In reality, upvote = I agree, downvote = I disagree.
However I don't think anything can save twitter from being a toxic platform.
What makes it especially toxic, I think, is its lack of separation of communities.
Reddit is toxic sometimes, but at least there is some separation: if you just want to talk about knitting, you can avoid the people talking about politics.
I think it's important to be able to have controversial debates in real life, as body language and audience response seems to keep people from being truly awful.
The Quakers have an interesting history of trying to facilitate such controversial debates. They have been involved in some contemporary ones too.
It's concerning to me, how much of real life discussion we have lost due to the pandemic.
- The post is factually right / wrong
- Confirms to the site rules / breaks the rules
- I agree / disagree
- I want to promote / bury this post
- Reward poster with XP / punish
I am usually very pragmatic and upvote a post when I want other people to read it (because I want to see the discussion, or because I want to spread the idea). I also upvote to reward the poster.
I don't tend to downvote factually wrong posts when they are still interesting, because that limits the chance they get good discussion, and because I don't want to punish somebody for Being Wrong On The Internet. I do downvote positions that I find bad in order to reduce their reach.
It would be probably possible to have a site that implements two dimensions as a cross (maybe only for users with a certain XP) although the UX might not be to great. Maybe it is a good idea to have "promote/bury" and "reward" buttons?
If you squint you could say the same about emoji reactions on Facebook and probably other platforms, this post got 5 :heart and 2 :scary reactions. They don't have a visible one for relevance but presumably the reactions feed into one behind the scenes.
I'm not sure any of these have been shown to be clearly superior to the Reddit/HN approach of a single up/down vote.
Social media needs counters that never stop going up, and buttons that are always available for people to reactivity click and express dis/approval.
Slashdot wanted a moderation system and they got one. The moderation points, categories, meta-moderation, comment filtering, it all shows someone was really thinking about what they system was trying to accomplish.
There was also Meta Moderation where you'd randomly get shown a handful of comments and votes on those comments and you would be asked to judge whether the votes were fair or not. Supposedly those votes would affect your likelihood to get tapped for moderation again.
It would only show one adjective, but the ordering was kind of funny. If someone moderates your comment as a troll but enough people marked it with positive votes, you'd get the coveted "+5 Troll" badge.
Ars Technica does something similar and it's a great addition to the overloaded upvote/downvote
Until then the process was that someone would submit a post, someone from the mod team would review (and, maybe edit it) and only then it got to the front page. This, in my opinion, allowed for better quality, despite some of the biases the mod team showed. The community was adamant that it should be in charge of what makes it to the front-page and in this regard Digg and reddit were doing it better, so Slashdot became less and less relevant.
I don’t find this to be the case at all. The amount of politics tolerated in each subreddit is almost entirely dependent on the personalities of the mods who run it. And for whatever reason, most Reddit mods tend to be activist friendly or at least look the other way when it comes to obvious soapbox accounts breaking the rules.
In my experience most subreddits choose to flair political posts rather than prohibit them.
Plus, my statement was about "heated political arguments", not a one-time statement from moderators which remains, to my understanding, rather rare. One thread about BLM doesn't deter me from visiting these subreddits.
I haven't spent any time there, so I'm genuinely curious: how does r/history avoid political arguments? Some people say that everything is inherently political, but history seems especially adjacent to politics
askhistorians is the best example I can think of. askscience close behind.
People I like in the world are unbearable on Twitter. I've unfollowed, muted and don't-show-me-their-retweets a good bunch of them.
If up and downvotes can work as feedback encouraging people to stop it with the "sigh" posts, or the rage-of-the-day posts, it could improve Twitter. If not, I'm not sure what could improve Twitter.
Ones that actually have a real interest group are more reasonable.
Users quickly learn that "we don't do that here", and stop.
Why, then, does the outrage porn rise to the top of the Reddit home page?
Because it measurably increases sales in a huge way right now.
To use a baseball analogy, how do you tell a juiced to the gills superstar that steroids are actually hurting their long-term outlook?
There’s no way to show Barry Bonds a future in which he’s shadow banned from the hall of fame and unmentionable even on his own teams broadcasts.
The change will come either with regulation or when a new, better system comes along and steals their users.
Besides, if our brains are designed to zoom in on certain signals, is it rational to expect technology to somehow prevent this?
Technology can mitigate it (by suppressing the signals, offsetting the effect) or exploit and exacerbate it. The former is often socially useful, but the latter is usually the path of least resistance to profits, and capitalism isn't a system whose incentives optimize for social utility.
But the solution is to find a subreddit that works the way you want it to.
r/offmychest vs r/trueoffmychest
r/gaming vs r/truegaming
r/movies vs r/truefilm
r/unpopularopinion vs r/trueunpopularopinion
On Reddit I see many comments, convincingly written, that are (imo) flatly wrong. These comments are potentially very harmful because they're persuading others of a falsehood. Am I supposed to upvote or downvote? (what I actually tend to do is not visit the site)
Downvoting a good-faith comment because you disagree with it does no one any favors. It creates a sense of persecution among those who disagree with you, while not actually providing any counter-argument for the benefit of the undecided. Leave the vote counts alone, make your own convincing argument.
