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    1. What will prevent this site from becoming Reddit 2.0?

      And I don’t mean that in a good way. In just a few years, Reddit has devolved from a place to find relevant and quirky information, to basically a platform pushing outrage porn, political...

      And I don’t mean that in a good way. In just a few years, Reddit has devolved from a place to find relevant and quirky information, to basically a platform pushing outrage porn, political divisiveness, and mindless memes, with occasional humor sprinkled in.

      The outrage porn is the worst, just exhausting and tiresome. The voting mechanics are mostly to blame for this. Since outrage draws the most engagement, the more people who interact with the site, then the more this type of material will surface and thrive.

      The political divisiveness germinates similarly, with the added impetus of state actors throwing fuel on the flames.

      The memes are seemingly harmless, but are no substitutes for actual dialogue.

      I would just like to see a platform that places a premium on meaningful social dialogue for the future betterment of all involved.

      15 votes
    2. Paywalls, and the difficulty of accurately tagging them

      The distinction between Hard and Soft paywalls used to be clear: Hard paywall sites only allowed paying subscribers to view their contents; Soft paywall sites typically used a metered approach...

      The distinction between Hard and Soft paywalls used to be clear:

      Hard paywall sites only allowed paying subscribers to view their contents;
      Soft paywall sites typically used a metered approach that limited non-subscribers to a certain number of free article views per month.

      This made tagging paywalled submission here on Tildes, as either paywall.hard or paywall.soft, pretty easy to do, and doing so provided tangible benefits. They let submitters know when to consider providing a summary of the article, or even mirror/alternative links, so non-subscribers weren't left out. It allowed users to easily avoid or filter-out hard paywall submissions entirely, if they so chose. And also indicated when a paywall was soft, and easier to get around (e.g. by clearing browser cache, or viewing in private-browsing mode), so the article could still be read.

      However in recent years the distinction between Hard and Soft paywalls has become increasingly blurry. And with all the new, constantly evolving, often opaque, paywall mechanics now in play, it has become more difficult to identify and keep track of what type of paywall a site has. E.g.

      Some sites have begun adding article sharing mechanics as a perk for their subscribers (NYT). Some with hard paywalls now allow certain articles of "public interest" to be viewed by everyone (Financial Times). Some still hard paywall their print articles but allow the rest to be viewed for free (Forbes). Some have hard paywalls for recent articles but older ones are free (Boston Globe). Some decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not to paywall each individual article, based on editorial board decisions and other unspecified metrics (Business Insider). And apparently some now even switch from Soft to Hard paywalls depending on where in the world the traffic is coming from (WaPo?).

      And as a result of all this, accurately tagging paywalled articles here has become increasingly difficult too, especially since there is no easy way to update all previously applied tags on older articles when a site's paywall type changes.

      So, the question is, what should we do about this?
      Should we simply stop trying to distinguish between hard/soft paywalls in the tags?
      Should we add another "hybrid" category?
      Should we just do away with the paywall tag entirely?
      Or is there a better solution to this problem?

      p.s. I started a "Hard vs Soft Paywalls" wiki entry to try to keep track of all the paywall types, as well as the various new mechanics I have been able to identify, for the sites commonly submitted to Tildes.

      17 votes
    3. Not trying to make waves but why are articles posted to news that relate to lgbt moved?

      As a new member I am really hesitant to post this but I recently posted an article to ~news that was related to lgbt issues and it was moved to ~lgbt. I fully support a sub section devoted to lgbt...

      As a new member I am really hesitant to post this but I recently posted an article to ~news that was related to lgbt issues and it was moved to ~lgbt. I fully support a sub section devoted to lgbt but news should be news regardless.

      Just because it has an lgbt angle does not mean it should be moved. I'm not even lgbt myself but I find it sort of hurtful that a news article was pushed off ~news. So I ask this, and once again not trying to make waves. But why?

      Edit: I would love to be a member of this community as I am personally seeking a less asshole filled reddit alternative. But pushing a news article to another ~ just because it relates a bit more to them shouldn't be a thing. If you are tolerant it relates to us all. And yes I know I posted it in ~news because I was trying to participate and I'm a news junky.

      Sorry.

      Edit 2: This was a sad sorry way to come in to this community. I apologize.

      19 votes
    4. How do you think we should deal with compliments?

      Compliments are, technically, to be tagged as 'noise' and often also 'offtopic' for usually being only loosely related to the commment or post they're replying to. But the warm fuzzies empathy is...

      Compliments are, technically, to be tagged as 'noise' and often also 'offtopic' for usually being only loosely related to the commment or post they're replying to. But the warm fuzzies empathy is pretty important in a community, and I don't remember seeing an unnecessary compliment anywhere so, unsurprisingly, people don't noise compliments. But they still might clutter space for a potential reply giving advice. So do you think the current arrangement is fine? I personally would probably make a label for compliments which would either be neutral or slightly positive, and maybe publically visible so everyone can (but don't have to) see the compliments of the receiver but I haven't thought about this too deeply.

      5 votes
    5. How do you think we should deal with multiple videos on the same topic?

      So what I'm talking about is stuff like this 10-video playlist or this 3 video playlist (Emp never actually made it a playlist unfortunately). So how should we deal with multiple videos from the...

      So what I'm talking about is stuff like this 10-video playlist or this 3 video playlist (Emp never actually made it a playlist unfortunately).

      So how should we deal with multiple videos from the same person on the same subject?

      Should the ability to make 10 link posts and wrap them under a single topic so people can comment on each video individually be a new feature (and if so should we be able to upvote the whole thing or each link individually?)

      Should we upload a playlist of all the videos like this?

      Should we make a text post with all the video links, like this but with videos instead of chapters?

      Or should we do something else?

      5 votes
    6. How do you know whether a back-and-forth conversation is productive and/or appreciated?

      Sometimes I get into a back-and-forth... heated interaction with someone, and it goes on for a while, and then they stop responding. Afterwords, I might wonder if it was worthwhile. Maybe they got...

      Sometimes I get into a back-and-forth... heated interaction with someone, and it goes on for a while, and then they stop responding. Afterwords, I might wonder if it was worthwhile. Maybe they got tired of arguing with me, or maybe they just thought the conversation reached its natural endpoint? Rarely, the conversation might end with us explicitly agreeing it was a good discussion, but that's kind of formal and not the usual case online.

      Just stopping is my habit as well. If I don't want to talk anymore, I upvote the last comment (if I thought it was good) but don't reply.

      In the case of repeated interactions like this with the same person, sometimes I wonder if I'm annoying them by replying to their comments too much, particularly if we disagree often. I've never been explicitly told to go away, but people are often reluctant to say things like that, for good reason since you never know how people will react.

      It seems to me that upvotes don't tell me this. Upvotes tell you whether your comments make sense to the crowd. They don't tell you whether the person you're talking to liked your reply. Which seems like it would be good to know. It would be valuable feedback if the goal is to be a better conversationalist. That seems like a good goal to aim for?

      I guess we could get in the habit of saying "good point" and all that, and sometimes things can be inferred from what people say if you're good at taking hints, but not all of us are. But we are all trained to upvote things we like already, and it seems like it would be nice to take advantage of that.

      To the extent that people like to gather internet points, I wonder what sort of conversation would be encouraged if you got them by writing a good reply from the perspective of the person being replied to? But I guess it could be gamed pretty easily if two people cooperate, so we probably shouldn't keep a total.

      Also, think about how this looks from the outside: if you are reading a conversation by two other people in a heated back-and-forth, how do you know whether they're having a good time or not? Maybe it seems obvious, but in some cases a heated discussion might look worse to outsiders than participants. If you could see that they liked each other's comments then it would seem friendlier.

      Note that Facebook does tell you who upvoted a comment, but since it tells you everyone who upvoted it, it's even more information, maybe too much.

      (This is a followup to @NaraVara's previous topic, focusing on a particular aspect of it.)

