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posted by NCommander on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the a-response-from-the-director-of-project-freelancer dept.

After laying out my longer-term plans for the site two weeks ago, I've sat down, read the feedback, and started looking at writing a response. Under normal circumstances, I generally reply to comments as they're posted, but in this case, a more public and general dialog appears to be necessary. If you haven't read the previous post, I recommend doing so now.

Now, with that introduction out of the way... I have unfortunately been unavailable to write a more detailed response, due to real life issues. So please excuse my only responding to two of the major points brought up. I do wish to have a follow-up to address the remainder, but I can not make a promise as to when that may be.

UI issues

I did a really bad job explaining what I meant here, given this by far was the most commented on item! I'm not planning to beta, or Web 2.0 SoylentNews; what I want to do is clean up the interface, as well as add some dynamic aspects for those who use JavaScript, while, and I stress this, without compromising the functionality of the site as it stands now for the non-JS crowd.

For example, one thing is having the ability to perform an in-line reply; if you've got JavaScript enabled, it should simply create a reply box directly below the comment you're responding to without having to load an entire new page. For non-JS users, it should simply go to the current reply form we're all familiar with. This would help improve usability for the JS using majority while keeping us safely away from the evils of beta. Another example is re-doing the entirety of the preferences panel. As of right now, individual users can customize their site experience quite heavily, but said options are scattered across multiple pages, and are frequently buried in places one might not expect. For instance, if you wanted "Funny" comments to show higher than others, how many folks can really find that part of the UI without difficulty?

What I want to do here is a massive pipe-cleaning of our interface so that the site is easy-to-use, while not adding flashy or unnecessary chrome. While we might someday give the site a larger face-lift, it will be done with the feedback of the community, and with plenty of notice (and with every effort to preserve the old interface made for those who simply do not wish to change). For the immediate future though, everyone should expect to see the slow, but steady improvements we've been making since day 1.

Quality of Discussion

A large part of the comments focused on the issues with the moderation system. For those of you here since April, you might remember a discussion on reworking the mod system and know this has been something of a long-term goal that we simply haven't gotten to. One major problem is doing it is something of an all-or-nothing, and we can't have individual users opt-in/opt-out of a new system. That being said, this is something we do need to do relatively soon; we (the staff) have already seen issues with abusive moderation, and have fired off warning emails. As of right now, we haven't banned anyone from moderation, mostly on account we can't (the old moderation ban system was tied into metamod, which remains hosed), and that it also opens a real slippery slope.

Many folks complained that on the other site quite a few people reported that they were apparently blacklisted from moderation. Furthermore, a lot of the time, what is or isn't acceptable can be an extremely relative thing. The fact is, the moment the staff intervene on anything that isn't flat-out abuse, we create a precedent that is better left avoided. The correct method here is to tie the entire system to metamod (M2), and that as long as a user does a semi-decent job of moderation (i.e., 75-80% of mods get ACKed), they keep getting mod points, while those who moderate poorly or abuse the system don't.

The downside of this system though is that M2 is basically work with very little reward, at least as it is currently implemented. My current thoughts here involve reworking karma, as well as perhaps allowing badges and ranking, to hopefully provide benefits for some of the more tedious aspects of peer review.

Related Stories

Keeping The Signal/Noise Ratio High 169 comments
The tl;dr Version:
  • Drastically reduce number of moderators
  • Return of meta-moderation
  • Allow more moderation with fewer moderators
  • Supermoderations to lock posts that need it

So you guys did an amazing job in letting your voices be heard in both the moderate^post and Why Did You Lurk? posts. I've read through every comment, left a couple dozen of my own across both discussions, and have sat here and digested it. The most valuable thing we have is an incredible signal/noise ratio. This is a byproduct of this site being relatively small, and with a highly engaged community. As time goes on, we're going grow; this is a natural part of any website; a web site that is not growing is entering a death spiral.

Any community needs new members to come in as older members either become less active, or leave. Kuro5hin is a great example of what happens if you just completely shut your doors, or create barriers that are too high prevent new members from joining in.

The problem then becomes, given more and more members, can we keep a high signal to noise ratio? I think it's possible.

Discussing the Future of SN: The Next Six Months 158 comments

Now that the latest release of slashcode has settled, and we're moving ahead towards towards getting the site self-sufficient, it's time to look at our longer term plans. I have talked about the direction I want SN to go, as well as some of the trouble getting from here to there. With the help of the staff, what I present here is a more unified plan on how we get from here to there for the community to evaluate. This should however be considered a draft, so, as usual, feel free to rip it to shreds, etc. In short, here's what I want to get done over the next six months:

  • SoylentNews PBC reaches self-sufficiency
  • Beginnings of a major "port and polish" on both content and the site itself
  • Build a more uniformed sense of community throughout the site
  • Compilation and completion of a "style and policy" manual
  • Preparations for running a crowd-funding campaign to get initial capital
  • Define, with assistance and input from the community, a mechanism for community governance
  • If possible, try and reach out to other not-for-profit journalist organizations for advice and guidance
  • Bootstrap the NFP umbrella from the B-corp's funds
  • Define a framework for which original content will be used on SoylentNews
  • Identify people who may be willing to work in a journalistic capacity with us
  • With the above frameworks in place, fundraise
  • Original content launches on SN

As usual, I'm going to go through these one by one, so check past the break

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by buswolley on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:26PM

    by buswolley (848) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:26PM (#100523)

    How about removing the off topic mod.

      If SoylentNews IS PEOPLE then the comments are always on topic.

    --
    subicular junctures
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:37PM (#100530)

      systemd disagrees and this is why global warming is fake.
      I see off topic as a less severe flamebait most of the time especially since there isn't many comments to begin with for any given story.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:10PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:10PM (#100573)

        Most, if not all, of those annoying systemd comments that I've seen have in fact been tied in to the submission in some way. They're often even more on-topic than a lot of the other comments are, I'm sad to say.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:31PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:31PM (#100606)

          Don't blame the systemd comments, instead blame systemd!

          If we didn't have that festering boil on our asses, we wouldn't have to talk about it every day.

          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:44PM

            by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:44PM (#100644) Journal

            systemd is the new beta

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:46PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:46PM (#100719)

              There are a lot of parallels between the two:

              • Both are shitty ideas.
              • Both are shitty implementations.
              • Both have been forcefully crammed down the throats of unwilling victims.
              • Both have made a lot of people very angry.
              • Both have torn apart long established communities.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:09AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:09AM (#100764)

                Except the only people forcing anything related to systemd on a significant portion of SN's audience are the butt-hurt bitches who can't stop crying about being butt-hurt. /. beta affected all users of /., systemd only affects a small subset of SN users and has nothing to do with SN itself.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:28AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @01:28AM (#100778)

                  Nobody here has ever forced systemd on me. The only time I've had it forced on me is when I install pretty much any Linux distro these days. And even Debian and Ubuntu will fall victim to it soon enough. I'm fine with people wanting to speak out against it. It really does suck. The more people who say it, the better!

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:53AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:53AM (#100886)

                    i'm a debian user without systemd

                    anyone who can't set up debian without systemd, and then jumps on the interwebz to bitch about it is welcome to go back to windows

                    nobody is forcing systemd on anyone... its just that apparently some are too lazy and/or stupid to do a little bit of reading to figure out how to configure their system the way they want it

                    if you want debian to work exactly the way you want out of the box, go pay for someone to make it happen you lazy cheapskate whiner

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:02PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:02PM (#100902)

                      I'm not going to stick with Debian 7 forever just so I can avoid systemd. I'm going to switch to Gentoo.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 03 2014, @02:39AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 03 2014, @02:39AM (#101244)

                      Good luck with that once Jessie is out. You'll be screwed, and you'll wish you had spoken out against systemd instead of being a dipshit like you're being now.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:14PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:14PM (#100693)

        Here's are some perfect examples of abusive moderation [soylentnews.org] happening here at SN.

        #100382 is currently at '0, Troll'. But after reading it, it's obviously not a troll comment. The points it makes are valid, and totally relate to the story topic and to the parent comment's topic.

        #100396 is currently at '0, Offtopic'. But it's clearly an on topic reply to a comment that itself is on topic.

        #100401 is currently at '-1, Offtopic'. But it's also clearly an on topic reply to a comment that itself is on topic.

        All three of those are incorrectly moderated, no matter how you look at it. They're totally relevant discussion given the story's topic and the original comment's topic.

