Vetting new users
Deimos gave me a bunch of invites to give out and I have a post on Reddit where I’ve been giving them out.
So far I’m looking at each persons history to make sure they aren’t a troll, and have posted generally positive and insightful content.
What do you guys think we should be vetting?
Since I’m assuming Tildes won’t be Invite-Only forever, is this just delaying the inevitable?
I think it's of uttermost importance that in this phase the users are "good" users for the goal that tildes want to achieve.
This is when the community form the "unwritten" rules for lack of better words (sorry, non native english here) that will give shape to how new members will find the community when joining and how they'll feel right to contribute in terms of quality.
If we have good content / good users now, it'll be only natural that the following users will follow the same path already traced by the previous users. Or at least it'll be harder to deviate from that path.
I personally try and check comments in chunk from:
ironically, websites that gives you an analytics of the users like https://atomiks.github.io/reddit-user-analyser/ are quite useful to give you a shallow but general feeling about a user.
This isn't really a valid method. For instance, if you looked at my profile on Reddit (not this screen name), you'd see a 10 year old account, with 24k karma, and 3 posts. Why? Because Reddit is mining your posts for ad information and I don't like that. So, I use Power Delete Suite to go back and overwrite my comments that are more than about a week old, then delete them. With the amount of ad bots, doxxers, and general creepers out there, I'm not sure why anyone leaves their comment history up.
Because it's a right pain in the arse when you're trying to read a thread and one person has nuked all their comments.
I think that there is going to be information about us online, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. There are just too many people and companies putting stuff online to stay incognito these days (unless you live like a hermit).
That's why I'd rather take control of my online persona by posting things I can stand by. I'm not using the internet to hide my identity (although I'm not going out of my way to share my identity either), I'm using it to communicate with people around the world. If something I'm embarrassed about does eventually become revealed, at least there is a body of stuff that shows more context rather than just the offending bits.
Why don't you just create a new alt every week or so?
It is absolutely horrible to try to read and make sense of threads where messages are missing because someone deleted them. Even worse when you are looking for information and the precious information seems to lie in the missing message. It also infuriating in subs like programming subs when a few people spend a lot of time (sometimes many hours of their free time) explaining something to an OP, correcting his programs, guiding him, and then the OP uses a deleter to destroy his post and comments. It really drives me nuts.
I never delete anything I wrote, even if it is a complete mistake, even if it is ridiculous, even if it is pure crap I regret to have written. It is a matter of respect for the readers, and at the same time a matter of taking responsibility for the shit I have said.
Deleting may help, but not by much. E.g., resavr. It's the nature of information: once it's out there, you can't reliably "take it back". If you have a reddit comment up for even 1 second, probably best to assume it's archived for all of eternity somewhere.
My general rule has been to just meticulously avoid providing enough information for anyone to ever pin down my exact identity. Thinking back, someone with access to all information about me and all my account's information, they might be able to put me on a shortlist of about 500 people, but they'd have a hard time zooming in past that without sinking more resources into it than probably anyone except maybe a Presidential candidate or Senator is worth.
I have a 96% kindness meter! This website couldn't be lying to me, I hope! Thanks for the share.
wow that's a really cool site
Any website that can give me a 94% rating for kindness must be broken. :P
I appear to be quite controversial and only 74% kind. Then again, the vast majority of my posts were in a politics sub currently experiencing, like my country, some new major political divisions, so I guess it's not so bad.
It's the same thing I linked already :)
Edit: Weird, on desktop it redirect properly
I'm not sure that analytics sites are going to give you much useful information. It's like weeding out applicants for a CS job with FizzBuzz. You're more likely to take out candidates who don't remember modulus than actually weed out good from bad.
People behave very differently in different contexts - see your best friend at the family dinner table, or out at the pub with you.
I can be downright cruel on Reddit, but all analytics tools get swayed by my patient explaining and large stories over on r/talesfromtechsupport, or my sympathies on subreddits dedicated to various illnesses.
However, on HackerNews, I tend to always give the benefit of the doubt, and try and lead people to explain in a way that I can understand their point of view before I make any judgements whether or not someone is correct in a strong statement they've made.