      13 votes
    7. Addressing topic areas that chronically engender "low quality" discussion

      It is pretty clear there are certain subject areas where the discussion simply never goes well here. This isn't a Tildes thing really. Frankly these topics rarely go well anywhere online but, as...

      It is pretty clear there are certain subject areas where the discussion simply never goes well here. This isn't a Tildes thing really. Frankly these topics rarely go well anywhere online but, as we have aspirations 'round these parts of being more sophisticated than the Reddit rabble, I think it's worth digging into.

      Overall Tildes is a fairly low-activity site, but if I ever see a topic that even tangentially touches on "identarian" issues get past double-digit comments, there will almost surely be an acrimonious exchange inside. I don't want to pretend I'm above this, I've been sucked into these back-and-forths myself as, I think, has almost every regular poster at one time or another. I've largely disengaged from participating in these at this point and mostly just watch from the sidelines now.

      Unlike most of the common complaints with Tildes, I don't think this one will get better as the site grows and diversifies. If anything, I think it's going to end up creating norms and a culture that will bleed over into other controversial topics from tabs/spaces to iOS/Android. To keep that from happening, the community will need to form a consensus on what "high quality discussion" means and what we hope to get out of having conversations on these issues here.
      To start, when I say "doesn't go well" I'm thinking of indicators where some combination of the following happen:

      1. None of the participants learn anything new about the subject, themselves, or another viewpoint
      2. Preponderance of "Malice" and "Noise" tags
      3. Heated back-and-forth exchanges (related to the above)
      4. Frequent accusations (and evidence) of speaking in bad-faith or mischaracterization of peoples' statements

      These threads end in people being angry or frustrated with each other, and it's become pretty clear that members of the community have begun to form cliques and rivalries based on these battle lines. It also seems like the stridency and tone are making people leave out of frustration, either deleting their accounts or just logging off for extended stretches of time, which is also an outcome we don't want. So let's go into what we can do to both change ourselves and how others engage with us so people feel like they're being heard without everything breaking down into arguments.

      The "Whys" of this are varied and I'm sure I don't see the whole picture. Obviously people come into any community bringing different background experiences and with different things they're hoping to get out of it. But in my view the root cause comes down to approaching discussions as a win/lose battle rather than a shared opportunity to learn about a subject or perspective. From observing many of these discussions without engaging, there are evident patterns in how they develop. The main thrust seems to be that criticism and pushback pretty quickly evolve from specific and constructive (e.g. "This [statement or behavior] is problematic because [reason]") to general and defamatory (e.g. "[Person] is [bad thing], as evidenced by them doing/making [action/statement]").

      This approach very quickly turns a conversation between two people into a symbolic battle about making Tildes/the world safe for [community], defending the wrongfully accused, striking a blow against censorship, or some other broad principle that the actual discussion participants may or may not actually be invested in. Once this happens the participants are no longer trying to listen or learn from each other, they're trying to mine their posts for things they can pick through to make them look bad or invalidate their participation. This has the effect of obliterating nuance and polarizing the participants. Discussions quickly devolve from people speaking candidly to people accusing each other of mischaracterizing what they've said. This makes people defensive, frustrated, and creates a feedback loop of negativity.

      The win/lose battle approach permeates political discussion on Tildes (and elsewhere), which is a separate issue, but it gets especially problematic in these threads since the subject matter is intensely personal for many people. As a result, it's important to take care that pushback on specific positions should always endeavor to make people feel heard and accepted despite disagreement. On the flip side, there needs to be a principle of charity in place where one accepts that "no offense/harm intended" actually means no offense intended without dissecting the particulars of word-choice to uncover secret agendas. If a charitable interpretation is available, it isn't constructive to insist or default to the uncharitable one. It may not feel fair if you know that the more negative interpretation is correct, but it is literally impossible to have productive discussion any other way. If you can't imagine that a well informed, intelligent, and decent person might hold a certain view then the only conclusion you can draw is that they're either ignorant, stupid, or evil and every response you make to them is going to sound like you think this of them. That's not a position where minds are going to be changed from. English isn't necessarily a first language for everyone here and, even if it is, not everyone keeps up to date on the fast moving world of shifting norms and connotations in social media. What's more, not all cultures and places approach these issues with the same assumptions and biases you're familiar with.

      Now I don't actually believe in appealing to peoples' sense of virtue to keep things going constructively in situations like this. Without very active moderation to reinforce it, it just never works and can't scale. So I think operationalizing these norms is going to take some kind of work. Right now we freeze out comments when they have a lot of back-and-forth, which I think is good. But maybe we should make it a bit more humanistic. What if we rate limited with a note to say "Hey this discussion seems to be pretty heated. Maybe reflect on your state of mind for a second and take a breather if you're upset."

      Or, in long threads with lots of my bad indicators, the submit button can send to the post preview rather than immediately posting. It could then flash a banner to be a quick reminder of the ground rules (e.g. Try to assume good faith, Remember the Human, Listen to understand rather than respond, Careful with the snark, It's not about winning/losing, etc.) This would introduce just a touch of friction to the posting process, hopefully just enough to make people think "Maybe I could phrase that better" or "You know, this isn't worth my time" and disengage (Obligatory relevant XKCD)

      Alternatively, maybe it is the case that this is honestly just intractable without some sort of third-party mediation mechanic and we freeze out comments under such topics entirely. Like I said before, I worry the frequency with which these discussions turn dispiriting has a chance of acculturating new users or signaling to prospective users that this is an expected way for this community to engage.

      This is a long post, and I hope it does not itself turn into another case study in the issues I'm trying to raise. I want to open the floor to anyone who has other ideas about causes and solutions. I also ask that we try to keep any critiques to specific actions and behaviors without trying to put blame on any groups of people. We all contribute to the vibe one way or another so we can all stand to try a little harder on this front.

      25 votes
    8. Should we talk about voting again?

      Based on replies to this comment there seems to be a decent amount of interest around the topic of reworking voting, so I thought I would start a thread to get some more input. We already had...

      Based on replies to this comment there seems to be a decent amount of interest around the topic of reworking voting, so I thought I would start a thread to get some more input. We already had similar discussions about a year ago but it looks like some people's opinions may have shifted somewhat? and as was noted in the comment thread, 1 week wasn't really enough to accurately assess the value of something like making vote counts invisible.

      Things to consider:

      • Do you think how voting works changes your/other's behavior on this site? and if it does, is this change positive or negative?
      • Would you support reworking/modifying voting? If so, how?
      • How long should we test said modifications if they are made?
      • anything else you consider relevant
      21 votes
    9. Musings on Tildes' topic wikis and resources

      TL;DR: I did not know each individual group had wikis and I find them pretty great (the LGBT and tech ones in particular). Do they get updated regularly, are they searchable via the site-wide...

      TL;DR: I did not know each individual group had wikis and I find them pretty great (the LGBT and tech ones in particular). Do they get updated regularly, are they searchable via the site-wide search, and who can contribute to them exactly?

      I was looking through the "note-taking" and "productivity" tags for recommendations on a new note-taking app when I came across the extension resources wiki article in "Tech". It hasn't been updated recently but it made me realize one of the reasons why I find places like reddit useful is that the "Pinned FAQs", "Beginner Guides to <Hobby>", and "Megaposts" on reddit are an excellent source of (for lack of a better term) "peer-reviewed" recommendations and are often the catalyst for fun discussions.

      I have, through my time here on tildes, discovered so many excellent recommendations even by just using the search bar and browsing threads - to the point that if say, a reddit and tildes post give me conflicting recommendations, I would trust the tildes post 9 out of 10 times. The climate of posts here are less inflammatory and the discussion on pros/cons are more calm, friendly, and thought through. I admit they have impacted my views on a bunch of things (not least of which is trying firefox as my main browser).

