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posted by NCommander on Monday April 07 2014, @07:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the that-was-a-lot-of-comments-to-read dept.
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.

One thing that always struck me about slashcode's moderation system is that its fairly unique in trying to keep a good signal to noise ratio. Most sites provide a simple discussion system, and doesn't do anything to try and keep the S/N ratio high. Some sites have a +/- system like Reddit or Ars Technica, but these systems seem to mostly encourage groupthink; Ars seems to do it best with its "Controversial" tag, but even then, these systems don't do much to manage S/N, it operates more on the basis of "popularity".

That being said, the system as it exists today doesn't really work. Plenty of comments never leave their starting moderation score, (at least on the other site), get buried under hundreds and hundreds of other comments. During the moderate^post discussion, I was linked to this journal by wjwlsn, talking about seeing far too many downmods. Moderation is supposed to be about raising good comments to visibility, and removing trash; its *not* a system for silencing those you disagree with. Given most comments never leave their starting scores, and Score: 0/-1 comments rarely get viewed, and then upmodded, this compounds an already bad problem. There were two comments on that journal that really stuck out to me:

Re:Downmods

"One good laugh for you is one mod point in the trash for some disagreeable asshole"

So anyone that disagrees w/ you is an asshole?

I don't see the problem, the down mods are there to be used AFAICT. What's wrong w/ modding something you disagree w/ down? There are times when I don't have a dog in the fight so I don't feel like commenting, but if I read something that seems wrong I don't have a problem w/ modding it down.

Human problem

This was often a problem on the other site as well: Express an unpopular or non-PC opinion, be modded into oblivion. Sometimes I put up posts like that just to spark discussion, but a post at -1 doesn't spark anything.

I hope people here will think about it, but it's a basic human problem: We all tend to be lemmings (or sheep, if you prefer), and want to go along with the flock. If we don't stop ourselves, downmodding unpopular opinions is just human nature...

Despite the fact the moderation guidelines explicitly say you don't downmod for being wrong, its obvious this is happening, and even starting to effect discussions here. Other comments (and actions here) show that the problem here is not just limited to one or two people. However, short of manually checking the moderation log and banning people from moderation, at the moment, our options at stopping this sort of behaviour are limited.

The problem is the system is too open to abuse; with the moderation rework, we've also got more modpoints flying per user. Furthermore, the discussion system itself doesn't help any; D1 is very much stuck in 1997, is in drastic need of some modernization, and we've had a ton of requests to bring something like D2 back. JavaScript experience on staff to create a D2 system is somewhat short at the moment, That being said, I think we can improve the situation in the short-term.

In the short term, I think we've got two goals we need to accomplish: making the discussion system more usable, and reworking the moderation system to focus on increasing signal to noise vs. being used as a "wrong/right" system. Let me cover these in turn.

The biggest thing right now is the threaded interface we use by default is kinda clunkily; even "Parent" doesn't work in the way you'd expect it. As a short-term solution, I'm going to introduce a "Hybrid" option, which when a post is short on comments, displays everything as "Nested" does now. This will allow people to easily see comments vs. having to go through the current clickfest required to see replies and reply. At a certain cut-off, the view will change to threaded, which will keep the page manageable. The cutoff will be user modifiable, as well as the option to always use threaded or nested by default if you happen to hate the new behavior.

Furthermore, we're going to add a new option under score, which is called "Average", which is exactly what it sounds like on the tin. As moderators make their way through a discussion, they will elevate the average scores in a discussion which will cause cruft to fall below the average, and drop out of view, which will help to keep the index in nested mode as long as possible until sheer quantity forced it otherwise.

While these two changes will help considerable in reading through various discussions, it doesn't actually help solve the underlying problem of misused moderations. So I'm going to rewrite the moderation algorithm and create a v2. Here's what I'm proposing to rework it.