And this is evil being done as good men stay silent.
There might indeed be many that are not so petulant that they would downvote an otherwise non rule-breaking comment they disagree with, but few of them will find themselves upvoting something they disagree with either, and there will still be some that downvote it.
Thus, an unpopular opinion that otherwise contributes will eventually be downvoted for not receiving enough upvotes.
Subjectivity and truthiness are opposed.
* If the question is "who is the current world chess champion" the answer is Magnus Carlson.
* If the question is "who is the greatest chess player of all time," there are a number of contradictory opinions.
"Bobby Fischer" is a low-quality answer. "Bobby Fischer because XYZ" is a high-quality answer, even if I don't agree.
Unfortunately that's rarely the case. More often three of their last four comments contain racial slurs and misspellings of two-letter words, which doesn't instill a huge amount of confidence that they know what they're talking about.
Together it allows majority vote to simply take control of a comment page, and first rule of online voting is it’s always manipulated.
You know where that goes. You will end up with a self driving system that represents the richest guy there, with little control input necessary, into the walls.
> In reality, upvote = I agree, downvote = I disagree.
Maybe Twitter should go all the way back to the Slashdot model, and let people vote up and down on "insightful", "funny", "normal", "offtopic", "redundant", "interesting", or "troll", etc.
Up/Down : Agree/Disagree
Left/Right : Makes the discussion go backward/forward
This way you could express disagreement while acknowledging that the point is interesting, or like a joke without having it drown a conversation
This sort of works, but it also disproportionately empowers psychopaths who are not vulnerable to social moderation and in fact can abuse it against other people.
The people who are good at winning debates in real life mostly constitute the politician class, who are A) usually pretty psychopathic B) seemingly pretty unconstrained by moral censure.
The internet is cool because it kind of makes everyone into a psychopath (because there’s no emotional connection), so actual psychopathic political types don’t have any advantage over normal people.
It would be better if you could create a community where no one was a psychopath but I’m not sure this is possible at scale, or even at all.
Unfortunately there seem to be less places like this now.
Interesting that you say this because Reddit users will tell you that this is a problem in itself since it creates echo chambers that validate the viewpoints you already hold.
That's the HN theory. The twitter theory is that dislikes, like likes and every other behavior on the site is a signal to feed into an engagement optimization algorithm.
Twitter has zero interest in conversation quality for its own sake, and every interest in optimizing audience size and engagement.
I feel its actually We agree, We disagree.
The points induce conformity as its now with likes and shares with every social media and in-spite of personal opinions most will stick with what the majority do.
This can be easily resolved by hiding the points and if it serves the purpose of validation then showing it to the owner alone, I've done so in the forum I run and has improved the quality of discussions.
But those point numbers are the bread and better of social media, Who will let go of those sweet dopamine triggers? Twitter cannot chase both conformity and quality of discussions. Reddit went from latter to now a half-baked social media, But still can produce some quality discussions because of the topic silo of subreddits.
I don't find Twitter any more or less toxic than any other platform, and it's because I'm free to participate in the communities I choose. If the people you follow are constantly talking politics, and that annoys you, why are you following them?
The one benefit of reddit is I can choose the subs I go on, the problem is there are still a lot of subs that are of a topic I would enjoy that end up getting toxic as well.
So i'm trying to find a balance, because reddit for example does give me a lot of my news in topics I love and it's great for finding stuff, like a good movie, book, youtube stuff etc, but then the downside is getting bigger and bigger each year.
I struggle to cut it out completely but I also struggle to find any tool that curates content in a good enough way. Everything is just noise and nonsense online with a small amount of good stuff, but very little that focuses on just giving you that.
Everything just needs clicks and attention, I want something that doesn't need that and just gives me the type of stuff I want, not on a schedule, but when there is actually something worthwhile to say.
Jack said in the infamous interview to Joe Rogan, that they have an explicit goal to mix communities to avoid echo-chambering of ideas and views. Not sure if what you mean is an accident or intended effect (IMO they do a bad job)
I really just think it comes down to Twitter being poorly run. I know Paul Singer made a run to have Dorsey replaced as CEO, but eventually backed off. They seem to lean into the divisiveness. It may be beneficial for short-term engagement but it essentially creates a negative emotional experience for customers. And that's going to come home to roost eventually.
The lists are less used than reddits subreddits but they function in a similar way.
Voting is free. flag something as bad that isn't and there are no consequences.
If a vote represented a stake of some kind, then there would be consequences in being wrong.
I'd bury specifics though so that the vote isn't (too) influenced. Maybe even random voting would work (every user must complete a "quota" of questions for comments they have read).
Ever since r/the_donald and the other white supremacy reddits, politics has spilled into pretty much every good subreddit, no matter how niche.
This isn't really why people are awful. The truth is people want something to say, but most of the time their actual opinions are kind of boring and mainstream. So they end up roleplaying as individuals who have some heinous opinion, and revel in the attention they receive.
Some people are awful in different ways, by supporting someone who is regarded as terrible for instance. Eventually, little cliques form, and toxicity brews.