        I think whoever modded down those comments should lose their moderating privileges forever. They've censored perfectly legitimate and worthwhile content.

        That kind of outright and unjustifiable censorship is much more harmful than those comments being left unmoderated.

        • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:55PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:55PM (#100727)

          All systemd posts are off topic. We get it, you're butt-hurt and can't stop crying. Stop being pathetic bitches and get over it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:56PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:56PM (#100729)

            Those ones were completely on topic.

        • (Score: 1) by clone141166 on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:04AM

          by clone141166 (59) on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:04AM (#100798)

          Agreed, I think it's not offtopic if the post demonstrates a clear chain of logic to a related topic. In this case the article was about Wandows/Operating Systems in general, and the post segues to Linux and then to systemd. Maybe it's a little bit of a stretch, but it's still a *related* topic with some interesting content in the post. Modding it offtopic seems extreme.

          I went ahead and used up some modpoints to push the posts back to neutral/positive :)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:08PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:08PM (#100903)

            Thank you for righting that wrong.

            It is too bad that the abuser probably won't be be punished, though. The other AC is right, that mod should never mod again. It probably was the same mod who abusively modded all three, so they're his three strikes. He should never mod again!

        • (Score: 2) by sudo rm -rf on Thursday October 02 2014, @07:43AM

          by sudo rm -rf (2357) on Thursday October 02 2014, @07:43AM (#100850) Journal

          This is one reason I browse at -1. I don't want to rely on other people's moderation. What one moderator may find trollish I might find interesting or at least I want to read it and think "agreed, troll". Most of the time I agree.
          Frankly, I think the moderation system works quite well, but I'm all for trying out (slow) changes

          • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Thursday October 02 2014, @11:00AM

            by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @11:00AM (#100895) Journal

            Same here however I started out wishing for a +1 Disagree then lately I've been thinking -1 Troll ought to be removed from the moderation options but maybe those are both bad ideas of the “perfection is the enemy of good” kind. For example the old /. meta-moderation turned out to be a cure worse than the disease.

            If Funny doesn't give karma then maybe Troll and Off-topic shouldn't take karma either? Easy to think of ideas that might turn out to be horrible :)

            It makes me very conscious of the fact that I don't really understand why I like the old /. and now SN (and Pipedot too) so much more than anything else:

            • I always browse at -1 so it shouldn't really be the moderation system (Pipedot has changed it a bit without much difference, mostly to make it scale better afaik), yet the best example of the moderation system working might be when a good but not awesome comments stays at +3 or +4. And while I browse at -1 I use most of my mod points.
            • I've always used whatever is closest to “Improved Threaded” but on it's own it shouldn't be that special, then again I hate losing it *cough* Beta.
            • The comments are all over the place (a mixed bag from everyone including me) so at least in some ways it can't be that either even though some of it is is exceptionally good (recently a lot of it, ebb and flow).
            --
            Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
            • (Score: 1) by CirclesInSand on Thursday October 02 2014, @07:49PM

              by CirclesInSand (2899) on Thursday October 02 2014, @07:49PM (#101103)

              I sometimes wish for a "+1 disagree" or "+1 well written". Interesting/insightful/informative all indicate some degree of agreement. There needs to be a mod for "I don't agree but you stated it well".

              • (Score: 2) by bugamn on Monday October 06 2014, @10:01PM

                by bugamn (1017) on Monday October 06 2014, @10:01PM (#102701)

                Why not use interesting, informative or insightful with those? I might disagree with your point and yet find that your statistics are informative, for example.

                • (Score: 1) by CirclesInSand on Tuesday October 07 2014, @07:58PM

                  by CirclesInSand (2899) on Tuesday October 07 2014, @07:58PM (#103284)

                  The point is that this is how *you* feel. Most users will not mod insightful or informative if they disagree with the point the poster is making. Most users use "insightful" and "informative" and "interesting" to show agreement. You probably do too, but don't self evaluate critically enough to notice. Probably.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jackb_guppy on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:47PM

      by jackb_guppy (3560) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:47PM (#100538)

      Maybe a better idea is to spilt the thread or post a daily BS thread for off-topics can play there.

      Off topic to me means - It does not go with the article that is posted. Complaining about the SN interface in a thread about electric cars, is off-topic.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:55PM (#100563)

        At least some of the off-topic comments I've seen lately have been reporting SN bugs. The posters say they don't want to use GitHub, which I think is fair. Those kind of comments would probably go away if there was some way to report bugs through the SN site instead of through GitHub.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:47PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:47PM (#100648) Journal

          What about a dedicated journal for bug reports? There could be a special user "bugs" who never posts, but has a journal entry to which you could add bug reports as comments.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:48PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:48PM (#100679)

            That's a good idea.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @04:35PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @04:35PM (#101010)

            That gets my vote. If I have modpoints when I get home and log in, you're having one.

            FatPhil (no idea what his password is)

        • (Score: 2) by mrcoolbp on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:39AM

          by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:39AM (#100805) Homepage

          At least some of the off-topic comments I've seen lately have been reporting SN bugs. The posters say they don't want to use GitHub, which I think is fair. Those kind of comments would probably go away if there was some way to report bugs through the SN site instead of through GitHub.

          Though it's not ideal, one could always email admin@soylentnews.org with the bug, and we can get it posted from there. It's certainly better than just mentioning it in a random story.

          --
          (Score:1^½, Radical)
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:56PM

        by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:56PM (#100565)

        Well how bout this, in a "state of the site" post about two specific subtopics, in a semi related story I had the bright idea that we need a story CALENDAR not just a story queue. Maybe a massive shared thing on google calendar or who knows, details need fleshing out.

        Next tuesday morning the ISS is having a spacewalk to do something or another (true story) so you may as well stick techie stuff like that in a shared calendar because of the odds of it appearing as a story on SN on next tuesday are more likely than any other random day.

        Obviously it could contain a heck of a lot more "future news" than just space stuff. There was a Maker Fair in Milwaukee last weekend. Apple has announced an invitation only meeting to demo the new iDevice. General tech stuff like that.

        Anyway is that offtopic or not? (I guess I'll see how this gets modded)

      • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:49PM

        by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:49PM (#100587)
        How's the moderation system supposed to work if there is no structure to the discussion?
        --
        🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:51PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:51PM (#100681)

          What the hell? Discussion isn't about "structure". Discussion is about sharing ideas. Sometimes those ideas will relate to the story. Sometimes they won't.

          It's asinine to try to force the discussion into some "structured" form just so it can be moderated (aka censored). Trying to "structure" discussion and trying to moderate discussion are both actions that end up harming discussion more than they ever help it.

          Good discussion comes from a high level of freedom. Moronic circle-jerk babble comes from the "structure" and moderation that's forced on users at shitty web sites like Reddit and Hacker News.

          • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:23PM

            by q.kontinuum (532) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:23PM (#100700) Journal

            Then make it (easily) configurable for everyone, which weight he gives to which rating. E.g. for people who don't care for staying on topic, weigh "Offtopic"=0, others can keep it at -1

            --
            Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:30PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:30PM (#100707)

              Better yet, get rid of the moderation system completely. All comments are equal, regardless of who they're from.

              If, as a reader, you dislike a comment, you can ignore it. If you disagree with it, you can reply to it.

              Then all of this crap about weighting moderations and meta-moderation becomes irrelevant.

              • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:02AM

                by q.kontinuum (532) on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:02AM (#100820) Journal

                If you seriously think that, you might want to spend some time reading your /dev/random as well. Mathematically you should find any possible text there if you read long enough ;-)

                Seriously: I usually don't ignore lowly moderated comments, but the moderation does have impact on the order in which I read comments. And usually, when I do read a -1 comment, I agree afterwards it was a waste of time.

                --
                Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:12PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:12PM (#100904)

                  I read at -1. I want to read all comments. I like to experience a diversity of thought, instead of mod-dictated groupthink. So I like the idea of all comments being treated as equal. As far as I'm concerned, they already are.

            • (Score: 2) by mrcoolbp on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:45AM

              by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:45AM (#100806) Homepage

              Then make it (easily) configurable for everyone, which weight he gives to which rating. E.g. for people who don't care for staying on topic, weigh "Offtopic"=0, others can keep it at -1

              Already possible. Try: http://soylentnews.org/my/comments [soylentnews.org] (about half-way down).