      Are resource dumps like that something that the community here find viable in general? Are there plans for updating their implementation to be more easily accessible or is it too far removed from the discussion-based fluidity of the site? I understand that there are other places online to find information, but rarely do I find it at this level of transparency of bias and (on average) free of any bloat.

      I guess I'll end this little thought stream with a thank you for all the people who post here and a curiosity for the future discussions to come. I've lurked a lot and learned a lot.

      16 votes
    10. It's been just under a year since the last group request thread, will/should we make another one?

      364 days specifically, and it's 11 PM again, so admittedly it's kinda late to ask this question. Usually I would pull-up the concerns over no user growth meaning more groups is just more division...

      364 days specifically, and it's 11 PM again, so admittedly it's kinda late to ask this question.

      Usually I would pull-up the concerns over no user growth meaning more groups is just more division for less content but this Deimos reply implies otherwise?

      5 votes
    11. What are your thoughts on update posts?

      These days I was thinking about making UPDATE posts for things I wrote about my personal life. So I typed "update" on the search bar and did not see anything of the sort. Are those discouraged?...

      These days I was thinking about making UPDATE posts for things I wrote about my personal life. So I typed "update" on the search bar and did not see anything of the sort. Are those discouraged? Was the question simply never asked before? Should I just add more information to the existing post, (without notifying any of the original commenters)?

      11 votes
    12. When should you consider it a good idea to delete your comments?

      (I'm tagging as ask.advice and ask.discussion because while my motivation to make this comes from my comments I'm not the only one who this could apply to and deleting coments is very much a...

      (I'm tagging as ask.advice and ask.discussion because while my motivation to make this comes from my comments I'm not the only one who this could apply to and deleting coments is very much a general topic.)

      So basically, I wrote this comment, noone agrees with it and the contrary takes all are upvoted, so should I delete it? If noone agreed with what I had to say and upvoted contrary answers, then what I said wasn't valuable to anyone, and so I should delete it, right?

      This also applies to quite a few comments I have written that have 0 votes like this, this this and this.

      In the other hand, measuring a comment's value by how many people voted on it isn't that great and leaving clarifications and tecnical/minor details and if someone replied, even if only to point out your comment as wrong or not so unlikely, so other than the third comment, you can argue they aren't entirely bad. (And leaving someone's answer without a question is pretty bad if someone comes later since they wouldn't know why that answer was there.) So where does one draw the line?

      11 votes
    13. Should we consolidate all the George Floyd protest threads into a daily megapost/thread like we did when COVID began spreading?

      The main advantage of this is that updates can be organized and followed daily like on the COVID threads (which is especially useful if you don't live in the US and can't keep track of what's...

      The main advantage of this is that updates can be organized and followed daily like on the COVID threads (which is especially useful if you don't live in the US and can't keep track of what's going on) and the main disadvantage is that unlike COVID, we have no idea if this will go on long enough or be dynamic enough to truly merit that. (Although in @dubteedub's COVID post he doesn't discount doing updates every 3 days, which we could do although that conflicts with 7-day weeks)

      12 votes
    14. Would it be beneficial to ban certain topics of political discourse?

      I've noticed that there are certain topics (specifically political ones) that reoccur frequently on this site, which almost never contribute anything of value. These can derail threads, incite...

      I've noticed that there are certain topics (specifically political ones) that reoccur frequently on this site, which almost never contribute anything of value. These can derail threads, incite hostility between users, push away new users, etc. IMO it is rare that anything new is said, and even rarer that any opinions are changed. Examples include: socialism vs capitalism; should real leftists vote for Biden?; is Biden a rapist?; are Bernie supporters toxic?; etc. I'm not saying these aren't important things to discuss (I've done so myself), but is it really necessary for us to have the exact same arguments basically every day? I personally feel the site would be nicer to use and less toxic overall if these discussions didn't happen. Would there be any downside to simply banning them, at least temporarily? Perhaps until after the US presidential election?

      22 votes
    15. Tildes 'style guide' for headlines

      I posted an article. Between the site headline ("Scrutiny of Social Distancing Policing as 35 of 40 Arrested Are Black") and the actual HTML <title> ("The NYPD Arrested 40 People on Social...

      I posted an article. Between the site headline ("Scrutiny of Social Distancing Policing as 35 of 40 Arrested Are Black") and the actual HTML <title> ("The NYPD Arrested 40 People on Social Distancing Violations. 35 Were Black.") I thought the title was more descriptive, so I used that.

      And then when I reloaded the main page, the topic I had just submitted looked a bit off. It was missing the trailing period. I had typed the headline in, instead of copying & pasting it, so I assumed I'd just left that off. I went to edit the title (since that's possible for a few minutes after submission), added the period, clicked save, and...it was still not there.

      It seems like there's logic built in to the site that will automatically strip the trailing periods off? That's understandable, I can see the desire to have a uniform journalistic style for news-type headlines (@Deimos has mentioned before, for example, wanting to standardize on "Apollo astronauts land on moon" sentence case over "Apollo Astronauts Land on Moon" title case)

      But, to the extent we have such a 'style guide' enforced, I think the usability could use a bit of improvement. Editing something, even if it's just to add a trailing period, and seeing my edit not get saved at all, is really weird. Maybe a pop-up telling me what's changed, or a entry in the topic log, or something? Right now that little "no periods at the end of headlines" rule seems baked in to Tildes in a way that's not at all transparent or discoverable.

      17 votes
    16. Topics about the coronavirus seem to be stifling other activity on the site. How should that be handled?

      I wish I had more data to base these assumptions on, but just from my time on the site and having checked the groups page for the past few days, it's pretty clear to me that the...

      I wish I had more data to base these assumptions on, but just from my time on the site and having checked the groups page for the past few days, it's pretty clear to me that the ~health.coronavirus subgroup is dominating Tildes at the moment. An overwhelming amount of the site's activity is concentrated in that subgroup. (It might even be more active than the rest of the site combined.)

      I also feel like its level of activity is stifling the other groups and making them less active.

      So my question:

      Should we do anything about this? Should the standard of what is acceptable to post in that group be raised?[1] Should we stop the daily discussion topics, or at least reduce their frequency (as suggested by @Adys)? Should anything at all be done to try to normalize the distribution of site activity?


      This is an open question, not a suggestion, so please be charitable with your responses.

      Also, consider a few things before deciding on your position:

      • What percentage of the site's users very actively post topics?

      • How many of those users have "switched gears" to posting almost exclusively coronavirus related topics?

      • Does a concentration of activity into one group represent a natural interest-shift in the community?

      • Topics related to technology had (have?) a reputation of dominating Tildes. The response to that problem was for users to diversify the topics they post and to post more in other groups.

      • Obviously this is an unprecedented, international event. How should that affect how we deal with this (if at all)?


      1. That is not to say that the topics posted in there so far have not been "high quality" or up to the site's standards overall (I suspect they would be removed otherwise).

      12 votes
    17. Calling them groups

      I love this website can’t think of anything bad about it apart from really not liking that communities are called groups, I feel this is due in part to Facebook using it but also it’s such an over...

      I love this website can’t think of anything bad about it apart from really not liking that communities are called groups, I feel this is due in part to Facebook using it but also it’s such an over used term on the internet, could we not think of something more unique for tildes to call it’s communities

      17 votes
    18. Self promotion vs. Original content vs. Own content vs. User created vs. ...?

      This question has come up a few times now in the "Unofficial Tildes Chat" Discord server meta/curation channels, but I wanted to open up the discussion to ~tildes at large so we can perhaps...

      This question has come up a few times now in the "Unofficial Tildes Chat" Discord server meta/curation channels, but I wanted to open up the discussion to ~tildes at large so we can perhaps finally get a more definitive judgement on it. So here goes:

      What are people's thoughts on using the above topic tags in cases where a Tildes user posts something that they themselves have created, have hosted on their own site (or another), and/or could potentially profit from (monetarily or otherwise)?

