32 votes

Let's talk about titles

A recent thread has had its title changed due to the title being sensationalized. I'm not sure that this is the correct move, as the title in question was also the title of the submitted article. I think this does a disservice to the community as a whole, as it makes it appear as though we want to editorialize the content submitted here which seems to go against the ideal of fostering quality discussion.

"But wait!", I hear you say, "We have a topic log!" That will be ignored, easily, especially by those seeking to equate the community with something else. While we're busy misrepresenting content (because that's what changing a title does, it misrepresents), others will point at us and shout about how we're misrepresenting the content being posted. I cannot agree with this, and I think its detrimental to the community and the idea of Tildes as a whole. Note: Text-only posts obviously are excluded from this, I'm concerned with titles on submitted links that have their own title.

Now, what happens when the title of an article is already sensationalist and editorialized? The authors, editor, and publisher obviously have biases and platforms they want to support. It currently seems as though we are changing titles to something different than what the title of the article is, and I find this extremely off-putting. I can understand wanting to avoid bringing that bias over to Tildes, but I cannot understand a reason to deliberately misrepresent that bias by changing an article's title. I think this is going to be detrimental to the community and the mission of Tildes to generate high-quality discussion.

Where articles with sensationalized headlines are posted, I propose that we must retain those titles. The system of tagging is sufficient to indicate that a title is too strongly sensationalized. Deviating from this norm is antithetical with Tildes' mission to generate and foster quality content and discussion.

There are too many responses to really get into things individually, but I must say I feel as though there has been a breach of trust. I had no idea that altering the titles of submissions would go so far, and it has destroyed the image I had of the site. Maybe the site will evolve more as the experiment continues, who knows. In the meantime, I've been accused of making arguments in bad faith multiple times in this thread. I'm deeply offended by this, as I've tried to present my thoughts and feelings as clearly as I could. This is deeply troubling to me, especially since those accusations have been given strong support by other users.

unless we stopped editing titles

This is a misrepresentation, I only ask that titles match the article they're from. Edit away if the title doesn't match the article, or is a user's text post. Maybe I wasn't clear, but there it is spelled out.

Also, there was never an ultimatum, but Deimos and other users would smear me with such claims. Being unsure of whether or not a community is a good fit for yourself is not nearly the same thing as an ultimatum.

This topic is locked. New comments can not be posted.

68 comments

  1. [19]
    Deimos
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm not going to be strict about titles matching the article, and I'm going to keep editing them myself and encouraging others to do so when it's reasonable (the title is sensationalized,...
    • Exemplary

    I'm not going to be strict about titles matching the article, and I'm going to keep editing them myself and encouraging others to do so when it's reasonable (the title is sensationalized, misleading, becomes obsolete when further information arises, and so on). I've spent over a decade on link-aggregator-style sites and have seen both sides of this issue extensively, and being able to adjust titles is superior by far.

    If you're not comfortable with this, then yes, I would suggest leaving. (Edit: this looks like I'm being harsh now, but the OP originally gave an ultimatum in their post saying that they would quit the site unless we stopped editing titles)

    66 votes
    1. PopeRigby
      Link Parent
      Yeah. It's just a title. It's not like we're ripping the heart out of the article. What matters is the article.

      Yeah. It's just a title. It's not like we're ripping the heart out of the article. What matters is the article.

      8 votes
    2. [15]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [2]
        tomf
        Link Parent
        but which is more true: United States Supreme Court’s Conservatives legalized torture United States Supreme Court denied a request for an alternate method of execution The USSC did not legalize...
        • Exemplary

        but which is more true:

        • United States Supreme Court’s Conservatives legalized torture
        • United States Supreme Court denied a request for an alternate method of execution

        The USSC did not legalize torture -- so why would that be mentioned in the title?

        More often than not, journalists do not have the luxury of choosing their headlines.

        Click-bait like this has a monetary motivation, but with a site like Tildes, the motivation for posting a topic like that isn't monetary -- its for discussion. Thus, the topic should accurately represent the content of the article.

        25 votes
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. TheJorro
            Link Parent
            But all those insights are blind assumptions that you're making based on a title you're reading without any other context yet. It's quite literally wanting to be able to judge a book by its cover....

            But all those insights are blind assumptions that you're making based on a title you're reading without any other context yet. It's quite literally wanting to be able to judge a book by its cover. And it's a pretty misguided to also judge a submitter based on the title of an article they're submitting, just because they chose to share it.

            You're giving far, far too much importance to a title. The title, relative to a full article, is pointless. All those "insights" are worthless if they're only based on the title and not at all the content. Do you actually have a problem with the way the new title portrayed the content, or are you gunning for an absolutist position here? Because this all really must be case-by-case, there's no good way to make a general policy around it.

            Also, many of the 80+ comments are not about the importance of titles.

            7 votes
      2. nacho
        Link Parent
        Title: This is obviously just a stupid example, but great articles have silly titles. That's what modern media is like. The only reasonable approach is to care about submissions having good and...

        Title:

        BREAKING: FreeLunch learns that there's no such thing as a free lunch when they get a historic smackdown from prolific owner of revolutionary new website (A must-read)


        This is obviously just a stupid example, but great articles have silly titles. That's what modern media is like.

        The only reasonable approach is to care about submissions having good and accurate titles irrespective of where they originate.

        25 votes
      3. [11]
        orangse
        Link Parent
        You know what's really a shame? Having 40,000 threads posted on this subject keeping spots away from actual articles and discussion. Meta threads are fine, you're just disputing one of the most...

