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I find lobste.rs very interesting and very focused. I discovered that one of the key strength is a very strong moderation and pruning of tags.

If a link on lobste.rs is considered off-topic, it’s removed or downvoted even if it is a very interesting link. Also, the very neatly maintained tags list allow for a very efficient filtering. You are filtering out some tags and seeing only interesting content.

The problem with that approach is that there’s no room for some less technical but related subjects : sociology of technology, philosophy of technology, etc. The “culture” tag is, by default, downvoted and not encouraged.

tilde.news offer a very nice complementary service to focus on technology-related topics which are not technology per-se. The problem with tilde.news is that it is not really moderated and the list of tags is quite fuzzy. Some days, it feels more like a best-off lobste.rs/HN mixed with links for which I’m unsure about the topic.

A solution would be to maintain a clear list of tags together and moderate more strongly abuse of some tag. Improving quality could also attract more members and different kind of links.

I’m a simple user, without any power on tilde.news and I’m very grateful it exists. I willing to help to clean-up the tag list and moderate.

Does it makes sense or is tilde.news good as it is? Can we help build a list of tags/topics and moderate this site?

While this may sound like a criticism, I would like to warmly thanks the creators and maintainers of tilde.news for this service that I really appreciate. Thanks everyone for posting too!

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    I’d totally welcome the help to clean up the tags.

    We allowed all users to create tags at one point since the userbase was so small here. I’m not 100% what the settings are for that at this point as I’ve rebased our codebase onto upstream lobste.rs recently.

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      on second thought, i’m not even sure it’s possible to delete tags

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        The fact that the tags were user generated explains a lot and it might worth thinking about starting from scratch with a fresh list of tag that make sense on the tilde.news project.

        If tags can’t be deleted, then the whole point is probably useless.

        Thanks for your time and for administration :-)

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      I don’t know, I very much like that ~.news is not as tightly wound as lobste.rs. I think tilde people have a lot of eclectic interests, and I like seeing some of the non-technical articles that get posted here.

      There may be room for pruning some redundant tags, and perhaps splitting some tags into more specific tags, but that’s not really for me to say.

      As a final thought: Tighter moderation should really only be a response to abuse, not as a way to attract readers.

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        Your position makes sense. That’s exactly why I’m asking.

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        What tags would you want to change/remove?

        If anything, we should consider getting rid of foss and replace it with “free-software” for the things that are truly free, and move the “permissive” software to the “open-source” tag, and possibly move “open-source” to the capitalism category due to the ability for permissive software to become proprietary. (See “What is Free Software?”)

        We should also consider getting rid of things like cloud-computing, since there is a difference between renting a server with the condition that you control the computing and it can run free software, and giving your data to proprietary services/platforms/software. (See “Who does that server really serve? by Richard Stallman)

        Perhaps if someone would be able to go through the list of tags and deal with the terms mentioned in “Words to Avoid (or Use with Care) Because They Are Loaded or Confusing”, we’ll be off to a good start!

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          I believe there are way too many tags, with many overlaps and many off-topic and some quite unclear. They act more like “fuzzy” tags and are not really useful to “filter out” stories.

          If it’s considered useful, I can go through all of them and make suggestions but I’m a simple user, I don’t know how it would be received.

          Just to take the first 10:

          • Twitch : should be removed (it’s a proprietary service after all)
          • data-analysis : quite unclear. Everything is about data-analysis.
          • health-insurance : looks completely off-topic
          • social-data : unclear
          • data-brokers :  does it worth having a full tag for that ? I’m sure it overlap with lot of other things like surveillance capitalism
          • extreme capitalism : while the name is fun, I believe it mixes the effect with the subject (and, as such, many stories might be tagged that way. Rendering the tag quite useless)
          • government
          • propaganda
          • censorship

          Those 3 are also quite large, quite overlaping and mixing subject and cause. Who would like to filter out based on those criterias ? How are those tag useful ?

          • U.S.A -> same as USA…

          etc…

          you see my point? One strenght of lobste.rs is that every tag is really useful and that you rarely doubt which tag to apply.

          My question is : do we want that for tilde.news or not? It’s quite a change in philosophy.

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            Twitch : should be removed (it’s a proprietary service after all)

            Considering there is only one post from 3 years ago, we could probably do without it.

            data-analysis : quite unclear. Everything is about data-analysis.

            The posts mentioned here make it seem like it’s more about things that explicitly do data analysis though.

            health-insurance : looks completely off-topic

            I’ve never paid attention to the fact that there is a health insurance topic before…

            social-data : unclear

            Same, but it looks like, from @cmccabe’s posts that it has to do with data collection. Perhaps it could use a better name?

            data-brokers :  does it worth having a full tag for that ? I’m sure it overlap with lot of other things like surveillance capitalism

            I’m not entirely sure what this is talking about. Is it people who sell data? Could it use a better name?

            extreme capitalism : while the name is fun, I believe it mixes the effect with the subject (and, as such, many stories might be tagged that way. Rendering the tag quite useless)

            I’ve always thought of this as a place for the more extreme cases of capitalists exploiting people. I’m not exactly sure what the original meaning was.

            government
            propaganda
            censorship
            

            Those 3 are also quite large, quite overlaping and mixing subject and cause. Who would like to filter out based on those criterias ? How are those tag useful ?

            Maybe staff should take a look at these. These topics could use being broken up if it won’t leave a bunch of small (as in nearly-unused) topics.

            U.S.A -> same as USA…
            

            etc…

            I think it would be good to get rid of the duplicates if possible.

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          Tag descriptions would be great and less tags with broader definition rather than many specific tags.