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Please stop asking me to use the app (reddit.com)
929 points by dredmorbius on July 3, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 253 comments

Reddit's recent tactics have incidentally topped /r/assholedesign lately, such as using a fake loading screen for the app-pushing (https://www.reddit.com/r/assholedesign/comments/8k10c7/not_g...), a Facebook-esque obfuscation of ad-posts in the app (https://www.reddit.com/r/assholedesign/comments/85liof/how_r...), and mobile notifications for subreddits you don't follow (https://www.reddit.com/r/assholedesign/comments/8m53bi/reddi...).

My main concern is Reddit pulling a Twitter and cracking down on third-party clients/enhancers, such as RES and the Apollo app for iOS (which is excellent)

I've had to start disabling notifications on just about everything due similar tactics across the app-o-system. Facebook spam was getting nuts; phone vibrating at 2AM because somebody I haven't had contact with in years has updated a picture? Google has even been getting really bad with TV show episode availability updates for shows I have never watched or searched for? Or is that some other app? I think the shark is well below us on notifications.

I've come to loathe this about social networking sites. Twitter (which I use for sports buffoonery and hot takes from the community) is the absolute worst about this.

"Hey your friend did a thing, go congratulate them"

"Hey, a friend knows this person. Go follow them too"

"Hey, your friend just posted a picture of spaghetti, go signal your approval"


How about I check in and interact with my friends on my time in a manner I want to?

Yeah, I deleted my Twitter account a while ago when they started to put random crap into my "Notifications", and it couldn't be turned off.

Keeping on using a service like that just encourages further bad behaviour.

The worst is moments. It's an entire tab dedicated to celebrity culture and left politics. If I wanted Buzzfeed I'd visit Buzzfeed.

I've spent so much time tweaking Twitter notifications and ultimately just had to turn them all off. It would be nice if they had one option for notifying me for @mentions and nothing else.

FWIW, that stuff doesn't appear in Notifications on https://tweetdeck.twitter.com (on PC - never tried mobile for Twitter)

Thanks. I didn't really use Twitter personally much any way.

I do somewhat need to use it as a way to communicate with users for an OSS project (eg not a personal account), but that's still limited to maybe once a day at most. Not worth installing a client program for that.

It's just a webapp, like twitter.com . Only, it has support for columns, lists, etc. built-in.

This is why I still use a third party Twitter client (Talon in my case) - it never added any of that stuff, still shows just the timeline.

I just turned everything off except for badges on some apps. Use your phone how you want to, not how Facebook wants you to.

At this point I don't know why anybody would have the Facebook app installed. You can't even read messages on it.

But yeah notifications in general needs a strong enforcement from Google if we don't have to turn them off completely.

Facebook's mobile site pushes "Facebook Lite" so much, there's no way I'm installing it. It clearly has more tracking built in than they can do with the website.

Try mbasic.facebook.com

Indeed that is my goto, but that is not the app.

I switched to a Pixel 2 from iPhone a few months ago, and have generally been very happy. At first, though, I would get to the train station and get a notification like "There is a McDonalds 500 Feet Away! Could you review it for us?" Or Starbucks. What the hell? It was some "feature" in Google Maps I guess trying to crowdsource some goddamn thing for "My Places". I had to go through all of the google apps and disable a TON of notifications, tracking, etc.

If you are on iOS, I recommend scheduling Do Not Disturb at night.

I agree this is great and I use it on Android, but it is not a good solution to the spammy notification problem.

Apps get one chance. One instance of spam and they are banned from ever notifying again.

>Apps get one chance. One instance of spam and they are banned from ever notifying again.

I've been following this rule for over a year now and am down to very few apps that have any notification permissions these days. Maybe 5-10 of the near 30 apps on my phone are still allowed my attention.

> Apps get one chance.

I go even stricter. Unless it’s a messaging app it goes silent straight off.

That said apple notification center is doing a bad job at exposing app setting. I’ve forgot some app at vibrate only and it’s just too much hassle to go find it so every now and then the phone vibrates and I’ve no clue why.

The reason I am not as strict as you is that sometimes (rarely) apps surprise with useful notifications. Example: streaming apps like Netflix showing a notification while playing to a Chromecast.

Android also has very flexible Do Not Disturb settings.

Hey xiphias (sibling comment), I can't reply to you directly since your comment shows as [dead]. It seems you've been hellbanned for more than three months, and nothing in your recent comment history suggests any bad behaviour.

If you happen to read this, I suggest you email the HN mods and demand them to tell you why they have been tricking you to waste your time writing perfectly good comments that they have set to be invisible to a large portion of the userbase, for more than three months.

FFS I can't believe they're still doing this hellbanning shit on HN. Just set an account to "scream into the void indefinitely" and forget about it. The admins are otherwise quite reasonable so I can't fathom how they're actually okay with this.

FWIW, I clicked "vouch". AFAIK this sends a message to the admins to reconsider the hellban. But now I wonder what it actually does, cause I can't imagine nobody but me clicked that for all of three months.

I switched to FaceSlim App on android a few years ago (when the messenger app switch happened) and am glad I did. I don't need the notifications going off all the time, the constant tracking etc.

When that happens, I will finally be more productive with my life and stop using Reddit. I already hate how much of a walled-garden Facebook is; it would be a shame for Reddit to go in that direction (wrt third party apps)

I do feel vastly more productive with my life without Reddit. Conversations on HN - I feel an odd kind of inclusion I never felt on Reddit, or many other places in real life, internet. More signal than noise, makes it easier for me to feel like I have focus. The design of HN also, I appreciate, seems more thought went into planning the vote system, different ways to think about communities, different values.

Knowing only the individual can see their upvotes for an individual post makes the question - is there a difference between 30 upvotes and 2, if the rank of that post is 1? Which I find simply to be, intellectually resonant (or simulating) in the way Reddit, even Google - used to be. Those places have become so noisy, which is ironic, but that's the problem with success. The problem of finding a metric to measure the thing against.

I think attributing the difference between HN and Reddit to design choices is inaccurate.

The biggest difference is that HN has only a tiny fraction of the number of users that Reddit does. HN feels pretty similar to the way Reddit felt ten years ago when it was much less popular.

Eh, HN feels the same way HN felt ten years ago. I don't have the same feelings about Reddit. The only difference to me is there's actually some subtle sort of connection I feel here, that goes deeper than the number of upvotes. Maybe I'm selecting my own bubble to exist in, but here I feel like I can at least have doubt over that. Design choices, hacker philosophy, actual usage demonstrated practically - that all lines up from my perspective.


Interesting article I suggest reading.

I agree with TheCoelacanth that an increase in users will lead to a decrease in quality.

I've had some time to digest this article, so here are my thoughts on it.

There are always going to be lots of people on the internet, lots of voices, hence, ranking algorithms. But I've been trying to find a place where the ranking algorithm doesn't get so much in the way of having a conversation. This is how I grew up watching my father interact on Usenet, and my father as a consequence had very interesting, philosophical conversations with me.

