(1/6) Was recently contacted by someone who mentioned the trending feature has changed the way they use Pixelfed.

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(2/6) They find themselves constantly checking like counts and trying to get on the discover trending page by engaging in like-for-like behaviour that is prevalent on other platforms like Instagram.

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(3/6) When I designed the Trending feature, I did not consider the implications of ranking content by like counts.

(4/6) I've observed that most trending posts on pixelfed.social belong to a small group of accounts with many followers, making it harder for other users to appear on trending.

(5/6) Pixelfed cannot be a better and ethical alternative if it ignores the gamification and FOMO dark patterns found on popular platforms.

@dansup Pixelfed without the pure capitalistic incentive is actually in the best position to invision and implement a foto sharing social media without all those dark patterns used in the industry. It's a wonderful opportunity to explore features and patterns that are great for users but not necessarily for profit. Thank you for building and guiding this project!

@dansup good call!

Though the ethical alternatives are competing for time and attention with the non-ethical ones.

Deceptive patterns then give the non-ethical alternatives the "higher ground", forcing the ethical alternatives to fight an uphill battle.

One way to circumvent that, is to not fight the fight. To position your ethical alt. as something that can be used besides, or on-top-of the non-ethical alt. Instead of being antagonistic to this alt. In language and features.
Just my $0.02.

@dansup Where are these ideas being discussed? I'd love to see what you're coming up with.

Maybe something more random, or "turn"-based?

@dansup in one sense I can see why mastodon opts for a chronological local and federated timeline. But they did implement a trending hash tags. Maybe the Discover page is based on hash tags the user has explicitly set (or some mechanism for "add this hash tag to my discovery" ie subscribe to #). I mean you could go the implicit route (hashtags based on what the user has liked) but def has its concerns. Or random. However if the underlying issue is How do I find/get found, then diff prob.

@dansup mastodon has a solution whit the rags, where tags trend based on how much of a change there is and not in terms of how many if I underdtand it correctly.

Maybe something similar is possible for pixelfed

@dansup
it is truly wonderful that you take this into consideration, and are willing to regress on stuff you already built! Thank you 🙏

(PS. You might also consider 'deception pattern' as per candidate IETF preferred terminology: github.com/ietf/terminology )

@dansup Avoid replicating the antipatterns of the silo systems, which are really for the benefit of advertisers.

Getting users addicted to making numbers go up does increase "engagement", but beyond some threshold that turns into a problem.

dansup, yeah and that's why IMO it's important to never make it easy for out-of-network content to get surfaced. That's why Smithereen won't ever have any content discovery features at all — I'm focusing on making it easy to connect with people you already know and meet new people with similar interests. Many developers underestimate just how the very presence of content discovery affects the user behavior in subtle but adverse ways.

Instagram influencers became possible because of the discover tab and "who to follow" recommendations. Those toxic Facebook groups that post all kinds of crap became possible because of ads, and probably there are also other recommendation mechanisms I'm not aware of. Twitter is now also trying its damnest to show you out-of-network content in your feed against your will, but that can mostly be fixed using the mute feature.

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