A softer slow mode: slow bumps?

I really like the intention behind slow mode, but it doesn’t quite address the most common driver for flamewars on our discourse:

  • Someone comes in “hot” — often someone new, often someone from another community — and lists a bunch of grievances
  • Lots of existing members respond to talk to/at the original poster with varying motivations (but with the “I think someone is wrong on the internet” syndrome ranking high)
  • The original poster wants to respond to/at everyone
  • Even in the best of discussions, things snowball rapidly.

Slow mode doesn’t help here, because there’s a many-to-one problem. It often just further alienates the new member as they’re the one that feels the brunt of the limitation: many can respond to them while their cool down timer is burning and then they only get one post to respond.

One tool I wish I had in my toolbox for situations like these is to slow down the bumping of the topic. The default listings (both latest and top) prioritize these “hot” topics. I’d love to be able to limit the bumps to once-every-12-hours or some such. Then it’s not a complete de-listing, but it’s a significant de-emphasizing that could help limit the number of new entrants to the discussion (unless they actively seek it out, which is just fine).

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A motivated user could write a single reply and quite many other posters though, right? ….that still would be possible in slow mode.

But I do agree that a reduced-bumping would also be useful in slow-mode. :slight_smile:

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Absolutely, but such monster posts that reply to many messages make the topic even harder to manage. Splits become impossible, and they tend to put the poster even more on a war-path (or at the very least, give the appearance of aggravation just by virtue of the large wall of text).

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That’s actually another unintended consequence of slow mode that we’ve seen on Julia discourse, which is a paid hosted instance that’s quite active: slow mode gets turned on and some people start editing their posts instead of writing new ones. Similar problem with setting someone who’s being problematic to TL0: they can’t make new posts but they can still edit their old ones, so they’ll do that, which is especially bad if they’re written inflammatory stuff which people reply to and they then edit, making the response look out of line.

But yes, I definitely second @mbauman’s suggestion—being able to prevent a hot topic from getting bumped so often would be very helpful for cooling things down.

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In addition to preventing the hot topic from getting bumped, it might be an idea to delay the notifications. That kind of solves the issue where someone replies to or mentions multiple users.

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A trick you can use today is to make topics like this unlisted, we do plan to add timers that can relist, but you could do that by hand

“Bury” topic has popped up in the past, and something we have thought about

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I don’t really understand what you are proposing. Can you show me a UI mockup of how this would work, what the user would see, what the staff member would see?

That’s why editing is limited by default in Slow Mode. You can turn off the editing limits if you trust your community not to do this.

And consider what @sam said. Make the topic unlisted. Please make full use of the existing tools in your toolkit before proposing more.