So I see these places as places that are intrinsically valuable to continuing dialogue and personal identity. There's a lot of noise out there and I'd imagine it's no different than any other social sphere.

This article is very cynical and very "I'm in the in group, I'm more smarter, I'm more analytical, I 'get it' - not you" which doesn't have to be the way people see it. That's a divisive mentality, and nothing good grows from communities that attack it's own members, predicated on the belief that that's a necessary behavioral function of the community in order to keep the community 'pure'.

Hacker News, at least from my perspective, is built with a design philosophy that is 'aware' of it's value system. The mere fact that you can scroll through all the comments in one list, this is the hacker mentality. It keeps information opened in various ways to be examined by the user, and that's what hackers do. They say "look, isn't this neat? do you want to see how neat it is the way I do" - and then they give you the thing to tinker with, and let you tinker with it. There's no heavy opinion involved, there's no extreme stratification between paradigms and people, there's no need to completely close yourself off from thinking about things differently, because you just move on from one thing to tinker with, and then you move on to the next when you want to learn more. Articles do get posted that are "Do this, NOT that!" but there's typically a dialogue that goes beyond that and is connective, rather than cyclical in a fundamentally socially disconnected way.

Honestly if people don't see themselves in the format HN presents I think they will get bored. I'd rather bore people with technical specs than adopt sociopathic traits and adhere to ideas like 'it's okay to be evil if that's what they are going to do'.

There's stuff that becomes cyclical and there's stuff that cuts the problem off at the head. It's easy to get in a routine where one sees that pattern everywhere automatically. That's an artifact of the past. But if you set yourself on auto-pilot, eventually you set yourself up for engaging in 'future prediction'. And you might find yourself treating others in a particular way, that is completely disengaged from the actual reality of reality - each conversation. The map is not the territory, and so on.

> HN feels the same way HN felt ten years ago.

Not my experience at all. In fact if anything I'd say HN today feels the way Reddit felt ten years ago.

Honestly, I felt that way for a day or a week maybe, but

1. I got off Reddit

2. I saw that that had changed my conversation style

3. I appreciated that I had matured in a way I could notice, without it having to be pointed out to me, or rewarded with upvotes

Have you tried leaving modern-day HN? It might have the same effect.

(I'm not denying that today's Reddit is quite different from HN if that's what you're trying to say)

I have work and my family besides HN. I'm a software developer, and I study a lot of computer science and mathematics for fun. Things get weirdly mathematical in an information flow sense when you close your communication bubble too tightly.

So yes, I have left HN multiple times. I find reasons to come back to it, I find reasons to appreciate it.

I agree, but suspect it's also not true.

I couldn't check Wayback machine for 10 years ago, but Reddit 2002 is not as good or like HN.

It's possible to de-noise Reddit if you're picky about your subscriptions and avoid /r/all. Reddit is actually quite useful for me because of that.

Possible to an extent. I'm also picky about my subs and I find Reddit a lot better than its public perception would suggest, but some of my interests are still apparently impossible to indulge on Reddit without trading off between a frequently toxic community or dead subs. And I've seen the transition from latter to former happen too many times; alt subreddits like /r/Games used to be wonderful, but now tips into an /r/gaming sensibility more than I'd like. Don't get me wrong, this isn't always the case, but I think it's difficult for subreddits to adhere to community guidelines like HN contributors do because going from obscure to critical mass can happen so rapidly.

I was about to type out the comment "I bet most mobile users use third party apps, that would kill them". But then I remembered that same comment surely was typed many times when Twitter announced the same.

If RES goes, so do I. It makes reddit bearable for me.

Reddit Enhancement Suite


Sync is my android choice (they have an ios beta also). Keeps it very clean and simple. If they stop third party apps i will definitely look for alternative communities. The desktop reminders to switch to the new (awful) version are bad enough

Come on, that's clearly not a fake loading screen. I would have thought people here would know better.

It just failed to load that time (it happens) and they've screwed up the refresh somehow (probably a bug).

I'm surprised that's their only problem with the mobile site. I purposely do not follow Reddit links because they show me a spinner for 7 seconds before showing the text of self posts. I can only assume that this delay to show a kilobyte of text is purposeful and meant to further steer users to the app, and not simply gross engineering incompetence, since the desktop site loads instantly.

(Though, thank you to the OP for posting an explicit desktop link so I didn't have to suffer this pause.)

At least AMP seems mostly dead. Though between cookie notices, "use our app" and "subscribe to our mailing list" popups, fixed navbars, and the damn on-screen keyboard popping up for no reason, I'm lucky to see even a single line of article text on some sites on mobile, though which line it is changes every few seconds as ads on invisible parts of the page pop into and out of existence. And then the article is shitty modern "long-form" journalism that doesn't get to the point until after 10 paragraphs describing the latte the reporter had while giving the interview. I've had better experiences reading click-bait slideshow articles than those from some so-called "professional" outlets. God I hate the modern web. Get off my lawn.

Ironically the mobile site is a full single page app, while the desktop site (or at least the old one) was mostly server rendered. It's not impossible to create a fast mobile client rendered site (Twitter have done well) but it's certainly not as easy as it is with plain old HTML.

The Reddit .compact view is great, and should be how mobile sites work. All server render, and a tiny bit of interactivity. It's miles better than the real mobile view.

Try it yourself at : reddit.com/.compact

The only thing wrong is the font size, should be at least 16px for better readability and usability.

try setting your browser's native font size to medium or large. It will fix up most sites' font sizes if you have issue viewing (sometimes, at the cost of bad scrolling if the site isn't doing content flowing properly).

The new desktop site sucks too. The old one was great, information dense, no bullshit.

You can still get the old one at http://old.reddit.com

Didn't cause my laptop fans to spin up.

Funny that you cite Twitter here. Their mobile site tells me I'm rate limited half the time I land on it.

I figured this would get fixed one day... But still, links are sending me to a "you're rate limited" page easily over 50% of page loads.

The fix is to switch the browser to "Desktop Mode" (i.e. make it advertise a desktop User-Agent). That redirects you to the desktop site, which is never ratelimited. I wonder why. cough

(Note: I do this with Firefox for Android. No idea if other mobile browsers have a similar "Desktop Mode" feature.)

Twitter is the other major "use our app" and "please register to continue" abuser. The mobile website shows trimmed comments and the original post that cannot even be followed or scrolled through without a forced register-wall appearing.

Yeah, the operating assuptions of client side rendering seem to be that server-side CPU is expensive while network bandwidth and latency are cheap and the client has a fast CPU which it isn't using. I do wonder how it ever took off.

You don't pay a dime for the amount of client's CPU you use

Depends on whether it makes the site unusable, because that will make you lose customers

Seeing less well off people making do with low quality android phones, I'm not convinced that actually is a thing that happens.

