Inviting community feedback on "Slow Mode"

Thank you – still evaluating all this. Please do keep exercising slow mode and don’t hesitate to start meta topics on anything we can improve for y’all :beers:

Also, anyone who wants Discourse stickers, and is comfortable sharing a mailing address for me to send them to, feel free to PM me. Just putting that offer out there.


Are you able to ship internationally, by chance? It would be cool to have the stickers, but I don’t know what it would cost to ship to Japan and wouldn’t want for it to be an undue burden.


Yes! It is OK! One international stamp is not a bridge too far! Thanks for asking! :envelope_with_arrow:


It is visible on the bottom of the topic, but not in the editor directly… :thinking: we could do something with the reply indicator at upper left to make it an hourglass, since we already change the reply indicator there for other reasons…


Yeah our list is kind of odd in that offers really long durations, like a week? What kind of dicussion allows one reply per person per week? It’s a non-issue here since all discussions close in 5 days anyway, but…

I wonder if we should have individual limits based on how often you reply to a person, there are friendly “reminders” but… I wonder if it should be enforced more strongly. There’d be a lot of ways around it, like name mentions, quotes, and simply quoting in generalized form that the parser can’t detect…

This strongly suggests a per user limit; these kinds of limits exist for new users but not for established users. I wonder if they should, though. and as you said

Other communities have expressed some interesting perspectives on leaving topics in slow mode forever, which kinda blew my mind :exploding_head: … like it literally never, not even once, crossed my mind that people might want a discussion in this mode FOREVER. But they do.

We don’t see that feedback here for obvious reasons :wink:


I wonder how many active users those communities have? It seems like if we had ten times as many highly active users as we do now, it would become nearly impossible to discuss some hot-button issue on which everyone has an opinion without some kind slowdown measure in place.


I guess two thoughts on this:

  • First, how would this look if it had to stack with other icons in that area (reply, whatever else occupies that area)? Would they be laid out horizontally in that case? Or… ?
  • Second, I don’t know if I’ve ever thought to actively look in this spot. In the back of my mind I’ve known that the person you’re replying is listed there, but I can think of a lot of times where I’ve forgotten to “properly” reply or accidentally replied to an individual when I meant to reply to a thread, precisely because this area doesn’t really capture my attention. One of the reasons I suggested the overlay area on the right (i.e., the one that obscures your WYSIWYG view) is that it’s really hard to ignore. I’ve never not noticed that when it’s present. But maybe that’s too big a hammer?

I like this idea. Real time discussions are easy to rank for me: person>video>voice. Textual interactions suck in real time I think. We don’t experience the sense of having other people around to witness our reactions in text dominated space I think or that’s my suspicion.

So text requires some different kind of thinking about how a conversation happens and is mediated.

I’m not being snarky when I ask this: Is that bad? How useful or important are our immediate reactions to triggering issues?

Lastly, my two cents on the original qustion:

  1. How do you feel slow mode is working here on BBS? Does it help?

I like it. I don’t think it’s a “fix” that replaces the work of actual human resources, but it makes a good warning system that reminds me to take a minute away if I’m getting drawn into “one of those threads” and gives me a chance to choose to go do something better with my time.

  1. Are there any scenarios where we should automatically invoke slow mode, or is it better as something that only happens manually, when moderators intervene?

People are the best organizers of social spaces still, so I lean towards human moderation.
But if it is automatic my thoughts are that it should be frequent enough that it doesn’t feel so much like a punishment as it does like a roundabout on a busy intersection. Everyone hates roundabouts and that’s why they work. They make things uncomfortable so people have to stop and think.


Well, you do get an immediate reaction! You can post immediately! What you can’t do is post again immediately… I think this is an important distinction.

It also raises the question, something I’ve thought about over the years … should we require read time in the topic before allowing anyone to reply? The implementation could be simple and brutally straightforward – you can’t post in this topic until 5 minutes after you visited it? I’m just brainstorming here, not saying we’d do any of this, but let’s think about what works, and what helps nudge us to be the best version of ourselves we can be…


I watched the January 6 storming of the Capitol here, and having the thread to post to and read and feel less alone was a huge deal for me that day. It helped it feel more like being in a Viennese coffee shop with fellow resistance, and less like sitting here alone in the country during a pandemic, so there’s that.

This seems brilliant, to me. If I’ve just clicked on a topic that has 50 replies, chances are most of my gut responses have already been said. Having a required read time helps slow it down and bring people into the conversation, and add to it, instead of posting echoes or already refuted points.
I really like this as an option.


What about new topics? 5 min seems excessive if there is only a few posts in the thread.


Exactly. Was just going to come back and edit, would be great if the read time could be tied somehow to the number of posts. Not to a too deep level, but maybe based on the “summary” option read time we get for longer threads?


Two seconds per reply doesn’t seem unreasonable. If there are only <10 replies, 20 seconds seems right to read/skim through what’s there. Maybe after 50 replies it goes down to 1.5secs, and after 100 replies down to 1sec.