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Interesting idea

Filtered word: nsfw

Why is echo chamber a bad idea? To whom is it a bad idea?

Just based on how the algorithms used on Facebook already determine what you see, leading to only showing opinions of people who agree with you. I think it was an incredibly powerful polarizing catalyst, particularly in the last US election. Depending on ones views, people could have a totally different timeline. I'm just concerned that down weighting (insert opposing political views here) leads to less empathy, belief silos, and ultimately a disagreement of observable reality.

But like I said, I can also see the benefits of also down weighting abusive behavior online.

From my own partial observations, even self-proclaimed "rationalists" or "free thinkers" are often very much seeking confirmation of their own beliefs while rationalizing down opposing views. Just yesterday, someone publicly claiming pursuing the truth blocked me on Twitter after an exchange where I said I disagreed with Sam Harris (among other things).

Even naturally we tend to gravitate towards people which which we have the most common views, the notable exception being family, for various reasons that have nothing to do with "disagreement of observable reality".

Now, I've seen "echo chamber" being negatively used against people in the "outgroup". You have a conservatist echo chamber, a leftist echo chamber, even probably a "new atheist echo chamber" or a "rationalist echo chamber". So it seems that everyone is in their echo chambers, and I have a hard time believing these echo chamber have been completely manufactured by social networks. They probably made it more evident as everyone's opinion circle became public, but I seek we naturally are seeking like-minded peo... show more

I recognize the tendency can be natural. I just don't know how beneficial it is, if someone really tried to push those natural tendencies, as I believe they did on Facebook.

I don't know, perhaps just wishful thinking on my part. In the end, people will do what they want, which is usually what's comfortable, which means echo chambers.. Hopefully, if such a thing was implemented on the free network, at least we'd have the option to turn it off!

Well, decentralized social networks partially shield users from "viral" reactions because of the separations of servers. For example, I don't know how many times my posts have been reshared on Mastodon, neither by whom. All I can see is direct interactions, through likes and comments. In the same vein, if someone I follow shares a Diaspora post on Friendica, I won't be able to see the comments that were posted on the original post, only those posted under the reshare. I don't think it's a shortcoming, but rather a strength, to have some sort of separation of concerns and limited exposition to content from people I don't follow by default.

Of course, if I want it, I can always have it by using the community page, following tags, etc... but even these, I'll have somewhat a limited exposition due to the relative content inertia between nodes. New nodes' content won't show in many other nodes community pages, servers can be entirely banned by other servers, etc...

Echo chambers only server to reinforce the ideas which are held by a relatively small group of people. It is important that in any society we be exposed to differing views in order to understand other points of view and to be more well-rounded individuals. People who fail to listen to those with whom they disagree end up being terribly surprised that someone like Donald Trump can be elected president.

None of what you said is either true in the absolute or self-evident. But it sure looks good!

To be fair, it seemed like an opinion to me, not a presentation of an absolute truth.

I'm sorry I wasn't clear, I was referring to @shadesfsc 's comment.

You're being very charitable. Especially about the strawman-hindsight-prophetic tone of the last sentence.

Probably just my experience in the sciences. Unless somebody presents data, I just treat it as opinion. :)

But opinions are important as well, because you can't derive morals from science, for example.

I don't disregard opinions; unfortunately, I think the modern age definitely likes to disregard data though.

Alright, I'll stop being Debbie Downer now.

My two-penn'orth.
I don't want any kinds of algorithms on D*. If I have a problem with a troll I can resort to Ignore and have done once or twice.
I really don't want to trust anyone else with making those decisions in my life, even to the extent of having some kind of interface where I have an input. After all I have an input now, I can ignore them either softly by simply not bothering with their posts, or a hard ignore via my profile settings.

If it ever gets to Friendica, it’s going to be an opt-in only feature, for sure.

I´d say. most people are on the Federation because they don't want anyone or an algorithm to decide which content of the people and topics they share with the that share with them they get to see. Cronological order is perfecly fine, if we are no longer interested in seeing something, we can unfollow the hashtag, or stop sharing with that person.

I have started to remove contacts that are on Mastodon. Not because I don't like them. Just because their way of communicating (nanoblogging!) tends to invade my timeline, with some nice stuff, but also with lots other discussions I couldn't care less about. Lots of noise coming from these networks. Of course, I can decide to see posts from the other networks, and from my RSS feeds, but it defeats the original purpose of having everything in the same place(s) regardless of the source.

You can follow the path to the possible (opt-in) algorithm implementation in Friendica here (

I also unfollow verbose Mastodon accounts even if I'm interested in their content, but it isn't a new behavior since I chose Friendica. However not everyone on Mastodon is spamming, so I still follow a bunch of people over there (mostly dead accounts).