146 votes

Daily Tildes discussion - why should we allow (or not allow) fluff content?

Alright, unfortunately I'm going to have to be a grumpy old guy, but it looks like we're going to need to make this decision already. There have been a few "cute animal" images posted over the last couple of days, and yesterday we had a request for a devoted group for it.

So today, I think we need to decide if we want a devoted group, or if we should just disallow this type of content entirely. My personal inclination is that it shouldn't be allowed at all, but I'm open to discussing it. Unfortunately I need to go out for a while shortly so I can't write up too much right now, but here are some quick thoughts on why I feel like we shouldn't allow it:

  • One of the main objectives of Tildes was to prioritize high-quality content. By the very nature of this, it means we're going to have to take a stand against some things that don't represent what we want the site to become.
  • Cute animal content is pretty much the definition of "lowest common denominator". Almost everybody enjoys seeing a cute photo/gif, and that's why it tends to dominate almost every platform it's on. It appeals to a very wide range of people, so it attracts more votes/attention. This is also why we can't really trust "a lot of people want fluff content"—of course they do. We need to make the decision based on whether allowing it is good for Tildes overall, not whether it has wide appeal.
  • It has practically zero discussion value. About the only comments people can make on those sorts of posts are "aww cute", or "lol, goofy dog". Yes, there's a very, very slim possibility that you might get something like "this type of bird has an interesting migration pattern", but if that's the case, a better original post would have been that information in the first place.
  • Being harsh about what we want to allow is probably most important while the site is in this sort of small/invite-only phase. One of the main important aspects of this phase is that we need to build up a strong base culture. That way, when the site starts to grow, people will be coming into a place with an established culture and norms, not a complete free-for-all. So if we want to have a high-quality site, I think it's important to establish that very early.
  • If we're not certain what the right answer is, it's much better to disallow it now and eventually relent later, than to allow it now and have to ban established communities in the future.

Let me know what you think, but I think it's important that we decide this very soon so we can be more clear about how we're going forward with this and similar types of content.

188 comments

  1. [14]
    jgb Link
    I would like to see this content disallowed to be honest. As others have said, there's a million and one places online to find cute animals. More importantly, since the site is at such an early...

    I would like to see this content disallowed to be honest.

    As others have said, there's a million and one places online to find cute animals.

    More importantly, since the site is at such an early stage in its growth, every decision made has a big knock-on effect on the site's culture for years to come. Better be strict now, and then allow some slack when there's a concrete enough culture that low-quality content can be effectively 'quarantined'. Ceding ground is a dangerous move.

    141 votes
    1. [2]
      cge Link Parent
      Importantly, I think that fluff is an area where reddit actually functions relatively well. Banning fluff on tildes could provide an important distinction between the two sites.

      As others have said, there's a million and one places online to find cute animals.

      Importantly, I think that fluff is an area where reddit actually functions relatively well. Banning fluff on tildes could provide an important distinction between the two sites.

      62 votes
      1. jgb Link Parent
        Agreed - Reddit is exceptionally good at cute animal pictures. I don't think we can hope to match that ;)

        Agreed - Reddit is exceptionally good at cute animal pictures. I don't think we can hope to match that ;)

        22 votes
    2. [10]
      SourceContribute Link Parent
      Agreed with this though I would establish a quarantine zone immediately; later on if/when new communities can be created through a self-serve process, all fluff communities can be merged into it....

      Better be strict now, and then allow some slack when there's a concrete enough culture that low-quality content can be effectively 'quarantined'.

      Agreed with this though I would establish a quarantine zone immediately; later on if/when new communities can be created through a self-serve process, all fluff communities can be merged into it. This way each piece of fluff is competing against the same type of low-effort content. Sure there will be tags for filtering like "photoshop battle" or "aww" or "lolcats" or whatever; but at least it'll be contained under one community and the competition is between posts rather than between communities (r/aww vs r/photoshopbattles vs r/lolcats).

      6 votes
      1. [9]
        cfabbro Link Parent
        Unfortunately quarantining doesn’t work IMO, since the culture that develops around said content is the underlying problem and spreads regardless. E.g. T_D

        Unfortunately quarantining doesn’t work IMO, since the culture that develops around said content is the underlying problem and spreads regardless. E.g. T_D

        36 votes
        1. [6]
          CareFactorZero Link Parent
          I also agree. Another factor to consider is that because fluff content can be consumed and voted on much faster than let's say an article or a text post, it skews voting in a significant way...

          I also agree. Another factor to consider is that because fluff content can be consumed and voted on much faster than let's say an article or a text post, it skews voting in a significant way unless you explicitly account for less score weight for fluff in your ranking algorithm.

          I believe a few years ago someone did a statistical analysis of reddit on this topic to determine why there was such a drop in quality content on the front page. While the early days had a lot of posts from /r/technology for instance, there was a point where the entirety of the first 4-5 pages of /r/all were advice animals and aww posts.

          EDIT: wow, only saw the 1 hour ago, missed the 122 days on your post.

          11 votes
          1. calcifer Link Parent
            Do you have that link by any chance? Sounds very interesting.

            someone did a statistical analysis of reddit on this topic to determine why there was such a drop in quality content on the front page

            Do you have that link by any chance? Sounds very interesting.

            5 votes
          2. [4]
            cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
            LOL... no worries. That's the beauty of the Activity sort here on Tildes. Old topics that are still interesting can resurface when people discover them and make a new comment which brings the...

            EDIT: wow, only saw the 1 hour ago, missed the 122 days on your post.

            LOL... no worries. That's the beauty of the Activity sort here on Tildes. Old topics that are still interesting can resurface when people discover them and make a new comment which brings the topic back to the top of the sort. ;)

            p.s. I totally agree about fluff being easy to consume and thus faster to vote on being a major issue too... it's one of the reason vote weighting has been discussed for Tildes, to help counteract that issue. And in fact some vote weighting for comments is already in place based on comment tags.

            4 votes
            1. [3]
              DashEquals Link Parent
              I'm new here... but I really like that system! I always felt kinda sad when I left a comment on Reddit a few days after a thread and no one saw it (and worse, they force old threads to die by...

              I'm new here... but I really like that system! I always felt kinda sad when I left a comment on Reddit a few days after a thread and no one saw it (and worse, they force old threads to die by archiving them).

              6 votes
              1. Amarok Link Parent
                It's been pretty clear that reddit's forced 24-hour thread life cycle is a mistake, or at the least, sub-optimal for a lot of content. I can't claim to know what sort of life cycles we'll end up...

                It's been pretty clear that reddit's forced 24-hour thread life cycle is a mistake, or at the least, sub-optimal for a lot of content. I can't claim to know what sort of life cycles we'll end up inventing here for various classes of threads as yet unknown, but clearly there's an entire galaxy of possibilities worth exploring there.

                7 votes
              2. Octofox Link Parent
                I think it potentially allows for better quality discussion because you can leave a comment unreplied for days while you think up a proper response and when you do you can post it and it will be...

                I think it potentially allows for better quality discussion because you can leave a comment unreplied for days while you think up a proper response and when you do you can post it and it will be pushed to the top of the website again and users will return to see all the old comments collapsed and the new content displayed.

                4 votes
        2. [2]
          Tenar Link Parent
          This is quite a late reply but I agree, and it's not just limited to T_D. I think it's largely a question of (shared) culture. I mean how many people actually watch Rick & Morty, vs how many on...

          This is quite a late reply but I agree, and it's not just limited to T_D. I think it's largely a question of (shared) culture. I mean how many people actually watch Rick & Morty, vs how many on reddit will understand "to be fair…" as a(n indirect) R&M reference? Whereas if everything in that general area is known to be off-topic, you're much less likely to get people to even reference it, or if they do they're not encouraged but flagged/downvoted/ignored.

          At least, that's my experience; HN seems to do pretty well on that front, even if they've got their own share of issues.

          3 votes
          1. Octofox Link Parent
            I do like how hacker news strongly discourages fluff comments like someone replying with "Yeah good point" will be downvoted. lobste.rs also discourages this with a downvote reason labelled "me...

            I do like how hacker news strongly discourages fluff comments like someone replying with "Yeah good point" will be downvoted. lobste.rs also discourages this with a downvote reason labelled "me too" meaning a comment adds nothing and simply indicates agreement.

            Its almost a guilty pleasure reading the greyed out comments on HN which usually contain something stupid but make me laugh anyway.

            4 votes
    3. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. Octofox Link Parent
        I think there might be some kind of mental barrier between websites. Perhaps a combination of the layout/colors and site name make you remember where you are and switches your mental context to...

        I think there might be some kind of mental barrier between websites. Perhaps a combination of the layout/colors and site name make you remember where you are and switches your mental context to suit the requirements of your current community. Reddit seems to contain fluff everywhere except on the most insanely strictly moderated subreddits. And on those subs you can see 90% of the comments have been deleted by moderators.

        5 votes
  2. [11]
    cfabbro (edited ) Link
    I am exceptionally torn on this issue. My gut says to deny fluff from taking root on this site (there are plenty of other places people can go for that on the web) but I also understand the...

    I am exceptionally torn on this issue. My gut says to deny fluff from taking root on this site (there are plenty of other places people can go for that on the web) but I also understand the opposite side of the argument.

    IMO, allowing low-effort content to thrive attracts more users to the site who are primary attracted to that sort of content. Those people can be quality contributors, no doubt, but the vast majority of them are unlikely to be.

    This also creates a volume problem in that by their very nature, low-effort easily digestible pictures/gifs outperform more quality, longer-to-digest material such as articles (and even video). This issue can be counteracted through site mechanics, e.g. giving less vote weight to pictures and more to longer form content. However that does not address the systemic cultural problem that comes along with allowing and attracting more users interested in the low-effort content than the high quality content.

    On the other hand, posts like this one, are high quality, valuable contributions to the site IMO, despite being just an album of pictures. So where the line gets drawn is going to be important since we don't want to discourage those types of posts.

    Overall, it's a tough question but I would definitely not see any problem with banning giphy and various other animated gifs as submissions. Allowing them in comments? meh. Everyone needs to joke around occasionally (even me, believe it or not), or this place would get stuffy pretty fast.

    56 votes
    1. SourceContribute Link Parent
      That's what I'm afraid of too but we've basically brought the problem upon ourselves through really really really good tooling. It's possible to create a meme pic in a few minutes, while writing a...

      IMO, allowing low-effort content to thrive attracts more users to the site who are primary attracted that sort of content. Those people can be quality contributors, no doubt, but the vast majority of them are unlikely to be. This also creates a volume problem in that by their very nature, low-effort easily digestible pictures/gifs outperform more quality, longer-to-digest material such as articles (and even video).

      That's what I'm afraid of too but we've basically brought the problem upon ourselves through really really really good tooling. It's possible to create a meme pic in a few minutes, while writing a few paragraphs and arguing in a good debate is more work because it requires thought. We need to have tools that amplify the higher quality contributions.

      Every fluff pic has an inverse weighting in terms of relevance and a liner relationship to popularity (as judged by upvotes). That should be reflected instead of doing what every site has done which is amplifying the fluff even further by showing larger images.

      However that does not address the systemic cultural problem that comes along with allowing and attracting more users interested in the low-effort content than the high quality content.

      This is the issue; as we saw in that game of trust link, herd behaviour can take hold and all of a sudden you're trapped in the r/aww dimension.

      16 votes
    2. [7]
      jgb Link Parent
      No good definition of fluff would include that post. It provides intellectually interesting content (at least, interesting for MTG fans) and a good foundation for further discussion.

      On the other hand, posts like this one, are high quality, valuable contributions to the site IMO, despite being just an album of pictures. So where the line gets drawn is going to be important since we don't want to discourage those types of posts.

      No good definition of fluff would include that post. It provides intellectually interesting content (at least, interesting for MTG fans) and a good foundation for further discussion.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        cfabbro Link Parent
        I agree... I just think we need to make sure to have that good definition in place before we outright block all picture/album submissions so post like that don't get lost in the process. ;)

        I agree... I just think we need to make sure to have that good definition in place before we outright block all picture/album submissions so post like that don't get lost in the process. ;)

        11 votes
        1. jgb Link Parent
          Elsewhere in the thread I suggested: I'm not sure it's a perfect definition but perhaps it could be used as the basis for a better one.

          Elsewhere in the thread I suggested:

          Fluff: content that does not provide any substantial basis for meaningful discussion, debate, or insight.

          I'm not sure it's a perfect definition but perhaps it could be used as the basis for a better one.

          6 votes
      2. [2]
        Parliament Link Parent
        Idea: what if we had a “fluff” tag that users could add to posts? To help us identify and learn more about what content needs to go.

        Idea: what if we had a “fluff” tag that users could add to posts? To help us identify and learn more about what content needs to go.

        4 votes
      3. meristele Link Parent
        Oh...my.... Thank you both jgb and cfabbro for the compliment! I don't know whether to Kyaah and Squee or hide under my quilt. I think I'll just fan myself furiously and pretend that everything's...

        Oh...my....

        Thank you both jgb and cfabbro for the compliment! I don't know whether to Kyaah and Squee or hide under my quilt. I think I'll just fan myself furiously and pretend that everything's normal. XD

        On a slight tangent, if someone is making original animated gifs for ~creative, even if animated gifs were banned they could always link to a portfolio in deviantart for feedback. I'm in the camp of "Fluff can be found elsewhere."

        3 votes
      4. heady Link Parent
        In an environment where many of the posts are in depth technical discussions about strategy and rules of a complex game, some pretty pictures on a card (and if not oc would be very low effort to...

        In an environment where many of the posts are in depth technical discussions about strategy and rules of a complex game, some pretty pictures on a card (and if not oc would be very low effort to source) could very well be considered fluff depending on the culture that a mtg group decided to cultivate.

        1 vote
    3. [2]
      Qis Link Parent
      Would it be possible for the sort of power wielded by trusted users to be qualitatively different from the upvote system? Perhaps there could be a lateral vote, specific to the area for which a...

      Would it be possible for the sort of power wielded by trusted users to be qualitatively different from the upvote system? Perhaps there could be a lateral vote, specific to the area for which a given user is trusted, which categorizes posts into some subset of its tags?

      Right now the available tags are a small set designed to mete out the fluff from the quality contributions -- but perhaps tags could be broadened to allow custom tag submission from any user who reads the comment, and then given weight relative to other tags on that post or comment by trusted users. A tag nomination & confirmation process would let established users describe themes and sub-sorts per group.

      3 votes
      1. cfabbro Link Parent
        Yeah, we have considered allowing trusted users to crosspost or even completely move content to other communities where it is more appropriate, as well as allow "side-votes" of a sort where people...

        Yeah, we have considered allowing trusted users to crosspost or even completely move content to other communities where it is more appropriate, as well as allow "side-votes" of a sort where people can suggest the to trusted users they do that. We have also have considered changing the current comment tags to include custom ones (rather than the boilerplate ones we have now) or expand the selection of boilerplate ones... but I suspect for now we're likely to just remove comment tags entirely until we can decide how best to design them since, at the moment they are being used incorrectly by a lot of people and since we don't have action auditing yet we can't correct that behavior. Once the action auditing and trust systems are in place we can them re-add comment tags again and play with ideas for their implementation.

        A tag nomination & confirmation process

        Our meta-moderation idea (which we don't really have much documentation yet on to point people too) will essentially be that but for all "moderator" type actions (e.g. tag, title and link editing, etc), which is how we intend to achieve consensus for moderation on the site, we just haven't had time to write anything formal about it yet since we have been so busy doing other, more important things like handing out invites and working on documentation so the site can be opensourced.

        2 votes
  3. [11]
    flaque Link
    I guess as the person who was promoting the ~fluff in the first place, I should probably give a reasoning. Mostly: ~fluff provides an "in." A lot of folks here are mods on other sites and...

    I guess as the person who was promoting the ~fluff in the first place, I should probably give a reasoning.

    Mostly: ~fluff provides an "in." A lot of folks here are mods on other sites and therefore already have the "in." They've been on the internet for years and have a solid understanding of the cultures and identities that cyberspace brings.