I can only assume that this delay to show a kilobyte of text is purposeful and meant to further steer users to the app

Many sites do this with GDPR opt-outs, which ironically are non compliant on multiple accounts.

Forbes literally shows a loading spinner for _minutes_ if you try to opt out, and when it finally completes, you're sent to an empty page asking you to opt back in to tracking.

I used to occasionally read stuff there when an interesting-sounding article was posted to HN, but I'm not visiting that page ever again.

I realised the irony as I submitted that,but honestly, it's how I browse Reddit, what little I do of that any more.

I'm thankful for their new design, actually. After many years of trying, I have now managed to successfully kick my Reddit habit completely and have gained precious hours in my day.

I've been trying to pin down _why_ I've had the same reaction as you, but I really can't put my finger on it.

Something about the new site just somehow puts me off. While I could mindlessly browse the old site endlessly, something about the new actively makes me want to close the tab.

Either way, a good thing.

The new design made me leave as well, it had been s long time coming though. Most discussions are dumb, I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation on reddit where I wasn’t the most knowledgeable person in the thread, and that’s just a waste of time.

It’s not that people are stupid, sometimes you’re simply talking to a teenager with no life experience. Often it is because people are kind of stupid. My national (r/Denmark) subreddit has devolved into a vile place for instance, I’d compare it to t_d, it’s the best “quick” comparison there is, but it’s obviously not as bad, at least not yet.

I think /r/space is the only major subreddit that I don’t dislike, and most of the smaller ones have been abandoned.

The new design being horrible was just what tipped the iceberg.

I agree, the redesign isn't great but that's not what killed it for me. The same discussions will keep happening there with no changes. I've had the same thoughts as you about discussing with teenagers.

/r/Australia isn't particularly racist or astroturfed but there is still a lot of times I'm amazed at what gets upvoted. /r/bjj is a good place for jiu jitsu content but the same stuff is posted across every network and the communities are so small we all know any news pretty quickly.

Maybe I just got older and care less about reading or discussing the same topics all the time. I've had the same trouble with Facebook recently where so many lies fill any comment section.

You would have seen that stat about Australians spending more time on Reddit than Facebook or Porn recently, right? That's why /r/Australia is bad now - it went and got popular.

This cycle of social networks starting lesser known but higher quality and ending popular but rubbish is inevitable because the bottom 25% of users have far more capability to drag a social network into the dirt than the top 25% could ever drag it back up.

r/worldnews is the best example of Reddit's degradation. Thousands upon thousands of comments with no real insight but the same memes and pop culture quotes.


I see your point, but I’m not sure how else to describe it.

Every time I visit HN I read something interesting. I can’t remember the last time I read something that interested me on Reddit, outside of /r/space.

I mean, I know it sounded arrogant to say I was the most knowledgeable, it simply happens to be true, but it only applies to Reddit. It’s extremely rare that I feel like that anywhere else, even Facebook is much better in that regard.

Maybe I’m just using Reddit wrong, but it hasn’t always been like this either.

I agree with you. Most discussions I see on reddit are dumb. Maybe it's because it's popularity means more uneducated people are going to the site, resulting in lower quality of discussion. Also anonymity means people aren't as afraid to sound dumb in their comments compared to facebook. I see better discussion on facebook probably because most of my friends have gone through higher education.

I think what it is is that we associate the old design with good times. We associate it with those deep, late night discussions about something esoteric from back when reddit was a smaller but more knowledgable community. Like any social site, as it grows the average quality decreases. Today reddit is the #10 most popular site worldwide, and largely the discussions are bandwagony / low effort. For me when I see the site under the new design, I don't see any of the nostalgia I have associated with it from a decade of use. I just see all the stuff I dislike about what the site has become.

This cannot be all of it. I've never been a Reddit user besides the occasional research e.g. in the wiki of /r/BuildAPC. But even I am put off by the new design. Possible explanations:

1. It looks like a mobile app. I hate most of the mobile ecosystem for its horrible information density and dark UI patterns.

2. You cannot find shit. The only way to open a subreddit's wiki in the new UI is to append "/wiki" to the URL, from what I can tell.

3. It looks like a social network (i.e. a waste of time) and less like a forum/message board (i.e. a productive community).

According to "view document size" from my firefox "web developer extension":

  www.reddit.com: 4285 kb
  old.reddit.com: 1888 kb
  i.reddit.com:   802  kb
Im not 100% confident those stats are really getting everything on the page but it seems about right. Anyway, perhaps you are sensing that the junk/cruft to content ratio is rising.

Assuming 5 kWh per GB of data[1], and 14 billion reddit pageviews per month [2]

  # i.reddit.com
  5 kWh/GB x 1e-6 GB/KB x x 1e-9 TWh/kWh x 802 KB/view x 14e9 views/month x 12 months/year
  = 0.67 TWh/year

  # old.reddit.com
  = 1.6 TWh/year

  # www.reddit.com
  = 3.6 TWh/year
So about 3 TWh extra electricity is being used each year. This is about the total used each year by Papua New Guinea, which is ranked 133/219 in electricity consumption by country.[3]

And for what? What did we gain from this?

[1] https://aceee.org/files/proceedings/2012/data/papers/0193-00...

[2] https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/reddit-stats/

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electrici...

I think it's because in the new design, you do not get to choose which content to view or click on. All images are auto-expanded, leaving you with a fb-like feed rather than suggested content you can choose to dive into.

1. I can't log in on the new site. If I log out on the new one I get a weird error logging in.

2. Everything is clickable. On a crappy touch pad I misclick so much stuff.

3. Resource usage. I bought a lighter laptop. It sacred me actually because embedded YouTube was lagging on the new site. This was even worse because everything is ckickable problem.

4. It took a lot of clicks to see a content. There might be an expand / collapse but I had a hard time finding it consistently.

When I've scrolled down for a while and realized I haven't reached the end of the page I kind of get disgusted then close the site.

You see more content at once on the old site (same as on HN). You know that there is always something interesting coming up.

I've also been using a lot less of reddit. All reddit and most sites for that matter need to do is be responsive to screen size. And do away with dedicated apps.

I've been wondering the same thing. For me, I think the new site feels slightly sluggish and the design and/or implementation feels clunky. I switched back to classic though so no productivity gains for me.

Indeed, the new site is extremely sluggish (for what it is).

It's because posts load in a modal. Only the front page is actually full screen. You don't want to go deep as much.

Same here, although I left because of the massive increase in censorship and gentrification right before the big redesign.

I actually switched to Hackernews and forced myself to read at least two paragraphs of any article before I read the comments. I’ve learned so much more from this website and wasted so much less time. I’ve went from several hours a day on reddit to about 30 minutes on HN on various times on the toilet everyday.

Yes- I recently realized I was wasting several hours of my life per week on Reddit. This new redesign helped me kick that habbit. Hurrah- time to get in shape and learn Polish!!

> I'm thankful for their new design, actually.

After having to click "visit old reddit" a few times, I just got sick of it.