I wrote about it here a little while back https://unlikekinds.com/article/trolls-and-consequences-what...
For a good mental health is imperative to avoid reddit, or at least just take part in tech/thinvs you love, but even there the neagtive and frustrated people will bring their issue there.
Some subreddits are/were highly toxic (e.g. the infamous r/incels). Some other are full of vulnerable life stories you won’t find anywhere else. People won’t post them on their public FB feeds; not everyone writes anonymous blogs. Any coverage of such topics by journalists (if the topic gets ever covered) is likely to focus on a handful of cases, be biased and heavily edited.
For an example from Reddit, see “Trans people of Reddit, what was something you weren’t expecting to be told, find out, or experience when going through your transition?” (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/4g1pgu/serious_t...).
Another subreddit with not so much majority view is CMV:
It is heart-warming (and mind-stimulating) to see people open to changing their minds. Compare and contrast with Twitter, where there are no enough characters to express a more nuanced argument. And views are usually pushed down one’s throat (if they ever leave a bubble).
I just love the idea that you can have a judgement free place to discuss things openly and get reasoned replies without being piled on.
Sometimes we hold views which are controversial, and it's great that we can had a non-adversarial discussion about those things.
The only downside is that the person asking to change their view might end up being right in the end, and that the view should not have been changed, but that's against the spirit of the subreddit.
It also has some minor problems of people asking to change their view but have no honest intention of doing so.
But regardless of that, I love that subreddit and I'm sure it wouldn't be possible without good moderation.
It would have been unclear and implicitly sound like I agree if I didn’t include that.
All the upvoted, visible views are the same trite repetition topics that have been done a thousand times before that are also about hot button political issues: more interesting apolitical C.M.V.'s are often downvoted for not being political enough. I've seen views about optiomality of certain cooking methods be downvoted there.
To make it clear, I know that the whole Reddit demographic is not representative.
However, each channel subreddit has a different demographic. Too much of a male perspective? Go to r/TwoXChromosomes/. Too libertarian or heteronormative? You can find your channels too.
I once posted my praise (and interactive exploration) of NSFW content (https://observablehq.com/@stared/tree-of-reddit-sex-life, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19640562). In short - I don't know any other place with that much openness to different body types, styles of grooming, etc.
I got into a real black hole of posting about politics on Reddit during lockdown, which as someone with fairly anti-authoritarian convictions couldn't have been timed more horrendously. Deleted all my accounts and it did wonders for my sanity.
I imagine you were fairly safe from death and rape threats, as happens frequently on Twitter, but you're right it's not a welcoming place for everyone, at least outside of certain subs.
Reddit is a particular demographic and mostly a particular philosophical lean.
And there are ways for users to be dicks without the extreme behaviour you get on Twitter. I'm sure it happens on Reddit too but it seems more managed.
That's what made me leave Reddit fundamentally, I wanted a debate rather than a conflict. I want people who'll tell me why I'm wrong, not people who'll call me an irredeemable piece of shit for not clicking my fingers and 100% agreeing with some philosophy neither of us really had an in-depth knowledge of. It's like internet debates (especially on Twitter) have adopted the old Calvinist notion of "total depravity" for the modern age. It's not even about being right, it's about other people being wrong and that'll make you an angry, bitter person if you're jumping headlong into that world for hours a day.
Different subreddits will have different majorities with different views, no?
> toxicity ... toxic towars other people
What does this mean? For example, if you are sitting inside your bubble and laughing at the outsiders, who don't even come to your bubble, is there any toxicity going on?
Different subreddits do have different majority views, yes, but the largest subreddits all pretty much have the same ones.
There have been some hard right subs, but most of the larger ones are banned now.
I find a lot of the mods of large subs are quite power hungry too, for example r/soccer. If someone breaks some news, linking good sources, correct post format etc. mods will regularly take the post down and repost it themselves or just leave their own posts up so they get the karma for it.
When I first joined that kind of thing bothered me, and I enjoyed getting internet points and actively tried to get karma. Now if I think something is funny or relevant I'll post it, but generally avoid big subs and stick to smaller niche ones about a certain topic, like a phone, programming language, football club, watch brand, cryptocurrency etc.
I can't even begin to express the emotion from the thought that someone may decide to erase a part of your life. This is what puts me off social networks in general.
For politics, I have no advice , probably try real life
Try telling any car sub that Toyotas can break or that Germany's automotive regulations are even slightly over-bearing and see where that gets you. No matter how narrowly you scope your dissent from the local norms the platform rewards everyone dog-piling onto the dissenter. There is simply no room for conversation on that platform and that drives out anyone who doesn't extremely align with whatever the local opinion on a given sub is so eventually all subs become filter bubbles almost completely dominated by one set of views and you basically can't have any meaningful exchange unless it's ten levels of comments deep where the masses won't see it and crap on it.
Still you need to find a subreddit with rules like:
- comments only on topic
- no personal attacks, only critique the content
- always provide sources when providing some information as a fact
- no lazy comments like me too, memes, jokes,
When you find such a subreddit then do a bit of work and report comments and threads that are breaking the rules and of-course respect the rules.