Moderate & Post
So, after that entire discussion, I found most in favour of loosing the existing conditions. I'm treading carefully on changes here as it may upset the balance too much, but the current XOR methodology is too restrictive. The first change will be very simple.

You can moderate in any discussion you haven't posted in

You can post in a discussion after you've moderated, and your moderations won't be undone.

After posting, you can no longer moderate

My biggest concern with moderate^post was it created a chilling effect due to users reluctance to undo their moderations. This system should allow moderators to join in the discussion without influencing it too heavily. I'm willing to make more changes here, but this is something I want to take baby steps on.

Bringing Back Metamoderation
I've honestly been against M2 (at least as how its currently implemented), but its clear a system to rate moderations is desperately needed. I suspect most here have never seen the original M2 system; it disappeared on the other site some years ago, but it was extremely clunky; you got 10 comments, then a box to mark if you agree/disagree. Those votes then disappeared into the backend, never to be seen again. Not exactly a system designed to encourage repeat use. Furthermore, they never had any impact on posts themselves; bad moderations were never repealed.

Obviously, we can do better than this. My proposal is to tie metamod into the new karma system (which itself will be subject of a second post), and then attaching weights. Bad meta-moderations will get weighted by the M2 scores attached to them; if enough people say that a moderation was bad, that moderation is undone. Good meta-moderations will inform the moderator that they did a good job and influence my next bullet point.

M2 scores will be visible to a user so they can see why they're getting X points, or why they stopped getting any. This system only works with transparency, and that's whats needed.

Reducing Moderator's Workload
The fact is there are a lot of posts that deserve moderation even to +3, but just never get there. Its demoralizing to have posts just sit and never have anything happen. Furthermore, users who have a reputation of posting well should be assumed that they will continue to post well. As such, as part of the moderation reworks, I want users to be able to post higher than just +2, and get to higher and higher scores without needing intervention.

Sliding Scale of Points
With a system in place to weigh people as moderators, your M2 scores will affect how many mod points you get. People that vindictively downmod will (hopefully) get negative M2 modifiers which will undo the damage, AND cause bad moderators to get fewer and fewer points until they stop getting points all together. I need to work out how these weights will work, but in effect, bad moderators will be removed from the pool of potential moderators (as they will be awarded a grand total of zero points).

That being said, some users do change their ways, so M2 weights will (over time) age back to zero, so if someone has a change of heart, and manages to have positive karma, they will slowly begin to get modpoints back after being made ineligible. Everyone should have a chance to redeem themselves, accomplished by allowing moderation bans to expire naturally.

Ending Expiration Of Modpoints
Modpoints (theoretically) expire to prevent people from hoarding them or saving it for their favourite stories. In practice this causes huge amounts of irritation, and doesn't work very well. On the other site, its relatively easily to just have 10 or 20 accounts which can become eligible for modpoints, and allow complete and total hijacking of discussions.

Furthermore, both here, and on the other site, mod points are handed out like candy; there's a *very* good chance you'll have those mod points when your favourite story comes around, so the entire expiration system is pointless. If we can make M2 work properly, then abuses of the moderation system will fix themselves via peer-review, and we don't need to worry about group fanboys trying to moderate dissent out of existence. Under this revised system, modpoints will replenish themselves throughout the day, up to a users modpoint cap. A user who has a cap of 24 will get one modpoint every hour until they've hit their quota.

This should also reduce pressure on people to moderate constantly, and prevent moderator burnout. That being said, for those who just don't want to moderate, they can opt out as always.

Increased Costs to Downmod
The fact of the matter is that despite the abuse, downmoding exists for a legit reason; without a way to reduce "clutter", trolls and flamebait, the index would quickly become unnavigable at low scores. So the question becomes, how do we limit the abuse. M2 will help, but even then, there should be limits to the amount of damage that can be done by any one account. The easy solution is to make downmodding harder than upmodding. The backend already supports variable costs for moderations, so, the question is how much should it cost. The fact of the matter is most people don't like to downvote but it doesn't take a lot to upset the balance.