              --
              (Score:1^½, Radical)
          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:43PM

            by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:43PM (#100717)

            Discussion is about sharing ideas on a topic.

            FTFY.

            --
            🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:52PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:52PM (#100725)

              That's not discussion. Discussion is about sharing ideas.

              • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:02PM

                by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:02PM (#100734)
                Look it up. Then go to IRC because that's really what you're asking for.
                --
                🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:03PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:03PM (#100735)

                dis·cus·sion
                the action or process of talking about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.

                "Discussion" by definition means talking about a certain topic. Its not "talking about whatever, with no concern or consistency about the topic" like you're trying to insist.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:07PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:07PM (#100737)

                  Of course discussion inherently involves a topic. But that topic isn't static. It can be anything, and it can change drastically throughout a given discussion.

                  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:26PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:26PM (#100750)

                    I believe the word you want is "conversation". "Conversation" has fluid topics, and non sequiturs aren't considered a bad thing. And before you can even suggest it, no, "debate" is not the word we want because discussion doesn't mean sticking specifically to one single topic until the matter is settled, staying on a specific topic, but does generally mean staying around a specific topic.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:34PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:34PM (#100754)

                      "Discussion" and "conversation" are mostly synonymous, but "conversation" is more casual. It's done merely to be social, without as much analysis, thought and discovery as one engages in during "discussion".

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Buck Feta on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:03PM

      by Buck Feta (958) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:03PM (#100544) Journal

      I like kittens.

      --
      - fractious political commentary goes here -
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by richtopia on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:14PM

        by richtopia (3160) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:14PM (#100546) Homepage Journal

        Well that is always on topic.

      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:14PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:14PM (#100632) Homepage Journal

        There's your proof that S/N needs metamoderation, and I thank you for posting it as well as the moderator who modded it "informative." It was, as you obviously meant it to be, a funny illustration both of why we need the offtopic comment and why we need M2.

        Bravo!

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:49PM (#100721)

          I think it's proof that moderation itself is the problem. If moderation can't be done correctly the first time around, what's to say it'll be done correctly the second time around, during meta-moderation?

          It's like that old saying, "I had a problem, so I decided to use Perl to solve it. Now I have two problems."

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:07PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:07PM (#100738)

            You're right. If you can't do something perfect the first time, you should just shoot yourself in the head, because there's no fucking point in trying. "Improvements" are for faggots, just reinforcing what giant failures they are in life by admitting they don't do everything perfectly on the first try.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:12PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:12PM (#100741)

              Slashdot's moderation and metamoderation system are broken. They've been broken for, what, 15 years now, if not longer?

              Digg's moderation system was broken.

              Reddit's moderation system was and is broken.

              HN's moderation system is by far the most broken, twisted, screwed up pile of shit there has ever been for a site of its size and popularity.

              SN's moderation system is basically just Slashdot's.

              Pipedot's moderation system seems more broken than the one here. I see mis-moderation there all the time, and there aren't even that many comments there!

              How many more failed attempts are needed before it's clear that this isn't something that's ever going to be improved? Moderation is inherently a negative thing. It's censorship. Trying to improve censorship inherently causes more harm than it ever eliminates. The more you try to "perfect" moderation or censorship, the worse the entire situation becomes.

              The only way to really see any improvement is to do away with moderation and censorship completely.

              • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:21PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:21PM (#100747)

                Moderation ... is censorship.

                Nice strawman, but its not. Nothing is being censored. Nobody is stopping you from browsing at -1.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:27PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:27PM (#100752)

                  If a comment isn't visible by default, then it's being censored. The fact that one has to make a concerted effort to browse at -1 to view such comments shows that censorship is in fact happening.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:38PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:38PM (#100756)

                    The fact that one has to make a concerted effort ... shows that censorship is in fact happening.

                    Oh my God! I can't hear what people who aren't right beside me are saying! That's mass censorship! The fact that I have to make a concerted effort and actually get up and go outside to interact with people shows that censorship is factually occurring!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:50PM (#100560)

      I agree. Off-topic mods often are used in an abusive manner. They should be removed.

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:51PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:51PM (#100651) Journal

        That would not remove the abuse, it would only move it to another negative moderation option.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:18PM

        by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:18PM (#100663)

        I don't agree. I just got into a spat with an AC about GitHub in an article about journalists passing their stories to the CIA for permission to post them. There were no moderation repercussions for that conversation, but there should have been. Why? For starters, that had to be annoying for everybody who was in that discussion to talk about the CIA. Secondly, the AC was in the wrong place to voice is complaint. Now the second is related to the first in terms of noise level, but it also means if he was heard by the people who need to hear him, it was only coincidental.

        Personally I think my remarks there, both posted at +2 and that I had posted anonymously, should have been modded down for visibility reasons and to teach me to keep the discussions from getting derailed. Unless, of course, you'd like this to turn into Slashdot where for quite a while *every* article ended up in a flame war between Android and iOS fanboys.

        --
        🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:18PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:18PM (#100695)

          I just found the discussion you're referring to. Why did you keep engaging that AC if you didn't like the discussion? Why did you keep contributing the problem?

          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:53PM

            by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:53PM (#100726)
            Oh I didn't say I wasn't enjoying the discussion, I'm just admitting that I deserve whatever negative moderation I get. I was having fun making the AC contradict himself. On a less selfish note: The more energy somebody has to put into trolling the less desire they'll have to do it next time around. Yes, I have fun playing with them on those grounds, too.
            --
            🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:34PM (#100962)

          Maybe for things like that, there should be a way to continue the discussion elsewhere.

          Maybe an extra option when posting, "hide this as disgression" which would make that post, and replies to it, not show up by default, but only a link saying "there are hidden disgression replies to this post" which, when clicked, would lead to a separate page dedicated to this disgression discussion. Since you would have to activate it on your own post nobody could claim it to be censorship. And of course the author of the replied-to post would get a notification as usual.

          Such a feature would allow a poster to add off-topic replies to a post without forcing it in the view of everyone.

          Maybe in parallel, users should be given the additional option "show disgressions" to have those disgressions shown by default (with a label "(disgression)" attached to the title), in case they like to see them as part of the main discussion. Also, probably posts in disgressions should not be able to be moderated down as off-topic, since that would be the whole point of them being marked as disgression.

          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:33PM

            by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:33PM (#100993)
            I like that idea.
            --
            🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
          • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday October 03 2014, @09:21AM

            by Open4D (371) on Friday October 03 2014, @09:21AM (#101320) Journal

            Interesting idea. I already exhibit that mentality when I select "No Karma Bonus" when I'm digressing, so I would probably use your idea if it was implemented.

            The biggest downside I can see is the added complexity. Perhaps we can just make do with the recently added feature that lets you collapse whole sub-threads all at once? (Does that feature work for everyone?)

    • (Score: 2) by MrGuy on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:02PM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:02PM (#100569)

      The real question here is "what is grounds for getting modded down?" If I personally believe a post that has no bearing on TFA/TFS should be modded down, it doesn't really matter if I use "off-topic" as a mode, or "overrated" or any other down-vote mod.

      Unless you're proposing to remove the ability to down-vote with admin points, the specific downvote categories aren't terribly interesting (heck, other than "funny vs. everything else," the distinctions in the upvote categories aren't terribly interesting - "insightful" vs. "interesting" vs. "underrated" is somewhat pointless IMO).

      What we need is agreement on "what is grounds for getting downvoted?" and "should 'being off-topic' be on that list?" The admin guide helps with this, but it's still largely fuzzy and up to the moderator in question. (By the way, the admin guide considers "off topic" to be a reason to consider a comment a Bad Comment).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:55PM (#100682)

        "No bearing" or "off-topic" are really frigging vague ideas. Fuck, some of the most insightful and informative comments I've ever read here and at /. had absolutely nothing to do with the story at hand, or were only slightly related.

        People like you who seek to control discussion in some weird attempt to somehow make it "better" often just make it much, much worse.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:17PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:17PM (#100744)

          "No bearing" or "off-topic" are really frigging vague ideas.

          Stop trolling. "Off topic" is specific and you know it.

          off-top·ic
          not relevant to the subject in question.

          rel·e·vant
          closely connected or appropriate to the matter at hand.

          its basically a synonym of non sequitur

          non se·qui·tur
          a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:20PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:20PM (#100746)

            Your comment is a great example of how people don't understand terms like "trolling" and "off topic", even when they're shitting out supposed definitions for such terms, like you just did.

            You just misused the word "trolling". You obviously don't understand the concept. Since you can't tell actual trolling from your incorrect boo-hoo-I-don't-like-your-ideas mis-definition of "trolling", you aren't fit to ever moderate.

            You aren't alone, of course. Almost everyone who gets mod points abuses them. That's just the nature of moderation. It's always harmful.

        • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:03AM

          by Open4D (371) on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:03AM (#100878) Journal

          It depends on the severity and unnaturalness of the offtopicness. If I were to go and randomly post my Linux hardware question in the Teaching Phonics Working for Most Children [soylentnews.org] discussion, that should be modded down. But if one thread of discussion there naturally drifted from phonics to old fashioned teaching methods, then to 'dumbing down', then to how the western world is losing out to Asia, then to how life for children in Asia is no fun at all, then to suicide rates, I don't think that would necessarily need to be modded down. Especially with the thread-hiding feature that came in a couple of months ago. (Does that work for everyone?)

          I would just like to see the moderation guidelines try to get this concept across. "Just because a post is technically off topic, doesn't mean you have to moderate it as such. It depends on the severity and unnaturalness of the offtopicness. You might even decide to mod it up as interesting, for example. Or more likely, just leave it as it is."

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:18PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:18PM (#100906)

            You're talking about theory here. In practice, off topic mods are done abusively. Another AC gave some examples of this earlier on on this story's discussion. In that case, like many others, on topic comments were wrongly modded as off topic. I, too, agree that the off topic mod option needs to go.

            • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday October 03 2014, @09:09AM

              by Open4D (371) on Friday October 03 2014, @09:09AM (#101317) Journal

              In practice, off topic mods are done abusively

              I've been trying (not very succesfully) to collect examples of "-1 disagree" moderation at the bottom of this journal entry [soylentnews.org]. (As you can see, it is an issue I care about.)

              Of the 4 examples that I added: 1 was supposedly "flamebait", 1 was supposedly "redundant", 2 were supposedly "troll", 0 were supposedly "off topic".

              Obviously that's not enough data to draw any conclusions. But the point is, incorrect moderation is not all about the "off topic" marking. I don't think removing that marking is a good solution. The main solution is M2. And there are other good ideas at the above journal entry (including mine for a system for "agree"/"disagree" that is completely separate from the moderation system - with a very clear explanation of why it is separate.).

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:09PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:09PM (#100629) Homepage Journal

      How about lets not? I don't go to a story about astronomy to read a bunch of comments about your grandma's surgery, your HOSTS file or what you had for breakfast. That's what 4chan, twitter, and reddit are for and why I stay away from them. If you have something offtopic to say, either go there or use your S/N journal.

      --
      mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:32PM (#100708)

        It takes less effort to just ignore a comment that you don't like than it takes to moderate it.

        • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:13PM

          by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:13PM (#100742) Journal

          It takes even less effort to not see it at all because people we generally trust with mod points, vote it into oblivion.

          Mod points aren't ONLY for modding up -- they are to mark crap as such so others don't have to be bothered. Given the visibility of all the offtopic Github troll threads recently, I would definitely say that people aren't downmodding enough. It probably would be a good idea to create two kinds of mod points: + and -. You might get 8 + mods and 2 - mods. You could only use + mods to mod up, and - mods to mod down.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:16PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:16PM (#100743)

            But we obviously can't trust the people who have mod points. That's why so much abuse takes place. That's why a metamoderation system is apparently needed. We couldn't need such things if we actually could trust the moderators. But experience shows that they can almost never be trusted, in practice.

            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:26PM

              by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:26PM (#100751) Journal

              Why can't we trust them? Here or on /. -- and I've been around for years and years if you count both systems, I'd say that I see mods that shock me way less than 1% of the time. Usually, someone posts underneath about the moderation abuse and it gets solved. I just don't see the mod abuse problem people keep talking about. Unless of course you're talking about the offtopic crap -- that stuff seems way under-downmodded to me. The hesitancy to downmod is the only real problem I see with the mod system.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:17AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:17AM (#100767)

                Why can't we trust them?

                They're not moderating in accordance with my bias. Duh.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:21PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:21PM (#100910)

                Unless you always, without exception, browse both sites at -1 all of the time, I don't think you're qualified to provide analysis.

                I do always browse at -1, and the abuse is much more rampant that what you're saying.

                Even just one abusive or incorrect modding, either up or down, is unacceptable.

                • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:33PM

                  by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:33PM (#100992) Journal

                  Yes -- I do actually browse at -1 all the time. Here and there.

    • (Score: 2) by WillR on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:46PM

      by WillR (2012) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:46PM (#100646)
      The whole list could use an overhaul IMO.

      I don't want to go as far as reducing moderation to Reddit-style up/down arrows, but is there a big difference between "Insightful" and "Interesting"? "Interesting" and "Informative"? Does "Flamebait" really need a separate category, or can it be a subset of "Troll"? And has "Overrated" ever, in the entire history of slashcode, been used as anything but a stand-in for the missing "silence post I disagree with" option?
      • (Score: 2) by strattitarius on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:40PM

        by strattitarius (3191) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:40PM (#100675) Journal
        I do see a big difference in Insightful/Interesting/Informative.

        Insightful is for smart, well thought out positions on a debate. Or at least a good quip.
        Interesting, for me, is often used when I don't necessarily agree (or maybe don't know) but I think it adds to the conversation.
        Informative is if someone gives a lot of information in the post but it isn't quite right to say insightful.

        I guess there is really only 2 reasons to down mod: troll/flamebait and off-topic.
        --
        Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by EETech1 on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:22AM

      by EETech1 (957) on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:22AM (#100802)

      Perhaps Offtopic could lower the score of the comment, but not lower the posters Karma?

      Sometimes offtopic discussions form that are not negative, just a little misplaced, this should not apply the same penalty as a troll comment.

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by willie3204 on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:30PM

    by willie3204 (826) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:30PM (#100525)

    Fuck Beta!

  • (Score: 1) by barrahome on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:38PM

    by barrahome (3580) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:38PM (#100532) Journal

    Abort real life, Live for SN or be assimilated.

    • (Score: 2) by MrGuy on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:11PM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:11PM (#100630)

      Is this just fantasy?

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:46PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:46PM (#100536)

    Whatever changes you make to moderation don't make the penalities opaque.

    HackerNews does this thing they call "hellbanning" where a user's posts become invisible to everyone but themselves - they don't even know they've been hellbanned unless someone else explicitly turns on the ability to see invisible posts and then is kind enough to tell the guy that they've been hellbanned. And even then, there is no process to get un-hellbanned.

    The results are:
    (1) Users don't know they've been hellbanned, so they have no way of knowing they did anything wrong
    (2) Even if they find out, they still don't know what they did that precipitated the hellbanning
    (3) Even if they figure out what they did wrong, there is no process for redemption - at best you can email an admin and beg (if you can even find their email address)

    It's almost like HN was designed for robots and not people. I'd hate to see Soylent go down that path.

    And FWIW - beware of over-reacting to moderation abuses. No system will ever be immune to abuse. What's important is that the system works good enough most of the time and that we all accept that sometimes people are assholes and its best just ignore them. At least here the stakes are so low that when you occasionally get shafted it isn't a life-altering experience - its just a few posts and they weren't even deleted, just that people have to work slightly harder to find them.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by kebes on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:38PM

      by kebes (1505) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:38PM (#100552)
      Note that the idea in hellbanning [wikipedia.org] (or shadowbanning) is specifically that the banned person does not know they are banned. That's the point. The idea is that if you have an annoying troll, and you ban him, then he will just create new accounts or switch IP addresses and keep on pestering the community. With a shadowban, the troll doesn't know their posts are invisible, so they go right on writing troll-posts, thinking that they are annoying everyone (and maybe confused as to why no one is getting annoyed). So, their trolling is contained. Eventually, since no one is responding to them ("feeding the troll"), they get bored and go somewhere else.

      Shadowbanning is a valid strategy for dealing with extreme trolls. However, it's also a very extreme response, and so should only be deployed against someone who is unambiguously shown to be a bad actor. (It's also useful against spam-bots, who again will think that their spam is successful and won't re-post it.) It's a powerful tool that requires the admins to behave very fairly and intelligently. It's obviously rife for abuse: anyone with shadowban power can silence opinions they disagree with.

