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Reposts and general rules on downvoting reposts - [discussion]

I realized today that there are a number of different perspectives on how the "repost" down vote reason should be used. I feel that the best thing to do is to take a moment and think about how we should define a repost, as well as how other functionality focuses on limiting these reposts in the future.

Here is my thinking:

  1. We definitely don't want to see the front page with 7 breaking news articles covering the same exact event, it would be a waste of space and not the best use of the functionality that we have at hand. If there are multiple breaking stories we can expect the front page to be absolutely flooded with similar content that is not much use to anyone. Also, this can get a lot worse as we grow!

  2. It's also difficult to just have one source article/snap that everyone is aware of and then expect all additional content to be submitted under that snap using the related link function.

  3. In my opinion a repost is a piece of content with the same url source or copy pasta text from a different source. If there is another link to the same story but is vastly different, than I wouldn't consider it a repost. And there in lies the problem, because content that is technically not a repost is still content that can flood the front page and make it a nightmare to surf.

Talking Points:

Either way, this is a problem that will only get worse as we grow as a community, so we need to discuss this topic, weigh our options, and come up with a good solution. Here are a few things that may help to alleviate the problem to some degree. Lets remember, that other social aggregators have a significant problem with reposts, so if we can lower them by 75-80% we have effectively succeeded.

  1. Snap Mirroring will allow tribe chiefs / mods to add snaps that have been published into their tribes

  2. An ability for someone that has received a number of repost downvotes to merge their snap with the originally posted snap. This function would convert the snap into a related link, and take all comments already posted and move them into the other snap. This would be a complex concept, and we would need to figure out how to make this as painless as possible when it comes to the actual merging process.

  3. A function allowing a user with a repost to instead remove their snap from the front page, but let it stay in the individual tribes it was posted in. We can sort out a way to mark a snap that has been marked in this way. Lets just remember, the more complex it gets, the more confusing it will be. I think the best solutions are the simplest ones that people can easily grasp.

Ok, lets discuss and we can move towards a solution. Also, note that these are not solutions, they are talking points that we should be discussing. The goal is to get as much feedback as possible so that moving towards a solution will be easier.

3 years ago by drunkenninja with 36 comments

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  • Moderator (edited 3 years ago)
    +10

    Haha, I was going to bring this up tomorrow. But better that you do.

    Snap Mirroring will allow tribe chiefs / mods to add snaps that have been published into their tribes

    Good, though it doesn't really tackle the problem.

    An ability for someone that has received a number of repost downvotes to merge their snap with the originally posted snap. This function would convert the snap into a related link, and take all comments already posted and move them into the other snap. This would be a complex concept, and we would need to figure out how to make this as painless as possible when it comes to the actual merging process.

    Perfect. Chiefs and mods can also have the option of 'grouping' snaps together by topic, so you'll have all similar snaps under one umbrella. This should be basic functionality. Sometimes on reddit you'll see a [forgetting the name] post to contain all discussion on a certain topic and prevent multiple posts on the same thing.

    A function allowing a user with a repost to instead remove their snap from the front page, but let it stay in the individual tribes it was posted in. We can sort out a way to mark a snap that has been marked in this way. Lets just remember, the more complex it gets, the more confusing it will be. I think the best solutions are the simplest ones that people can easily grasp.

    Not a clean solution; disagree. Either 'group' with similar snaps, or downvote/remove.

    • drunkenninja
      +7

      Perfect. Chiefs and mods can also have the option of 'grouping' snaps together by topic, so you'll have all similar snaps under one umbrella. This should be basic functionality. Sometimes on reddit you'll see a [forgetting the name] post to contain all discussion on a certain topic and prevent multiple posts on the same thing.

      It's a bit more complex in the back end, such a concept needs to be seriously hashed out so that we don't end up with fundamental issues that will be extremely difficult to fix.

      • Moderator
        +4

        Yeah, I completely understand. I just think it's the best solution.

        • Gozzin
          +6

          As do I. The Ubuntu forum's moderators do this often and it works very well.

    • Kysol (edited 3 years ago)
      +7

      MegaSnap... booosh! Lets gain momentum :D - I forgot to say that Mods/OP can merge the snaps.

      • Moderator
        +6

        Exactly. High five.

