honestly, would people actually want to see what links are trending on their instance? it's an honest question, i don't know why someone would want that

@Lady i'm not sure. probably something like “got a lot more people posting it publicly than yesterday”

@Claire i feel like it would be interesting to know which links are receiving the most clicks but that might raise privacy questions

you could maybe get close if you counted boosts separately so that, e.g., a post with a link that was boosted five times rates higher than a link that was posted twice. ignoring boosts i think would make the information meaningless

counting would need to prevent spamming by an individual user, so it would actually be more like “number of users for which this link has appeared in their timeline”

considering that, i think it could have some useful applications (like a sort of instance‐local stumbleupon, really), although it also leaves itself open to a situation where, e.g., somebody shares a link to criticize it, it gets a lot of boosts, and suddenly the original link itself is being promoted without the context of the criticism

so some means of moderating that i think would be necessary

@Lady i think boosts are counted the same as individual posts. moderation consists in having to approve individual target domains before the link is listed, idk if there's something to block individual links from trending but if there is, it's a posteriori moderation. context is not kept. idk if CWed links are counted.

all of that is part of a PR from gargron, i haven't reviewed it, only skimmed over it, so that's why i don't know exactly how it works yet

@Claire yeah *generally* i would want context dropped, because otherwise that opens up a harassment mechanism (if people can find everyone sharing a link just by clicking the link in the trending pane, that’s bad)

probably what i’d want is an additional flag on posting to simply allow people to opt out of having the link be counted (using CWs for this isn’t ideal, but might work well enough). i think a posteriori moderation is probably fine, but there should probably be individual link moderation of some sort, given that sometimes bad things crop up in, for example the opinion section of the BBC/CBC/NYT, and an admin might want to block that article from trending but not the entire news site.

@Claire (the advantage to not counting links with CWs is that you prevent trending links that need a CW, and you provide an easy opt‐in mechanism for people to share links without contributing to their trending counts; the disadvantage is that on some instances that means things like politics will never trend [maybe a good thing? maybe not?])

@Lady from a quick glance it counts CWed links and also you cannot approve or refuse individual links, only providers

@Lady i'd have to review the PR thoroughly anyway but that's my understanding so far

so the infamous BBC flaming shit article for instance could very well trend if people linked to it criticizing it, even under CW and it would appear without CW or context and the only way to get rid of it for an admin would be to disallow BBC as a whole

@Claire i would definitely raise that as a concern; i think it might be something eugen would be amenable to take into consideration although i’m sure you know better than i do regarding that

@Lady yes, i did so just now. but i was pretty mad considering he was like “is it possible to merge this today?” yesterday evening on the same day he marked that 90+ files change PR ready for review lol

@Claire I have it on but most of the time it's extremely uninteresting because most people don't use hashtags at all

@Claire it's also probably not gonna work on any but the largest of instances

@Claire I feel like it'd be even less effective, like even if people link to the same YouTube video it'll probably count the short and the long link as different links

@Claire or the amp and non-amp versions of the same article

@noiob i'm not sure it works for youtube videos, this is geared towards news articles

but some effort is done to get the “canonical” version of a link

@Claire i don't particularly care what is "trending" in either tag or link form, but that's because i don't care what's "trending" at all, because i've never been one to follow crowds

i assume there are some people who do care, else the feature wouldn't make sense to implement. it's fairly benign as long as we never start tracking arbitrary terms and making those trend.

@Claire i also suspect this feature makes a lot more sense on mega-instances like or where there are actually enough users locally/federated to ostensibly generate meaningful aggregate data.

@trwnh i'm not sure it is benign: lost context could include criticism of the shared link, appropriate content/trigger warnings etc., it's an extra avenue for spam and an extra place for admins to actively keep an eye on; also, depending on how it ends up being presented to the user, it may be additional distracting noise i would say yes, mostly just because the fedi TL is too much of a firehose to pay attention to, but maybe it could catch some good links.

however i think the problem is on a smaller instance, there won't be much to populate the list with. here on misskey we have a trending hashtags list, but the instance is small enough that hashtags get on trending after being used only one time, so it's not super useful...

@Claire "here's 500 characters to convey the context"
"okay now let's rip out ___ and present a trending list without any context"

please don't

@oreolek @Claire i think the feature should show what people are saying about a given link. i dont think it's necessarily "ripping context" to say "this link has been widely shared, do you care to see why"

@trwnh @oreolek i'm uncomfortable with this for a few reasons:
- so far we have disabled search except for hashtags which are explicitly made for making some content discoverable. posting a link is very much less explicit. it could be used to easily find harassment targets for instance
- still about harassment it could instead be used as a means to share harassing messages (the same way hashtags can be used for that purpose, so it's not a very strong argument if the moderation tools are adequate)
- i'm not sure the Internet needs one more “comment section”

@Claire @oreolek i'd rather have a fedi-enabled "comment section" than reddit or twitter tbh

i do understand the sorta blurriness around making links trend, because it is less explicit than hashtags and another step toward making arbitrary text trend, but i'm personally content to ignore it as long as it goes no further than links. and i think admins can ignore it too by just not approving any domains, right?