        You know what's really a shame? Having 40,000 threads posted on this subject keeping spots away from actual articles and discussion. Meta threads are fine, you're just disputing one of the most basic moderation decisions on this site; I really fail to see what you were trying to accomplish. Read the rules, search the past posts and you would've seen that this was a bad topic to post.

        4 votes
        1. [10]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          To be fair to OP, I actually suggested that if they truly felt as strongly as they did about title editing they should make a ~tildes post about it to see what others think and open up discussion...

          To be fair to OP, I actually suggested that if they truly felt as strongly as they did about title editing they should make a ~tildes post about it to see what others think and open up discussion on it. And meta discussion is precisely what ~tildes is for... although OP really should have toned down their language, IMO, since hyperbole and ultimatums (stop doing this or I leave!) rarely leads to good or productive discussion on a subject.

          22 votes
          1. [7]
            orangse
            Link Parent
            I just don't see the point when in the last 3 of these threads the top comment has been deimos saying "this is how we do things here, if you don't like it maybe you should leave". Ok, so they feel...

            I just don't see the point when in the last 3 of these threads the top comment has been deimos saying "this is how we do things here, if you don't like it maybe you should leave". Ok, so they feel strongly about it: if they searched the past posts and saw that this was a hard and fast rule then this whole topic could have been avoided.

            5 votes
            1. [3]
              cfabbro
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Because if someone actually makes a good point that was not made in other similar threads on the subject, things might be changed or a compromise could be reached. Nobody here is infallible and...

              Because if someone actually makes a good point that was not made in other similar threads on the subject, things might be changed or a compromise could be reached. Nobody here is infallible and mistakes are going to be made, especially since right now this site is basically a huge experiment (not that I think title editing is a mistake)... so sometimes rehashing the same topic over again with new perspectives being added to the mix can lead to interesting new ideas. E.g. Someone suggested here that at least when a title is edited it should be a bit more clearly noted than just an entry in the topic log, and I think that might be a good idea.

              However, as I said, in this case I think OP approached this from a rather poor angle and so wound up shooting their own arguments in the foot, resulting in dismissal of all the issues they brought up, even ones that may have merit.

              9 votes
              1. [2]
                orangse
                Link Parent
                Alright, thats fair. It adds something, the only contention I'd say is that if someone has a genuinely good idea they ought to post it as a new topic so it gets the attention it deserves in a more...

                Alright, thats fair. It adds something, the only contention I'd say is that if someone has a genuinely good idea they ought to post it as a new topic so it gets the attention it deserves in a more focused thread; these threads always end up with a large amount of comments.

                4 votes
                1. cfabbro
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  Sometimes that is a good idea, sure... especially if it's an idea that still needs work or requires feedback. But I am a meta-lover and have read every single comment ever made in ~tildes and...

                  Sometimes that is a good idea, sure... especially if it's an idea that still needs work or requires feedback. But I am a meta-lover and have read every single comment ever made in ~tildes and ~tildes.official, and I know Deimos, Bauke and a couple others who also frequent Tildes Gitlab similarly enjoy the meta. So if an idea has merit, even if it's buried somewhere deep in a ~tildes topic, it will usually still get noticed and added to Gitlab by one of us. ;)

                  3 votes
            2. [3]
              Adys
              Link Parent
              Don't get too worked up about reposts. The Ten Thousand Rule works both ways. I don't really see why it matters that this was posted "yet again". It's not such a regular occurence that it happens...

              Don't get too worked up about reposts. The Ten Thousand Rule works both ways.

              I don't really see why it matters that this was posted "yet again". It's not such a regular occurence that it happens all the time, and if it were, that'd most likely be Tildes' failing rather than the author's.

              7 votes
              1. [2]
                orangse
                Link Parent
                I just feel like I've seen many more threads dissatisfied about moderation on Tildes (specifically the titles and tag changing) rather than ideas. If the owner's stance is so hardline, it becomes...

                I just feel like I've seen many more threads dissatisfied about moderation on Tildes (specifically the titles and tag changing) rather than ideas. If the owner's stance is so hardline, it becomes clear that a simple argument won't sway them. At that point you need to focus on concrete ways to fix both party's problems. I agree with cfabbro's point he made in the other comment, that these threads can spawn good compromise regarding the subject of titles, so I will say that I overreacted a little. Ultimately if the thread spawns good content it's worthwhile, and this repost did spawn good content. However if someone has a good idea in one of these threads maybe they should instead post a new topic so that idea can get more focused discussion.

                5 votes
                1. frickindeal
                  Link Parent
                  It should be part of the docs (and will probably be added). It should also probably be briefly mentioned (with a link to the docs section that expands on it) in the welcome message received on...

                  It should be part of the docs (and will probably be added). It should also probably be briefly mentioned (with a link to the docs section that expands on it) in the welcome message received on sign-up.

                  1 vote
          2. [3]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. [2]
              cfabbro
              Link Parent
              TBH, given the fact that you deleted your ultimatum over six hours ago without clearly noting you did so somewhere in the topic text (so Deimos was subsequently made to look as if he suggested you...

              TBH, given the fact that you deleted your ultimatum over six hours ago without clearly noting you did so somewhere in the topic text (so Deimos was subsequently made to look as if he suggested you leave for no reason), and that you have also now deleted all your other comments in here but not the topic itself, has me seriously questioning your motivation and intent here.

