Trending hashtags legit had risks of abuse. But they're only a lens over toots that are already in the FTL, over which plenty of mod tools are available, and you could even make pre-screening necessary for trending. Instead the discussion became about how nobody really wants this feature and I'm just "pulling off wings from insects for fun".

I see some kinda discourse is still going and people are eager to misinterpret anything i say, but the feature got taken out before it got into any production release and could actually harm anyone.

And I'm frustrated because i think it could have done a lot of good too and there were ways to make it work that were not heard.

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I've locked the discussion so nobody can comment on it anymore but here is where it all went down, if you want the original source:

Show thread

@Gargron would it have made sense for it to be a config option? If its instance specific then as long as it is something to be switched on I dont see a problem.

@stevelord Folks made a mess in exactly the thread about making it a configuration option so i don't think that would have done it.

@Gargron this is why we can't have nice things, I guess.

Might be worth taking a couple of days out to get a break. I can't imagine how stressful this must be.

@stevelord I know some people have it much worse out there and without a stream of supportative messages, it's stressful but I'm fine

@Gargron it's almost as if discussing the feature before implementing it on the largest instance out of nowhere might have been a good idea

people joining one (developing/prove of concept) instance for a federated network 'because everyone is there' ;-)
Do they understand the concept?

We should not blame @Gargron for strange user habit...

@Gargron If it helps, I deeply appreciate what you have built here ... the discussion you reference is apparently outside my field of vision ...

@Gargron Nowadays it's what people do; misinterpreting things. It's making discourse way more challenging than it has to be.

I think what you're doing is interesting. And I get why you are doing it. I appreciate the transparency as well. Keep it up!

@Gargron Some people are keen to misinterpret what you say and some of those are being very loud about it, but a lot of the discussion I have been seeing - even from those who seem to have a history of disagreeing with you - is sympathetic to you this time. It does seem that though people have genuine concerns, trending hashtags is just a trigger. People have a history with them on Twitter, it's true, but this seems to be something that's been bubbling under for some time.
@Gargron It is to your credit that Mastodon has become known as a relatively safe space for some of the discussions that will need to be had around now, but since the political and communicative space has been so disrupted, it has taken on a cultural and political significance maybe you could not have anticipated yourself. That makes it a target, and not only from above.
@Gargron If many of the people making the point have an agenda, it is likely to be increasingly the case that the political side of such a project as this is going to take up as much time and energy as the software side. That there are now a good handful of decent solutions to accessing the Federation ought to take some of the pressure off, but of course the larger of these will significantly change everybody's experience, and people are coming from Twitter and Facebook with social graphs they depend upon for their livelihoods etc. That's a lot for one person to handle, I think, and it might not get better soon.

@Gargron really sad to see this feature go. This is the kind of thing I see enabling discussion, especially for newcomers like myself.

@Gargron Seeing the mockups for the feature was neat and I didn't mind the opportunity to try it out. This was an experiment that got the result "we don't want this", and that's ok. I think to a lot of people, Masto NOT having trending tags is an appealing thing about it. I think the way some people treated you was unfair and I saw a number of shitty takes but there was also a lot of good discussion too.

.@Gargron kinda related, kinda in order to move away from the trending hashtags controversy, I'd like to see a feature were you click on a hashtag and it tells you what it's all about (first toots that mention it, most favorited, something). ATM if you encounter a hashtag in the middle of the conversation, all you can do is go to your favorite search engine.

@Gargron I know nothing about technology but it's really heartening to see you being a human being about it! I know it would have been easier to go "update: this is the way things are now, the end" and to see you instead taking the time to discuss it with everyone and reach compromises is a really great thing.


My favorite so far:

> I am not a magician and I cannot change the laws of physics.

@Gargron what a drama...

I just want Masto to give me more signal and less noise. I don't mind trends. They might help with "keeping up with the Mastodonians".

@Gargron I read the thread. For me it's clear that in that thread you are the one being abused. I really don't care about the feature much, but your arguments seem far more rational than those of the other side. FWIW.

Especially since the ones against the feature were kinda more against you @Gargron than anything. Some of them seem to already have made their mind whatever could be told. Hell, some of them were already using a fork !

@Gargron Sorry to hear you received abuse for implementing this feature and engaging with users. Read over the thread, and while it is possible there may be valid concerns about the "trending" feature, they certainly didn't come across in that thread. For the most part, the people attacking you came across hysterical and absurd. Obviously you can develop Mastodon as you believe is best, but you came across as logical and with a genuine desire to engage with users. I know which side won me over.