    But new folks don't. Young folks don't. Non-techies don't. Groups of people that likely have a wealth of interesting things to say and contribute might not be comfortable entering into the circle immediately. But they might be comfortable posting something dumb. It doesn't have to go to everyone; not everyone likes fluff.

    While it's true that ~ has no real business or existential goal to grow, it should have a vested interest in being welcoming to users who actually do want it. Some users may not feel as comfortable with the mechanics or culture of the site, especially if it becomes one where we're banning pictures of cute animals.

    My concern is that by restricting it too much, ~ becomes close to stack-overflow, where new users are actively discouraged from posting.

    That said, I bow to the democratic process and if most folks believe that we should remove all ~fluff, then let's remove it. I'm really only here to provide the counter argument.

    41 votes
    1. [6]
      Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
      Huh. I think you're moving me from being indifferent to being in favor of making a ~fluff, even if it's just to try it out. If it doesn't work out and causes problems somehow, we can always delete...

      Huh. I think you're moving me from being indifferent to being in favor of making a ~fluff, even if it's just to try it out. If it doesn't work out and causes problems somehow, we can always delete the ~fluff hierarchy later.

      Might not ~talk serve this purpose instead of ~fluff?

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        flaque Link Parent
        I'll admit that I actually have no idea if anything I said is actually true though, so take it with a grain of salt. It's just personal experience and what I'm guessing. We're trying to empathize...

        I think you're moving me from being indifferent to being in favor of making a ~fluff

        I'll admit that I actually have no idea if anything I said is actually true though, so take it with a grain of salt. It's just personal experience and what I'm guessing. We're trying to empathize with a group that isn't here yet (new users).

        we can always delete the ~fluff hierarchy later.

        I was wondering about this. Are hierarchies permanent? For example, let's say there was a ~politics. I can imagine given the current state of US politics, there would end up being a lot of stuff about Trump. Which I believe there's a lot of reasonable discussion there, but probably not something everyone wants to see. The hierarchy could be really useful here, there could just be a ~politics.trump. But Trump's likely not going to be president forever so it would seem a little odd to make ~politics.trump if it's permanent.

        1 vote
        1. Amarok Link Parent
          Well, groups can be outright deleted (up to and including wiping all content and banning all participants) - tildes infrastructure is designed to make that really easy. With a ~politics.trump,...

          Well, groups can be outright deleted (up to and including wiping all content and banning all participants) - tildes infrastructure is designed to make that really easy.

          With a ~politics.trump, though, presuming by some miracle it was full of worthwhile content, once trump was gone, it would probably get folded back into ~politics. It wouldn't appear in the hierarchy anymore (an improvement on usenet) but the content would all still be in ~politics and the #trump tag would be on all of it, so the search engine could 'recreate' the content of ~politics.trump later if someone wanted to see it.

          7 votes
      2. ian Link Parent
        Could something like ~fluff be prioritized differently so it doesn't show up readily on the front page? I can see both sides. Already I see some chat, while being typically deeper and more mature,...

        Could something like ~fluff be prioritized differently so it doesn't show up readily on the front page? I can see both sides. Already I see some chat, while being typically deeper and more mature, feeling standoffish. And I'm not a young whippersnapper.

        And it is nice to have some lighter stuff. Though on reddit it's far too much repeated memes in the comments.

        1 vote
      3. [2]
        Nmg Link Parent
        And if there is a backlash against that move?

        we can always delete the ~fluff hierarchy later.

        And if there is a backlash against that move?

        1 vote
        1. Amarok Link Parent
          I had my mind changed in this very thread. What convinced me wasn't the for and against of the fluff argument. It was the simple fact that fluff is a distraction from more important things like...

          I had my mind changed in this very thread.

          What convinced me wasn't the for and against of the fluff argument. It was the simple fact that fluff is a distraction from more important things like the search for quality content, and can we trust ourselves that it won't lure us in? I'd rather not take that chance - and reddit and co are all there for the people who want fluff. We don't need to be everything to everyone. Quality content has been getting its ass kicked all over the internet, isn't it more worthwhile to take a stand for that than create yet another singularity of cat pictures? I think it is.

          5 votes
    2. Pilgrim Link Parent
      To be frank, something that I enjoy about this site is that the users who would be attracted by ~fluff aren't here...yet.

      To be frank, something that I enjoy about this site is that the users who would be attracted by ~fluff aren't here...yet.

      10 votes
    3. creesch Link Parent
      I honestly doubt that, I only have my personal opinion to back it up but I honestly feel that websites that try to welcome those users are websites that are the quickest to be overrun by that same...

      ~ has no real business or existential goal to grow, it should have a vested interest in being welcoming to users who actually do want it.

      I honestly doubt that, I only have my personal opinion to back it up but I honestly feel that websites that try to welcome those users are websites that are the quickest to be overrun by that same content.

      Rather, why should ~ have a vested interest in being welcoming to those users? What would ~ gain from users who apparantly are not comfortable on a website unless they are allowed to post fluff content somewhere? Considering the massive scale of the internet I don't think ~ really needs those people and I think that you don't give enough credit to regular and young folks who are perfectly able to figure out that not all websites allow fluff content. In fact, not allowing it might even make things more clear because there is less of a gray area of what is allowed.

      Going back to the communities I know, the ones that eventually lost their initial user base are largely those that started to allow the sort of content they started out to avoid.
      What is wrong with going for a maybe a bit slower growth and being a bit smaller actually? I am not saying that ~ should be some elitist snobby website that is hostile to a lot of people but I don't think it needs to be all inclusive either.

      As others have pointed out there is no shortage of places on the internet where fluff content can be posted.

      8 votes
    4. Cirrus Link Parent
      I disagree. I'm probably in the young folk demographic you're talking about - not techie, not a mod and not on reddit for years. What attracted me to reddit at first was the discussion. Then when...

      I disagree. I'm probably in the young folk demographic you're talking about - not techie, not a mod and not on reddit for years. What attracted me to reddit at first was the discussion. Then when it became apparent to me that most of reddit is an echo chamber, I quit. Now I'm here, seeking the same thing. I would argue that those who enjoy quality posts would find their way here eventually. By adding a ~fluff we would only be diluting the base community by attracting different sorts of people.

      When I first joined reddit, what intimated me wasn't the serious topics, it was the community's hostility towards outsiders who don't get their in-jokes. And this was a site wide thing, fluff subs weren't exceptionally welcoming. As long as tildes' community remains open to newcomers, I don't see a problem with new users joining.

      7 votes
    5. crius Link Parent
      Your point are absolutely valid and I see them. What I suggest in fact is not to "ban" fluff content but to manage it (check my comment below)

      Your point are absolutely valid and I see them. What I suggest in fact is not to "ban" fluff content but to manage it (check my comment below)

      2 votes
  4. [5]
    EightRoundsRapid Link
    I'm fine with disallowing it, because I'm also a grumpy old git. I also dread the thought of seeing the accursed "pupper speak" show it's ugly face here, which it will do if there's a million and...

    I'm fine with disallowing it, because I'm also a grumpy old git.

    I also dread the thought of seeing the accursed "pupper speak" show it's ugly face here, which it will do if there's a million and one "cute animal threads".

    39 votes
    1. [3]
      bobcobble Link Parent
      Do not be pupset

      I also dread the thought of seeing the accursed "pupper speak"

      Do not be pupset

      44 votes
      1. [2]
        nt337 Link Parent
        *furryious

        *furryious

        20 votes
        1. saydie Link Parent
          Now I am pupset. (I promise to never say this again.)

          Now I am pupset. (I promise to never say this again.)

          8 votes
  5. [17]
    Amarok (edited ) Link
    I'm kinda indifferent on this issue, since I'd be filtering out all that content anyway using tags and by not subscribing to ~fluff, so in my world, it'll never exist no matter what we do here...

    I'm kinda indifferent on this issue, since I'd be filtering out all that content anyway using tags and by not subscribing to ~fluff, so in my world, it'll never exist no matter what we do here today.

    I think the primary benefit of banning it is sending a very clear, and direct message that tildes is not reddit and plans to be a superior quality site. It'll likely chase away the naive 'free speech at all costs' crowd and leave us with more intelligent community members overall in the long run. We'll also take heat for it online. If we do this I'd go further and extend that ban to ALL image links of any kind, anywhere, forever.

    The chief drawback to banning it is - how the hell exactly are we going to identify it all and get rid of it? While the place is small, that's easy. Once it gets bigger, it's going to be a lot harder, and might not even be feasible depending on how our planned systems play out. It won't be easy. Also, there is a case to be made that images provide value - explanation posters, the entire reddit SFWporn network, etc. It seems like the issue is we need images to be our first special-content-class if we're going to control how they operate.

    The other option is quarantine into ~fluff.

    Eventually that'll be ~fluff.pics.aww and thousands of others. One of the chief advantages I see to this model is that all of the fluff will be in one place, which means ~fluff's only competition is other fluff, not long form articles or intelligent content from the rest of tildes. Some people have expressed concerns that the mere existence of ~fluff is going to attract users that prize that sort of content - while we're invite only, I don't see that as a problem, and if we're ever public-registration, by then we'll likely have solved the new user problems.

    I'd normally recommend against quarantine - but I think that's only an issue when the community by design is going to become toxic (like reddit's pairwise opposed hate communities). The negativity is the issue. I don't see ~fluff as likely to foster that sort of negativity, so the quarantine may work out just fine. If anything it'll be a place more likely to foster lazy comments - or, a place tildes users just go to blow off steam. Not everyone wants to be viewing serious content all the time.

    Yes, people who are subscribed to ~fluff and ten others, will see a lot of fluff in their home group pages. Well, we talked about having different mechanics for different hierarchies, so there's a solution here too - a golf penalty on all of ~fluff's content that places it permanently below the other hierarchies in terms of sitewide vote weightings. Within ~fluff, it won't be a problem since all content is sharing the same penalties, and outside of ~fluff, it'll keep that stuff down unless something in there puts on one amazing vote performance.

    Another benefit of this is that the rest of us, all over tildes, can move all the fluff all over the site right into ~fluff just by hitting it with a 'fluff' tag, so it becomes a dump for all the light content, but without actually censoring that light content. With this happening, it's possible that ~fluff will turn from a dump into a dumpster fire, but again, I think user-invite mechanics are the solution to that problem, and we won't have it while we're invite only.

    The other primary advantage of having ~fluff here is that it gives us a place to experiment with the low-effort content and see if, even there, it's possible to build a hierarchy that can foster quality submissions, or at the least, drag up the best of the fluff from the rest of the pile. I don't exactly consider 'the best collection of cat pictures on the internet' the kind of quality content I'm interested in, but if the subjective quality systems we have in mind work, it'll work there just as well as it works in ~music or any other artistic-appreciation hierarchy.

    I also want to point out one more thing - it is impossible to prevent the creation or block the use of a RES-like 'Tildes Enhancement Suite' by users who wish to do so. That browser extension will happily expand images, videos, whatever people want, and make any other alterations to the site presentation people decide they want to see. That's why, if you really want to stop this content, I think wholesale banning images is the only solution.

    Kill the bear, or wrestle the bear into submission. We knew this was going to be one of the very first problems we'd have to tackle here.


    On reflection, I'm revising my opinion to say fuck it, ban the fluff. In the end, is this really the problem we want to be solving right now? I think we have other matters that are more pressing (like building the trust-based moderation system). Once the castle is complete, we can talk about re-introducing this content, when we're better, wiser, and have systems in place to make it less risky. Right now I think taking a stand for quality and sending that message is more important.

    @soulistheanswer convinced me with that comment below when @cfabbro couldn't do it with two hours of chit chat over slack. Do we trust ourselves? Better to remove doubt and temptation. This 'smells' a hell of a lot like what happened when /r/listentothis went default - and in hindsight, that was not the right decision for us to make... though without it, I don't know that we'd have come up with the ideas we're using on tildes now. Better not to repeat past mistakes.

    Today, quality. Some latter day, images.

    24 votes
    1. [16]
      Mumberthrax Link Parent
      This sounds a little silly to me. I think freedom of speech is extremely important, and limitations on that should have an extremely good reason (most of the time the reasoning is not that good)....

      It'll likely chase away the naive 'free speech at all costs' crowd and leave us with more intelligent community members overall in the long run.

      This sounds a little silly to me. I think freedom of speech is extremely important, and limitations on that should have an extremely good reason (most of the time the reasoning is not that good). Does this mean that I'm less intelligent than the cool kids who know that "the first amendment doesn't apply to private companies", or that I don't belong on a site like Tildes? :P

      Edit: I'm not sure that cute animal pictures are really the kind of speech people like you're talking about are that concerned about.

      6 votes
      1. [15]
        Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
        There's a certain class of people out there who still believe that flat democratic up-and-down votes are the only fair way to run an online forum. A smaller subset of that group believes all...

        There's a certain class of people out there who still believe that flat democratic up-and-down votes are the only fair way to run an online forum. A smaller subset of that group believes all moderators are the devil, and that all moderation is an unnecessary form of censorship. Ever time you see "the votes will sort it out" used as an argument against moderation, this is probably who you're dealing with.

        Sometime's it's possible to get through to these people and explain that free speech without civility is useless, and that democratic models are fundamentally incapable of quality. Usually, though it's like talking to a brick wall. Since tildes is intended to be a democratic meritocracy focused on quality (not a democratic republic focused on popularity, like reddit and voat), these users represent a distraction from what we're trying to do on tildes.

        In my mind the best way to teach them the errors in their thinking is to build tildes and then grin while its content outclasses and embarrasses all of the other aggregators every hour of every day. :)

        13 votes
        1. [14]
          SoulIsTheAnswer Link Parent
          I still don't get what 'free speech at all costs' has to do with fluff content.

          I still don't get what 'free speech at all costs' has to do with fluff content.

          4 votes
          1. [13]
            Amarok (edited ) Link Parent
            What do you suppose a free speech absolutist's reaction to the removal of fluff content is going to be? It's not illegal content - it's something a human shared and another human removed or...

            What do you suppose a free speech absolutist's reaction to the removal of fluff content is going to be? It's not illegal content - it's something a human shared and another human removed or censored for reasons other than the law. It's censorship, to an absolutist.

            It's been my experience that they'll raise hell about it, over and over, then demonize everyone and anyone associated with it or who displays even the slightest support for it. They'll refuse to engage honestly in debate about it and they will not change their minds. Essentially, they turn from a productive user into a saboteur, or at best, they just leave in protest.

            Reddit is full of this behavior, and it even came up repeatedly from several users in our thread in /r/redditalternatives. I was able to explain everything we're doing here to the satisfaction of those who asked, so at the least, those were just rational people with honest questions. It's not always that easy.

            I consider this matter something that has been settled since a very long time ago. It's quietly turning into one of my pet peeves every time I get accused of being a censorship-crazy maniac just because I've learned how flawed free speech absolutism is as a concept. I appreciate a good debate about it (and usually end up with better systems and ideas as a result) - but a good debate about it is not the rule of the day, usually it's just a troll slap-fight waiting to happen.

            By singling out fluff content, we're going to provoke a strong reaction about this wherever it's discussed, both here (look at the comment volume) and elsewhere. If we're quarantining it, that reaction will be less severe than if we're banning it completely. That's why it's pertinent to this discussion. ;)

            9 votes
            1. [11]
              Mumberthrax (edited ) Link Parent
              It really depends on what fluff is defined as. If it is literally just cute animal pictures, then the type of character you've illustrated is an extreme minority of the people engaged in defending...

              It really depends on what fluff is defined as. If it is literally just cute animal pictures, then the type of character you've illustrated is an extreme minority of the people engaged in defending free expression - it's sort of a strawman, or motte and bailey. What free speech defenders defend is the ability to say things that others disagree with, or believe are taboo, or politically incorrect, or subversive. Conflating the concept of free expression with an insistence that everywhere must allow non-stop pictures of adorable baby goats is... misguided at best.

