23 votes

Unofficial Weekly Discussion #1 - Suggestions/ideas/concerns for future unofficial weekly discussions

Since @Deimos has stated he will likely not be restarting the tradition of the Official Daily Tildes Discussions, which is something I and a number of other users greatly enjoyed and miss, I have decided to attempt to take on the responsibility of continuing them unofficially (with his blessing). And since these are not official (so won't be in ~tildes.official, which everyone is subscribed to and probably shouldn't unsubscribe from), I will only be doing them weekly instead of daily, and we now have topic tag filtering (so unofficial weekly discussion can be filtered out), hopefully the people who found the official daily discussions annoying can more easily ignore/hide these unofficial ones.

With the explanation out of the way, on to the topic for this week:


Suggestions/ideas/concerns for future unofficial weekly discussions

I thought it would be appropriate to have the first one of these be a bit of an open-ended, meta-meta discussion on the future of these topics. And to kick things off:

  • What would everyone here like to see discussed in these topics in the future? Are there any particular site features (planned, suggested or theoretical), policies (tagging, moderation, etc), or other meta issues/subjects you would like to be the topic in future discussions?

  • What would you like us to try to achieve with these discussions? Should we have any specific goals in mind, or should they just be fun brainstorming/theory-crafting/naval-gazing sessions?

  • Does anyone have any suggestions for me with regards to how I should handle these discussions? Is there anyone out there who would like to help me with these in some capacity going forwards?

  • Does anyone have any concerns regarding these unofficial discussions, and if so, can you think of any ways we can try to address them?

The floor is open, and I am all ears. :)


Tildes Official Docs : Donate to Tildes | Tildes Gitlab : Issues Board

61 comments

  1. [50]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    EDIT: This comment spawned a lot of discussion, but remember that the main point of this thread is that @cfabbro is looking for suggestions, ideas, and concerns for future topics. Please help...

    EDIT: This comment spawned a lot of discussion, but remember that the main point of this thread is that @cfabbro is looking for suggestions, ideas, and concerns for future topics. Please help brainstorm by giving top-level comments with ideas for things that we should discuss!

    I like the ideas of these as sort of community brainstorms. I think one of the benefits of having open discussions like these is that everybody has a slightly different version of what they want Tildes to be, and this helps us process a lot of the nuances of the site's direction and identity. Some of my position on this is influenced by the fact that I joined the site after the last round stopped though, so I might not be as fatigued of meta-discussion as others. That said, now that they are easily filterable, my main concern (that these would dominate the activity feed for people that don't want to see them) is a non-issue.

    I have no hands in Tildes' development, so I have no idea if what I'm about to share is in process or even decided upon, but here are the two things that I think are most in need of addressing on Tildes:

    1. Enabling the principle of charity.

    Right now, it's in the docs and is an ideological underpinning of the site, but I've witnessed many conversations where it is forgotten. I've forgotten it myself. If a conversation has reached a point that each user is doing the whole quote, rebuttal, quote, rebuttal, quote, rebuttal rhythm then it's clear neither is interpreting the other person's comment in the best light. I pretty much consider conversations of that type effectively noise, as I've rarely seen anything productive come out of one.

    I don't know what we can do to structurally encourage, promote, and remind users of the principle of charity, but I feel that's something that needs to be explored. What can we do, beyond making it a cultural norm, to encourage pro-social interactions? What can we do to make sure that people, even those who exist on opposite sides of deep ideological divides, engage with each other in the best possible ways?

    1. Addressing comments not made in good faith.

    As a flipside to what I just said, the principle of charity only works if you're speaking to someone in good faith, and they're reciprocating. If that person is lying or has an ulterior motive (e.g. wanting to start a fight), the principle of charity becomes a liability for all of us. The person acting in bad faith creates a power imbalance that works in their favor, because the principle of charity will encourage other commenters to waste time and emotional labor on addressing their comments.

    This isn't so much a problem on Tildes, but I feel like I have witnessed some examples here (most of which eventually get removed). Nevertheless, it has the potential to get worse should we ever attract a large contingent of people who enter Tildes with the explicit purpose of harming us as a platform. Given that we are seen as a mostly left ideological stronghold, I don't think that's an unfounded concern with the nature of the internet's culture wars.

    The hard part about someone acting in bad faith is that there isn't certainty. If I were to post something to Tildes that is seen as inflammatory by many (which I have), am I doing that because it's a strongly held belief, or am I doing it because I'm wanting to poke the bear a bit? Only I can know my motivations, so it's hard to accuse me of acting in bad faith, even if you suspect it.

    That said, I think there are some telltale signs. The quote-rebuttal rhythm I mentioned earlier is often one of them. Another is giving an inflammatory position, often a "take," with little or no explanation. Another is returning to the thread to post little more than bait for arguments or needling another user.

    I feel like we need a way to address people that may be acting in bad faith. It's different from malice, and it's different from noise, and I don't think any one single person's assessment of the situation would be valid. Instead, it might require several people tagging a comment or even a whole thread as "possibly in bad faith" before it gets collapsed or removed.

    And maybe there are other solutions outside of labeling that we could explore? Because we can't know intent, maybe, if enough "potentially in bad faith" labels get applied to a comment, the author receives a system-generated ping to let them know they should return to their comment and better explain or flesh out their position. This gives someone who's acting in good faith the ability to better clarify or address what they want to say (which they should, if they're acting in good faith) before any action gets taken.

    10 votes
    1. [32]
      spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      A common pattern I've seen (both on Tildes and elsewhere) that causes threads to go off the rails is two users getting into a back-and-forth with each other that just escalates. If one side of an...

      A common pattern I've seen (both on Tildes and elsewhere) that causes threads to go off the rails is two users getting into a back-and-forth with each other that just escalates.

      If one side of an argument has can't sleep, someone is wrong on the internet syndrome, it usually doesn't cause any huge problems - the issue is that when two people both have it and run into each other.

      Some sort of enforced "cooling off period" might help with this - if you're in a comment thread that's just you and one other person going back and forth, you both have to wait X minutes before replying. X could increase exponentially up to some maximum instead of being a fixed value.

      There's certainly a chance of false positives with this, so I think it might interact well with an "argumentative" comment label or something along those lines.

      12 votes
      1. [24]
        emdash
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I support this idea immensely. Tildes definitely has "power-user" syndrome with a higher-than-average level of investment from the top users and many forum regulars engage in this style of debate,...

        I support this idea immensely. Tildes definitely has "power-user" syndrome with a higher-than-average level of investment from the top users and many forum regulars engage in this style of debate, to the point of needing pedantry or argumentative labels in addition to this. Definitely in favor of cooldowns + one or two more well considered negative-weight labels.

        12 votes
        1. [2]
          cptcobalt
          Link Parent
          I second this. I'm always tempted to pipe in on unnecessarily argumentative comment threads, and I think I'd be placated if there were some negative labels to use that indicated that the exchange...

          I second this. I'm always tempted to pipe in on unnecessarily argumentative comment threads, and I think I'd be placated if there were some negative labels to use that indicated that the exchange (or any one reply) is unproductive/irritating. These labels would be good to tie to a potential cooldown.

          7 votes
          1. NaraVara
            Link Parent
            Unfortunately the labels are only visible to moderators so you might not actually feel like it's adding anything. Perhaps there could just be a "give it a rest you two!" label that the discussion...