I wish HN would have such rules, you could have lazy comments, bad jokes, aggressive comments, information without a source removed.
On r/justrolledintotheshop, a fairly large mechanic and car enthusiast subreddit, those kind of discussions are commonplace. The mechanics will say "toyotas are usually reliable" and then also agree that they suffer from rust issues. You are being heavily hyperbolic or refusing to see counterexamples to your belief
I honestly think some people are just not used to get pushback on their ideas. Whether they are surrounded by like-minded individuals in real life or they just haven't ever shared their believes/thoughts much, I don't know. But I quite often see people shocked by encountering the concept that their ideas aren't perfect.
Couple that with the difficulty of reading intent and intensity in a written media and you get people that believe conversations are heavily skewed against them.
While reddit is actually left leaning in a more purely political view as well, I don’t find conservative viewpoints banned/discriminated against that are actually political, only those that are anti-people — which is welcome.
This is an almost natural consequence. The largest sub-groups start out with having most of the same people of the whole society. Then the minorities get turned off and leave to smaller sub-groups where they feel more welcome.
Then communities like r/AgainstHateSubreddits show up and try to get those subreddits banned for even the slightest infraction.
No, not really.
Ignoring standard left/right policy bickering points you are still going to catch a lot of hate on Reddit if you don't think people are fundamentally untrustworthy by default and that centralized authorities (be they governments, academia, professional organizations or BigCo) are fundamentally trustworthy and credible by default.
Offend upper middle class consumer sensibilities and you'll catch a whole lot of hate from that direction too.
It's hard for me to accept such a final "No" when there seems to be a sub for literally every viewpoint. However, I am willing to accept that those subs get brigaded and maybe that's what you're referring to?
This was the comment you were remarking on, and I have difficulty reconciling "No." with the reality of all the different subreddits available.
These places are echo chambners too you just don't realize it because you agree with the echo.
Go on I am the asshole and give even the slightest hint of approval for a parent that's parenting in a traditional manner (e.g. approving of a "my house my rules" attitude toward an older teenager) and you'll get all sorts of hate.
Go on idiots in cars and talk about how people can't be expect widespread compliance for asinine road signage (like a 55mph speed limit on an interstate highway designed and marked for a much higher speed) and you'll be inundated with "hurr durr the law is the law" types.
"It's a useless echo chamber" is the number one complaint I see about aita.
In life you're the only judge, as long as you're not doing anything which hurts another person you can do whatever you want. Say you only want to live in a city with fresh chocolate almond croissants. This is not subject to Reddit approval. The opinions of others, particularly random people should have absolutely no bearing on your life. But if you're chasing fake Reddit status, you can quickly lose sight of this.
The internet king of pluriformity and aggressive dissent still remains 4chan. A lack of identity does seem a good way to facilitate dissent.
Thankfully, I didn't have the wrong opinions. Another mod did, and there were threads calling for his resignation, for a change of mods. Of course, no one actually volunteered their own effort.
I don't go there much anymore.
I used to post waaaaay too much, but lost all interest in it because there are only downsides nowadays.
Arguably Reddit at least has niche communities which are small enough to avoid the problem of dogpiling and mass downvoting (except via brigading).
That's very much in the eye of the beholder. This isn't my first account (I abandoned my previous one a few years ago) and I chose the name for a good reason. The only good thing I can say is that my username does not seem to have had an effect on downvoting behavior.
There are plenty of communities on Reddit that are considerably smaller than HN and either have good moderation or are unknown enough to be able to do well without it. HN isn't special, or at least not any more special than the rest.
- Well-moderated subreddits are bubbles of locally higher quality
- Discussions on one subreddit stay contained within it - each subreddit is also a social bubble
On Twitter, there's no quality standards moderation, and Tweets spread along the social graph, not within bounded communities. You may be discussing a niche topic with a group of like-minded friends, but it takes one asshole in your, or your friends', follower list, for your tweet to suddenly gain attention with a larger group of assholes, who then are free to inject themselves into the conversation.
People also heavily use alts on Reddit, which I think makes them less self-conscious about conforming to standards of behavior, because if they are feeling a bit pissed off and aggro about something they can switch to a different alt and a different subreddit where they can vent and it's acceptable behavior. It's much more like the real world where different physical spaces allow outlets for different kinds of behavior, where you can be polite and deferential at work and then go home to your living room and tell your brother in law that your boss is a rat bastard and cheerfully cuss up a storm watching sports together.
Twitter seems to have a totalizing effect on people's personalities, I think because people realize there's only one context, and therefore only room for one version of themselves. They talk one way all the time. If someone I follow for software news and insight posts a beef Wellington recipe or talks about the whiskey they got for their birthday, they sound exactly like they do when they're talking about software. Real people don't act that way! You know if you only work with somebody then you only know a fraction of who they are, and you crave a glimpse behind the curtain. I think online communities where identities are intended to correspond to real people and there is no compartmentalization of space will always suffer from this totalizing effect, where a percentage of people, small but enough to poison things, choose the worst part of themselves to stand in for the rest of them.
There's nothing in Twitter that disallows nuance and deep take. The structure may somewhat discourage this, but this has long been overcome with "Tweet thread" pattern (also known as "Tweetstorm").