My thought here is it should be 2*score_of_comment (minimum of 2), which means those who have a good reputation for posting are harder to downmod. This is likely to need adjustment if we started get pelted with ungodly amounts of spam, but until then, I think this is enough to help curtail some of the worst abuses of the moderation system.

Underrated/Overrated
That being said, for every rule, this is our exception. Underrated/Overrated theoretically serve a good purpose, but frequently just aren't used being properly. I want to preserve this functionality, but prevent abuse. I've come up with a couple of ideas on this, but they remain relatively complex. Right now, the best idea I've had is allow Overrated/Underrated to be applied once per comment by any moderator, and the poster isn't dinged any karma for it. That being said, I'm open to suggestions in light of the rest of the reworks on how to keep Underrated/Overrated without allowing rampant abuse

Moderation Eligibility
Right now, basically, if your account is old enough, and you have positive karma, you're eligible to be a moderator. This is a bit too open for my taste; moderators should be vested in our community. What I want to do is change it that there's a cooldown of a few weeks before an account becomes eligible for modpoints, and limit it to high karma accounts (under the current karma system). This will drastically reduce the pool of moderators, but make the system much harder to game, and much less vulnerable to astroturfing.

My thought is if you have to have multiple sockpuppets regularly posting insightful and interesting comments to get enough modpoints to astroturf a discussion, they will be helping to drastically improve the S/N ratio! Metamod will cause those astroturfed moderations to go away once peer review has a chance to review them. It should require real effort to get those first ten moderator points, lest the system be further corrupted by trolls.

With fewer moderators, the system has to work to better and smarter; we need ways to connect moderators to posts that need moderation that may be buried in the index.

Suggest/Report Buttons
Suggest does what it sounds like; it places a comment on a to-be-implemented list of comments that should be moderated; this helps comments and moderators connect. To prevent abuse, only logged in users can suggest comments for moderation. If need be, we'll implement rate limiting as well to limit the number of comments suggested in a period.

Report on the other hand is when someone spots moderation abuse. Despite everything above, its still possible that moderation abuse will still happen. A comment may be controversial enough that it gets pounded to the bottom of the tree. Report calls in the last line of defence, and makes a comment eligible for super-moderation.

Wait, what? Supermoderation? Indeed, this is our last line of defense against abuse. A small subset of users who have very high metamod scores, and high karma will be handpicked by the staff to become supermoderators. Supermoderators will receive a special supermod point which, when applied to a post, allows the supermoderate to send it to Score +4/+5 (moderator choice), and lock it from further moderation.

This is designed to keep controversial posts from being moderated out of existence, and keep discussion, instead of making it vanish into the realm of -1. I realize this is easily abusable, so we'll be keeping a very close eye on supermoderators to make sure there's no abuse going on; if we're lucky, supermoderations will be an extremely rare event, but as time has shown, any system can be gamed. This is to help prevent it.

In Closing
I'm determined to try and keep this community one of extremely high quality. Now, the fact is, I may be trying to solve an unsolvable problem, and perhaps there is a great reason why most forums do not try to filter for signal/noise. That being said, I'm willing to attempt to try and solve or at least drastically improve it. As with all things, this system will constantly be under review, and if need be, be ripped out and replaced should it prove to be untenable with larger amounts of users. I also plan to implement moderation previews which should help make sure you don't misapply moderations.

A lot of this work will tie into the karma reworks I want planned, so keep your eyes peeled out for that post in the next few days.

NCommander adds: *sigh*, after this went up, someone went and linked me to the moderation rework ideas on the wiki. I didn't see that page before (as I don't frequent the wiki unless I'm checking the backend documentation) and wasn't linked in the previous discussion. I'm going through it now to see what I want to incorporate. If you were an author on those pages, please make yourself know, and provide feedback and I'll revise my plans.

