Hypothesis: posts that are outliers in engagement metrics (comments, score, etc) are more likely to be low quality/controversial/damaging to communities.

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People often talk loosely about bikeshedding, but: "A [nuclear] reactor is so vastly expensive and complicated that an average person cannot understand it (see ambiguity aversion), so one assumes that those who work on it understand it. On the other hand, everyone can visualize a cheap, simple bicycle shed, so planning one can result in endless discussions because everyone involved wants to add a touch and show personal contribution."

In application: are submissions/stories/posts that are low-quality (eg, politically motivated, flamebait, etc) more likely to get rapid and extensive engagement than technical/on-topic posts, because those low-quality posts have a low barrier to entry?

Can we automatically detect engagement-outlier posts and freeze them into a moderation queue for consideration before re-enabling discussion?

If so, can such a system focus a community back on topical discussion rather than in-fighting?

@kline And can you do that without being accused of censorship?

@wolf480pl plot the last months stories by comments into approximately a bell curve.

If this new story is >1 sd from the mean (~top 15%), consider dropping it in a mod queue for consideration to either lock it or open it back up for open season.

@kline sounds like you're blocking it after half of the damage is done, but I guess that's already pretty good.

@wolf480pl you mean identifying users who cannot help but post terrible comments on terrible submissions?


@kline Well, if your method becomes effective at discouraging people from commenting on ckickbait, ckickbait will no longer gef top comments, so it won't be detected anymore

@kline not really, now the clickbait gets the same amout of comments as good co.tent, and your filter is having lots of false-positives

@wolf480pl it'll have reduced harmful engagement with shit submissions, which hopefully means less instances of community infighting.

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