            I think I'd be placated if there were some negative labels to use that indicated that the exchange (or any one reply) is unproductive/irritating.

            Unfortunately the labels are only visible to moderators so you might not actually feel like it's adding anything. Perhaps there could just be a "give it a rest you two!" label that the discussion participants can see. You can even stick a big "UGH!" tag on the whole comment chain once enough people express their displeasure.

            1 vote
        2. [7]
          hungariantoast
          Link Parent
          I've asked you before if you could help me understand what you mean by "power users" and I have given you my thoughts on your use of the term. The last time I asked you about the term, I mentioned...

          I've asked you before if you could help me understand what you mean by "power users" and I have given you my thoughts on your use of the term.

          The last time I asked you about the term, I mentioned that I thought it felt like a way to generalize certain users and that I found it frustrating.

          I don't know, maybe I'm just misunderstanding your intent, but othering a group of people as "power users" while replying to a comment discussing ways to better enable charitable interpretation just seems... weird?

          Then again, maybe I just do not understand what you mean when you use that term (because, to be fair, I don't think you have ever actually defined the meaning).

          6 votes
          1. [4]
            Deimos
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Like @emdash said, it's the users with a higher-than-average level of investment. In a "90-9-1" type of system, the people who are the "1s". The people that post a lot of the content and comment...

            Like @emdash said, it's the users with a higher-than-average level of investment. In a "90-9-1" type of system, the people who are the "1s". The people that post a lot of the content and comment in a lot of the threads. The people that hang out in a Discord devoted to the site. The people that can say things like, "I think Deimos mentioned that once 6 months ago, let me find it". The people that write scripts to make posts automatically. The people that write wiki pages about how the site works. And so on.

            This isn't a big site, of course it's aimed at a particular, mostly-easily-identifiable set of users. It doesn't need to be taken in a bad, insulting sort of way, but it's the reality that people in that group have an outsize influence on the site's culture. If many of them behave a certain way or care a lot about certain subjects, that's going to seem over-represented.

            15 votes
            1. [3]
              hungariantoast
              Link Parent
              Okay, that's a fair way to define the term and I think it makes sense in the context of @emdash's comments. I still don't particularly like the term itself, but I can chalk that up to negative...

              Okay, that's a fair way to define the term and I think it makes sense in the context of @emdash's comments. I still don't particularly like the term itself, but I can chalk that up to negative connotations and previous times when I've felt like it was used poorly.

              I also don't even necessarily disagree with the idea that the more active users tend to get involved in less than prestigious debates (because I have), it's just the term itself that I was getting hung up on.

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                Deimos
                Link Parent
                I could be completely off base, but were you interpreting "power user" as like, "the users who have power over the site"? It's just a term for advanced users of hardware/software in general:...

                I could be completely off base, but were you interpreting "power user" as like, "the users who have power over the site"? It's just a term for advanced users of hardware/software in general: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_user

                4 votes
                1. hungariantoast
                  Link Parent
                  "the users who have power over the site" is how I have seen "power user" used across Internet communities. I understand its definition in relation to technology, but I've witnessed it used more...

                  "the users who have power over the site" is how I have seen "power user" used across Internet communities. I understand its definition in relation to technology, but I've witnessed it used more commonly as a way to attack people for simply having a presence. Like someone would use the term "moderator" negatively and interchangeably with "power user" because yes, they have a certain degree of power, but then also use it as a way to relegate people who actually can't moderate things, just because the people in question are active or influential in a community.

                  Maybe the most common way I've seen "power user" used like this is to describe administrators of Wikipedia who "power trip" or whatever, deleting articles, reverting edits, etc.

                  So, yes, there's the definition in relation to technology, but that isn't how I've seen the word most commonly used in online communities.

                  That's why, especially in the context of the comments where the term was used on Tildes, it often struck me as being used negatively, as a way to generalize or underhandedly call out users.

                  And I get it, we're not supposed to assume the worst. On a 100% clean slate, "power user" as a term wouldn't even bother me when used to describe active or influential users and for a while I kept on assuming that it wasn't being used in the negative ways I've seen it used. Through enough repetition however, I decided that the best thing I could do was to just ask.

                  4 votes
          2. [2]
            emdash
            Link Parent
            I think the fact you're able to refer to the last time I mentioned this definitely exemplifies what I mean by "power-user syndrome". It shouldn't be taken as a negative that people are invested in...

            I think the fact you're able to refer to the last time I mentioned this definitely exemplifies what I mean by "power-user syndrome". It shouldn't be taken as a negative that people are invested in Tildes, I am too. Probably to the exact same extent as you, or more. I recognize your username for example, which says things about both of us.

            But @Deimos kind of nailed my intent with his comment. It's not defamatory, but if those with a large influence on the site bicker/argue/become overly-attached or invested/demonstrate a lack of charity, that could drive away potential new users because that becomes the site culture. And that's exactly my point! Assume charity! Don't assume my use of the term "power user" is a negative. It's just a broad collection of invested individuals.

            We need tools like the ones I endorsed in my above comment precisely to stop users like you and me becoming barnacles on the ship, slowing it down, becoming the status quo—precisely because power users are the ones that return and return, and tend to be the same people who are invested enough to argue, and bicker, and become overly attached.

            8 votes
            1. hungariantoast
              Link Parent
              But, why? Digging up my old comment wasn't difficult. Just going to my comments page and searching "power users" was enough to find it. The fact that I remember making that comment also doesn't...

              I think the fact you're able to refer to the last time I mentioned this definitely exemplifies what I mean by "power-user syndrome".

              But, why? Digging up my old comment wasn't difficult. Just going to my comments page and searching "power users" was enough to find it. The fact that I remember making that comment also doesn't strike me as special. The comment isn't two months old yet. This also isn't a case of me looking for a debate. I can't emphasize enough that I don't want to cause an argument about this, I just wanted to express my concerns and ask about how it is you were using the term.

              Either way, I want to emphasize that I approached you about your use of the term because I was trying to understand it. Yeah, it totally has frustrated me in the past, but that's why I am reaching out about it, because I want to understand your meaning behind the use of the term.

              I just want to specify that, because I'm not bringing this up to (purposefully) be rude, it's just that I found a recurring thing that I questioned multiple times and wanted to find some clarification on.

              Other than that, yeah, I don't disagree that something like a cooldown period would probably be a good feature for the website, or that the site's culture has some bumps that are proliferated by the most active parts of the community. Like I mentioned to Deimos, it was the term itself I was getting hung up on.

              1 vote
        3. [14]
          Whom
          Link Parent
          Can you connect those ideas please? What makes this group responsible for these problems? As I'm sure you remember, this poweruser business has gotten pretty nasty and venomous in the past, so...

          Can you connect those ideas please? What makes this group responsible for these problems? As I'm sure you remember, this poweruser business has gotten pretty nasty and venomous in the past, so it'd be nice to hear a little on why it's worth throwing that category of people under the bus like this. I'm not sure being an argumentative ass has anything to do with how much you use the website, short of the fact that anything someone who is around a lot does...naturally happens more.

          Fwiw, I like the idea of those labels and I'm not totally against forced cooldowns. The jab just seems unnecessary, off-the-mark, and plain strange in a conversation about treating people better.