> After many years of trying, I have now managed to successfully kick my Reddit habit completely and have gained precious hours in my day.

It stopped being fun. Reddit has turned into the infowars of the left. It's just spiteful and angry leftist politics 24/7. I suppose it was inevitable when reddit sold itself to a news media company, but still sad to see reddit die a slow and painful death. Was once a great site for open ideas, discussions and jokes.

> It's just spiteful and angry leftist politics 24/7.

Unless you're specifically visiting r/politics, r/latestagecapitalism, r/socialism, or similar subreddits, this just isn't true.

It’s infowars on both sides. /r/anarchycringe vs /r/latestagecapitalism

Yeah - the redesign had a fantastic feature that it wouldn't let me log in successfully, so I'm gone now.

Similar issue for me, redesign kept logging me out over and over again

Same here! After repeatedly getting redirected to an app and mobile version of their site, i began asking myself why i put up with this on Reddit and not elsewhere.

Hi Kirubakaran,

I don't know if you'll see this comment because the thread is off the front page, but I came back to thank you. Your comment set off a lightbulb in my head and really helped me make a positive change to my life. I'd been wallowing in a major (3+ hours a night) reddit addiction and my productivity was way, way down and I wasn't accomplishing stuff I wanted to do (learn another language, work out, clean the house...) because of it. I also HATE the redesign (so ugly, so spaced out, way less "sticky" to me as a user because what I really love about reddit is the discussion subreddits and the conversations. I'd always been turning the "new reddit" off and using old reddit view. When I saw your comment above, it was like an epiphany. A-ha! Just leave the ugly terrible redesign activated on all the time!!

I am so thankful I saw that- I changed all my reddits to the new design and successfully accomplished a ton of stuff I'd been procrastinating on over the last few weeks.

Cheers and thanks so much for the great idea.

I hope no one tells you that you can turn of the new design then.

The app doesn't have ad blockers and they can spam notifications, hence the push.

Also I'm sure somewhere "mobile users" is a metric in a company valuation equation. Pinterest is the worst offender of a mobile app that doesn't need to exist since the web counterpart can do 100% of the job. This being a product that leveraged JavaScript in browser bookmarks to get "pins" without an app or extension.

When Reddit stopped allowing non-email-verified signups and conveniently locked everyone out who did have a non-email legacy account, the writing was on the wall. They didn't even have their own mobile app for years after the "mobile first" rhetoric and guess what... It still grew to the #3 website in the world.

>When Reddit stopped allowing non-email-verified signups and conveniently locked everyone out who did have a non-email legacy account, the writing was on the wall.

While I haven't verified it, I recently read a post that they didn't stop allowing email-less account creation, they did add a dark pattern around it. I believe it was someone like an email prompt and next button, but allowing the email field to remain empty.

You got it. Emails are still optional, but the sign up flow plays coy and makes you think it’s required. You can leave the email field blank if you’d like.

Mine can no longer log in and you cannot recover it without an email address. You cannot add an email after this happens. I've had multiple other real-life Reddit users with the same situation recently. The odds that all these passwords were compromised is nearly zero. None of the accounts have posted or done any activity since. This is circa 4 months.

Don’t forget that apps have access to more data on your phone than when accessed through the web site.

At this point I'm genuinely wondering if they're about to Digg themselves into a amusingly-recursive grave. All it would take is one great, open forum site to absorb the refugees from a terrible management mistep, and they're toast. Just like Digg.

The funny thing is that Reddit completely inadvertently killed one of the possible heirs in Voat. That site had potential to steal the traditional Reddit audience due to Reddit's mismanagement. However Reddit's crackdown on hate on the site caused a big exodus of problem users to Voat. The end result is that Voat is now a vile alt-right wasteland that presents no threat of stealing Reddit's mainstream audience.

That's like how some online games don't entirely ban cheat users but only match them with other cheaters, giving them a taste of their own medicine. There's a tipping point in the evolution of communities. When there are too many acting in an anti-social manner such that fun or business is impaired, people quit. If not addressed the community permanently declines.

There's a term of art in philosophy called universalizability (Kant). Basically, what would happen if everyone followed a principle or strategy. Locke spoke of the social contract - civilization is not compatible with unlimited individual freedom.

Reddit already has an interesting user sorting and self-selection process: sub-reddits. People can more easily congregate around common interests. They don't even have to buy a domain, learn HTML, or pay hosting bills. Which would seem to reduce flame wars. But this can result in groupthink and safe spaces for extreme views.

> universalizability

Just for those interested in philosophy but lacking knowledge of the subject, this is technically correct but not the complete picture. The term "universalizability" is informal and not precise in describing Kant's morality; it falls under his categorical imperative.[0] I suggest the entire linked SEP article for a more thorough discussion of the topic.

[0]: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/#CatHypImp

> That's like how some online games don't entirely ban cheat users but only match them with other cheaters

this sounds interesting and im not sure its common knowledge. does anyone have a source?

Steam games using VAC do not fully ban cheaters. They can still play on non-VAC servers. Of course, those tend to be scarce because no one wants to uncheck that feature when creating a server.

Xbox Live: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/07/microsoft-explains-xb... I've never owned an Xbox so I don't know how effective it was.

Oh wow. Last time I looked at voat was when gamergate was in full swing and voat had just started up. Most of the content was fairly similar to reddit, maybe with a slight alt-right bent.

Looking at the front page now, it's just turned into 4chan.

Agreed. When Reddit first started treating their mods with contempt, I swore off the place. I spent a fair while on Voat at that point and it was crude at times but there was still a lot of good content. I gave up on it after a while because toxic Reddit refugees turned it into such a cesspool.

There is actually another alternative which is quote good called https://tildes.net/

Right now it is very closely editorialized, but conversation level is at a good point.

How can one get an invite?

Why can't another site pop up? There was one last year with a 4(?) letter name I forget (Lyme or something?) but it failed and shut down because it's impossible to pay the server bills with only nontoxic content, apparently.

I think the core issue is that no site can just "fill the void" suddenly, or else it will immediately become a toxic cesspool as trolls take over immediately and scare off all potential users. These sites have to grow slowly and naturally, like Reddit did, or like Digg and Facebook did. The trickle of users needs to start slow and grow through slow word of mouth, not hype.

Reddit itself did grow massively with the Digg exodus, but that was after it had already grown into its own, it had a community behind it to begin with. There was no content void for trolls to fill up with crap. It only worked because Reddit had grown up naturally already.

If a site is hyped as "reddit competitor", it will fail, just like sites hyped as a "facebook competitor" or "twitter competitor". Hype is a horrible thing for any site that depends on user interaction and discussion.

You may be thinking of Imzy. IIRC, Imzy required you to sign in before you could see anything. That probably scared off a lot of potential users.

I like to think of Voat as 'redditified' 4chan.

