• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • Lite Blocking

    November 5th, 2019
    ideas, tech  [html]
    There are people I would like to interact less with online: perhaps they post inane things, perhaps they pull comment threads off in bad directions, perhaps they make terrible arguments for things I agree with. The standard tools social networks offer for this sort of situation are:
    • Blocking: you can't see their stuff, they can't see your stuff, you can't interact.

    • Hiding: you don't see their stuff, or you see less of it. You can still interact.

    I'd like another tool:
    • Lite blocking: as if they'd hidden you.

    Social networks generally have far more things they could show you than you'll be able to look at. To prioritize they use inscrutable algorithms that boil down to "we show you the things we predict you're going to like." You can think of hiding as "dramatically lower the prediction that I would like seeing their stuff," and lite blocking as "dramatically lower the prediction that they would like seeing my stuff."

    Lite blocking could be symmetrical or not, but the important thing to me is that the network would stop encouraging people to interact with me if I don't want those interactions.

    Perhaps I should just block people? I'm glad blocking exists, and there are times when it's the right tool. But other times it's much too powerful:

    • Blocking is obvious, but with the level of "who knows why the things decided to show me what it did" lite blocking maintains plausible deniability. This is important for people you want to avoid interacting with but need to stay on good terms with for other reasons.

    • Blocking is too thorough. Maybe I don't like the way you tend to come into threads I host and derail them, but I'd still like you to be able to find our past discussions and reference them if intentionally seek them out.

    • Groups often have high thresholds for kicking people out, but an in-between level where someone would just see fewer group posts in their feed would be helpful in cases where the moderators think someone's posts are generally making the group worse.

    Since lite blocking explicitly overrides the network's prediction about how much someone will like things, you could imagine a change to add it being difficult to get past launch review. It would probably look bad on the core metrics, with a decrease in estimated user satisfaction and engagement. But the metrics don't capture the ways "so and so isn't showing up in my discussions any more" would make others happier and improve their experience using the network.

    Comment via: facebook, lesswrong

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Who Should Bear the Risk in Infrastructure Projects?

    The answer to the question is the public sector, always. It’s okay to have private-sector involvement in construction, but the risk must be borne by the public sector, or else the private sector will just want more money to compensate for the extra risk. …

    via Pedestrian Observations November 30, 2020

    Fireside Friday, November 27, 2020

    Hey folks! Fireside this week. A bit of a change-up in terms of the coming attractions. I had planned to start “Textiles, How Did They Make It?” next, but I want to do a bit more reading on some of the initial stages of textile production (that is, the pr…

    via A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry November 27, 2020

    Thoughts you mightn't have thunk about remote meetings

    Welcome to this week's edition of "building a startup in 2020," in which all your meetings are suddenly remote, and you probably weren't prepared for it. I know I wasn't. We started a "fully remote" company back in 2019, but …

    via apenwarr November 23, 2020

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact