GitHub Users Discontent With For You Feed
Written by Sue Gee   
Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Github has introduced a new feature which isn't finding favor with developers. The For You Feed is intended to help you discover interesting projects across GitHub but many users are complaining that it is distracting and irrelevant. The feature is a public beta - so if you don't like it, now is the time to say so.

Announcing the new "For you"  tab which is on each GitHub user's dashboard, Bruce Williams writes:

We’re excited to introduce a new beta version of GitHub’s home feed on your dashboard, designed to help developers build community, find inspiration, and celebrate each other’s incredible work.

We want to help your work reach an audience that cares about what you do. Whether it’s a project releasing a new version, a community reaching a big milestone, a popular developer starting something new, or a user answering questions in GitHub Discussions—the feed can give exposure to these moments.

This new feed shows activity and recommendations based on your network on GitHub and one aspect that is causing concern is that it uses the same sort of recommender algorithms as other social media sites in order to suggest organizations that you might want to follow.



The new feed has its own Feed Feedback section and the most upvoted discussion there, from ericoporto, has the very straightforward headline:


Adding to the discussion, jillesvangurp argues that:

algorithmic feeds don't actually work. The feeds just get hijacked by the most boring and dull people ever: influencers. We don't need Github influencers.

He continues:

When I check the Github feed, I expect to see updates from people and projects I follow. Any other feed is useless to me. So, please don't waste it with random stuff we never asked for. It's actually nice as it is. Don't mess it up please.

There's also an answer to this thread. It comes from another GitHub user, lukesdm, who puts the point of view of an organization that might attract random extra followers:

I would like to ask [GitHub] to consider the potential impact of those on the other side of this i.e. the users whose actions, without consent, may be either amplified or diminished by an algorithmic feed. For many of us, GitHub is part of our livelihood, and the gamification of it could lead to extra stress we could do without. There are other platforms well-placed for promotion and dissemination of our work - please consider deferring to those, instead of making it a compulsory part of this site.

More useful feedback is provided in its the Welcome to feed....back thread initiated by bdresser. Here there is some positive feedback, but the majority of it puts the opposite point of view and is well-argued. For example: 


More recently DanielGoldfarb added a plea:

Please, please don't force an involuntary feed on me! If you really want to make GitHub useful, then give me the ability to choose which user actions I can subscribe to on a per-user (following basis).

It is easy to see that if you already have an extensive network the "For you" tab could easily be overwhelming and here's a request  from oppahansi for the feature to be optional:

I do not understand, why github tries to become some kind of social media platform now.
The feed is already full of irrelevant stuff.
I really hope you will be able to disable this feature and also opt-out being used for other feeds.

An addition to the debate today by iagosousadev sums up what many developers are thinking:

I don't want to log into github and find that it has turned into a new mutant like social media come to post or to just show some random repos of unrelated things from what I do.Github is (or was depending on how this goes) the only platform where I could come and just look at my own things, work where I need to, see what I need to see.

...Github is not a fancy social media, it's a code versioning platform at its core, plus now a place for open source communities to collaborate abd where teams can develop things together. You don't need to mess with something that is already good ... don't try to reinvent the wheel and change this into some fancy boring and toxic social media.



More Information

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 March 2022 )