          2 votes
          1. [13]
            emdash
            Link Parent
            Assume charity! It's not a negative term, at least in my opinion? Maybe you see it differently. I don't have any issue with calling myself a power user. Anyway, this is kind of my opinion here. I...

            Assume charity! It's not a negative term, at least in my opinion? Maybe you see it differently. I don't have any issue with calling myself a power user. Anyway, this is kind of my opinion here.

            I don't have any other way than describing this other than an exemplification of the 90-9-1 problem, or a top-heavy user base. If you'd like me to use a different term, I'm more than happy to. All of this said, I don't want to expend too much of myself and other's energy discussing this so I'll leave these comments as they stand, but noted.

            6 votes
            1. [4]
              Amarok
              Link Parent
              There's another problem at play here we're not talking about. Right now, Tildes is STEM-heavy, and if there's one group of people who could be in 99% agreement and then argue until it comes to...

              There's another problem at play here we're not talking about. Right now, Tildes is STEM-heavy, and if there's one group of people who could be in 99% agreement and then argue until it comes to blows over that 1%, it's STEM-types.

              I've managed it in a dozen forums, multiple mmo guilds, and I've dealt with it daily in real life working with techies of every stripe - I swear I can spot it by brow movement alone. If there were a certification for herding geeks, I'd have had it in 2001. The pedantry is a natural tendency of people who have too much geek-gene in them. Just look at any hackernews thread. This can also cover any topic someone obsesses about - geeks aren't just restricted to science or math, they crop up everywhere.

              Once a wave of 50k normies crashes into Tildes the next time reddit does something stupid (anyday now I'm sure) it'll help balance that out somewhat. I'm sure that'll ruffle some people's feathers here when the forum starts changing and pushing back on pedantic behavior. Then we'll see our first 'I miss the good old days of early Tildes' posts, and the wheel will continue turning. That's coming, sure as day, it's natural forum evolution. It'd be nice to get ahead of it with the right labels and tools.

              The obsessive detail and back/forth argumentation is appropriate for some groups and not for others, just like on reddit. It's precisely what you want in a place devoted to math or physics or history, and precisely what you don't want in a place devoted to sports, music, books, hobbies etc. I doubt there's one set of forum mechanics that can effectively manage both types of places.

              8 votes
              1. Whom
                Link Parent
                Oh man, am I gonna have to argue against the "good old days" of Tildes for the rest of its life? That's gonna be fun. I was reading a lot of old threads today, holy shit have we come a long way....

                Oh man, am I gonna have to argue against the "good old days" of Tildes for the rest of its life? That's gonna be fun.

                I was reading a lot of old threads today, holy shit have we come a long way. By the nature of this site it tends to be very self-critical but when you make the direct comparison to a year or so ago it's striking how much the community has changed. We're infinitely less nasty than we used to be.

                2 votes
              2. [2]
                NaraVara
                Link Parent
                Have you ever met a lawyer? Or. . . God forbid. . . a philosopher!?

                and if there's one group of people who could be in 99% agreement and then argue until it comes to blows over that 1%, it's STEM-types.

                Have you ever met a lawyer?

                Or. . . God forbid. . . a philosopher!?

                1 vote
                1. Amarok
                  Link Parent
                  Yeah, and a pair of coders arguing about spacing still puts them to shame both in fervor and in the general pointlessness of the entire argument. :D

                  Yeah, and a pair of coders arguing about spacing still puts them to shame both in fervor and in the general pointlessness of the entire argument. :D

                  2 votes
            2. [8]
              Whom
              Link Parent
              To clarify (I don't want to pull you back into this, disengagement is good!), my issue isn't necessarily with the term itself. Which is why I didn't say "don't say poweruser," but I argued against...

              To clarify (I don't want to pull you back into this, disengagement is good!), my issue isn't necessarily with the term itself. Which is why I didn't say "don't say poweruser," but I argued against you blaming powerusers for these bad behaviors. Describing 90-9-1 doesn't help much. There's nothing baked into that which makes it a problem. That's why I was asking for an explanation, a description of what a poweruser is does not cover why they're to blame for the pedantry and argumentativeness on the site. Without that explanation, it's just a shot at a group of users with no reason given except that they exist.

              In both the comment I responded to and the linked comment, you say powerusers are the cause of this behavior. What charitable reading could change that? There's not a whole lot of ambiguity to work with there. Even if your statement is ultimately correct, a charitable reading doesn't change what it is.

              2 votes
              1. [6]
                Deimos
                Link Parent
                I wouldn't normally say anything, but since you just requested to be told if you reply in unfriendly ways: what you're doing right now isn't a friendly style of conversation. You're persisting in...

                I wouldn't normally say anything, but since you just requested to be told if you reply in unfriendly ways: what you're doing right now isn't a friendly style of conversation.

                You're persisting in attempting to finish an argument against someone that isn't even trying to argue any more. It's almost never a healthy conversation if it's being approached as a competition. The best discussions are when people are replying and building on what each other are saying, not trying to tear it down.

                3 votes
                1. Whom
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  As is probably obvious, I took the jab against a group I probably belong to as an insult, and when I brought that up it was framed as if I was just taking issue with their choice of word. I'm...

                  As is probably obvious, I took the jab against a group I probably belong to as an insult, and when I brought that up it was framed as if I was just taking issue with their choice of word. I'm perfectly happy with letting it end, but being made out to be the asshole for clarifying that it was still unnecessary and insulting is a bit frustrating.

                  People should be able to leave a conversation whenever they want, of course, but if someone's taking shots then I don't see what's wrong with saying "hey, I'm insulted by that." I'm not really sure what you mean about the competition bit, for me it was all about my fee-fees.

                  In hindsight I should've used a bit of the ol I language, though.

                  4 votes
                2. [4]
                  cfabbro
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  I think this way of thinking can be a bit problematic, TBH... disengagement should be allowed and even encouraged to prevent escalating arguments, and building up rather than tearing down is also...

                  I think this way of thinking can be a bit problematic, TBH... disengagement should be allowed and even encouraged to prevent escalating arguments, and building up rather than tearing down is also obviously preferred. However discouraging people from responding critically to something they don't agree with is not really the right approach, IMO.

                  There is a reason ChangeMyView has the rule "Only post if you are willing to have a conversation with those who reply to you". Allowing people to "drop bombs" and then walk away without being challenged on them by people who disagree isn't really productive. A balance needs to be struck somewhere between entirely "friendly" conversation and outright hostility to an idea. That makes the lines harder to draw, and it's harder to determine when people cross them, but it also leads to healthier discussion overall, IMO.

                  3 votes
                  1. [3]
                    Deimos
                    Link Parent
                    ChangeMyView is literally a debate subreddit though, its entire purpose is to post your views and have them challenged. I don't really want Tildes to be "a debate site". I'm not saying that...

                    ChangeMyView is literally a debate subreddit though, its entire purpose is to post your views and have them challenged. I don't really want Tildes to be "a debate site".

                    I'm not saying that nothing should ever be contradicted, but when almost every thread turns into arguments, it has a huge impact on the culture and future of the site. People that don't want to debate all the time just leave. If new people are looking around and see arguments almost everywhere they look, why would they want to join? The only people that will be interested are ones that want to get involved in those arguments, and that just perpetuates it even further.