              4 votes
              1. [2]
                Comment deleted by author
                Link Parent
                1. [2]
                  Comment deleted by author
                  Link Parent
                  1. [2]
                    Comment deleted by author
                    Link Parent
                    1. cfabbro
                      Link Parent
                      So edit your topic text now and note that you made an ultimatum but regret that and so removed it. Otherwise I can't draw any other conclusion but that you are acting in bad faith and...

                      So edit your topic text now and note that you made an ultimatum but regret that and so removed it. Otherwise I can't draw any other conclusion but that you are acting in bad faith and intentionally trying to make Deimos look bad for suggesting you leave for apparently no reason, when the truth was that the only reason he did that is because you made the threat that you would leave if he didn't acquiesce to your demands.

                      3 votes
    3. [3]
      OptimusKhan
      Link Parent
      This is the same response I got when I brought up this issue. Don’t like it, GTFO, seems to be your attitude for anything that is questioned.

      This is the same response I got when I brought up this issue.

      Don’t like it, GTFO, seems to be your attitude for anything that is questioned.

      2 votes
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        I left more in-depth thoughts below but "Don't like it, GTFO" is absolutely an appropriate response to "I'm leaving if you don't do what I say". There's much less confrontational ways to challenge...

        I left more in-depth thoughts below but "Don't like it, GTFO" is absolutely an appropriate response to "I'm leaving if you don't do what I say".

        There's much less confrontational ways to challenge the status quo, as has been done many times here before.

        11 votes
      2. Deimos
        Link Parent
        The user said they would leave if it wasn't changed. It's not going to change, so that only leaves one option. I'm happy to listen to feedback and have discussions, but there's no room for that...

        The user said they would leave if it wasn't changed. It's not going to change, so that only leaves one option.

        I'm happy to listen to feedback and have discussions, but there's no room for that when people make over-dramatic ultimatums about established practices I have no intention on changing.

        11 votes
  2. [19]
    Kelsier
    Link
    How is the changing of a title detrimental to high quality discussion? Most people don't care enough and just jump straight into the comments without actually reading the linked article/blog,etc....

    How is the changing of a title detrimental to high quality discussion? Most people don't care enough and just jump straight into the comments without actually reading the linked article/blog,etc.

    If a less sensationalised title prevents people from jumping to conclusions and helps in making more informed opinions, I don't see the harm in that.

    24 votes
    1. [13]
      Micycle_the_Bichael
      Link Parent
      How are people generating high-quality discussion if they only read the title and not the article? Isn't that part of the problem with reddit and social media that people are coming to Tildes to...

      How are people generating high-quality discussion if they only read the title and not the article? Isn't that part of the problem with reddit and social media that people are coming to Tildes to avoid?

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        @Kelsier isn't saying people should just jump straight to the comments, but they do, and fixing that is hard. It seems like it's less common here on Tildes, thank God, and some users explicitly...

        @Kelsier isn't saying people should just jump straight to the comments, but they do, and fixing that is hard. It seems like it's less common here on Tildes, thank God, and some users explicitly mention that they haven't read the article yet when they comment.

        Good titles do help encourage the consumption of content, and allow readers to approach an article with a level headed understanding of what it's about.

        A title has many functions, but one of them could be as an indicator of what you're about to read, and bad titles poison that function.

        15 votes
        1. Micycle_the_Bichael
          Link Parent
          That is one solution I suppose. Personally, I am biased and favor my solution that I commented further down: Use the article title, and in the post acknowledge that the title is sensationalist and...

          That is one solution I suppose. Personally, I am biased and favor my solution that I commented further down: Use the article title, and in the post acknowledge that the title is sensationalist and discuss the content or aspects you want to discuss. I feel the article title is as much a choice of the author as the rest of the content of an article. I wouldn't editorialize an article's content before posting to Tildes, why should the title be different? I think the better solution is to acknowledge and make note of biases of the author and direct the conversation around the content and points you want to discuss. I think that this method is a healthier way to promote high-quality discussion than editorialize content before posting.

          1 vote
      2. [10]
        unknown user
        Link Parent
        One problem is that with current state of journalism, what would've been a little box in some page of a newspaper becomes a 1000-word essay. Often, the title tells everything you need to know. For...

        One problem is that with current state of journalism, what would've been a little box in some page of a newspaper becomes a 1000-word essay. Often, the title tells everything you need to know.

        For example, there was this article about some high schoolers having posed doing the Sieg Heil salute for lolz and that having caused them trouble, here on Tildes. A Buzzfeed article. The news is: "These high schoolers posed giving the Nazi salute during prom photoshooting as a joke. That caused outrage as many interpreted the photos, published on internet by the photographer, rather literally, and this caused lots of trouble to the kids." But it is made into a story which includes the daily life of the guy, a narrative worthy of a short story collection.

        Same with a submission about a female cyclist who was mad at men b/c they passed her while waiting at the lights. The actual news / opinion: "There is a tendency among male cyclists to filter through to the front lines when waiting at the lights. Some female cyclists find this to be a rude behaviour, and expect them to wait in the line instead." But the article was many paragraphs long, and started with the story of the morning routine of the author, the cycling outfit she likes, and why, and other personal stuff, an unnecessary narrative.

        This sort of writing makes what's worth a couple declarative sentences into articles that take 10-20 minutes to read. Ain't nobody got time for that. I shamelessly skim those stuff, or sometimes even read the title and the incipit and call it done. Because 9 times out of ten it is indeed.

