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).