      Should only one of the tags be standardized on, or is there enough of a distinction between some of them for their use to be situational?

      Should such tags be required?

      Can anyone think of any better tags for such situations than the ones listed?

      28 votes
    19. Feature Idea: Tildes Playlist - Would it be useful to have some sort of automated, easy to use, media categorization?

      My use case: I watch videos (YouTube) and listen to audio (Podcasts) as a major part of my weekly media intake. I would love some sort of generated Tildes Playlist . IANADev, but it sure would be...

      My use case:
      I watch videos (YouTube) and listen to audio (Podcasts) as a major part of my weekly media intake. I would love some sort of generated Tildes Playlist . IANADev, but it sure would be nice if Tildes was able to parse, scrape, and categorize media posted as topics and in comments. Then present them to me with a date filter, and allow separating audio only and video media. Maybe something like tildes.net/?tag= but at tildes.net/playlist. I guess it would be nice to be able to sort media by tag as well.

      Possible other use case:
      Accessibility?

      I see that some videos are already being tagged "videos." So there already is some organic interest in this special category, right?

      What do you all think, is this useful?

      From a dev perspective, is getting that correct enough difficult? Does Embedly categorize audio only and video?

      edit: in the playlist view, there should of course be a link back to the topic or comment where the media was found. Also, @Deimos, I certainly don't want to take Tildes away from the text-first/only direction of the site, but sometimes I am doing stuff conducive to audio/video media intake like cooking, driving, etc. It would be cool to be able to easily consume it then, and come back to comment later.

      13 votes
    20. Should Tildes archive links submitted to it?

      We would most likely use a service like archive.org for it but I'm not sure if we should so before making an issue, I thought I'd ask for opinions. It'd be useful to make sure old topics don't...

      We would most likely use a service like archive.org for it but I'm not sure if we should so before making an issue, I thought I'd ask for opinions.

      It'd be useful to make sure old topics don't become obsolete but it could also be undesirable behaviour for privacy reasons.

      16 votes
    21. What are some good design patterns for "still developing stories"

      I apologize if this is a topic that has been covered before. I haven't really been able to find anything and I'm not really sure what a good search keyword is. But I noticed this as part of the...

      I apologize if this is a topic that has been covered before. I haven't really been able to find anything and I'm not really sure what a good search keyword is. But I noticed this as part of the Hearthstone player ban thread.

      On a traditional bulletin board forum it's not really an issue because the conversations unfold chronologically anyway. When you have the atemporality of threaded comment chains that gets disorganized fast.

      Basically, it's a "still developing" story where more events and news keep happening that's germane to the discussion. As the news comes up, people who already read the thread might not see the comments being posted about subsequent developments and be able to follow it because each piece of additional news or info. ends up happening in a comment/sub-thread that ends up arranged in fairly arbitrary, rather than chronological order.

      The Democratic Debate threads have been similar, where the reactions and consequences of the topics being discussed can keep a discussion going for a long time, but it all happens in sub threads that people are unlikely to see. Many of these developments don't really merit a thread of their own, but after a few days or so it gets hard to actually have a big-picture discussion because the news has overtaken the scope of the discussion thread.

      In a thread with an active OP, I've noticed what tends to happen is the OP will steadily edit new developments into the main post to update it. I think this has actually worked pretty well BUT edits don't bump posts as far as I can tell. Also, the people posting the updates aren't necessarily getting as much credit (in terms of votes, exemplary labels, or whatever) and, insofar as that matters to people that's a thing. Do you think this is adequate as things scale or would some novel design or subcomment system be needed?

      6 votes
    22. Unofficial Weekly Discussion #3 - Argument de-escalation and disengagement brainstorming session

      IMO one of the major issues with online debates, arguments and heated discussions is that they often tend to escalate rather steadily over time, and as each side gets more frustrated with the...

      IMO one of the major issues with online debates, arguments and heated discussions is that they often tend to escalate rather steadily over time, and as each side gets more frustrated with the other they also tend to slowly get more personal as well. I am admittedly guilty of falling into this trap occasionally myself too, which has got me thinking about ways that Tildes (the site and the users here) can potentially help deescalate unproductive arguments and allow people to disengage more effectively from them. To this end I thought it might be a good idea to have a brainstorming session regarding that.

      To start things off, here are most of the ideas I could find related to this issue that have previously been proposed and are already on Tildes Gitlab (click to read the full details):

      Add ability to hide topics (and view/unhide ones users have previously hidden) self explanatory
      Add community based thread locking We have labels now, which help moderation and can help hide comments that hurt the discussion. But maybe we need some sort of similar function for locking or temp-locking threads when they get out of hand due to drama or something. As long as we only really have Deimos doing the moderating, that can help avoid things blowing up when he is unavailable.
      Add "block user" feature This would more effectively allow people to avoid arguments but has some potential downsides worth considering as well, e.g. users getting trapped in a filter bubble. However, other than for moderators, that is probably not a major drawback compared to the benefits, IMO.

      How deep the block goes is also something that probably needs to be investigated and discussed. E.g. Does blocking a user just prevent PMs? Does it prevent their replies from notifying the user? Does it hide their comments/topics, and if so does it hide all the replies to those hidden comments as well? Etc.

      Add "unfollow" feature, allowing users to turn off notifications for replies to their comments/topics This would allow users to more effectively disengage from arguments. It should probably be something disabled by default and only enabled on a case-by-case basis, not a global user setting though, IMO.

      edit: Feature also requested again, but for a slightly different reason (avoiding getting spammed on busy topics)

      Add placebo comment labels Related to the other "disengage" feature suggestions, I think a "placebo" comment label could also potentially help the culture of the site. What I mean by that is perhaps adding some comment labels that have no effect, or only an effect for the person that applied it. e.g. A "Disagree" comment label, that has no effect whatsoever, or perhaps makes the comment collapse (like a "noise" labeled comments), but only to the user that applied the "disagree".

      Comments related to this.

      Add "argument/bickering" label for users to apply on unproductive arguments This label, once it reaches a certain threshold could even have effects applied to it, E.g. imposing a forced time delay on replies between all involved parties, adding a delay before the replies even show up (to give time for people to cool off), or even simply locking that particular thread entirely if enough labels are applied.
      Show whether a comment has already been replied to in users' /notifications/unread page I suspect that people often reply directly from their /notifications/unread page, which can lead to needless repetition in the comments. It also potentially further escalates arguments as well, since a user may feel obligated to reply since they do not realize that someone has already addressed the comment effectively. Embedding the other replies somehow, perhaps by using a `details` like expando, might be nice as well.

      Feel free to voice your support or criticism regarding the above suggestions, offer up ideas to potentially improve them, or even propose your own brand new ideas related to this issue in the comments here as well.

      p.s. Once again, the point here is to open up the conversation and get ideas flowing freely, so let's please try to keep things positive, and keep any criticism purely constructive and friendly so as not to discourage people from participating.


      Previous Unofficial Weekly Discussions:

      Week #1, #2


      Other relevant links:
      Donate to Tildes - Tildes Gitlab : Issues Board - Tildes Official Docs

      27 votes
    23. Unofficial Weekly Discussion #4 - What is your most "thinking outside the box", "pie in the sky", and/or "out there" idea for Tildes?

      Despite me still being a little distracted thanks to WoW Classic and somewhat absent from Tildes lately as a result, since it's been a few weeks since the last Unofficial Weekly Discussion topic,...

      Despite me still being a little distracted thanks to WoW Classic and somewhat absent from Tildes lately as a result, since it's been a few weeks since the last Unofficial Weekly Discussion topic, I wanted to make sure to get one posted this week. And since it's been a while, I wanted to try something a bit more lighthearted and fun than usual to get things flowing again. So here it is:

      What is your most "thinking outside the box", "pie in the sky" and/or "out there" idea for Tildes?