> they're about to Digg themselves into a amusingly-recursive grave

"You'll get over it"

> All it would take is one great, open forum site to absorb the refugees from a terrible management mistep

This is fundamental risk to any business that depends on a social space. The best explanation of the mechanics that create this risk is Joe Peacock's talk[1] at NOTACON 8 about the time fark.com made the same mistake... and then poured gasoline on the fire with the infamous "You'll get over it" comment being the only publicly visible response by fark.com's management.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnVeysllPDI

As I recall, people got over it.

Most people got over it, but it's hard to estimate if people actually "got over it". Looking at the behavior of the people using the site afterwords probably doesn't include[1] the people that left. In Q&A at the end of the talk they mention that the incident caused a significant drop in paid-account revenue[2]. They eventually recovered, but the exodus was real for a while.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

[2] They also mentioned that some of the loudest people that left came back later under a different username. That's the lesson the talk is trying to explain: most people probably do like (or will eventually like) the benefits of the "new and improved" version, so involve them in the process and respect that they might just need some time to adapt. Forcing people to adapt immediately only associates the new version with a strongly negative experience.

> All it would take is one great, open forum site to absorb the refugees from a terrible management mistep

This is the goal of https://notabug.io it's a p2p fork of reddit based on GUNdb. Still very early; but my hope is that there will be enough interest in lifeboats that people will be interested in helping to construct one.

    notabug is a p2p link aggregator app that is:
        distributed: peers backup/serve content
        anonymous: but don't trust it to be
        immutable: edits are not supported
        votes are PoW *voting is CPU heavy*
Hmm, I don't think that's going to scale well

Any specific reason?

In practice it will tend towards federation for calculation of sorts/searches I expect.

I think the future of reddit, if it doesn't fix its UX problems, is not being usurped like Digg, but being chewed up by piranhas like Craigslist. There probably won't be a multidisciplinary full-on reddit "replacement", but a bunch of sites that manage to steal large fractions of the userbase. The "long tail" can't spin off a new site for every subreddit, but it can split into several smaller tails. StackExchange is the first and best example. Two categories that seem like they could be targeted by insurgents are games and localities. A lot of subreddits for certain cities and/or certain games are good, but it's an open secret that some games and/or places have absolutely terrible subreddits -- and reddit doesn't have much of a correction mechanism for that, save for the userbase getting fed up and establishing a new one (like when the creator of /r/marijuana started posting a bunch of racist drivel and everyone moved to /r/trees).

The big thing protecting reddit right now, IMO, is that /r/worldnews for all its faults is still a much less awful way to browse international news headlines than the vast majority of news sites. Sure, the headlines are editorialized and the comments are mostly trolls, but at least it won't crash your phone browser and it's not gonna interrupt your unhealthy obsession with foreign affairs to bring you someone else's unhealthy obsession with celebrity gossip. And for all the ads pimping the reddit app, just try to download a recipe from Cookstr or the Food Network or whatever and you'll soon be begging to see fake loading screens that ask you to download an iPhone app. (Serious Eats is good though.)

So it'll be a while.

Reddit is nice as a platform where lots of subforums exist. Going back to maintaining a bunch of logins in a bunch of forums, each with their own security setup, would be a hell of a headache for a lot of people.

The only other ubiquitous logins are Facebook and Google, and I trust neither of them to do Reddit's job better than Reddit does (which is, admittedly, not the highest bar.)

I was telling friends not so long ago that Reddit would NEVER redesign their webpage because of ehat happened to Digg. Then BOOM the redesign happened. Oh boy was I wrong.

HN did introduce a minifier [-] in the wrong side of the comments, but at least the rest is pretty much the same.

Anyone know, who owns the content on reddit? Could the mod/admin of a sub, export all conversations to another framework, or a federated one? Assuming there was an easy way to do so.

The poster.

> You retain the rights to your copyrighted content or information that you submit to reddit ("user content") except as described below.

> By submitting user content to reddit, you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide license to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, perform, or publicly display your user content in any medium and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, and to authorize others to do so.

> You agree that you have the right to submit anything you post, and that your user content does not violate the copyright, trademark, trade secret or any other personal or proprietary right of any other party.

The individual users retain the rights to their comments and posts and so on, Reddit just gets permission to display them.

So, a mod would probably have to gain permission from every user before federating, legally speaking.

Could build a system, that mirrors/pulls/aggregates all posts from reddit because anyone can pull those and use them via their api, and once a person 'connects' their account from reddit, it could import/transfer all comments over...for that one user... the key would be seemly duplicating all reddit, and moving their traffic to the federated version.

How does archive.org get away w/ archiving reddit pages and content?

You'd think their api would make it not possible to break the policy above, but you can grab comments/posts/etc json feeds without an api key, and agreeing to anything at all.

It says and 'to authorize others to do so too....' could that mean by 'others' anybody who accesses reddit endpoints via api? Or uses the .json feeds?

Archive.org uses the "archival library" argument of fair use.

The archival isn't the most interesting or useful part of it. It's the new posts.

For a while during the LJ/Dreamwidth transition there were people using apps to post on both, and Dreamwidth even let you follow arbitary RSS feeds so you could include reading public LJ through it. It still took a long time to transition most communities, until the Russian buyout and change of policies.

There are already multiple of these.

The most avid consumers of my own posts seem to bee reputation-farming robots at reddit clones, on Twitter, and the odd Wordpress blog.

Reddit publishes RSS feeds, and has a pretty robust API. The behaviour described is one consequence of these.

>All it would take is one great, open forum site to absorb the refugees from a terrible management mistep, and they're toast

I doubt it. Unlike Digg, Reddit has community lock-in. If your content is generic memes and videos and general-interest news articles, then you can switch without caring too much if everybody else follows right away.

But if you’re in a small city sub or the sub of some niche hobby or interest, then it matters a lot if everybody else agrees to move. You want to be where the other people are and it’s really hard to get an entire community to organize somewhere else. A site that can pull 20% of a small sub’s users isn’t 20% as good. It’s useless.

Lots of those subs are already migrating large chunks of community to Discord.

Discord is also a money burning VC funded company...

This is probably specific to your interests. I'm not a gamer. I've never heard Discord even mentioned in any of the subs I frequent.


I disagree. Reddit has done a good job of branching itself out across various diverse communities, and has been experimenting with geographical location based customization among other things which I feel should be enough of a buffer against going down Digg's path.

I see threads like this all the time, and they don't make sense.

Reddit is an ad company. It's not an effort to build you a nice website, it's a machine for taking your time and attention from you then selling it.

Asking Reddit to "please stop" grabbing at better attention hooks is like asking McDonald's to "please stop" raising prices.

The right way to say this is timeless: refuse to make the trade. If Reddit goes too far, close the tab. That, in bulk, is how you get a response.

Things don't always change for the better because you complain.

But things rarely change for the better when you don't complain.

Reddit is trying to build a community too, because otherwise they wouldn't have visitors. It's naive to think that speaking up never makes a difference.