      I certainly don't think shadowbanning should be used on S/N. I think the moderation style of simply down-voting bad actors below the default visibility threshold is more fair. (That way, anyone can read the comments if they really want to, and decide for themselves if it's a troll or an inappropriately down-modded gem.)
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:43PM

        by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:43PM (#100555)

        "so they go right on writing troll-posts"

        With all due respect I must completely disagree based on long term observation of HN, people who need to be deleted, get deleted, and hellbanned posters are usually writing nice and interesting posts that no one sees. Truly mysterious if you check their post history sometimes. Thats why some nice guy will tell them they're hellbanned in a post.

        I see hellbanned / shadowbanned posts but I didn't at first on HN. I think once your karma is over 1000 or 5000 you automagically see them. Its been awhile since then, I donno when I started seeing them.

        • (Score: 2) by kebes on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:02PM

          by kebes (1505) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:02PM (#100570)
          To be clear: I was just commenting on the theory of shadowbanning; the way it is supposed to work and be used. (As far as I understand it.)

          I wasn't commenting on how it's actually used on HackerNews or any other particular site.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:46PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:46PM (#100584)

            Yes, it is important to point out that the theory of hellbanning and the reality of hellbanning are very different.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:23PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:23PM (#100701)

          I often see people who point out some very real problems with fad technologies like JavaScript or Ruby on Rails or Firefox OS getting severely hammered over there at HN.

          Their comments are good, and I learn a lot from them, but a bunch of close-minded fools and quasi-autists end up with hurt feelings because somebody questioned their fad technologies. Then these freaks start the downmodding, and some great comments end up almost impossible to read.

          The censorship over at HN is abysmal and shameful. It's just sick, sick, sick.

        • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:33PM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:33PM (#100709) Journal

          Not to mention we have already sen how badly the mod system here is being abused, so anything more would just make things worse. if you want proof the mod system is being used here for modbombing go look up the article on the brown shooting....see what happened to everyone that didn't toe the party line, including those that simply asked for more information because they hadn't heard of the case? Damned near instant -2 all the way down.

          This is why I think we need a robust metamod system, because the brown article proved without a doubt that either 1.- Admins with an agenda are getting an endless supply of modpoints, ala Timothy on Slash, or 2.- Somebody is cranking up sockpuppets to gleam endless modpoint to modbomb. Seriously count how many points were used on that article, it had to be like 3000+ mod points! I would argue that the simple fact that that many points can exist at once and be used by one or a few on an article just shows something is broken as a good system shouldn't even have the possibility of modbombing.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:40PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:40PM (#100714)

            I remember that story and discussion. The mismoderation there was absolutely disgusting, like you've pointed out. I nearly left this site for good after seeing that shit go down like that.

            Like the moderation of that discussion shows, people who proclaim their support for "diversity" and "tolerance" are often the most intolerant of opposing viewpoints, and do their best to eliminate a diversity of opinions.

            I'd like to see the entire moderation system gone. All comments should be equal. None are censored just because they hold a unique viewpoint, for example.

            Leave it up to the readers to censor as they see fit. If they don't want to read a particular comment, they can just skip over it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:21PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:21PM (#100748)

            see what happened to everyone that didn't toe the party line, including those that simply asked for more information because they hadn't heard of the case? Damned near instant -2 all the way down.

            Gee, that's funny. I don't see that at all.
            What I did see where posts like this one [soylentnews.org] and this one [soylentnews.org] that did "toe the party line" get mod-bombed by one mad user.

            Meanwhile the handful of posts that are -1, were all pretty deserving:
            http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=3890&cid=93082 [soylentnews.org]
            http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=3890&cid=93002 [soylentnews.org]
            http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=3890&cid=93106 [soylentnews.org]
            http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=3890&cid=93024 [soylentnews.org]

            The only post I could find that actually got a net -2 moderation was this one, which I agree was undeserving
            http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=3890&cid=93000 [soylentnews.org]

            And guys like this who did that thing where they pretend to be neutral
            but are clearly just pissed that the reporting disagrees with their bias got +2:
            http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/09/14/0454245 [soylentnews.org]

            So I really don't see your complaints manifested at all in that story, if anything its the opposite.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:25PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:25PM (#100749)

              None of the comments you listed should have been downmodded. They all make good points, even the one that's just "ROFLMAO" or whatever it was, when taken in context.

              We should be able to discuss all sides of that incident without people getting downmodded for no good reason.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:35PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:35PM (#100755)

                Just because you agree with the trolls doesn't mean they aren't trolling.

      • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:30PM

        by buswolley (848) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:30PM (#100605)

        It would be worse if they also had hellban demon AI posters that responded to the Hellbanned commenter.

        --
        subicular junctures
      • (Score: 2) by E_NOENT on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:35PM

        by E_NOENT (630) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:35PM (#100609) Journal

        This explains a lot about why my Google Plus+ stream is so barren.

        Hellbanned on G+. What a life.

        --
        I'm not in the business... I *am* the business.
        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:59PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:59PM (#100657) Journal

          No, it's just that whenever the software tries to retrieve your username it gets E_NOENT, therefore it concludes that you don't exist and thus doesn't show your posts. ;-)

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by E_NOENT on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:58PM

            by E_NOENT (630) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:58PM (#100760) Journal

            Well-played, well-played.

            I LOL'd.

            --
            I'm not in the business... I *am* the business.
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:39PM

      by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:39PM (#100553)

      "It's almost like HN was designed for robots and not people"

      You probably won't get hell banned unless you make fun of a financial interest of YCs or directly insult PG (perhaps completely accidentally)

      If you make politically incorrect enough comments (I recall some dude talking about using his contractor money to hire hookers in Russia and all other devs should do the same or something like that in a thread theoretically about encouraging women to enter IT careers) then the mods will just make a comment and delete your account.

      Some dude like me posts a "look what I did" and it gets a "it looks like $hit" then nothing happens other than maybe downvotes (or upvotes?). Some dude from YC at a YC invested company posts an identical looking "look what I did" without mentioning his primary VC happens to be the host for HN, and it gets a "it looks like $hit" then I guarantee someone's getting hellbanned. They may not even realize they're talking about a YC property and should have shut up.

      If you make fun of VC funding in general or do anything other than fawn over the startup scene you'll probably get downvoted and maybe spend a stint (or permanently) in jail where they aggressively rate limit your posts by blocking your posts from submission AFTER you submit them. I recall something about that happening to michealochurch and he wasn't amused.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:44PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:44PM (#100583)

        A friend of mine got hellbanned on HN, took him a week to figure out it happened.
        He left, but he left the details behind. [ycombinator.com]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:25PM (#100702)

          That's really absurd. The abusive moderation there is so arbitrary and nonsensical sometimes.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:58PM (#100683)

      Hacker News is a perfect example of how not to structure an online discussion community, in pretty much every way possible. Just about everything about that site is stupid or toxic.

      I think you're totally correct when you describe HN as "designed for robots and not people". That really is what it's like over there. That could, of course, just be because of the mild-to-moderate autism that many of the people there appear to exhibit. Their collective mental rigidity creates a community where free thought, free opinion and free discussion is crushed whenever possible.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:52PM (#101002)

      A user can check a search engine cache to see if their post is visible therein to detect if they've been banned in this fashion.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:52PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:52PM (#100539)

    as well as perhaps allowing badges and ranking

    Badges!? We don't need no stinkin' badges!

    Seriously, we don't. A rule that would encourage M2 is to say that any positive karma will decay by 1 point if you go more than X number of days between M2.

    I do like your ideas about karma earning privileges, but then again I'm biased because I've been maxed out for a while. And we really have to emphasize that there is no "-1 I Disagree" moderation: The correct response to a post you disagree with is a reply explaining exactly why it's wrong.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kebes on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:27PM

      by kebes (1505) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:27PM (#100550)

      A rule that would encourage M2 is to say that any positive karma will decay by 1 point if you go more than X number of days between M2.

      That's fine, in principle. But we have to be careful about creating a system that is too finely-tuned for the 'power users', while leaving the 'general users' feeling left out.