        5 votes
        1. [9]
          Micycle_the_Bichael
          Link Parent
          I read the first article you read and strongly disagree. I thought the article discussed a lot of important topics beyond "These high schoolers posed giving a Nazi salute during prom photoshooting...

          I read the first article you read and strongly disagree. I thought the article discussed a lot of important topics beyond "These high schoolers posed giving a Nazi salute during prom photoshooting as a joke". It brought up points like "why is one of the few Jewish families in the town putting in most of the work to teach children why giving a Nazi salute, even as a joke, is bad", "what is it like being a small town that makes it into the national spotlight for negative reasons". Also, the nazi salute photo was a joke/miscommunication, but that photo brought to light the school district's extensive history of burying racial issues in the town. These are all part of a bigger story about racism and media in america, and was IMO a pretty well-written article. Just because you think all the surrounding points are a waste of time or irrelevant doesn't mean they are. Journalism like that article has existed for a while, and personally, I find it to be the most interesting journalism.

          7 votes
          1. [8]
            unknown user
            Link Parent
            Thanks for the clarification. Apparently I picked a wrong example (I only read the first few paragraphs of it, if I reached to parts you paraphrasingly quoted, I might have read the entire thing),...

            Thanks for the clarification. Apparently I picked a wrong example (I only read the first few paragraphs of it, if I reached to parts you paraphrasingly quoted, I might have read the entire thing), but I don't think it detracts from my point. Lots of journalism is logorrhoea.

            4 votes
            1. [7]
              Micycle_the_Bichael
              Link Parent
              I will agree that it did take a while to get interesting. If I wasn’t reading the article on my phone while waiting for a huge pot of water to boil I might not have made it. I’ll agree a lot of...

              I will agree that it did take a while to get interesting. If I wasn’t reading the article on my phone while waiting for a huge pot of water to boil I might not have made it. I’ll agree a lot of articles are too long and don’t need to be. Just wanted to defend that one article :) I haven’t seen the other post you mentioned so I won’t comment on that at all.

              1 vote
              1. [6]
                unknown user
                Link Parent
                Glad you did! Thanks! Here it is. I guess you'll agree to me on this one.

                Just wanted to defend that one article :)

                Glad you did! Thanks!

                I haven’t seen the other post you mentioned so I won’t comment on that at all.

                Here it is. I guess you'll agree to me on this one.

                4 votes
                1. [5]
                  Micycle_the_Bichael
                  Link Parent
                  I'm going to try and choose my words very carefully here. I don't really care about the topic of the article a ton. Sexism is bad, and male cyclists shouldn't be dicks, but I didn't need an...

                  I'm going to try and choose my words very carefully here. I don't really care about the topic of the article a ton. Sexism is bad, and male cyclists shouldn't be dicks, but I didn't need an article to tell me that male cyclist are dicks. I live in a major city. I'm given firsthand evidence they suck every day. That said, I think the topic of the article is fine. Like someone wrote about something that bothered them and is a valid criticism of sexism in society. So I'll defend that part of the article. As long as your criticism is of the format of the article (very narrative) vs the content of the article, then we agree. It was longer than it needed to be giving a lot of backstories. It reminded me of how now whenever you look up a recipe online you first have to wade through a 90-page story about their inspiration for the dish or how it brings their family together before I can get to the fucking ingredients.

                  5 votes
                  1. [4]
                    unknown user
                    Link Parent
                    Yeah, mainly the format. Totally off-topic so let's not discuss this next sentence: But I did have reservations about the content too (tho maybe that has to do with cultural stuff, I wouldn't...

                    Yeah, mainly the format.

                    Totally off-topic so let's not discuss this next sentence: But I did have reservations about the content too (tho maybe that has to do with cultural stuff, I wouldn't really mind someone popping up in front of me when I'm not moving anyways and there's room).

                    2 votes
                    1. [3]
                      Micycle_the_Bichael
                      Link Parent
                      I'm not a cyclist so I won't try to say what is and isn't annoying or goes against norms and polite expectations. I truly am clueless on the subject.

                      I'm not a cyclist so I won't try to say what is and isn't annoying or goes against norms and polite expectations. I truly am clueless on the subject.

                      1 vote
                      1. [2]
                        cfabbro
                        Link Parent
                        Micycle_the_Bichael isn't a cyclist? I assume you're a motorcycle rider and that's where the username comes from then, or is it just a play on words with no deeper meaning related to your hobbies?

                        Micycle_the_Bichael isn't a cyclist? I assume you're a motorcycle rider and that's where the username comes from then, or is it just a play on words with no deeper meaning related to your hobbies?

                        1 vote
                        1. Micycle_the_Bichael
                          Link Parent
                          If I'm being honest, I saw a joke on Twitter that involved my name (Mike) and thought it was funny: "Since bike is short for bicycle, what if Mike was short for Micycle?"

                          If I'm being honest, I saw a joke on Twitter that involved my name (Mike) and thought it was funny: "Since bike is short for bicycle, what if Mike was short for Micycle?"

                          1 vote
    2. [6]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [5]
        hamstergeddon
        Link Parent
        Sounds to me like they've realized and accepted that a lot of people on these kinds of sites skip articles right into the comment section. De-editorializing the title helps curb some of the impact...

        Sounds to me like they've realized and accepted that a lot of people on these kinds of sites skip articles right into the comment section. De-editorializing the title helps curb some of the impact that has on discussion, but I supposed that could be viewed as enabling that kind of behavior.

        Honestly though you're coming about this really aggressively in tone and you're no doubt turning a lot of people away from your opinions just by being kinda snarky about it. And even mentioning quitting the site over something so relatively minor makes me not even want to have a discussion with you.