History doesn’t support your comment. People have complained endlessly about ISPs, various video game mechanics, Google and Facebook tracking; no change, because the people complaining don’t leave. People generally don’t complain about ugly interfaces, stores far away, confusing calls to action; they constantly change and improve, because the people who hit these problems often leave.

When speaking up has made a difference, virtually every time, it was coupled with action, or it was speaking up to people who had no reason not to agree.

Reddit’s community is a means to an end, that’s my point. Asking for something that strengthens the community without harming ad views may be reasonable, but asking them to strengthen the community at the direct expense of the reason they want a community is nonsense.

Google and Facebook have done a Lot of things to mitigate privacy concerns. Both have decent controls, you can see your data, delete data, see apps that have access, etc.

Sure, privacy issues aren't solved, largely because people don't care, don't understand the tools, and marketing companies are ever more aggressive.

But to say that Google and Facebook have done nothing in the face of public outrage is wrong.

Rome wasn't built in day - things get better step by step - speaking up is often a good start.

We spoke up, and the EU is largely without software parents. It's easy to forget our victories in the face of all the upcoming battles.

Unless you actually manage to affect the behavior of other people by highlighting what Reddit is doing.

However, often people complain and do nothing, or complain and keep buying the company's product. (e.g. games with microtransactions)

How do other people using games with microtransactions, or using reddit, or watching TV with adverts, harm me?

They harm you by making this kind of behavior acceptable. You may not care about X (who might be spamming people to download an app even thought you've rejected over a hundred times), but suddenly Y (that you love) sees how successful X has become doing this sort of behavior and begin to engage in the same behavior because there's little to no backlash in doing so. This is especially a problem when it comes to privacy because the average person doesn't understand the current and future dangers of the information being collected, and you're often forced to use these evil services because that's where everybody else is.

This is a good question and I used to have this opinion. Then I noticed how I didn’t really like video games that much and that they largely all had microtransactions.

Sure there are a few, but creatives are limited and if the are making a game, they choose between designing for $50 for a complete experience or for $13/month for the rest of your life. These affect gameplay drastically.

So people liking microtransactions mean these games make more money, so they are made, so stories are worse, so my game play is affected.

I loved Mass Effect 1. The mind set of “why would I care if multiplayer charges for stuff?” led to the franchise sucking. And while there are other games to play, none as good as Mass Effect exist.

Among other things: they tend to dry up the options for other forms of content provision (or creator payment), such that they're the only game in town.

It's a Gresham's Law dynamic that's been observed at least as far back as the 1950s, see Dwight McDonald, "A Theory of Mass Culture", H.L. Mencken, "Bayard v. Lionheart", or Ben Bagdikian's The Media Monopoly.

There's also the wee slight problem that subversion of mass media by populist, demagogic, and/or fascist political movements is a distinct historical trend. See Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy, Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, or much of Hannah Arendt's work. This theme is also hit on by MacDonald, below.







how does opening a thread to gripe about those things harm anyone? but if it persuades enough people, they could collectively have the influence to make it better.

> Asking Reddit to "please stop" grabbing at better attention hooks is like asking McDonald's to "please stop" raising prices.

It's more like asking McDonald's to stop trying to sell / serve me a worse product that I didn't order, halfway through my order. And despite them knowing who I am, repeating this question every time. "Hi, I'd like two McMea- WOULD YOU LIKE A SALAD INSTEAD??"

If they are not making sufficient money on one of their products they should pull it, not try to irritate people into choosing something else.

Also McDonnalds are in fact sensitive to the "please stop raising prices" stuff. It's been their main USP for ages that they are cheaper than most of the competition.

> now it's a floating bar at the bottom when reading comments that for some reason I can't get rid of despite the x button

The x button works for me, but when I load an other page it reappears. So reddit wants me to dismiss the floating bar for every page I visit on the site.

I'm curious to learn about the thinking behind building out such dark patterns. Have the reddit employees tried using the site on mobile while logged out for extended periods of time? If the answer is yes, I would love to know how they justify building out such a feature. Is there pressure to grow the app installs metric? It sometimes feels like reddit is losing touch with the community.

There's another variation of the popup where the button to install the app is huge and the link to proceed to the mobile site is tiny. It's also pretty easy to accidentally click on the button to download the app. Here's an image : https://i.imgur.com/rSS8HoI.png

I mean they probably justify it with “the boss told me to do this, so I will because I live in San Francisco and my rent is $2500 a month and I want to keep my job”. It’s hard to make a stand when someone else will just do it.

In that case you have the wrong employer.

I wonder how they use the site. Or if they do. Or if they have some internal tool.

I find it hard to believe that no one prefers the old mobile site. That would be pretty weird that their designers and programmers have such odd tastes that they actually like the app or the Facebook style scroll.

It's kind of fascinating that seems like there is some kind of force that drives popular web sites to eventually self-sabotage themselves out of existence. Reddit seems to be having a good go at it now.

I sort of get how it happens but I can't quite understand how the level of stupidity required by management is achieved in practice to actually do it.

Create -> Monetize -> Expand -> Exploit -> Destroy

It's a common commercial lifecycle for all sorts of things. You make a new thing. You find a way to make money from the thing. You expand your market for the thing by filling a need and treating your customers well. At some point you want to cash out, and start burning your userbase to make extra money. Eventually this destroys the whole thing.

That's part of it. Another cause is that companies grow and get more employees and those employees need to justify their existence by changing things up. You don't get promoted for not fixing what aint broken.

This this this. That's why there are a million fly-by-night Craigslist competitors, and then there's Craigslist.

It works the same way it did in 1999, so my grandma can still sell stuff on it. That's it. Done. It's probably made way more money by not changing anything than by increasing CPMs 5% by playing a fullscreen ad every 6 seconds.

it's not common. most businesses do not wait years until they capriciously decide to make money. that's because most businesses are not funded by the silicon valley, it's float or die.

'Monetize' is the stage where they make money, and in normal companies it happens early and doesn't imply that customer service suffers. It's the 'Exploit' phase where the customer gets screwed if you let short-sighted people call the shots.

they need to make money

Its a disease caused by the unhealthy VC-funded growth model. When major websites don't care about advertising income, the advertisers are left to become scammier and scammier as smaller websites don't have the power to wield positive change for their users.

Finally, the needed re-branding/re-naming for the ambiguous "Dark Patterns" is "Asshole Design".


I'm okay with this, "Asshole Design" is an anti-euphemism calling things by its proper name.

Too many mobile sites do this now; there's a reason I keep declining to use the app... BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO.

The reason is irrelevant, and they don't ask for it anyways. They just keep badgering and badgering and badgering to try to figure out WHO YOU ARE and tag your phone info/MEID across the internet... Do you really think they can't connect that info?

LinkedIn is the worst example because they represent professionals, and doing this is about as unprofessional as you can get.

