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    1. Seriously, no downvotes was the best decision Tildes ever made. Just try to have the wrong opinion on reddit, the hive will hiss at you, downvote you, and bully you for having a mind of your own....

      Seriously, no downvotes was the best decision Tildes ever made. Just try to have the wrong opinion on reddit, the hive will hiss at you, downvote you, and bully you for having a mind of your own. Here, I feel like I could say practically anything within reason and get all sorts of interesting discussion and no hate. This site really is one of the best places for discussion on the internet, especially compared to reddit and similar half-forums which are basically just every community flinging poop at each other. I think the reddit model just forces people to not want to think different. "Oh, I better not say that, I could lose internet points!" and etc just makes people want to be close minded, and will make them dislike the opposition for downvoting them.

      36 votes
    2. Firstly, I'd like to dismiss any claims of pandering or fishing here. I need to say this and I need to write it out. I was a reddit user for 8 years. I thought it was 5 but another commenter...

      Firstly, I'd like to dismiss any claims of pandering or fishing here. I need to say this and I need to write it out.

      I was a reddit user for 8 years. I thought it was 5 but another commenter reminded me what it was. It put me into a bit of a reflective mood. I thought about some of the more meaningful insightful interactions I've had, and some of the more bitterly memorable ones where I was at best annoyed but more recently feeling attacked, shot down, rudely treated. It was profound as a sensitive human being to receive these things, to be made to feel through text, written for you by someone else. These weren't friends, people you held at arms length as you got to know them, they were complete strangers. And these people could be brutal. Make you feel so small. And yet I am a grown man, this environment I spent easily 30% of my waking time on for the best part of a decade was interacting with people and how much I enjoyed it. It was more than a website it was a place that I called home during bouts of depression, social drought and personal hardships. I found myself seeking help and for the most part finding it.

      I have learned something valuable that I want to share here and I had to learn it the hard way, through hypocrisy, through mistakes, through mis-spoken words and harsh tongue thrashings both ways. I have realised for the first time that the people reading these things, the people writing them, the sentiments involved and the content/context is important. They are real, they are human, they feel, they are like me.

      We are seeking some assembly, some community, some lectern from which to state our case. My whole life I looked for togetherness online and thought I found it in the early days of reddit. That is gone now. Even intelligent well thought out research style posts cannot culminate properly, they do not ascend, the public discourse is dead. I see now first hand the destruction of community the facebook exec spoke about. Our actual confident, open, readily invited opinionated perspectives are being replaced by circle jerks and shallow agree/disagree type statements. Upvotes have become likes. Now I see how it is broken.

      Someone saw me having a meltdown and invited me here. I was told it was invite only, and that it was made by someone who had the same feelings as me. I don't want to be surrounded by likeminded people, thats not what I joined reddit for. I joined because open and honest perspectives based on experience were readily available; academics, workers, parents, billionaires, could just shoot-the-shit they didn't need to cite sources or write something popular. But upvotes were reserved for contributors, not jesters or people ridiculing/attacking/berating others. The reddit bandwagon has become savagely toxic in many respects. It is (sorry was) frustrating.

      So here I am. Fresh off the boats as a reddit refugee. I hope than I can find my place here and contribute to the discussions, help build the site, build something that hopefully cannot be corrupted by growth, investors and advertisers.

      We discussed in the hundred or comments attached to my meltdown that the lowering average age of the site population and possible the general dumbing down of internet users happening the past 10 years was largely responsible. I can imagine previously mentioned factors also drove it over the cliff. What is the current hope for Tildes future? I read the announcement post and it mentioned that a baseline level of activity will ensure that topics cycle regularly and user engagement is high enough to stimulate people coming back. Or that is at least what I think the baseline is for.

      I hope this topic starts a discussion and doesn't get moderated away. But the lack of real debate, insight, coupled with a responsive and welcoming attitude is something the whole internet is missing right now, this is where we could make a positive change to the current online environment.