              4 votes
              1. Amarok Link Parent
                You and I both know 'fluff' content is going to go well beyond just cat pictures. This is really about all 'low effort' content, of which images are just the lion's share. ;) I like to think of it...

                You and I both know 'fluff' content is going to go well beyond just cat pictures. This is really about all 'low effort' content, of which images are just the lion's share. ;)

                I like to think of it as 'It's not about the topic, it's about the tone.'

                Talk about any subjects at all, just keep it civil and use your reason and logic, remember the other person is a human.

                5 votes
              2. [9]
                Pilgrim Link Parent
                My experience more recently is that free speech defenders have been conflating a right to speak freely with a right to be heard which are entirely different things. Everyone has the right to an...

                My experience more recently is that free speech defenders have been conflating a right to speak freely with a right to be heard which are entirely different things. Everyone has the right to an opinion; no one has the right to demand it be taken seriously.

                Civil discourse is paramount but giving equal weight to arguments that lack merit is a recipe for disaster.

                I find myself frequently reminded of Yeats' famous lines from the Second Coming:

                The best lack all conviction, while the worst
                Are full of passionate intensity.

                4 votes
                1. [4]
                  Mumberthrax Link Parent
                  Hmm. I'm not sure i would agree with Yeats there. I haven't read anything by him, don't know the context of that quote, but it would seem to celebrate neutrality and apathy. If ever there was a...

                  Hmm. I'm not sure i would agree with Yeats there. I haven't read anything by him, don't know the context of that quote, but it would seem to celebrate neutrality and apathy. If ever there was a recipe for survival, whether of an individual, a nation, a species, those things do not seem like they'd be primary components. :P

                  There was a man (I can't remember his name right now) who made it his life's mission to eradicate a particular parasite that infested people's brains and literally ate them from the inside out. It's a gruesome death. With passion and determination, he finally did it. The parasite is extinct, and the world has, arguably, less suffering as a consequence. I'd like to know what Yeats would say about that. :P

                  That all aside, IMO war with words is better than war with sticks and bombs. Better to have bad ideas in public to be countered and neutralized or refined than suppressed to fester into other forms of less-desirable expression.

                  1. [3]
                    Pilgrim Link Parent
                    Here's the full poem. It was written shortly after WWI. It gives me chills every time. I intended the quote to reflect the declining discourse online and politically, rather than as some misguided...

                    Here's the full poem. It was written shortly after WWI. It gives me chills every time.

                    I intended the quote to reflect the declining discourse online and politically, rather than as some misguided celebration of apathy. I'm sure Yeats we be very happy about the extinct parasite. :)

                    THE SECOND COMING

                    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
                    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
                    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
                    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
                    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
                    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
                    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
                    Are full of passionate intensity.
                    
                    Surely some revelation is at hand;
                    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
                    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
                    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
                    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
                    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
                    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
                    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
                    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
                    
                    The darkness drops again but now I know
                    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
                    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
                    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
                    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? 
                    
                    3 votes
                    1. [2]
                      Mumberthrax Link Parent
                      ahh ok, so he isn't saying that as a universal claim about nature, but simply mourning a specific scenario in the poem. It is true that there are fools who proclaim loudly their beliefs, their...

                      ahh ok, so he isn't saying that as a universal claim about nature, but simply mourning a specific scenario in the poem.

                      It is true that there are fools who proclaim loudly their beliefs, their arguments and conclusions. I'm certainly one of them - or have been if not still. I still express my opinions, but I can't know if they're bad unless someone explains to me how or why.

                      I don't know the solution to the noise problem. I don't know the mechanism for discerning legitimate noise from expression that needs to be heard and responded to. Goat pictures are cute, and I like them, and they're noise when i want other content - and do I want other people deciding what I should consider to be noise? something in that change in power sets off a feeling of unease. I can always go to reddit, or goats.com or something. It depends on what Tildes wants to be. There's the phrase "we can't be all things to all people" which is applicable.

                      I just don't want someone deciding that news or political content I think is important should be hidden as noise or fluff. I guess with the extreme absolutists, the concern is with an incursion upon egalitarianism of expression, there is potential for collapse into something corrupt.

                      1 vote
                      1. Pilgrim Link Parent
                        I think that's what people are saying.

                        incursion upon egalitarianism of expression, there is potential for collapse into something corrupt.

                        I think that's what people are saying.

                        1 vote
                2. [4]
                  Elronnd Link Parent
                  The problem comes when you have no platform on which to express your opinion because it's rejected on account of its packaging. In fairness, I doubt animal pictures fall into this category at all,...

                  Everyone has the right to an opinion; no one has the right to demand it be taken seriously.

                  The problem comes when you have no platform on which to express your opinion because it's rejected on account of its packaging. In fairness, I doubt animal pictures fall into this category at all, but it's still something that must needs be considered carefully.

                  1. [3]
                    Pilgrim Link Parent
                    It doesn't because the claim is farcical at best and falls down under even the mildest scrutiny. No one is guaranteed such a platform and private companies are free to ban folks from their...

                    still something that must needs be considered carefully.

                    It doesn't because the claim is farcical at best and falls down under even the mildest scrutiny.

                    The problem comes when you have no platform on which to express your opinion because it's rejected on account of its packaging

                    No one is guaranteed such a platform and private companies are free to ban folks from their platforms for any reason whatsoever. If you want a platform, create your own. We've literally gone through a revolution in free speech during my lifetime with the wide adoption of the internet. Not since the invention of the printing press has the public been so empowered to express their thoughts widely with little to no constraints. One can set up a blog in literally minutes.

                    This is not a free speech issue and those who claim it is are often the same who vigorously defend businesses' rights to refuse service to others. We think that a business should be allowed to bake or not bake a cake for a gay couple's wedding, but when it comes to Nazi propaganda then it's a free speech issue. The incongruity of thought is truly breathtaking. Now, I'm not saying you fall into that category, but it tends to be the same people who make these "free speech" claims in my experience.

                    The "free speech" claim as it's often presented is also incredibly entitled as it suggests that a business must cater to the whims of the individual . Would you demand that a newspaper print your opinion? That it be plastered on bill boards? That one should be given free reams of paper to print their message on? Then why must Facebook host hate speech? Or Twitter allow people to bully others?

                    One may complain that these services enforce their terms of service selectively, but no one's rights are being trampled. It shows a lot more about the inability of the person making these claims to understand basic concepts inherit in our democracy than it does about any sort of malfeasance on the part of these platforms.

                    5 votes
                    1. [2]
                      Amarok Link Parent
                      We made that pretty easy too. Anyone can set up their own copy of Tildes, the directions on how to get started are all right here. It's not exactly the 'new' phpBB yet, but there's nothing...

                      If you want a platform, create your own.

                      We made that pretty easy too.

                      Anyone can set up their own copy of Tildes, the directions on how to get started are all right here. It's not exactly the 'new' phpBB yet, but there's nothing stopping someone from creating a fluffier Tildes of their own.

                      3 votes
                      1. Pilgrim Link Parent
                        Love that Tildes is open source. Thanks for all you do @Amarok!

                        Love that Tildes is open source. Thanks for all you do @Amarok!

                        1 vote
            2. SoulIsTheAnswer Link Parent
              Yeah, i get the logic. I honestly was thinking it would be ridiculous to make a big fuzz about cat pictures. But I remember r/atheism being mad about the removal of memes or something...it's been...

              Yeah, i get the logic. I honestly was thinking it would be ridiculous to make a big fuzz about cat pictures. But I remember r/atheism being mad about the removal of memes or something...it's been years I don't remember exactly. So the scenario you're talking about is certainly a possibility. The r/atheism people weren't really talking about it as the silencing if free speech back then and the term was certainly not as politicized as it these days on the internet (which us why your original comment confused me at first).

              2 votes
  6. [5]
    SourceContribute Link
    I like the idea of having only one area for fluff. That would make it possible to funnel everything there rather than splintered out into a million + 1 sub-communities of fluff which would...

    I like the idea of having only one area for fluff. That would make it possible to funnel everything there rather than splintered out into a million + 1 sub-communities of fluff which would outnumber and create too much noise.

    Or there should be a way to funnel it to other sites; perhaps direct links to submit elsewhere or just links to the main pages of other sites.

    This is something other sites can't do because they're profit-driven and ad revenue driven, they want the lowest common denominator to appeal to all. If they want the fluff? Great! Tildes will push it away from this platform and to those other places.

    Maybe some text like "if you're posting fluff, you may want to consider buzzfeed or reddit" would be discouragement enough?

    I noticed a lot of sub-reddits and wikipedia and stackoverflow disable certain actions before a user is acclimatized to the culture for a few days or weeks or until they reach a certain karma score. Not sure if that could help the fluff situation.

    18 votes
    1. [2]
      vikinick Link Parent
      Yeah like make a ~fluff but don't auto-subscribe people to it and if you somehow make an equivalent to /r/all, don't allow ~fluff content. Or maybe even add a fluff tag? So you could have a dog...

      Yeah like make a ~fluff but don't auto-subscribe people to it and if you somehow make an equivalent to /r/all, don't allow ~fluff content.

      Or maybe even add a fluff tag? So you could have a dog cosplaying as a video game character that could go under ~gaming, but maybe allow a setting to disable viewing anything tagged as fluff?

      13 votes
      1. MapleSyrup Link Parent
        I'm probably way too late to this discussion but I really like the idea of the fluff tag. Certain communities on reddit had a good mix of both, I'd say a good example is /r/dogecoin. You can get...

        I'm probably way too late to this discussion but I really like the idea of the fluff tag. Certain communities on reddit had a good mix of both, I'd say a good example is /r/dogecoin. You can get things like technical discussion or fundraisers which are both high quality content, but joke posts also greatly contribute to the identity of the community in their own way.

        3 votes
    2. green_flash Link Parent
      What we see on reddit is that fluff communities are spammer and karma farmer magnets. That should probably be taken into account as well.

      What we see on reddit is that fluff communities are spammer and karma farmer magnets. That should probably be taken into account as well.

      9 votes
    3. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. cfabbro Link Parent
        Watch the personal attacks, please. There is no need for that.

        Watch the personal attacks, please. There is no need for that.

        2 votes
  7. [4]
    humblerodent Link
    The answer to this question will really decide what type of site this will be. This isn't just a question of whether or not to allow cute animal pictures, it's a question of will the site's...

    The answer to this question will really decide what type of site this will be. This isn't just a question of whether or not to allow cute animal pictures, it's a question of will the site's content be driven 100% by community submissions or mostly by the site creators/admins/mods. Both have downsides. The former could lead to low effort posts dominating, the latter could lead to resentment and confusion over what is permitted, and why. If you only allow high quality content, then you have to define what high quality content is, but that will always be subjective at some level.

    This will alienate a lot of users. So the question is do you want a small site with only high quality discussion, or a large site with jokes, memes, and cat pics?

    I would prefer that all content is allowed on the site, provided it is not hateful, doxxing, etc. As long as it is properly categorized, and categories can be included or excluded from view, then each user can control their own experience.

    16 votes
    1. [3]
      flaque Link Parent
      The battle for the soul of the internet always revolves around cat pictures.

      The battle for the soul of the internet always revolves around cat pictures.

      12 votes
      1. Amarok Link Parent
        I'd tag that as insightful if this were slashdot. :P

        I'd tag that as insightful if this were slashdot. :P

        3 votes
      2. adamthephantump Link Parent
        Yes it does. Felines for life although I’m a ghost so it’s awkward for me to say it in the first place.

        Yes it does. Felines for life although I’m a ghost so it’s awkward for me to say it in the first place.

        1 vote
  8. [7]
    RespectMyAuthoriteh Link
    An argument in favor of "fluff": People like myself enjoy seeing funny, cute, beautiful, oddly satisfying, etc., things because it gives us a dopamine hit. I don't see anything wrong with that,...

    An argument in favor of "fluff":

    People like myself enjoy seeing funny, cute, beautiful, oddly satisfying, etc., things because it gives us a dopamine hit. I don't see anything wrong with that, and I'm not going to apologize for liking and sharing funny cat gifs online. That being said, I like "serious" content too, as do many other people. For example, on reddit I'm subscribed to r/StartledCats, r/eyebleach, r/oddlysatisfying, etc., but I'm also subscribed to r/news, r/science, r/modclub, and so forth. I really hope that "fluff" will be allowed, and if you all want to set things up in a way that favors non-fluff content I think that could be a good solution toward maintaining the desired overall tone while still allowing those of us who want to share and view cat gifs to have our occasional dopamine hit along with the more serious content.

    16 votes
    1. baggachipz Link Parent
      I'm late to the game here (being a new alpha tester), but I think there is a bit of a false dichotomy happening. People assume that just because somebody likes seeing funny cat pictures, that...

      I'm late to the game here (being a new alpha tester), but I think there is a bit of a false dichotomy happening. People assume that just because somebody likes seeing funny cat pictures, that they're incapable of also having a good serious discussion. The truth is, people are clearly capable of both. I insist on decent grammar and insightful conversations, but love a good post in /r/AdviceAnimals as much as the next guy. Hell, I've made lots of them in the past. It's very possible to be insightful in humor, and banning such things on tildes because of an assumption that they come from "low-effort people" is overly dramatic and a bit elitist if you ask me.

      10 votes
    2. Nmg (edited ) Link Parent
      I want tildes to be a place where each post, I can learn something new. I want to read text and have discussions, not have 100 links to imgur-hosted dopey dog pictures. You claim that we can have...

      I want tildes to be a place where each post, I can learn something new. I want to read text and have discussions, not have 100 links to imgur-hosted dopey dog pictures. You claim that we can have both, but just as reddit has become well known as a place with a million types of pornography, memes, and vigilante internet sleuths, despite having wonderful communities such as /r/science and /r/changemyview, I would rather tildes be known solely as a place for text-based discussion, rather than being a reddit clone.

      In the tildes docs, it is written:


      In-depth content (primarily text-based) is the most important

      This includes linking to articles on other sites, posting text topics on Tildes itself, and the comment discussions. In general, any changes to the site that will cause "shallower" content to gain an advantage should be considered very carefully.


      When I joined tildes, I understood and I shared this vision. If you read this and thought to yourself "yet surely they will allow cute cat photos!", then perhaps you should consider looking into another online community, or creating your own.

      5 votes
    3. [4]
      zowesiouff Link Parent
      a question that I've asked myself for a while: would that "dopamine" hit be bigger if you weren't seeing fluff all the time, everywhere?

      a question that I've asked myself for a while: would that "dopamine" hit be bigger if you weren't seeing fluff all the time, everywhere?

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        Mumberthrax Link Parent
        This sounds similar to the arguments I've been hearing about pornography.

        This sounds similar to the arguments I've been hearing about pornography.

        1. [2]
          zowesiouff Link Parent
          that doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong :)

          that doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong :)

          2 votes
          1. Mumberthrax Link Parent
            indeed. it just kind of amused/surprised me that something that is sort of a small part of the so-called 'alt-right' community would be relevant to the core operation of a community that so far as...

            indeed. it just kind of amused/surprised me that something that is sort of a small part of the so-called 'alt-right' community would be relevant to the core operation of a community that so far as I have seen is predisposed to shun the former.

            2 votes
  9. [7]
    rhencke Link
    I'm torn on this. I understand the desire to curb low-effort mass-appeal content, that doesn't provide much room for discussion, and I certainly understand not wanting Tildes to be a dumping...

    I'm torn on this.

    I understand the desire to curb low-effort mass-appeal content, that doesn't provide much room for discussion, and I certainly understand not wanting Tildes to be a dumping ground for such things.

    But, I think I'd feel a lot better if there was a stronger definition of 'what does Tildes consider to be quality content?' that gets officially stated, and used as the measuring stick for this (and future) decisions about what stays or goes, before a decision gets made here, too.

    On https://docs.tildes.net/overall-goals, the final section states "In-depth content (primarily text-based) is the most important", and states 'In general, any changes to the site that will cause "shallower" content to gain an advantage should be considered very carefully'. Okay, so there is a starting point of what I can use as a bar for quality.

