one directly from the site itself. That method seems like an interesting way to do just that. It's also pretty similar to the way listentothis mod apps are handled, and we had really good luck finding level headed folks.

        Fill out an invite application - serious or silly - and let the existing members see them all and give a thumbs up where they like. Get enough and you get in. Simple, democratic, straightforward - and just a fancy form of vouching for someone, which can play into the trust system.

        6 votes
  2. [17]
    Adys Link
    (The following is not a comment opposing going public, merely just a random thought) Funny how much easier it is to talk when the posts are not publicly-visible, even if tildes is theoretically...

    (The following is not a comment opposing going public, merely just a random thought)

    Funny how much easier it is to talk when the posts are not publicly-visible, even if tildes is theoretically accessible to anyone who really wants. I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks how, on various occasions, I've felt safer talking about subjects I have a hard time approaching even on Reddit (even very obscure, tight-knit subreddits).

    I've been in several invite-walled communities but most of them are very topic specific (eg. gaming guilds etc). Tildes is the only one that's large, active and general and it is the first one where it's really hitting me how rare this feeling has become on the web.

    51 votes
    1. [10]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [6]
        Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
        It's not that I want to grow big, but that the current size/growth of the site really isn't sustainable. The activity level has been slowly but consistently dropping, and a large portion of users...

        It's not that I want to grow big, but that the current size/growth of the site really isn't sustainable. The activity level has been slowly but consistently dropping, and a large portion of users aren't coming back, or only very rarely. The donations have been quite good for how small the site is and how little effort I've made to ask for them, but they're nowhere near what they'll need to be for me to continue focusing on the site. I'm very likely going to start looking for a job in the new year and switch to treating Tildes as a side project, unless something major happens in the next couple of months. (Note that this isn't something I'm unhappy about, I'd rather have the site grow slowly as a side project and stay high-quality than try to force it to grow too quickly and ruin it)

        Overall, I just don't think a completely private site can possibly attract (and keep) enough interest to become sustainable. I don't want Tildes to be a massive site, but it needs to be large enough to sustain communities related to different interests and I don't believe the current setup will ever be able to get there.

        46 votes
        1. trunicated Link Parent
          I was someone that emailed you for an invite, and while I'm grateful for it, I'm also one of those people that feels pretty alienated from the site. Like, I don't align with what appears to be the...

          The activity level has been slowly but consistently dropping, and a large portion of users aren't coming back, or only very rarely.

          I was someone that emailed you for an invite, and while I'm grateful for it, I'm also one of those people that feels pretty alienated from the site. Like, I don't align with what appears to be the sites politics exactly (or even very well), and some of the most active topics are political in nature. That means that I either have to go into those threads and be ready to actively debate folks knowing that I'm in the minority, or just avoid them altogether. Since all the other topics I see are generally very low volume, I've found myself basically coming here every week or two to see what's up.

          Now, I'm not saying you need to find a group of folks with the same political bent that I have so we can sit around jerking each other off, but it would be great to see other topics more active so that when I'm avoiding these political posts, I have something else to do. I know that comes with a larger user base, but for right now, it's basically like reading reddit without filtering out all the political subs.

          If you're not going to keep it read only at the start, you might want to keep that in mind. While it may seem beneficial to keep people out who would join just to fling shit, there's a good number of folks that want something different that are going to see the front page and just go "yeah, I'd rather find somewhere else to discuss my anime".

          7 votes
        2. [4]
          nic Link Parent
          Strange, I could have sworn there has been a slow trend towards increasing quality.

          The activity level has been slowly but consistently dropping, and a large portion of users aren't coming back, or only very rarely.

          Strange, I could have sworn there has been a slow trend towards increasing quality.

          4 votes
          1. [3]
            Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
            A trend towards increasing quality is not incompatible with the activity slowly dropping. There could be fewer topics, but those fewer topics could be of higher quality.

            A trend towards increasing quality is not incompatible with the activity slowly dropping. There could be fewer topics, but those fewer topics could be of higher quality.

            16 votes
            1. [2]
              nic Link Parent
              I know. I was curious if others also observed the same thing. If so, it raises a curious dilemma on achieving increased quantity while maintaining quality.

              I know.

              I was curious if others also observed the same thing.

              If so, it raises a curious dilemma on achieving increased quantity while maintaining quality.

              4 votes
              1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
                Sorry. I didn't realise you were asking a question or seeking other people's opinions. It looked like you were merely making an observation of your own. I haven't noticed a trend towards...

                I was curious if others also observed the same thing.

                Sorry. I didn't realise you were asking a question or seeking other people's opinions. It looked like you were merely making an observation of your own.

                I haven't noticed a trend towards increasing quality, but I have noticed a reduction in the number of low-quality posts and comments as people realise they're not suitable here. We're not getting more high-quality posts/comments, but we are getting fewer low-quality posts/comments.

                If so, it raises a curious dilemma on achieving increased quantity while maintaining quality.

                That dilemma underpins the whole Tildes project: this is exactly what Tildes is here to attempt.

                6 votes
      2. [3]
        nothis Link Parent
        May I ask what forum that is? Or would you rather keep that private as well?

        I'm a member of one completely private paid-subscription forum and it's heaven.

        May I ask what forum that is? Or would you rather keep that private as well?

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [2]
            Amarok Link Parent
            My guess would be a professional writer's forum of some kind, likely with a lot of well known names present - and making that public information is just asking to get harassed until the end of...

            My guess would be a professional writer's forum of some kind, likely with a lot of well known names present - and making that public information is just asking to get harassed until the end of time. Some forums are secret for very good reasons, and you get to sidestep the entire issue of moderation on places like that, since it's literally never a problem. ;)

            @nothis if you're looking for a more public one, check out The Well. Kinda blows my mind that Tildes is already bigger than they are.

            8 votes
            1. [2]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. Amarok Link Parent
                Yeah, but one guy who's half asleep can manage that kind of moderation. You're not asking the hordes to moderate themselves sensibly like we're foolishly going to try and do here. ;)

                Yeah, but one guy who's half asleep can manage that kind of moderation. You're not asking the hordes to moderate themselves sensibly like we're foolishly going to try and do here. ;)

                5 votes
    2. [7]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      Interesting. I've been treating this as a public open forum. There are well over 7,000 people registered here, which is far too many for me to know them all personally. Tildes therefore does not...

      Interesting. I've been treating this as a public open forum. There are well over 7,000 people registered here, which is far too many for me to know them all personally. Tildes therefore does not feel like a walled community to me.

      I've been in a couple of private Facebook groups with less than 100 members; those felt private and personal to me. Tildes does not feel private or personal.

      7 votes
      1. [6]
        Adys Link Parent
        Sure, but you look at usernames and recognize many of the people, right? So there is this feeling at least that the community is actually pretty small (even if it's not). I get that in some...

        Sure, but you look at usernames and recognize many of the people, right? So there is this feeling at least that the community is actually pretty small (even if it's not). I get that in some subreddits as well, difference being that small subreddits can and do 100x in size in months, weeks or even sometimes days if a few good posts get to the frontpage (and the account is also linked up with the one you use to post on million-subs subreddits).

        Reminds me of WoW vanilla actually and the difference between before and after cross-server linking was implemented.

        11 votes
        1. [5]
          Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          I may recognise some names, but that doesn't mean I recognise the people behind those names. For instance, I know I've seen this "Adys" name before, but I have no idea who's behind it (gender,...

          Sure, but you look at usernames and recognize many of the people, right?

          I may recognise some names, but that doesn't mean I recognise the people behind those names. For instance, I know I've seen this "Adys" name before, but I have no idea who's behind it (gender, country, preferences, politics, character traits, etc) - unlike a small number of usernames whose owners have started to become actual people to me (albeit only sketchily).

          But even if I recognise a few dozen usernames, and have some knowledge about a handful of people here, I still see many more usernames that I don't recognise, and I'm aware there are lots more users lurking invisibly. Tildes does not feel in any way private or personal or small to me, and I behave accordingly - which is why I'm continually surprised at people saying they feel safe and private here.

          5 votes
          1. [4]
            Amarok Link Parent
            Well, consider that you can barely make a comment anywhere on reddit without being immediately downvoted and/or buried with asinine replies. That's become the 'new normal' for forum participation...

            Well, consider that you can barely make a comment anywhere on reddit without being immediately downvoted and/or buried with asinine replies. That's become the 'new normal' for forum participation for a lot of people. Anyone coming from that sort of place is going to find Tildes very welcoming and it'll likely 'feel' more cozy/tight knit to them just from the lack of harassment. I can appreciate the perspective, even if I'm with you and would never treat a place like this as safe/private myself. I consider this place to be the honeymoon phase of the next best thing in social media. ;)

            9 votes
            1. [3]
              Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
              The problem is that honeymoon phases are usually unlike the marriage itself. Noone spends their whole married life vacationing on a tropical island, and if you think your entire life is going to...

              I consider this place to be the honeymoon phase of the next best thing in social media.