      41 votes
    3. cw: discussion of specific types of bigotry I used to kind of think that Reddit's bigotry was relegated to the hate subs (TD and friends), and that you'd only find it if you went looking. But wow,...

      cw: discussion of specific types of bigotry

      I used to kind of think that Reddit's bigotry was relegated to the hate subs (TD and friends), and that you'd only find it if you went looking. But wow, Tildes has made me realise that it is EVERYWHERE.

      Whenever I take a trip back to Reddit, I'm always blindsided by the fact ordinary threads about unrelated topics are so hateful. For example today I was on an r/movies thread about the new Terminator movie and there's queerphobia, transphobia and sexism all highly upvoted, right near the top of the comments. I guess being immersed in that environment for the last seven years of my life made me a bit desensitised to it, but now I'm horrified everytime.

      Reddit is a far worse cesspit than I realised, I'm glad Tildes exists and I hope it keeps getting better and better. The internet needs it.

      110 votes
    4. This is, of course, all anecdotal. Spiteful downvotes are a common occurrence on Reddit. Sometimes I'm arguing in a deeply nested thread with a single person, and every one of my responses...

      This is, of course, all anecdotal.

      Spiteful downvotes are a common occurrence on Reddit. Sometimes I'm arguing in a deeply nested thread with a single person, and every one of my responses receives an immediate combo of reply and downvote. It's clear that the person arguing with me is the one making the downvotes, which doesn't seem fair. That's not an indication of my contribution to the debate, they just wanna "win".

      In other occasions, when I go against the hive-mind, subjective interpretations of my phrasing renders a torrent of downvotes. I'm not talking about active belligerence on my part, but subtle differences that indicate minor defiance to the norm.

      Upvoting seems less toxic. Some subs can use it to brigade /r/all, but that's easily addressable by the admins (I'm not saying they do). While downvotes can easily go unnoticed, upvotes are public by nature, they attract lots of attention, so if something vicious is upvoted the backlash it receives is frequently enough to put the author in their right place.

      Tildes lack of downvotes is liberating. Not that I have the urge to post controversial stuff, but the lack of an easy "fuck you button" makes it possible for me to speak with nuance. I'm more preoccupied with what I wanna say than with the 300 implicit rules [1] I must follow to avoid being buried for offending the intricate biases of every sub.

      And before this gets political, please notice that I never post on those subs. I'm speaking of "silly" places like /r/aww, /r/DunderMifflin/, /r/howyoudoin and /r/programmerHumor/.

      So yeah: thank you, Tildes!

      [1] I have no trouble following explicit ones.

      64 votes
    5. 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?

      30 votes
    6. Last night I posted a topic called "real sad boi hours", a ritualistic kind of post I've carried over from Reddit. I chose to post it in ~talk since the description for the group says it is for...

      Last night I posted a topic called "real sad boi hours", a ritualistic kind of post I've carried over from Reddit. I chose to post it in ~talk since the description for the group says it is for "Open-ended discussions with fellow Tildes users, casual or serious", and I felt there is nothing more open-ended or casual than real sad boi hours. At first, the topic was meant just as it usually does on Reddit. Got a few responses in which people talked about their day and how they were feeling. But right now, the most voted comment is complaining about how we need to restrict invitations to prevent low effort users like me from joining. One thing the user said was that is is obvious there are users joining who have not read the manifesto. I'm just going to spew my own opinion on a few points here:

      1. I don't think gatekeeping is a solution, especially since iirc this site is not going to be permanently invite-only. Not to mention that's just a childish solution anyway.

      2. I don't know what is expected from ~talk. As I said before, I legitimately believe my nightly "real sad boi hours" posts fit exactly what the description of the group says. However, that is up to interpretation I suppose.

      3. If my post was against some rule (which apparently roughly 17 users believe it is), there should be some kind of rule set or moderation set in place (though I understand why there isn't, the site being private still and all). My impression so far has been that if you don't like content, you just ignore it. But now I'm seeing that apparently, people don't like to ignore it. They want me gone.