    But, against that measurement, where does ~music fit? Is music high-quality content?

    Another measurement that can be used, from this post: 'things that appeals to a very wide range of people, so [they attract] more votes/attention' - things with mass appeal, that are generally widely liked anyway. Plenty of music would fit in here as worth sharing, that are not so well-known. But, what about popular music, that also happens to be very good?

    If I had to take a stab at trying to define quality content, as I think Tildes is trying to approach it, from my understanding, it would be something like "Tildes defines 'quality content' as content that provides the basis for rich, meaningful, or interesting conversation." Yes, this is subject to interpretation, too. But it pretty clearly rules out fluff.

    I don't know how accurate my interpretation here is, of what Tildes is aiming for, for quality content. I may have missed some points made in docs.tildes.net or the blog post - apologies if I did.

    If this kind of content is disallowed, I think it would be worth amending the current documentation/blog post, which states (emphasis mine): 'Fixation on growth and related metrics results in a bias towards high-appeal, low-depth content like funny images, gifs, and memes. Tildes will still allow that kind of content, but its priority is to cultivate high-quality communities, which are far easier to build when they don't have to fight an uphill battle against the platform itself.'

    Apologies if these things are a bit rambling. I think, mostly, my main concern is that of having a clear idea about what quality content means to Tildes, so I have a better idea of what does and does not fit here.

    15 votes
    1. Mumberthrax Link Parent
      or ~games. I posted a link to a game I enjoy, but is it a high quality submission? Should I only post things which will spur "intellectual discussion"? I mean, the group exists - i assume games...

      But, against that measurement, where does ~music fit? Is music high-quality content?

      or ~games. I posted a link to a game I enjoy, but is it a high quality submission? Should I only post things which will spur "intellectual discussion"? I mean, the group exists - i assume games are to be posted there... and also, much of the content on ~sports or ~tv is absolute "fluff" to me. None of it interests me at all, and i can't really see how a thread about a normal sports competition would develop much rich, meaningful, or interesting conversation - not any more than something like "taxation is theft" or this https://i.imgur.com/Nq7lvUH.gifv might.

      7 votes
    2. [5]
      Amarok Link Parent
      Sometimes no, sometimes yes. Truly, it's no more often than yes, almost everywhere. The subjectivity is the hardest part to quantify. Every community is going to have its own version of fluff -...

      But, against that measurement, where does ~music fit? Is music high-quality content?

      Sometimes no, sometimes yes. Truly, it's no more often than yes, almost everywhere.

      The subjectivity is the hardest part to quantify. Every community is going to have its own version of fluff - fluff news pieces, bland music tracks, uninformed opinions on science articles, etc etc etc.

      The weighted voting, community trust, subgroup feeder mechanics, and exemplary votes are tildes' plans to handle this problem. All of these topics have been discussied in ~tildes in some detail, though we're nowhere near a final technical specification for how they will operate.

      edit-repost: Ok - this accidental reply to thread instead of user is starting to annoy me. Fix pls? :P

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        boredop Link Parent
        Getting some ideas onto the screen while I wait for my laundry to dry. Forgive me if you've covered this already. I have been doing some thinking about how to define "fluff" content in ~music. I...

        Getting some ideas onto the screen while I wait for my laundry to dry. Forgive me if you've covered this already.

        I have been doing some thinking about how to define "fluff" content in ~music. I think we can break it down into some broad categories which will have differing levels of difficulty when it comes to deciding how to deal with them.

        • memes, shit posting, low content text posts and most images - either remove outright or tag as fluff so they can be easily filtered.
        • "This is my shitty band, please listen to us!" - create ~music.creative or ~creative.music. Either way, easy filtering. I'll never see this stuff.
        • Music 101 - popular and mainstream "hits." Beatles, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Metallica, Kanye, Beyonce, "Hurt" by Johnny Cash, etc. Songs and artists that have almost become memes unto themselves due to their massive popularity. This is the most difficult category for me, because one person's fluff can be another's revelation. I can still remember hearing Dark Side of the Moon for the first time and feeling like a whole new world opened up for me. These days I would be happy to never hear Pink Floyd again because I have heard it so many thousands of times, but when I was 18 or 19 it was truly mind expanding, and helped to lead me to many other lesser-known delights. So even though DSOTM is fluff content from my point of view, I can see how it is anything but that to a younger listener.

        Of course this becomes a problem as the user base expands because the Music 101 content starts to drown out everything else. So what to do? /r/listentous has strict popularity limits, which I never really liked, because it filters out a lot of good stuff that isn't popular in the mainstream but has enough of a cult following (or has just been online long enough) to garner a lot of pageviews. /r/music and /r/metal have a "hall of fame" of super popular bands - also not totally a fan of this approach, but it's the best they can do with the tools available. All of them have strictly enforced repost rules, which I do like.

        I'm hopeful we'll have a long time before ~music threatens to become like /r/music, but we should be planning for it anyway. Eventually ~music could go away as a destination for posts but can exist as an easily filtered aggregation of all the music subgroups. So the Beatles can go in ~music.mainstream or ~music.classicrock, Kendrick could go in ~music.mainstream or ~music.hiphop (or even ~music.jazz in some cases), or use genre tags + popularity data to automatically shunt everything into the proper group. Artist and song reposting rules will be important for the biggest subgroups, but should be customized on a case by case basis once we have a moderator system up and running.

        So in the end, it might be inevitable that an unfiltered ~music becomes something like /r/music. But I think with robust systems for hierarchies, tags and filtering, along with repost rules, any user can turn it into something like a multireddit (what would we call it - a supergroup? megagroup? megatilde?) of all the music they want, none of the shit posts, and a reasonable amount of repetition.

        Another thing occurs to me - /r/music was destined to fail from the beginning because of the default subreddit system. Everyone is subscribed to it, so you get users like us who are "deep listeners" (for lack of a better term) and obsessive collectors lumped in with the much larger group of listeners whose interests will never go past Music 101. So of course that sub gets swamped by the same shit over and over - that's what those listeners are into, the same shit over and over. Hopefully we get subgroups here and do away with automatic subscriptions to ~music early on here so we can nip that problem in the bud.

        Again, just spitballing while I wait for the laundry to dry. Hopefully something of value came out of it instead of just repeating things you've spelled out somewhere else already.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          Amarok Link Parent
          I've been pondering what will happen if the groups are all in place. Let's assume all of reddit's subs for music are all present here. At that point, what's the content of ~music going to be like?...

          I've been pondering what will happen if the groups are all in place. Let's assume all of reddit's subs for music are all present here. At that point, what's the content of ~music going to be like?

          I was wondering what would happen if we could find a way to push the point of submission out of ~music itself and down into the smaller subgroups. ~music itself wouldn't have many, if any, submissions, other than perhaps community-related events like bestofs, mixtapes, album discussion clubs - the big ticket items all music lovers can jump in with. Something like maybe 5 submissions a week, tops - a strictly curated submission space.

          The rest of the content of ~music is what bubbles-up from the smaller communities. That means it's already been seen, voted on, curated, has lots of comments, and managed to beat some sort of quality-driven bar for leveling-up into the parent. Some of these could be coming up through multiple layers of the community as well - if we have ~music.metal.progressive.death, it could start in ~deathmetal, level up into ~progmetal, level up again into ~metal, and then level up a final time into ~music. If it goes through that many layers of quality-building, by the time it hits ~music it should be pretty fantastic. Now imagine that's how it works for all of the music groups. I expect the 'exemplary vote' is going to be a core mechanic for that level-up process.

          Am I nuts, or does this look like it can outright reverse reddit's trend toward quality at the bottom and crap at the top? doesn't this become meh at the bottom, but quality at the top, and the 'meh' is really just niche content being submitted directly to the group of people most likely to fall in love with it? Most qualified to judge it? Most likely to know what's above average or truly special?

          8 votes
          1. FlippantGod Link Parent
            I just fell in love with your idea, but it still comes with a few caveats. People want to see the content they like, aggregated together. But when hierarchies get a few levels down, there is...

            I just fell in love with your idea, but it still comes with a few caveats.

            People want to see the content they like, aggregated together. But when hierarchies get a few levels down, there is considerable seperation, i.e. someone is greatly into ~music.metal.progressive.death and also ~music.hiphop.lofi. That individual's time is now split between these two branches, and the confluence of the two is waaaaaay up in ~music. It might be fair to assume that only the very best, and most widely accepted content from the niche communities will reach the top to be readily visible in the same place. This isn't an issue as long as the individual spends his or her time in the niche community, but it is now a trade off, activity in one is substituted for another. This means that there might be less activity in niche communities as a whole.

            Of course this already happens, so maybe it won't be a big deal. On reddit I certainly spend my time in just a handful of niche subreddits with very little overlap, but I can't help but wonder if something as broad and with so many niches like music will not handle this gracefully.

            Actually, I guess just having a custom tailored feed would remedy this, but I'll still post this comment in case it gets someone thinking.

            1 vote
        2. arghdos Link Parent
          This is exactly the direction I'm thinking (and actually want to work on implementing here). Give the user some sort of tuneable parameters that control reposts, popularity (probably keyed off...

          But I think with robust systems for hierarchies, tags and filtering, along with repost rules, any user can turn it into something like a multireddit (what would we call it - a supergroup? megagroup? megatilde?) of all the music they want, none of the shit posts, and a reasonable amount of repetition.

          This is exactly the direction I'm thinking (and actually want to work on implementing here). Give the user some sort of tuneable parameters that control reposts, popularity (probably keyed off Spotify followers, imperfect but better than nothing) and the ability to hide / add certain tags or bands. Even better, let the user make about 5-10 supergroups (corresponding to broad genres, e.g., Funk, Soul, Jazz, Afrobeat, etc.) that they can toggle on / off for being in the super-super group (or they can visit them directly). Add the ability to follow other user's supergroups (e.g., if you like their taste in music) and you've got one hell of a music discovery platform

          1 vote
  10. [2]
    rkcr Link
    I think you're going to have a really hard time pinning down the exact difference between fluff and high-quality content because of context and subjectivity. For example, a picture of someone...

    I think you're going to have a really hard time pinning down the exact difference between fluff and high-quality content because of context and subjectivity.

    For example, a picture of someone cosplaying can be a low-effort image in /r/gaming ("Look at this awesome person dressed up as X"!), whereas the exact same picture can be high-quality content if the creator posts it herself ("Look at this costume I made and wore to Made-Up Con!"). Also, while I might consider a clever meme high-quality, some people consider all image-based jokes low-effort fluff.

    From that perspective, I think it will be difficult to ban or quarantine fluff in some way that won't create endless arguments, since both will involve lots of subjective policing. Since it is so contextual and subjective, perhaps it should be a second dimension that one can vote on - in the same way you give a post a score, you can also rate its "fluffiness" to determine if it should be allowed or not.

    14 votes
    1. Amarok Link Parent
      Rather than 'voting' on fluff, it'd likely be a tag similar to the ones you see on comments - but yes, that's doable.

      Rather than 'voting' on fluff, it'd likely be a tag similar to the ones you see on comments - but yes, that's doable.

      3 votes
  11. [2]
    anotheryou Link
    There should be ~fluff or at least ~entertainment.fluff. I feel like tildes should be a universal tool. Opinionated in its design, but open in its use. I would not make ~fluff part of default...

    There should be ~fluff or at least ~entertainment.fluff.

    I feel like tildes should be a universal tool. Opinionated in its design, but open in its use. I would not make ~fluff part of default subscriptions, but any content that's not against the "don't be an asshole"-rule should find its place. With ~entertainment.fluff this place might be in the long-tail.

    Also: Youtube: Ethan Zuckerman: "Internet Censorship: How Cute Cats Can Help" (2008)

    But in general I didn't quite get the policy on "top level" tildes on this site yet. Why is not any tilde allowed and what sticks stays? One could still refactor with redirects to e.g. move ~lit to ~literature.

    10 votes
    1. Amarok Link Parent
      Eventually, users who earn enough trust will be able to create groups - though probably, never top-level groups, that'll go through some sort of admin process (which will probably look a lot like...

      Eventually, users who earn enough trust will be able to create groups - though probably, never top-level groups, that'll go through some sort of admin process (which will probably look a lot like this thread, with polls attached once we have them). It won't be like reddit where it's a click-boom feature - there will be some work done to make sure that before the group starts, it's going to have enough content and interested people there on day one to give it a shot at being successful. If it fails it'll just get rolled back into the parent, if it succeeds, we grow.

      There's one other issue, though. If people can create cesspools like /r/shitredditsays we're going to have a problem. Groups that exist solely to antagonize other groups must never be allowed to form. They are harmless enough at first (all on good fun) but they sure as hell don't evolve that way. They go negative at some point. Then they foster a community of for-and-against behavior that's not part of any rational discussion or producing anything of real value.

      The gated access to the group creation feature should prevent that from happening. It's less about topic control and more about quality control, and making sure the groups get off to a sane start with a real chance at success.

      6 votes
  12. [2]
    SoulIsTheAnswer Link
    I'll try a little bit of an unusual argument: I don't trust myself. People are talking about filtering out something like ~fluff and simply going their way. But when given that type of freedom of...

    I'll try a little bit of an unusual argument: I don't trust myself. People are talking about filtering out something like ~fluff and simply going their way. But when given that type of freedom of choice, I'm afraid I'd subscribe sooner or later...I kinda like the idea of limiting myself by visiting tildes and being "forced" to view only high quality content. I guess that's kinda my own responsibility. But right now when I come to tildes I mentally prepare myself for long discussions with well though out comments (it's mostly meta discussions right now, but still). While when I go to reddit, even if I'm seeking high quality content, I'll soon get distracted by some screenshots from BPT or a gif on r/nba. And when I go to twitter I get short, often out of context thought particles thrown at me which leave me very dissatisfied.

    9 votes
    1. Amarok Link Parent
      You just changed my mind. If we had the delta system operational I'd Δ you right now.

      You just changed my mind. If we had the delta system operational I'd Δ you right now.

      2 votes
  13. pHorniCaiTe Link
    I would like to see this type of content allowed eventually. Now is not the time for it though. I do think at some point once we're seeing posts with 100+ votes regularly, it might be time to...

    I would like to see this type of content allowed eventually. Now is not the time for it though. I do think at some point once we're seeing posts with 100+ votes regularly, it might be time to think about adding ~humor or ~fluff or other low-effort type tildes, but I think doing so now will only be detrimental to the site.

    9 votes
  14. BBBence1111 Link
    I'm against an outright ban, as what fluff is is simply hard to define. Banning cute animal pictures will inevitably lead to either all animal pictures being banned or drama when someone argues...

    I'm against an outright ban, as what fluff is is simply hard to define. Banning cute animal pictures will inevitably lead to either all animal pictures being banned or drama when someone argues that they didn't post for cuteness.

    I do agree that we shouldn't fill the front page with memes and the like, but I think we should discourage, rather than ban. Not having a karma system is a good start, as there's nothing to farm for people who post these.

    We can't ban memes, people will find a way sooner or later. For example.

    Attempting is a waste of time in my opinion. Containing them to their own part is the best way I think. ~fluff or perhaps ~animals.fluff. Give these less weight on voting, and I think the issue goes away.

    Edit: For memes we can also do ~games.memes or wherever it's relevant if people want.

    7 votes
  15. Whom (edited ) Link
    Personally I think we can keep it out. The internet has far too many places that try to be content-neutral in order to become these big hubs that encompass everything. Here you can clamp down on...

    Personally I think we can keep it out. The internet has far too many places that try to be content-neutral in order to become these big hubs that encompass everything.

    Here you can clamp down on things, and this kind of fluff is pretty clearly not in line with the kind of content yall wanna encourage here, so I say don't give it a space.

    6 votes
  16. [3]
    Cleb Link
    I don't really think fluff has a place here. Like yeah, it's cute, you get to see a nice dog or whatever, but there's so many places that you can already get that in an endless stream. Not every...