              The problem is that honeymoon phases are usually unlike the marriage itself. Noone spends their whole married life vacationing on a tropical island, and if you think your entire life is going to be grass skirts, sunbaking, and fancy cocktails with umbrellas, you'll be in for a nasty surprise at the end of the honeymoon.

              Deimos has been very clear that this private, invitation-only, cosy, tight-knit situation is temporary, and I'm surprised that people have signed up hoping for this temporary situation to be permanent.

              1. Adys Link Parent
                To be very clear that's not why or how I signed up. I knew from the get go it's going public and I'm fine with that. It's just a suprising result of the "feel" of the community, which I did not...

                I'm surprised that people have signed up hoping for this temporary situation to be permanent.

                To be very clear that's not why or how I signed up. I knew from the get go it's going public and I'm fine with that. It's just a suprising result of the "feel" of the community, which I did not initially expect.

                4 votes
              2. Amarok Link Parent
                That's why I'm enjoying it while it lasts. ;) As soon as the site is publicly visible, that's the moment when the rollercoaster car starts up the track before the big dive.

                That's why I'm enjoying it while it lasts. ;)

                As soon as the site is publicly visible, that's the moment when the rollercoaster car starts up the track before the big dive.

                1 vote
  3. [8]
    Parameter (edited ) Link
    I think we have a lot of potential for passionate and intelligent conversation that is being diminished by political and news articles being the majority of content. I would like to see more...

    I think we have a lot of potential for passionate and intelligent conversation that is being diminished by political and news articles being the majority of content.

    I would like to see more specific groups. There is no community to the groups because they're so broad. Right now the groups seem to be all acting as subsections of news rather than having a separate focus.

    For example, the tech group mostly features business news about tech, or other soft connections. It doesn't seem like a place that would good for just having a group discussion on something new.

    --

    If you don't think this is a good approach I'd like to bring up strict tagging for news and opinion pieces no matter the category.

    So Tim Cook commenting on privacy would need a tag like "news" or "commentary". No need for more work with groups. Just a specification of the rules and enforecment.

    I can understand how the subtley may be confusing but a rule of thumb could be "is this about a technology itself" or "related to aspects of technology".

    That way people can get to what they're interested in within the broader category.

    __
    Everything else sounds good. Appreciate the heads up on the temporary slow growth.

    22 votes
    1. [7]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      Some of what you're asking for will arise as a result of having more people here. Different people will make different posts and do different things. Also, there are some discussion topics which...

      Some of what you're asking for will arise as a result of having more people here. Different people will make different posts and do different things.

      Also, there are some discussion topics which languish for lack of activity. We need more people here so that we can get that extra activity, to motivate people to post more discussions.

      9 votes
      1. [6]
        Parameter Link Parent
        Yes, you're right. That will certainty help. But they may not stay if they were hoping for a more specific and focused experience and can't easily seek that out. I feel like my preference for...

        Yes, you're right. That will certainty help.

        But they may not stay if they were hoping for a more specific and focused experience and can't easily seek that out.

        I feel like my preference for seeing tech industry news a tech information and discussion is different enough that it feels important to me.

        1 vote
        1. [5]
          Deimos Link Parent
          A hyper-specific group that gets one post every two weeks won't keep them here either though. We don't want to rush to over-fragment the community into niche groups when the general ones aren't...

          A hyper-specific group that gets one post every two weeks won't keep them here either though. We don't want to rush to over-fragment the community into niche groups when the general ones aren't even very active yet.

          12 votes
          1. [4]
            Parameter (edited ) Link Parent
            Right, that is prudent. I started to the favor tag solution to act as sub-groups because you get access to all the content or to be specific with relative ease and without a feeling of fragmentation.

            Right, that is prudent. I started to the favor tag solution to act as sub-groups because you get access to all the content or to be specific with relative ease and without a feeling of fragmentation.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              Amarok Link Parent
              We need the header navigation bar, that's the next step. I went into rather excruciating detail about that with examples in this much older thread. The tags can be filters, sure, but they can also...

              We need the header navigation bar, that's the next step. I went into rather excruciating detail about that with examples in this much older thread. The tags can be filters, sure, but they can also be nav elements to instantly and easily flip the view, and they can dynamically generate based on the frequency of tags present, with a bit of mod curation. We'll probably want that at the next 'level' of activity, when we start seeing sub-groups spin off. It should help facilitate that process immensely.

              6 votes
              1. [2]
                Parameter Link Parent
                Ah, I will look into that. I'm sure you've heard the suggestion a lot. I get the benefit of waiting now. There's no way to predict the needs and preferences of the group while expecting more...

                Ah, I will look into that. I'm sure you've heard the suggestion a lot.

                I get the benefit of waiting now. There's no way to predict the needs and preferences of the group while expecting more growth to come. And a systematic approach has downsides.

                2 votes
                1. Amarok Link Parent
                  There's also a limited amount of developer-hours to spend, so features that are useful now have to take precedence over features that we don't need until later. I'm fine with that since those will...

                  There's also a limited amount of developer-hours to spend, so features that are useful now have to take precedence over features that we don't need until later. I'm fine with that since those will likely be more complex features, which gives us more time to argue out the implementation and get it right. That way when we're finally ready to make something real we've got lots of brain droppings to get it off to a good start. Deimos is very good at lasering in on the heart of an idea in a giant sea of discussion about it. :)

                  5 votes
  4. [7]
    ainar-g Link
    One interesting privacy-related feature I was thinking about is the ability to “disown” a post or a comment. Say you've posted something, and then later you've changed your mind, or you have...

    One interesting privacy-related feature I was thinking about is the ability to “disown” a post or a comment. Say you've posted something, and then later you've changed your mind, or you have shared some sensitive information, but you don't want to edit or delete it, so that not to alter the flow of the conversation. So instead you push a button, and instead of your nick there is now something like [anonymous] or [disowned] written. The post is obviously hidden from your profile as well.

    20 votes
    1. [2]
      Amarok Link Parent
      We've talked about this before and it's definitely something we want to have for a lot of reasons people get into in that thread. It ties into the anonymous posting capability as well, since in...

      We've talked about this before and it's definitely something we want to have for a lot of reasons people get into in that thread. It ties into the anonymous posting capability as well, since in the code they are almost the same thing.

      Abuse isn't really an issue since admins would still be able to see who 'owns' the comment for some time period after the disassociation occurs. After that time period (likely 30 days) the original owner is scrubbed. If nobody notices the 'abuse' within 30 days it's hard to see how it was a problem. :P

      15 votes
      1. StellarTabi Link Parent
        Maybe you should have to wait 1 or 3 days for the scrub to be available or take effect? There will often be comments where I don't want to leave a hole in the conversation but don't want strangers...

        Maybe you should have to wait 1 or 3 days for the scrub to be available or take effect? There will often be comments where I don't want to leave a hole in the conversation but don't want strangers able to follow everything I say.

        3 votes
    2. [4]
      Parameter Link Parent
      I like your idea but I thought of a relavant counter point. People might be inclined to abuse it to post controversial things while escaping the public loss of credibility.

      I like your idea but I thought of a relavant counter point. People might be inclined to abuse it to post controversial things while escaping the public loss of credibility.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        ainar-g Link Parent
        Counter-counterpoints: You can already post “controversial” things by just sending an invite to yourself and creating what is essentially a throwaway account. I'm not sure if the connection...

        Counter-counterpoints:

        1. You can already post “controversial” things by just sending an invite to yourself and creating what is essentially a throwaway account. I'm not sure if the connection between accounts is seen to the admins forever, but if it isn't, one could create a whole army of burn accounts, wait for the logs to purge, and post with no connection to the original account.

        2. The admins will probably retain the ability to see the original poster, at least until the log purging time comes.

        But I do see, how this may make people think less about what they are posting. Maybe the ability could be rate-limited, like the exemplary tag. “One disowning per 24 hours” or something like that. Or it could require the consent of the admins, with an input where the user must type in the reason for disowning.

        14 votes
        1. Parameter (edited ) Link Parent
          If I recally correctly Deimos keeps track for that reason. I like the aspect of admins or mods approving. That would be incentive enough to not overuse it.

          If I recally correctly Deimos keeps track for that reason.

          I like the aspect of admins or mods approving. That would be incentive enough to not overuse it.

          3 votes
      2. StellarTabi Link Parent
        Maybe there could be restrictions, like your account must be X days old, users older than you can still see you, and/or you have to wait 3 days to disown.

        Maybe there could be restrictions, like your account must be X days old, users older than you can still see you, and/or you have to wait 3 days to disown.

  5. [14]
    Algernon_Asimov Link
    Based on the results of my previous efforts to invite people here, I'm not bothering any more. Nearly half of the people I've given invite codes to (real-life and online) never used them. This...

    It's also been a while since I gave everyone more invite codes, so I've given everyone 10 now. If there's anyone else you want to invite before we get into the publicly-visible stage of things

    Based on the results of my previous efforts to invite people here, I'm not bothering any more. Nearly half of the people I've given invite codes to (real-life and online) never used them. This includes some people who comment in /r/Tildes saying they're desperate to come here.