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Tork on Monday April 07 2014, @07:29PM

    by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 07 2014, @07:29PM (#27679)
    Maybe this idea is dumb, but thinking from the point of view of making changes simple: What about a 'factually incorrect' mod?

    On a completely unrelated matter: Why make the moderation anonymous? As part of the stats of what sort of moderations were applied to a comment, how about we show who decided to make that choice? The idea is to make people accountable for their moderations.
    --
    🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +4  
       Insightful=3, Interesting=1, Total=4
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NCommander on Monday April 07 2014, @07:40PM

    by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Monday April 07 2014, @07:40PM (#27686) Homepage Journal

    Every moderation is logged, and I've debated on this point a couple of time. It wouldn't be hard to bring the log visible, but I'd probably want to have a QA on it before doing so.

    --
    Still always moving
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by egcagrac0 on Monday April 07 2014, @08:09PM

      by egcagrac0 (2705) on Monday April 07 2014, @08:09PM (#27731)

      No.

      Moderation should probably be anonymous.

      It's reasonable to say "this post has the following modifiers: Karma, Insightful, Informative, Troll, Overated, Troll, Troll, Troll" and then add buttons to each to call the moderations (good or bad) into question (submit that moderation for metamod).

      It's possibly reasonable to add that button for everyone (make clicking on the "Score: x" text pop up the mod history for the comment?) - I know that I've occasionally run across instances where I was wondering "huh? how did someone think this trash was Insightful?".

      • (Score: 3) by NCommander on Monday April 07 2014, @08:21PM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Monday April 07 2014, @08:21PM (#27752) Homepage Journal

        Hello New M2 design. I was debating how to rework that interface, and I believe you just handed to me the new UI on a platter :-).

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday April 08 2014, @04:25AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @04:25AM (#27942) Homepage

          I had the exact same thought, and that this would be a good way to encourage metamodding if only by making it more interesting.

          But not if it requires javascript.

          Also, gishzida mentions:
          ====
          After you moderate you get taken to the top of the article rather than holding your place at the comment you just moderated. Each moderation of that article gets set as a page reload.
          ====
          This issue appeared 3 or 4 weeks ago; I'd call it a new bug. Before that, moderating relocated you at the last modded comment, as the gods intended.

          --
          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
          • (Score: 2) by egcagrac0 on Tuesday April 08 2014, @07:13AM

            by egcagrac0 (2705) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @07:13AM (#28013)

            It shouldn't require javascript; the flat hyperlink should be able to pop a new page (or new window/tab) which can do the function, but if you choose to enable javascript, the javascript code should be able to override the anchor/href/target and use onClick to pop up a Web2.0 type dialog to do the (meta)moderation without all the fuss.

            • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday April 08 2014, @01:09PM

              by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @01:09PM (#28118) Homepage

              And there's a thought -- how about in discussions where we don't have mod points, metamod opportunities are presented randomly (much as they would be on the metamod page) so we can see the comment and mods in context and don't have to go diving after them separately?

              --
              And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by anubi on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:44AM

        by anubi (2828) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:44AM (#27914) Journal

        Being you are logging moderations, how much of an issue is it to see if one account is consistentently up-modding or down-modding another account?

        It has been my experience "on the other site" that cliques form and have an agenda to push. I see perfectly good posts modded into oblivion, as the downmod is the weapon of choice for obliterating visibility of a viewpoint a group may be trying to suppress.

        I believe statistical analysis of downmods will provide insight into which moderators should not be invited into the pool. I believe the tipoff would be controversial posts which generate both upmods and downmods.

        The question being: was the downmod because it was a crap post, or a matter of personal disagreement?

        Doing away with downmodding altogether is out of the question as we would soon find ourselves overwhelmed with spam and goatse links; those kind of crap posts have to be dealt with fast to deny the perp the benefit of exposure.

