joined 5 months ago
[–] auk 1 points 1 day ago

I made ! to test a new moderation approach which is designed to filter out a lot of the crap. I think you should try posting some articles there, and see whether you see the same hyper-critical anti-Biden content. I think I know what you're talking about, and I think the filtering bot will probably be able to detect and ban almost all of the users you're talking about.


It took longer than I thought, but I came up with a promising approach for throwaway accounts. The bot can't use the same parameter set to accounts with only a few interactions as it does for normal accounts, without getting it either too loose for the new accounts or too strict for the old accounts. I had to make a special stricter setting for any account that only has a few interactions in its recent history.

1.3% of users have enough interaction data to judge for sure that people have problems with them, and they get banned just like before. 2% more users on top of that will trigger the stricter filter if they try to post, and get a polite message that they need to interact more before they can participate. 97% of users don't need to worry about any of this, just like before.

I think that approach will work. It's not done yet but I have the parameters in place for it. I think the bot is doing a good job. I was expecting it to get it wrong a few times, and I have found a couple of users it made mistakes on, but it's doing better than I thought it would.


Here's how to do it:

You can make a strong argument that the United States has been a major sponsor of international terrorism throughout the 20th century and up until the present.

Is that still going on? Is support for Israel terrorism? Has it gotten better in the 21st century? Is it relevant what other countries have done, or what good things the US also does? I don't know whether this post will be any more useful than the other one, but the other one was pure hostility. You can't pick a fight with a whole community and start ordering them around and expect the conversation to go anywhere good. It's not your subject matter, it's your delivery.

I think it has a better chance of turning into a real conversation. If this one turns into a waste of time, too, I'll delete it, too, but I want to give a chance to this conversation, because the subject matter is fine.

[–] auk 1 points 3 days ago

That didn't take long.

Criticizing the foreign policy of the US can be done openly in every part of Lemmy that I'm aware of. it's the majority viewpoint. The issue here is that you're being a combative jerk about it.

You were supposed to be banned because of the overwhelming downvotes you're getting. There are some technical problems with the bot's classification of new accounts, so you're still here. Ironically, it got held up because I was having issues getting it to be strict about new accounts without excluding dissenting opinions from people who were willing to be level-headed. Your viewpoint here is far from unpopular, but there are cases where someone's expressing an opinion about veganism, or not voting, that really is unpopular, but they're being level-headed enough that I don't want them to be banned. It's taking some time to get that determination right.

You can expect a ban as soon as I figure it out, because you're being so obviously unproductive that the downvotes are universal. I just updated the FAQ, trying to find the right words, because I don't think this is the last time this will come up.

It’s not hard to accumulate more weighted upvotes than downvotes. In the current configuration, 97% of the users on Lemmy manage to do it. If you are one of the 3%, it’s because the community consensus is that your content is more negative than positive.

The bot is not making its own decisions about you. The community is. If you are banned, it’s because you are being downvoted overwhelmingly. The viewpoint you are expressing is probably not the issue. The Lemmy community is very tolerant of a wide variety of views. Some people may disagree with you and you may find that oppressive, but the bot will not ban you simply because some users argue with you when you say certain things. Those users are allowed to have their view, just like you have yours.

If you find you are banned and you’re willing to hear suggestions about how to present your argument without everyone downvoting you, leave a comment. Reducing your downvotes will help the bot recognize you as reasonable, but it will also probably help you get your point across more successfully. In order for the bot to ban you, you have to be received overwhelmingly negatively by the community, which probably means you’re not convincing very many people of what you’re saying.

If you’re not willing to hear those suggestions and simply want to insist that it’s everyone else that is the problem, the bot is being evil to you, your free speech is being infringed, and I am a tyrant if I don’t let you into the community to annoy everybody, I would respectfully request that you take it somewhere else.

[–] auk 1 points 3 days ago

This usually only happens when threads hit the front page of the all feed and people that are not subscribed to the community see it, vote on it and start commenting in it (which then becomes a self-reinforcing system that pushes it further up the “hot” rating on the all feed).

