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How would people feel about a ‘drama’ tag for stories which are likely to devolve into a ‘lobster fire’?

Today’s inspiration was, of course, this thread: https://lobste.rs/s/2cvdfg/node_js_has_forked_into_ayo

However this is exactly the kind of story I visit Lobsters to avoid, if I want to read a three mile comment chain on the benefits and drawbacks of Codes of Conduct I’ll head to HN.

(I’m aware of the potential for this post itself to descend into ‘lobster fire’ territory, I don’t wish to editorialize on the appropriateness of this kind of story, I’d just like the ability to filter them out.)


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    Adding a drama tag signals that it’s ok to post such stories here.

    I would much rather see a drama or “likely to generate awful discussion” downvote. We can flag as off topic, but that leaves room for people to argue “this drama is about technology so it’s on topic”.

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      I was worried that the problem with flagging such stories as off-topic and/or hiding them (or just stating in some rule or guideline that the aren’t on-topic for this site), could be considered to be “taking a position/side” on the issue. And that tends not to end well.

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        I think it’s impossible to see who flagged what and why, right? But correct me if I’m wrong here.

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          But definitely possible to accuse your enemies of sockpuppeting against you.

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            They do that anyway. :|

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              Some even go as far as to bait the accusers with their username.

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      ‘lobster fire’

      I suggest ‘lobster boil’ as the ideal term to describe any future lobste.rs hot topics :)

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        I was debating between “train wreck” and “dumpster fire” when the present term was suggested on IRC.

        I’ll be using this suggestion from now on though…

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          Boiled lobster is delicious, though….

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            Not for the lobster! (;

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          I’d just advise to flag it and help make Lobsters a better place, instead of adding a tag for such things. In addition, I would say that tags should be objective, and not judgemental.

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            Good point. What’s drama to you might be the most important thing ever for someone else.

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              Yes, exactly this. If you don’t care about node, that thread is “Drama”, but if you do care about node, it’s a very important thing.

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                I care about Node, the software, because we use it for a lot of things. But what’s happening right now is emphatically still drama.

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                  I’m not going to say that everyone has to care about everything related to their technologies, but governance is a huge part of the software, especially with Node, which has already seen one major fork.

                  It’s still “drama” in the sense that yeah, some dramatic stuff is happening, but the way that most people use the word “drama” to mean “pointless internet arguing”, not “a scandal that has active and major implications for one of the most-used programming languages in the world, including a probable re-shuffling of governance that affects the future direction of the entire project.”

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                Only people taking part in said drama. And they’ve already got plenty of venues in which to perform.

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                Pretty sure you should just not upvote it.

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                  Do what I do: flag it as spam, and then upvote literally everything else of technical value in the queue around it.

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                    But spam is something different.

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                    I guess that’s the same debate as the downvote one!

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                  Possibly unpopular opinion but no. The word “drama” feels extremely dismissive. I really don’t like it when people dismiss anything as “drama”.

                  If you don’t want to read a comment chain, don’t open the comments. It’s not like the whole comment chain is directly embedded into the front page.

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                    The entire point is to be dismissive, right?

                    Drama submissions are categorized mainly by not being that important/actionable to daily stuff and more importantly by being “reality-free zones”.

                    The Google thing, as a great example, is drama because:

                    • Almost nobody who commented on it worked at GOOG and was in a position to really effect policy
                    • Almost nobody argued the core points of the memo, preferring to tangent on a particular point or metadiscussion–many didn’t even read the original thing before spouting off on it.
                    • Almost everybody refuses to change which side they are on in spite of evidence either way.

                    Such things need to be aggressively purged from the community, because they’re toxic.

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                      Maybe toxic is a better tag name?

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                        That can easily be abused. Suddenly somone thinks React.js or C++ in general are toxic and marks everything as such.

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                      Absolutely, I was unfortunately stuck for words to suggest a less dismissive tag.

                      A tag like ‘communities’ doesn’t feel specific enough to identify the precise kind of thread I’m referring to though, perhaps ‘political’?

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                        Honestly, “political”/“politics” is not a good word either.

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                          Indeed, you’re right. Honestly I’m starting to think that not tagging these at all and just letting Flag(Off-Topic) do its work might be the best solution.

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                      These kinds of posts are often appropriately tagged culture, which you can of course filter.

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                        And it already has a a negative modifier, even.

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                        I don’t wish to editorialize on the appropriateness of this kind of story

                        Sorts of seems like you might tho, no? “drama” in this context is a rather loaded term. When people use it to describe such things as the thread in question it generally implies a frivolous or pointless stirring up of trouble.

                        It’d be (at least) equally accurate to tag them something like “social” or “community issues”.

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                          The article itself was worth posting. It was the comment thread that turned into a boil. I think the right thing to do is to mark the inflammatory comments as “troll” so they eventually fade away. (I’ve been trying to do my part here but would appreciate any help.)

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                            Im for those threads being straight-up deleted by admins the second they see political, flamewar matetial as I said in the past. However, the votes and comments should tell you or anyone advocating downvotes/flags that they won’t work. There’s a percentage of people who want to see that shit on the front page who are a vocal-enough minority on a site where it takes few votes to make it to front.

                            So, best to just ignore any titles you see that look political. An extra hint is they have higher-than-usual comments since political posts make crowds just appear from thin air.

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                              Add it but make it only available for suggesting (not initially) and add negative hotness modifier to move it quicker out of the front page. That would make it a lightweight “flag”.

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                                Maybe “controversy”? It was unclear from reading the article on Ayo exactly what happened, the comments on it made it even more confusing other than CoC was violated. Labeling it as such doesn’t really pass judgment on the subject, which I think is important, other than it’s likely to create disagreement.

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                                  These “Tag Suggestion” posts could completely go away if lobste.rs supported user tags. The list of user tags could be hidden by default, and then people could “opt in” to applying particular ones. Bradfier could create the tag, decide who could apply the tag, and invite people to opt in to “:drama:”. Once you opt in, you could elect to filter or not filter those posts. Posts that had no top level tag would only be shown to people who had opted in to the user tag, and had not filtered it.

                                  If it was clear that it was useful, the mods could elect to remove the colons, making it a top-level “drama” tag. If not, it would be invisible to most users by default.

                                  Other than “drama”, the biggest other use case I can think of is high volume posts, like “haskell-weekly”, where some people would be interested, but it would ideally be an opt in sort of thing.

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                                    I don’t necessarily want to read drama, but I’m much more in favor of a drama tag than I am killing the stories. Nothing causes more drama than “there’s an important discussion that needs to happen and the mods keep killing the story”.

                                    I think a tag like drama (or something a little less inflammatory) would help. People can filter. People can not filter.

                                    Maybe the tag could be called: “governance”?

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                                      I’m not sure a new tag is required. Maybe this particular post is more a moderation issue, and we could provide nicer tools for moderation?

                                      Like if a post turns into ‘lobster fire’ we could simply close comments, or limit comments to 1 per 24h by user to help things cool of somehow.

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                                        So when something objective is being discussed, the discussion is a “lobster fire”?

                                        Can’t we all just stick to expertise-/virtue-signalling and talking about our preferences?