      It doesn't matter whether you think it's really a good idea or not, it will work or not, it would ultimately have a net positive or negative effect, or how impossible it might be to implement; Let's just get the creative juices flowing and start throwing out our "craziest" ideas for the site!

      p.s. Once again, let's please try to keep things positive, and keep any criticism purely constructive and friendly so as not to discourage people from participating.


      Previous Unofficial Weekly Discussions:

      Week #1, #2, #3


      Other relevant links:
      Donate to Tildes - Tildes Gitlab : Issues Board - Tildes Official Docs

      28 votes
    24. Unofficial Weekly Discussion #2 - Topic tag system brainstorming session

      Inspired by @Lawrencium265's suggestion from a few days ago on advanced topic tag filtering: After the discussion the other day on expanding groups into sub groups I had an idea about topic tags,...

      Inspired by @Lawrencium265's suggestion from a few days ago on advanced topic tag filtering:

      After the discussion the other day on expanding groups into sub groups I had an idea about topic tags, advanced tag filtering rules. The main argument against sub groups is that it would sequester people away from each other. By allowing more advanced tag rules you could subscribe to topics that you're interested in, but further filter those if they include topics you don't like or allow certain threads that would get filtered out unless they contain a tag you are interested in or are within a certain group. I think this would attract different people to threads that wouldn't normally be and allow more diverse discussion and insight. So instead of having gaming.tabletop you would use the tabletop tag under gaming and those who are not interested in it can filter it out and those who are solely interested in it can subscribe to it, and then if a topic gets tagged in an unrelated group that you otherwise wouldn't be interested inyou will know about. This also has the side benefit if preventing cross posting or duplicates.

      I have decided that the topic of this week's unofficial discussion is going to be on the Tildes topic tag system. But rather than make it specifically on topic tag filtering and that idea in particular, I figured we could open the discussion up a bit more and have a community brainstorming session on the topic tag system in general. I.e. Anything related to tag browsing, tag filtering, tag organization/standardization, etc.

      Feel free to comment on any of the open "topic tag" related issues on Tildes Gitlab that pique your interest and you would like to discuss more in depth, propose your own new ideas related to topic tags, or even just spitball.

      The point here is to open up the conversation and get ideas flowing freely, so with that in mind, let's please try to keep things positive, and keep any criticism purely constructive and friendly so as not to discourage people from participating.


      Previous Unofficial Weekly Discussions:

      Week - #1


      Other relevant links:
      Donate to Tildes - Tildes Gitlab : Issues Board - Tildes Official Docs

      18 votes
    25. 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...

      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

      22 votes
    26. Any chance we can get a ~space group?

      I know that this has been discussed before (I personally participated in some of that), but, to my knowledge, it's been quite a while since it was brought up. Currently, the three groups that seem...

      I know that this has been discussed before (I personally participated in some of that), but, to my knowledge, it's been quite a while since it was brought up.

      Currently, the three groups that seem to make the most sense for space exploration news are ~tech, ~science, and ~misc. Personally, I perceive ~tech as being best suited for general news about what's going on in the tech industry, more or less "hey, Google released this" or "these researchers are working on graphene batteries". Similarly, I understand ~science as a place for discussing scientific discoveries and "meta" discussion about science as a whole. I think that most would agree with me on those characterizations after looking at those groups when sorted by activity or new.

      Space exploration, on the other hand, doesn't really fit in either. It's not exactly ~tech material, and it's also not really the right material for ~science, since much of it isn't about specific new discoveries or studies, etc. If we had an ~engineering, I would say that that would be the correct place for space discussion, but we don't have one.

      If you look at what's been happening over the last few months in the realm of space exploration, I think that it's also pretty easy to see that there's enough going on to generate enough content and discussion for a dedicated group. There've been new launches on a weekly or biweekly basis, interesting moves made by different new entrants to the industry, all of the NASA Artemis news, plenty of things from SpaceX, etc.

      35 votes
    27. Is it OK to scrape Tildes?

      I wanted to keep the title---and the question, for that matter---generic, but my use case is that I want to make a backup of my posts on Tildes, and I'd fancy automating that with a script that...

      I wanted to keep the title---and the question, for that matter---generic, but my use case is that I want to make a backup of my posts on Tildes, and I'd fancy automating that with a script that curls up my user page and downloads fresh stuff from there periodically. So for my personal case, the question is that is this allowed / welcome practice?

      The generic question is that is it welcome to scrape Tildes' public pages, in general?

      19 votes
    28. Should submitters be able to edit their own topic titles afterwards?

      https://tild.es/55n has some discussion about this already, and now that this feature is actually implemented, I'd be interested what your opinions on allowing users to edit their own topic titles...

      https://tild.es/55n has some discussion about this already, and now that this feature is actually implemented, I'd be interested what your opinions on allowing users to edit their own topic titles after posting are.

      My main argument is that it would allow fixing typos and providing significant updates — think adding a [Solved] marker in the title for topics related to some problem or reflecting a title update of a linked article — without having to contact other users that have permissions to do that. The topic log allows that to happen transparently already.

      14 votes
    29. What are people's thoughts on CAPITALIZATION in headlines/titles for EMPHASIS?

      One of my favorite YouTube channels, Linus Tech Tips, does this all the time, but I have seen many others doing this as well, and I personally find it rather obnoxious. I understand that it's more...

      One of my favorite YouTube channels, Linus Tech Tips, does this all the time, but I have seen many others doing this as well, and I personally find it rather obnoxious. I understand that it's more effective at getting them views, which they rely on to stay in business... but I see it as just another form of clickbait, and so when I submit LTT videos I tend to remove that capitalization.

      However, are there any cases where capitalization for emphasis is appropriate in a headline/title? And if not, should titles be edited to remove them?

      p.s. Acronyms and Initialisms are obviously different, so let's ignore those and put them in the "clearly acceptable" category.

      19 votes
    30. Is fanart fluff? Could something be done to make it not fluff if so?

      What's the opinion on posting non-oc fanart? Is it considered fluff (which seems to currently have a negative stigma attached to it based off of my reading of previous threads)? Would more effort...

      What's the opinion on posting non-oc fanart? Is it considered fluff (which seems to currently have a negative stigma attached to it based off of my reading of previous threads)? Would more effort need to be put on the behalf of the poster before it's accepted (theme / several works from the same artist / some sort of comment showing analysis, reflection, or appreciation)?

      9 votes
    31. What is the point of votes?

      So, votes are supposed to be used on quality content and comments that contribute to the conversation, right? I think the problem with this is, most of the content on Tildes is to that standard,...

      So, votes are supposed to be used on quality content and comments that contribute to the conversation, right? I think the problem with this is, most of the content on Tildes is to that standard, and if it isn't, we can just tag/report it. Voting feels redundant to me. What does everyone else think?

      13 votes
    32. Remember the Person: Effortposting about Tildes and Anti-Social UX patterns in Social Media

      I've been meaning to make this post for a while, and it's actually going to wind up being a series of several posts. It's kind of a long meditation on what it means to socialize online and the...

      I've been meaning to make this post for a while, and it's actually going to wind up being a series of several posts. It's kind of a long meditation on what it means to socialize online and the ways in which the services we use to do that help or hinder us in doing so. Along the way I'm going to be going into some thoughts on how online discourse works, how it should work, and what can be done to drive a more communal, less toxic, and more inclusive of non-traditional (read: non-technical) voices. I'm going to be throwing out a lot of inchoate opinions here, so I'm hoping to pressure test my views and solicit other viewpoints and experiences from the community.

      I mentioned in an introduction thread that I'm a policy analyst and my work is focused on how to structure policies and procedures to build a constructive organizational culture. I've been a moderator in some large PHP forums and IRC channels in the old days, and I've developed some really strong and meaningful friendships through the web. So I've always had a soft spot for socializing on the interwebs.