    I don't really think fluff has a place here. Like yeah, it's cute, you get to see a nice dog or whatever, but there's so many places that you can already get that in an endless stream. Not every website needs to have a facet for literally everything, especially just low effort content.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      Mumberthrax Link Parent
      I guess my take on it is that this place seems like it might develop into a tigher-knit community than places like reddit. That may just be because it is invite-only and small right now. When i'm...

      I guess my take on it is that this place seems like it might develop into a tigher-knit community than places like reddit. That may just be because it is invite-only and small right now. When i'm part of a community, sometimes i want to bond with people by sharing cute animal pictures/gifs. I suspect this is normal social behavior for a human. If I have to go to reddit to do that, I'm just not going to be sharing it at all because its a drop in the bucket there, and there's no community that i feel connected to.

      9 votes
      1. Cleb Link Parent
        Perhaps I was a bit overzealous with "it has no place here." I don't really dislike fluff content, it's just kind of like... it's everywhere. I don't suppose I would mind it being a thing here as...

        Perhaps I was a bit overzealous with "it has no place here." I don't really dislike fluff content, it's just kind of like... it's everywhere. I don't suppose I would mind it being a thing here as long as it's not default and stays contained somewhere, but if the site does grow then like a few other people have said, it could be better to deal with allowing it later than allowing it now and having to go back if it becomes a problem later.

        5 votes
  17. [5]
    arghdos Link
    I'm not opposed to not having ~fluff (I have literally hundreds of subreddits for that), but my real question how do we keep that kind of post from spilling into other ~groups?

    I'm not opposed to not having ~fluff (I have literally hundreds of subreddits for that), but my real question how do we keep that kind of post from spilling into other ~groups?

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      Deimos Link Parent
      We just start removing it. We haven't been doing any moderation yet, but that can't last for long.

      We just start removing it. We haven't been doing any moderation yet, but that can't last for long.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        EightRoundsRapid Link Parent
        I guess moderation/moderators is something that has to be thrashed out sooner rather than later as well.

        I guess moderation/moderators is something that has to be thrashed out sooner rather than later as well.

        1 vote
        1. arghdos Link Parent
          See here for our last discussion on the topic

          See here for our last discussion on the topic

          3 votes
    2. Amarok Link Parent
      Tag it as #fluff and have it disappear instantly from other groups and land in ~fluff. The fluff content is going to spill, the question is, do we assault the user to get them to stop (no), do we...

      Tag it as #fluff and have it disappear instantly from other groups and land in ~fluff. The fluff content is going to spill, the question is, do we assault the user to get them to stop (no), do we quietly accept the work of removing it and the endless complaining that tends to come with that (hell no), or do we just get people to tag it so that it'll go away to the place where it's welcome to exist?

      It's almost like a safety net. You can't get downvotes here, but your post can get removed, which is a dis-incentive to participation if it happens to you - and here, unlike reddit, when a mod hits you with a mod action, you will be notified immediately.

      Sending it off into ~fluff sidesteps all of those hassles and conversations (aka work). It also carries a 'try harder' message rather than a 'fuck off' message.

      Maybe we mirror the entire ~ hierarchy under ~fluff and use it as everyone's bit-bucket. Maybe we just have a 'fluff' view inside each community, to go along with other views like 'best of' and 'reposts.' If the fluff is something the user has to actively go looking for instead of having the content find the user (like the rest of the quality content) that may dis-incentivize its use a bit.

      3 votes
  18. [2]
    DEFINITELY_NOT_A_BOT Link
    Something you might consider is what I've seen suggested on reddit: weight content based on the time it takes to consume it

    Something you might consider is what I've seen suggested on reddit: weight content based on the time it takes to consume it

    5 votes
    1. cfabbro Link Parent
      Yeah we have definitely talked about that as a mechanic multiple times... so if @deimos does decide to allow pics I will be pushing heavily for a mechanic like that to even the playing field or...

      Yeah we have definitely talked about that as a mechanic multiple times... so if @deimos does decide to allow pics I will be pushing heavily for a mechanic like that to even the playing field or outright skew it towards the advantage for longer form content.

      1 vote
  19. fringly Link
    So I am a bit back and forth on this - my thinking: For allowing fluff - people like fluff. It's true, it drives traffic and gets eyeballs on the site, and if the site grows, then i's more likely...

    So I am a bit back and forth on this - my thinking:

    For allowing fluff - people like fluff. It's true, it drives traffic and gets eyeballs on the site, and if the site grows, then i's more likely to be successful. Yes, some of them will be a bit more, well, fluffy, but a community built of only early adopters will struggle to survive too - look at google plus.

    Deciding what is and what isn't high quality content is also extremely difficult - we see this on WritingPrompts where we aim to be a high quality subreddit and not have people posting jokes or low effort stories, but how do you define that? We try many ways and we're still not successful and that's in a fairly narrow set of ways people can submit. too draconian and we'll just drive people away, too loose and you lose what you're going for.

    If we ban pretty pictures, then do we also want to ban sports areas? I mean, realistically what do they bring that you can't get elsewhere and 99% is going to be rumours, news and arguments. Do any sports subs really try to create high quality content? if the line is inconsistent and subject to the whims of the first 500 or 1,000 people, then will it become a community that people want to be a part of?

    Having a wide and varied set of voices in your community brings huge benefits and one of the jobs that good moderators do is to encourage and educate new users. Again, on WritingPrompts, we'll very often see people who post low quality stuff and what we'll try to do is to encourage them, help them grow and post better things. It's hugely rewarding to see someone go from a 200 word story to a 20,000 word multi part story.

    Against allowing fluff - yes, people like it, but there are plenty of places online you can get it. If you were looking to become the 'new reddit' then it'd be needed, but if you're happy being a fairly small community that is pretty focused on what it does, then maybe you can build something new and something different.

    Trying to clone a successful site is rarely a good idea and maybe by setting out stadards early, the site can evolve into something different, but also awesome.

    Running out of time here and may come back and add more thoughts, but I am not sure which side I come down on. On the whole I would feel inclined to keep it to one area if you allow it and put a lot of work into quite clearly working out what high effort content is and how you want to get it onto the site.

    Despite me having more in the pro- than the anti- side, I actually think I am a bit more anti if I am being honest with myself. Just a bit.

    On a side note, I really like that these discussions are coming up here and now. It's going to make a better and stronger community.

    5 votes
  20. kaushalmodi Link
    One more vote against fluff stuff. I'd love to come to Tildes to read quality content and comments. Reddit is already taking care of cute fluff stuff.

    One more vote against fluff stuff. I'd love to come to Tildes to read quality content and comments. Reddit is already taking care of cute fluff stuff.

    5 votes
  21. [4]
    safari Link
    I've seen a lot of discussion here about the concept of fluff, but I haven't seen anyone break down exactly why fluff is so dangerous to a site like this. Specifically, I think the main danger...

    I've seen a lot of discussion here about the concept of fluff, but I haven't seen anyone break down exactly why fluff is so dangerous to a site like this. Specifically, I think the main danger lies in voting patterns. So I'd like to lay out a hypothetical scenario, in order to try to articulate my concerns:

    Let's say we have a site with 20 groups, most of which are trying to foster cultures of in-depth content and long-form discussion. Then, you have a topic, ~fluff, that is for low effort, quick-to-consume content, whose users mostly browse from the front page, and whose comments are mostly a sentence or two. Nobody is going to come back to a post to read new comments, and why would they? There's nothing really to discuss.

    Now, there will be overlap between the userbases, but let's ignore that for the moment. Let's say it takes two minutes on average to properly interact with and vote on a post from the longer form groups, and ten seconds to consume and vote on a post in ~fluff. (Honestly, I think that's a conservative estimation of the difference.) Given the same number of users in each group, most posts will be voted on at a rate of 30 votes/user/hour, whereas ~fluff posts will be voted at a rate of 600 votes/user/hour, or 20x more. This means that there are more votes cast by the 5% of users in the fluff section than the other 95% of users combined.

    But this isn't a problem, right? Anyone who doesn't want to see it can just filter out ~fluff.

    However, as we mentioned before, the userbases will overlap. If 20% of users use ~fluff, and half of those vote in the same, quick way across the site, then 10% of your users are casting roughly 2/3 of the votes, and they're favouring easily consumed, shallow content. Thus, easily consumed content is favoured across the site, due to those 10% of users. It's not hard to see how it progresses from there, if unchecked: easily consumed content becomes the norm, the original users are driven away, and those who enjoy such content join.

    Now, to be fair, this isn't reddit. On one hand, voting hasn't been the only way of promoting content here, due to the activity sort. On the other hand, the lack of any mechanic for "downvoting" a post gives little power to the users who want to keep the lower effort content in check.

    I don't know how this will play out at all. I honestly wouldn't mind having a place like ~fluff, when it comes to the content. What I would mind, though, is if this place lost its culture of deep discussion because those having those discussions were drowned out by those not interested in them. Unless we're confident in safeguards against the kind of issue I outlined above, my vote is against ~fluff.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro Link Parent
      Honestly, that is my biggest fear and why I am so adamantly against allowing fluff on the site. Fluff is overwhelming more popular than long-form content and if we allow fluff to exist here then...

      What I would mind, though, is if this place lost its culture of deep discussion because those having those discussions were drowned out by those not interested in them.

      Honestly, that is my biggest fear and why I am so adamantly against allowing fluff on the site. Fluff is overwhelming more popular than long-form content and if we allow fluff to exist here then people interested in long-form content will quickly get outnumbered and no matter the measure we attempt to put in place (more vote weight to longer content, trust, etc) it will still have a systemic negative effect on the culture here that we cannot counteract with mechanics.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Cirrus Link Parent
        My thoughts exactly. Even now there are noise comments popping up, and one or two shitposts. I'm worried that excessive advertising on reddit has made ~ seem like a replacement for reddit, which...

        My thoughts exactly. Even now there are noise comments popping up, and one or two shitposts. I'm worried that excessive advertising on reddit has made ~ seem like a replacement for reddit, which it really isn't. Tildes is more text and discussion based, while reddit is all about the pics, gifs, and links. Both sites have their own place on the internet. People who come here from reddit might expect a similar content and organizational structure to reddit, and I fear that the original purpose of tildes might be swept aside by popular opinion. I agree with deimos' decision to slow it down a bit and sort out the community first. If we are not careful, we might just end up as a second reddit.

        1 vote
        1. cfabbro Link Parent
          I mean we are an alternative... but we don’t plan on competing in all the same spheres reddit does. Reddit wants to continue to cater to their low-effort, image based posters and communities, I...

          I mean we are an alternative... but we don’t plan on competing in all the same spheres reddit does. Reddit wants to continue to cater to their low-effort, image based posters and communities, I say let them. We can fill the niches for quality long form discussion and articles they are letting get drowned out by the rest.

          1 vote
  22. Catt (edited ) Link
    As someone who definitely enjoys my daily dose of kitty pics, I'm leaning towards disallowing it. I agree with a lot of the reasons already mentioned and repeated throughout this thread. On...

    As someone who definitely enjoys my daily dose of kitty pics, I'm leaning towards disallowing it. I agree with a lot of the reasons already mentioned and repeated throughout this thread. On reddit, I can't stand the "cats standing" (or whatever it's actually called) subreddit, where every comment is "cat".

    However, I would like to point out that beyond fluff there are real discussions that are of value regarding cute animals that can often stem from a seemingly effortless pic. For me specifically, anything that helps animals (both the specific and in general) get adopted are good. Awareness brought to endangered species and conservation efforts in general too.

    Maybe we don't specifically need a ~fluff group, but still allow the content.

    5 votes
  23. ThoughtMonster Link
    I'm brand new here, but I'm here because I want to see real discussions. If I wanted to see cute cat pics and memes, there are lots of other sites where I could do that. I quite like the idea of a...

    I'm brand new here, but I'm here because I want to see real discussions. If I wanted to see cute cat pics and memes, there are lots of other sites where I could do that. I quite like the idea of a site where that's simply not a thing that's present. I feel like sequestering it won't work. It ultimately takes over, more and more people who are into it join, until the critical mass is here for that, and then after you filter it out, you're not left with much. And then you go looking for another site. So I'm hoping that this site focuses on doing one thing well: thoughtful discussion - and leaves the fluff for other places.

    5 votes
  24. [19]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [11]
      jgb Link Parent
      Fluff: content that does not provide any substantial basis for meaningful discussion, debate, or insight.

      Fluff: content that does not provide any substantial basis for meaningful discussion, debate, or insight.

      8 votes
      1. [3]
        Mumberthrax Link Parent
        how do we measure that though? technically speaking? If I were to write up a computer program (e.g. a moderator policy document which instructs moderators how to identify such content), what...

        how do we measure that though? technically speaking?

        If I were to write up a computer program (e.g. a moderator policy document which instructs moderators how to identify such content), what specific elements would need to be evaluated to determine it has no substantial basis for meaningful discussion, debate or insight? How would i even define meaningful discussion, debate, or insight?

        I'm not trying to be a troll in asking this - I think if we're going to ban a specific kind of content then we need to be sure that it is ultra-clear what is and isn't the banned content so that no moderator misconduct may happen in the future when there are non-admin moderators, and so that users don't fear being banned for accidentally crossing the line due to ambiguous criteria.

        7 votes
        1. [2]
          jgb Link Parent
          Moderator discretion, and user reports.

          Moderator discretion, and user reports.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. jgb Link Parent
              Perhaps, but I think in this scenario, moderator discretion is basically the only solution. You can't define 'low-effort' in any truly objective terms. I think the best thing to do will be to...

              Perhaps, but I think in this scenario, moderator discretion is basically the only solution. You can't define 'low-effort' in any truly objective terms. I think the best thing to do will be to build up a catalogue of posts considered high-quality (non-fluff) and those considered low-quality (fluff), to be publically viewable and lent upon for precedence by the moderation team.

              1 vote
      2. [8]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [7]
          jgb Link Parent
          I certainly consider it the sort of comment that should be disuaded. No-one really wins when you just lay your opinions out on the table without giving them any sort of justification or...

          Do you consider this phrase to be fluff by your definition? "Taxation is Theft"

          I certainly consider it the sort of comment that should be disuaded. No-one really wins when you just lay your opinions out on the table without giving them any sort of justification or foundation. This is why I like the tagging system - it potentially offers a nice way to enforce the culture of the site without resorting to outright censorship except when strictly necessary.

          I'd like to think that at least for the time being, the moderators are smart enough to recognise meaning and substance in viewpoints that oppose their own. In the future you're right - there might be the need for a more rigorous set of rules - but as I've stated elsewhere in the thread, my belief is that it's better to start out too strict.

          5 votes
          1. [7]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. [6]
              jgb Link Parent
              But that's in spite of its lack of substance, not because of it. I disagree. I think that substance is a thing that an intelligent human can judge fairly objectively. Even viewpoints which I...

              Some of the best and most insightful internet discussions I've participated in have started with nothing more than that phrase.

              But that's in spite of its lack of substance, not because of it.

              Whether or not it would be considered fluff by your stated definition would hinge on how "substantial" you view the basis of the argument to be. A determination that is almost certain to be highly correlated with your political philosophy and cultural upbringing.

              I disagree. I think that substance is a thing that an intelligent human can judge fairly objectively. Even viewpoints which I wholly disagree with, backed by logic I judge to be fallacious and sources I view as disreputeable, are still substantial in my view because a genuine point is being made.

              I agree, but there is a difference between strict and ill-defined and overly broad.

              True. My definition is by no means perfect. I would like to see other people's attempts at pinning down the rather abstract idea that is 'fluff content'.

              3 votes
              1. [6]
                Comment deleted by author
                Link Parent
                1. [2]
                  jgb Link Parent
                  This strikes me as a good idea but I do think you miss a lot of categories of fluff content. Most notably, the 'sob story' (of the kind that are prevalent on /r/pics) - 'I'm a gay black woman with...

