I reckon that last thread is about to crash. Hubski is an awesome site for discussion so long as those discussions involve 50 or less comments. So let me address the biggest misconceptions I see over there, because it's my soapbox and I'm sick of saying the same things eight different ways:

ignoring is not censorship.

See, I can ignore you all now. For several of you, I already have. I could absolutely go through every #reddit thread I see and manually ignore every user I don't recognize. None of those users would be aware of the change, none of those users would be impacted in any way other than their interactions with me and while I'll bet more than a few people would comment on the antisocial qualities of my behavior, nobody would take that option away from me.

As it stands, un-ignoring any of those unfortunates would involve me clicking on my page, clicking on who I have ignored, clicking over to their page and then clicking 'un-ignore.' I must do this with each and every person I've ignored and sheer inertia generally keeps me from doing that. Once I've made the active decision to ignore you, I must make yet another active decision to un-ignore you.

On the other hand, if I simply choose to filter you out for a few days, you're right back up in my feeds without me doing a damn thing. Or, if I decide I have the goodness of heart and patience of mind to wade into a newbie thread, I can let the clamor of children penetrate my Unibomber shack as easily as opening a window. It's my choice, it's reversible, and it impacts only me.

To the contrary: As things stand now, I could post a comment in someone else's post and every n00b on the block could, en masse, comment as to what a goose-stepping doodyhead I truly am. there would be exactly fuckall I could do about it, nor should there be. I'm under no compulsion to comment and should have no ability to silence others in content that is not my own.

And that's where people like flagamuffin run off the rails with comparison to shadowbanning: when an admin shadowbans someone on Reddit, they're silenced for everybody else. Up until recently, shadowbanned comments and posts were still in the feeds for moderators. Shadowbanned users could still message mods. As it stands, they're opt-in... but admins on Reddit can effectively mute users for the entire userbase. THAT is censorship, and they make no bones about it.

Ignoring is user-facing behavior.

There's a real "skateboarding is not a crime" ethic at play here, as if my choice to ignore new users until they're no longer new is somehow akin to keeping your dog on a leash or... well, almost went Godwin there. It's more accurately a cloak of invisibility for the skateboarders so they can thrash at the park without suffering the tirades of cranky old-timers in their wheelchairs.

Gawker is, now and forever, ignored in my feed. I see no Gawker articles. I see no comments associated with Gawker. This does not prevent others from posting Gawker links, nor does it prevent others from commenting on Gawker articles. I have no interest in Gawker. Others do. I have no wish to impinge on their ability to read Gawker articles, I simply do not wish to interact with them. That does not mean I can't - I can find my way towards a Gawker article simply by cruising through global comments and seeing what shows up. I do that sometimes. I have to work at it, though.

Likewise, many people on Reddit don't subscribe to /r/spacedicks. They are not censoring /r/spacedicks, they are simply choosing not to view its content. Granted: the systems are a little different... but if someone I follow decided to share an /r/spacedicks link on Hubski, I would see it. Again, nothing I choose to ignore makes the slightest impact on anyone else's viewership.

Ignoring does not impede worthwhile communication.

Plenty of people I have ignored reply to my comments all the time. If I'm looking at the page I see it, I just don't get notifications. Thing of it is, I probably don't want to see what they have to say unless I'm feeling generous. And if I'm not feeling generous, it's doubtful that interaction is going to be worthwhile for either one of us.

There's this sense around here that if one user chooses to ignore an entire class of people for a certain time period, everyone might choose to ignore an entire class of people for a certain time period. For starters, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense - if someone else suggests it, and you're against it, there's at least two different opinions between two people so adoption is likely to be less than 100%.

There's also this sense that people should somehow be entitled to muck up the feeds of those that have deliberately chosen not to have those very people muck up their feeds, despite the fact that this is a site with ignore, mute and hush functionality (as well as the ability to ignore tags and entire domains).

I have absolutely nothing positive to say about Gawker. I probably never will. Right now, today, I have very little positive to say about newbies. Tomorrow? Maybe. Next week? Probably. Those that are still here two weeks from now will most likely reflect the culture here, rather than the culture they came from, and I'm likely to need a lot less patience to interact with them in a civil manner. And that's beneficial for everyone.

Finally, a seven-day waiting period would have spared all of us from this. It would have prevented me from seeing this, but on balance, the deficits outweigh the surpluses not just for me personally, but for Hubski as a whole.

And I don't reckon how that could EVER be a bad thing.

user-inactivated:

I don't think this is a good idea. The structure of the site means that every new user is already globally ignored, because they have no followers. A primary way for new users to get noticed and to get followers is through the global feed. I think the costs of allowing people to block them during those crucial first few days of membership sends the wrong message, and encourages an insulated culture that seems very antithetical to how I envision hubski.

I see what you're saying that simply having the feature available does not mean that everyone will use it. The problem is, if the feature is available, it's likely that there will be less work done on substantial and effective strategies to integrate new users and prevent junk posts (like ButterflyEffect's suggestion in your other thread). If it happens that this feature becomes popular, especially among the influential users with many followers, it will affect the initial impression users have when they come to the site.

If I'm reading you right, your main complaint is that global is full of junk posts right now. Well, I think my response is 'deal with it.' The natural consequence of a global feed is that it will show the good with the bad. There's a reason they were called "The knights of /new" on reddit. Browsing a global feed is not always pretty, especially when there's an influx of new users. But letting people block all new users entirely throws out the baby with the bathwater in my opinion. We only have a couple days to keep new users interested, and if they feel like their contributions are not being noticed or appreciated, they will not stick around, with good reason.


posted 1977 days ago