Mark Trapp
The thing I don't like about Twitter public lists is that there's no consent. Someone could add you to a "child molesters" list, for example: (p.s. blog post from this here:
Or a public "douche bags" list, or anything. Public categorization is dangerous in the hands of an individual; at least with aggregate (or crowd-sourced) categorization, the bad apples can be marginalized or removed. But when every list gets an equal voice, or someone popular decides to put you into a shit list, one individual's voice gets to be the loudest based purely on how extreme they are with their categorization. If I'm listed in 50 "technology person" lists, and 1 "fuckwit" list, guess which one stands out? - Mark Trapp
Which is why I think there's a very good reason why Facebook, FriendFeed, and Google made list categorization private that Twitter completely missed. - Mark Trapp
And personally, I resent being on "technology" and variant lists. That's like signing me up for spam that I can't opt out or protect myself from. - Mark Trapp
Look for a big increase in @-reply-spam as this rolls out more widely :( - Tinfoil 2.0
You can see anyone's list memberships on their profile (another bonehead move): He's on mostly technology related lists. But all it takes is one person with a vendetta to use lists as a vehicle for libel or defamation. - Mark Trapp
Mark, I think you're right. Someone could counter-argue that tweet "equality" has the same issue, but psychologically lists have more weight and cut by implication not expression which is more difficult for a victim to tackle. I've noticed for myself it even feels like a violation when I see a screencap of someone's own Friendfeed page which shows *their* Lists - just the description/name of the list has effect. - Micah
I somehow made it on a tech blogging list. I don't think I ever wrote anything about tech blogging. Is there a free food Twitter list. Also, Mark, is Barton's dad on this mythical child molesters list? - James Ferguson
Barton's dad is on my child molester list. And the state registry's list. The jig is up with him! - Mark Trapp
I'm not sure it's Twitter's responsibility to prevent users from ding things that could get them sued for libel or defamation. Have some expectation of personal responsibility people. - Kevin Fox
If you block a user, would that remove you from their lists? But I agree, you should be able to remove yourself (like untagging from a photo on Facebook) - Stuart Miniman
Kevin: I agree that everyone ought to have personal responsibility, but there's absolutely nothing a person could do to protect themselves from a malicious use of lists other than to close out their account: I can't consent to the categorization, I can't remove myself from the categorization, and categorization is in no way dependent on my actions on Twitter (but rather, the actions of others). The fact that there's that in addition to the lists being attached to my profile page is nuts. - Mark Trapp
There are a few basic steps Twitter could've taken, and should still take: don't attach lists to a person's profile and allow people to opt out of lists. More extremely, make list memberships opt-in or make all lists private. - Mark Trapp
This is the problem with Twitter - it's too anonymous. It's the risk you take when you put yourself in such a public environment. If you're okay with that, fine - it's just the risk you take. - Jesse Stay
Mark, I answered you over on the other thread: - Alex Schleber
Yes, if you block a person who started a list it removes you from all the lists that person put you on. - michael sean wright
I've said repeatedly, in both my blog post, here, and on Robert Scoble's feed, blocking is not the answer. - Mark Trapp
One of the bigger problems I have with sites like Facebook is that I have no control over how others see my public profile (right now you'll prob see 16+ yr old girls asking you to contact them, surrounding my profile. I'm happily married, have 4 kids. Mark has a point. It's hard to maintain a personal brand on the web, and others that can classify you (wrongly) won't help. Then again Twitter is 90% bots so I don't think many will notice - Alexander van Elsas
Mark: I don't understand. You say you can't remove yourself from a list, but you can by blocking the offender. You say that 'blocking isn't the answer' but it seems to be exactly that. - Kevin Fox
Alexander: I'm on a roll tonight because I don't understand you either. You have pretty fine-grained control of what in your Facebook profile or feed is viewable to the public (or any other) scope, so you have tons of control over how others see your public profile. I don't see the 16+ year old girls asking me to contact them when I look at your profile. I see this: What's the offensive part? - Kevin Fox
Kevin, refresh the page a few times. and you will see other ads as well. The offensive part is that I have NO control over the right side of that page, yet it is directly related to my profile and therefore to my personal brand. This sucks on the web in general, but it sucks more on a site that is supposed to contain my dearest connections. I'm confusing everyone here it seems. I better stop talking now ;-) - Alexander van Elsas
btw, this conversation is taking place here as well, Jesse Stay didn't get me there too: - Alexander van Elsas
Kevin: let's say my friend decides he wants to put me in a "technology" or "owned-Barbies-when-he-was-5" list; my only recourse is to block someone I'd otherwise have no problem with because Twitter doesn't give me the ability to remove something from my profile otherwise. As I'm sure you've seen with FriendFeed and Facebook, blocking someone is considered a drastic and hostile action towards a person that isn't the same thing as opting out of a feature. And why aren't public lists opt-in anyway? - Mark Trapp
Alexander: Are you sure that the ads on the right are directly related to your profile? I think they're more directly related to the viewer's profile than the profile he's viewing, and don't knw that they're related to the profile being viewed at all. And if you're worried about the ads on the page, then this is a problem you're going to experience all over the internet. - Kevin Fox
Mark: Your arguments would go farther if you steered clear of the absolutes a bit. If this person is your friend enough that you don't want to block them, then presumably they're friend enough for you to ask them to take you off that list. 'Only recourse is to block my friend'? Pah. Also, public lists won't work if they're opt-in. Like Gwyneth Paltrow is going to sit around approving admission into 2,000 public lists. A better middle ground would be to let you choose to remove individual public lists you're on from your own profile page so they don't get free advertising or humiliation, but you're still on the list if the user finds it from the list-creator's end. - Kevin Fox
Kevin, that'd be a good middle ground, although I'd imagine if lists were opt-in, they'd function much like how FriendFeed and Facebook groups work now or how WeFollow works: someone can't subscribe me to a group, but if I want to be associated with a group of people, I opt-in by subscribing or joining the group. - Mark Trapp
It's a difference in viewpoint. I don't see them as groups because I don't see lists as a tool for fostering two-way communication. I see lists like Google Reader bundles. Pre-rolled subscription packs curated by a knowledgeable third-party. - Kevin Fox
I think Twitter should add a "public list opt-out" feature. It wasn't obvious when lists first came out that people might not want to be on them, but after seeing this, it's impossible to know if people want to be on them or not. It could be a problem for those wanting to opt-out of lists because you can't necessarily DM everyone that puts you on a list (and you don't always want to block them, as Mark said). - Matt M (inactive)
@Kevin. I am fully aware that ads are part of the eco system of the web. But in this particular context (A friend is looking for me on Facebook), I think placement of (sleezy) ads are a bad idea. It seems to reflect on my profile/brand/identity and it cannot be controlled by me. Facebook should be the place where friends connect, not the place where an old friend finds you surrounded by advertisement - Alexander van Elsas
Alexander, I'm sorry the ads you get on Facebook are sleazy. I find the ads to be much better quality than those I see elsewhere on the web. Nevertheless, again with the absolutes. It's not like ads preclude Facebook from being the place where friends connect, and a right hand column hardly constitutes being 'surrounded by advertisement.' - Kevin Fox
They probably know things about me they shouldn't ;-) - Alexander van Elsas
Okay, that's funny. - Kevin Fox
Man that's nuts, Facebook ads are among the shadiest on the respectable web. They're worse than AdSense ads, and AdSense ads are pretty bad. - Paul Laroquod