                    4 votes
                    1. cfabbro
                      (edited )
                      Link Parent
                      True enough about CMV, however I think seeing "controversial" (for lack of a better word) opinions go completely unchallenged on a site can be just as discouraging as seeing debate everywhere too....

                      True enough about CMV, however I think seeing "controversial" (for lack of a better word) opinions go completely unchallenged on a site can be just as discouraging as seeing debate everywhere too. And I'm not trying to suggest Tildes turn into CMV, but a balance does need to be struck, IMO.

                      p.s. I'm not suggesting the balance is correct right now either, BTW... I definitely think we could use a healthy dose of more friendliness around here.

                      4 votes
                    2. cfabbro
                      (edited )
                      Link Parent
                      p.p.s. Speaking of friendliness... perhaps next week's discussion should be on how we can encourage more friendliness on the site?

                      p.p.s. Speaking of friendliness... perhaps next week's discussion should be on how we can encourage more friendliness on the site?

                      4 votes
              2. DanBC
                Link Parent
                If hypothetical_Ann spends 4 hours a day on Tildes and hypothetical_Bob spends one hour a week on Tildes it will be hypothetical_Ann who has more influence on site culture and who is more likely...

                If hypothetical_Ann spends 4 hours a day on Tildes and hypothetical_Bob spends one hour a week on Tildes it will be hypothetical_Ann who has more influence on site culture and who is more likely to reply to a new user's comments.

                We don't want h_Ann or h_Bob to be jerks, but it's a bigger problem if h_Ann is a jerk.

                1 vote
      2. [4]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        I agree wholeheartedly and like the idea of enforced cooldowns. If freely commenting is a green light, and deletion/banning are a red light, I feel like there's room for a yellow light (or...

        I agree wholeheartedly and like the idea of enforced cooldowns. If freely commenting is a green light, and deletion/banning are a red light, I feel like there's room for a yellow light (or several). Something that lets users know they're on thin ice.

        I know I personally force myself away from the site if I'm getting heated or wanting to respond in a less than charitable way, but I also know that's not always easy to do. A built-in mechanism could go a long way in helping us when the emotions of the moment cause us to lose sight of the fact that stepping away is an option.

        8 votes
        1. [3]
          suspended
          Link Parent
          As a Reddit moderator I've handed out several 3-day suspensions. They've worked every time.

          Something that lets users know they're on thin ice.

          As a Reddit moderator I've handed out several 3-day suspensions. They've worked every time.

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            I've experienced situations where 3-day temp-bans didn't work. They're great at stopping this argument here and now, as they immediately force one or more participants to stop commenting. But...

            As a Reddit moderator I've handed out several 3-day suspensions. They've worked every time.

            I've experienced situations where 3-day temp-bans didn't work. They're great at stopping this argument here and now, as they immediately force one or more participants to stop commenting. But they're not always good at changing the participants' behaviour in the long-term. I've had temp-banned users rant and rave at me in modmail. I've had them create new accounts to get around the temp-ban. I've had them wait out the ban, then continue commenting (in new threads) in exactly the same way that got them banned last time.

            I've had situations where people do change their behaviour after a temp-ban, but I've also had situations where nothing changed.

            I felt a need to point out that temp-bans aren't a panacea. They might work for some people, but they don't work for all people.

            4 votes
            1. suspended
              Link Parent
              Of course. The niche subs, in which these have taken place, are what I was referring to. From what you have explained, I wonder what would be an effective deterrent going forward.

              I felt a need to point out that temp-bans aren't a panacea.

              Of course. The niche subs, in which these have taken place, are what I was referring to.

              From what you have explained, I wonder what would be an effective deterrent going forward.

              3 votes
      3. [3]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        I think cooling off periods are necessary. I say this as both having been moderator of a politics discussion forum and a chronic sufferer of "someone is wrong on the internet" syndrome. As a...

        Some sort of enforced "cooling off period" might help with this - if you're in a comment thread that's just you and one other person going back and forth, you both have to wait X minutes before replying. X could increase exponentially up to some maximum instead of being a fixed value.

        I think cooling off periods are necessary. I say this as both having been moderator of a politics discussion forum and a chronic sufferer of "someone is wrong on the internet" syndrome.

        As a moderator though, I think the tendency will always been to act just a little bit too late or to give people you know to be good posters generally a little too much slack. So it's not always perfectly enforceable. One thing that might help, though, is to simply auto-mute notifications on new posts that go more than 3 or 4 comments deep. If you actually find the post edifying you can go in and see if there are replies, but just having the orange text up there is an invitation to continue engaging.

        Another thing I'd like to explore is the idea of discouraging the quote extract -> rebuttal -> extract -> rebuttal loop you talked about. Generally I've been trying to stay away from it and address people's comments holistically, but it's hard to respond to a quote-mining post without quote-mining the rebuttal yourself. We need to come up with some way to socialize that this is not a preferred form of discourse here. I'm not sure what that would be or how to do it though.

        As for what is a preferred form of discourse, I think the norm in classical Hindu philosophy is that before you even go into your argument, you first need to be able to summarize your opponent's argument to their own satisfaction. Even in contemporary academic most good faith debates will have phrases in them like "I interpret this statement to mean. . ." as a way to clarify the subject of debate and avoid falling into dueling strawmen. But again, this is a tough thing to socialize. Old PHP style forums could be better at it because all arguments were functionally public, so there is always a peanut gallery there to weigh in on whether someone is being ridiculous. But on a platform like this discussions quickly become 1-to-1 instead of many-to-many due to how the notification system works and that kind of crowd-feedback doesn't happen.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          It's hard to avoid quote-mining when a single comment might have three or four different points in it - as yours does, for example. This is how online asynchronous communication works. It's not...

          It's hard to avoid quote-mining when a single comment might have three or four different points in it - as yours does, for example.

          This is how online asynchronous communication works. It's not like real-time communication, where one party says something brief, and the other party responds immediately and briefly, and they have a quick to-and-fro. They might eventually cover multiple subjects in their conversation, but they'll do them sequentially. They'll talk about one subject for a while, then digress into another subject, then another, and so on.

          Meanwhile, here on the internet, people have a tendency to raise multiple points simultaneously, because there's noone waiting for them to finish talking. I can take my time typing this comment, because you're not waiting for me. If we were face to face, I'd feel a pressure to stop talking about now and let you speak. But you're not here, so I can just keep typing.

          And, because the other party's reply might take hours or even more than a day to appear, someone feels like they should make all their points now, rather than wait for the conversation to get to those subjects organically. It might only take three or four back-and-forths for the digression to happen, but that can take a couple of days on an internet forum like this.

          So people throw all their points into the mix now. The points are raised in parallel, rather than in sequence. And, their correspondent feels obliged to deal with all those points in their reply. It gets tricky jumping around from point to point. It makes their reply disjointed, and each paragraph lacks context. Including the quotes which each paragraph is replying to is just a way of providing that context.

          Also, in large threads, a reply and its parent comment might be separated by a couple of screens' worth of scrolling, making it difficult for third-party readers to follow the conversation. Including quotes when replying makes it easier for readers to follow along.

          (And the urge to quote the part of your comment which I'm addressing is extremely strong, but I'm resisting.)