        But here we are. I think a good compromise could be to have posts with edited titles give an obvious indication that they've been edited and maybe even show the original title. Again, somewhere obvious, so as not to run into the topic log issue you mention.

        7 votes
        1. [4]
          Micycle_the_Bichael
          Link Parent
          I'd be curious about what you think of my solution, I've posted it in a few places in this thread. I don't want to be that guy spamming their comment everywhere in the thread so I will say it is...

          I'd be curious about what you think of my solution, I've posted it in a few places in this thread. I don't want to be that guy spamming their comment everywhere in the thread so I will say it is both a comment on the post (not a child in a thread) as well as a child reply in this reply.

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            hamstergeddon
            Link Parent
            I think if there isn't going to be a public indicator that a title has been edited, then your solution is a great one for those who want to stay true to the source material. Not that it has to,...

            I think if there isn't going to be a public indicator that a title has been edited, then your solution is a great one for those who want to stay true to the source material. Not that it has to, but it doesn't really address those who might purposely choose an editorialized title for their post to spread misinformation, make political statements, etc.

            5 votes
            1. [2]
              Micycle_the_Bichael
              Link Parent
              That's a fair point that I guess I under-considered. Titles that are made with the intent to spread misinformation probably should be edited. It would be ideal to live in a world where if a site...

              That's a fair point that I guess I under-considered. Titles that are made with the intent to spread misinformation probably should be edited. It would be ideal to live in a world where if a site is using bad titles it is because they aren't a good source of information, but we live in a world where using sensationalist titles is called being a news outlet :/

              4 votes
              1. frickindeal
                Link Parent
                That's the original argument that convinced me in a previous thread. I was pretty devoted to "stop changing article titles" (although not much in my posting because I was/am fairly new here) until...

                Titles that are made with the intent to spread misinformation probably should be edited

                That's the original argument that convinced me in a previous thread. I was pretty devoted to "stop changing article titles" (although not much in my posting because I was/am fairly new here) until I really considered just how many article titles do just that, are sensationalized, are clickbait, etc.

                4 votes
  3. Catt
    Link
    Honestly doesn't bother me much. Clicking on the article itself will give it's original title. And if someone were truly going to discuss content, they should at least click on the link. I prefer...

    Honestly doesn't bother me much. Clicking on the article itself will give it's original title. And if someone were truly going to discuss content, they should at least click on the link.

    I prefer not to have sensationalized or clickbaity titles grabbing at my attention.

    16 votes
  4. Deimos
    (edited )
    Link
    Alright, this thread's just getting weird now. Complaining about editing titles being misleading and then retroactively deleting a lot of comments and trying to reframe your whole topic and...

    Alright, this thread's just getting weird now. Complaining about editing titles being misleading and then retroactively deleting a lot of comments and trying to reframe your whole topic and approach when it went poorly is... pretty hypocritical.

    I'm going to lock it, it's run its course anyway.

    10 votes
  5. Weldawadyathink
    Link
    Your argument is pretty solid, for a link aggregation website. I don't think tildes is trying to be that. Tildes, as I see it, is a place for informed discussion about a topic. Often, but not...

    Your argument is pretty solid, for a link aggregation website. I don't think tildes is trying to be that. Tildes, as I see it, is a place for informed discussion about a topic. Often, but not always, this discussion spawns from a link to an article or other media. If you want to discuss the article itself, most articles have comments (of varying levels of quality). If you want to discuss a topic using an article as a starting point, use tildes. There have been posts where the article linked was changed to a better article. This does not hinder or change the discussion on the topic. The tildes title is for the discussion; the article title is for the article.

    7 votes
  6. [26]
    Pilgrim
    (edited )
    Link
    I agree with what you're saying... but I don't feel so strongly about it that I'd consider leaving the site. That feels extreme to me. I'm sure someone else will show up with some links to the...

    I agree with what you're saying... but I don't feel so strongly about it that I'd consider leaving the site. That feels extreme to me. I'm sure someone else will show up with some links to the prior discussions about this (sorry too busy atm to do it myself) and although the reasons are well-thought out, I also don't like titles being changed, unless that change is to make them match the title of the article itself (which I think should be the standard).

    But again, I don't feel that strongly about it and am OK to play by the rules set forth by the mods here.

    5 votes
    1. [26]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [17]
        hungariantoast
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        There's no reason to expect that one thing would ever lead to another like that. And for the record, I'd love it if we could suggest edits to other users' comments, for them to consider and...
        • Exemplary

        If we're willing to edit titles so that they're different from what is on the article, what else are we willing to edit? User's comments as well?

        There's no reason to expect that one thing would ever lead to another like that.

        And for the record, I'd love it if we could suggest edits to other users' comments, for them to consider and implement, kind of like a pull request through GitHub.

        If we're not fostering quality discussion, then the site is sprinting quickly away from its founding principles. I was interested in getting an invite because of those founding principles, so why should I stay if we're not going to adhere to them?

        You're assuming that changing titles hurts the ability to have high quality discussion, but I've only so far seen evidence that not changing titles, and leaving the bad ones up, generates meta discussion about the title, and not the content.

        19 votes
        1. [16]
          unknown user
          Link Parent
          Even if this was just limited in scope to grammatical cleanup, proper prose, etc; this would be fantastic.

          And for the record, I'd love it if we could suggest edits to other users comments, for them to consider and implement, kind of like a pull request through GitHub.