      What I mean is that if the rewards are focused too much on constant participation, then the more casual site readers will get discouraged and participate less. Even for the people who are relatively engaged in the site, participation may be sporadic. Speaking for myself, I have time periods where my job gets so hectic that I don't have time to check any of my favourite websites for a couple weeks in a row. Then there may be other times where I can post comments frequently, and really engage in a discussion. It would suck to feel like I'm penalized just because I wasn't able to visit/post/moderate for awhile.

      In fact, I daresay that if our objective is to increase participation and discussion, then we should be optimizing more for casual readers. The 'power users' are not the problem (by definition, they are already highly engaged). The problem is that we have a distribution of enthusiasm: a small number of highly engaged people, and then a long tail of more casual people. The objective should be to increase participation from that long tail of people. The only way to do that is to lower the barriers to participation: easier ways to add comments, more instantaneous rewards for doing so, no penalties for being a casual participant, keeping the tone civil and inviting, etc.

      Luckily, the main 'reward' that the site has to offer is the discussion itself. So if we can increase participation even a bit, then it should become auto-catalytic, with the benefit of participation increasing as more people join.

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:34PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:34PM (#100551)

        I was thinking X being somewhere around 7 days, so after a month-long hiatus all it would take is 1 comment up to +5 to be right back where you were. With that kind of system, it would take almost a year of non-participation for a 50-karma user to become a 0-karma user.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by black6host on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:49PM

          by black6host (3827) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:49PM (#100586) Journal

          I don't believe moderation or M2 should be rewarded or punished. What I'd like to see is that those who do it, do it because they want to contribute. Not because of a carrot or a stick. Same thing with posting... Shouldn't be used that way because then we have people paying their debts for something I don't think should be mandatory.

          The best things are those given (submissions, posts, moderation, etc..) because the contributor has given of their time and shows an interest in helping. Even a submission that doesn't get posted does take the submitter time.

          I'm leaving out the outliers (spam, extremely poor submissions, comments made to incite, etc.) for the sake of this discussion.

          And sure, if you need help with M or M2 I've volunteered for the job.

          • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:30AM

            by Open4D (371) on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:30AM (#100881) Journal

            Yeah, I was wondering why encouraging M2 was even an issue. I never encountered M2 at Slashdot. I'm wondering whether their implementation meant that users could do M2 whenever they felt like it, unlike M which you can only do when you've got mod points?

            One good thing about mod points is they give us some idea of how much effort to put into M so that we know we have done roughly our fair share. Another good thing is that they expire fairly quickly so people are less able hoard them and use them in a topic they feel strongly about. I think both these things should apply to M2 as well.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by q.kontinuum on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:33PM

          by q.kontinuum (532) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:33PM (#100668) Journal

          If we are talking about changing the karma rewards, how about segmenting the karma? You get

          -10 to 30 for your comments
          0 to 10 for overall submission quality (add "promote" button to articles; don't call it "like" because it feels awkward to "like" e.g. an article about racist police violence)
          0 to 10 for accepted submissions during last 30 days (or add moderation to submissions)
          0 to 10 for M2 during last 30 days

          That way even the most sporadic high quality poster will keep his 30+ Karma even after years, 40+ if he ever had some good submission, while the more active participants get a bit higher by constant efforts. As a user who also only contributes in short bursts once in a while, I could live very well with such a scheme.

          --
          Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:02PM

        by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:02PM (#100568)

        "It would suck to feel like I'm penalized just because I wasn't able to visit/post/moderate for awhile."

        How bout a ratio? Like long term your ratio of posts to M2 had best be higher than X or you aren't getting a "Reply to This" button. That might be a little brutal, but the general idea of making a ratio the metric doesn't seem out of line.

      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:20PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:20PM (#100633) Homepage Journal

        Indeed. I've been here quite a bit this last week and will until the preview copy of my book shows up, and I'll likely disappear again for a while.

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:55PM (#100759)

        In fact, I daresay that if our objective is to increase participation and discussion, then we should be optimizing more for casual readers.

        The problem with that is that its what Firefox, Gnome, etc, did to drive their userbase away.

        • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:11AM

          by Common Joe (33) <reversethis-{moc ... 1010.eoj.nommoc}> on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:11AM (#100823) Journal

          Yeah, fair point, but kebes was right to say that we should be attracting the casual user too. I picked the name "Common Joe" for a reason. I'm not ultra smart nor ultra suave nor ultra gifted in any way. For an IT person, I'm just sort of... well, "common". I think it's fair to say Soylent News is looking to attract a certain kind of person... and that SN should be optimized for the casual users in that group.

    • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:42PM

      by mojo chan (266) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:42PM (#100581)

      Punishing people who don't want to do boring work for free doesn't sound like a very good idea. How about doing something positive for people who metamoderate?

      --
      const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @03:50PM (#101000)

        If you metamoderate enough then NCommander will come sign your int. Now who's the negative one?

        --
        .c what I did there

    • (Score: 1) by Atatsu on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:11PM

      by Atatsu (4251) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:11PM (#100596)

      And we really have to emphasize that there is no "-1 I Disagree" moderation: The correct response to a post you disagree with is a reply explaining exactly why it's wrong.

      This. I love being marked as a Troll simply because some people didn't agree with what I was saying.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:27PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:27PM (#100704)

        I'm seeing this happen more and more often here, and it's making me sour on this site.

        I shouldn't have to browse at -1 to see good comments. Yet I'm having to do that all of the time now, because there are great comments modded down just because somebody's feelings got hurt or because they had to face an opinion they dislike.

        SN should be above that kind of censorship.

    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Saturday October 04 2014, @12:00AM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Saturday October 04 2014, @12:00AM (#101567) Journal

      And we really have to emphasize that there is no "-1 I Disagree" moderation: The correct response to a post you disagree with is a reply explaining exactly why it's wrong.

      Hmm...Add a -1 disagree moderation, but when you click it instead of moderating it opens up the reply form. Might help people get the idea ;)

  • (Score: 3) by hemocyanin on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:52PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @04:52PM (#100540) Journal

    How about giving a mod point for every ten metamods? Then it is no longer work without reward. This also gives people who have been somewhat banished from modding, a way to recover from that if they use the newly obtained mod points in a way that passes through metamoderation with approval. So for example, I suppose there is some factor that modifies the chance of getting mod points, and if it falls/rises to a particular level based on metamods, you get "banished", but by metamoderating for mod points, a person could eventually get that factor back to whatever is considered normal.

    Of course, there is always the possibility of abusing metamod to get mod points.

    As a side note, I think on Slashdot I'm one of the people who got banished -- I went on a stint where when I would get mod points, I'd look up ColdFjord's history, and mod his posts troll or flamebait till I ran out of points ... several times in a row. I haven't had mod points in more than a year now, though before that I had them almost constantly. I suppose it was bad behavior on my part, but then again, one could with 99.5% accuracy, blindly downmod a ColdFjord post. I don't feel bad and if I got mod points on Slashdot, I'd certainly do it again.

    • (Score: 2) by strattitarius on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:55PM

      by strattitarius (3191) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @05:55PM (#100564) Journal

      I went on a stint where when I would get mod points, I'd look up ColdFjord's history, and mod his posts troll or flamebait till I ran out of points ... several times in a row.

      /grimmaces/
      Yeah, I have a feeling that was why you got banned. And while you might feel it justified (I recognize the name but not the type of person they were) it could well be that the AC I got in a flamewar with yesterday is a registered user and is going to do that to me as soon as s/he gets mod points. Again, this might be fine if s/he mods down that thread of back-and-forth, (because whatever), but I would be pissed if s/he starts modding down my actual insightful comments.

      Also I never found meta moderation a chore as it was at one point on slashdot. There was a time when you were able to moderate the moderation. So you saw that the mod was "-1 Flamebait" and if it was, then you approved. If not, you did not approve of the moderation. I liked that system and did try to do it as much as I could. However I do remember slashdot trying to push the meta-mod; apparently not everyone did it.

      --
      Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:48PM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:48PM (#100585) Journal

        It was justified. ;-)

        Besides, I see it as a useful and legitimate use of moderation. If you have a poster posting crap 99.5% of the time, it is more useful to have that person modded off the board than to sit around and wait for the rare situation in which he/she says something useful. Kind of like the github troll that is filling up a bunch of space. Granted, he posts AC so there is nothing that can be done about it, but if he posted with an account, I would see it as totally legit to mod that guy off the board, even if an occasional insightful got lost in the process. The gems just aren't worth the amount of crap that needs to be shoveled.

        • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:44AM

          by Common Joe (33) <reversethis-{moc ... 1010.eoj.nommoc}> on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:44AM (#100829) Journal

          If you have a poster posting crap 99.5% of the time, it is more useful to have that person modded off the board than to sit around and wait for the rare situation in which he/she says something useful.

          Huh? I prefer to just mark comments as good or bad instead of going after a person. A person who is a persistent troll will be modded off the board naturally and any good remarks they happen to make can then be seen by everyone. Here's a quote that I like from a person that I have very little respect for:

          "Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose." -- Bill Gates

          Great quote and thought provoking. Here are some quotes from people I like but who led a personal life that I absolutely disagreed with:

          "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein

          "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

          Einstein cheated on both his wives multiple times; one of wives was his first cousin. Martin Luther King Jr. cheated on his wife multiple times.

          Everyone has their flaws. Everyone needs a second (or third or fourth) chance. I'm not saying we shouldn't penalize them for being dicks, but blindly penalizing them no matter what they say smacks of the bullying that I remember from grade school.

    • (Score: 1) by J053 on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:19PM

      by J053 (3532) <dakineNO@SPAMshangri-la.cx> on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:19PM (#100697) Homepage
      Good idea. That would encourage those of us who either don't often feel we have anything to add to the discussions, or come to them late when (most) of the interesting points have already been made, to metamoderate. I do believe that M2 (as /. originally did it - either agree or disagree with moderation on a comment) is a good way to smooth out moderation and improve the overall quality of discussion.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by strattitarius on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:08PM

    by strattitarius (3191) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:08PM (#100572) Journal
    I was on the chat last night and there was a brief discussion about the funding goal and how far we are from it (based on the progress shown on the front). To be honest, this is one reason I haven't subscribed yet. I want to know that the site is going to be viable. That had me worried for a while.

    But last night it was mentioned that the yearly hosting is only $3600. The other stuff is up front costs. Well, that makes a bit of difference! We might have a chance! So I found the place that explains expenses (somewhat), but I still can't reconcile $13k with the expenses listed in the page found here: http://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/Expenses [soylentnews.org]

    Therefore, I think it would be good if someone would post a break down of those costs. That being said I was assured enough that I am not giving $20 to a site that will shut down in a few months, so I am off to subscribe...
    --
    Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by paulej72 on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:05PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:05PM (#100593) Journal

      Hosting is about $3600/year. We want to get $5k socked away for lawyer fees if needed. We need money for a CPA come tax time ~$1.5K. Also we owe NCommander ~$1k in startup fees (mostly hosting fees after we burned through our initial payment with Linode). And we owe Matt ~$2K for startup fees (buying the assists that Barrabas gel hostage and other related fees).

      Here is the basic breakdown: http://wiki.soylentnews.org/wiki/Finances [soylentnews.org].

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
      • (Score: 2) by SlimmPickens on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:23PM

        by SlimmPickens (1056) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:23PM (#100635)

        I would gladly donate random amounts of $15 or so. I don't want any of those mugs or T-shirts, I've been there twice looking for something to buy.

        There should be an "I'm feeling wealthy" button.

        • (Score: 2) by strattitarius on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:26PM

          by strattitarius (3191) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:26PM (#100666) Journal
          Well, I am glad you are that well off! I'd need a "I'm not broke this month" button. :)

          About the mugs and t-shirts: they said it raised a pretty small amount. But zazzle will let you set the royalty amount up to 99%. So Soylent could sell a "Weathly Soylent" line of gear that would be ludicrously priced, but at least half was going directly to fund the site.
          --
          Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
        • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:57AM

          by Open4D (371) on Thursday October 02 2014, @09:57AM (#100887) Journal

          IIRC there was a legal problem with just accepting pure donations. I suppose that's why so many organizations just end up selling mugs and t-shirts instead.

          There was a bit of a discussion about it here [soylentnews.org]. One post suggested virtual badges. My post suggested a www.soylentnews.org/promoted-messages.html page. User lhsi suggested patreon.com (a less time-limited version of Indiegogo).

           

          P.S. I personally favour a monthly subscription that I don't need to think about. The Back To The Drawing Board: Rethinking Subscription + Explaing Expenses [soylentnews.org] story says "from the feedback we got, $20 USD per year (approximately $1.66 USD per month) would roughly be the right sweet spot for people". I'm not sure how scientific that assessment was. Just based on a few comments? I almost think I'd prefer $5 per month (especially if everyone else was paying that too).

          • (Score: 2) by SlimmPickens on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:44PM

            by SlimmPickens (1056) on Thursday October 02 2014, @05:44PM (#101050)

            I'd love to know the source of that legal problem, if it was ultimately the legacy of lobbying.

            I'm fine with any method that isn't wasteful.

            • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday October 03 2014, @08:47AM

              by Open4D (371) on Friday October 03 2014, @08:47AM (#101313) Journal

              I'd love to know the source of that legal problem, if it was ultimately the legacy of lobbying.

              There is a "Why We Haven't Discussed Pure Donations" section at http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/06/17/2034252 [soylentnews.org]

              I'm fine with any method that isn't wasteful.

              Agreed. I hate the 'throwaway society'. I can't see myself ever ordering a mug / t-shirt / etc. that I don't really need.

    • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:35PM

      by richtopia (3160) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:35PM (#100642) Homepage Journal

      Easy solution: sell mod points.

      While that was originally a sarcastic post, it might not be a terrible idea if regulated correctly. I think that subscribing to 20% boost in mod points would not break the current system (receive 12 at a time instead of 10).

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:48PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:48PM (#100649)

        SCOTUS would like a word with you regarding your opinion that you can harmlessly buy speech...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:02AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:02AM (#100761)

          Why? SCOTUS has already set the precedent that money = speech. "Buying speech" is a synonym for "talking" per Citizen's United.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by tadas on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:32PM

    by tadas (3635) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @06:32PM (#100578)

    It would be nice if the ability to moderate lasted for more than the 15 nanoseconds it currently does, with less points. Short moderation time causes moderation with less consideration - and this is compounded by more mod points ("Gotta use my 10 mod points in the two hours I have").

    • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:09PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:09PM (#100595) Journal

      I have been thinking of changing that for a while now. The current time out is 8 hours, and I think it should be 24 at least. I could change the # of points to 5 at the same time, so the number of potential moderators per day would be similar.

      Anyone have an objection?

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
      • (Score: 2) by SlimmPickens on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:34PM

        by SlimmPickens (1056) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:34PM (#100640)

        I have a few times spent almost zero mod points just because I don't have time. I would prefer 24...48 hrs. Maybe half of your mods expire more quickly than the other half.

        Perhaps users with good karma could get an additional 1 point per day.

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:53PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:53PM (#100654)

          Expiration after $karma x 30 minutes (60 for paying people, or clock resets when used)
          Or
          After 12 hours of not using them, Lose one point per $karma x 15 minutes.

          • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:59PM

            by fliptop (1666) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:59PM (#100658) Journal

            After 12 hours of not using them, Lose one point per $karma x 15 minutes.

            I wouldn't do that, the last 2 times I've had mod points I haven't used them because there was not sufficient time and I didn't see any worthwhile comments in the brief time I had available to read them. I think extending the available time to use mod points would be a better solution, 24 hours at the least.

            --
            Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:18PM

              by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:18PM (#100662)

              I see mod points as a privilege when I get them, not something I have to treasure and try to keep in reserve.

              New idea: give me n points, valid until n x Karma comments are posted on SN. Slow day, fast day? it self regulates.

              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:48PM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:48PM (#100720) Journal

                New idea: give me n points, valid until n x Karma comments are posted on SN. Slow day, fast day? it self regulates.

                Until, in a slow news day, you get into the dilemma: should I post (and increase the number of comments but harm my modpoints stash) or should I hang on my modpoints (and make the slow day worse).

                Maybe: transferable modpoints?

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:52PM

                  by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:52PM (#100724)

                  Hey, someone else is making the code, I can easily suggest that your points lifespan goes up a post for every post you make. Or maybe two, to thank you for posting. Or minus 5 if you get downmodded because you're just spamming posts to save your precious "modpoint stash"...

      • (Score: 2) by MrNemesis on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:07PM

        by MrNemesis (1582) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:07PM (#100689)

        Heartily agree - I think there's some time zone dilation that may have not been considered here. I get awarded mod points not long before power down the computer before I go to bed and they've expired about twenty minutes before breakfast. Basically I only get to mod when I'm working late or suffering from insomnia, neither of which are conducive to healthy moderating.