    It's just not worth it for me.

    11 votes
    1. [12]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Yeah, it's quite strange. I've sent out several hundred codes through email that people never ended up using, despite going to the trouble of sending the email to ask for one. Like I said, I think...

      Yeah, it's quite strange. I've sent out several hundred codes through email that people never ended up using, despite going to the trouble of sending the email to ask for one.

      Like I said, I think it will help a lot when people can view the site without needing to register, and then they'll only need to seek out an invite if they want to be able to vote/post/etc., which generally is already a very strong indicator of being a more-involved user (with the whole 90-9-1 rule).

      11 votes
      1. [10]
        Adys Link Parent
        This reminds me of when I implemented coupon redemption at my previous company. I wonder how many of the people you, @Algernon_Asimov, and everyone else sending mass invites are losing at the...

        This reminds me of when I implemented coupon redemption at my previous company. I wonder how many of the people you, @Algernon_Asimov, and everyone else sending mass invites are losing at the "getting to the registration page" step (my guess is probably most of them).

        I bet if you change the invite code page to include a full link with a prefilled invite code, such as https://tildes.net/register?code=XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX, that number will go way down.

        8 votes
        1. [9]
          Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
          Honestly, if they can't handle the effort of copy-pasting the code into the box, the chance that they're going to contribute anything of value to the site after registering is probably zero....

          Honestly, if they can't handle the effort of copy-pasting the code into the box, the chance that they're going to contribute anything of value to the site after registering is probably zero. That's the kind of tiny optimization that I'd worry about if number of users was something that we really had to maximize, but it's not.

          Edit: I'm not opposed to supporting it (and it would be easy to implement), but I don't think it'll really make a meaningful difference to the site's activity/quality in the end.

          23 votes
          1. [6]
            Adys Link Parent
            Maybe, but tbh I wouldn't be so quick to judge. I would wager it has more to do with the task of registering to tildes falling off their immediate plate. The act of giving the link to the...

            Maybe, but tbh I wouldn't be so quick to judge. I would wager it has more to do with the task of registering to tildes falling off their immediate plate.

            The act of giving the link to the registration page is what I believe makes the majority of the difference, not specifically the prefilled box. How valuable their potential contributions are, who knows -- they could still be someone who isn't entirely convinced this is worth the time to get through registration etc.

            I know that many of my personal emails go unanswered because I need to spend an extra 30 seconds on them, and I don't have that extra time right now (and subsequently forget completely about the email)… Maybe I'm defending my own behaviour here, and I don't know if my contributions here are of value, but I'm at least active :)

            12 votes
            1. [5]
              Parameter Link Parent
              It could be a good judgement to make. It mostly discriminates against mild interest and failure to try. Seems fair enough to me.

              It could be a good judgement to make. It mostly discriminates against mild interest and failure to try. Seems fair enough to me.

              4 votes
              1. [2]
                Amarok Link Parent
                There's another group that's being overlooked here, and I had to have this beat into my head by my userbase over on reddit. Everything is a pain in the ass on mobile, even basic copy-pasting. I'd...

                There's another group that's being overlooked here, and I had to have this beat into my head by my userbase over on reddit. Everything is a pain in the ass on mobile, even basic copy-pasting. I'd wager we're discriminating against mobile users with that simple copy-paste action. Having it pre-filled would take away that inconvenience.

                It's tempting to say 'fuck mobile plebs' and there was a time I'd have even been in that camp myself - but times have changed, and we need to acknowledge that. Most people will forever be coming in over mobile - and consider also that for a hell of a lot of people in less developed parts of the world, mobile is their only internet option because they can't afford or don't have access to more traditional computer/firewall/internet solutions.

                Having it pre-filled is probably a good idea.

                21 votes
                1. Parameter (edited ) Link Parent
                  That's thoughtful. It is moderately difficult for me on mobile. A physical disability could exaggerate that problem.

                  That's thoughtful. It is moderately difficult for me on mobile. A physical disability could exaggerate that problem.

                  5 votes
              2. [2]
                Wes Link Parent
                Less tech-savvy users may have trouble copying and pasting the code as well. We don't all need to be programmers, do we? :)

                Less tech-savvy users may have trouble copying and pasting the code as well. We don't all need to be programmers, do we? :)

                5 votes
          2. [2]
            Rayven Link Parent
            I had to manually type in my invite code because my idiotic Reddit app doesn’t let me copy in messages. I definitely agree that someone who feels burdened by a simple copy and paste is likely not...

            I had to manually type in my invite code because my idiotic Reddit app doesn’t let me copy in messages. I definitely agree that someone who feels burdened by a simple copy and paste is likely not going to be a contributor, but there are potentially other reasons why the copy/paste method is cumbersome.
            Obviously, I’m here so I was not personally deterred. I have no idea how many other people would be affected by such a thing.

            6 votes
            1. Deimos Link Parent
              Alright, you and @Adys convinced me enough that it's worth supporting. I've updated it now so that on the invite page, the boxes now contain a registration link that will pre-fill the code,...

              Alright, you and @Adys convinced me enough that it's worth supporting. I've updated it now so that on the invite page, the boxes now contain a registration link that will pre-fill the code, instead of just bare codes.

              It was easy enough to do and I can definitely understand how it can be much more convenient for cases like apps that don't let you select individual chunks of text. Thanks for explaining!

              11 votes
      2. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        I agree visibility will help. It has just been disheartening to go to the effort of sending someone an invite code - especially after they practically beg for it - only to find the code sitting...

        I agree visibility will help. It has just been disheartening to go to the effort of sending someone an invite code - especially after they practically beg for it - only to find the code sitting unused on my invites page weeks or months later.

        2 votes
    2. frickindeal Link Parent
      I think the problem Deimos points out about those being "wasted" invites is apt. People either never use them, or sign up and don't like that they don't see memes and cat pictures (or whatever it...

      I think the problem Deimos points out about those being "wasted" invites is apt. People either never use them, or sign up and don't like that they don't see memes and cat pictures (or whatever it was they were expecting), and move on. Having it publicly visible may go a long way towards getting people who are interested after having actually seen the site and its contents to request and use an invite.

      5 votes
  6. [11]
    clerical_terrors Link
    Forgive me if I'm getting ahead of myself, but I am somewhat concerned as to the lack of mention of progress on the Trust system. I fully agree that having a public-facing part to Tildes is...

    Forgive me if I'm getting ahead of myself, but I am somewhat concerned as to the lack of mention of progress on the Trust system. I fully agree that having a public-facing part to Tildes is necessary to reach a self-sustaining level of activity but as the user base grows so will the challenges of moderation. It's occurred a few times already that threads are left up longer than they should have, and in most of those instances it was you, Deimos, who removed them. Are there currently no other people who have the ability to do this? If the site is to grow doesn't it stand to reason that not only will the number of such threads increase but the number of reactions to them as well?

    I understand we may be hesitant to appoint site-wide moderators outside the purview of the Trust system if the latter is to be the standard, but I think it'd be more dangerous to let the Trust system be an Albatross around the site's neck preventing it from getting sensible moderation as long as the magic algorithm has not been invented yet. In fact I'm concerned that reducing such a difficult concept as Trust or community service to a solid algorithm may be a far more daunting task than we properly appreciate.

    Now I'm not proposing opening the site be belayed until the Trust system is fully functional, just that we should consider getting more people involved in the site, perhaps not just in moderation but also in the code as well, while the system is underway to prevent any major incidents from leaving bad tastes in prospective users' mouths. After all no elegant algorithm is going to undo the damage of bad threads and the bad blood they can generate


    Furthermore I'd like to echo similar sentiments as other people in regards to privacy on Tildes. You've mentioned a few times that you see no reason to limit access to user pages etc. but I want to consider the opposite point of view: what reasons are there to leave these open to the public and do they outweigh the potential for abuse? Obviously moderators will need ways to audit/vet users but it is my belief that moderation should simply not be reliant on the same tools as users, because they're needs and uses for them are not at all the same.

    In extremis I would even argue it might be good to leave even usernames out for non-logged in users, this would create a small extra layer of anonymity, and it barely decreases the usefulness for non-users, since they will still be able to judge the site based on an impression of the content. The only possible downsides I could see to this are an increase in code complexity, and potentially not benefiting from showcasing "famous" users or people (though I question whether that would be at all necessary)

    10 votes
    1. [7]
      Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
      The code has been built with the trust system in mind, so there are already lots of hooks and dials in there for it to fiddle with once it's built - such as controlling access to comment labels,...

      The code has been built with the trust system in mind, so there are already lots of hooks and dials in there for it to fiddle with once it's built - such as controlling access to comment labels, trust levels on user accounts, etc. All of that is basically sitting idle at the moment because the 'brain' part of the trust system isn't in place. Tildes is recording some of the data needed for it to work, even if it's not using that data at the moment.