        MegaSnap, Snap Group, whatever they call it, it would be a clean solution if they can work out the details.

        • drunkenninja
          +6

          Definitely a complex solution when it comes to backend integration, but it might be an effective one if we hash out the details.

          • Kysol
            +4

            Yeah I have an idea of how it could work, but without knowing database schema's and other cache/processing functionality behind the scenes I wouldn't know where to start to help out. Technically I would just say adding a grouping table where you can have a parent group (dictated by a mod) and a you can assign a group to a snap. Considering that snaps span different tribes this could get a little messy.

            If it can be made to work... wooo, if not... well no real loss.

          • Tawsix
            +3

            C'mon... say it... say "Great idea, now code it!"

            You know you want to.

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  • spaceghoti
    +7

    I feel the oldest snap should take precedence, and I like the idea of merging snaps of the same topic. If we link back to each other that should provide the go-ahead to merge, and the linking is already a feature in place. Naturally I have no idea about the complexities of the code required so I'm not going to make demands, but I think it the most equitable solution.

    I'm also amenable to removing snaps from the front page as I'm really not interested in rep or bragging rights. I have no interest in gaming the site for imaginary Internet points.

    • [Deleted Profile]

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  • i208khonsu (edited 3 years ago)
    +6

    Quite a coincidence this is posted, then Gay Marriage in America happens.

    It's an interesting question as big stories like this often have polarizing discussions. Not going to say what's right or wrong on this specific issue, but using this story as an example t/equality would have a different viewpoint than t/christianity. Do you really want to aggregate the discussion of these two communities?

    Another example would be presidential elections. Is it really wrong to have separate posts? Like the post for it in t/news and t/politics could be the same, but t/democrats and t/republicans are two separate discussions.

    • drunkenninja (edited 3 years ago)
      +5

      Yep, that is also another good reason for those two similar news posts to remain in different communities.

  • Tawsix
    +5

    Snap Mirroring will allow tribe chiefs / mods to add snaps that have been published into their tribes

    Love this idea, it would be a really good way to get some air-time for smaller, lesser known tribes as well, as people could see their tribe under the other tribes where it was published.

    An ability for someone that has received a number of repost downvotes to merge their snap with the originally posted snap. This function would convert the snap into a related link, and take all comments already posted and move them into the other snap. This would be a complex concept, and we would need to figure out how to make this as painless as possible when it comes to the actual merging process.

    Another excellent idea! Not to make it anymore complicated, but possibly being able to link to the first Snap in the downvote reason as well might be a good idea, that way there is a mechanism to limit what snaps can be merged. I would imagine it would be a little bit abusable if people could just merge whatever snaps they wanted, and it would also show the reposter which Snap they should merge to.

    A function allowing a user with a repost to instead remove their snap from the front page, but let it stay in the individual tribes it was posted in. We can sort out a way to mark a snap that has been marked in this way. Lets just remember, the more complex it gets, the more confusing it will be. I think the best solutions are the simplest ones that people can easily grasp.

    Also a good idea. Mods and Chiefs can already weed out content in their own tribes and giving this ability to self-moderate is an excellent idea.

    I have a question though: whether merging or "deleting" a post, will the downvotes be "erased" from the user's record? I would imagine that would be a good incentive to do so, other than possibly accruing even more downvotes by leaving it up.

    • drunkenninja (edited 3 years ago)
      +7

      Another excellent idea! Not to make it anymore complicated, but possibly being able to link to the first Snap in the downvote reason as well might be a good idea, that way there is a mechanism to limit what snaps can be merged. I would imagine it would be a little bit abusable if people could just merge whatever snaps they wanted, and it would also show the reposter which Snap they should merge to.

      Excellent points about the possible abuse. Perhaps such a powerful function should be left to the super-mods. If the merge didn't take away XP points from the poster, I don't see this being a major issue. But there could be confusion in regards to where someones snap actually went, but that can be solved by creating a little message saying something like "Merged with [SNAP A] located [URL].

      • Moderator
        +4

        I'll agree that merging should be left to mods or super-mods.

      • Tawsix
        +2

        Perhaps such a powerful function should be left to the super-mods.