I hate it when it's something like Facebook, Twitter or Reddit asking me repeatedly to download their app but even worst is when it's some random website I'm visiting once! No, I don't want your app, random one-off recipe site!

come on! sign up to our newsletter before you even see the content. what about a feedback survey or two after 3 seconds of visiting our sites? Help us get better

Has there been any verification that Reddit is doing any sort of cross device tracking? Last I heard their ad platform was pretty bare bones, particularly on the tracking side.

I'm curious if they are selling anything to cookie onboarding and audience data vendors. Has anything been disclosed?

People are complaining about reddit here, but it applies equally to every other online company, especially bloody Medium!

It's the main reason I wish people would stop using Medium to host their blogs, because there's an uncloseable "open in app" button in the middle of the content.

Medium is ridiculous. only readable with reader mode.

The sad part is that the only reason people use Medium in the first place is because it started out as a place where you could guarantee the content would be readable and relatively nicely presented...

YES! Also the header and cookies bar that takes up to 25% of the screen space on my crappy phone.

I don't want your Cookies, dammit.

What made reddit so great is that it was an underfunded company. What will probably be its ruin is that it is now an overfunded company.

It should be run like a public service, for the benefit of society. It's now being run like a business with VCs that want to see a return. Exactly the problem that ruined Digg.

Trying to turn reddit into a big profitable business will corrupt it. Hopefully the replacement will be a more decentralized phenomenon. But even if not, it will be replaced by something better shortly after it becomes bad enough. What reddit was is too important to not exist.

Note the little grayed out "go to mobile site" link. It actually makes you believe it is a link. But it is not. It makes you think that if you click it will take you somewhere else, so you don't want to click and lose the current page. Dark pattern at it's best.

Came to comment on exactly this.

I used to click _CONTINUE_ because I'd already gone to the mobile site and just wanted to close the #$@%!$* pop-up. And would be taken to Play Store.

But as you point out, "take me to the mobile site" isn't actually a proper link. It makes me think I'll lose my current page, when I'm in fact already here. This is what should be named Continue, and the other should be "Get The Reddit App". Bastards.

It is really bad. Coincidentally I received an email from reddit today titled “Reddit ads are mobile ”

>Reddit’s official mobile apps have seen tremendous growth and are by far the most popular way to browse Reddit on mobile devices.

These days dark patterns are tremendous. This thread must be fake news.

And please go back to the old reddit, before the redesign. I can't stand it.

The redesign completely kills my 12-inch MacBook by freezing Safari’s UI for a good second or two while it’s loading all that shit JavaScript.

I can load actual apps faster than their content-focused website.

Reddit went all-in on React for a content-based site, a fool's errand you'd expect of novice web developers.

Same. I’m having similar although not nearly as bad issues with the new gmail.

However reddit is so bad that unless they improve the performance I’ll likely just stop using it

I use old.reddit.com for now but if they remove it I’ll just stop using the site. I only use it for procrastination anyway so not a big loss.

You can switch it off. And supposedly they will support the old design for a long time.

> supposedly they will support the old design for a long time

Just like supposedly they weren’t gonna do the user-hostile stuff described in this thread?


I like the new design a lot, everything is consistent and easier to read now. Opening links in a popover is nice (although a little laggy) because I don't lose my scroll position after closing the page, which eliminates needing the Reddit Enhancement Suite extension. The page is also responsive now, previously the side bar would restrict the comment area.

I hope you are aware that you can opt out of the redesign.

For now.

Yeah I am. But im not always logged in (such as on my work laptop), and the redesign blasts ads and is much less useable than the old design.

Install a redirector extension (https://github.com/tom-james-watson/old-reddit-redirect) to redirect reddit.com url to old.reddit.com

Oh hey thats a good idea, thank you!

Bah, just be an API endpoint and let everyone use their own client. The only value in Reddit is the centralization and organization of users and subreddits.

Where's the money in that?

I’d pay $1/year for that.

There isn’t, but there isn’t any in Reddit.com the website either.

You can use old.reddit.com

redesign in terms of looks or tech wise? I like the new design

They're pushing the native app hard because they want to serve you ads.

They serve tons of ads no matter the layout by vote manipulation of commercialized content. Literally the 3rd top post is a picture of a Big Mac.

They do that on the mobile website, so they clearly can do that without pushing the app.

Adblocking is less effective on apps, and there's greater data slurping potential.

I find that these addons make Reddit a little more tolerable:

SHINE for reddit -- https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/shine-reddit/...

Old Reddit Redirect -- https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/old-reddit-re...

But... on the whole I really hate the direction Reddit has gone in.

Apollo is fine, but I hate having to use a mobile app. And the mobile web experience is such shit. The fact that they push the app so hard makes me think they have loaded it with a crypto miner. Ha, well probably just location tracking or other data they can sell that they can't get from the web version.

And the redesign... man, it's just bad. It screams, "I'm going to load more ads on the page..." That has to be the real reason behind it, a design that allows them to have every 2nd item be an ad. Great... just want I wanted. Bastards.

I worry they'll soon crack down on Apollo and old.reddit.com and accessing the site through a non-crappy interface. Or they'll charge to have the "old" reddit view. Just really hate most of their decisions, not like it's amazing content anyway... but if I use it, I don't want to get bombarded with ads or have to load an app.

I’ve uninstalled almost all time-consuming apps I had (twitter, facebook, reddit, instagram, etc) and have disabled notification for the rest of em’ (messenger, whatsapp, etc.)

The good thing is that I’m spending way less time with my phone now. The OK thing is that websites like facebook and reddit are constantly reminding me to use the app. The bad thing is that my apps now remind me all the time that I’ve disabled notifications.

I exclusively use `i.reddit.com` on my phone so that I hit the old mobile site. It is amazing how much better it is than the slow and confusing piece of trash the new UI is.

I use reddit's "compact" theme on mobile: https://www.reddit.com/.compact

So far it's been a universally superior experience to the proper mobile site or the app.

Agree that,indeed,it makes my browsing faster, and no ads. https://i.reddit.com works as well!

Worse yet, they’ve bought into the amp scam—and don’t support collapsible threaded commenting there—so you have to get through it twice.

What pisses me off the most is how the big red "Continue" button takes you to the app store and the tiny "go to mobile site" link dismisses the message. NO! I already am on the mobile site, you I can not "go to it". And opening an app store isn't "Continuing". It's taking me to a completely different place and making me wish for BBSs to come back. What do they have to gain from this? I get Facebook pushing their data-hoovering app, but what is Reddit's reasoning? Especially when their web app is actually really good.

I am a big fan of Reddit, give them a few dollars every month. I just stopped reading reddit on my iPhone: I don’t like the mobile app and the mobile web. I use the desktop version on my iPad Pro and MacBook. I don;t need to read Reddit on my phone.

I really wish they would write a great mobile web app. I use Facebook once a week to catch up on family stuff, and go all mobile. I also use Twitter sometimes, always mobile.

I try to avoid other sites that try to force me to install an app. I can do without their content.