      Okay, so that's the introduction out of the way. The main point I want to focus on is the title: Remember the Person. This was the something Ellen Pao, former CEO of Reddit, suggested in a farewell message as she stepped down from the role in the wake of a community outcry regarding her changes to Reddit's moderation practices. The gist of it was that online communication makes it too easy to see the people you're interacting with in abstract terms rather than as human beings with feelings. It's a bit of a clichéd thought if we're being honest, but I think we still tend not to pay enough attention to how true it is and how deeply it alters the way we interact and behave and how it privileges certain kinds of interaction over others. So let's dig in on how we chat today, how it's different from how we chatted before in discussion forums, and what we're actually looking for when we gather online.

      Since this is the first in a series, I want to focus on getting some clarity on terms and jargon that we'll be using going forward. I'd like to start by establishing some typologies for social media platforms. A lot of these will probably overlap with each other, and I'll probably be missing a few, but it's just to get a general sense of categories.

      To start with we have the "Content Aggregator" sites. Reddit is the most notable, HackerNews is big but niche, and Tildes is one too. This would also include other sites like old Digg, Fark.com, and possibly even include things like IMGUR or 9Gag. The common thread among all of these is user submitted content, curation and editorial decisions made largely by popular vote, and continued engagement being driven by comment threads associated with the submitted content (e.g. links, images, videos, posts). In any case, the key thing you interact with on these sites is atomized pieces of "content."

      Next up are the "Running Feed" services. Twitter and Mastodon are the classic examples as is Facebook's newsfeed. Instagram is an example with a different spin on it. These services are functionally just glorified status updates. Indeed, Twitter was originally pitched as "What if we had a site that was ONLY the status updates from AOL Instant Messager/GChat?" The key thing with how you interact with these services is the "social graph." You need to friend, follow, or subscribe to accounts to actually get anything. And in order to contribute anything, you need people following or subscribing to you. Otherwise you're just talking to yourself (although if we're being honest, that's what most people are doing anyway they just don't know it). This means the key thing you interact with on these sites is an account. You follow accounts get to put content on your feed. Follower counts, consequently, become a sort of "currency" on the site.

      Then you've got the "Blogs" of old and their descendants. This one is a bit tricky since it's largely just websites so they can be really heterogenous. As far as platforms go, though, Tumblr is one of the few left and I think LiveJournal is still kicking. Lots of online newspapers and magazines also kind of count. And in the past there were a lot more services, like Xanga and MySpace. The key thing you interact with here is the site. The page itself is the content and they develop a distinct editorial voice. Follower counts are still kind of a thing, but the content itself has more persistence so immediacy is less of an issue than in feed based paradigms where anything older than a day might as well not exist. This one gets even trickier because the blogs tend to have comment sections and those comment sections can have a bunch little social media paradigms of their own. It's like a matroishka doll of social platforms.

      The penultimate category is the "Bulletin Board" forum. PHP BB was usually the platform of choice. There are still a few of these kicking around, but once upon a time these were the predominant forms of online discourse. Ars Technica and Something Awful still have somewhat active ones, but I'm not sure where else. These also have user posted content, but there is no content curation or editorial action. As a result, these sites tend to need more empowered and active moderators to thrive. And the critical thing you're interacting with in these platforms is the thread. Threads are discussion topics, but it's a different vibe from the way you interact on a content aggregator. On a site like Reddit or Tildes all discussion under a topic is 1 to 1. Posts come under content. On a bulletin board it works like an actual bulletin board. You're responding under a discussion about a topic rather than making individual statements about an individual post or comment. Another way to put it is on an aggregator site each participant is functionally writing individual notes to each other participant. On a bulletin board each participant is writing an open letter to add to the overall discussion as a whole.

      And finally, you've got the "Chat Clients." This is the oldest form besides email newsletters. This began with Usenet and then into IRC. The paradigm lives on today in the form of instant messaging/group texts, WhatsApp, Discord, Slack, etc. In this system you're primarily interacting with the room(s) as a whole. There isn't really an organizing framework for the conversation, it's really just a free-flowing conversation between the participants. You might be able to enforce on-topic restrictions, but that's about as structured as it gets.

      That about covers the typologies I can think of. Next up I want to delve into the ways in which the UI and design patterns with each of these platforms affects the way users engage with them, what sorts of social dynamics they encourage, and what sorts of interactions they discourage. In the mean time, I'm eager to hear what people think about the way I've divided these up, whether you think I've missed anything, or have any additional thoughts on the ones I put up.

      30 votes
    33. Idea: ranking alternate links to prevent linkspam and improve access to quality sources

      I was reading this thread and the important concept of finding the original source came up. I think two things that a lot of content aggregators run into as they grow is people will often post...

      I was reading this thread and the important concept of finding the original source came up. I think two things that a lot of content aggregators run into as they grow is people will often post links from low-quality sources, and when a big newsworthy event happens a lot of similar links from multiple sources appear at once. Obviously not a big problem here now, but it may happen as Tildes grows.

      Both of these issues often require significant moderator input, either through deletion of duplicates or banning of unsavory sources. One way we could instead approach this issue could be to allow for "alternate sources" to a story. For example, if a user is unsatisfied with a link to a news article, they could submit an alternate source to the thread that would show up in the discussion. If enough other users prefer that source, it could replace the link in the OP. The original source would still be visible, but all alternate links themselves could be ranked within the thread.

      It seems the primary focus of Tildes is to be a discussion board, and so in my mind that means the link that engages the discussion doesn't matter much -- if we are voting on individual links anyway, this could be a way to automatically compile multiple similar threads into a single discussion.

      13 votes
    34. Should we limit meta-discussion in non-~tildes posts as we near public visibility?

      I've seen a number of topics that have had unrelated comments regarding Tildes as a whole and the direction in which we'd like to steer it toward. While I realize much of these sidebar...

      I've seen a number of topics that have had unrelated comments regarding Tildes as a whole and the direction in which we'd like to steer it toward. While I realize much of these sidebar conversations have been occurring naturally and very frequently in well-nested comments, I wonder if it isn't going to become distracting to some going forward.

      On one hand, I have enjoyed passively gaining insight into the vision of Tildes. On the other, I can see how we might want to start setting examples on the type of organization and behavior we'd want from users as the site grows. If new users who are joining after Tildes goes public see a regular occurrence of off-topic conversation, they might fall into bad habits and it may take root and grow.

      What are your thoughts? Maybe start creating new topics in ~tildes and tag users along with quotes from outside threads so that there's still a reference point to start discussion from?

      10 votes
    35. What's the (aimed) lifetime of a discussion on Tildes?

      It's somewhat of an unspoken rule on Reddit that replying to a comment that's more than a day old is a faux pas. The conversation naturally settles within that period – or, less often, within two...

      It's somewhat of an unspoken rule on Reddit that replying to a comment that's more than a day old is a faux pas. The conversation naturally settles within that period – or, less often, within two days. After that, the only appropriate thing is to either reference the conversation, or quote parts of the comments in relation to a similar issue in another post.

      On Hubski, conversations could go on for days. It's explicitly stated in the guidelines that it's completely okay to reply to a comment of any age. I've never seen a year-old "revival" do any good, but the fact that it isn't prohibited or frowned upon adds no burden to the user.

      How does Tildes handle this? Is there an unwritten rule already? Should there be a written one? What would be the factors?

      Today's Feb 13. I've found a post from Feb 2 that was on a subject of interest of mine, where comments were insightful, but I feel like not all questions that need to be asked have been. Surely I won't go about creating another topic just to revive the conversation against only my own commentary to show for it.

      There's also the matter of important, (semi)official topics on Tildes. Suppose a new issue arises that concerns an earlier public discussion held, say, half a year ago. It's a minor issue, but one that requires a discussion to settle. Does one comment on the old official topic, or does one create a new topic for this purpose?

      35 votes
    36. What if we eliminated "ownership" of link topics?