          6 votes
          1. NaraVara
            Link Parent
            I've read a lot of written debates between people where they manage to avoid it, but there are lots of restrictions on the formats, like a finite amount of column space that demands you fill it...

            I've read a lot of written debates between people where they manage to avoid it, but there are lots of restrictions on the formats, like a finite amount of column space that demands you fill it with your own thoughts instead of ceding much of it to your opponent.

            The problem of people raising multiple points is valid, maybe the best way is to encourage literally sectioning posts off if you're making multiple points. Like

            Asynchronous communication

            Did people used to trim down and address specific sentences back when they wrote letters to each other? Would be interesting to see how heated written arguments went back then. Presumably folks had copies of their outgoing mail on file that they could back-reference?

            Meandering discussions

            This might just come down to discipline more than anything. Like, encouraging economy of phrasing and arguments. This can get abused too, like sometimes running off an covering tons of subjects is really more of a Gish Gallop to overwhelm you with stuff to respond to that's mostly just nonsense anyway.

    2. [17]
      alyaza
      Link Parent
      here is my honest take: this website seems to have a problem with expecting people to be emotionless automatons and perpetually adhering to the immortal guidelines of charity while also not really...

      I don't know what we can do to structurally encourage, promote, and remind users of the principle of charity, but I feel that's something that needs to be explored. What can we do, beyond making it a cultural norm, to encourage pro-social interactions? What can we do to make sure that people, even those who exist on opposite sides of deep ideological divides, engage with each other in the best possible ways?

      here is my honest take: this website seems to have a problem with expecting people to be emotionless automatons and perpetually adhering to the immortal guidelines of charity while also not really having any way for people to deal with problems proactively or deescalate situations or mediate conflicts, especially not of their own accord, and simultaneously importing some of the more infuriating and annoying customs of places like reddit that don't contribute especially well to discussion.

      in other words, i don't know that the problem is really charity or some lack thereof--because i'm sure that people make an honest effort to adhere to that--it's that we have expectations of people in situations that don't particularly promote the fulfillment of those expectations in the first place. after all, if basically every discussion you ever get into descends into argumentation because people misinterpret you, or take you out of context, or just straight up don't read what you're talking about, i'm going to guess that will generally frustrate people. and, since we currently have absolutely no way as a community of dealing with the frustration that arises from that (or the conflicts which will then result from that frustration if left unchecked), the inevitable outcome is going to be that more conflict results or potentially--as has already happened repeatedly on this site--someone just says fuck it and leaves or crosses some line and gets banned.

      in that respect, i think that one thing tildes will probably need--especially in the future, given how the site is supposed to work--is a system or a framework of mediation between people for most of these disputes, because honestly, there is no fucking way everybody is going to get along at all times on this website and the frustration of people on this website is only going to increase as things get larger, more disputes can be raised, and more conflict can be had. moreover, once we get to a point where corrective bans are necessary courses of action, resolution is generally out the window for at least one party in the situation, and that's... not optimal? for solving a lot of things.

      8 votes
      1. [5]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I don't think everyone being an emotionless automaton is expected, but a certain level of civility certainly is, especially when the issue being discussed doesn't deserve hostility (i.e. it's not...

        I don't think everyone being an emotionless automaton is expected, but a certain level of civility certainly is, especially when the issue being discussed doesn't deserve hostility (i.e. it's not offensive, racist, etc). Since without that civility, Tildes would basically be no different than the other social media sites that allow assholes to run amok and generally make people's lives worse as a result.

        I definitely think Tildes could do a better job of proactively preventing arguments though, e.g. by allowing users to unfollow/opt-out of further notifications on their comment/topics that they don't want to deal with anymore, or blocking users who they consistently have arguments with, etc.

        And the idea of mediation on the platform is definitely a novel and interesting one, that is probably worth discussing and exploring. I am not sure how it could work though. Volunteer mediators who can be summoned when enough "argument" labels gets applied to a back & forth between two users?

        8 votes
        1. [4]
          alyaza
          Link Parent
          i would argue that purely by expecting people to always maintain a specific level of civility, you play into the exact problem i'm talking about. it is realistically not possible for the...

          I don't think everyone being an emotionless automaton is expected, but a certain level of civility certainly is, especially when the issue being discussed doesn't deserve vitroi (i.e. it's not offensive, racist, etc). Since without that civility, Tildes would basically be no different than the other social media sites that allow incivility and generally make people's lives and society worse as a result.

          i would argue that purely by expecting people to always maintain a specific level of civility, you play into the exact problem i'm talking about. it is realistically not possible for the overwhelming majority of people to always be the specific level of civil demanded of tildes--which is more than just not calling people dumb fucks and telling them to eat a brick, because even civil conversation itself is liable to occasionally being removed and causing problems--since we have no outlets for the ever extant frustration they have on this website. there is probably at least one time on the internet that you have gone off on someone purely for that reason because it's not actually that easy to suck it up and deal with people being dumb and garbage or arguing in asinine ways. accordingly, there probably needs to be leeway that the community has in general--as is true of the moderation currently--with that kind of thing in the intermediate term.

          also just as one example of where the "being civil" principle kinda falls apart as a rule is that almost invariably, pointing out any number of the discourse-undermining things people do on here that are holdovers of reddit or similar websites--no matter how civilly or not civilly you do that--goes over like an atomic bomb in a megacity. i don't know that i've ever seen someone do that on here without just prolonging the problem or causing even more headache. i'm not sure if that's because it comes off as tone policing for most people or what, but it is nearly always a disaster when it happens which suggests that even being civil is sometimes not enough.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            kfwyre
            Link Parent
            In another comment you said you were likely checking out from this thread, so do not feel obligated to respond to this if you don't want to. If you're willing to share, either here or by PM, I'd...

            In another comment you said you were likely checking out from this thread, so do not feel obligated to respond to this if you don't want to.

            it is realistically not possible for the overwhelming majority of people to always be the specific level of civil demanded of tildes

            If you're willing to share, either here or by PM, I'd be very interested in hearing you expand on this point because I'd like to better understand your perspective regarding this. I promise that I'm asking this in good faith and will not meet your response, should you choose to make one, with an argument or rebuttal. I just genuinely would like to hear your thoughts regarding civility since they differ from my own.

            3 votes
            1. [2]
              reese
              Link Parent
              My possibly stupid, half-baked idea building on alyaza's comments: a pedantic or maybe conceited label. I've been on and off with Tildes, so if someone has brought this up before I'll promptly...

              My possibly stupid, half-baked idea building on alyaza's comments: a pedantic or maybe conceited label. I've been on and off with Tildes, so if someone has brought this up before I'll promptly shut up.

              Pedantry and conceit can run rampant in certain posts. Neither could possibly be exemplary, offtopic, jokes, or noise. Pedantic and conceited responses often include useful information, even if there may be an ulterior motive to demonstrate superiority over the user one is responding to. Thus, one could argue that pedantry or conceit already qualify as malice, but I think we should draw a line between them and malice like so: "Yes, you're technically right or have a good point, but you should be aware that you sound like an asshole." A flag for that would be great. Mechanically, with a high enough count on one of those flags, the pedant/conceited one would be PM'd a guide on how to be more constructive in the future.

              Any thoughts?

              9 votes
              1. Amarok
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                I think you're going in the right direction with a label there. This old post from the original tildes truereddit thread kinda stuck with me and it's dancing around the same idea. Rather than...