You can browse with reddit compact by simply adding .compact to the end of a URL. It's not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it's functional and really fast. Eg. https://www.reddit.com/.compact

There are great third party mobile apps for Reddit, like Sync for Reddit and many others too — give them a try!

Goes for every web service: I don't want your fucking app.

I hate this so much. Reddit also often fails to load (the something went wrong page) after already having loaded! Ie it shows the page for a second or two and then swaps to the error page. Refreshing fixes it. Reddit on mobile is a horrible experience but I don’t want to use their app. I just go on Reddit a lot less than I otherwise would because of it.

EDIT: I just learned that old.* goes to a non-js version that doesn’t have these problems! Yay!

I wonder what the conversion rate is for users who see the pop up for the 100th time.

And I still request desktop site. This is Digg 3.0

Quora seems to be on a similar path. Lately the mobile site launches a card directing users to the app store that can’t be dismissed.

It's all to make ad revenue feasible. Can't say I blame them.

I find it interesting that many web apps are so keen on getting users to download their very similar local app counterpart.

Let’s brainstorm a bit on why this is the case.

Does it just come down to ad blockers not being available for local apps? At least on iOS, access to e.g. notifications, address books, pictures etc. is optional. But maybe most users just answer “yes” when asked, and the reason local apps are preferred is because access to this stuff isn’t possible via web apps?

For some reason, I can't log into my Reddit account on the new design. I have to go back to old.reddit.com to log in.

Not that I'm complaining. The new design is just...weird?

This is actually one of the reasons why I prefer to comment on hackernews instead of reddit. If they keep pestering users about its ad-filled, personal information-collecting apps, people will probably stop using it and just leave. If they really care about reddit, they might make a browser plugin that edits the page and gets rid of all the annoyances.

I've actually completely stopped using Reddit since migrating to HN. The content is better, the comments are far better, and the overall user experience is massively superior.

If all you want to read is tech stuff, HN is a great replacement. If you participate in any of the smaller or narrow focus subreddits then there's no place on HN for that.

In my case that's mainly game-specific subs, and places like /r/paintball.

This could be solved with an addon. This dark pattern is here to stay it seems. Of course, this would require using a mobile browser that supports addons, which means Firefox for Android.

In the old days, it would have been a two lines userscripts, but since Greasemonkey was abandoned, there's no good alternative to do a portable (maybe webext-based) addon.

There is a filter list to remove "Download the something-something app" banners that show up on various websites.[0]

[0] https://github.com/DandelionSprout/adfilt/tree/master/stayin...

Kind of ironic how this immediately opens the Reddit app on iOS.

Edit: just saw post is about reddit. I had assumed it was about the practice in general, since it is not uncommon to open a website and immediately be redirected to the App Store for some random site, article, etc. medium is one that comes to mind. Imgur. It’s a common thing.

Not that ironic, since opening in apps is a user setting. You, at one point, said "yes" to opening reddit links in their associated app.

Oh... ::facepalm::

Does anyone notice that the conversion rate of reddit links drop much with the new UI? Before, the rate is about 70%, now it is 10%. For example, a reddit comment page shows 2000 views, but there are only 200 visits detected by yourself website backend stat software.

It seems designed to keep you from leaving the site. I’ve noticed on the desktop I have to go through extra steps to leave Reddit and actually follow the link. It’s frustrsting.

I switched off all notifications from all apps years ago. I'd rather be in a "pull" mode than a "push" mode especially when they push shit downstream. Now I only read what I'm interested in when I want and how I want.

"You'd think only one of those is a joke. I don't know anymore."


Sigh. Also these “accept cookirs” info box needs to stop. Every single visit!

mobile app installs growth must be a KPI for pitch decks / funding.

They should have bought Shine and called it a day. Amazing how poorly their new UI works compared to a Chrome extension.

I just close anything that asks me to log in or use an app. No big deal.

reddit.com -> hamburger menu -> request desktop site. I've done this so many times now it's basically all muscle memory at this point.

If only Reddit would honor the browser initiatied 'request desktop site'.

Its the same annoying thing with Quora too.

They are trying to IPO for once last chance at a cashout for their most recent investor/owner ( advanced publications ).


They aren't interested in user experience. They are interested in drumming up mobile #s in the short term to get the best valuation possible. Reddit, like most things on the internet, have turned away from their idealistic beginnings for the cold hard cash. Not that I blame them really.

I've been through situations like reddit is going through. I can guarantee you that they don't care 1 bit about user complaints at this stage. It's all about getting the metrics they need to the valuation they want. They don't care whether reddit survives or not over the long term. They don't care about user experience. It's all about the short term right now and cashing out as quickly as possible.

Think of it like trying to sell your car. You don't car about its long term prospects. You just want to spend as little money as possible to make it look as good as possible to make as much money off of it in the short term.

I interviewed there. It is not as dark as you put it. They admit they have certain problems with how they display ads, and how they draw in more people. They're acutely aware that they've yet to figure out a mature way to monetize the site without irritating the users. These are trials. Different teams come up different ideas and they want to try them out and see if it works out. Their CEO is very aware of criticisms like these.

> I interviewed there.

It's not really unheard of for an employer to paint a rosy picture for prospective employees...

So true. imo you generally don't become fully aware of the dark side of how the sausage is made at most jobs until at least 6-months in.

Sounds like bubblenomics.

Don't use the cellphone.

Because anything involve the cellphone is technically stupid.


Maybe so, but please don't post unsubstantive comments to HN.

Please stop forcing the old.reddit.com subdomain on us

That’s the only way to get to the normal reddit though. If you don’t add the “old.” to the link, then you end up in the dark pattern this post is complaining about.

(Apologies if I missed a joke there)

There is no old.reddit.com cabal.

if you have an account, you can disable the redesign.

For now, sure. I can't imagine it'll be available permanently.


I believe the threshold to be able to downvote is 500 karma. You'll also likely be down voted for commenting on downvotes, as it's against the guidelines:

> "Please don't comment about the voting on comments. It never does any good, and it makes boring reading."


As for your original comment, people may have misunderstood what you meant regarding the submitted url.

Obligatory xkcd https://xkcd.com/1174/

75 points in 20 minutes? How are there that many people browsing /newest?

Three votes came from /newest and the rest from the front page. The post obviously struck a nerve.

The response certainly surprised me.

High point velocity for an agreeable issue isn't too surprising. It's when there's a high point velocity for a marketing piece/bad thought piece that's suspicious.

People browsing /comments will also come to (and potentially vote on) new, active threads.

HN is completly flawn by marketing actions. This isn't new but it's now very bad...

If you have evidence of people successfully gaming HN with 'marketing actions', I'd like to see it at hn@ycombinator.com. We work hard to stop that, at least in its abusive forms such as ring-voting.

Abuse exists, of course, but people also imagine it onto everything they see on HN that they happen to dislike. Then they come to the comment threads to post unsubstantiated claims about it. That doesn't help.

Why would someone pay money to promote a complaint about reddit's redesign ?

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