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comment by rezzeJ
rezzeJ  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski feature update kudos  ·  

I don't like it. I feel as though I should be able to remove as much as my presence as possible when I delete my account on a website. It's one thing that comments remain. Now usernames remain attached to them?

You may as well not have the delete account feature because at this point all it will do is just remove access to the account for the user in question.

mk  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's been rightly pointed out to me that it would be counter to my position that you own your content if we didn't allow for attribution to be removed.

This morning I was thinking of it from the perspective of a user that left, but wasn't determined to erase all history of interaction. It's my assumption that there are some.

I think the best way to do it would be a stepwise option. You can quit, your name gets a strike-through, or you can peace-out and your attribution is gone.

I'm not coding anything for the next couple of weeks as it is.

I should have given more thought to the matter before deciding anything. I'm sorry about that.

goobster  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·  

After reading everyone's comments, feedback, and use cases, I don't think you need to change a thing.

My reasoning behind username/content permanence was that people should be held responsible for what they say and do online, just as they would be in the real world. A "staged exit" like you propose would not dissuade the trolls from trolling, because they can still disclaim responsibility for their actions. It would only make a more complex system, with minimal practical utility.

goobster  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I hear ya... but honestly, if you aren't going to stand by your comments made anonymously on a web site, maybe you shouldn't be commenting at all...?

I mean... there are ZERO requirements setting up your username here, and no way for someone to figure out who you are/DOXX you, unless you expose that information. That's your choice.

And your responsibility.

wijagain  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·  

People don't typically delete accounts / wipe comments because they are abandoning positions or failing to stand by their comments. They usually do it to protect themselves from online harassment.

From a product design point of view, making user names and post content permanent is asking people to make sure they never accidentally post information that can be used against now or at any time in the future. This permanency solution has a huge downside in that most people are unequipped to correctly estimate what online stalkers are capable of with very little info, especially if they haven't been victims of online harassment yet. This solution also has very little upside -- whatever value you and I gain from someone else's content or username being permanent is worth much less than their privacy and safety.

The alternative solution is to provide a simple set of tools to let users control their own privacy. The upside to this is you can more easily protect yourself. The downside is some, but not very much, software development work. People also have a choice in this scenario, where forced permanency removes all choice.

kantos  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think it's less to do with shying away from a comment (people can edit here no problem), and more to do with agency over your own information. It is our responsibility to be diligent about the detail we divulge in our lives. The de-activate button allows us a way to place another roadblock in front of further/future attempts to doxx in the event we don't want to filter through our own Hubski career's worth of posts/comments.

It was a small miracle for me when I used it recently - if only for peace of mind. I would like to see it come back in some form.

Hubski doesn't feel like an anonymous web site. I would be shocked if half the names I'm familiar with here genuinely believed this was a wholly anonymous space after the time they've spent here. Speaking for myself, discussing my life and interests (w/n a reasonable amount of detail) here sometimes is a good avenue to learn more of how others approach their interests. The people behind the keyboard would naturally bleed information of themselves in time given level of comfort.

EDIT: I love edits. Mostly re-arranging thoughts and adding others.

goobster  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The 'agency' angle is interesting to dig deeper into...

Some dipshit could say something truly inflammatory, and when the blowback got bad enough, they delete their post/account and go on their merry way. No need to own their shit. That's troll heaven. But, it does give the user full agency over their content.

But once you have put something out there, and found it to be colossally wrong (like my original post), the responsible thing to do (which news agencies have been doing for centuries), is publishing a retraction of clarification or even apology... but they leave the original article in place.

To me, that seems to be the standard that we should strive to adhere to... not one of "full agency" where you can say whatever you want in any online forum, and then simply run away when it hits the fan.

But obviously, giving a user agency over their data and information - which I support - argues that they SHOULD be able to delete their content and pretend it never happened...

Clearly the internet has fallen on the side of 'anonymity over everything else', and that cat in never going back in that bag... but I wonder if we could have chosen a different path at some point...?

kleinbl00  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·  


Identity play is an important part of adolescence and early adulthood. Always has been, always will be. It's the fundamental basis of Shakespeare's Henry IV, among a half dozen other of his plays. Prior to the Internet it didn't matter because if you fucked up at 17 no one remembered by the time you were 19 and all evidence it ever happened was a couple polaroids in a shoebox in your childhood bedroom.

Now? Now everything is forever. Getting facts of the Internet is like getting pee out of a swimming pool. Your youthful indiscretions are available to anyone with a search engine. I can find comments I posted on Usenet in 1995. If anyone knew that identity, they could, too.

goobster  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Maybe I need to limit my internetting to adults-only forums, and get away from the kidsernet...

... oh wait... that didn't come out right...


kleinbl00  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Worth your time

Also worth your time

Edited to add that Frank Meza is dead because of "the internet"

goobster  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·  

'Life On The Screen' seems a LOT like the vastly underrated Bruce Willis movie, "Surrogates".

My hope is that movie becomes a cult classic, like 12 Monkeys. I think it is just as good, and way closer to home/reality... uncomfortably so.

kleinbl00  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·  

...it's a non-fiction work by an MIT professor whose Ph.D is in child psychology and whose life's work is human-machine interaction

goobster  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh I know that... it's just the delta gets narrower and narrower...

kleinbl00  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This comment bugs me. It bugged me, then I went for a run, and it's still bugging me. I think it's because equating a work of pop sociology by a professor with a Bruce Willis film indicates that you're not taking the discussion seriously.

Congo will never be a documentary just because CRISPR exists.

I got this last year:

    Hey Kleinbl00,

    It's taken me a while to get back here to write this up, but here goes.