      It's been a while since we had a topic to generally discuss potential site mechanics, and this is one that I've been thinking about quite a bit lately, so I thought it could make a good...

      It's been a while since we had a topic to generally discuss potential site mechanics, and this is one that I've been thinking about quite a bit lately, so I thought it could make a good discussion.

      This recent "Suggestions regarding Clickbait and misinformation" topic originally started me thinking about this, because a lot of the potential ways of dealing with those kind of topics involve modifying link topics in some way—changing their link to point somewhere else, editing the title, adding additional links, etc. However, one thing I've noticed on the (rare) occasions where I've performed those kind of actions is that some people are extremely protective of the posts they submitted, and can get upset about even minor title edits because it's changing their post. Some users have deleted their posts after they were changed, because they didn't like the change.

      So... what if we made it so that link topics don't really "belong" to any user in particular? We'd absolutely still want a record of who originally submitted the post to be able to notice behaviors like spamming certain domains, but other than that, if it's a good link/story, does it matter much which user submitted it?

      Here are more unorganized, general thoughts about some of the things this might affect and would need to be considered:

      • Text posts would remain as-is, since in that case the submitter is also the author/source of the post.
      • On that note, it could be a bit weird to lose the connection in cases like a user submitting their own content (such as a blog post that they wrote). Maybe we'd need some way to indicate that, through a standardized tag or something (or even a checkbox when submitting)?
      • Are there other cases where the submitter is important and associated with the content?
      • We could use the space in topic listings where the submitter's username is currently displayed to show different, more relevant data instead. For example, maybe the domain could move into that space instead of being after the title in parentheses, or it could display other info like the name of the actual author of the linked content, the channel name for YouTube videos, etc.
      • If the submitter no longer owns the post, they'd probably no longer have control of deleting it. When could that be an issue?
      • How would this affect user pages? Should links that the user originally submitted still be visible there, even if they're no longer considered posts that the user "owns"?

      Please let me know any thoughts on the overall idea, any of the above questions, and also feel free to point out other aspects of it that I've surely missed.

      (And unrelated, but I've bumped everyone back up to having 5 invite codes available, which you can get from the invite page. I'm still working towards making the site publicly-visible fairly soon, and will hopefully post more info about that before long.)

      79 votes
    37. Suggestions regarding Clickbait and misinformation

      One thing (amongst many) that always bothered me in my 6+ years of using Reddit was their lax rules about posting clickbait articles and straight up misinformation. In my opinion this was...

      One thing (amongst many) that always bothered me in my 6+ years of using Reddit was their lax rules about posting clickbait articles and straight up misinformation. In my opinion this was something that contributed to the rise of radical communities and echochambers in the website.

      In this post I'll talk about Clickbait, Unreliable studies, and Misinformation. I'll give examples for each one and suggest a way to deal with it.

      Clickbait-

      Let's start with the most benign one. These days most big websites use clickbait and hyperbole to gain more traffic. It's something that they have to do in order to survive in today's media climate and I sort of understand. But I think that as a community in Tildes we should raise our standards and avoid posting any article that uses clickbait, instead directly link to the source that the article cites.

      An example would be: An article titled "Life on Mars found: Scientists claim that they have found traces of life on the red planet".

      But when you read the original source it only states that "Mars rover Curiosity has identified a variety of organic molecules" and that "These results do not give us any evidence of life,".
      (This may be a bad/exaggrated example but I think it gets my point across.)

      On Reddit the mods give these kinds of posts a "Misleading" tag. But the damage is already done, most of the users won't read the entire article or even the source, and instead will make comments based on the headline.
      I personally think that these kinds of posts should be deleted even if they get a discussion going in the comments.

      Unreliable studies-

      This is a bit more serious than clickbait. It's something that I see the most in subjects of psychology, social science and futurism.
      These are basically articles about studies that conclude a very interesting result, but when you dig a bit you find that the methodologies used to conduct the study were flawed and that the results are inconclusive.

      An (real) example would be: "A new study finds that cutting your time on social media to 30 minutes a day reduces your risk of depression and loneliness"
      Link: https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-instagram-snapchat-social-media-well-being-2018-11

      At first glance this looks legit, I even agree with the results. But lets see how this study was conducted:

      In the study, 143 undergraduate students were tested over the course of two semesters.

      After three weeks, the students were asked questions to assess their mental health across seven different areas

      Basically, their test group was 143 students, The test was only conducted for 6 months, and the results were self-reported.

      Clearly, this is junk. This study doesn't show anything reliable. Yet still, it received a lot of upvotes on Reddit and there was a lot of discussion going. I only spotted 2-3 comments (at the bottom) mentioning that the study is unreliable.

      Again, I think that posts with studies like this should be deleted regardless if there is a discussion going in the comments or not.

      Misinformation-

      This is in my opinion the biggest offender and the most dangerous one. It's something that I see in political subreddits (even the big ones like /r/politics and /r/worldnews). It's when an article straight up spreads misinformation both in the headline and in the content in order to incite outrage or paint a narrative.

      Note: I will give an example that bashes a "left-leaning" article that is against Trump. I'm only doing this because I only read left-leaning to neutral articles and don't go near anything that is right-leaning. Because of this I don't have any examples of a right-leaning article spreading misinformation (I'm sure that there are a lot).

      An example would be this article: "ADMINISTRATION ADMITS BORDER DEPLOYMENT WAS A $200 MILLION ELECTION STUNT"
      Link: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/11/trump-troops-border-caravan-stunt

      There are two lies here:

      1. Trump administration did not admit to anything. (The article's use of the word 'Admit' is supposedly justified with 'They indirectly admitted to it'. I personally think this is a bad excuse.)
      2. Most importantly, the 200 million figure is pure speculation. If you go to the older article that this article cites, the 200m figure comes from a speculation that the operation could cost up to 200m if the number of troops sent to the border is 15,000 and they stay there for more than 2 months.
        In reality the number of troops sent was 8,500 and they stayed for only a few days/weeks.

      A few days after this article was published it turned out that the operation costed 70 million. Still a big sum, still ridiculous. But it's almost a third of what the article claimed.

      The misinformation in this example is fairly benign. But I've seen countless other articles with even more outrageous claims that force a certain narrative. This is done by both sides of the political spectrum.

      Not only do I think that we should delete these kinds of posts in Tildes, in my opinion we should black list websites that are frequent offenders of spreading misinformation.
      Examples off the top of my head would be: Vanity Fair, Salon.com, of course far right websites like Fox News, Info Wars and Breitbart.
      A good rule in my opinion would be: If three posts from a certain website get deleted for spreading misinformation, that website should be blacklisted from Tildes.

      In conclusion:
      I think we should set some rules against these problems while our community is still in the early stages. Right now I don't see any of these 3 problems on Tildes. But if we don't enforce rules against them, they will start to pop up the more users we gain.

      I'll be happy to know your opinions and suggestions on the matter!

      32 votes
    38. Your own user page now has paginated Topics and Comments views - let's talk about user history visibility

      When you're viewing your own user page, there are now two other "tabs" available, one for showing only topics that you've posted, and one for only comments. These pages are paginated, so you can...

      When you're viewing your own user page, there are now two other "tabs" available, one for showing only topics that you've posted, and one for only comments. These pages are paginated, so you can go back through your whole history of topics/comments. I also intend to make the "recent activity" view paginated as well, but that's a tiny bit more complicated, so I left it out for now.

      I plan to extend the tabs/pagination to all user pages some time next week, but as I previously promised, I wanted to give people at least a few days to be able to review their own posts and go back and see if there's anything they want to edit/delete before other users can more easily look through their posts.

      This leads into a discussion that I want to have about whether we should do anything special to hide user history.

      In general, I think that showing user history is good. It's valuable from an accountability perspective and it has a lot of legitimate benefits. If I run across a user that consistently makes good posts, it's nice to be able to look at their history and see some of the other comments they've made. Maybe (once the site is larger, anyway), I'll even learn about some new groups that I'm interested in by seeing where that user hangs out.