Here on Tildes, where we don't yet have something akin to the HN guidelines, I've simply adopted 'behave like a gentleman', where one's behaviour should always be acceptable, and above reproach.
I should have been more detailed but in that analytics you can see useful info like which are the subreddit someone have more activity. How articulated its average comments are, etc.
All metrics that by themselves don't give you a specific "good/bad" bad help filtering out the noise.
A user that post only in circlejerk subreddits will definitely comes after one that post in "changemyview" or something like that.
Focus less on my mention of analytics shortcomings - I could go on and on about that, and more on someone's behavioural changes.
We don't behave the same way in all contexts, and tildes is a new context. You can't expect previous behaviour to be a good indicator. That may well be psychology 101, and unless we're experts we probably shouldn't delve too deeply into a field suffering such a large crisis.
Have you heard of Eternal September? I prefer the small comfy tildes community to the homogenous monoculture of most websites - growth at any cost can destroy what the community stands for in the first place. Of course that means we'll never take on reddit - but maybe we shouldn't have to.
Agree, but I also think that there's room for small windows of open enrollment - as long as we are collectively capable of helping to assimilate them into the culture and casting the values.
One problem is that while I really like the idea of Tildes, I currently find myself forcing myself to interact on the site, because it's much like reddit was in the beginning - few users and low content production. And so while I like the site, I currently don't enjoy it that much because the rate of content creation is so slow. And content creation can only come with growth. Of course I agree that it should be paced to try to establish a community with strong principles, but at the same time Tildes risks losing people if it can't provide what reddit does. I think that I spend maybe an average of 10 min/day on Tildes but 3+ hr/day on reddit.
I think everyone's criteria for inviting a user should be different. I'm hesitant to say "only invite nice users" because there are some abrasive people who have made me re-examine my own beliefs and who I've had really useful conversations with.
I haven't invited anyone yet, but my biggest selection criteria right now is "who is a user who will be really excited by the concept of Tildes, and will stay active" because IMO that's what's most important right now. Also I doubt I'll add anyone who I don't have a longstanding relationship with.
I think this approach is VERY important. It does not serve good discussion if all we do is create echo chambers. Informed & reasoned dissent is often far more helpful for having conversations.
A good argument/discussion in my opinion is entirely contingent on both sides acting out of good faith. That's the thing that is the hardest to screen for though.
Hey buddy! Great to see you over here :). Our conversation was what sparked this post idea.
Yeah I figured lol.
Ha. I tried vetting new users - and all I got was shat on.
I made a post in /r/Tildes on Reddit, offering some invite codes - on the condition that any invitees had to have a proven history of posting content on Reddit, because I was looking for people who would post content here on Tildes. All I got was abuse and snark. Noone applied. I deleted my post.
It’s hard man. That’s why I’m doing it silently. If someone is not worthy, I just don’t reply. Or ask them to PM me.
There are so many people - most in fact - that are on the fence. I’m usually giving them the benefit of the doubt if they have no negative or overly stupid memey comments.
It wasn't only that. For a couple of people, I became a stand-in representative of Tildes, and was therefore responsible for everything that was wrong with it. Like... if we needed people to post content here, then there was obviously something wrong with the site or the community or how people were invited - and that was somehow my fault.
I feel like we should also give priority to people that are a bit different from most users here, that is any non-male, non-american, non-"geeks" (loving video games or programming). Nothing against them, but it's just that having 20k american male geeks don't feel much different than having 10k of them.
I’ve been doing the same type of vetting. Just looking for people who make reasoned arguments and don’t scream and shout.
Regarding the site going open, yeah, I worry about Deimos’ and the greater Tildes community’s ability to moderate a giant influx of people. It makes me think that Tildes might want to stay invite-only for a long time to build up the good citizen userbase. And, maybe Tildes could just have small windows of time where registration is open.
The other aspect I have been wondering about is the cost/benefit of opening the site up to search engines and unregistered lurkers. Is there a big downside to making the site public for read only? The upsides are that we can share our discussions with the world, and start to grow greater interest in people joining Tildes, right?
