This is such a fascinating transformation of how we’re accustomed to dealing with the web and the news.

Does anyone remember that feature – maybe it’s still a thing, I don’t know – that that Reddit improvement extension had that would keep a tally of your upvotes/downvotes of users’ contributions to conversation? Your own personal attitudes towards barely-more-than-anonymous usernames could shape how you read conversations: instead of "wow, people are sure awful" you could recognize "ah, it’s just those two assholes again"1. You could add notes as well, if I remember right.

For some reason this seems like a useful addition to politics. Would it tamp down prejudicial heuristics ("some jerk from the South") to have one's real sources of animosity presented ("he thinks homosexuality is equivalent to bestiality")? Or would it merely amplify the impact of skewed news sources?

  1. It’s not hard to imagine such a thing also shaping how content was presented to you, with the binary choice to follow a user supplanted by seeing somewhat more of the people you gradually came to esteem. (Obviously lots of downsides as well, let’s not pretend there are easy answers)