The problem is that there's nothing preventing shallow takes from becoming dominant. There's nothing forcing people to think before they tweet. Thoughtfulness is not the default steady state for humans, so without any external factor to prevent it, people just slide down the ladder of civilization. In on-line communities, that external factor is typically moderation (and secondarily, the social norms that build around the rules enforced by moderators).
> My personal view is bubbles are actually bad for discourse, make people intolerant.
Maybe opaque bubbles. But with subreddits, we're talking about transparent bubbles. Content there isn't hidden out of sight - it just doesn't automatically leak out to everyone on the platform.
As for intolerance, well... there's a reason why the phrase is "Twitter mob" and not "Reddit mob". The most intolerant people perform their acts of intolerance on the former. Outside of any bubbles.
The nuances of discourse are not in the size of the blobs of text you can throw in other people's faces and be done with it. They are in that it engages people to interactive in long thoughtful responses and build competing naratives.
You can make a tweetstorm but as soon as someone replies and adds another narative, it's impossible to follow. HN and reddit make this very easy.
> transparent bubbles
as opposed to what? Bubble are normally "transparent" anyway. People choose to not read/watch "the others", instead of being gatekeeped from alternative media. The leaking out is good for informing majoriry of the public who want to only stay in their bubbles.
It only becomes toxic when people feel compelled/manipulated to engage. I don't think twitter manipulates people with their recommendation. It's just the kind of message that twitter encourages are sentimental and more triggering, hence people can feel offended and could not simply not care sometimes.
> not "Reddit mob"
You go into one of the more opinionated subreddits and tell me how diverse and tolerant they are. I look up depression discussion on related subreddits all the times, most of the posts I see in those are people reinforcing victim mentality and hopelessness attitute to each other. Don't you dare to suggest them to fix their attitude
I am just so glad I am old enough to have been exposed to a wide variety of different opinions and ideas before this crack down on such.
Being exposed to bullshit ultimately hones your bullshit detector.
If you grow up on twitter it just seems to me you will be easy to fool. Like a person who lives in a bubble afraid of germs so their immune system is nothing.
So I think this empowers people to voice their shitty opinion without consequence.
I quit Twitter a few months back, and I've been a happier person since then. I'd joined because I heard it was the way to "do outreach" and "engage in the discussion" of my field on a daily basis. Really, it was just the less skilled people in my field advertising their politics to each other, while the more skilled people were off using their skills to accomplish real things. The skilled and knowledgeable people I wanted to hear and learn from were not spending their time twittering.
Also, as somebody else said here, the discussion takes place "on" your identity, as opposed to reddit where you have your identity and then go out to places to discuss.
I have separate accounts because my different interest belong to different bubbles, and I'm afraid they would outrage each other. Also, one is mostly for consumption and the other is mostly write-only.
(My ideal social network would have each user in full control of their identity page - a bit like MySpace or the old Facebook. And then you would be able to go and create pseudonymous subaccounts for discussions. The system would only show what you want to share, e.g. "this handle's main account is female, on the site for >3 years, and has ~5000 rep". This way you'd have anonymity but still some measure of trust.)
- It's tied to your real identity (and your real ego).
We all know that pure anonymity creates 4chan, but being associated with your personal identity means that every "engagement" on twitter feels a bit too personal. On both reddit and HN being pseudonymous means you still have some sort of reputation, but up and down votes are always about how a community interacts with your ideas, not you personally. Even worse than facebook, you're primarily being judged by people who don't even know you. This sets up every tweet to being a basis for being personally attacked by strangers.
- Short message length abolishes nuance. On both Reddit and HN the most successful posts are often long, nuanced and typically make several points to draw a conclusion. This is impossible on Twitter. You can't discuss the nuances and values of both R and Python for data science work, you can only make flippant, reactionary remarks.
- Might makes right. The follower system is horrendous for any kind of reasoned discussion. There a plenty of well known, adored people out there that make factually incorrect assertions but it doesn't matter if they have 100k followers, they win the war for engagement. Forget about cases where it's not see easy to establish factual correctness.
All of these combine to make an environment where to feel good about your self you are naturally driven to write flippant content that will attract more followers (so nothing too controversial for your audience, no having complex opinions, you should fit into an easy to market 'identity'). You can resist this, but this is what the platform has been designed to encourage. It's sad how many thoughtful people I've met on Twitter that inevitably get sucked into this trap and start shouting out engaging garbage so that they can continue feeding that cycle.
Despite my complaints about trends in the HN community, several small things help a lot:
- largely keeping pseudonymity
- Hiding up/down vote counts! It's quite possible for one opinion to have an order of magnitude more support than it's opposition but both idea can be near the top and no one knows.
- Giving all comments a temporary boost in the page position to give them eyeballs and a chance to be heard.
Making votes invisible is probably the single most brilliant thing HN has ever done to keep this community sane. You can see "people agree with/like my comment" without comparing yourself to everyone else.
