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A new feature has been committed enabling users to make formal suggestions for changing story tags and titles. Hopefully this will eliminate the need for moderators to have to do this all the time, as well as eliminate the annoying comment threads that only exist to argue about a story’s tags or title.

By clicking the ‘suggest’ link under a story title, you’ll be brought to a page where you can edit the story title and select tags to add or remove. For the moment, saving these just writes records in the database.

At some point in the near future, when enough users agree on a new set of tags, the tags on the story will automatically change. I would like to hear suggestions on what conditions to use for this event, either something as simple as “X number of users agreed” or something more complicated to prevent malice. A moderation event will be logged when this happens, but I’m not sure if all of the users that suggested those tags should be included in the log as well.

For titles, I’m not yet sure how to present those suggestions since they will probably all be different, unless the story was submitted with a made-up title and everyone wants it changed back to the original one at the story’s URL. Or perhaps most of these will be identical when a few users lop off the “ | Site Title” from users not following the submission guidelines.

Update: tag changes are now being done automatically, in response to at least 4 users agreeing on a new set of tags.

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      Sweet. I didn’t really pay much attention to tags before, but now that I can change them, I see that they’re all wrong!.

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      It would be nice to also be able to suggest dupes for story combining.

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      I would also like to propose that, as of today, comments on stories that are solely about their tags or titles should be considered off-topic and downvoted accordingly. Users have the formal means to propose tag changes, submitting users can see those proposals (anonymously) before a quorum changes them automatically, so there should not be a need for this noise anymore.

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        It doesn’t appear to currently show the suggested tags…so getting a quorom is pure luck if everybody decides to nominate the same tag.

        It might make sense to show the pending tags?

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          But that would encourage groupthink!!!!!1

          It shows them to the submitting user when they go to edit the post.

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      Re: moderation logging for this, as long as the event only occurs when there’s a significant number of users participating in the vote, I think making it public who voted would be actively harmful, in the same way as it would be for upvotes/downvotes on stories and comments. And my advice on privacy topics is always not to log user data unless you have a specific beneficial reason to. So I’d leave the list of voters out of it. By all means log a count of how many participated, though.

      Edit to add: Oh! And this is a really cool feature. :) Thank you!

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        The feeling I got from that comment was that it would be “Automod 5 users/10 minutes” or something like that to show the number of people who participated but not actually showing who voted. I think it was more of a ‘so people know that the story was changed’ not ‘these people didn’t like the tags.’ But, it’s a good point to bring up that we don’t want vote data to leak.

        Also, great feature. I’m sure tuning it will be fun :D

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          It’s entirely possible that was the intent; to me it sounded like the question. But yes, this is going to be really neat.

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      It’d be nice if suggestions were visible to other users once identical suggestions have been made by 2 users. It’d be even better if there was a UI affordance to let users vote on suggestions instead of having to enter them manually.

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        Kind of like the way stackoverflow handles flagging?

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      FWIW, I really hope we can avoid changing titles in all but THE most egregious cases. I really don’t think it’s something that should be happening very often.

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        It appears to be a fairly rare occurrence. And usually it’s just people submitting existing page titles without taking note of the basic rules.

        Also, I’d like to say I love your username.

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          Also, I’d like to say I love your username.

          Wish I could say it was original, but it’s just down to me being a huge Queensryche fan since about 1991 or so. Operation:Mindcrime blew my mind then and still does…

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            We’re in the same boat. I was listening to that album last week on a whim. It still kicks so much ass.

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        Maybe one submission in ten or twenrty I tone down a clickbaity title, usually just by changing two or three words. So far none of these have been edited after posting. I started the practice after a number of original titles got compaints and I agreed.

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          Sounds good. I’d just hope it never becomes rampant as it is on HN… and especially in regards to the way they often change a good title to a worse title due to their slavish devotion to the “use the original title” principle. Saying “don’t editorialize” sounds good on paper, but some titles need changing.

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            I think the way to avoid this, and other results, is to not pick policies solely for being easy to apply, without using judgement. Right now we have good people who are interested and willing to put in some effort towards getting along. Formalizing a lesser standard than that gives people a disincentive to do more. So we won’t. :)

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      I like that.

      I think the proper process for malicious retagging is moderator response.

      We should also drop the “wrong tags” downvote, then, or at least weight it in the suggestion calculation only.

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        “Poorly Tagged” and “Poorly Titled” were already removed as flag options with this change.

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        Edit: Well, jcs put it in better words at the same time that I did. Read that instead.

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      I want to be able to mark people I trust, and see a personalised view of the changes suggested by people I trust.

      I want to be able to choose people I trust absolutely, and have those changes automatically applied. I want conflicts to be unresolvable and all the conflict information displayed, because people I trust absolutely all have something important to say. Over time I will probably edit the people I trust absolutely, or expect the feature to increase in resolution so that i can e.g. mark user1 as being my most trusted user for the comments tag, etc.

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      Just tested it out here (hehe).

      Thank you!

    10. [Comment removed by author]

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      I would like to hear suggestions on what conditions to use for this event

      Tags and titles could be up/down-voted. Take tags with a positive balance and the title with the highest score.

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      An iterated ESP game could be used to decide tags.

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      I tried to use this feature to add a #formalmethods tag to https://lobste.rs/s/gjydaj/the_limits_of_correctness, but it won’t let me, because there’s still no #formalmethods tag, and it won’t let me suggest a tag that doesn’t exist yet.

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        Relatedly, I tried to add #dsp or #signal-processing or #image-processing to https://lobste.rs/s/udjfu4, but none of those exist either.

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          I can’t tell if you’re being intentionally obtuse. There was never any mention of being able to create tags that don’t exist.

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            Don’t mind this guy. I guess it’s impossible to talk to him without insulting him in some regard. Hey, kragen, this is the internet, damn it! :D

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            I just offered you a couple of feature requests for the software running your web site, and at first you ignored me, and then you answered by insulting me, calling me “obtuse”. This is not the first time I’ve seen you respond to suggestions for improvement with insults.

            This makes me sad. I wish you would not treat people like that. This is not the kind of interaction I am looking for when I come here. If it is the kind of interaction you want to promote, I guess I can’t stop you. Is it?

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              I was also unable to determine if this was a feature request or a misunderstanding of the current state.