So I noticed the entire front page getting clogged with "question" type posts, ranging from "what are your favorite..." to "pls help me choose..." type posts. This might be mainly due to...
So I noticed the entire front page getting clogged with "question" type posts, ranging from "what are your favorite..." to "pls help me choose..." type posts. This might be mainly due to "activity" sorting (sorting by votes is a little better), but that's still the default and doesn't change the general dominance. I took this screenshot earlier and I did not see a non-question post without scrolling. None of them were from ~talk, either.
I know people have different views on this, but I remember from my brief time moderating that it's generally a good idea to restrict these types of posts, for the simple reason that people love to dump their "favorite" lists, which makes these types of threads dominate the frontpage, while they tend to produce always the same responses (intuition might suggest they produce great discussion but that's usually not the case). They're best pushed into specific subreddits (subgroups?).
I think this is a rather small and specific issue, but it might be a taste of future difficulties with voting/moderation. Banning content for being disruptive/abusive is one thing, but the best places I know for discussion also ban via more subtle rule sets. They take measures into account (often at the cost of facing a ton of backlash from users seeing their posts removed for "unfair" reasons) that keep one type of post from taking over the frontpage, potentially drowning out more interesting ones. I'm still trying to picture how this would translate from Reddit's moderation model to Tildes'.
One way would be to open up a subgroup for any sufficiently large category of posts and give moderation the option to move posts to a subgroup that people can opt-out from. Another is very diligent tagging and filtering. My concern is that neither could produce the complex, fine-grain type of moderation that distinguishes really good subreddits (yea, they exist!) from spammy ones. "Hide all posts tagged 'question'" could hide "what's your favorite...?" type posts but also posts that ask a really deep and interesting question. So would you filter "question && favorite"? That turns filtering into almost a scripting job. It doesn't seem reasonable to expect users to put this much effort into content filtering and it wouldn't help "shape" discussion culture, as the default (no filters?) would keep most users jumping from one "favorite game/band/movie/programming language" post to the next.
So far, it seems rules are set site-wide based on mostly removing blatantly off-topic, bad faith or trolling content. As the groups grow, however, I believe it's absolutely vital to also allow more subtle policies (think "only original sources for news articles" or "only direct links to movie trailers", etc). As groups branch off into further subgroups, it might suddenly also be reasonable to have very specific rules like "no more individual posts about hype topic X, keep discussion in the hub thread until Friday".
The only way I can see this work out (and maybe I lack imagination) is via a "meta" section for each group that allows whoever is decided to be part of the moderator group to decide upon and clearly formulate rules specific to it. It could be a wiki-like thing, it could involve voting on changes, maybe automation via "default tag filters", etc. Other users could see the policies mods have decided upon and maybe even "opt out" from moderation actions being considered in filtering, to have no reason to be paranoid about "censored" content.
Am I too pessimistic about tagging/voting solving this on its own? Am I too stuck on doing it "the reddit way" (albeit with hopefully better tools)? I just really believe it's subtle moderation like this that might make or break Tildes in the long run.
TL;DR: How would more subtle or group-specific moderation policies be decided? Just tags+votes? Should there be a "meta" sections for each group where mods can agree upon specific rules?