@Gargron To *most* of those who raised concerns about the feature in the GitHub thread, if they wish to have any hope of winning people over to their position in future, they'd do well to pay attention to @MatejLach contribution: "If you fail to understand that your personal opinion does not represent the objective view of morality and that you do not just deserve an audience, you have to win it over, then I am afraid you will not achieve your goals and will not win anybody over." 👏

@Gargron Will just add that personally my current thoughts are that "trending" is a useful feature that will particularly help new users engage with the community. Like any feature there is of course potential for abuse, as well as some UX improvement that could likely be made, and I believe you've already stated most of these are on the roadmap in the GitHub thread.
(And finally, thanks for all your work on Mastodon! You've built something pretty incredible).

@Gargron It's a shame this didn't get implemented, trends were a lot of fun in the early Twitter days.

@Gargron Ugh, exactly the kind of reactions that makes you just want to give up on projects.

People sometimes really do not understand that their words have other effects than just arguing their side.

@gargron yeah you could make it work if you weren't busy directing your followers to harass me 🤔

The discourse and what went down yesterday 

I do think that Gargron has a point. But that point is missing the point of what happened yesterday.

People were upset that you were dismissive of their concerns again.

People were upset because they felt disenfranchised, again.

People were upset because you still don't seem to take governance, community management or project management seriously, again.

People were upset because it's a recurring pattern with you.


The discourse and what went down yesterday 

People were upset because they still don't have anyone to talk to that isn't you when they are upset.

People were upset because they felt disenfranchised, again.

People were upset because there's no clear road map, again.

People were upset because there's a lack of proactive communication, again.

People were upset because you made light of harassment, again.

People were upset because you and others told them to #ForkOff if they didn't like it.

The discourse and what went down yesterday 

So we are testing the waters to #ForkOffTogether. To address all these issues of the project as it is now.


Like @esplenio I also thank you @Gargron that exists.

I think the debate about shows 2 things: 1. People care about Mastodon, and 2. Mastodon is growing.

Thus, it is now the perfect time to think about future governance improvements and
community management structures. Different than meritocracy, actually creates a community. That's why it needs particular forms of governance.

I tried to summarize solutions/requirements here 👍

I agree but I think the time to think about community governance is a week from now...
@Gargron @esplenio

@Gargron This may well be true. I think it's hard for people who feel unheard to hear others. It might be more productive to start by centering the voices of people who have legitimate reasons to fear abuse, and make them feel heard, before you offer solutions that you want them to hear.

@gargron I think we need to open some conversational thread somewhere to discuss.

I agree that it might be a useful feature. And if people don't want to get stalked, why don't they just post in private?

Maybe this is the problem: Twitter had trends, but it DIDN'T have granular privacy controls. If people post in a public conversation, they are aware what they're posting about, but they can easily switch to "followers only, not listed" etc. This is something Twitter doesn't have; hence, harassment.

@gargron An additional feature would be to let users choose which tags they can allow to be "trendable". I'm sure more ideas will pop up if we leave the discussion open.

@Gargron And while I don't have a side in this, I do think it was needed to find other solutions than just removing the feature.

While I trust you care about these issues, there's eventually be a fediverse server that tracked the trending hashtags from their view of the fediverse because there are people who want. And you need ways of dealing with that.

Stripping out features and expecting them never to be implemented isn't politically possible here.

I hope you eventually add there feature back. It would be very useful.

@Gargron I'm sorry you were treated so badly over this, and are often treated badly about new feature development. I know you're doing your best.

I think that discussing the connection of a new feature to mastodons project goals might help in the future. I still don't understand what problem trending hashtags would solve. And in the absence of that discussion, the only talk is about the potential for abuse and fear of change.

Everything has risks of abuse. e.g. mail has risk of spam since beginning. No real spam free communication, till yet.

I think, if a feature gots abused, we need to learn from and find mechanisms to reduce the abuse. But if i decide not to implement a feature because it can eventually abused, it kills innovation.
Sure its annoying if a feature gets abused but lets see, how it works and what we learn from and what we can do better ,afterwards.

@Gargron I don't see how it is a problem for people who don't need this feature, as those people can just hide it and not use it.

@gargron Sorry to hear that the discussion about the feature got so far out of hand.

@Gargron In the whole discussion it seemed to me that the distinction between the code and the what the servers have enabled got a bit lost. Seems that some think that having a function in the code means that run on their instance. Maybe formally breaking down the features into modules (think apache!) would calm this down by making the difference clear. Also, people could write their own modules on their own, not having to supply patches against HEAD.
Anyhow, keep up the great work!

@Gargron I know that's a hard thing to hear and it feels really unfair to have it directed at you, but I would like to encourage you to hear it in a much broader context and honour the fear and frustration that gives rise to it. As allies, we have a responsibility to hold space for the anger of marginalized people, even when it's uncomfortable for us. I was disappointed in how dismissive you seemed to be being in that thread.

@gargron I don't accept the argument that, "We can't have nice things because some people are dicks and therefore we should stop trying to make nice things." Thanks for making some nice things for people to complain about.

To clarify, the aforementioned "dicks" would be the people who would abuse new features (not those who are arguing about the possibility of abuse).

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