      4. Is every user expected to read the manifesto? You may be able to get away with this while it's private (and even then, there is still users like me who only read a few pages) but if/when this site goes public, expecting every user or even just most the users to read the manifesto is a pipe dream. As far as I can tell, the reddiquette (which I have also not read) is shorter than the manifesto and nobody reads that either unless they need to. The only reason I know the reddiquette is because I've picked up on bits of it as time went on.

      Maybe I'm just a butt-hurt bitch that people complained about me and I can't take criticism. I'm sure people who disliked my post will think that is it. I also may have a skewed perception of what this site is. I view it as an improvement upon Reddit and honestly I think some of this innovation may work great, which is why I'm here in the first place. I want to hear your take on what I said, and anything else you'd like to add.

      26 votes
    7. Hi folks, I've seen a few posts and comments discussing "what is tildes.net all about?" or even "what does Tildes want to be about?" and I thought I'd throw in a related topic I've been thinking...

      Hi folks,

      I've seen a few posts and comments discussing "what is tildes.net all about?" or even "what does Tildes want to be about?" and I thought I'd throw in a related topic I've been thinking about recently. I am interested in the medium of communication itself, in addition to the goals and general philosophy of Tildes.

      To start, the question of "what makes Tildes different from Reddit?" is interesting. One concern about Reddit is the huge proportion of either low-quality posts or attention-chasing memes. And a lot of Tildes users seem to be asking why that is the case; and whether a site like Tildes can be different.

      Some say that Reddit is a victim of the profit cycle. As a commercial entity, Reddit must aim to bring in as many users as possible, thereby increasing advertisement revenue. And lowering the bar to new user entry means that you get more and more people who aren't really concerned with making thoughtful, high-value contributions to the discussions.

      And there's certainly some truth to that. So by this model, Tildes should be different. It is non-commercial, not profit-driven, and it has mechanisms in place (and in development) that are specifically designed to weed out low-value contributions/contributors.

      But still, even at this early stage, when the userbase is small and has been more selectively accumulated, some users are expressing concern that Tildes is showing signs of becoming just another Reddit. True or not -- I don't know.

      Beyond the profit goal, another dimension for analysis is the medium itself. "Medium", as in the tools of communication; as in radio vs. print vs. television vs. web forum, etc. In 1985, Neil Postman wrote an interesting book called "Amusing Ourselves to Death" that reiterated Marshall McLuhan's idea that messages are partly shaped (and constrained) by the medium over which they are transmitted. And by extension, some media are better at communicating some types of ideas than others.

      Postman was writing in 1985 when television was the dominant medium. He argued that the image-oriented medium of television was best suited for entertainment rather than rational argument or intellectual discourse. And thus the use of television (particularly commercial television) as a medium drifts away from thoughtful, intellectual engagement of the consumer, and toward gripping, decontextualized video clips that imprint ideas on the viewer and keep them coming back for more.

      Television is just not as good as print media for communicating deep, complicated ideas that the consumer can engage with. (This isn't to say tv can't do it, but it's just not as good at it.)

      So what about web forums like Reddit and Tildes? This is what I've been thinking a lot about recently, and I wonder what other Tildes users think about it.

      Web forums are different than television for sure, in that they are mostly text-based, and users can interact with them by both posting text and responding to what others have posted.

      But web forums are different from ye olde fashioned books too, in the sense that web forums seem to eschew longer, more highly-structured arguments. (Speaking of that, I hope this post isn't too long!) There seems to be a "king of the mountain" syndrome in web forums, in which posters vie for attention, while watching as posts rise to the top and are quickly replaced by newer, catchier posts.

      Is this the fundamental dynamics or metaphysics of web forums? --the rapid turnover of attention-seeking, short posts?

      If so, will Tildes get pulled down into that same whirlpool?

      I don't think it has to be that way, but I believe it is a strong warning that we have to think hard about how the structure of the medium itself channels the type of content we will see here.

      --
      Stepping back further in Postman's argument is his deep concern about the effect of the dominant medium on popular discourse in a society.