This community is currently too new and small for that to happen.

I'll wait until I can put in place the throwaway account sniping, and more testing, before I try to do much more to promote it. The wider level of attention from ! seems to be a good test which the bot hasn't caught up to be able to handle completely.

As for pro-Zionist comments… if they come from an account that is not only posting such and it isn’t outright genocide denial, I agree that it can stay up.

Yes, that user posts almost all normal content, with a tiny minority of unpopular but still "normal" political views, and a couple of posts that are openly Zionist. They're nowhere near posting a majority of inflammatory content, and the comment wasn't even that bad, it just seemed shocking because it was so pro-Israel, which usually doesn't happen.

But this will likely need human intervention and can’t be left to the bot to decide.

I completely agree. I didn't plan to have the bot replace human moderation, only provide another tool to automate one part of it.

Anyone who is breaking the few rules that do exist, I was planning to ban. I also just edited the sidebar to make it clear that comments must also follow the slrpnk rules.


I'm leaving the pro-Zionist comment up. Long story short, it's abundantly clear to both me and the bot that it's a real user stating their real opinion. I don't want to create a "free speech safe space" for all the comments that aren't welcome anywhere else because they are horrible, but I also don't want to create a place where there are elaborate boundaries about what you can and can't say. The rules are: No bigotry, no spam, no personal attacks. Not that you can say fuck one person, but not this other person.

I severely don't like the "nanny state" moderation that prevails on a lot of Lemmy. We're all adults here. Hopefully. Even with the tiny amount of content that's been posted so far, I've been batting down reports that are based on the idea that the user base can't make up its own mind about what's trustworthy, what's true, or what's worth reading. This is the first comment I really wanted to delete. To be blunt, my personal opinion is that it's garbage. On the other hand, has political threads that are overflowing with garbage comments, so if we only have one so far, we're beating the curve.

The post about US terrorism should have been removed, only because it came from a throwaway. That part of the bot isn't working yet. I have to change the parameters. I'll get to it soon. However, if it had come from a normal user's account, I wouldn't have a problem with it. The comments look fine. Again, we're adults, or else hopefully can act like it. The problem with posts like that comes when they start dumpster fires of comment sections, or drown out the good content, but that hasn't happened yet! I think that's a really good thing. It means getting rid of all the people who love to start big pointless fights has been working so far. Running across content every once in a while that you think is dead wrong isn't a problem. It's good for you. It builds character.

None of this is set in stone. I'm not trying to make a safe space for horrible content, and if it becomes that way I'll set stricter boundaries. But I think a couple of controversial posts that didn't lead to big bitter shouting matches shows good things about this moderation model, not bad things.

[–] auk 1 points 4 days ago (1 children)

I made this system because I, also, was concerned about the macro social implications.

Right now, the model in most communities is banning people with unpopular political opinions or who are uncivil. Anyone else can come in and do whatever they like, even if a big majority of the community has decided they're doing more harm than good. Furthermore, when certain things get too unpleasant to deal with on any level anymore, big instances will defederate from each other completely. The macro social implications of that on the community are exactly why I want to try a different model, because that one doesn't seem very good.

You seem to be convinced ahead of time that this system is going to censor opposing views, ignoring everything I've done to address the concern and indicate that it is a valid concern. Your concern is noted. If you see it censoring any opposing views, please let me know, because I don't want it to do that either.

[–] auk 3 points 4 days ago

It's difficult. A downvote from an account with no history does nothing. Your bot has to post a lot of content first to attract upvotes from genuine accounts. Then once you've accumulated some rank, you can start giving upvotes or downvotes in bulk to the accounts you want to manipulate. It's impossible to completely prevent that, but you have to do it a lot to have an impact.