                  This strikes me as a good idea but I do think you miss a lot of categories of fluff content. Most notably, the 'sob story' (of the kind that are prevalent on /r/pics) - 'I'm a gay black woman with leukemia and today I graduated from college after having to work 120 hours a week for five years to pay for tuition'. I also worry whether it would ever be possible to effectively forbid each specific category of fluff content without producing a mile-long page of rules.

                  4 votes
                  1. [2]
                    Comment deleted by author
                    Link Parent
                    1. Amarok Link Parent
                      I definitely agree with that. We often get to talking about all of these things in a vacuum - democracy, civility, merit, subjectivity, value, transparency, and power and the various perks,...

                      I definitely agree with that.

                      We often get to talking about all of these things in a vacuum - democracy, civility, merit, subjectivity, value, transparency, and power and the various perks, drawbacks, and abuses that come with it.

                      I think talking about all of these topics like they are separate is what leads to those endless debate threads that never reach a solid resolution. They are all components of a better system. The question is about how all of these components interact with each other to address their various shortcomings and develop their various strengths in a fashion that leaves you with a system that is far greater than the sum of the parts.

                      It's been my experience that transparency is king because it reinforces honesty in thought and in action. We must be up front, concise, and transparent in any rule design and enforcement on tildes. If we're banning fluff content, we're going to want clear definitions so people can understand the reasoning behind that decision. Even if they don't agree with it, the presence of clear guidelines will keep confusion down and help prevent bad will from polluting the ongoing dialog.

                      2 votes
                2. [3]
                  BBBence1111 Link Parent
                  So, yesterday's Leopards biting their own tail thread is allowed, but asking for medical advice because my dog has something on his ear and I took a picture? Or a blurry pic of a fox running...

                  No domestic animals

                  So, yesterday's Leopards biting their own tail thread is allowed, but asking for medical advice because my dog has something on his ear and I took a picture?

                  Or a blurry pic of a fox running through the street is good, but a post about a horse that just won a race isn't?

                  Because based on that, this is what I see.

                  1 vote
                  1. [2]
                    Amarok Link Parent
                    I think asking for medical advice with a dog pic attached is ~talk material, not ~fluff.pics material. I think we can all probably agree that ~talk is the best place for casual chit chat, which is...

                    I think asking for medical advice with a dog pic attached is ~talk material, not ~fluff.pics material. I think we can all probably agree that ~talk is the best place for casual chit chat, which is the 'low-effort' version of a discussion site. If there's ever a ~talk.advice.vets that'd be even better for it. The blurry fox pic is probably not good at all. The horse that just won a race, well, we'll see it's picture in the news article you link us to about that race.

                    1. BBBence1111 Link Parent
                      This was entirely based on @go1dfish's "No domestic animals" suggestion, and it was meant to be a bit absurd (also, I spent about 2 minutes on thinking up examples). It was meant to demonstrate...

                      This was entirely based on @go1dfish's "No domestic animals" suggestion, and it was meant to be a bit absurd (also, I spent about 2 minutes on thinking up examples). It was meant to demonstrate that sometimes animal pictures can lead to discussion, and woithout a concrete definiton we get absurd rules.

    2. [8]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [6]
        cfabbro Link Parent
        I just want to say that, while I may not agree with you about free speech absolutism, I am glad to see you here and hope you will continue to provide constructive input like you just did. The last...

        I just want to say that, while I may not agree with you about free speech absolutism, I am glad to see you here and hope you will continue to provide constructive input like you just did. The last thing we want is to become an echo chamber so comments from people with perspectives like yours are important when they are made in good faith, like yours just was.

        4 votes
        1. [6]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [5]
            cfabbro Link Parent
            BTW, when I saw you mention notabug yesterday in redditalts I checked it out pretty thoroughly and just wanted to say... I am seriously in awe of it, especially performance wise. I don't know how...

            BTW, when I saw you mention notabug yesterday in redditalts I checked it out pretty thoroughly and just wanted to say... I am seriously in awe of it, especially performance wise. I don't know how you expect it to turn out any different than voat, but the concept (and coding) behind your decentralized peer model is incredibly impressive. I wish you all the best and good luck with it!

            3 votes
            1. [5]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. [4]
                cfabbro Link Parent
                Can I ask why, if you recognize certain elements currently thriving on voat are not worth having on your own site, that you still believe in absolute free speech? Is it not inevitable that they...

                Can I ask why, if you recognize certain elements currently thriving on voat are not worth having on your own site, that you still believe in absolute free speech? Is it not inevitable that they migrate to your platform and cause the same issue there they have on voat? Especially since the voat admins clearly don't really care about even keeping the site running anymore.

                2 votes
                1. [4]
                  Comment deleted by author
                  Link Parent
                  1. [3]
                    cfabbro Link Parent
                    Fair enough, man. You do make a good point but I think the one you may be missing is the systemic issues. Allowing hate speech a place on your site attracts more of those type of users who...

                    Fair enough, man. You do make a good point but I think the one you may be missing is the systemic issues. Allowing hate speech a place on your site attracts more of those type of users who inevitably bring their attitudes and bad-faith behavior with them when they interact with other communities on your site not hate speech related. Eventually this causes the good faith users to grow increasingly frustrated, eventually abandoning your site entirely for greener pastures and all you are left with is the bad-faith users. This has played out time and time again on every social site on the internet. How does your site intend to address that?

                    Here we intend to nip it in the bud by not allowing hateful and bad-faith users to establish a beachhead here, and providing trust mechanisms to allow good-faith users to maintain their group’s founding principles and culture... amongst other things.

                    2 votes
                    1. [3]
                      Comment deleted by author
                      Link Parent
                      1. [2]
                        cfabbro Link Parent
                        I must say, I respect your ideals and approach... especially your idea of using crypto-currency analogous karma/reputation/internet points, rendering them a scarce commodity (and something people...

                        I must say, I respect your ideals and approach... especially your idea of using crypto-currency analogous karma/reputation/internet points, rendering them a scarce commodity (and something people will actually want to consider before handing out) unlike a simple upvote with no weight or ultimate value behind it other than as a representation of instant gratification. We are hoping to achieve a similar result through the 'vote weight being based on trust' mechanic.

                        However, I don't think the city state model is a particularly good one and I will give you an example of why. It's a bit long since I need to explain the context, so please bear with me:

                        On /r/canada right now, something insidious is happening. The top mods there are now inactive and the other older ones have left, leaving the only active one left (an alt-right sympathizer) effectively at the top, who has now invited a whole bunch of former /r/metacanada mods (I say former but they are still metacanada mods, they just use alts there now).

                        These mods have begun a systemic campaign of censorship but they have been doing so in a very smart and hard to notice way. They try their best to never say anything overtly racist or questionable in public. They never remove things once they have gotten enough traction/votes for its disappearance to be noticeable. But they are removing a LOT of new posts and comments they disagree with, especially any that call attention to their actions or challenge their ideology.

                        As a result, /r/onguardforthee was created. Great. Nice. New City State and everyone who finds the previous unappealing can now migrate... But the problem is that the vast majority of /r/Canada users, being mostly casual viewers, are unaware of the problem and so are also unaware that their primary news source and perspective are now being intentionally distorted by the systemic suppression of content the mods there find problematic to their ideology. By all outward appearance everything is normal and functioning as it once was, unless you are very active in the community, familiar with the reddit moderation system and/or witness the censorship going on firsthand, which I have being a victim of it. But despite all this, /r/Canada's subscriber count has continued to climb because new users are unaware of the problem and unaware that /r/onguardforthee even exists.

                        So while the city state model is a solution... it is a poor one since it cannot address gradual, hard to notice ideological subversion and if those subversive elements play their hand right, the truth is that the vast majority of users will not notice nor migrate to the new city state despite it being a place more authentic and in-line with their interests.

                        Your nodes are no different and could potentially suffer the same fate.

                        On ~ we are instead going to attempt an arbitration model. If a rift forms in a community here enough to potentially cause a fracture in the community, unlike reddit who refuses to step in and deal with it, we intend to arbitrate and take direct action after a decision is reached. If one side of the issue has been acting in bad faith they will actually be punished (unlike on reddit), either by having their trust zeroed out (removing their access to the tools that allowed them to effect the community) or in extreme cases being removed from the community or site entirely.

                        Having witnessed countless fractures and issues on reddit communities over the years, (e.g. r/IAMA creator setting it to private, saydrah using her power to make money, /r/marijuana mod being a total shithead resulting in /r/trees, etc) the vast majority of cases were caused by bad-faith behavior of people in power and this approach should be more than sufficient to prevent it here.

                        3 votes
                        1. [2]
                          Comment deleted by author
                          Link Parent
                          1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
                            Well I would advise you keep gradual ideological subversion in mind when you do because I definitely feel it's a major problem. And when you do decide how you are going to approach communities on...

                            I'm really still not entirely sure how my communities will be structured, only that they will be made up of topics underneath and that topics will not be censored.

                            Communities will also be able to be forked from another in the sense that they can include all the content of one community with additional filtering or inclusions of content.

                            Well I would advise you keep gradual ideological subversion in mind when you do because I definitely feel it's a major problem. And when you do decide how you are going to approach communities on NAB I would love to read about it. :)

                            NAB and ~ feel very yin and yang in a way.

                            Well said. I'm starting to feel the same way, TBH. :)

                            And all your comments have been well said in general, man. You have honestly given me a lot to think about, so thank you.

                            3 votes
      2. Amarok Link Parent
        I'd debate that you are not an absolutist based on that exception. One can be very passionate about free speech and freedom of expression without becoming a person who will not entertain even the...

        I am indeed a free speech absolutist, but I'm also a voluntarist.

        I'd debate that you are not an absolutist based on that exception. One can be very passionate about free speech and freedom of expression without becoming a person who will not entertain even the slightest exceptions or modifications to unfettered free speech. ;)

        Just by saying you acknowledge the rights of others to run their spaces in their own ways, you're showing me that you're not the kind of 'absolutist' that I tend to end up locking horns with. It's like you said, though - reddit has a serious perception problem in this area and it does tend to drive any discussions about these matters directly into the gutter.

        4 votes
  25. [2]
    UrsulaMajor Link
    I think that, if you're looking for fluff content, reddit is set up much better for that on a mechanical level. I don't think we need to be Reddit 2; I think we need to be better. that said, a...

    I think that, if you're looking for fluff content, reddit is set up much better for that on a mechanical level. I don't think we need to be Reddit 2; I think we need to be better.

    that said, a ~fluff quarantine area would be decent enough. we can have ~fluff.cute, ~fluff.cute.dog, etc. my only gripe is that ~fluff should never be a default subscription; new users shouldn't arrive with the first impression of us just being another Reddit/Facebook/Instagram fluff factory

    4 votes
    1. Amarok Link Parent
      I believe we're planning to avoid any sort of default-mechanism. Someday this hierarchy will be more than just a list of groups on the right side of the screen - it'll become a large, fully...

      I believe we're planning to avoid any sort of default-mechanism.

      Someday this hierarchy will be more than just a list of groups on the right side of the screen - it'll become a large, fully expand/collapsible compartmentalized tree (well, likely several trees represented by the top-level groups you see there). People will have to choose which trees to visit and where in them to subscribe.

      2 votes
  26. tildesatwindmills Link
    More agreement on prohibiting the fluff! I really appreciate the text focused viewing experience of ~. Reddit is full of image w/o content, let us build a culture where that is not the accepted norm.

    More agreement on prohibiting the fluff!

    I really appreciate the text focused viewing experience of ~. Reddit is full of image w/o content, let us build a culture where that is not the accepted norm.

    4 votes
  27. Flashynuff Link
    I think that ~ should create a ~fluff group. It fills a necessary role, since even if it's not just cute animal pics, people will eventually want to post things that are a little lower effort. I...

    I think that ~ should create a ~fluff group. It fills a necessary role, since even if it's not just cute animal pics, people will eventually want to post things that are a little lower effort.

    I think that creating it now, when there's a tiny amount of groups to even be subscribed to, will be detrimental to the site. It'll drown out the rest of the content since there's such a small amount of content being posted. I would suggest creating it, but lock it and post an explanation that users should be posting high quality content while ~ is growing. Keeps us on track for now while still allowing the potential for future growth.

    4 votes
  28. syntekz Link
    I would not be upset if decision to ban "fluff" was made. Having one problem though, defining "fluff" in my mind. I think would probably have to be an ongoing discussion to define as the site grows.

    I would not be upset if decision to ban "fluff" was made.
    Having one problem though, defining "fluff" in my mind. I think would probably have to be an ongoing discussion to define as the site grows.

    4 votes
  29. [9]
    kalebo Link
    I think an embargo on posts of "cute animals", and other such things would be fine especially where the Tildes community is still nascent. However, I wonder if part of the reason low effort...

    I think an embargo on posts of "cute animals", and other such things would be fine especially where the Tildes community is still nascent. However, I wonder if part of the reason low effort postings start popping up is due, at least in part, to the way Tildes is currently focused on posting direct links to other sites a la reddit and hackernews. Frankly it seems to me that posting a single link is the epitome of a low effort posting anyway.

    As an alternative, what about encouraging/enforcing full text submissions where external links are embeded in the user submitted text? This text could provide context for the links and serve as a "substantial basis for meaningful discussion, debate, or insight." This is roughly the same style that is/was used on slashdot, kuro5hin, and metafilter. This of course has the downside that you can't click on the headline directly to go to the linked site, but it does slow down consumption and could perhaps promote more thoughtful discussion.

    4 votes
    1. [8]
      cfabbro Link Parent
      If we want to get sued into the ground for copyright infringement that is a good way to go about it. ;) But I do appreciate the attempt to think outside the box and a middle ground might be...

      As an alternative, what about encouraging/enforcing full text submissions where external links are embeded in the user submitted text?

      If we want to get sued into the ground for copyright infringement that is a good way to go about it. ;) But I do appreciate the attempt to think outside the box and a middle ground might be possible where we do something like autotldr on reddit for every article submitted to ~ though. I will bring it up with the rest of the ~ crew in the morning.

      1 vote
      1. [7]
        kalebo Link Parent
        I think we are misunderstanding each other. Are you thinking that I am suggesting that we copy and paste the content of articles here? Because that is most certainly not what I was suggesting....

        I think we are misunderstanding each other. Are you thinking that I am suggesting that we copy and paste the content of articles here? Because that is most certainly not what I was suggesting. That or I seriously misunderstand international copyright law.

        2 votes
        1. [6]
          cfabbro Link Parent
          Ah, okay I think I did misunderstand you... Sorry. You're suggesting self-text only with external links in them and no direct links submissions, right? This is very similar to the "combined...

          Ah, okay I think I did misunderstand you... Sorry. You're suggesting self-text only with external links in them and no direct links submissions, right? This is very similar to the "combined self-text/link" idea and is incredibly problematic for other reasons. From another thread that @deimos answered in that regard:

          This is something that I've thought a decent amount about, because I was originally planning on just combining the two types as well. I've talked with others about it multiple times too, and I eventually ended up being convinced that it was better to keep them separated.

          I think, for me, the main argument against it is that it basically gives the submitter an unfair advantage in adding their own commentary to a link—they get a "soapbox" that they can use to comment on the link, and everyone looking at the post is basically forced to read what they think, even though they probably don't have any more authority to talk about that link than anyone else would if they submitted it. If the submitter wants to comment on the link, it should probably be... in the form of a comment, just like it is for everyone else.

          Also, if you combine them, it muddles the voting (and some other mechanics) a bit. As a voter, now I have to try to decide how to account for the submitter's commentary as well, instead of just the link on its own. What if I think it's a good link that should be posted in the group, but their commentary on it is wrong? Do I have to upvote it anyway, and give that wrong commentary more exposure? You also end up with a lot of the top-level comments being responses to the submitter's commentary, instead of to the link itself.

          Because of reasons like that, I think keeping them separated makes more sense than combining. The error on reddit of people filling in both is more of a UI issue than anything (tabs are the wrong element to use). The Tildes interface is currently terrible too, but at least it tells people not to fill in both, and won't let them submit if they do.

          2 votes
          1. Amarok Link Parent
            We also talked about tweaking that so filling in the text box during link submission would simply dump that text in as the first comment, so that it's not tied directly to the submission -...