                I think you're going in the right direction with a label there. This old post from the original tildes truereddit thread kinda stuck with me and it's dancing around the same idea. Rather than phrasing it as squirt bottles my mind wanders to chucking tomatoes at someone. Splat!

                Rereading that it strikes me he's talking about systems from a final fantasy mmo. This makes me curious what they were doing so right that it inspired people.

                8 votes
      2. [11]
        Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Most people on Tildes don't have this problem. Go read some random threads. You'll notice the problem of argumentation and misinterpretation tends to cluster around a few select individuals.

        if basically every discussion you ever get into descends into argumentation because people misinterpret you, or take you out of context

        Most people on Tildes don't have this problem. Go read some random threads. You'll notice the problem of argumentation and misinterpretation tends to cluster around a few select individuals.

        5 votes
        1. [10]
          alyaza
          Link Parent
          thank you for, ironically, kinda demonstrating my point. i can point to literally countless examples demonstrating the opposite--namely that plenty of people of all walks of life and ways on this...

          Most people on Tildes don't have this problem. Go read some random threads. You'll notice the problem of argumentation and misinterpretation tends to cluster around a few select individuals.

          thank you for, ironically, kinda demonstrating my point. i can point to literally countless examples demonstrating the opposite--namely that plenty of people of all walks of life and ways on this website get caught up in weird disputes that never end (and, often times, are nuked), but i'm going to guess that would not sway you given that you've come out of the gate with an authoritative statement about how 'most people' don't have that problem.

          8 votes
          1. [9]
            Algernon_Asimov
            Link Parent
            But who are they caught up in weird disputes with? Are there any common names that appear in these disputes over and over again? Are there any usernames that seem to keep popping up in these...

            plenty of people of all walks of life and ways on this website get caught up in weird disputes that never end

            But who are they caught up in weird disputes with? Are there any common names that appear in these disputes over and over again? Are there any usernames that seem to keep popping up in these situations? Or are all the participants in these disputes one-time-only offenders who never had any trouble before or after those disputes?

            I'd bet good money you could put together a small list of usernames that pop up in these disputes more often than other names. It's the Pareto Principle in action: a large portion of the problems come from a small portion of the people.


            On to your larger point about needing mediation... We'd need a team of mediators whose job is to identify troublespots, take the participants aside, and talk them through a one-on-one session to mediate the dispute and come to a resolution. Where would we find these people? How would they stop the trouble in threads? Where would the mediations take place? How would we get all parties available at the same time to have this discussion?

            Do you really think that two people in the middle of a heated argument are going to stop when a mediator tells them to, and then agree to a private one-on-one mediation, and then "turn up" at the mediation to participate in good faith to resolve an issue with someone who's just a username on a screen?

            Would you do that? You seem to get misinterpreted a lot, and a lot of people seem to turn aggressive towards you for some reason. Would you stop arguing if a mediator asked you to, when you're in the middle of a heated argument? Would you turn up to one of these mediation sessions later in the day, or the next day, when the moment has passed? And, if you happen to get into multiple arguments (as you say... "if basically every discussion you ever get into descends into argumentation"), will you attend multiple mediation sessions every day with different people?

            How would mediation be practical?

            5 votes
            1. [8]
              alyaza
              Link Parent
              i mean, we've had no less than like, eight or nine threads in the past 7 days where disputes of this sort happened and basically all of the people involved were different, so. and, moreover, when...

              But who are they caught up in weird disputes with? Are there any common names that appear in these disputes over and over again? Are there any usernames that seem to keep popping up in these situations? Or are all the participants in these disputes one-time-only offenders who never had any trouble before or after those disputes?

              I'd bet good money you could put together a small list of usernames that pop up in these disputes more often than other names. It's the Pareto Principle in action: a large portion of the problems come from a small portion of the people.

              i mean, we've had no less than like, eight or nine threads in the past 7 days where disputes of this sort happened and basically all of the people involved were different, so. and, moreover, when you try to apply that principle to such a small body of people, the degree to which false positives occur will be quite significant because not only does that fail to take into account the conduct of the people involved into the conversation, but it also struggles to differentiate between magnitude of messages and active, regular involvement in disputes. if someone on here is super active, it is probable that they will be sucked into--on average-more disputes than a typical person: you and i are literally examples of this. that does not inherently correlate with our conduct in those disputes, however, as i'm sure you're well aware. to instantly assume or to imply being involved in conflict is to be guilty of spreading or creating that conflict basically papers over any sort of nuance and accordingly, is almost completely useless for the purposes of this conversation. there is, after all, a difference between someone saying "fuck you nigger" and "there is a difference how the mainstream media treats X candidate and YZAB candidates" in a conversation. both might be a part of a conflict; however, one unambiguously spreads and creates that conflict--the other does not inherently.

              On to your larger point about needing mediation...

              has it occurred to you--and the many other people on the website who do this--that perhaps the reason why people are so hesitant to put forward any kind of idea on this website is because people do this charade of tearing down literally any idea that gets put forward instead of actually engaging with the ideas and trying to expand on the basic premises, like you just did? like yeah, we should have constructive discussions about the viability of certain ideas--but maybe we should actually consider what those fucking ideas look like to begin with before making a billion hypotheticals out of a paragraph of text which merely put forward the idea that mediation is probably going to be a necessary part of tildes in the future if we want to address some of the problems i mentioned and blowing them up?

              that's a whole other fucking issue this website has, honestly, the notion that instead of building up ideas we should tear them down, and it's why i don't really contribute to meta discussions on this website outside of sparing occasions like this. i don't have the time or the energy to be combative about this, it doesn't interest me to do this, and i see it as a gigantic waste of my time because it doesn't feel like anything i ever put forward is going to satisfy the borderline rabid mob of meta-enthusiasts on this website. so why waste the time? i could be doing other things for this website, like submitting actual articles people will engage with in a way that's constructive and interesting, than trying to entertain people who don't seem to come toward ideas people put forward with the intent of helping those ideas blossom into something usable for the website but who instead seem to want to trample over all of them before they go anywhere.

              it's just not worth it, at all. if by some act of god i prove my premises to people here, they just come back with other concerns that probably aren't worth addressing, probably aren't worth wasting pixels and data over, probably aren't worth the energy necessary to deal with. i come here to discuss things in a way that is interesting to me. it is not interesting to me to have to debate all of the assumptions made here based on one paragraph of text that put forward an idea, not a plan, a basic idea, much less the other shit that will inevitably come after.

              but it's whatever, i guess. some people thrive in that environment--i find it dumb and toxic and exclusionary. regardless, i'm not going to really reply to this whole chain and probably this whole thread after this comment because like i said, i come here to have interesting discussions and this is not interesting to me, nor do i have the energy to deal with it. if someone else wants to flesh out my idea, feel free, and maybe at some point in the future i'll add some more to it, but for the most part i'm out.

              5 votes
              1. Algernon_Asimov
                Link Parent
                I am aware that my conduct encourages disputes. I'm not a poor innocent victim who attracts trouble through no fault of my own. I'm self-aware enough to know who I am, how I behave - and how other...

                if someone on here is super active, it is probable that they will be sucked into--on average-more disputes than a typical person: you and i are literally examples of this. that does not inherently correlate with our conduct in those disputes, however, as i'm sure you're well aware.