      I think it's likely that we'll begin to deputize people to help out with moderation tasks before the trust system is in place. It's truly not hard to select a good group of people for that task, and given how many people here have been mods on reddit and other forums before, we've got a pretty massive candidate pool. That'll take the load off of Deimos' shoulders so he can concentrate on code.

      I also think it's likely we'll just manually promote everyone who's been here and participating to a higher trust level long before the mechanics to do this in an automated fashion are in place. In a way, just access to comment labels is a form of trust, and one we probably don't want to put in the hands of large groups of new users. Labels are intended to be for everyone to use, but not until after they've acclimated to the site's culture a bit first.

      So what I'm saying here is that we can manually drive some aspects of the trust system using the basic bits that are in place while we work on building the real thing. We don't need the full automation for trust in place until Tildes is a lot larger than it is now. Going off of my mod experiences on reddit, I'd wager we can get up to around 100k users before any serious issues arise, and probably up as high as 250k before we'd need something more automated.

      We really only need a couple basics right now. I'd call it five trust levels in total.

      New user account - trust level zero. No access to anything but comments and submissions.

      Vetted user account - trust level one. Access to comment labels. Been around and participated for a month or two. Note that you don't get access if you've been inactive for that time, so this isn't just an age thing. When lurkers vote, that counts as participation for this too - it's not just submissions, comments, and 'karma.' Reading is participating - and learning the culture.

      Curator - trust level two. Ability to edit titles, tags, and move posts from one group to another. Probably a manual promotion process for the foreseeable future. There are already some users here who can do this, like myself. You'll see their names in the topic logs when they do.

      Bailiff - trust level three. Can see malice tags, and deal with them somehow. Deimos probably has some form of bare bones interface for this that the rest of us haven't seen yet. Rather than banning I think we need to have the 'mute' feature in place, basically prevents accounts from doing anything than passively reading for some period of time. This is also likely to be manual promotion, and much more selective. It's the kind of power you only grant to chill, level-headed people and must keep out of the hands of power-trippers. Bailiffs might also be able to revoke a user's access to comment labels, if they abuse them for some reason.

      Judge - (not part of trust system). These people can actually ban users from the site. I expect this will remain Deimos-only for a very long time, and we really shouldn't need that many people with this power. Bailiffs can escalate problematic users who don't reform from being muted to this level, and the judges will decide if a ban is warranted.

      That right there could probably get us up into half a million users before it starts to creak. The majority of the work is done by comment labels. It isn't as ideal as a fully automated trust system but it is something we can do 'on the fly' as the site grows. It'll also let us work on the evolution of these various 'roles' and their interfaces, logs, feedback mechanisms, etc.

      @Deimos you want to weigh in on this? ;)

      Edit: I just realized we need to slot in thread locking and submission removal/merging here somehow. Could go into bailiff or curator, or have its own role added. Feels more like a curator+ to me - these roles could themselves have their own levels attached.

      Also note that at the moment, this is all sitewide mechanics, not per group which is the goal. We're going to need a lot more users here before there will be enough people to fill all the roles in every group. When the place is busier and we've got the trust system more fully built, presumably we'd cut-over from this scaffolding to the new system, and that would reshuffle the powers of anyone who'd been deputized up to that point from being sitewide to being participation based like everyone else.

      9 votes
      1. [6]
        meghan Link Parent
        Discourse has already figured out the 5 level trust system. Discourse is a new forum software made by the makers of Stack Overflow, my personal example of automated trust....

        Discourse has already figured out the 5 level trust system. Discourse is a new forum software made by the makers of Stack Overflow, my personal example of automated trust.
        https://meta.discourse.org/t/understanding-discourse-trust-levels/90752

        7 votes
        1. [5]
          Amarok Link Parent
          Now that is incredibly handy. I doubt we'd mirror it exactly but having those ideas for metrics and methods is a great starting point when we start thinking about this stuff seriously. @Deimos...

          Now that is incredibly handy. I doubt we'd mirror it exactly but having those ideas for metrics and methods is a great starting point when we start thinking about this stuff seriously. @Deimos you're going to want to bookmark that one! :)

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
            I've always assumed that @Deimos' proposed trust system here was inspired at least in part by StackOverflow (and StackExchange, which I've used) - there are too many similarities for it to be...

            I've always assumed that @Deimos' proposed trust system here was inspired at least in part by StackOverflow (and StackExchange, which I've used) - there are too many similarities for it to be merely a coincidence. I assume he's cherry-picking the best bits from various forums to use in Tildes.

            2 votes
            1. [3]
              Amarok Link Parent
              Honestly I think it all comes from the same place - /r/theoryofreddit and /r/ideasfortheadmins over the last ten years. That's where I get most of my stuff from, and I've never paid much attention...

              Honestly I think it all comes from the same place - /r/theoryofreddit and /r/ideasfortheadmins over the last ten years. That's where I get most of my stuff from, and I've never paid much attention to stackexchange's methods, though I probably should. :p

              I think any community that takes self-governance seriously is likely to hit on these common themes in discussions with the users. They always pop up, but few places really take them seriously and design for it. I think the 'winners' for the next generation of social sites are going to be the ones that shoot for that and hit on working solutions.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
                StackOverflow predates both those subreddits (if by only a few months in the case of /r/IdeasForTheAdmins); it went public in September 2008. It has been doing its thing for quite a long time! I...

                Honestly I think it all comes from the same place - /r/theoryofreddit and /r/ideasfortheadmins over the last ten years.

                StackOverflow predates both those subreddits (if by only a few months in the case of /r/IdeasForTheAdmins); it went public in September 2008. It has been doing its thing for quite a long time! I suspect that, if these ideas were raised on Reddit, they came from people who had used or seen StackOverflow.

                2 votes
                1. meghan Link Parent
                  and even if they weren't in contact, the problems of moderating communities online are pretty universal for any group of people of sufficient size

                  and even if they weren't in contact, the problems of moderating communities online are pretty universal for any group of people of sufficient size

                  3 votes
    2. [3]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Thanks, some good thoughts and concerns. For the trust system, I think the main thing to keep in mind is that we really don't want (or need) to make things over-complicated before it's necessary....

      Thanks, some good thoughts and concerns.

      For the trust system, I think the main thing to keep in mind is that we really don't want (or need) to make things over-complicated before it's necessary. As @Amarok says, there are a lot of possibilities for ways we can use the general concept in a more simplified manner, and we already are in a few ways, like me manually granting permissions for people to re-tag others' posts and edit titles.

      You're right that I'm still the only one that can actually remove posts, but this really isn't an urgent matter right now. I don't know actual stats offhand, but I doubt that I've even removed one post per week on average. Yes, sometimes it takes a few hours for me to remove something, but these really aren't disasters. It's not as though there's major harassment happening and not being dealt with, we just have things like a link to a pirated movie being up for a few hours or a couple people bickering with each other for too long.

      We'll absolutely need better systems as the site grows, but right now it's not growing. It's shrinking.

      As for privacy, and specifically related to showing user history, there are a couple of aspects I try to keep in mind.

      First, there has to be a balance between privacy and functionality. The goal is to maximize privacy as much as is reasonable without significantly hurting functionality. The goal isn't absolute privacy with functionality as the secondary concern, or the site would be very different (such as making all posts anonymous instead of linking them to a username). Changes like hiding user history have negative impacts on functionality. For example, if you can't look at user history, you lose the ability to handle situations like: "wow, @wanda-seldon has been making some excellent ~science posts, what else has she posted?" or "I know that @Amarok had a great post about invite-system changes lately, but I can't remember which thread it was in". That is, hiding user history isn't entirely a positive. It has benefits, but it also has downsides.

      I also think it's important to distinguish between "false privacy" and actual privacy enhancements. For example, hashing the user's account recovery email is real privacy—it makes it impossible for me to see what a user's email address is, and even if Tildes's user data is ever breached, nobody will be able to get any email addresses out of it. And I was able to enhance the privacy of that feature without any negative functionality impact, it still works perfectly fine for the account recovery purpose. However, things like hiding user activity or obscuring all usernames for logged-out users are false privacy. The exact same data (what posts users are making) is still completely available, and likely very easily accessible through other methods. That's just giving an impression of privacy without actually providing it, which can even be harmful because it makes people believe that their information is more private than it really is. It doesn't mean that changes like that should never be done, but that, again, there's a balance to be found.

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        jackson Link Parent
        As for privacy with user history, I absolutely agree. I like being able to see profiles for people who have consistently posted good content. Tildes, however, only shows the 20 most recent posts...

        As for privacy with user history, I absolutely agree. I like being able to see profiles for people who have consistently posted good content.

        Tildes, however, only shows the 20 most recent posts on a profile. While this may be good for privacy, I think having a "best" profile sort could be useful for finding quality posts a user has made. This would be sorted by which posts/comments have received the most votes AND led to the most discussion. That way, if someone frequently posts highly-informative scientific posts, we can easily see those versus their general discussion comments they have elsewhere on the site.