            We also talked about tweaking that so filling in the text box during link submission would simply dump that text in as the first comment, so that it's not tied directly to the submission - completely sidestepping this issue/objection and solving the problem. It's just an easy way for OP to get first-reply on his own submission. I think if we're going to want higher quality discussions and more discussion in general, that's starting to look like a better idea all the time.

            4 votes
          2. [4]
            kalebo Link Parent
            Not a problem; to be human is to be misunderstood. Anyway, I had already read that thread, but I am more and more convinced that some links really must be given context in order to spur on a good...

            Not a problem; to be human is to be misunderstood. Anyway, I had already read that thread, but I am more and more convinced that some links really must be given context in order to spur on a good discussion. For example when I posted the snow leopards I was interested in why it there were so many pictures for something I would think would be a rare behavior. Now maybe I should have posted a comment to help push the discussion on that note, but it seems it would have been better to simply make a full text post with that context.

            I guess what I am getting at here is that if we are going to get rid of low effort posts, would the comments on such a post be considered when evaluating if a post is low effort or not? My gut feeling is no. Yes, I know full text posts have difficulties, but this specific problem is neatly avoided with full text posts because the significance/context of the link is explicitly included.

            1 vote
            1. [3]
              cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
              We have actually discussed a sort of half-way point between self-text and direct links in the form of megathreads with added context... but I think that concept applicable here as well. Here is...

              We have actually discussed a sort of half-way point between self-text and direct links in the form of megathreads with added context... but I think that concept applicable here as well. Here is the example of it that @ReAn whipped up: https://jsfiddle.net/5pfjcx4L/embedded/result/

              The only problem with it is we would need strict guidelines for not editorializing the summary/context to avoid the issues @deimos brought up. Your 'context to submissions' idea would require similar standards to be viable IMO... and currently that is not possible, but is something to consider in the future once we have moderator tools (like editing tags/titles/summary/etc) and the trust system in place.

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                kalebo Link Parent
                I liked the mockup and I think it would be sweet to have in the future. But you're right, I'm probably getting ahead of what's feasible right now. Thanks for listening to my rants though ;)

                I liked the mockup and I think it would be sweet to have in the future. But you're right, I'm probably getting ahead of what's feasible right now. Thanks for listening to my rants though ;)

                1 vote
                1. cfabbro Link Parent
                  Heh, naw... don't worry about "ranting" if it's related to potential site mechanics. This whole site is theory crafting at this point and hopefully remains that way forever, TBH, since we can...

                  Heh, naw... don't worry about "ranting" if it's related to potential site mechanics. This whole site is theory crafting at this point and hopefully remains that way forever, TBH, since we can always strive to improve. @deimos and I were both super active on /r/theoryofreddit back in the day and I moderated /r/ideasfortheadmins, so discussion on possible mechanics for social systems is our absolute passion.

                  1 vote
  30. [8]
    chyyran Link
    While not high quality content, I feel that straight up disallowing fluff content on the site will breed an unfriendly atmosphere to newcomers. ~fluff is a good solution to isolate low effort...

    While not high quality content, I feel that straight up disallowing fluff content on the site will breed an unfriendly atmosphere to newcomers. ~fluff is a good solution to isolate low effort content, but still allowing for a space to screw around and post memes and cat pics. Cultivating a community like SO, HN, or even early days of Usenet is not the way to invite newcomers on the platform. There are a lot of "old grumpies" in this thread, but should ~ be the type of site that is only open to old grumpies?

    Fluff content definitely does not belong in the more focused hierarchies, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't belong on the site at all.

    4 votes
    1. [7]
      cfabbro Link Parent
      That's ideally what ~talk is for. It's a low barrier to entry with high appeal that anyone can participate in but is text based rather than image based so it's not entirely mindless "fluff" since...

      That's ideally what ~talk is for. It's a low barrier to entry with high appeal that anyone can participate in but is text based rather than image based so it's not entirely mindless "fluff" since at least with ~talk it forces people to read and engage in the discussions. We also have a fair few /r/CasualConversation mods here already who will likely form the core of the ~talk community so it's not going to be restricted to only overly "high brow" discussions either.

      Whereas in regards to cat pictures/memes/gifs, as @deimos said:

      It has practically zero discussion value. About the only comments people can make on those sorts of posts are "aww cute", or "lol, goofy dog". Yes, there's a very, very slim possibility that you might get something like "this type of bird has an interesting migration pattern", but if that's the case, a better original post would have been that information in the first place.

      3 votes
      1. [6]
        chyyran Link Parent
        If you compare something like r/CasualConversation and r/me_irl, they are two drastically different communities with different feel. I hope you'll agree with me that the type of content on...

        If you compare something like r/CasualConversation and r/me_irl, they are two drastically different communities with different feel. I hope you'll agree with me that the type of content on r/me_irl has absolutely no place on ~talk, but if you look at almost any thread on the frontpage of r/me_irl right now, there is definitely conversation going on.

        1 vote
        1. [5]
          cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
          Right but once again by allowing communities like /r/me_irl you get all sort of other systemic problems. Low-effort, easily digestible content (such as pics and memes) will, by it's very nature,...

          Right but once again by allowing communities like /r/me_irl you get all sort of other systemic problems.

          1. Low-effort, easily digestible content (such as pics and memes) will, by it's very nature, outperform long-form content that takes ten times as long to absorb before deciding if it is vote worthy.
          2. It attracts a larger population of people only interested in low-effort content which bleeds into other communities causing problems there (like voting "funny" comments up while ignoring longer ones, or even demanding a TL;DR before they even consider it).
          3. To counteract all the problems it brings with it you requires a tremendous amount of "unfairness" in the system, e.g. heavy handed moderation, weighting the system heavily against easily digestible content, etc.
          4. How long can you sustain that unfairness in the system to "keep the balance" in favor of long-form content as the population that prefers low-effort content beings to outnumber those that prefer quality long-form content?
          5. Tildes stated objectives are to encourage long-form, quality content (primarily text based) and not obsess over metrics and growth which low-effort, easily digestible content is the antithesis of.

          All those problems are solved by simple disallowing it to exist here. And as we have said countless times before, there are a million other places people can go to for that content, reddit amongst them, so why should it be allowed here? Quick, easily digestible content is something reddit already does extremely well and we have no desire to compete with them on that front.

          1 vote
          1. [4]
            chyyran Link Parent
            By funnelling low effort content into a top-level ~ such as ~fluff, presumably it would be possible to never notice low effort content when browsing other communities. You bring up some good...

            By funnelling low effort content into a top-level ~ such as ~fluff, presumably it would be possible to never notice low effort content when browsing other communities. You bring up some good points about the personality types that such communities tend to attract, but if a user is unable to put on their adult hat and participate in conversation in communities that are focused towards conversation (i.e. everything not ~fluff), wouldn't the trust system and tagging mechanics mitigate the actions of such users? One easy solution would be to reduce or remove gaining trust in ~fluff (I believe this has already been suggested), which seems more than sufficient "unfairness" towards low quality content.

            Besides such ways to mitigate users that become insular in low-effort communities, there doesn't need to be too much particular unfairness towards the content itself, but rather positive incentive towards being a good active member of the site as whole, ~fluff notwithstanding. Something as rude as demanding a tl;dr of quality content would be to the detriment of the user's standing in the community as a whole. But for those that come for the cats and stay for discussion, I don't see any reason to keep those users away. Disallowing the content as a whole is an easy solution, but in my view it is like taking a jackhammer to a nail.

            2 votes
            1. [3]
              cfabbro Link Parent
              Hey, finally got a break from the massive pile of invites. Ideally... yes, but the truth is we have absolutely no idea if it's going to work. We are going to try our damndest to make it work but...

              Hey, finally got a break from the massive pile of invites.

              but if a user is unable to put on their adult hat and participate in conversation in communities that are focused towards conversatio, wouldn't the trust system and tagging mechanics mitigate the actions of such users?

              Ideally... yes, but the truth is we have absolutely no idea if it's going to work. We are going to try our damndest to make it work but there is no guarantee. I think at the very least we shouldn't allow fluff here to start, until we have some systems in place to keep it from spreading and overwhelming the other content on the site.

              You do make some good points and as I have said before, I do see the other side of the argument. Even I enjoy low-effort content every now and again. But I go to reddit for that. Admittedly a lot less these days though.

              I still can't help but feel simply relegating it to ~fluff even at a later stage is just sticking our heads in the sand though.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                chyyran Link Parent
                Until the trust mechanics have been implemented, perhaps introducing ~fluff would be a bad idea. But once they have, even before the invite system is gone, there is not much reason to not have a...

                Until the trust mechanics have been implemented, perhaps introducing ~fluff would be a bad idea. But once they have, even before the invite system is gone, there is not much reason to not have a category for fluff content. While as you've said there is no guarantee that ~'s culture can be enforced by its mechanics (and hence isolating ~fluff from more meaningful content), if it can't handle an influx of users interested in low-effort content, how will it be able to handle users that participate in actively malicious content? Pardon my saying so, but if the site mechanics fail to achieve its stated goal when user creation is opened up, despite all the effort put towards it, then I feel that tildes as a site would have fundamentally failed what it aims to achieve, unless the invite system stays in perpetuity.

                1 vote
                1. safari Link Parent
                  I think the number of users who are interested in fluff content vastly outweigh those who may be malicious. Also, while the site is designed to penalise those who act in bad faith, it's difficult...

                  if it can't handle an influx of users interested in low-effort content, how will it be able to handle users that participate in actively malicious content?

                  I think the number of users who are interested in fluff content vastly outweigh those who may be malicious. Also, while the site is designed to penalise those who act in bad faith, it's difficult to know how it would react to a significant influx of good-faith, fluff-favouring, fast-voting users. If the site were vote-sorted by default, I'd be even more concerned.

                  1 vote
  31. Petril Link
    I don't know, maybe I'm just the sort of low-effort/quality member that is being discussed here, but I really enjoy fluffiness. Even the concept of catsstandingup (as mentioned by another...

    I don't know, maybe I'm just the sort of low-effort/quality member that is being discussed here, but I really enjoy fluffiness. Even the concept of catsstandingup (as mentioned by another commentor) appeals to me. I personally don't visit that sub, but the thought of grown humans doing something that absurd almost as a hive-mind amuses me endlessly. I'm glad that sort of HUGE, self- perpetuating social experiment exists. How they randomly pick an identical comment to downvote into oblivion? Hilarious!

    I can totally see why ~ would disallow content like the above, though. It's a novelty. I'm ok with going elsewhere for my daily dose of adorable or dumb jokes, but I'm less interested in this place becoming a stodgy, stuffy, elitist place with no sense of humor to be found. I personally value friendliness and openness as well as deep focused discussion, and I'm worried about people being discouraged or feeling out of place just for liking a certain type of content in addition to discussion.

    That said, I've really enjoyed my first day here. I am interested to see what this will grow to be and I'll respect what the community wants, even If it turns out that ~ isn't the place for me. I promise I mean all of that with introspection and not with petulance.

    My idea would be to leave all as is but add a .fluff to each major group. That way the fluff can't aggregate into a monster and it's easy to know where to go for some amusing shitposts about TV or food or whatever.

    4 votes
  32. bobcobble Link
    I don't think it should be allowed. There are endless places for cute animal content.

    I don't think it should be allowed. There are endless places for cute animal content.

    3 votes
  33. Mumberthrax (edited ) Link
    If "fluff" is defined as literally just cute animal pictures, then I would be fine with quarantining it in a tilde specifically set aside for content that is not desired in the main site. Edit: If...

    If "fluff" is defined as literally just cute animal pictures, then I would be fine with quarantining it in a tilde specifically set aside for content that is not desired in the main site.

    Edit: If it has any other definition, then it would depend on what that definition is as to whether it seems wise to ban/quarantine it.

    3 votes
  34. [6]
    crius Link
    I see lots of comments with very good point here and while I'm also an old grumpy whatever I would like to remind that excluding something brings only the community to find a way around the...

    I see lots of comments with very good point here and while I'm also an old grumpy whatever I would like to remind that excluding something brings only the community to find a way around the censor.

    Controlling it is actually a better way to manage something that could potentially be disruptive of other content.

    An example: Create a ~fluff group in which people will post to ~fluff.aww, ~fluff.doggos, etc but give the entirity of ~fluff a much lesser weight in the algorithm that brings thread up in the front page.

    3 votes
    1. [5]
      Amarok Link Parent
      If we end up doing it (even if that's years from now after we build systems to help handle it) I am definitely going to push for this.

      If we end up doing it (even if that's years from now after we build systems to help handle it) I am definitely going to push for this.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        cfabbro Link Parent
        I disagree with the premise though... if it were true, where are the cat gifs on metafilter and stackoverflow? It is entirely possible to, through culture, policy, enforcement of policy and...

        I disagree with the premise though... if it were true, where are the cat gifs on metafilter and stackoverflow?

        It is entirely possible to, through culture, policy, enforcement of policy and moderation systems completely suppress a particular type of content indefinitely with diligence. And again this "containment" solution also ignores the systemic issues that allowing such communities to thrive brings with it. People who are more interested in low-effort, instant gratification content are much more likely to bring that attitude with them into other communities they interact with and make it much more difficult for long-form content to thrive there.

        1. crius Link Parent
          Well, the point is exactly to avoid having a community like stackoverflow I think. If you post something like that it will be insta-deleted and you could get a temporary ban probably. In my mind...

          Well, the point is exactly to avoid having a community like stackoverflow I think.

          If you post something like that it will be insta-deleted and you could get a temporary ban probably.
          In my mind at least, ~tildes should be more open to a general public as well, but promoting higher quality content against low effort :)

          2 votes
        2. [2]
          BBBence1111 Link Parent
          Stackoverflow is a programming forum, no? I don't know metafilter. But talking about SO, it's specialized. It's most likely what ~comp will become. And yes, you wouldn't see cats on ~comp. But...

          Stackoverflow is a programming forum, no? I don't know metafilter.

          But talking about SO, it's specialized. It's most likely what ~comp will become. And yes, you wouldn't see cats on ~comp. But what about something like /r/programmerhumor ? A lot more fitting there.

          1 vote
          1. crius Link Parent
            Someone else suggested that the community could adopt sub-groups when something is relevant to a root group but is low level. And honestly both concept can coexists imho. ~fluff can be the root...

            Someone else suggested that the community could adopt sub-groups when something is relevant to a root group but is low level.

            And honestly both concept can coexists imho.

            ~fluff can be the root group for low effort, casual browsing (with a lower multiplier of votes to appear in the font page i'd say) and things like computer humor could simply goes into ~comp.humor or ~comp.fluff as well.

            I didn't read enough about how sub-groups will work but I think it could be a positive thing if they were dynamic entities so that if enough people post into ~comp.humor, well then that is an active community but if someone post into ~comp.sysadmin.obscure.stuff only a couple of time and nothing more, that group is going to just organically disappear.

  35. Eivetsthecat Link
    I'm not for the fluff myself. If someone wants to run a space that extremely curated towards say, a specific breed of animal and people can post cute pics of that specific breed I might be ok with...

    I'm not for the fluff myself. If someone wants to run a space that extremely curated towards say, a specific breed of animal and people can post cute pics of that specific breed I might be ok with that. But I don't want to see r/aww. I can Reddit for that or mainline imgur.

    Reddit suffers more every day from the lowest common denominator. It's really going to come down to how people moderate though, and the bigger it gets the harder it'll be to stop it.

    3 votes
  36. Emerald_Knight Link
    I have a middle opinion on this: We could have a dedicated group for this kind of content, but we should avoid creating such a group until a) the community is more well-established so that higher...

    I have a middle opinion on this: We could have a dedicated group for this kind of content, but we should avoid creating such a group until a) the community is more well-established so that higher effort content organically maintains itself as the cornerstone of the community, and b) front page algorithms work in such a way that no one particular group can squeeze out content from other groups (which is something that should be on the roadmap, anyway).