                I am aware that my conduct encourages disputes. I'm not a poor innocent victim who attracts trouble through no fault of my own. I'm self-aware enough to know who I am, how I behave - and how other people react to me. I'm aware of the movie quote which says if you meet an arsehole in the morning, you met an arsehole, but if you meet arseholes all day, you're probably the arsehole. I'm aware that I'm argumentative. I'm aware that I'm pushy. I'm aware that I rub people the wrong way. There's no malice in my comments, but people don't always react well to me. I've learned to tone it down (mostly). I've learned that what was acceptable on Reddit isn't acceptable on Tildes. I've even learned to just walk away when I see things going wrong. Because I'm aware of the conflict I cause.

                I am also aware that you are not a poor innocent victim who attracts trouble through no fault of your own.

                6 votes
              2. [6]
                kfwyre
                Link Parent
                I think what you wrote is valuable and is actually a better articulation of one of the points in my first post than I gave. To me the principle of charity is exactly what you put forth in the...

                I think what you wrote is valuable and is actually a better articulation of one of the points in my first post than I gave. To me the principle of charity is exactly what you put forth in the second half of your comment--the idea that we can express an idea or comment on the site and have it (and us) be treated well rather than eviscerated.

                As you identified, it's a source of significant frustration when you posit something and are met immediately with people who attempt to shut you down or make you or your idea look foolish. It's no doubt something we've all felt and experienced online, and I would wager few of us enjoy or appreciate it. The internet often makes us feel like we're submitting our comments not to a community of others but to a panel of ruthless editors. It's uncomfortable and often unproductive, and I personally would like Tildes to be a place where that doesn't happen.

                7 votes
                1. Amarok
                  Link Parent
                  I've run into that here a couple of times myself. I usually just nuke my comments and move on, then avoid commenting on that sort of topic again in the future. It's not worth the hassle when there...

                  I've run into that here a couple of times myself. I usually just nuke my comments and move on, then avoid commenting on that sort of topic again in the future. It's not worth the hassle when there are plenty of other forums out there for me to discuss the same topics with more receptive audiences.

                  2 votes
                2. [4]
                  Algernon_Asimov
                  Link Parent
                  I disagree. We're not here to blindly accept every half-baked idea that gets thrown our way. Ideas have to be investigated, analysed, and dissected, to see how they can be turned into practical...

                  I disagree. We're not here to blindly accept every half-baked idea that gets thrown our way. Ideas have to be investigated, analysed, and dissected, to see how they can be turned into practical workable outcomes. And not all ideas are practical or workable.

                  1 vote
                  1. [3]
                    kfwyre
                    Link Parent
                    I agree! But to me the principle of charity isn't about whether or not we accept the ideas but how we approach our responses. There's a huge difference between disagreeing with someone's idea in a...

                    I agree! But to me the principle of charity isn't about whether or not we accept the ideas but how we approach our responses. There's a huge difference between disagreeing with someone's idea in a kind, thoughtful way that reinforces both parties' mutual humanity and dignity versus shooting someone's idea (and them) down without a care for their feelings.

                    For example, let's say I posted something saying that I think there should be an app for Tildes. This is pretty much a finished conversation, so my idea isn't really of much merit. Someone might respond with a terse "no" with a link to the docs. Meanwhile, someone else might respond "I can see why you'd want an app, and I know it's a common request, but here's why we think it's unnecessary for the site" with the same exact link.

                    The outcome for both is the same. Neither accepted my idea, and both provided me with the same information counter to it. However the second took time to establish some sort of positive relationship and acknowledge that my idea comes from a genuine place. I, as a commenter, feel heard rather than simply sniped. I'm also more likely to respond positively in kind, rather than respond negatively or simply leave.

                    It can feel disingenuous, or almost a bit like ego stroking, but I think establishing common ground and respect within conversations online is one of the most important things we can do to promote healthy dialogue and, consequently, healthy dialectics. Empathic listening is a hugely important skill in meatspace, particularly when there's a conflict of ideology, but it's incredibly challenging to do online because we have to spell out our intentions in writing and find ways to convey all the nonverbals that would otherwise be present.

                    14 votes
                    1. [2]
                      Whom
                      Link Parent
                      Hmm okay, this is relevant to me in a way I didn't respect. I agree with you that there's a difference between shutting someone down and other ways of disagreeing. But with your example of linking...

                      Hmm okay, this is relevant to me in a way I didn't respect. I agree with you that there's a difference between shutting someone down and other ways of disagreeing. But with your example of linking to the docs or a previous answer...well, I do that a lot, and I hadn't considered that it would be taken as more than a simple redirect.

                      If anyone has felt this way about this kind of response, I'd like to hear about it. I don't want to be contributing in a negative manner, especially when all I'm trying to do is spread information.
                      And no, I won't be like "see, no one feels this way!" if no one responds :P

                      4 votes
                      1. suspended
                        Link Parent
                        I have felt this way several times. You weren't the only user to respond in this manner. Please, don't beat yourself up :P

                        If anyone has felt this way about this kind of response, I'd like to hear about it.

                        I have felt this way several times. You weren't the only user to respond in this manner. Please, don't beat yourself up :P

                        5 votes
  2. [4]
    cadadr
    Link
    I like the idea, it can help remove or lessen meta discussion in non-meta threads. For example, a recent video I posted turned into a mere discussion on video in general and whether or not video...

    I like the idea, it can help remove or lessen meta discussion in non-meta threads. For example, a recent video I posted turned into a mere discussion on video in general and whether or not video is a good medium for efficiently diffusing information, which was really disappointing, because, as I believe it is rather obvious, I did not post the video in order for it to start an totally off topic and entirely meta discussion, or at least for such a discussion to be the only discussion it generated.

    In a similar case with these threads going, someone who wants to discuss meta stuff about a certain post but does not think that it is worth its own thread under ~tildes could come here, link to the post, and talk about it. Even mention the OP of the subject matter and involve them in the discussion.

    It could also be a sort of incubator for ideas, i.e. I come up with an idea, together with those who respond to it we refine it, and then post it toplevel at ~tildes as a proposal.

    What would you like us to try to achieve with these discussions? Should we have any specific goals in mind, or should they just be fun brainstorming/theory-crafting/naval-gazing sessions?

    I think a laissez-faire thread would be the best, but we could have themes every now and then. E.g. there is some news about free speech or copyright or sth. else that is relevant, and we set it as the theme of a week: what is the ramifications for Tildes, what lessons we can take away from it, etc. But I think a very strict theme (i.e. we only allow discussion on it) would be counterproductive as it'd drive people away from participating in these threads.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yeah, containment of meta was definitely a major hope of mine with bringing these back. I myself have been guilty of discussing meta in topics outside ~tildes on more than one occasion, but I do...

      Yeah, containment of meta was definitely a major hope of mine with bringing these back. I myself have been guilty of discussing meta in topics outside ~tildes on more than one occasion, but I do recognize that can be annoying to the OP and incredibly discouraging when that's the only response a submission gets, and so I have been trying to avoid doing that as much as I can. However without any outlet to regularly discuss meta that is not necessarily worthy of its own topic in ~tildes, but still feeling it warranted being discussed at some point, the only option was to bring it up in the comments of the topic that triggered the thought about it.