      When mainstream media is reduced to commercial jingles and quick, entertaining memes, the very foundation of liberal democratic society is at risk. People become uninformed about the important issues of the day, and become disengaged from the democratic process. As that disengagement increases, special interest groups (read: corporate lobbyists) fill the void of providing direction to governing bodies. Citizens then become more disillusioned and even more disengaged. This is a well-documented phenomena called "the death spiral of democracy", and it scares the shit out of me.

      When I first read Deimos' "Announcing Tildes" blog post, I saw a motivating philosophy that I feel is one of the most important issues of our time. We don't live in a perfect world right now, but we're in a world that appears to be on the edge of tragic yet avoidable decline; a world in which the values I assume many Tildes users would like to promote are being paved over by entities that only value profit.

      I think that Tildes can be really, really important, and it needs the user base to deeply engage in the analysis of what will make it work. What is it about the web forum as "medium" that shapes the content we are exposed to here? And how can we devise the mechanisms that prevent it from degrading into another Reddit? Is a shared motivating philosophy enough, or do we need to re-engineer the medium itself?

      So into the discussion of "what should Tildes be about?", this post is a long-winded way of saying that I think part of it should be about discussing how we can we construct a sustainable new form of media that improves society and supports our highest values. What does this next generation medium look like?

      --
      Note: just to be clear, Deimos has already put a lot of great thought into this (cf. https://docs.tildes.net/). I'm just arguing that the topic of the medium and the mechanics of the medium should be a topic that all Tildistas engage with.

      38 votes
    8. I haven't logged in for a week or so (~tildes admin can tell me when I last lurked ;p) and it's looking better and better! Reddits, especially worldnews, are looking more and more stagnant and...

      I haven't logged in for a week or so (~tildes admin can tell me when I last lurked ;p) and it's looking better and better!

      Reddits, especially worldnews, are looking more and more stagnant and Hacker News is getting stale too. Whereas tildes is looking nicer and nicer. Keep up the awesome work :D

      6 votes
    9. I'm grateful for being invited and I'm happy to see the community enjoy a smooth ride so far. I really hope the platform does not follow in the footsteps of Reddit's karma mechanism. I find that...

      I'm grateful for being invited and I'm happy to see the community enjoy a smooth ride so far.

      I really hope the platform does not follow in the footsteps of Reddit's karma mechanism. I find that this cumulative store of points attached to each user to encourages them to seek more points, regardless if they steal content or repost their own old material for another karma-harvesting run. Instead, if users can be appreciated by the actual number of posts they've submitted much like the bulletin boards of old, it would be more fair in my opinion. It'd be a measure of the effort and contribution made by a user, not only what others think of them.

      For example, my profile would say "Eyehigh posted 20,000 posts" instead of "Eyehigh seemed to impress 20,000 people enough for them to leave an upvote, so here's the 20,000 upvotes."

      What do you think?

      12 votes
    10. One of the very frustrating things for me on reddit is the way crossposting works, essentially making it a karma whoring feature more than anything else. Can crossposting be simplified? For...

      One of the very frustrating things for me on reddit is the way crossposting works, essentially making it a karma whoring feature more than anything else.

      Can crossposting be simplified? For example: I just posted a topic in ~tv, however I realize it applies more to ~comp (sorry, I was premature on posting it somewhere - maybe it can be moved?) but could fit in ~tv as it's related, even if being a 3rd cousin from the groups intent. It would be nice to be able to pick the groups I'd like to publish it to, so the discussion is centralized and consistent - if that makes sense?

      *Removed a word

      11 votes
    11. It took me a few seconds to realize that tapping on the # of votes would count as an upvote. The usual arrows would be nice, even Facebook is experimenting with those now. update: Just realized...

      It took me a few seconds to realize that tapping on the # of votes would count as an upvote.

      The usual arrows would be nice, even Facebook is experimenting with those now.

      update: Just realized this suggestion was already raised 4 days ago.

      8 votes