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8

[deleted] wrote (edited )

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selver wrote

Couldn't agree more. The best experiences I've had with online forums have been either small unknown forums, or private/tiny anarchist subreddits for a handful of people. The mentality in those spaces was very different than places with a large focus on anonymous likes, shares, upvotes, etc.

There's all kinds of Marxist work I read in university about the concept of "prosumers" (I think that's the term), exactly what you're describing really. People being exploited for the work they do online, where they create the content, they create the opportunity for data mining (knowing everything you upvote is insanely valuable data), their very presence/clicks even if they aren't posting is what makes the sites active, and then the corporation takes all the money & data. I remember reading proposals for demanding that these websites pay users for the full value of their labor, or treat internet infrastructure as a public utility.

As for raddle, there's no tracking of karma for users at least, so there's no point in worrying about accumulating/losing it. I think upvotes are still a good motivator for posting. Not every post is going to get responded to, so some encouragement for good posts, and discouragement for shit ones, seems like a pretty positive thing. I definitely think we should be open to experimenting though. I don't think radicals should just be making clones of popular websites, instead of experimenting with new forms. That being said, I think those sort of tweaks aren't really the most important thing, and is often a form of technological solutionism. An online community that puts in the work to create a good community, has interesting discussions, comes to the site with the intent to learn & share, maintains friendly relationships, etc. is always going to transcend the biases of the infrastructure. The technology can only do so much, many of the problems we attribute to specific platforms are often not exactly inherent to the platform, but are a product of the culture as a whole. Facebook etc certainly benefit and exploit the point systems, but at the end of the day, do people just want them?

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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nijntje wrote (edited )

I'm a bit out of the loop of web hosting for the past 10 years, but decentralized hosting (is this a thing yet?), or just a donate-directly-to-ISP measure can ensure that there isn't a huge pot of capital, which can be a risk.

IPFS?

Let me add some more thoughts: One of my favourite comment systems online is from a dutch tech news website, where you give points based on how useful a contribution is (explained in dutch here):

  • -1 points if 'unwanted', e.g. flamewar-ish or mean, etc.
  • 0 if off-topic or irrelevant
  • 1 if on-topic
  • 2 if 'informative', so a good addition
  • 3 if 'it should be put in the spotlight'—meaning it's an essential addition to the article/discussion in the OP.

And then there's some ranking system to decide which to show at the top roughly based on how many votes and how many of which level.

It makes it so that skimming for 'essential' info is easy. -1 reactions are collapsed by default, which helps you avoid stupid discussions.

It doesn't always work but it gets rid of the whole up/down dichotomy being conflated with things like like/dislike or good/bad discussion etc, and adds a bit more nuance I guess.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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nijntje wrote

Hm, I like your thoughts on this a lot. I'll have to give it a think, I guess. I'm inclined to agree with everything but I'm unsure about what to do with vote manipulation etc.

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wieke wrote

Woah, that sounds really interesting. Thanks for linking it. It's amazing what's being done nowadays. So many projects, it's hard to keep up with them.

You probably want to take a look at zeronet as well. It predates IPFS and is designed for sites with user generated content.

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the_oalrus wrote

I hear you but I think most people see these networks and forums as places where they can consume entertainment and perhaps feel like micro-creators. These are not places for connection. Which is a fine thing to want and to enjoy but shouldn't be packaged as some sort of pro-social techno transcendence.

As for being free workers I think that's a core problem for those networks. People give away their labor and their identity for free. I think any sort of sustainable system of group created entertainment like Facebook or Reddit needs to compensate the participants for their work. Which I think ultimately means having users compensate other users in some way so as not to depend on marketers.

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red_pepper wrote

Yeah, this is a pretense. Better prepare for another wave of Reddit refugees.

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ziq wrote

This is a lot like when they threatened to shut down r/anarchism for 'bash the fash'.