      And yeah, I definitely also hope this winds up being an incubator for ideas too. /r/theoryofreddit and /r/ideasfortheadmins is where a number of the ideas for Tildes came from and I'm hoping we can extend the spirit of those subreddits' to here in ~tildes. I especially like your suggestion of attempting to refine ideas before making a feature proposal too, which would formalize the process a bit and hopefully allow for more people to get involved and have their say.

      I'm still not quite sure about the laissez-faire approach rather than more a structured one though... since as we have seen in this very topic, leaving the floor completely open with no attempt to steer discussion in a more focused, productive direction tends to allow things to go completely off the rails. :/

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, ideas and suggestions!

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Yeah, that's on me. I'm sorry. You were looking for a list of ideas and I jumped the gun and started the conversation about the ideas I brought up, rather than just listing them. I should have...

        as we have seen in this very topic, leaving the floor completely open with no attempt to steer discussion in a more focused, productive direction tends to allow things to go completely off the rails. :/

        Yeah, that's on me. I'm sorry.

        You were looking for a list of ideas and I jumped the gun and started the conversation about the ideas I brought up, rather than just listing them. I should have left them as bullet points and waited for the requisite threads later to then open up into commentary. I feel like I derailed the entire thread, since nobody's really answering your question anymore and instead focusing on the threads that my comment spawned.

        3 votes
        1. cfabbro
          Link Parent
          That part wasn't entirely directed at you, so no worries! You raised some major issues that clearly resonated with a lot of people, and a lot of good discussion was still had all around. And this...

          That part wasn't entirely directed at you, so no worries! You raised some major issues that clearly resonated with a lot of people, and a lot of good discussion was still had all around. And this being the first meta megathread in a really long time, it was bound to bring some of the underlying issues that have been slowly building up on the site to the surface, so don't worry about it. I ain't mad. ;)

          I just think in the future we should maybe try to keep things a bit more focused, is all. Or perhaps alternating between focused discussions and more totally open-floor might be a good compromise too. We will just have to play it by ear...

          3 votes
  3. [7]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    There's no need to have a discussion thread every week just for the sake of having a discussion thread every week. At some point, you're going to find yourself posting a thread just because you...

    There's no need to have a discussion thread every week just for the sake of having a discussion thread every week. At some point, you're going to find yourself posting a thread just because you have to, but without anything to discuss.

    Anyone can post to ~tildes at any time to raise anything they want to discuss. So, in that sense, every post here becomes a discussion thread.

    However, I concede that not everyone feels comfortable making posts to raise concerns (to complain, in other words). Maybe, rather than designating a specific subject for each Weekly Discussion thread, you could position them more as a general invitation for people to raise issues that they don't think are worth posting a whole thread about. Present them as ice-breakers for people to raise general concerns rather than as themed threads about particular concerns.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Considering how many years I actively took part in /r/theoryofreddit and /r/ideasfortheadmins (which I was a mod of), I doubt this will ever feel like a chore for me... I love theorycrafting...

      At some point, you're going to find yourself posting a thread just because you have to, but without anything to discuss.

      Considering how many years I actively took part in /r/theoryofreddit and /r/ideasfortheadmins (which I was a mod of), I doubt this will ever feel like a chore for me... I love theorycrafting social systems and discussing social media meta. ;)

      Your suggestion about making this more of a recurring icebreaker for discussion rather than focusing on specific topics is a decent one and definitely worth considering, though I don’t think limiting it to just “concerns” is a good idea.

      6 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        I didn't mean it would feel like a chore. I meant you'd be posting empty threads without content, just to fill the weekly requirement. In effect, they would become icebreaker threads by default....

        I doubt this will ever feel like a chore for me

        I didn't mean it would feel like a chore. I meant you'd be posting empty threads without content, just to fill the weekly requirement. In effect, they would become icebreaker threads by default. So embrace it now! :)

        Considering how many years I actively took part in /r/theoryofreddit and /r/ideasfortheadmins (which I was a mod of), [...] I love theorycrafting social systems and discussing social media meta. ;)

        You're not the only one with some experience in moderating "meta" subreddits and theorycrafting social meda. ;)

        1 vote
    2. [4]
      nacho
      Link Parent
      I agree with this a lot. Additionally, I think it's important these discussions don't all derail into huge theoretical discussions about all sorts of potential concerns and eventualities if tildes...

      I agree with this a lot.


      Additionally, I think it's important these discussions don't all derail into huge theoretical discussions about all sorts of potential concerns and eventualities if tildes becomes a large site in the future.

      What's relevant for tildes as it is now, today? Not with double the traffic or in six month's time. Those things should be discussed then.


      If any content feels like low-hanging fruit on tildes, it's meta discussion. It's important that the site isn't about the site, but is firmly about high quality content.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        alyaza
        Link Parent
        i find this a very naive idea, especially given that most of the discussions we have now are about how tildes will do things in the future since that's a major underpinning of what the site will...

        Additionally, I think it's important these discussions don't all derail into huge theoretical discussions about all sorts of potential concerns and eventualities if tildes becomes a large site in the future.

        What's relevant for tildes as it is now, today? Not with double the traffic or in six month's time. Those things should be discussed then.

        i find this a very naive idea, especially given that most of the discussions we have now are about how tildes will do things in the future since that's a major underpinning of what the site will look like in the future. we can't really ignore the fact that most of how the site is intended to work in a year or however long it takes is something that literally does not exist yet beyond a thumbnail sketch that is very flexible. we don't have an actual hierarchy of groups yet (and even with the new groups which will probably be added soon with that meta discussion, it won't be anywhere near the level of what is eventually anticipated), nor is the trust system that will eventually define the site something that has been coded at all (as far as i know, it's still just a kinda-fleshed-out idea); hell, we still only have deimos and very basic moderator functions controlling the moderation of the website.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          nacho
          Link Parent
          I was part of those discussions months before the launch of the site. And again in the months after launch. Now around two years after Deimos settled on the platform-determining concepts...

          I was part of those discussions months before the launch of the site. And again in the months after launch.

          Now around two years after Deimos settled on the platform-determining concepts underpinning the site, the framework for all those concepts is still there at the appropriate level of detail to flesh out at a later point in time. Deimos has what he needs and a community to bounce ideas off of instead of a group of social media-interested people in a chat room.

          Discussing the finer points and details for those things isn't useful until it's time to develop/launch each feature.

          For tildes, what's important is developing what's currently needed for the site. That's a lot less sexy though, I understand that.

          3 votes
          1. alyaza
            Link Parent
            i feel like what you're talking about has basically nothing to do with what i just said, and assumes weirdly that community input and other things aren't a fairly important part of this process,...

            i feel like what you're talking about has basically nothing to do with what i just said, and assumes weirdly that community input and other things aren't a fairly important part of this process, considering that the community is supposed to ultimately benefit from these future features and will be the people predominantly putting such features into action? like... the people implementing and using most of this shit when it becomes a part of the website aren't going to be deimos and the almost-staff, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to shut out viewpoints on how this all is supposed to work until an arbitrary point of time in the future when it's "acceptable" because it's due to be implemented, especially when we have no idea when that will be and again these things have largely not even been fleshed out, much less coded yet. it's not like deimos literally has an obligation to put everything the community wants into something.

            2 votes