I know this isn't how a website normally functions, but I really love the fact that tildes is invite only. It took me a while to finally get into tildes, but I'd rather wait a while than to get good quality content than to have to constantly deal with poor quality content and trolls. I'm sure the website will eventually have to go open, but for the meantime I really value that it's closed.
Arthur, Adam, and Kat just had a conversation. Now that’s the benefit of a small quality user base.
Those usernames are usually first to go.
Putting in the invite code reminded me of my first LiveJournal account, which I don't think is a bad thing. Old LJ was pretty sweet.
I mean, as long as the community members provide enough income to keep the site up and running, I don't know why it couldn't be.
I mean, if the site generates enough donations/activity/etc. to be totally sustainable while invite-only, that could be totally fine. Without investors or dependence on advertising there's really no pressure to be a certain size, so as long as it's sustainable it really doesn't matter if it's small.
I just don't think that it will, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong. Staying invite-only has some downsides, but it has a lot of benefits as well.
Also, I really like "deimocracy". I should try to sneak that into some documents.
Yes. I think that you could allow in new users in waves at set intervals, in a wave size based on the size of the site as a whole. @deimos has mentioned "trust" as a mechanic in the site, and I think that should be something that helps incentivize assimilation for new users.
What about people that aren’t trolls, but comment simple replies, without much else?
How about people with a lack of history?
I had very little history on Reddit. That's just a product of what kind of community Reddit is. I comment here more productively than there because this place is for real discussion while Reddit tends to drown that out. A user with little or no productive history may have just been waiting for a platform. I wouldn't judge someone for being inactive.
This moment in the beginning of a website is too important to just invite in anyone I'm afraid.
I personally came from reddit but I got my invite by sending a moderately long mail to Deimos in which I explained why I was interested.
I suppose that a user with little to no history, if really interested, could at least try and explain from where he comes and why he found tildes so interesting?
Simple replies or small histories just have greater levels of uncertainty about the type of person you're dealing with. I think it's fine to give those people the benefit of the doubt as there could be something about the platform you're interacting with them through (such as reddit) that discourages them from engaging it.
In other words, don't judge how someone might interact in tildes solely from how they interact on another platform (but don't ignore it either).
Well since I just signed up and barely know how to post, I think there should be a little wiggle room on who gets banned right away.
Hey, I just figured out how to reply to the thread poster, didn't know it was all the way at the bottom of the page. Anyway a reply button can also be just below OPs title and post?
Having the comment box at the bottom of the page is a deliberate design decision. It's supposed to make you read other people's comments before replying. You might see that someone else has already said what you want to say.
I've only been giving them to users who have been redditors for several years. While this doesn't ensure they're 'good' people, they are at least familiar with reddit and should likely know how things have evolved over the years.
If they want an invite, and they're not obviously looking to tear down this wall or something, that's good enough by me. I figure if they've read what this community is trying to do and they want in, the more the merrier. Doesn't have to be very sophisticated. Just make sure if it's someone you don't know that they're not obviously an asshole in everything they do and write and you're probably good. I typically invite people who I know, but I know that's not always going to be the largest of networks.
People hear of a new Reddit and want in. That absolutely does not in any way ensure they will be solid people. Vetting is definitely needed, at least a quick look at their history.
Yep, and I'm saying the vetting doesn't have to be onerous or technical. Just do your due diligence to make sure the person isn't obviously an asshole and you're probably on good footing.
Also, no finger pointing, but PLEASE VET SILENTLY. If they aren’t up to snuff, ignore them. If you tell them flat out no because of X, or they are a dick, you now poke a potential bear. And that bear can bring more attention and potentially brigade. If they do that, I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard for one or two to slip thru.
I've invited a few dozen friends or so. Just...pick people you know aren't bad.
I just gave out my first invites to people I do not know and I looked through about 30 individuals who requested it and immediately filtered out the accounts that were less than 2 years old. Then I skimmed their comments to see if they were level-headed. Finally, I filtered out people who posted comments that were non-conversational. They don't necessarily have to be long comments, but something that adds substance to the conversation.
I have a related question - with invites is anybody actively posting in a sub unrelated to the tildes sub that they have invites for this community? I'm of course referring to a smaller sub in which you'd generally consider the users to be thoughtful, provide more insightful commentary, etc. Or is everyone just inviting through the tildes sub?