          Even if this was just limited in scope to grammatical cleanup, proper prose, etc; this would be fantastic.

          10 votes
          1. [15]
            hungariantoast
            Link Parent
            I know right? Like, just the idea of it gets me all excited. This topic is where I got the idea from. Deimos sorta, kinda said no to the idea, but I'm kind of, sort of thinking about writing...

            I know right? Like, just the idea of it gets me all excited.

            This topic is where I got the idea from.

            Deimos sorta, kinda said no to the idea, but I'm kind of, sort of thinking about writing another suggestion topic expanding on the details of the idea, because I'm not sure if his "no" would also apply to comments and dash my hopes to pieces.

            6 votes
            1. [13]
              Deimos
              Link Parent
              One thing that I think we will have eventually are the "whisper" or "aside" comments that we've discussed a few times, where you can reply in a less "substantial" way—the comment will be...

              One thing that I think we will have eventually are the "whisper" or "aside" comments that we've discussed a few times, where you can reply in a less "substantial" way—the comment will be pre-collapsed like Noise-labeled ones, and not cause the thread to bump back up to the top (maybe more effects?).

              Those should be perfect for things like spelling corrections and minor clarifications.

              7 votes
              1. [12]
                hungariantoast
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Well, I have to admit, I still think the ability to propose edits to a comment's source is way cooler, but I like the idea of "aside" comments and something like that certainly seems easier to...

                Well, I have to admit, I still think the ability to propose edits to a comment's source is way cooler, but I like the idea of "aside" comments and something like that certainly seems easier to implement and use, while still accomplishing all the goals and providing all the features of proposed edits. It does seem like the better, more practical solution, with the only downside (in my opinion) being that it might increase clutter in the comments.

                How would a user make a comment an "aside" comment? Would they have a checkbox they could enable before posting their comment, would it be a comment label, or do you have another idea for how to implement it?

                Personally, I'd think that a checkbox, or an entirely separate "Post aside comment" button when writing a comment would be the cleanest solution, since including another label, or an "Aside Reply" button below comments would take even more precious space. I'm probably a bigger fan of the checkbox, to be honest.

                4 votes
                1. [11]
                  cfabbro
                  Link Parent
                  There was actually recently some discussion on the feature on Gitlab: https://gitlab.com/tildes/tildes/issues/141 Feel free to chime in there on implementation recommendations, since that's...

                  There was actually recently some discussion on the feature on Gitlab:
                  https://gitlab.com/tildes/tildes/issues/141

                  Feel free to chime in there on implementation recommendations, since that's usually the best place for them so when they get worked on by someone eventually they are easy to find (instead of having to dig through unrelated ~tildes topics for them).

                  2 votes
                  1. [10]
                    Algernon_Asimov
                    Link Parent
                    Why not here on Tildes itself, where everyone can participate?

                    Feel free to chime in there on implementation recommendations, since that's usually the best place for them

                    Why not here on Tildes itself, where everyone can participate?

                    1 vote
                    1. [7]
                      Comment deleted by author
                      Link Parent
                      1. [6]
                        Algernon_Asimov
                        Link Parent
                        Not all Tilders are developers. Not all of us have, or want, a logon ID for GitLab. But all Tilders do, by definition, have a logon ID for Tildes and participate on Tildes.

                        Not all Tilders are developers. Not all of us have, or want, a logon ID for GitLab. But all Tilders do, by definition, have a logon ID for Tildes and participate on Tildes.

                        1. [3]
                          cfabbro
                          Link Parent
                          Sure, but people can still browse Gitlab even if they aren't developers, yourself included, and if they see an issue they want to start a topic on to discuss or make suggestions on, they can...

                          Sure, but people can still browse Gitlab even if they aren't developers, yourself included, and if they see an issue they want to start a topic on to discuss or make suggestions on, they can create one in ~tildes. But that doesn't change the fact that gitlab is the undeniably the best place for actual developers to discuss implementation, and doing so helps ensure everything they need to know is in one convenient place if/when one decides to implement the feature.

                          4 votes
                          1. [2]
                            Algernon_Asimov
                            Link Parent
                            And then they have to wait for a developer-type to copy their suggestion/discussion/problem over to GitLab. Which may or may not happen.

                            if they see an issue they want to start a topic on to discuss or make suggestions on, they can create one in ~tildes.

                            And then they have to wait for a developer-type to copy their suggestion/discussion/problem over to GitLab. Which may or may not happen.

                            1. cfabbro
                              Link Parent
                              Gitlab is the place where development happens. In the future that may change, if ~tildes.gitlab or something similar is created and automates/integrates everything into one location on the site...

                              Gitlab is the place where development happens. In the future that may change, if ~tildes.gitlab or something similar is created and automates/integrates everything into one location on the site itself, but that doesn't exist yet. And as such, by exclusively using ~tildes to share their ideas, people are in essence relying on the kindness (and free time) of strangers like myself to port all that over to gitlab for them. So if someone really wants their opinion to be heard by the developers, without having to rely on strangers to make that happen, there is a simple solution to that... make a gitlab account and start using it.

                              5 votes
                        2. [3]
                          Comment deleted by author
                          Link Parent
                          1. [2]
                            Algernon_Asimov
                            Link Parent
                            I created a GitLab ID because it was the only way to write a "how to" guide. Otherwise, I see no reason why I should have to create an off-site ID to make suggestions and give feedback about...