        Another option could potentially be allowing users to set how many posts show on their profile (with a set minimum)

        4 votes
  7. [8]
    tesseractcat Link
    Although I see the reasoning behind allowing people to customize the front page to their interests, rather than showing a default page while logged out, I feel as if there isn't enough activity...

    Although I see the reasoning behind allowing people to customize the front page to their interests, rather than showing a default page while logged out, I feel as if there isn't enough activity for that to be practical just yet. If a new user is interested in tildes, goes to the publicly accessible page, and chooses, for example, ~art and ~food, to view, they may find themselves disappointed due to the lack of observable activity.

    9 votes
    1. [7]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [6]
        Amarok Link Parent
        If picking a topic is too much for someone, then let them move on - they won't be missed. The people who are interested can stick around and grab an invite.

        If picking a topic is too much for someone, then let them move on - they won't be missed. The people who are interested can stick around and grab an invite.

        7 votes
        1. [3]
          nsz Link Parent
          How often do you brows topics? I have done it maybe 3-4 times, I don't think it's a good representation of what actually using the site is like.

          How often do you brows topics?

          I have done it maybe 3-4 times, I don't think it's a good representation of what actually using the site is like.

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            Amarok Link Parent
            Only when I'm catching up on a group's content or in the mood for that group with time to spare (like ~music). Otherwise I bounce between new/active and that's probably 80% of my time on the site...

            Only when I'm catching up on a group's content or in the mood for that group with time to spare (like ~music). Otherwise I bounce between new/active and that's probably 80% of my time on the site - so I'd say that's a fair statement, it's not what using the site is like.

            Is that a problem, though? Seems like it's enough for people to get a taste of what the content is like, and then if they want to 'use' the site, they should sign up, no? Then they get the full redditlike experience and subscriptions.

            4 votes
            1. meghan Link Parent
              I bounce between new and activity and only go in to specific groups to occasionally make a post

              I bounce between new and activity and only go in to specific groups to occasionally make a post

              4 votes
        2. haykam821 Link Parent
          Honestly I think it should stay all-in. The sidebar’s unsubscription is just a little way for the user to say, “oh, I don’t really like this. I’m gonna unsub.”

          Honestly I think it should stay all-in. The sidebar’s unsubscription is just a little way for the user to say, “oh, I don’t really like this. I’m gonna unsub.”

          2 votes
        3. Maven Link Parent
          Yeah, I agree. UI shouldn't be obnoxious, but being asked to click a single button to accept the default is so trivial that anyone who fails it doesn't belong here.

          Yeah, I agree. UI shouldn't be obnoxious, but being asked to click a single button to accept the default is so trivial that anyone who fails it doesn't belong here.

    2. Deimos Link Parent
      Yeah, the activity level might be a bit too low at the moment to make it reasonable. I probably need to look at some of the groups more specifically and see how it looks if people do things that...

      Yeah, the activity level might be a bit too low at the moment to make it reasonable. I probably need to look at some of the groups more specifically and see how it looks if people do things that way, but just having an all-groups view by default might be reasonable until the site's activity starts increasing more.

      It's a tricky balance though, because it means that if particular groups start making up a lot of the activity when they're not something that the viewer is interested in (something like ~games perhaps), that would actively drive viewers away from the site since they have no way of avoiding content they aren't interested in.

      7 votes
  8. [8]
    anowlcalledjosh Link
    Sounds like a good idea. I do like the idea of not having a default front page; hopefully that will help to emphasize how Tildes isn't just another reddit clone. I'll probably go through my...

    Sounds like a good idea. I do like the idea of not having a default front page; hopefully that will help to emphasize how Tildes isn't just another reddit clone.

    I'll probably go through my history and check I haven't posted anything stupid before this happens - it's not entirely related, but it's a bit awkward having to go through posts and topics separately (since "recent activity" isn't paginated). Is there any particular reason for that?

    8 votes
    1. [6]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      What's the difference between the thousands of unknown strangers on Tildes seeing what you posted, and thousands of unknown strangers not on Tildes seeing what you posted?

      I'll probably go through my history and check I haven't posted anything stupid before this happens

      What's the difference between the thousands of unknown strangers on Tildes seeing what you posted, and thousands of unknown strangers not on Tildes seeing what you posted?

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        meghan Link Parent
        Even if Tildes had millions of users, what I say on here is on Tildes, not on Google, or Bing, or search engines. That would change if we went public. The main thing being, other than individual...

        Even if Tildes had millions of users, what I say on here is on Tildes, not on Google, or Bing, or search engines. That would change if we went public. The main thing being, other than individual scrapers, when Tildes dies my content will to and I'd love for it to stay that way. But I do want Tildes to grow and I support whatever that looks like.

        9 votes
        1. JackA Link Parent
          I agree, my biggest concern is having all of Tildes search indexed and archived. I'm not sure if there is even a practical way to stop that though.

          I agree, my biggest concern is having all of Tildes search indexed and archived. I'm not sure if there is even a practical way to stop that though.

          1 vote
      2. [3]
        Parameter Link Parent
        I may say something more honest even if it appears controversial in isolation around people I can trust not to take me out of context. Just another perspective, I'm not particularly bothered by...

        I may say something more honest even if it appears controversial in isolation around people I can trust not to take me out of context.

        Just another perspective, I'm not particularly bothered by the idea.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          Can you really trust all 7,600+ registered users of Tildes?

          people I can trust not to take me out of context.

          Can you really trust all 7,600+ registered users of Tildes?

          2 votes
          1. Parameter (edited ) Link Parent
            Definitely the first 7000. All bets are off for the remaining 600.

            Definitely the first 7000. All bets are off for the remaining 600.

            13 votes
    2. Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
      Just that paginating individual types of posts is easy but paginating a "mixed" page is a little harder and needs extra work. I've been meaning to finish that up for months though, so I should...

      it's not entirely related, but it's a bit awkward having to go through posts and topics separately (since "recent activity" isn't paginated). Is there any particular reason for that?

      Just that paginating individual types of posts is easy but paginating a "mixed" page is a little harder and needs extra work. I've been meaning to finish that up for months though, so I should probably just do it.

      3 votes
  9. [3]
    umbrae Link
    I’m going to be the shitty product guy and mention a few things: Have you thought about SEO at all? I feel like tildes will naturally be really well suited for this but I’m not sure if bot engines...

    I’m going to be the shitty product guy and mention a few things:

    1. Have you thought about SEO at all? I feel like tildes will naturally be really well suited for this but I’m not sure if bot engines will be able to find all posts for example.

    2. I feel like if things are invite only with no way to even express interest you’ll lose a lot of potentially great users. Have you considered some sort of way to let folks in without a direct connection - like a submission form or something that would go into an invite requests community where existing users could choose if they want to provide an invite for a person? Or you could do the SA forums thing and allow access if folks pay 5 dollars. I know that’s complex both logistically and from a community standpoint though.

    3. I wonder if you should let people create read only accounts if only so they can keep their themes or preferences? That could also allow them to post only to an invite requests community or something.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Nothing shitty there, thanks for the suggestions. I haven't thought much about SEO specifically, but since almost everything is pretty basic/semantic HTML I think the site should be very easy to...

      Nothing shitty there, thanks for the suggestions.

      1. I haven't thought much about SEO specifically, but since almost everything is pretty basic/semantic HTML I think the site should be very easy to scrape. There are some more things I should probably do like adding <link rel="canonical"> tags to pages where that's appropriate, but that's all pretty minor. Is there anything you can think of offhand that I should make sure to do?
      2. The invite system definitely needs to improve and get easier, both for requesting as well as fulfilling. I'll likely make it more obvious that people can email for an invite anyway, but finding some way to do it through the site itself would be interesting too. Being able to pay for an invite is something I'd ideally like to stay away from unless other methods really aren't working, I think it has the potential to add some ugly dynamics between users when some paid to get in but others didn't need to.
      3. The theme choice is already done using a cookie (partially so that it would be possible for logged-out users to change), so there's already a bit of this but it could be possible to do more. The idea of a read-only account is pretty interesting, though it would probably need to be done carefully to avoid issues with username-squatting. I'll definitely think about that more, thanks.
      8 votes
      1. umbrae (edited ) Link Parent
        Yeah from what I recall the markup is great, I expect it will be super scrapable. What I was mainly curious about is if history goes back infinitely in listings or if like reddit there’s a...
        1. Yeah from what I recall the markup is great, I expect it will be super scrapable. What I was mainly curious about is if history goes back infinitely in listings or if like reddit there’s a pagination limit. I guess you could also think about if external links have nofollow so that folks are not incentivized to spam here for backlink reputation, etc. Maybe meta descriptions to make the preview in search results look good if they don’t already exist? I’m mobile for the next few days so can’t check on this easily, sorry if you’ve already done all of it. Edit: also make sure you’re using 301s for any permanent redirects and not 302s?

        2. Yeah I could see squatting being an issue. Maybe read only accounts could be culled after six months of inactivity? I know that also introduces complexity. You could also just introduce that as “policy” and not actually write code for it yet. I think this probably is one of those situations where worrying too much about it before you hit scale might be time less well spent. I do think allowing a way for users to express interest or engage lightly before becoming full users is really important. I think one example of this is lobste.rs which although cool I imagine is not close to the size that tildes could be, and they are invite only without any soft user system.