        I've been awarded a lot of mod points and I've seen a lot of discussions with great posts that remain untouched by mods - I don't think this is an uncommon problem. I would think a bare minimum of 24hrs and probably think about 48 and I suspect we'd be seeing an awful lot more and better moderation.

        --
        "To paraphrase Nietzsche, I have looked into the abyss and been sick in it."
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:34PM (#100710)

          I get awarded mod points not long before[...]I go to bed and they've expired about twenty minutes before breakfast

          When I saw the post by paulej72 mentioning *8 hours*, the first thing that struck me is *Someone could sleep right through his chance to mod*.
          Allotting mod points according to a temporal histogram of posting history would make sense.
          Already been done somewhere? Using FOSS?
          Too complex to implement easily?

          -- gewg_ (whose karma always remains at zero)

      • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday October 03 2014, @09:37AM

        by Open4D (371) on Friday October 03 2014, @09:37AM (#101321) Journal

        Anyone have an objection?

        Yes, the idea of mod point expiry is that people are less able hoard them and use them in a topic they feel strongly about.

         
        As with other people, I sometimes feel that mod points come at just the wrong time. But that could easily be selective memory. (Lady Luck is never on my side!) Or maybe Gewg's suggestion [soylentnews.org] is worth considering?

        I do feel we would benefit from a bit more moderation taking place. But my preferred solution for that is simply to have more people getting mod points at any one time, each still with the existing 8 hour timeout.

        Then all that remains is to work on the psychology of the issue. Remind people that it doesn't matter if you don't use your mod points. They are not wasted. The electrons get recycled!

    • (Score: 2) by E_NOENT on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:44PM

      by E_NOENT (630) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @07:44PM (#100616) Journal

      It would be nice if the ability to moderate lasted for more than the 15 nanoseconds it currently does, with less points. Short moderation time causes moderation with less consideration - and this is compounded by more mod points ("Gotta use my 10 mod points in the two hours I have").

      Good point. Some days you'll have ten points to burn in a limited timeframe, but maybe only a few dozen recent comments. Not optimal.

      --
      I'm not in the business... I *am* the business.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:52PM

        by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @08:52PM (#100652)

        "but maybe only a few dozen recent comments. Not optimal."

        Brainstorming idea: new moderation of value plus or minus zero named "Its modded correctly".

        The counts of these applied could provide feedback to those who control the modding system that you were willing to put in the time to evaluate posts but simply couldn't find any needing work, as opposed to people who refuse to mod or can't mod or just aren't in the mood to mod.

        I have personally experienced logging in at 4am on Sunday and discover I have mod points and had pretty much no idea what to do with them (slow weekend, not much to mod that wasn't already well modded)

        • (Score: 2) by E_NOENT on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:02AM

          by E_NOENT (630) on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:02AM (#100762) Journal

          That's an interesting idea. That would possibly cut down on junk mods, while still allowing people to use all their mod points.

          --
          I'm not in the business... I *am* the business.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:48PM (#100967)

        Moderation is not limited to recent comments.

    • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:36PM

      by q.kontinuum (532) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:36PM (#100672) Journal

      Wanted to mod you up, but my modpoints just expired :-(

      --
      Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
    • (Score: 2) by mtrycz on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:40PM

      by mtrycz (60) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:40PM (#100676)

      I support this idea.

      I remember that the 10 points/8 hours decision was taken at an early time, it seems to me that the userbase has quite grown, alas there are plenty of unmoderated discussions. I know often loose my points at 7/8.

      Having a clever metamod scheme would be cool too. Something present but not obnoxious.

      Cheers, Commander!

      --
      In capitalist America, ads view YOU!
  • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:44PM

    by q.kontinuum (532) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @09:44PM (#100677) Journal

    Would it be possible to get a mechanism similar to the scorefile of slrn? E.g. if I have a feeling a user is trolling, I can per default reduce his posts by 2, but if they are modded up +4 insightful I will still see it. If it can be done quickly via dropdown-box from the comments, I'd probably score the user up again right away (if his post was actually good). Or if we could configure a keyword filter and automatically mod down any comment containing the word "systemd" or mod up "shark && laser" for our view, it might prevent some annoyance ;-)

    --
    Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
    • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Thursday October 02 2014, @08:10AM

      by q.kontinuum (532) on Thursday October 02 2014, @08:10AM (#100863) Journal

      Oh, when typing the title I wanted to propose something else, then I forgot:

      Maybe it is out of scope for now, but in the long run it might be interesting to experiment with a concept where my moderations are compared to other peoples moderations, and if they match, their future moderations get more weight for rating I get to see? E.g. I agree most of the time a specific user mods something funny, so I'm likely to be specifically interested in his moderations. Maybe another reader finds the same posts just offtopic or even trollish, and I might be less interested in that users moderations. The approach is probably risky for two reasons:

      1. From the technical side it might be complex to implement it, to get all formulas right to get the desired effect, and depending on the complexity I'm not sure if the additional load on web-servers is entirely neglectable
      2. The term "Filter-bubble" is already used for the effect to reduce in-flow of new ideas by only digesting things which re-affirm already accepted concepts, by listening only to established peers.

      Nevertheless, it might be an interesting concept.

      --
      Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
    • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:20PM

      by paulej72 (58) on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:20PM (#100908) Journal

      We already have that. Set the person as a foe, then set the foe comment modifier to -2 in your comment preferences. Plus setting a person as a foe can be quickly done from the comment page by clicking on the zoo icon.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
  • (Score: 2) by elf on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:27PM

    by elf (64) on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:27PM (#100703)

    on mod points, when I get them I don't find stuff to mod and when I don't have them I sometimes do (have mentioned this before). Because of this I have pretty much totally given up on caring about the mod system here (don't mean to offend anyone). A comment ranked at 0 has no linkage to the quality of the comment, AC's provide some good comments here. I am from the uk and all the new articles have pretty close to zero modding done on them when I read the articles (my lunch) so I don't associate this site as a site which has one of its main strengths being a site that mod's comments, it is just a site with comments. A side question....do you enable mod points at a certain time of the day? Do you change that time depending on where the user is based?

    The comments about making a troll comments invisible won't work because a troll will just post as AC, you can't really hide all AC comments.

    the UI and javascript comments are interesting. My personal view is the site looks a little dated (personal view again, don't mean to offend), some people love it and don't want it to change but I am in the other camp. I think it needs a bit of modernisation. This doesn't mean it looks like slashdot beta, pipedot for instance has a great modern look and feel but at the same time it is definitely not something you would consider beta like. I'm pro using javascript to make things look good (I might be alone though :))

    karma. I have karma 50 and have had it for so long at that level that it doesn't really mean much anymore...what do people think karma should be used for? what is the difference between karma 17 and karma 25? if I had karma 1 would my life be any different? Can you see anyone elses karma?

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:57PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:57PM (#100730) Journal

      karma. I have karma 50 and have had it for so long at that level that it doesn't really mean much anymore...what do people think karma should be used for?

      Mod-trolling: like modding "I like kittens" +Informative just for the heck of it.
      I'm doing it now and then, my fingers jump on commenting and I ran out of stories I can mod on.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01 2014, @10:58PM (#100732)

        What's the point of having moderation if everyone just abuses it, whether for fun or out of some feeling of powerlessness in the real world?

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:17PM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 01 2014, @11:17PM (#100745) Journal

          What's the point of having moderation if everyone just abuses it, whether for fun or out of some feeling of powerlessness in the real world?

          What's wrong with a sprinkle of Loki in the SN stew?

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:04AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:04AM (#100763)

        How is that mod trolling? The poster was eloquently demonstrating the importance of the "Off Topic" moderation, countering the previous poster's assertion that it isn't necessary.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:22AM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 02 2014, @12:22AM (#100770) Journal

          How is that mod trolling?

          In general, abusing the moderation rules (different from troll-modding).
          In particular, I'm doing it occasionally for irony/fun purposes - most of the time attaching +Informative/+Insightful to funny posts: as if believing the funny post to be real/sincere.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
          • (Score: 1) by tadas on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:21PM

            by tadas (3635) on Thursday October 02 2014, @02:21PM (#100956)

            There have been times over the years when I wish I could have moderated some comment "+1 Troll"....