9 votes

Limit the number of posts from a particular site?

Would it be possible to limit the number of posts that are shown on the home page pointing to a given domain at one time? There have been a few times I've come to Tildes to see what's new and there are 5 or 10 posts that all link to different pages on the same site. I think this would help increase the amount of variety in the stories that are showing and make the site more interesting to users.

17 comments

  1. [5]
    hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    Do you mean allow users to customize how many topics from a specific domain they will see at once on a topic listing page for them personally? Or, are you suggesting we limit the amount of topics...

    Do you mean allow users to customize how many topics from a specific domain they will see at once on a topic listing page for them personally?

    Or, are you suggesting we limit the amount of topics from specific domains users are allowed to post on Tildes globally?

    If you mean the first possibility, I can see the utility and you can ignore the rest of this comment.

    If you mean the second possibility:

    Are there any particular sites you had in mind when writing this topic?

    I think this is a human issue and a moderation issue and probably not something that should be solved via a technical solution.

    What I am saying is, if a user or users are submitting so much content to Tildes from a single site that it is actually causing issues, then that is something that I think should be handled personally between the users posting the content and the site's administrator.

    I also feel like setting any arbitrary limit on how many topics from a specific domain (or set of domains, or all domains) that can be posted within a period of time is not only going to be incredibly tricky to get right, but whatever limit is set will have trouble scaling alongside Tildes' growth. It becomes just one more thing to maintain.

    There is also the issue of sorting. Since you can sort topics various different ways on Tildes, there is nothing stopping topics from a single domain dominating your "Activity" sort, since those topics can be as old as the site itself.

    And then you have to consider how communities on Tildes might evolve over time. I obviously cannot talk about it with any sort of authority, but from what I remember, the general idea for Tildes' future is that the different groups and subgroups will eventually grow into their own, distinct communities. Eventually, Tildes will not be just one, homogeneous community, but instead several relatively unique, smaller ones.

    What I am getting at is, there is basically no way you could set a global limit on domain submissions across all groups once those groups have sufficiently diverged enough, it would absolutely have to be set on a group-by-group basis.

    Which begs the question, who gets to make that decision? If there are thousands of groups and subgroups, but the permission to set domain restrictions is reserved for only a handful of moderators and administrators, then domain restriction requests could become overwhelming.


    To be honest, I am pretty opposed to the idea of setting domain restrictions globally on Tildes, now or in the future, but I do think the idea has a lot of merit when you begin to think about the various groups on Tildes (those currently existing and those to be created in the future) as separate micro-communities.

    Will specific groups or subgroups ever actually be "flooded" with submissions from a specific domain? Yeah, honestly, that will probably happen. I am still leaning towards that being an issue best solved by human intervention and moderation, but the idea of allowing groups to democratically choose to limit submissions from specific domains within their little slice of Tildes is an interesting idea.


    Finally, maybe the best solution for you and others would just be to introduce the ability to filter out or ignore topics from specific domains?

    13 votes
    1. skullkid2424
      Link Parent
      I'll also note the effect of transparency of sorting. One of the nice things about tildes is that all the sorts are fairly obvious. There isn't a "curated" sort (like reddit's "best" or whatever...

      I'll also note the effect of transparency of sorting. One of the nice things about tildes is that all the sorts are fairly obvious. There isn't a "curated" sort (like reddit's "best" or whatever facebook has) which is completely opaque to the user. I know that tildes isn't hiding things from me (or at least, I have much more confidence it isn't), where I don't trust facebook's algorithm to prioritize specific posts that it either naively thinks are important or maliciously wants to influence me with.

      5 votes
    2. [3]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      Not necessarily globally. I have to admit that I don't know the mechanisms behind how the site picks stuff to show me so I'm willing to accept that what I'm proposing wouldn't be possible. But I...

      Or, are you suggesting we limit the amount of topics from specific domains users are allowed to post on Tildes globally?