@Claire @oreolek like, personally i draw the line at arbitrary term searching because that's just a bad idea no matter how good your moderation team is. i think it's fine if you still can't search for links, so they only show up in the trending section

@trwnh @Claire look, you can put anything in a link, so this is exactly like making arbitrary text trends. There's no distinction, is a valid link and does not return a 404.

@Claire @oreolek i don't see fake links as any different than fake hashtags. it is, again, arbitrary *text* where i draw the line, and specifically allowing full-text search for that which you didn't write or interact with. personally. i speak for no one else, of course. but anyway, for tags/links, i would say having them only show up in trends if approved is enough of a deterrent / safety feature. you can ignore trends, and admins/mods have to approve anything before it is shown anyway.

@trwnh @oreolek if i understand correctly (i'm still not down reviewing the PR), moderation is a mix of a priori moderation (allowing certain “providers”, i.e. domain names that links can target) and a posteriori moderation (being able to remove individual trending links—that did not exist before i complained this night)

@Claire @oreolek like, i don't want people being able to trivially find my old toot where i said their name and then ping me about it, forcing me to start censoring myself with asterisks. no *ne w*nts t* s** th*s everywhere.

the fact that trends are ignorable, opt-in, and require human approval means, to me, that i don't have to worry about them.

@Claire @oreolek actually, it might be interesting to compare this with a tangentially related feature involving links: webmentions. should mastodon send webmentions when you post a link? my gut response is no, but i could go either way on it. there's prior art in wordpress pingbacks about how that could go well or go poorly. i think as long as there's consent on both sides, it's not harmful -- users should opt in to sending a webmention, authors should opt in to receiving webmentions.

@trwnh @oreolek in that case, there is no explicit consent for the link counting towards trends, in the current state of the PR it's implicitly given when the toot is (1) public (not unlisted) and (2) not using a Content Warning

which honestly is not completely ideal, but is a good compromise with adding a new cumbersome option

@Claire @oreolek yeah, i think we sort of end up assuming consent by virtue of something being posted as "public" that it is therefore fine for the public to do whatever it wants with it. maybe that's not entirely unreasonable? i'd still like to see a dedicated "discoverable" field applied to toots and not just to profiles

@Claire I can see how this would be useful for admins and moderators as a way of detecting spam/scam operations or bullying, but I don't see any use for end users

@Claire it'd be one thing when if they were treated like trending Hashtags

when you click on it, you see the posts about it

@meena i'm very not comfortable with that, as it's way less explicit than with hashtags that you want your post to be findable by link; and also i'm not sure the internet needs another comment section

@Claire I think it only comes close to making sense on an instance the size of, and even then I don’t really see the point

@Claire (Pardon j'ai la flemme d'écrire en anglais aujourd'hui)

Je crois qu'il y a deux choses à prendre en compte :
- les désinformations passe beaucoup par le partage de lien vers du contenu volontairement trompeur,
- les gens partagent aussi les liens de cette désinformations pour en critiquer / débunker le contenu.

Je suis pas certain que dans un tel contexte, partager les liens sans aucun contexte soit vraiment une bonne chose. Puisque du coup même les messages de critique pourraint se retrouver à pousser l’algorithme à encore plus mettre le lien problématique en avant, donnant un petit peu plus de travail à la modération. Or je crois qu'il y a déjà beaucoup d'instances où la modération n'a déjà pas les moyens de faire son "boulot" convenablement (trop peu de personnes par rapport au taille d'instance par exemple).

Du coup je trouve ça étonnant de pousser une telle fonctionnalité de la part de Gargon pour qui la lutte contre la désinformation semble être important (investissement dans Eunomia). Et encore plus étonnant que les seuls garde-fous prévus soient la modération humaine.

@Claire Bon cela dit, de manière générale, j'utilise très peu les fonctionnalités qui reposent sur la popularité d'un contenu. Alors je suis probablement un peu biaisé concernant l'utilité relative de la fonctionnalité.

Tant que ça reste désactivable, je suis content.

@Claire This would just make each Mastodon instance a more attractive target for spammers, methinks. Another idea ruined by the adversarial internet, whether or not it would be a good idea on a collegial internet.

@Claire I voted "I don't know" because I'm not really sure.

But the only reason I could see that as useful is that it would allow for the "trending" concept without elevating individuals or individual posts who could be singled out for abuse.

@Claire I'm kind of surprised at this and clearly I'm in the minority here

Personality I think it would be a unique way to connect other Mastos together, but it's not something I would defend to the death over

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