        The three instances I will downmod for are completely offtopic spam, goatse links, or racial/ethnic slurs. I do not believe these kinds of posts have any business on a technical discussion forum.

        I know you have invited me to moderate a few times; and I have done my best to do so responsibly. I hate to downmod anything - as to me I would just as soon spit in someone's face, but I have done it when the post was that bad. I am sure you can verify if you so choose. I have even upmodded posts I did not agree with only because I thought the poster had a good point and he made me think about it.

        Trying to select a good moderator pool looks to me like a college-level PhD study in statistics, programming, AI, and psychology all rolled into one. Figure that one out and my guess you also have developed a damn-near ideal algorithm for screening individuals where anyone has to work under them.

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by egcagrac0 on Tuesday April 08 2014, @07:05AM

          by egcagrac0 (2705) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @07:05AM (#28008)

          how much of an issue is it to see if one account is consistentently up-modding or down-modding another account?

          That's a very slippery slope... at least until the userbase grows.

          I know that without having an agenda, I've upmodded a particular individual's posts several times. It's not that I was trying to boost their karma; it's that I had mod points and they were posting good stuff in discussions on a thread I thought was interesting.

          Until there are more users, we should probably consider that if I'm moderating at 2am, there are probably only a handful of new insightful comments that deserve upmoderation, and they are probably written by the same few people that are on the bizarre schedule I'm on... so it naturally follows that even without forming a clique, I'm more likely to upmod their posts than the good posts that came earlier (and are already adequately upmodded) or the good posts that come later (that I'm either out of mod points for, or I will have posted something in the thread by then and lost my mod privileges).

          More users - more posts - more diverse moderation patterns.

    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Monday April 07 2014, @11:01PM

      by edIII (791) on Monday April 07 2014, @11:01PM (#27842)

      I like the direction the moderations are going, but I do have one comment to make

      JavaScript experience on staff to create a D2 system is somewhat short at the moment

      We've had almost religious crusades regarding JavaScript around here, and on the other site. So I'm not entirely surprised that all the malcontents that have fled, and may be continuing to flee, to Soylent are JavaScript "hostile" to put it mildly.

      I work with JavaScript all the time, but not really low level like some people. While I have created front ends for management platforms that make extensive use of AJAX/XML/JSON with various web based APIs, I will not say that I am an expert by any means. Just forced to get something done with no budget to hire somebody.

      My real question is that even if you had 10 people show up today in the "back rooms" of Soylent that were JS masters, would you even embrace them? I tend to think that I would not be welcomed with open arms at all, but the target of pitch forks and torches based on my previous experiences.

      How many people are surfing this site with NoScript at the moment?

      Soylent is about responding to the community and I think unless we do a poll again, the community has spoken and said we should remain free of any client side programming right?

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 1) by gishzida on Tuesday April 08 2014, @01:01AM

        by gishzida (2870) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @01:01AM (#27881) Journal

        I use NoScript and ABP regardless where I go. For two reasons: 1) security and 2) The mostly Bad JS UI design which "designers" pass off as "pretty". Can you say 'Beta'? I don't need Image to text transitions or gigantic lettering or other doo-dads like this one [medium.com]. That kind of design is done not for practical purposes but to show off the "gee I'm so cool aren't you impressed that I could code that" kind of ego. All it does for me is want run for the next link... I don't want the web to become T.V.

        I can't see the point of using JS to make menus that work for the designer but not for me as a user. Give me a simple design which I don't have to worry about making the page readable or worry that there is a security "gotcha" [server side delivery of malware tends to be served well by client-side loading of scripts.

        What we have mostly works although I read at -1... Sine I do want to see all the warts. Sometimes a down moded comment did not deserve it. There are some funny bumps in moderating tho'-- After you moderate you get taken to the top of the article rather than holding your place at the comment you just moderated. Each moderation of that article gets set as a page reload. So you might have to hit the back key several times before you return to the main page... which means I hit the home "Soylent News" link rather than have to do several back button clicks.