        Edited to add: yeah I agree about the payment thing. I only added it as another mechanic I could think of although I agree it’s problematic in a bunch of ways.

        4 votes
  10. [3]
    dubteedub (edited ) Link
    It sounds like a great idea to me to have the site be publicly viewable. Things seem to have been going well for the last couple months with everyone happily using the site as intended and no...

    It sounds like a great idea to me to have the site be publicly viewable. Things seem to have been going well for the last couple months with everyone happily using the site as intended and no recent growing pain events that I can recall.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Amarok Link Parent
      We have like what, ten? twenty? bans in total? Frankly for almost 8k users that's an outstanding track record, and I think it proves something vital. All we did, for almost all of these accounts,...

      We have like what, ten? twenty? bans in total? Frankly for almost 8k users that's an outstanding track record, and I think it proves something vital. All we did, for almost all of these accounts, was just a quick little trip through the user's reddit posts looking for raving lunatics. We didn't send the loons any invites, and even then, we didn't reject many people because there weren't many loons asking in the first place.

      Trust matters. A user's track record matters. Not the content, just the civility.

      7 votes
      1. dubteedub Link Parent
        Yup, I think it shows a great levelnofnteuat in the community. The only person i havent sent an invite too that asked for one was that had all caps PM ME YOUR whatever username.

        Yup, I think it shows a great levelnofnteuat in the community. The only person i havent sent an invite too that asked for one was that had all caps PM ME YOUR whatever username.

        1 vote
  11. [9]
    Bauke Link
    Glad to know things are happening, it has been quiet for a little while. :P Are there any plans to anonymize certain things and restrict profiles to logged in users? (And similar mechanics like that?)

    Glad to know things are happening, it has been quiet for a little while. :P

    Are there any plans to anonymize certain things and restrict profiles to logged in users? (And similar mechanics like that?)

    5 votes
    1. [8]
      Deimos Link Parent
      Nothing specific, but there also aren't really a lot of options for things that would make sense to restrict or anonymize at this point. I think it might be good to keep it so that logged-out...

      Nothing specific, but there also aren't really a lot of options for things that would make sense to restrict or anonymize at this point. I think it might be good to keep it so that logged-out users can only see the "Recent Activity" section of a user page and not be able to look back through a user's entire history, but that's not really a very significant restriction in the end.

      4 votes
      1. [7]
        InegroMontoya Link Parent
        For POC on here, how can I create a community that focuses on POC issues. As it exists right now, the default subs are more general. Do you plan on allowing for the creation of personal subs?

        For POC on here, how can I create a community that focuses on POC issues. As it exists right now, the default subs are more general. Do you plan on allowing for the creation of personal subs?

        1 vote
        1. bee Link Parent
          I think Deimos has said that niche subs will come with a larger user-base. The goal currently is to not have a single sub that is too niche it results in low activity.

          I think Deimos has said that niche subs will come with a larger user-base. The goal currently is to not have a single sub that is too niche it results in low activity.

          4 votes
        2. [5]
          Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
          There are no specific plans to allow users to create their own groups. I'd like to have the ability to request the creation of groups more easily eventually, but it will probably take a long time...

          There are no specific plans to allow users to create their own groups. I'd like to have the ability to request the creation of groups more easily eventually, but it will probably take a long time before the activity level is high enough to justify creating a lot of new groups regularly.

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            InegroMontoya Link Parent
            But then if you're only waiting for the userbase to be large enough to justify "niche" subs as you say that serves minority representation, you're going to end up with the same problem on reddit.

            But then if you're only waiting for the userbase to be large enough to justify "niche" subs as you say that serves minority representation, you're going to end up with the same problem on reddit.

            1. [3]
              Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
              Which "same problem" is that? You'll need to be specific: there are a lot of problems on Reddit.

              you're going to end up with the same problem on reddit.

              Which "same problem" is that? You'll need to be specific: there are a lot of problems on Reddit.

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                InegroMontoya Link Parent
                The drowning effect that happens when internet communities go public and then when other demographics that aren't considered the default (straight white men) pop up, they get either brigaded or...

                The drowning effect that happens when internet communities go public and then when other demographics that aren't considered the default (straight white men) pop up, they get either brigaded or drowned out by the "default demographic" because they are always considered an after thought or just a glancing curiosity.

                2 votes
                1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
                  If you want non-"default" people here, then you can invite them yourself. You have invite codes; use them to invite people you want to see represented here. If you want more invite codes, Deimos...

                  If you want non-"default" people here, then you can invite them yourself. You have invite codes; use them to invite people you want to see represented here. If you want more invite codes, Deimos basically hands them out for free to anyone who asks. You might also be interested in reading this old thread about recruiting minority voices.

                  If you want to see specific issues discussed here, then post topics about those issues. Find articles or blogs or videos that raise the issues you want to see discussed here, and post them. I'm Australian, and I'm sick of seeing American news be the default, so I'm making sure to post Australian content here, so that my "people" are represented. You can do the same thing for your "people" and their issues.

                  As for creating a group just for people of colour, you'll just have to wait like the rest of us for Deimos to post another group suggestions thread like this one. Deimos has stated that he doesn't want Tildes to be too fragmented too quickly, which is why he doesn't want users rushing to create dozens or scores of groups too quickly.

                  5 votes
  12. [2]
    mrbig (edited ) Link
    I'm very happy with the decision to partially open up the site, as I feel that Tildes really need the influx of people and content. It won't be as cozy, but I think it's necessary.

    I'm very happy with the decision to partially open up the site, as I feel that Tildes really need the influx of people and content. It won't be as cozy, but I think it's necessary.

    5 votes
    1. Amarok Link Parent
      I think the root groups of the hierarchies will get less 'cozy' - but as the sub groups start to take off, the cozy will follow with them, probably forever. Cozy will end up being a function of...

      I think the root groups of the hierarchies will get less 'cozy' - but as the sub groups start to take off, the cozy will follow with them, probably forever. Cozy will end up being a function of how far down any given hierarchy you go. It'll always be peaceful at the bottom, just like in the quiet 10k-or-less user subs on reddit.

      7 votes
  13. CrazyOtter Link
    I'm really happy tildes is going to be publicly visible soon, that should help with encouraging more people to join. At the moment we are asking people to make a decent time investment (by...

    I'm really happy tildes is going to be publicly visible soon, that should help with encouraging more people to join. At the moment we are asking people to make a decent time investment (by internet standards) with no real indication of quality other than promises from current users.

    Obviously we should all do a real advertising push once the site becomes visible. Anywhere that you use that has decent quality people post a link to tildes.

    5 votes
  14. [10]
    thisonemakesyouthink Link
    Hey @deimos, thank you for taking some time to keep us updated, when it sounds like you're busy. I was nervous at first about going public, but after reading what you have to say I do understand...

    Hey @deimos, thank you for taking some time to keep us updated, when it sounds like you're busy. I was nervous at first about going public, but after reading what you have to say I do understand the reasoning and it's your website after all.

    I was also wondering, what kind of common conceptions about the site you're referring to? I'm not really active on r/tildes or anything, and I've seen almost no discussion about tildes anywhere so I wonder who could have misconceptions about us, being a small group and all.

    4 votes
    1. [7]
      Amarok Link Parent
      People who can't see Tildes tend to project onto it and imagine it's what they want it to be, rather than what it is. That can be anything, but the big one we've seen is the expectation that...

      People who can't see Tildes tend to project onto it and imagine it's what they want it to be, rather than what it is. That can be anything, but the big one we've seen is the expectation that Tildes is some kind of 'free speech' website where there won't be any big bad moderators clobbering people who behave badly... and that's kinda the opposite of the truth. Tildes will end up heavily moderated, but hopefully, by the individual communities and tens of thousands of mods, using multiple 'roles' and some separation-of-powers to prevent moderation from turning into the shitshow it's become on reddit for all involved, especially the mods themselves. :)

      8 votes
      1. [6]
        thisonemakesyouthink Link Parent
        We've already seen several people banned for pushing their strong views aggressively. Strange why you would think that. Anyone who is looking for a website built on the promise of lax moderation -...

        We've already seen several people banned for pushing their strong views aggressively. Strange why you would think that. Anyone who is looking for a website built on the promise of lax moderation - and on the promise of being discussion based... will never find a website that suits their needs.

        5 votes
        1. [3]
          Amarok Link Parent
          Heh, I've been pro-mod ever since I became one in like 2001 so I never thought that, but boy is it ever common on reddit. The mod-hate over there has reached 'moderation is never a good idea'...

          Heh, I've been pro-mod ever since I became one in like 2001 so I never thought that, but boy is it ever common on reddit. The mod-hate over there has reached 'moderation is never a good idea' levels, and honestly I can't even blame people for thinking that way.