I think this model is more resistant to trickery than it would seem, but it's not completely resistant. I do expect some amount of trickery that will then need counter-trickery. On the other hand, the problem of tricking the system also exists in the current moderation model. You don't have to outwit the system to get your content posted or ban your enemy if it's trivial to flood the comment section with your content from alt accounts and drown them out instead. I don't know for sure that something like that is happening, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was one reason why there are so many obnoxiously vocal people.

[–] auk 3 points 4 days ago (1 children)

It could also be an attempt to probe which ways of having fun by being a jerk are still available here.

If it gets deleted, then it's an illustration that all the people who are telling me that I'm creating an echo chamber are right, and they can complain.

If it doesn't get deleted, it's an open door for people who wants to have a "free speech safe space" for things that aren't welcome anywhere else, indicating that they can come in and disrupt the conversation as much as they want to with topics that are more about stirring controversy than making progress, and that's fun, too.

It should have been deleted, but only because it was posted by a throwaway account. The bot didn't do its job, which I will fix, but in the meantime I'm leaving the topic alone and letting it run its course. If any.

[–] auk 3 points 4 days ago

You're not banned or even close to it. The ban list is surprisingly lenient in terms of people's differing political views. You have to habitually make enemies of a lot of the people in the comments, one way or another, with a big fraction of what you post. Most people don't do that, wherever on the political spectrum they might fall.

Whether that's a good idea or not remains to be seen. I had some surprises today.

[–] auk 3 points 4 days ago (3 children)

Here are examples of things you got positive rank for, politics and argumentation:

Here are examples of things you got negative rank for, not directly political interpersonal squabbling:

Maybe this is harsh, but I think this is a good decision by the bot. The first list is fine. Most of your political views are far from unpopular on Lemmy. The thing is that you post a lot more of the squabbling content than the political content. You said you're being unpleasant on purpose, don't plan to stop, and that people should probably block you. I feel okay about excluding that from this community.

If in the future you change your mind about how you want to converse, you can send a comment or DM. We can talk about it, make sure you're not being targeted unfairly, but in the meantime this is completely fair.

[–] auk 0 points 4 days ago (2 children)

Look at him, he's so happy.

Maybe it should be Bernie smiling, instead? I didn't want to be openly partisan.

[–] auk 7 points 4 days ago (5 children)

Do you mind if I give some examples? What you're saying is valid in the abstract, but I think pointing out concrete examples of what the bot is reacting to will shed some light on what I'm talking about.

[–] auk 2 points 5 days ago (7 children)

I think it's a good test.

  1. They phrased it in deliberately inflammatory language, but there's a strong case to be made that their underlying point is valid. If they had set it up and phrased it differently, it would be interesting to conduct a contentious discussion here and see if there's any difference between how it looks in this community, and whether it goes off the rails, as opposed to in some more traditionally moderated community.
  2. As it is, I can't see anyone joining the discussion. Something about the way it's phrased makes it guaranteed to drive people away and collect downvotes. That means it will be the first test of the throwaway account detection with post and comment deletion, which should kick in any minute now depending on when the post garners enough downvotes to activate it. I'm surprised it hasn't yet, but it hasn't.

OP, you're not completely wrong, but you need to work on your delivery. Sorry. You probably have a ban incoming, but you can probably reverse it in a few days by participating outside this community with more normal content, and then try again without using the energy that sounds like you're challenging the whole community to step outside with you and fight. DM me if you have questions.

[–] auk 8 points 5 days ago (7 children)

I looked at the bot's judgements about your user. The issue isn't your politics. Anti-center or anti-Western politics are the majority view on Lemmy, and your posts about your political views get ranked positively. The problem is that somehow you wind up in long heated arguments with "centrists" which wander away from the topic and get personal, where you double down on bad behavior because you say that's the tactic you want to employ to get your point across. That's the content that's getting ranked negatively, and often enough to overcome the weight of the positive content.

If Lemmy split into a silo that was the 98.6% of users that didn't do that, and a silo of 1.4% of users that wanted to do that, I would be okay with that outcome. I completely agree with your concern in the abstract, but that's not what's happening here.

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