    I'm not really for or against it, but if we choose to add the group, then we need to do it in such a way that we don't compromise on the purpose of this community.

    3 votes
  37. prydt Link
    honestly I am fine with disallowing fluff here... there are many other platforms for finding such content and it isnt necessary imo

    honestly I am fine with disallowing fluff here... there are many other platforms for finding such content and it isnt necessary imo

    3 votes
  38. connor Link
    I'll concur with the previous commenters that mentioned that this site would benefit from a unique angle; there are other places for such content.

    I'll concur with the previous commenters that mentioned that this site would benefit from a unique angle; there are other places for such content.

    3 votes
  39. Exile Link
    I for one like to see it because too much serious stuff all day every day is just too much. My reddit subs are about 25% each, Sports, Politics, cute animal pics, science stuff.

    I for one like to see it because too much serious stuff all day every day is just too much. My reddit subs are about 25% each, Sports, Politics, cute animal pics, science stuff.

    3 votes
  40. rib Link
    I think if you have the equivalent of reddits /r/all then fluff forums should not appear on it. As reddits /r/all stands it's 90% meme garbage.

    I think if you have the equivalent of reddits /r/all then fluff forums should not appear on it. As reddits /r/all stands it's 90% meme garbage.

    3 votes
  41. welly Link
    If Reddit is exceptionally good at cute animal pictures, as has been mentioned above, then surely your cute animal picture requirements are filled by Reddit? Please don't let Tildes become a site...

    If Reddit is exceptionally good at cute animal pictures, as has been mentioned above, then surely your cute animal picture requirements are filled by Reddit?

    Please don't let Tildes become a site of memes and cute animal pictures. I think we can do better than that.

    3 votes
  42. [6]
    Scion Link
    How about a "fluff" tag? If a certain number of users tag a post as fluff, it automatically gets removed or moved to ~fluff or a similar area?

    How about a "fluff" tag? If a certain number of users tag a post as fluff, it automatically gets removed or moved to ~fluff or a similar area?

    2 votes
    1. [5]
      Mumberthrax Link Parent
      sounds ripe for abuse though. its the same with youtube's report feature - it gets used to get people's accounts locked down for saying things that other people disagree with even if there's no...

      sounds ripe for abuse though. its the same with youtube's report feature - it gets used to get people's accounts locked down for saying things that other people disagree with even if there's no legitimate reason to report.

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        eladnarra Link Parent
        Maybe the potential for abuse could be mitigated by this eventual "trust" system? As far as I understand it, this would involve different levels of permissions that can be revoked if someone...

        Maybe the potential for abuse could be mitigated by this eventual "trust" system? As far as I understand it, this would involve different levels of permissions that can be revoked if someone misuses them, and a system to catch it. Mislabel something as fluff once and you're okay, but multiple times and maybe you lose your ability to tag other posts entirely.

        Or tagging things as fluff could be a separate permission from assigning regular tags, perhaps higher up the trust levels as part of more advanced moderation.

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          Amarok Link Parent
          The way that we'd probably do it, a user would need to earn a rank or two - nothing herculean, just familiarity - in each community, and then they'd be able to apply the fluff tag in those...

          The way that we'd probably do it, a user would need to earn a rank or two - nothing herculean, just familiarity - in each community, and then they'd be able to apply the fluff tag in those communities only. That'd keep it firmly in the hands of that community's own users. If it's still abused, we could move it further up the ranks into editor or moderator territory, making the access pool smaller every step until we find the right balance.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            eladnarra Link Parent
            That sounds like a good way to tackle it. I like how open ~ is to trying something but being willing to rework it if necessary. I also like the concept of having different trust levels/ranks for...

            That sounds like a good way to tackle it. I like how open ~ is to trying something but being willing to rework it if necessary.

            I also like the concept of having different trust levels/ranks for different communities. At least that way if there is an eventual ~fluff, people won't be able to "farm" trust there and use it to cause havoc elsewhere.

            1 vote
            1. Amarok Link Parent
              That's the main reason we wanted it to work like that - something has to be done to stop the rampant brigading, vote manipulation, and growth-inspired-dilution that plagues places like reddit,...

              That's the main reason we wanted it to work like that - something has to be done to stop the rampant brigading, vote manipulation, and growth-inspired-dilution that plagues places like reddit, where there's only one 'sitewide' system.

              1 vote
  43. mistouflon Link
    At the very least, banning fluff would be consistent with 'Joke' being seen as a less than positive tag.

    At the very least, banning fluff would be consistent with 'Joke' being seen as a less than positive tag.

    2 votes
  44. Brian Link
    Allow it, but make it more difficult to accrue votes.

    Allow it, but make it more difficult to accrue votes.

    2 votes
  45. [2]
    AlexSage Link
    I would say allow it. I mean if you don't like it you don't subscribe to it just like reddit. Yes it will probably cover whatever our /r/all will be but well that's what ~all is.

    I would say allow it. I mean if you don't like it you don't subscribe to it just like reddit. Yes it will probably cover whatever our /r/all will be but well that's what ~all is.

    2 votes
    1. Amarok Link Parent
      There are no plans to ever have an ~all view on the site. We talked about it and decided we're probably better off without it, and without anything like a 'default subscription' model. People...

      There are no plans to ever have an ~all view on the site. We talked about it and decided we're probably better off without it, and without anything like a 'default subscription' model. People should build their own homes by browsing the hierarchy, once that feature is in place. For now, yes, we're using the old defaults-reddit model to get off the ground, but that's a temporary solution for bootstrapping the place.

      3 votes
  46. ajar Link
    Ok, first comment here. A lot has been said already, and I understand both sides, I think. First I'd like to add a remark: as others have pointed out, this discussion cannot be well directed...

    Ok, first comment here. A lot has been said already, and I understand both sides, I think.

    First I'd like to add a remark: as others have pointed out, this discussion cannot be well directed unless both fluff and high quality content are better defined, in my opinion. So maybe this thread can lead to a better definition and then be discussed again later down the road.

    In general, without a more specific definition, I would argue that it should be allowed. It shouldn't be a default subscription, of course, and maybe, as others pointed, reputation shouldn't be added to users on those groups. I'm not into cat pics or gifs (usually), or things like r/earthporn, but some memes can be very insightful and inside/meta jokes are a big part of any site culture and should not (cannot?) be avoided, and they do create a deep sense of community (as do insightful posts and comments).

    As long as it is submitted to the appropriate group and tagged properly (I wouldn't call everything just fluff, btw, maybe something less negative and more descriptive, like "instant", I don't know) and thus we are able to filter it out easily, I don't see the problem of having it here. You can set the frontpage in a way where those posts either don't appear or are limited in number or something to that effect.

    Reading through this thread however, I have also thought that so called high quality content might be hard to digest. When you get very long conversations between two people, for example, it gets to the point when your attention (my attention) falters. It might be a byproduct of current navigation, being used to reddit apps like Joey that make navigating easier (tap to expand/collapse, next or previous top/new comment navigation buttons, nested comments not as squeezed...). But if that is not caused by the current state but by the long comments, it might provoke some type of fatigue that having some fluff content around might alleviate.

    Just some thoughts. :)

    2 votes
  47. [2]
    Winter Link
    The problem I see is where you draw the line. Ok, cute animals, there's plenty on reddit or anywhere else. But what is low effort content exactly? and who is to decide? In my opinion we shouldn't...

    The problem I see is where you draw the line. Ok, cute animals, there's plenty on reddit or anywhere else. But what is low effort content exactly? and who is to decide? In my opinion we shouldn't judge what people likes, if it's cute animals, then so be it.
    I don't like it, I don't want it and I avoid all those kinds of posts on reddit but I feel like banning content is not going to attract new users. I also agree with other comments saying maybe that content will bring the type of users and posts most of us wants to avoid, so I don't really know. Maybe periodical discussions about content?

    2 votes
    1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      We're not judging people for liking something we are judging the systemic effects that allowing that content on the site has and what the consequence to quality discussion and long-form text...

      We're not judging people for liking something we are judging the systemic effects that allowing that content on the site has and what the consequence to quality discussion and long-form text content will be by doing so. Remember, ~ stated primary goal is to facilitate quality discussion through text based articles and not obsessing over growth. Overwhelming amounts of users primarily here for cute cat pics and the culture that develops around those users are anathema to those stated goals. There are also already infinite other places on the internet that people can go to get that content, so why should we allow it here too?

      2 votes
  48. Deadpool Link
    Can we like, make a sequestered area for it tho?

    Can we like, make a sequestered area for it tho?

    2 votes
  49. Dru Link
    I like pictures of fluffy things. I work hard and I like being cheered up after a hard shift. Sometimes I just don’t want to engage my brain much but for me when discussing quality there is a huge...

    I like pictures of fluffy things. I work hard and I like being cheered up after a hard shift. Sometimes I just don’t want to engage my brain much but for me when discussing quality there is a huge difference from a person lovingly posting a good picture of their cute animal and a low effort repost with a copied title and that’s almost 90% of the things I’m seeing on Reddit at the moment.

    I don’t know how you filter them out. All I know is if stopping the cat pics stops the facebook style low effort posters coming here and trashing up the place then it might be a good price to pay. Remember the genuine connections you could make on Reddit near the start. I wish I could’ve prolonged that atmosphere, maybe this will help that here.

    2 votes
  50. GyroTech Link
    I found this thread via a link in a low-effort imgur link post. I then noticed how I was unable to tag the original post itself as 'Noise' much like we can with comments. Might this be a way to...

    I found this thread via a link in a low-effort imgur link post. I then noticed how I was unable to tag the original post itself as 'Noise' much like we can with comments.

    Might this be a way to self-moderate in the early stages? Though I guess it could be akin to a negative vote in some respects.

    2 votes
  51. ZetaFish Link
    Leave it on facebook, reddit and basically everywhere else. Along with the memes and all the other low-effort BS.

    Leave it on facebook, reddit and basically everywhere else. Along with the memes and all the other low-effort BS.

    2 votes
  52. GeorgeKaplan Link
    I agree with all you wrote and would vote to disallow it for now. I'd like this to become a forum for discussions and an aggregator of interesting content, not yet another cutesy imageboard. This...

    I agree with all you wrote and would vote to disallow it for now. I'd like this to become a forum for discussions and an aggregator of interesting content, not yet another cutesy imageboard. This type of low effort content spreads too quickly and then tends to dominate. I don't want to again have to retreat to smaller groups/subreddits and use countless filters to avoid this kind of stuff.

    I remember a time when I could browse r/all and at the end of the day most links were purple, today almost 50% gets filtered out by RES and I often still can can scroll through page after page while only finding a handful of post that are truly interesting.

    Another problem with this type of submissions is that they get crossposted to dozens of, more or less fitting, subs which results in you not only having to endure that low effort post once but getting spammed with the same picture over and over again.

    While we shouldn't outright ban all image submissions I think it needs strong moderation in order to make sure they meet a certain standard. I'm not really a fan of this whole SFWporn shtick, but I nevertheless used to enjoy browsing subs like r/earthporn, r/mapporn or r/dataisbeautiful which nowadays also get flooded with pretty random post, and even low-res, low quality pictures riddled with compression artifacts still garner thousands of upvotes. It boggles the mind.

    We should strive for quality over quantity.

    2 votes
  53. [5]
    Guyon Link
    New here (to Tildes) - trying to follow some of the bigger news posts here to get a feel of the history thus far. Was there ever a determination based on this post? I've read a lot about Tildes...

    New here (to Tildes) - trying to follow some of the bigger news posts here to get a feel of the history thus far. Was there ever a determination based on this post? I've read a lot about Tildes today (after reading about it in a comment chain on HN), and I don't recall where, but I recall reading somewhere that you could post cute pictures. I'm not sure if this information is outdated or not.

    I don't have any desire to post that sort of content (even though my cat is the cutest cat ever, of course), but I felt like some resolution would be nice.

    ?comment_order=newest didn't do much for me. Perhaps the OP could be edited?

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      First, thanks for digging back through old posts to try to get a better understanding of going on. That's definitely more than most people go through the effort of doing. I think this sort of...

      First, thanks for digging back through old posts to try to get a better understanding of going on. That's definitely more than most people go through the effort of doing. I think this sort of question is one you can also pick up somewhat "ambiently"—if you look around at the site and don't see any posts of a particular type of content (especially when it's a very common one), even if there isn't an explicit rule against it, it's probably likely that it's not really culturally encouraged, at the least.

      The other replies already mostly covered it, I think. At this point it's not explicitly banned or anything, but it's certainly discouraged (and maybe I should just formalize that more). There's a box at the top of the "submit new topic" page that says:

      Tildes prioritizes high-quality content and discussions

      Please post topics that are interesting, informative, or have the potential to start a good discussion.

      Please avoid posting topics that are primarily for entertainment or that don't have discussion value.

      Mostly, I try to think about what I'd like Tildes to look like in the future, and what I picture isn't a site full of animal photos, funny gifs, etc. There are so many other sites for that, and there always will be (because it attracts a lot of traffic, which attracts a lot of money), and they'll be better at it because they're willing to display images in "card mode" and do infinite scrolling, and so on. I'd rather try to focus on something different.

      5 votes
      1. HannibalAnthrope Link Parent
        I am very pleased to read this, and thrilled to join the community! I have been reading a fair bit here for a couple of days, like Guyon to get a feel for the place. And only just this evening...

        I am very pleased to read this, and thrilled to join the community! I have been reading a fair bit here for a couple of days, like Guyon to get a feel for the place. And only just this evening registered (so this is my first post!). I was very interested to read this thread, because this matter of "fluff" content with posts that required no thought and contain nothing of value other than perhaps a mild chuckle - was the last straw for me on Reddit after I realized that their dandy new version (with RES) didn't allow me to filter that garbage out. Only took me two months but I finally had enough. And I am very relieved to know this site is not going to be yet another Reddit clone! Finding Tildes and joining the group is quite honestly the most excited I've been about anything on the internet for a long while. THANK YOU - and I look forward to contributing!
        And PS: +2 for the Solarized Themes!

        1 vote
    2. Soptik (edited ) Link Parent
      Well, yes and no. You shouldn't post topics or comments devoted just to a picture or a meme. But it's not a bad idea (it's actually very nice) to post pictures of your cat as a "bonus" to some...

      Well, yes and no. You shouldn't post topics or comments devoted just to a picture or a meme. But it's not a bad idea (it's actually very nice) to post pictures of your cat as a "bonus" to some discussion about the cat - so just don't let your cat picture be only thing in your comment/topic. As an example, this "Tell me about your pets" topic was great topic with many cute cat pictures. In this context, cat pictures are welcome.

      And welcome to Tildes!

      4 votes
    3. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      That information was outdated at the time it was posted! I think there has been one "cute picture" post in the history of Tildes, and it prompted a lot of heated discussion - mostly against. The...

      I recall reading somewhere that you could post cute pictures. I'm not sure if this information is outdated or not.

      That information was outdated at the time it was posted! I think there has been one "cute picture" post in the history of Tildes, and it prompted a lot of heated discussion - mostly against. The majority opinion here on Tildes is that cute pictures are not acceptable - which is why you won't see any anywhere on the site. (Although this "tell me about your pet(s)" post did end up including a few cat pictures.)

      You might be interested in these other discussions about fluff:

      There was never an "official" resolution for this: Deimos never made an official post saying "Cat pictures are banned". That's not really his style.

      However, it is very clear to everyone here that fluff content is not acceptable, because that doesn't support the goal that "in-depth content (primarily text-based) is the most important", which is part of the Tildes documentation.

      4 votes
  54. GillyGumbo Link
    I think that the mechanics of tilde are incredibly well suited to filtering out the type of content that you are trying to ban, so banning it is unnecessary. Don't want to view fluff? Avoid...

    I think that the mechanics of tilde are incredibly well suited to filtering out the type of content that you are trying to ban, so banning it is unnecessary.

    Don't want to view fluff? Avoid ~fluff. Want to view a topic without the fluff present? filter comments tagged as fluff.

    1 vote