          I don't think such a thing as an 'unmoderated forum' is even possible - it's a pink unicorn, a fairy tale. Even 4chan has some moderation. Every place I've seen that tries to do without mods becomes a juvenile shitshow over time as it gets bigger - just look at the content on notabug.io. My heart goes out to poor g0ldfish, because he's determined to learn that lesson the hardest way there is.

          7 votes
          1. frickindeal Link Parent
            I was admin for a small, invite-only forum for a niche (at the time) subject, and we had originally planned on moderation being very lax because "hey, we're all pretty much friends." It didn't...

            I was admin for a small, invite-only forum for a niche (at the time) subject, and we had originally planned on moderation being very lax because "hey, we're all pretty much friends." It didn't work out very well at all. At our height, we had a mod level at 5% of users (a huge amount; think about a 5 million member subreddit having 250K mods), with additional admins. I really don't believe any group of people on the internet can exist without at least some moderation.

            8 votes
          2. thisonemakesyouthink Link Parent
            4chan has some moderation, but still very little and look at that shitshow. Everything is either porn, sexist, or racist for the most part. I believe voat also has no moderation, and is also a...

            4chan has some moderation, but still very little and look at that shitshow. Everything is either porn, sexist, or racist for the most part. I believe voat also has no moderation, and is also a hellhole. Anything unmoderated will just be flooded with the scum of society, looking for a place to fit in. Anyone hoping for no moderation has no idea what they just wished for.

            5 votes
        2. [2]
          Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          The "we" who have seen people banned are people who are already users of Tildes. Non-users of Tildes who can't see what's going on here have no idea what's happening. That allows them, as @Amarok...

          We've already seen several people banned for pushing their strong views aggressively. Strange why you would think that.

          The "we" who have seen people banned are people who are already users of Tildes. Non-users of Tildes who can't see what's going on here have no idea what's happening. That allows them, as @Amarok rightly says (and as I've said before), to project their own personal vision of a perfect forum on to the blank "Tildes is currently in invite-only alpha" page.

          5 votes
          1. thisonemakesyouthink Link Parent
            Ah sure, I'm looking at it from an insiders perspective, but yeah that's why an open site could probably work.

            Ah sure, I'm looking at it from an insiders perspective, but yeah that's why an open site could probably work.

            4 votes
    2. [2]
      Algernon_Asimov (edited ) Link Parent
      Here's a recent example of these misconceptions in action. People assume that Tildes is a full replacement for Reddit, and will have all the same types of content that Reddit currently does -...

      what kind of common conceptions about the site you're referring to?

      Here's a recent example of these misconceptions in action. People assume that Tildes is a full replacement for Reddit, and will have all the same types of content that Reddit currently does - which is not true.

      EDIT: Fixed the link.

      4 votes
      1. thisonemakesyouthink Link Parent
        Hm... strange. I came to tildes because of the promise of it being not like reddit, and promoting discussion. Why would you want just another reddit? Just... use reddit?

        Hm... strange. I came to tildes because of the promise of it being not like reddit, and promoting discussion. Why would you want just another reddit? Just... use reddit?

        5 votes
  15. [5]
    Octofox Link
    Publicly visible is IMO the best thing for a website and it mirrors how one of my favourite websites lobste.rs works. Often I want to link friends to things i see here and I have to take a...

    Publicly visible is IMO the best thing for a website and it mirrors how one of my favourite websites lobste.rs works. Often I want to link friends to things i see here and I have to take a screenshot of it which isn't ideal. TBH I don't think the website should ever be open to signups without invites because every website I have seen that does that has gone to shit after a while. Reddit is totally unusable for me these days.

    4 votes
    1. [4]
      cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      Yeah, I am honestly starting to lean pretty heavily towards wanting it to remain invite-only forever too. Public registration makes holding people accountable for their behavior so much harder, if...

      Yeah, I am honestly starting to lean pretty heavily towards wanting it to remain invite-only forever too. Public registration makes holding people accountable for their behavior so much harder, if not impossible, especially with pseudo-anonymity in the mix. The trust system sounds great in theory but that's all it really is at this point and even with a trust system a whole bunch of other issues, like harassment, are still impossible to effectively punish and prevent from reoccurring with public registration since making new accounts is so trivial.... whereas with invite-only, at least when you ban someone you can be reasonably certain they will remain gone unless they manage to get another invite. That won't stop any really determined individuals from continuing to rejoin the site and misbehave, but it does raise the barrier to entry which should significantly reduce the frequency.

      edit: Or perhaps a healthy mix can also be achieved somehow, like with invite-only accounts tied to the trust system but limited time access/probationary periods for publicly registered accounts. Either way, totally open registration like on reddit is something I am wary of.

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        Octofox Link Parent
        Invite only also totally kills low effort trolling. I was a reddit mod once and there is always at least 1 person who will troll non stop and banning is useless because it takes them 20 seconds to...

        Invite only also totally kills low effort trolling. I was a reddit mod once and there is always at least 1 person who will troll non stop and banning is useless because it takes them 20 seconds to sign up again and start again. With an invite system once you are banned its hard to come back and if someone is reinviting them you can ban that account as well.

        8 votes
        1. Amarok Link Parent
          We solved this problem in /r/listentothis by having automod instantly remove all comments by accounts under six months of age. This hits regular new users too, but the mods are always browsing...

          We solved this problem in /r/listentothis by having automod instantly remove all comments by accounts under six months of age. This hits regular new users too, but the mods are always browsing threads so we just reapprove any not-shit comments that get caught in the crossfire. There really aren't that many since the 'defaults' got the axe.

          5 votes
      2. Amarok Link Parent
        I'm slowly coming around that way myself - and mostly because I'm seeing more and more ways that invites can be done. Invite only doesn't necessarily have to mean exclusive. Just the last couple...

        I'm slowly coming around that way myself - and mostly because I'm seeing more and more ways that invites can be done. Invite only doesn't necessarily have to mean exclusive. Just the last couple days we're talking about a lurker conversion system, guest posting accounts/threads for amas, invite links - and we haven't really been thinking about this in the context of finding new ways to invite people. Nobody does this, nobody thinks like this - it's a fresh problem space. Why does everything have to be open-reg or behind an iron wall of hard to get invites? Surely there's a middle ground there. Maybe we can find it. :D

        6 votes
  16. [5]
    rickdg Link
    Will a user's recent activity be publicly visible? I'd prefer it wouldn't be.

    Will a user's recent activity be publicly visible? I'd prefer it wouldn't be.

    3 votes
    1. Deimos Link Parent
      It probably will be, at least initially. It's something I think about a lot, and I'm not totally sure what I want to end up doing over the long term. The thing that makes it the most difficult is...

      It probably will be, at least initially. It's something I think about a lot, and I'm not totally sure what I want to end up doing over the long term. The thing that makes it the most difficult is that it's kind of a one-way door: if I add the ability for people to restrict the visibility of their activity (or do it by default), after that point I can probably never reverse that decision, even if it turns out to have been a bad choice. It's fine to give people more privacy options in the future, but I should never take existing ones away and expose information that a user had previously believed was private.

      Overall though—and this will probably sound cold, but it's just the nature of sites like this—if you're not comfortable with people being able to see things that you've posted, you shouldn't post them. Even if the user page didn't exist, once the site is publicly visible people will be able to search Google for things like rickdg site:tildes.net and find most or all of your comments. If Tildes adds comment search in the future, they'd be able to use that to find all of them too. Eventually, other people will surely start scraping all Tildes comments (especially once there's an API) and they'll be able to be looked up elsewhere. Being able to just click on your username to see your recent comments is more convenient, but the possibility to get the same information will always be there, and there's no possible way to prevent it.

      10 votes
    2. [3]
      cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      https://tildes.net/~tildes.official/4cc/your_own_user_page_now_has_paginated_topics_and_comments_views_lets_talk_about_user_history I have no idea what was ultimately decided regarding that...

      https://tildes.net/~tildes.official/4cc/your_own_user_page_now_has_paginated_topics_and_comments_views_lets_talk_about_user_history

      I have no idea what was ultimately decided regarding that though. I personally like kat's idea of publicly visible account history being a user setting where "length of time" could be set by the individual. However I also agree with Gaywallet in having a minimum visible length (e.g. 3-6 months?), since having absolutely no visible history makes it incredibly difficult/impossible to moderate effectively because without it you can't look for patterns of behavior (or misbehavior).

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        Amarok Link Parent
        Having a 'user report card' would help strike a balance, giving mods something to go off of without having so much history there. It's not unlike what modtools does on reddit - people will add...

        Having a 'user report card' would help strike a balance, giving mods something to go off of without having so much history there. It's not unlike what modtools does on reddit - people will add that with extensions anyway, so we may as well bake it in.

        5 votes
        1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
          Which is good philosophy in general (with some caveats, of course).

          people will add that with extensions anyway, so we may as well bake it in.

          Which is good philosophy in general (with some caveats, of course).

          3 votes
  17. [3]
    StellarTabi Link
    Can we have a feature/user option where "only logged-in users can see my username and post history" and/or a feature where I can disassociate my username from a comment (as far as non-moderators...

