It's been a while since we had a topic to generally discuss potential site mechanics, and this is one that I've been thinking about quite a bit lately, so I thought it could make a good discussion.
This recent "Suggestions regarding Clickbait and misinformation" topic originally started me thinking about this, because a lot of the potential ways of dealing with those kind of topics involve modifying link topics in some way—changing their link to point somewhere else, editing the title, adding additional links, etc. However, one thing I've noticed on the (rare) occasions where I've performed those kind of actions is that some people are extremely protective of the posts they submitted, and can get upset about even minor title edits because it's changing their post. Some users have deleted their posts after they were changed, because they didn't like the change.
So... what if we made it so that link topics don't really "belong" to any user in particular? We'd absolutely still want a record of who originally submitted the post to be able to notice behaviors like spamming certain domains, but other than that, if it's a good link/story, does it matter much which user submitted it?
Here are more unorganized, general thoughts about some of the things this might affect and would need to be considered:
- Text posts would remain as-is, since in that case the submitter is also the author/source of the post.
- On that note, it could be a bit weird to lose the connection in cases like a user submitting their own content (such as a blog post that they wrote). Maybe we'd need some way to indicate that, through a standardized tag or something (or even a checkbox when submitting)?
- Are there other cases where the submitter is important and associated with the content?
- We could use the space in topic listings where the submitter's username is currently displayed to show different, more relevant data instead. For example, maybe the domain could move into that space instead of being after the title in parentheses, or it could display other info like the name of the actual author of the linked content, the channel name for YouTube videos, etc.
- If the submitter no longer owns the post, they'd probably no longer have control of deleting it. When could that be an issue?
- How would this affect user pages? Should links that the user originally submitted still be visible there, even if they're no longer considered posts that the user "owns"?
Please let me know any thoughts on the overall idea, any of the above questions, and also feel free to point out other aspects of it that I've surely missed.
(And unrelated, but I've bumped everyone back up to having 5 invite codes available, which you can get from the invite page. I'm still working towards making the site publicly-visible fairly soon, and will hopefully post more info about that before long.)