For instance some trans friendly subreddits that's not primarily about trans people has been continuously raided for the past few months, where lots of people - exceeding the organic voting power of the subs population - downvote posts that feature trans topics in any capacity to make the posts effectively invisible. Then they started sending mass-DMs to further disincentive trans people from talking (I myself got a message from "youdontpass1488", not too hard to see the perpetrators political alignments there). Moderators have near-zero available tools to prevent this from happening, aside from going private which is not really the best option for various reasons.
While this practice is banned on reddit, coordination has just moved elsewhere.
The problem with the retweet feature: Person A starts talking about a topic and post a few tweets. Person B sees one specific tweet, retweet it (with or without comment). People who were following person A see the original tweets. People who were following person B see the reactions to the retweeted tweet, without the original context. Every time the discussion is split with two crowds isolated from each others and everything taken out of context.
The problem with the character limit: given that people link to or retweet a single tweet (120-240 characters I believe), that can only contain a very limited, and often dumb down, version of the actual message being communicated.
That's of course worse given their feed algorithm.
I'd argue reddit is more of an amplified hive mind of the communities that use the internet, of which some become toxic due to ineffective moderation policies or squelching of dissent.
The elephant in the room is that large subreddits tend to avoid deep analysis if it disagrees with the hive mind, and cross-brigading from smaller subreddits happens all the time. Add influence peddling by sovereign states to that.
Only if politically and economically convenient. I've seen people openly condoning torture and rape as long as they happen to unsympathetic victims. The subreddits fostering this behavior won't get banned unless it threatens reddit's advertising. In practice it means only politically incorrect communities get banned.
1. upvotes limited to +5.
2. votes categorized: funny, informative, insightful, etc.
3. number of votes limited per time frame and user karma.
4. meta-moderation: your votes (up/down both) were subject to voting (correct/incorrect). good score == more upvotes to spend.
and yet, simple trumps good. i was very happy to see parts of this implemented in steam reviews.
In my opinion the change was worth it. The positive effects are that it strongly discourages organised vote brigading, cheap "I disagree" downvotes, and shy upvotes supporting actual nasty comments. Of course, even if this were possible to implement on Reddit's backend, the sheer scale of votes in the thousands would probably make it unfeasible. However, it would be a very good way to tackle cross-subreddit vote brigading, and would for instance make /r/SubredditDrama's "Do not vote in linked threads" rule much easier to enforce, rather than relying on the honour system.
Doesn't this lead to a keynesian beauty contest situation where people are incentized to vote what they think other people would vote, rather than by their own honest assessment?
from what i recall from slashdot times, it worked really well.
Also for 'older' conversations you will tend to see a lot of +5's and a lot of -1s. But rarely anything in-between. That means it is harder to tell what rank a comment has in relation to another. So if you miss a story popping up and have a good point your 0/1 default moderation will have a tough time even being seen by some. I have seen the same topic take on radically different styles just depending on who posts early. Many topics can have this quality but it seems to happen to me more often with systems that have voting to me.
In practice most of these systems are agree/disagree systems. Trying to use that as some sort of barometer/filter of what the conversation is tough. It seems like it should work but in the end it is just 'internet points'.
5. most active users excluded from getting votes at all
There are many boards were ranking is simply decided by recent activity of replies. I find that DeviantArt has the ideal forum: a tree-based structure like Reddit, and H.N., and the top comment within a branch of the tree is simply the one which had the most recent reply to a child recursively, and any new replies always end up at the top.
This achieves two important goals:
1) visibility is dictated by activity and nothing more: a good comment is a comment that generates discussion
2) visibility is statistical in nature: less active trees still sometimes end up in the most visible spot, simply less often than more active trees
I dislike votes and the idea of “soft bans”: a comment is either against the rules, in which case it should be removed altogether and appropriate actions should be taken against the user, or it is within the rules and should not be “soft banned” by being faded out or something similar.
If the grey area be popular enough with the voters, then it will simply be upvoted. The post you replied to is downvoted. It is not in any grey area of guidelines; it is simply a post that two more people disagreed with than agreed with.
The way a lot of accounts increase their reach is by tweeting intentionally divisive or stupid things. Lots of people feel obligated to correct or speak out against these tweets but by doing so they are helping them reach an even bigger audience. That's one of the major reasons why Twitter has gotten so toxic: Stupid and divisive content creates more engagement and spreads faster. So users who just want to correct someone should have the option to do this without increasing the engagement metrics of that tweet and effectively spreading it even further.
I think users would be much more interested to only downvote, if they could.
The front page would only show items that were not downvoted. Of course if would also be possible to see which posts were the most downvoted.
In a few weeks the website would then introduce a ‘controversial’ or ‘worst’ sorting and ironic downvoting would become mainstream till the devs give in and treat the downvote as an upvote, or introduce both downvote and upvote (wherein imo they’d stand a chance of losing their userbase).
an intense sense of wanting to be involved
and a staggering lack of something to add
HN is kind of different in that downvoting as at least gated behind _something_, you cant just spin up an account and immediately downvote everything.
I don't know if r/popular is going to kill reddit but it's at least no longer interesting to me at all. It's similar to twitter in that it's mostly "outrage" with the addition of some random tiktok videos or current events like sporting sprinkled in.