      Not necessarily globally. I have to admit that I don't know the mechanisms behind how the site picks stuff to show me so I'm willing to accept that what I'm proposing wouldn't be possible. But I often look at the site without being logged in, and then if I see something I want to comment on or want to make a post, I'll log in. I've had cases where I type "tildes.net" into my browser and what comes up is several links from 1 site, and a few from other sites. It seems like it might be easy to game that. Some person or group decides to go brigading, and suddenly it's only stories about hamsters or whatever.

      But, if that doesn't make sense or doesn't jibe with site policy, I can add personal filters when I see it happen.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        hungariantoast
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Well, people who visit the site and are not logged in, are automatically set to use the activity sort, which shows topics (topics = posts) with the most recent activity (more or less). "Activity"...

        Well, people who visit the site and are not logged in, are automatically set to use the activity sort, which shows topics (topics = posts) with the most recent activity (more or less).

        "Activity" in this context means either a comment being posted to the topic, or the topic itself being posted to the site. So, when you post a new topic, it automatically gets sent to the top of the activity sort. When someone posts a comment on a topic, that topic gets sent to the topic of the activity sort as well.

        So, you can have topics that are days or even weeks old, and they will suddenly get a comment and shoot back up to the top of the activity sort.

        At the same time, if someone posts a bunch of new topics to the site in rapid succession, they will also inhabit the top of the activity sort until other, newer topics get posted, or older topics get new comments and also get bumped to the top.

        I'm probably butchering this explanation and there are multiple ways to sort topics, so if you want to know more about how it (and everything else about the site) works, the site's documentation has a page on topic sorting:

        4 votes
        1. joplin
          Link Parent
          OK, that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation!

          OK, that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation!

          4 votes
  2. [4]
    mrbig
    Link
    Do you mean a limitation for all users, or a setting that each user can make? If you mean the first option, I don't think that's a good idea. It's heavy-handed. And, if a single website happens to...

    Do you mean a limitation for all users, or a setting that each user can make?

    If you mean the first option, I don't think that's a good idea. It's heavy-handed. And, if a single website happens to provide lots of great content, it should have a greater presence. I don't see an issue here.

    If you mean the second, I think it's a good idea. But I wonder if the feature would be used enough to justify the development effort.

    6 votes
    1. [3]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      Well I guess the question becomes who gets to decide what "great content" is? If you decide to not limit it, you're deciding that it's OK for motivated people to essentially take over the site,...

      Well I guess the question becomes who gets to decide what "great content" is? If you decide to not limit it, you're deciding that it's OK for motivated people to essentially take over the site, which in my opinion is just as heavy-handed as deciding there should be limits.

      2 votes
      1. Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        If the community doesn’t think the content is interesting then it won’t get any votes or comments and will sink as new posts come in. The problem solves itself. The main issue with this is there...

        If the community doesn’t think the content is interesting then it won’t get any votes or comments and will sink as new posts come in. The problem solves itself. The main issue with this is there is such a lack of content being posted it takes forever for things to sink.

        4 votes
      2. mrbig
        Link Parent
        The community. That's kinda the point of websites like this. Of course not. I just don't think your proposal is the best way to address this issue. It is heavy-handed because, while it will...

        who gets to decide what "great content" is?

        The community. That's kinda the point of websites like this.

        it's OK for motivated people to essentially take over the site

        Of course not. I just don't think your proposal is the best way to address this issue. It is heavy-handed because, while it will probably prevent some attempts at manipulation, it will also hurt the website by avoiding valuable content from being published. There's probably a better way to handle that.

        3 votes
  3. [2]
    heady
    Link
    I don't think a hard control is needed but something like a dialogue on submission to the effect of "you have submitted x links from this source today" could serve as an appropriate gentle suggestion.

    I don't think a hard control is needed but something like a dialogue on submission to the effect of "you have submitted x links from this source today" could serve as an appropriate gentle suggestion.

    6 votes
    1. joplin
      Link Parent
      Oh yeah, that's an interesting idea. I guess its effectiveness would depend on the reason someone is posting so many links. If it's just enthusiasm, they might realize, "OK, I should probably...