Great idea, but it may be considered spam.
I actually saw a user posting really great comments about modding and thought to myself he’d be great for here.
I reached out to him, told him about Tildes, he became interested, and I gave him an invite!
But on a wider scale - yea, it could be great. R/depthhub maybe?
How can I know the user to which I gave an invite?
What do you mean? Maybe it’ll help if I told you what I did: I simply made a post on the r/tildes subreddit saying I have some invite codes to give out.
From there, people commented if they were interested. That’s when I do the vetting. I just go through their post/comment history and make sure they are posting good stuff and aren’t trolls.
Also, the website ruadick.com is helpful and summarizes all of the comments of users, scoring them on if they are a “dick” or nice.
Not really. I just tested it on myself. It ranked me as "slightly positive" - which was not totally unexpected. However, when I clicked through to see the results, here are the comments of mine it ranked as most negative:
Only one of those most-negative comments is actually negative: the one where I explain that, as a supposedly mean and nasty moderator, I did not remove someone's post (they got argumentative when I suggested there was a better place to get the information they were asking for, because they assumed I was trying to "moderate" them out of my subreddit). The rest are just me explaining things or engaging in general discussion. Two of them come from a thread in /r/answers where I was trying to help someone, including my sincere piece of advice for them to get therapy for their insecurities. One of them is a quote from a book!
I'm not sure what algorithms this website uses to assess negativity, but it's flawed.
Mods ban this man! Kidding.
It’s just a tool, I’ve used it only a few times when I needed help, and looked at the scored comments. I figured it’d pull out their meanest stuff, which is what I want.
One of my most negative comments was “no problem!”. Go figure.
It's a good lesson to look at that list of supposedly negative comments and remember that this is how the algorithms see us. They've got tunnel vision and no comprehension of context. They aren't nearly as useful or clever as laymen think they are. Zuck just testified in front of congress that these systems are going to solve our online discourse problems. That's like saying you intend to fly to the moon using your toaster as the spaceship.
This is a good point. It's obvious that this website's algorithms are just looking at the words we use without understanding the context of those words. That's why a comment with "deny", "Holocaust", "killed", and "Nazis" is ranked as my most negative comment, even though it's just me explaining why Holocaust-deniers get banned from /r/AskHistorians: because they're factually wrong in a subreddit that prides itself on spreading good quality information.
It didn't pull out my meanest stuff, I can assure you! ;)
Mind you, I tend to be very dry and sarcastic when I'm mean, so maybe the algorithms need me to use a "/s" tag more often. :P
But, the point is, it didn't work for me. I'm not sure I'd rely on it.
True, for this exercise I think it’d find stuff I care about. If someone looks passable, and I plug them in that tool, I’m sure it’d find something like, “kill yourself jew faggot”, which would make me hold off.
Someone’s dry wit doesn’t bother me.
I don’t think there’s any complex algorithm. It’s super simple, and looks at individual words, not the context in how they work together. Hence “no problem!” scoring as negative.
No = negative on its own
Problem! = negative on its own
Though I suppose each would have a score and as such uses a weighted algorithm mechanism. But the most simple of the simple.
Adding to the flaws...
I think it's a simple sentiment analysis, so in the above, quite kindly statement, the word attack weighs it down quite badly, and the word different also pushes it towards the negative.
Sentiment analysis isn't really helpful for much.
Hahaha most of my negative ones are about opening jars as someone with no hand strength to speak of. Apparently stabbing is negative. ;)
I think @vaddi is asking how to tell the Tildes username of the Reddit username they gave the invite to.
I don't know a way, personally.
Ohh, sorry. I thought that you were talking about reading their comments here on Tildes. As I have given an invite but I don't know what is the person's name here.
Sorry for the mistake.
Ah. My bad, but that’s a great question. I was wondering the same thing.
I would imagine the only way would be if you have the Invite Code they used, and asking an admin.
So long as they aren't suspiciously jew throwaways or alt-right trolls, I invite them.
Hahaha, nice typo. I had to think about that one for a second.