So, I’ll be honest. 99% of my CD experience has been post-Discourse move. But I heard that before that era there was a “rep” system for posters, that people could add and remove from. Additionally, in my time here, I’ve noticed a few traits about CD itself:
Threads are incredibly easy to derail. Half the time, the threads will naturally drift course anyway even if the conversation is productive. But especially with contentious topics, it only takes one controversial poster to cause the whole thing to go down. In order for a thread to remain on track, every single poster has to actively try to keep it so. This proves difficult in practice; that said, many forums in similar formats struggle with this.
Bad posts get disproportionate amounts of attention unless they are flaggable. See basically every controversial thread ever.
It’s even sadder when it’s talking about representation or similar subjects, because the reactions to whatever drivel some stubborn curmudgeon is posting crowds out room for more positive discussion.
In many cases, the recourse taken towards these posters is to try to be incredibly passive-aggressive towards them until they take the hint and leave the thread, or the thread gets moderated upon (usually temp-locked.) Usually the latter happens most often.
People often blame CD as a whole for being bad, without taking personal responsibility. Well, somebody has to post here. I’m guilty of this too, but maybe holding individuals more accountable instead of just blaming it on the funny orange website as a whole would work better. After all, we are hardly anonymous posters. Maybe this is what the rep system was designed to solve?
The thing is, none of these problems are new – they’ve plagued thousands of internet forums from before CD is a thing. But surely, we can try and design a community that compensates for these issues. I’m really curious.