                            I created a GitLab ID because it was the only way to write a "how to" guide. Otherwise, I see no reason why I should have to create an off-site ID to make suggestions and give feedback about Tildes. I should be able to discuss Tildes on Tildes - right here in ~tildes, in fact.

                            1. [2]
                              Comment deleted by author
                              Link Parent
                              1. Algernon_Asimov
                                Link Parent
                                In that case, the developers aren't doing their job to the best of their ability. Users and user discussions are important. Tildes is not being created and built for developers' convenience; it's...

                                It's just that it is likely that your suggestions and feedback may not be seen here on Tildes.
                                The main issue I have with using ~tildes for more for more code related issues is that it would be harder for the developers to get to it right away.

                                In that case, the developers aren't doing their job to the best of their ability.

                                Users and user discussions are important. Tildes is not being created and built for developers' convenience; it's for users to use. And those users' opinions matter. If the users choose to post their opinions here in ~tildes, the group created specifically for user feedback about Tildes, then developers of Tildes should read ~tildes. If they choose not to read Tildes, and choose not to get user feedback about the site they're building... then who are they building Tildes for? Themselves?

                                1 vote
                    2. [3]
                      cfabbro
                      Link Parent
                      If a separate topic is made in ~tildes that works too though.

                      so when they get worked on by someone eventually they are easy to find (instead of having to dig through unrelated ~tildes topics for them).

                      If a separate topic is made in ~tildes that works too though.

                      2 votes
                      1. [2]
                        DrStone
                        Link Parent
                        I wonder, would it be possible to have any new issues created in gitlab automatically create a new locked link topic in ~tildes.gitlab or ~tildes.development? It would make it easier for the...

                        I wonder, would it be possible to have any new issues created in gitlab automatically create a new locked link topic in ~tildes.gitlab or ~tildes.development? It would make it easier for the general population to see "hey, this feature is being discussed" without users having to find their way to and periodically check Gitlab. By locking the Tildes topic from the start, it doesn't split conversations between Tildes and Gitlab, which is a good thing for developers to have it centralized. The integration could even be a bit more clever and bump the Tildes topic either by a system-posted comment on the locked topic or a direct topic bump (not sure if this is an existing feature) so people on Tildes quickly know when there's active Gitlab discussion.

                        4 votes
                        1. [2]
                          Comment deleted by author
                          Link Parent
                          1. DrStone
                            Link Parent
                            I agree that the development discussion should stay on GitLab. There is a problem with ease of discoverability though when we have meta discussion and suggestions on ~tildes and concrete feature /...

                            when we could just keep it on GitLab

                            I agree that the development discussion should stay on GitLab.

                            There is a problem with ease of discoverability though when we have meta discussion and suggestions on ~tildes and concrete feature / bug discussion on GitLab. Browsing Tildes and seeing the feature/bug/meta topics here, one is less likely to think of additionally going to GitLab, let alone that discussion and topic sets might be vastly different between the two. Getting locked topics (i.e. no discussion on the Tildes-side) posted to Tildes linking back to GitLab makes GitLab issues far more discoverable.

                            When I mentioned a system-posted comment, I didn't mean to mirror the discussion itself, but just whatever needed to be done to bump the topic on Tildes (ideally a direct bump-topic without comment feature). It would avoid having an actively discussed Gitlab topic look dead from the Tildes-side.

                            4 votes
            2. unknown user
              Link Parent
              Yeah, I have the exact same enthusiasm for it. It'd be neat to embrace the collectivist fun of Stack Overflow's tags & comment editing, and combine it with the individualist diversity of a high...

              Yeah, I have the exact same enthusiasm for it. It'd be neat to embrace the collectivist fun of Stack Overflow's tags & comment editing, and combine it with the individualist diversity of a high quality discussion board.

              4 votes
      2. [4]
        Deimos
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        If you're distrustful of me on the level that you're worried I might edit users' comments or similar, I think that's an even bigger signal that you probably shouldn't stay. I have full, direct...

        If you're distrustful of me on the level that you're worried I might edit users' comments or similar, I think that's an even bigger signal that you probably shouldn't stay. I have full, direct access to both the code and database (of course I do)—I can edit anything, at any time, with no trace. If you don't trust me to act ethically about it, there's really no way for me to reassure you.

        This is exactly why spez editing those comments was such a big deal, even if it was intended to be a joke. He stepped across that line of implicit trust that all of a site's users need to have of the people running it.

        18 votes
        1. [4]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [3]
            Deimos
            Link Parent
            I don't know if there's a good article, but it's a pretty simple situation to explain (I think this should all be correct): There was a thread in /r/The_Donald that was mad about a change reddit...

            I don't know if there's a good article, but it's a pretty simple situation to explain (I think this should all be correct):

            There was a thread in /r/The_Donald that was mad about a change reddit was making to the site. It might have been the change that would keep previously-stickied posts out of /r/all, because The_Donald was abusing that to get posts upvoted very quickly and posts from there were dominating /r/all. Anyway, the thread had a ton of comments saying "fuck spez".

            He wrote a script that went directly into the site data for that thread, and edited every comment that said "fuck spez" to "fuck <name of random moderator of The_Donald>", with no indication that the comments had been changed.

            7 votes
            1. [3]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. [2]
                frickindeal
                Link Parent
                I had no idea it was as bad as writing a script to replace multiple comments. Damn. And through that, nothing in his head said "this is a really bad idea"? Amazing, and makes me distrust reddit...

                I had no idea it was as bad as writing a script to replace multiple comments. Damn. And through that, nothing in his head said "this is a really bad idea"? Amazing, and makes me distrust reddit all the more, although my level of trust in the admins there went to shit with the obvious motivations for the redesign.