    Can we have a feature/user option where "only logged-in users can see my username and post history" and/or a feature where I can disassociate my username from a comment (as far as non-moderators can tell).

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
      We talked about that before in other threads - tiered access to user history. People who aren't logged in would get no access to user profiles. Low trust users would get a couple pages of...

      We talked about that before in other threads - tiered access to user history.

      1. People who aren't logged in would get no access to user profiles.
      2. Low trust users would get a couple pages of posts/comments.
      3. Higher trust users would get expanded access (likely several months or a year).
      4. Mod/enforcement-level users might get a lot more and search capability in a user's history.

      We might be overthinking this with so many levels. I do like the idea of users without accounts being unable to view a user's history, though - and I'd like to see that. It'd lock scrapers out, including most search engines. Even if results came back, people without accounts wouldn't be able to view them clicking on the search links. Sure, someone on Tildes could archive it all somehow to external sites, but we don't have to make it easy for them.

      As for anonymous posting and disassociating comments, that's going to happen, but only for users in good standing - newer accounts won't have it, or will have more restrictive versions of it.

      For myself, I'd use it if I were making a comment that contained personally identifiable information such as stories about a town where I grew up, or other anecdotes. I don't mind sharing that sort of thing, but if I make enough of those comments it'll be possible to tell where I live. If they are disassociated, everyone can still get the value and I don't end up unintentionally identifying myself over time.

      3 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        Or, just do like I do, and don't post those anecdotes in the first place - or scrub them free of identifying information if you do. Noone needs to know I grew up in the town of Upper Kumbukta West...

        I'd use it if I were making a comment that contained personally identifiable information such as stories about a town where I grew up, or other anecdotes. I don't mind sharing that sort of thing, but if I make enough of those comments it'll be possible to tell where I live.

        Or, just do like I do, and don't post those anecdotes in the first place - or scrub them free of identifying information if you do. Noone needs to know I grew up in the town of Upper Kumbukta West in order for me to share my childhood memories.

  18. [15]
    DivestTrump Link
    Any plans on working with keybase to verify accounts?

    Any plans on working with keybase to verify accounts?

    1 vote
    1. [3]
      Deimos Link Parent
      It's not something I was particularly planning to do, but I could add an issue to GitLab to look into setting it up. Is it something you're experienced with and think would be useful?

      It's not something I was particularly planning to do, but I could add an issue to GitLab to look into setting it up. Is it something you're experienced with and think would be useful?

      1 vote
      1. chromakode Link Parent
        Looks like support for this may be coming on Keybase's side in the near future: https://github.com/keybase/keybase-issues/issues/2948#issuecomment-432343460 I think that as it stands, this would...

        Looks like support for this may be coming on Keybase's side in the near future: https://github.com/keybase/keybase-issues/issues/2948#issuecomment-432343460

        I think that as it stands, this would mainly benefit Keybase users and power users. Keybase's verification system is awesome for individuals to stake their claim on their identities across the internet. For a public discussion site where you interact with a large fanout of personas the benefit is limited because Keybase can only provide strong guarantees for the people you've been tracking. Keybase can also provide signals that an account looks legit-ish in the form of links to other established accounts, but that can be accomplished via a myriad of other on-platform means.

        If it's easy I'd say go for it, but it primarily solves identity problems off-site rather than inside communities. The mistaken identity / griefing problem @Algernon_Asimov discusses elsewhere in this thread is a risk many of us have experienced (hi, reddit.com/u/chromadoke) and would need design solutions beyond supporting Keybase proofs.

        5 votes
      2. DivestTrump Link Parent
        I have found it useful. I wish I knew about it before deleting my accounts on reddit, but no biggie. I may be in the minority, who would actually use it, but it might ease the transition for some.

        I have found it useful. I wish I knew about it before deleting my accounts on reddit, but no biggie. I may be in the minority, who would actually use it, but it might ease the transition for some.

        1 vote
    2. [11]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      What does "verifying accounts" mean in this context? What hoops are you expecting users to jump through for this verification, and what are the benefits to you?

      What does "verifying accounts" mean in this context? What hoops are you expecting users to jump through for this verification, and what are the benefits to you?

      1 vote
      1. Deimos Link Parent
        Here's @chromakode's account on Keybase (since I know he's linked a lot of accounts to it, so it's a good example): https://keybase.io/chromakode All of the items near the avatar are an account on...

        Here's @chromakode's account on Keybase (since I know he's linked a lot of accounts to it, so it's a good example): https://keybase.io/chromakode

        All of the items near the avatar are an account on different sites (Twitter, Reddit, GitHub, etc.) that he's proven belong to him, so people can use that if they want to verify that a specific account really is his. It's just an (optional) way to verify your identity across different platforms.

        5 votes
      2. DivestTrump Link Parent
        The main purpose is to verify a user on platform A is the same user on platform B. Most people on reddit prefer anonymity, but username availability doesn't always line up.

        The main purpose is to verify a user on platform A is the same user on platform B. Most people on reddit prefer anonymity, but username availability doesn't always line up.

        4 votes
      3. [8]
        talklittle Link Parent
        So people with a high-profile username across sites can prove it's them and not an impostor. Keybase verification usually involves posting some kind of randomly generated string on a page or...

        So people with a high-profile username across sites can prove it's them and not an impostor. Keybase verification usually involves posting some kind of randomly generated string on a page or comment controlled by that user account.

        3 votes
        1. [7]
          Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          I'm still not understanding in practical terms what I would be required to do to verify myself on Tildes. Do I have to give my real name? Send a copy of my birth certificate? Claim a copyright on...

          I'm still not understanding in practical terms what I would be required to do to verify myself on Tildes. Do I have to give my real name? Send a copy of my birth certificate? Claim a copyright on "Algernon_Asimov" and variations thereof? What would I be required to do?

          And how that would benefit other users here? What's the benefit to you, for example, in knowing that I have verified my account? Do you get any added value from knowing that the "Algernon_Asimov" account on Tildes is being operated by the same person as the "Algernon_Asimov" accounts on Reddit and StackExchange?

          1. [6]
            DivestTrump Link Parent
            You register on keybase and link your account. On twitter, you tweet a specific message and you're verified. Not sure how it works on reddit, but the goal is just to prove you're the same person...

            You register on keybase and link your account. On twitter, you tweet a specific message and you're verified. Not sure how it works on reddit, but the goal is just to prove you're the same person on multiple accounts, not provide your actual identity. You can link facebook, but that's your choice.

            2 votes
            1. [4]
              Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
              I don't use Twitter, and I would NEVER EVER EVER link my real name on Facebook to this pseudonymous account (there's a reason it says "Algernon" and not my real name!). That eliminates me! You'll...

              I don't use Twitter, and I would NEVER EVER EVER link my real name on Facebook to this pseudonymous account (there's a reason it says "Algernon" and not my real name!). That eliminates me!

              You'll have to just assume I'm an impostor. :)

              But thank you for the explanation.

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                Eva Link Parent
                Your usecase would probably be linking your Tildes account to your reddit one.

                Your usecase would probably be linking your Tildes account to your reddit one.

                1 vote
                1. [2]
                  Algernon_Asimov (edited ) Link Parent
                  Actually, rather than proving this account is me, I'd rather be able to prove that other accounts are not me. Back in the day, I used to attract a lot of trolls and trouble-makers on Reddit due to...

                  Actually, rather than proving this account is me, I'd rather be able to prove that other accounts are not me.

                  Back in the day, I used to attract a lot of trolls and trouble-makers on Reddit due to my visible moderation style. One of their tricks was to create fake accounts to troll me. For example, some people created accounts like /u/Algernon_Is_A_Fag (if only they knew!). But one sophisticated stalker decided to create look-alike accounts such as /u/AIgernon_Asimov and /u/Algernom_Asimov, and then posted in a subreddit I moderated, pretending to be me - which caused a lot of confusion!

                  Then someone else went off to another website and created an "Algernon_Asimov" account there with derogatory information (why do these people think I'll be insulted at being called gay? haha), and linked that website on Reddit. That was when I went around a few forums and created "Algernon_Asimov" accounts just to prevent other people nabbing them.

                  When I signed up to Tildes, I asked Deimos if I could squat on @AlgernonAsimov for that very reason (he said yes).

                  So, rather than being able to prove an account is me, I'd rather be able to prove an account is not me (or just squat on it so it can't be used).

                  6 votes
                  1. meghan Link Parent
                    That was the original goal of Twitter Verification, but getting the implementation right is hard. Because its a problem that takes more than just code.

                    That was the original goal of Twitter Verification, but getting the implementation right is hard. Because its a problem that takes more than just code.

                    3 votes
            2. Parameter Link Parent
              Is it correct that in the event of getting hacked you could verify your identity with various sites assuming you retain control of the keybase credentials?

              Is it correct that in the event of getting hacked you could verify your identity with various sites assuming you retain control of the keybase credentials?

              1 vote