    A few years back in 2014 under another screen name, I remember arguing with you for several days about an attempted suicide. I was in a pretty bad place. To be honest, I dont really remember what was said, and I doubt you remember me at all, but I remember I almost pushed myself into a second attempt after a conversation with you. I had massive substance abuse problems at the time which I'm fairly sure you pointed out.

    However, I was so pissed at you I ended up taking it in the other direction. After a little while I was able to get clean and stop using the illegal drugs I was using all of the time and developed a healthy relationship with alcohol which I have basically just on special occasions at this point. Everything is going pretty well. I'm starting a PhD! in the fall.

    This probably doesn't mean much to you, but I wanted you to know I'm still here. I'm doing well.

There were maybe six accounts on Reddit that decided to let me know my cruel moderation of their /r/favors posts were the proximate cause of their impending suicide. And then they deleted their accounts. Did they off themselves? I doubt it. But you never truly know.

This stuff really matters, particularly to people who didn't get a chance to develop an identity before the Internet.

goobster  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sorry about that. Didn't mean to imply anything untoward by likening the two to each other.

My mind was thinking about how often sci-fi presents a compelling view of the future, and then young scientists who read that sci-fi as children eventually make it a real thing; Asimov's multiple inventions that became reality later, etc.

I'd only gotten to read the jacket blurb:

    "...Life on the Screen is a book not about computers, but about people and how computers are causing us to reevaluate our identities in the age of the Internet. We are using life on the screen to engage in new ways of thinking about evolution, relationships, politics, sex, and the self. Life on the Screen traces a set of boundary negotiations, telling the story of the changing impact of the computer on our psychological lives and our evolving ideas about minds, bodies, and machines..."

Which is essentially the elemental plot of the movie: if our experience with the world is completely mediated by technology, how does that affect our base humanity?

In the movie people essentially drive absolutely realistic robots around in their place, while sitting safely at home in their VR rig.

This absolves you of responsibility for all your actions, because if your robot dies, you just get another one.

Also, everyone in the movie is perfect, flawless, and beautiful, because your robot avatar can literally be anything at all. So everyone is perfect and flawless and has big tits, etc.

Like social media... where we present ourselves in an idealized form that glosses over the messy reality of who we actually are, and covers up the icky bits.

Which seems to me - from your comments, and the cover matter on this book - to be what it is delving into; how a mediated interface between you and the world can allow you to try on different personality traits, styles, ways of being, genders, etc., to explore who you are.

This especially hit me when you mentioned how kids try on different personality traits to see how they "fit" as they grow... and they shouldn't be penalized by the long-tail of the internet by wearing dresses for a year when they were 7, or whatever. (Which, I realize, is basically the takeaway from my goofy position that everyone needs to "own their shit" and not be able to delete their name or posts from Hubski.)

So no; I'm taking your comments seriously and am actually interested in this book. I know when KB suggests something, he does so with intention and thought... it's not an off-the-cuff comment to be ignored.

Sorry I gave you the wrong impression. Hasn't been my best week... I've been a grumpy motherfucker, and it being my birthday today makes it all suck even more.

kleinbl00  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's like how every discussion of AI goes from zero to Skynet in ten seconds:

There's deep study here, deep scholarship, deep insights and we have this natural tendency to go "whoa so what if my Instagram account could go to my job instead" "here's 80 million Bruce Willis works for cheap".

It's a particular sore spot for me because anonymity and what it means is something I actually went to Reddit HQ a couple times to discuss with the guys in charge. The world could have been a better place. They never offered me the community manager position; they mentioned that the pay was terrible and that they didn't see me working for that little (which says a lot about their priorities). Erik Martin made Time Magazine making $15 an hour.

Life on the Screen is particularly poignant because it's Book 2 of a trilogy. Second Self came out in '84 and was basically "whoa our self-image has no fuckin' idea what to do with computer interaction." Life on the Screen is "there's a bunch of shit here we're completely unprepared for and it might be awesome but the potential for a cataclysm is high." Alone Together is "yep we're all fucked lemme count the ways since I've been tracking this shit since '83" and then her publisher said okay Cassandra turn that frown upside down and she tried to paint a happy picture with Reclaiming Conversation which is basically "put down your phone forever or you will become a pod person."

And here we are, with Matt Yglesias arguing that phone calls are barbaric.

kantos  ·  21 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I’m a few days further from responding than I would have liked - in transit for moving, so excuse the lack of a more full response.... BUT I agree with your ideal here:

    But once you have put something out there, and found it to be colossally wrong (like my original post), the responsible thing to do (which news agencies have been doing for centuries), is publishing a retraction of clarification or even apology... but they leave the original article in place.

That doesn’t always take place here, sadly, though I’d like to think that’s the expectation for Hubski over Reddit. Maintain the information or add to it, never detract or outright redact the original piece. Which you’re exemplifying here.

Maybe you’re being more a realist here than I am... Hubski’s de-activate is the “oh shit” nuke button for when you don’t want to get doxx’d, not the “oh shit, ya got me, time to make a new account and no one will know,” in my eyes. And... generally in a community like this... people tend to spot that behavior/inconsistency one way or another.

Anywho, pretty sure this thread closed down. Wanted to respond in kind when I could nonetheless. Hope you’re having a good start to your weekend, goob.

kleinbl00  ·  24 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You can't be serious.

One of the "powermods" of Reddit was a gay Iranian teenager in London whose parents were staunch proponents of Sharia law. He lived in daily fear that his online life would end up exposed to his community, that firmly believed those expressing his views should be stoned to death. He vanished abruptly in 2011. I hope he's okay.

We had people on Hubski who were implicated and sought by the FBI for being members of Lulzsec.

You yourself turned me onto Brock Meeks over 20 years ago, back when his circle of troublemakers included Julian Assange.

Yet you're leaning into if a pseudonym isn't good enough maybe you should shut up?