        Do super-mods work on front page material? Maybe it would be best for mods of individual tribes to curate reposts by merging them into other Snaps. That way tribes that it hadn't been posted in will still have the "original" repost and the loss of points from a certain tribe (assuming a merger in a tribe removed it's upvotes as well as downvotes) might help keep it off the front page.

        • drunkenninja (edited 3 years ago)
          +5

          The problem with that approach is the content (snaps) posted within tribes isn't owned by the tribes it submitted into. The user merely decides to bring it into the tribe for discussion, expanding on the content, etc. At the end of the day we cannot give mods (from multiple tribes) the power to modify/merge snaps with other snaps that have been posted, this would end up having the possibility of becoming a complete disaster.

          • Tawsix
            +1

            Even if it only affected Snaps within that particular tribe? So say, if a Snap was merged with another in /t/pics but not in /t/photography, it would still show as two separate snaps in /t/photography. That way each tribe could have different policies on what exactly constitutes a repost.

            • drunkenninja
              +3

              That's my biggest fear, that once we start treading on territory this complex (solution wise), it may be difficult for anyone to actually grasp. I think the simpler we can do it, the better. Still something that is worth to consider, should we find an elegantly simple solution for it.

            • spaceghoti
              +2
              @drunkenninja -

              What if, as I suggested earlier, two snaps are merged when they link directly to each other, the younger snap becoming a related link to the older? It could provoke a button to confirm the merge. It could be broken if one or both remove the link. Both keep their rep with the older snap joining the tribes from the younger snap. That has the benefit of not requiring moderator intervention.

  • Crator (edited 3 years ago)
    +5

    In my opinion a repost is a piece of content with the same url source or copy pasta text from a different source. If there is another link to the same story but is vastly different, than I wouldn't consider it a repost. And there in lies the problem, because content that is technically not a repost is still content that can flood the front page and make it a nightmare to surf.

    Could something be set up that doesn't allow two of the exact same URL to be submitted? I know it doesn't stop a different source, but it would alleviate the problem some. Could make it the block expire after ~6 months. After that point most don't consider it a repost. I'm also thinking of stuff like viral images or videos and not just news articles.

    An ability for someone that has received a number of repost downvotes to merge their snap with the originally posted snap. This function would convert the snap into a related link, and take all comments already posted and move them into the other snap. This would be a complex concept, and we would need to figure out how to make this as painless as possible when it comes to the actual merging process.

    Now this is something I haven't thought of or seen in awhile. In a certain way I like this but merging two discussions is really awkward, when I think back to my days on message boards. It would make the topics flow weird and confuse people. Maybe it's not so bad now that we have different discussion strings on sites? I haven't seen it done in a place like this.

    • spaceghoti
      +5

      Could something be set up that doesn't allow two of the exact same URL to be submitted? I know it doesn't stop a different source, but it would alleviate the problem some.

      That's already in effect.

      Now this is something I haven't thought of or seen in awhile. In a certain way I like this but merging two discussions is really awkward, when I think back to my days on message boards. It would make the topics flow weird and confuse people. Maybe it's not so bad now that we have different discussion strings on sites? I haven't seen it done in a place like this.

      As long as they were distinctly separate threads, I don't see what would be too confusing.

      • AdelleChattre (edited 3 years ago)
        +4

        Could something be set up that doesn't allow two of the exact same URL to be submitted?

        That's already in effect.

        That's not so. Identical URLs I've posted get reposted all the time. Not complaining, because it ought to be possible to post the same thing into different contexts at different times.

        • spaceghoti
          +4

          Weird. Because I tried posting a link yesterday that came up as "this already exists." I wonder if that's a recent change?

          In either case I have no problem with that being taken down as a repost.

          • Gozzin
            +5

            No it's not recent.

          • AdelleChattre
            +4

            I get that, too. Somehow, though, these happen frequently if not regularly.

            • Crator
              +5

              Must be some slight difference in the urls?

            • AdelleChattre
              +4
              @Crator -

              Nope, identical URLs.

  • tehdiplomat
    +4

    Is there a way that during Snap creation some module be able to search existing Snaps (exact URL to start, but if possible search for "similar posts") so users can be made aware that what they are about to post isn't necessarily an original post?

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    • Kysol
      +5

      Or even from there, have suggested related posts that you can add from the initial post allowing for a continuation of the current subject while directing back to snaps that are somewhat related.