      However, there are also obvious downsides, and we're seeing some major demonstrations of this in the media lately (mostly applied to Twitter). I don't want to get into the individual cases, but there have been repeated instances of people digging up years-old tweets and using them as ways to attack people. The main problem with this is that a full history (especially when combined with search) makes it very easy to find things to shame people about, especially when they're pulled entirely out of context of how they were written in the first place.

      Tildes is still very new, but this is a real possibility as the site goes on. Do we want people to be able to easily dig up old comments a user made 5+ years ago? Do the potential downsides of that ability outweigh the benefits from being able to easily look back through a user's history?

      One other thing to keep in mind is that once the site is publicly visible (and especially once there's an API), there will be external databases of everyone's posts. We can make it more difficult/inconvenient for people to be able to search/review user history, but we can't make it impossible. There's just no way to do that with a site where your posts are public.

      Let me know your thoughts, it's a really difficult subject and one that I've been thinking about a lot myself as more and more of these "person in spotlight has embarrassing social media history" cases come up.

      79 votes
    39. Should we have a small description for why a removed comment was removed?

      It would be nice to give some context to removed comments so people can see what happened without seeing the offensive comment. I never really liked it on Reddit where when a comment was removed...

      It would be nice to give some context to removed comments so people can see what happened without seeing the offensive comment. I never really liked it on Reddit where when a comment was removed by a mod, you had no idea why. It would be nice for fellow curious people maybe. What are your thoughts?

      37 votes
    40. News and articles linked on Tildes

      I've been thinking about my experience on Tildes with news and articles. It's mostly been seeing high quality content and discussion that I'm happy with. However for the sake of this, I want to...

      I've been thinking about my experience on Tildes with news and articles. It's mostly been seeing high quality content and discussion that I'm happy with. However for the sake of this, I want to discuss avoiding something negative.

      Lately I've noticed news and articles with headlines that I feel are biasing in nature and potentially inflammatory.

      I would guess that we're all pretty familiar with this method in general. At some point when a forum/aggregate becomes large enough it provides an profitable opportunity for third parties to distribute content. Or an individual is pursuing their fulfillment of a personal ideal.

      I have a few suggestion to handle the issues productively.


      News sources that put a higher priority on traffic versus their reputation tend to do so consistently. It would be valuable for users to be required to tag the parent domain when posting external links to allow users to discern sources case by case using tags.

      Blocking something a news source versus <inciting-phrase> has the benefit of allowing higher quality sources mentioning the same topic to have an impact on the user. That's potentially very valuable in encouraging informed perspective.


      Linking news and articles for commercial or personally motivated reasons is posted on subs that have a marginal relation. E.g. Posting a story on Mike Pence denouncing all white men working in agriculture in an agriculture sub. The connection can certainly be made but I don't think that's a good way of organizing that information. I think it would be more productive to post that in a news or news/political thread. Having the ability to choose when we see and engage with that type of content is important. It benefits the individual and encourages healthy and engaged communities.


      Blocking users ( I wasn't sure if this existed ) Alternatively, a system for linked content reputation per user. But I think that's a bad solution overall.
      I meant filtering users content and comments as a preference for users. I'm not talking about site wide.


      I'm curious if other Tilde users agree with my issues or suggestions.

      13 votes
    41. Do we really need to add summaries to posted articles?

      This seems to happen quite a lot here. Someone will post an article, and then add a comment with an extract from the article, or a summary of the article. Or someone else will come along and...

      This seems to happen quite a lot here. Someone will post an article, and then add a comment with an extract from the article, or a summary of the article. Or someone else will come along and summarise the article.

      This is pointless clutter.

      On a site where we're hoping for high-quality discussion, we should expect people to actually read the articles they're discussing. If the article's so long that it needs a summary, then reading that summary isn't going to give people a good enough insight into the detail of the article before they start discussing it.

      It also has the effect of misleading readers. They see an article post, read the article, and then notice that someone has already commented on the article. When they open the thread to join in the discussion, they discover that the existing comment is nothing more than a summary of the article they just read. They opened the thread for nothing.


      EDIT: I give up. Lesson learned! I am the odd one out here. It is not normal to read articles beforing opening the comments sections. Summaries are desired, even preferred, here on Tildes.

      I shall adjust my behaviour accordingly:

      • I will start including summaries & extracts in my article posts.

      • I will not waste my time opening posts that have only 1 comment.

      I'm not going to reply here any more.

      21 votes
    42. Moderators of Reddit, tell us about your experiences in fostering quality discussion and content (or failures to do so)

      Since the moderator community here is quite large, I figure we would have quite alot of interesting perspectives over here in Tildes. Feel free to chip in even if you're not a moderator, or god...

      Since the moderator community here is quite large, I figure we would have quite alot of interesting perspectives over here in Tildes. Feel free to chip in even if you're not a moderator, or god forbid, moderate such subs as T_D. Having a range of perspectives is, as always, the most valuable aspect of any discussion.

      Here are some baseline questions to get you started:-

      • Did your subreddit take strict measures to maintain quality ala r/AskHistorians, or was it a karmic free-for-all like r/aww?

      • Do you think the model was an appropriate fit for your sub? Was it successful?

      • What were the challenges faced in trying to maintain a certain quality standard (or not maintaining one at all)?

      • Will any of the lessons learnt on Reddit be applicable here in Tildes?

      29 votes
    43. How would you feel about "levels" a user could gain with accompanying priviledges?

      Lately, there's been talk about new priviledges users could gain, either by requesting them (and being judged as fit) or discussing if everyone should gain a new ability like editing titles The...

      Lately, there's been talk about new priviledges users could gain, either by requesting them (and being judged as fit) or discussing if everyone should gain a new ability like editing titles

      The problem with new priviledges is of course that they can be abused by malicious users. One of the overall goals of Tildes is to trust users, but punish abuse, however I don't see this working with a large userbase. Even if this site grows slowly and the community remains mostly small or perhaps invite only, eventually we will reach a tipping point where the mods, if you want to call them that, won't be able to effectively manage the userbase. I feel like if we locked certain abilities (like editing titles, even within a time limit) behind tiers or levels users could achieve with certain actions, we could manage to keep low-effort trolls out and use it a sort of tutorial, where after certain actions for a new user (like writing their first comment or receiving their first vote) a window could pop up, informing them that they now have gained a new ability like voting, simultaniously explaining what the goal with the actual votes is.

      I understand that this would gamify the system, but it would stop new users from abusing the system and lock those more dangerous abilities behind things they needed to do, ideally things that require a time investment so they'd feel less inclined to abuse the tools they've been granted (because they'd value their account more due to said time investment). It would also automate some things for the masses, which would make moderating easier.

      An example:

      A new user joins the site, at first, he can only vote. After casting his first vote, a message pops up, telling him that he can now post comments. Maybe there's a link to the rules and code of conduct there, maybe just a little tidbit about how stuff works on Tildes. Things that require more trust in the user are locked behind more difficult milestones, maybe editing titles is locked behind writing a hundred comments or receiving a hundred votes, maybe both.

      What are your thoughts on this?

      13 votes
    44. Feature request/discussion: Tag everyone that replied to a post

      Hi, It would be nice for the OP to be able to tag everyone that answered a post to give some solution to some problem that didn't had a solution (something like a post "my computer does not turn...

      Hi,

      It would be nice for the OP to be able to tag everyone that answered a post to give some solution to some problem that didn't had a solution (something like a post "my computer does not turn on, what can i do?" and no one finds the solution, then the OP finds the solution and tags every one that replied to let them know what the solution was [this is a super dumb example, but you got the point :) ]).

      Problem is that this may be abused, maybe limiting use of one/two calls for everyone on one post?

      EDIT: added "on one post"

      9 votes