You should see how much karma some people have when they finally get banned and reconsider your evaluation of that method's effectiveness. It's not difficult to grind 500 karma here, it's not a signal of anything but time spent.
Plenty of threads get flagged into oblivion because a couple of people objected to them, and several people have noticed every comment in their history getting voted down from time to time. Upranking posts by manipulation is difficult, downranking them is almost child's play.
What really offsets that isn't the karma cost for upvotes but the moderators' own manual tweaking of the knobs, sometimes correcting improper flags and changing the rankings, which can't really be gamed around.
And it doesn't change the fact I’ve posted.
One similar strategy would be how Reddit introduced a subreddit filter feature (which was previously only available in a 3rd party extension) to get metrics on which popular but disliked subreddit to quarantine. These majority disliked subreddits then got filtered from everyone's feed.
But it seemed like a waste to not read it. Once I started though, I quickly started to really enjoy the experience of reading a paper news paper. Aside from the tactile feel, and fresh smell there is joy in a completely uncurated experience. I'm reading things that are way out of the bounds of my normal filter bubble. I'm exposed to topics I never knew I found interesting. Life is duller when its completely curated.
A newspaper is the very definition of “completely curated”. There are entire, multiple positions devoted to the physical prioritization, and design and layout of content, including the precise wording of headlines that fit the space and gel with the surrounding context.
It’s why imho a newspaper is very much worth reading, because its production is so much less cost efficient than any website or social media
This was one of the reasons why I finally stopped using Twitter.
Have been thinking about polishing and releasing the service, but I'm not sure it is a convenience people would actually pay for?
You'd get shut down by Twitter as soon as it gains any traction, probably not a good idea.
By tagging and private comments you mean being able to take private notes about a particular tweet/video?
The YouTube platform is amazingly horrible (from an end user perspective) considering how valuable its content is, if you could implement something that can't be blocked somehow I think it could be a financially rewarding little business, there are lots of heavy users of YouTube.
I personally don't need a curated feed on twitter. Hopefully, they'll never deactivate the chronological one.
Of course this leads to the question: if voting has a cost, then how do people accumulate irrespective of themselves receiving a vote?
You could give everyone say, a fixed number of karma to begin with that could then be allocated. You can then give people more karma for successfully being a user without being flagged or receiving certain amounts of negative karma for a time period.
It's a shame there's not more experimentation here. This could lead to more interesting sort of dynamics. For example, if the #1 person believes something is being said that is really damaging in some way, they could put at stake the entirety of their karma and downvote it, which would pretty much obliterate the comment. Conversely, if someone is speaking a truth no one else is acknowledging someone with a lot of karma could sacrifice a good chunk to bring it right to the top.
We are building a P2P network with subjective moderation , so while we don’t know what works yet (we’re experimenting) I can at least tell you why we’ve found this is suboptimal. The issue is that this creates an even more direct USD/upvote market in which users are incentivised to the max to harvest as much karma as possible (with cat posts) and then sell them to the highest bidder, which would invariably be people who have a lot to gain from a certain piece of information being hidden. In essence, if you make karma spendable by more than one per post, you up it’s monetary value 100x, and given that even at 100x it’s worth so much more to PR teams and to not many else, all you will ever see is going to be propaganda on your platform’s front page.
The goal is to minimise the fraud load and make whatever fraud load you have applied against the strongest parts of your system. It’s like designing a castle except with incentives - it has to fail gracefully and still be functionally successful even in failure.
Arguably the common social media policy of not having your account tied to a unique identity needs to change. It permits all sorts of problematic incentives like you describe, and which lead to bot accounts and more.
Of course, your identity doesn't need to be disclosed in your profile for when anonymity is important.
weighting a vote by the "degree of separation" of the voter? (ie., friends count more)
hyperbolic discounting of karma acquisition
limiting the number of voters per item
new accounts can't vote until achived a network & karam status (eg., shares, by friends, are upvoted).
accounts which primarily upvote/downvote outside of their network are ignored
We call that user-selectability ‘subjective moderation’, but it’s basically a client-side compiler for a people-based raw data feed.
It is great as a poor man's analytics system, providing knowledge that at least someone read your comment, allowing you to evaluate if it is worth posting more or if your efforts are disappearing into the void. However, having both up and down seems redundant. The both provide the exact same information.
> however what is dumb is that neither has a cost.
If there is a cost then there will be reduced incentive to let you know that your comment was read, which reduces future engagement, which is not ideal for the platform.
I disagree. If a comment has 100 likes and 100 dislikes that clearly is different than a comment that has 200 likes or 200 dislikes. A new metric, controversiality is created when you look at both the total amount of likes and dislikes and the ratio between them given a comment. Depending on your inclination a comment with a high, equal number of likes and dislikes is perhaps more engaging than the same number of solely likes or dislikes.
> If there is a cost then there will be reduced incentive to let you know that your comment was read, which reduces future engagement, which is not ideal for the platform.
Depending on how it's implemented, this may or may not matter. For example you could allow people to like or dislike without limit, but after a certain amount (them exhausting their own karma) its effect changes, but regardless they can continue to do it.