                3 votes
                1. [2]
                  Comment deleted by author
                  Link Parent
                  1. cfabbro
                    Link Parent
                    He most likely just got angry and frustrated with thousands of comments on "his site" saying "fuck [you]" to him... and in his anger decided to lash out in a stupid, petty and incredibly...

                    He most likely just got angry and frustrated with thousands of comments on "his site" saying "fuck [you]" to him... and in his anger decided to lash out in a stupid, petty and incredibly shortsighted way. It was a mistake, a big one, but still... We have all done it; Rich, poor, powerful, weak. It's human nature.

                    TBH, I am surprised Ellen Pao never had a moment like that. She handled all the hatred (and worse) being constantly directed at her with amazing grace... what a trooper!

                    6 votes
      3. Adys
        Link Parent
        Man, I'm having a really hard time empathizing with you when your posts are being so … grandiose. Maybe tone it down a bit? Can you see how the jump from transparently editing titles to spez-like...

        Man, I'm having a really hard time empathizing with you when your posts are being so … grandiose. Maybe tone it down a bit? Can you see how the jump from transparently editing titles to spez-like editing of comments is a bit… far-fetched?

        I don't see a practical problem with editing titles for link posts. Tildes has taken steps to detach submitters from the links they post, so it's not like there's room to write an opinion in there, thus editing them doesn't step on toes as long as it's a useful edit.

        And this:

        How does this misrepresentation foster quality discussion? If we're not fostering quality discussion, then the site is sprinting quickly away from its founding principles.

        Is really off-base. You're the one calling it a misrepresentation first of all, and looking at your previous discussion on there you seem to be the only one thinking it is an actual misrepresentation. Regardless, titles aren't meant to be fostering discussion; the content is.

        But I've been in enough communities to recognize the whole "appeal to founding principles" fallacy. It's usually an american thing (americans do love to talk about their founding fathers' and all the principles those guys held; but whatever, let's not get into that…). I always find it so silly. Tildes, as with every community, means and will mean many different things to its users. Many contradicting things. Beyond the actual stated goals of the site (none of which mention anything about titles), and short of electing a Supreme Court of the Tildes Website, the "founding principles" are actually what we as a community make of the site while it's still in its early days.
        Tildes isn't something that User IDs 3 and up joined on a set of set-in-stone rules and goals. Everything we write on here is a brick that builds up the foundation of the community.

        So yes, discussion by all means. Quality discussion, as you say. This is certainly a topic worth discussing, but not when the OP sets the tone with an "I want a refund!" attitude aka "or else I'm leaving!".

        11 votes
      4. [2]
        spit-evil-olive-tips
        Link Parent
        As a side note, this implied threat of "I'm leaving the site if things don't change to be the way I want" is an extraordinarily bad way to get what you want. Even if it's true, and you really feel...

        I was interested in getting an invite because of those founding principles, so why should I stay if we're not going to adhere to them?

        As a side note, this implied threat of "I'm leaving the site if things don't change to be the way I want" is an extraordinarily bad way to get what you want.

        Even if it's true, and you really feel strongly enough that you would leave the site over this issue - it's counterproductive to mention it.

        Suppose you are able to convince Deimos to make the change you're advocating. To an outside observer it can look like starting a meta thread where you threaten to quit the site unless certain changes are made is an effective way to have those changes happen. That sets a very bad precedent, enough so that any suggestion made with "or else I'll quit Tildes" should almost be rejected outright.

        8 votes
        1. unknown user
          Link Parent
          It's also an incredibly empty threat too. What are the downsides of this one particular user leaving Tildes? Statistically, right now, it's an extremely diluted effect—dropping from approximately...

          It's also an incredibly empty threat too. What are the downsides of this one particular user leaving Tildes? Statistically, right now, it's an extremely diluted effect—dropping from approximately 10,000 to approximately 10,000 minus 1 is minimal at best.

          If anything, the community may see it as a good thing that people who aren't happy with the intentions of the site leave.

          So not only is it counterproductive, it's also meaningless.

          6 votes
      5. Petril
        Link Parent
        I've never liked being forced to use the title of an article I thought was interesting, because sometimes interesting articles have really crappy titles. Sometimes the actual title of the article...

        I've never liked being forced to use the title of an article I thought was interesting, because sometimes interesting articles have really crappy titles. Sometimes the actual title of the article misrepresents what is in the body text more than a person who just wants to de-clickbait an article.

        Also, I think that's what the trust-based moderation system is for. If we have a group of people willing to put in the time to make sure that content is being represented in a mostly fair, hate-free environment (AND all users have the option to report something that those users didn't see), then I worry less that people will be running around putting wildly misleading titles on things.

        7 votes
  7. Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    So I feel fairly similar to you. I feel weird changing the title of an article because it means I am editing the original authors work. I don't feel comfortable with misrepresenting what an author...

    So I feel fairly similar to you. I feel weird changing the title of an article because it means I am editing the original authors work. I don't feel comfortable with misrepresenting what an author wants to say, even if I disagree with it. I ran into this problem the other day with my post on alcoholics anonymous. My solution? Use the title of the article and post a comment stating I was aware of the tone of the title, that I don't agree with the aggressive nature of the author, but that the article itself made me think and commented my thoughts and tried to direct the conversation away from the title and more into topics. This method only really works if people read the article and read my comment, but it was the best thing I could come up with.

    5 votes