      Oh yeah, that's an interesting idea. I guess its effectiveness would depend on the reason someone is posting so many links. If it's just enthusiasm, they might realize, "OK, I should probably chill out." But if it's malicious, they'd just be like, "Yeah, whatever."

      1 vote
  4. Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    I don’t like this idea for a variety of reasons. To keep it brief-ish Tildes needs more content. There’s such little new content being added, especially non-tech and non-us-politics content. Two...

    I don’t like this idea for a variety of reasons. To keep it brief-ish

    • Tildes needs more content. There’s such little new content being added, especially non-tech and non-us-politics content. Two of the most common complaints about tildes when the topics come up to improve tildes are (a) lack of content and (b) lack of non-techy users. I think as long as posts are quality articles it really doesn’t matter what site they come from. If they aren’t things the community cares about they’ll fall from the top of the page into oblivion. Maybe if people get frustrated at one site dominating the top of the front page then more people would post content.

    • I don’t think site is a good metric for variety. Most of the long-form articles I read come from one of a few sites but that doesn’t mean they are at all the same subject. I have tabs open to make posts about: a girl who murdered her rapist when she was 11 and her life story, an opioid kingpin, a man who had a ticket for unlimited flights, a mysterious event involving the FBI at an observatory, and the post I did make about the gay Chinese fathers and surrogacy. All those came from narratively. If I submitted all those at once to accurate groups would that be considered “limiting the variety of content” because they all came from one site? Because IMO that’s a bad way to define content diversity. There are lots of sites that are like this. Wired and BBC are some other good examples.

    • What does this look like in practice? Let’s use my narratively tabs as an example and say there is a 4 posts limit from a site. Should I not post anything until I read every article I’m going to read in a 24 hour period before I post anything to make sure I only post the articles I find the most interesting from the site? Should I post articles I find interesting as I read them and then just accumulate a backlog of things I want to post until my time limit refreshes and hope eventually I work my way through my backlog? Should I delete posts if I find an article more interesting than one I already posted so that I’m able to post it? Realistically if that limit existed I’d either stop posting since most my posts come from an RSS feed or pocket, or I’d create multiple accounts to get around the limits. Both of which are, in my opinion, worse outcomes.

    If the community at large disagrees, I’ll stop posting as much from CityLab and Narratively. I’m going to read them either way so it’s no skin off my bones to post less often. I just don’t think it’s a good direction for the community to move in when the site already feels like it is starved of users who actively engage with the site beyond votes.

    5 votes
  5. [3]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    I'd be OK with a version of this, if it mixed up the sort order rather than outright filtering the posts entirely. Sometimes I pull up my RSS reader with my morning coffee and see a number of...

    I'd be OK with a version of this, if it mixed up the sort order rather than outright filtering the posts entirely.

    Sometimes I pull up my RSS reader with my morning coffee and see a number of articles from the same site that I think are worth submitting. But I'm not sure I want to submit them all, at least at the same time, because of that effect you mention of seeing the front page all from one website.

    This will be less and less of an issue as the site gets more traffic & submissions, though, so I'm not sure if it's worth building a permanent solution to what will hopefully be a temporary problem.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Neverland
      Link Parent
      I agree that it's a lack of volume/variety issue. The solution is probably for all of us to post more varied topics. Which is funny of me to say as I've been MIA for weeks :)

      This will be less and less of an issue as the site gets more traffic & submissions, though, so I'm not sure if it's worth building a permanent solution to what will hopefully be a temporary problem.

      I agree that it's a lack of volume/variety issue. The solution is probably for all of us to post more varied topics. Which is funny of me to say as I've been MIA for weeks :)

      4 votes
  6. [2]
    xxzozaxx
    Link
    I would like to limit the time -which could be controlled by end-user side- instead of number of post

    I would like to limit the time -which could be controlled by end-user side- instead of number of post

    3 votes
    1. joplin
      Link Parent
      Another interesting idea! Of course, if you set it too short and nobody posts anything for a while, what gets shown? Is your feed then empty?

      Another interesting idea! Of course, if you set it too short and nobody posts anything for a while, what gets shown? Is your feed then empty?

      2 votes