Reddit already applied this at the aggregate scale: any individual comment can only cost you up to 100 karma and negative karma scores on user profiles are capped at -100.
That all said, how would these karma economy proposals interact with the fact that some subreddits are orders of magnitude less popular than others? Would it cost less to vote on items in small subreddits?
Would upvoting already highly-upvoted submissions be free (but do nothing on the back end) or would it be expensive as an encouragement that the community has already spoken and to spend your votes elsewhere? Would doing against community opinion be cheap (since more people agreeing the Earth is round doesn’t add much to the discussion) or would it be a pricey 10x vote?
Sorting by "controversy" has been an option on Reddit for a long time. Most people won't use this option, but it exists.
The formula is here: https://github.com/reddit-archive/reddit/blob/753b17407e9a9d...
There is no information provided by the button click other than that the button was clicked. Which button the user decides to choose may as well be considered arbitrary because onlookers have no way of ever determining the true intent unless the button presser also comments with their intent.
I find it curious that what was up/down has changed to like/dislike in your comment. Being able to see that someone read your comment is the reward provided by these 'karma' systems. Nobody wants to spend a slice of their life writing something that nobody will ever read. Finding readership is the goal and creating content with enough quality that someone wants to go out of their way to tell you that they read it is how you validate that you are accomplishing your goal. Either button can convey that information. With that, isn't 'dislike' logically no button press? If you truly dislike something, why do you want to reward the author?
It's very clear that absolute vote count is a meaningless number. The vote count depends on which side of the argument that the reader belongs to. The simpler side of the argument will therefore attract more upvotes.
What the writer of the comment ultimately cares about is how many people were against the writer's comment that is now for it. Or at the very least, a piece of the argument has pushed the Overton window for that individual so that if they continue reading that writer's post and those whom allegiance with them, they will flip. That must be a vanishingly small number of the votes. Votes don't give you that.
It's very clear from my perspective that randomdata's post was made in good faith. randomdata's argument is one of clarity from understanding this nuance. He doesn't go into this depth, but it's there. The only way that you make the argument that randomdata is making is after having comes to terms with the mechanics. As he has skipped showing this depth his comment is unable to bring those of which understand the simpler argument but don't understand his argument, and he is therefore down-voted for it.
The fact that it has taken me five paragraphs to explain this nuance and not even go into it myself is why Twitter can be such a nasty place, as you don't have five paragraphs.
I'm now making this post 12 hours later, right when the post is at the bottom of the frontpage is therefore about to fall off a cliff of readability. As I care about getting my message across, I'm in complete agreeance with randomdata's argument. (+200 / -200) is much more important to me than ( +3 / -4). It's very likely the only person who might read this at this point is randomdata, of which I am speaking to the choir and achieving no change of view.
Not only is "there is no info provided by which button was clicked" a really odd take when we humans explicitly assign semantic to up/down vote, this contradicts your other point, which is that "having your post read is the real reward," since there is no guarantee the post was read before voting.
What kind of semantic would that be? Using a real-world example, some of the comments I have made in this thread have had the up button pressed multiple times. Others the down button multiple times. There is no difference in the comments. The are all about the same subject, all written by me about that subject. There is no discernible explanation for the difference. All I know is that the buttons were pressed. There is no more information provided to me.
> this contradicts your other point, which is that "having your post read is the real reward," since there is no guarantee the post was read before voting.
How so? My "other point" (it is the same point) explicitly calls out that those guarantees are not made, using an accidental press as an example.
but it would to cool to see if any research could be done on stuff like seeing how different features (or lack of) lead to different communities and cultures on a site
Innovating means new patterns of interactions & ideas. This also means new forms of monetisation that might be required.
As an example all the previous FB & instagram ads became obsolete or useless once they introduced stories. Now, have to create better ad formats and subsequently take few quarters to fine tune the experience and pricing.
like I think something like "sustained high quality discussion" is good goal other spaces like HackerNews aim for
a: human and discrete
b: in good faith while of differing opinion still
This is not true. As long as social networks have a worldwide reach and a real-world significance, it'll be valuable to accumulate bots/minions to compose an aggregate person, representing some force or entity, and then use that brigade to direct discourse.
If it becomes expensive to do this, it takes the behavior out of the hands of small groups and reserves it for the most powerful and well-resourced actors.
The question to ask here is how expensive karma farming will be, and how easily can it be coordinated by outside forces in the absence of 'good faith, discrete, human actors'.
It is, but partly there's a good reason: it is really hard creating a system that is better, similarly convenient but also not more prone to abuse by bots and similar attempts to gain an advantage.
The more valuable karma gets for voting, the more worthwhile efforts to "farm" karma become. Ideally you want to maximise one thing and minimise the other but they are linked.
It's like with the recent case where a large-scale mining operation was discovered, but instead of cryptocurrency they used game consoles to farm currency for EA's FIFA game which can then be sold for real money because thanks to microtransactions and definitely-not-gambling-boxes it gained real value.
Logged-in users are occasionally asked to apply a few moderation points to comments, but are also subject to their moderation actions being reviewed in turn.
So a few users only have to band together and target one individual to limit their karma spend?