12 votes

Brigading and other similar behaviors

One of the most off-putting and distressing experiences that I've had with discussion groups, forums, and the like is brigading types of behaviors.

For example, I'll go to a subreddit that I haven't visited before in order to seek guidance or ask a question. Then it's as if all of the regular users of that sub are lying in wait ready to pounce on the newbie. Typically, they'll pick some very minute detail and blow it way out of proportion. Then they'll proceed to downvote everything that you say, no matter what it is, into oblivion. Next, they will deride and criticize you of things that you have not done. Then a moderator will step in and agree with all the assholes, remove your post, and top it off with a bullshit reason for doing so. And it could snowball into an unnecessary and unsolicited tirade from there.

This scenario has happened to me and others so many times. Frankly, I'm fucking sick of this type of shit.

What are our plans here to ensure that this won't become a frequent experience for the users here?

4 comments

  1. SunSpotter Link
    Sorry I know this is kind of long, I wanted to thoroughly answer your question to the best of my ability and I have a tendency to be a little verbose. I have seen people get downvoted to hell for...

    Sorry I know this is kind of long, I wanted to thoroughly answer your question to the best of my ability and I have a tendency to be a little verbose.

    I have seen people get downvoted to hell for no reason on multiple occasions, and then get picked on because of the bias associated with that comment score. And I'm pretty sure that has happened to most Reddit users at least once, because really all it takes is one guy with two accounts to downvote you to -1 and then it spirals out of control if you get enough visibility. The good news with this is that Tildes has no downvote button. So at least in that respect, the issue is already not as severe.

    To get to my main points though, so often when I see situations like what you describe, it comes down to the user or the sub. And to be clear, I'm not accusing you of anything, I'm willing to believe you've had some bad luck as described above. Frequently though people make a valid point but say it in a tone that comes off as combatant, and Reddit really dislikes that. What Reddit loves, is beating people to death to make themselves feel superior. Whether any of us are guilty of this or not, I think its important to recognize that over text it's easy to misinterpret or overreact to someones tone. Fortunately I think having a smaller user base to begin with mitigates this problem by making everything a little more causal. But eventually we will grow, and I don't really know how to prevent this kind of interaction altogether. You might want to read about the trust and reputation systems if you haven't already. Deimos is trying his best to create both a culture and a system here that rewards positive interactions and punish negative ones in a way that's more difficult to abuse. We won't get rid of negative interactions completely but the goal (as far as I understand) is to create a culture here that is self aware and courteous.

    As far as subs go; I've blocked dozens of subs I feel harbor negativity and persons of bad faith and it's improved my experience significantly. These are sub whose typical submissions boil down to "Look at this person doing something I HATE, how much rage does that fill you with Reddit??" I fully believe that Tildes could take a step in the right direction and reduce the toxic behavior you describe by seeing to it that communities such as those never spring up here. I know that this won't stop the situation you describe, because really any community with a strong circle jerk can create the same effect, however I think it's important to recognize the aforementioned communities as 'worst offenders'. These communities breed and draw in hostility, and eventually that spreads. It's as simple as that. Unfortunately, I don't know that this is something which has been discussed much.

    What I can say, is that I think Deimos is of a similar opinion. In the Tildes blog he quotes "if your website's full of assholes, it's your fault". I'm sure Tildes will need to have a chat about such communities if it ever comes to it. But the culture here is already against that kind of negativity from what I've observed, so there is reason for hope.

    Lastly to answer your question as it refers to mods...it's complicated. Deimos has a lot of concepts relating to community moderation and community reputation, but I believe they're mostly on the backburner for now. We're a bit too small at the moment to be stressing ongoing site development in that direction, but rest assured that it's something that gets talked about and that no one here wants to just copy paste Reddit's moderation mechanics.

    13 votes
  2. ericskiff Link
    I'm personally fascinated to see if the invite-only system helps and how long it makes sense to retain that. With community behavior guidelines and less ability to make abusive throw-away accounts...

    I'm personally fascinated to see if the invite-only system helps and how long it makes sense to retain that. With community behavior guidelines and less ability to make abusive throw-away accounts there may be less of this sort of thing overall.

    From my perspective, hackernews has done a decent job maintaining a community that is both insightful and constructive, even when people disagree.

    7 votes
  3. [2]
    Wes Link
    Well, already I'm wondering if you've read the sidebar or skimmed the rules first. Most communities have their own ways of doing things and you can't expect them all to follow the same rules....

    For example, I'll go to a subreddit that I haven't visited before in order to seek guidance or ask a question.

    Well, already I'm wondering if you've read the sidebar or skimmed the rules first. Most communities have their own ways of doing things and you can't expect them all to follow the same rules. Before posting to a new community, you should familiarize yourself with that subreddit to see how things work. Once you feel comfortable with it, then ask your question.

    In many cases though, it's been posted before or there is a guideline you should be following before you post. Ignoring this can understandably frustrate the regulars.

    I'm sure tildes will eventually function similarly, as more groups are created and sub-communities are formed. Right now it's more homogeneous.

    6 votes
    1. suspended Link Parent
      In every case I have done this first. And thank you for being objective in your attention to detail.

      I'm wondering if you've read the sidebar or skimmed the rules first.

      In every case I have done this first. And thank you for being objective in your attention to detail.

      1 vote