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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).

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