Cake
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    • You block someone and have the chance to rate (1-5) the person on several attributes the platform finds desireable: posts on-topic consistently, quality of content is high, argues respectfully, allows others to contribute to the conversation.

      Wait, you mean that people who disagree with me so much that they wish to never hear from me again get a channel to communicate with me about how terrible a person I am in a way I have no reply to?

      Yeah. How could that possibly go wrong? I can't imagine that being bad at all.

    • Muting someone doesn’t prevent that person from viewing your profile or even reading your posts. It just prevents them from posting in your conversations and reacting to your posts.

      We intentionally didn’t follow Twitter’s model here because the fundamental flaw in Twitter’s approach is that the blocked person can just log out to see your stuff, because Twitter doesn’t know who they are unless they’re logged in.

      Realistically, there’s no reliable way for Cake to prevent someone from seeing your stuff because your stuff is visible to logged out users. So we don’t bother trying.

    • We want to be careful not to turn Cake into a popularity contest. Scoring users on the quality of their discourse comes dangerously close to that, I think.

      The primary purpose of Cake’s ignore, mute, and moderation functionality is to give each Cake user a way to control their own experience on the site.

      If you’re not interested in what someone writes about, you can ignore them, and they don’t need to know. If someone keeps popping into your convos and harassing you or making you feel bad, you can mute them. If someone posts something spammy, off topic, or abusive in your convo, you can hide their post.

      All of these things are focused on improving your personal experience with as small an impact on others as possible.

    • We want to be careful not to turn Cake into a popularity contest. Scoring users on the quality of their discourse comes dangerously close to that, I think.

      Oh I agree 100% with you. The idea of having a popularity rating that is displayed as a top influencer badge would be quite disgusting.

      But what I was envisioning was a way to let someone know if there was a common reason why they were being blocked by multiple people on the platform.

      This is not a hypothetical user scenario for me.

      My old blog, which I shut down three years ago because the economics were no longer there, was focused on education and employment for individuals on the autism spectrum. Additionally, I’ve provided in-person vocational education and job coaching to adults on the spectrum. Lastly, I have several hundred folks who follow me on Twitter because of my autism advocacy.

      The biggest constraint to life success for adults on the spectrum is not knowing intuitively the social norms and expectations that neurotypicals take for granted.

      It pained me to block a brilliant follower over the summer because he tweeted something that you can’t take back. I would have been happy to fill out a form that allowed me to provide a check box form of reasons why he was blocked and then having the system provide an average of the responses from all of the blockers, of which there were many, so that he could get explicit feedback of how to have an enjoyable social life online. For some individuals with autism, that is the only social life they have.

      Like @lextenebris, I have no interest in knowing the reasons why I was blocked. I would therefore want the option to not receive such feedback.

      Completely understand if this isn’t an avenue that you want to pursue. This is basket-of-wishes-love-Cake-as-is user feedback.

    • If you’re not interested in what someone writes about, you can ignore them, and they don’t need to know. If someone keeps popping into your convos and harassing you or making you feel bad, you can mute them. If someone posts something spammy, off topic, or abusive in your convo, you can hide their post.

      I suspect that making sure that the motivations for each of these actions are clear to users will go at least part way to reassuring people that there is an intent and it's expected that people will use the tools responsibly.

      As we know, that doesn't mean that the tools will be abused – but in the long run, that's a self-correcting problem. People who create conversations and then assiduously police them for opinions that oppose their own so that they can be hidden will just end up getting their creators muted by people who want to engage in reasonable conversation. And if there are enough people who don't want to engage in reasonable conversation to satisfy the original poster, that's on them.

    • It pained me to block a brilliant follower over the summer because he tweeted something that you can’t take back. I would have been happy to fill out a form that allowed me to provide a check box form of reasons why he was blocked and then having the system provide an average of the responses from all of the blockers, of which there were many, so that he could get explicit feedback of how to have an enjoyable social life online.

      Here's the thing.

      I've worked with my share of people, and particularly kids, with Asperger's syndrome – and a system generated "here is why people don't like you" is not and will never be a useful tool in helping them self-correct into more appropriate behavior. It's entirely too impersonal, it's entirely too abstract, and it doesn't care about who they are. Moreover, it treats everyone exactly the same – and we both know that treating everyone exactly the same when everyone is not exactly the same isn't effective at helping the people who most need help.

      So the most reasonable response is to say that if you feel the need to engage with tools to shape conversations and you feel the person you're doing it to could profit from the feedback, message them. Engage in private conversation. Take it out of band. Establish your priors, insist that you are using the tools appropriately because someone is acting inappropriately, define what it is that you think is an appropriate (keeping in mind that you could be wrong) and leave it at that.

      This isn't a job for the system. This is a job for individuals who can make individual assessments of what they think needs to be done.

      Depersonalizing the feedback loop makes everything harder for everyone involved.

    • Depersonalizing the feedback loop makes everything harder for everyone involved.

      Could not disagree more.

      Well I could, but ...

      The ultimate reason for blocking someone is a loss of trust. Personally, I see things going horribly wrong in so many ways if you private message someone the reasons why you blocked them.

      But nothing would preclude you from doing so in my hypothetical approach.