        So, no offense intended but I'd not particularly in favor of JS "prettification" unless you can show it enhances my user experience without making my browsing insecure or unusable.

        As for the idea of "factually incorrect" moderation. I cannot see this as a viable moderation option. The question is and always will be "Not factually correct according to Whom?" I can assert that your political views are "not factually correct" but that is a far cry from proving to you and anyone else that your views are actually and factually incorrect. I can see that this will easily be used by those that have vehemently oposed opinions about certain topics.

        I'd rather down Mod at .25 point increments rather than -1 and up Mod a 1 point to a maximum of 10.

        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:00AM

          by edIII (791) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:00AM (#27900)

          Give me a simple design which I don't have to worry about making the page readable or worry that there is a security "gotcha" [server side delivery of malware tends to be served well by client-side loading of scripts.

          The security aspect is indeed concerning. Which is why if I might suggest you should be using Ghostery and DoNotTrackMe, but you have JS turned off completely.

          I also agree about the aesthetics oriented design like the one you showed, but don't think it's as bad as "Web TV". There is something to be said about aesthetics, and perhaps the web is as just about information as it is presentation now. Even having said that, when you have a design like that it really needs a purpose. It cannot just be aesthetics for the sake of aesthetics, but serving to aid and add emphasis to your presentation.

          There is something hugely positive that can occur with JS, but I also believe that is largely because the Web is a cluster *$&% of technologies and lacks the UI capabilities that we want. We shouldn't need huge JS libraries, or libraries at all for that matter, just to create an animated slide effect when you want to add a comment and the site needs to show a box.

          Look at how clumsy and awkward it is for me to write this comment. I needed an entire page reload and can't see the original comments, TFS, links, etc. That should be easier. JS makes that a reality, but it is a technology with an unfortunate attack surface, and is used abusively beyond any shadow of a doubt. If it wasn't abusive I wouldn't need the combo of Ghostery/DoNotTrackMe to employ black listing of scripts and domains would I?

          As a UI designer (avid interest) I have a lot of ideas that can only be accomplished with JS. There is no other way. I never obfuscate my code though. To the detriment of bandwidth, I include full comments, notations, etc. My code is easily readable and I hide nothing. That cannot be said about practically any other website out there.

          I want to scrap HTML/CSS entirely myself and construct a new browser that can give you the best of both worlds, give it to you transparently, and reduce the attack surfaces. I shouldn't need to introduce an attack surface just to handle display and formatting issues which are the bulk of the reason I want JS.

          My area of interest is not how to arrange things on a page for marketing purposes, but how to create usable interfaces for people to get work done. None of my work is available to see precisely because it is for employees and not landing-page style examples like you showed me.

          I really would like to revamp Soylent completely with a combination of Lenticular design (I've been really inspired by that) and Cards.

          Imagine all the comments being cards that automatically arranged themselves on the page. You could achieve tremendous information density, far more than Soylent currently in fact. Look how much white space is just wasted at the top of the page right now and on the sides.

          Keeping with Lenticular design, I would put all of the moderation actions, stats, etc. on the back of the Card. Experienced users or moderators could flip a Card over, and without disrupting any other Card, review moderations, super-moderations, report an abuse, mark it for future reference. Turning a Card over from a different direction could expand the card and display an editor for a response.

          I have a lot of ideas that I think would create a simple design, be tremendously information dense, and add great utility to the site. A page load would be rare once you are inside an article, which I think is how it should be.

          NONE of that I can do without JS, and that just blows. I understand why it blows, but I also think that the die hard detractors and opponents are also being a little unreasonable as to the positive benefits that can exist with it.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
          • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:18AM

            by Nerdfest (80) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:18AM (#27902)

            If you use FireFox I would also suggest RequestPolicy. It allows you to permit scripts and which domains they can call other scripts on. Quite handy.

            I like the Mod then comment change ... very handy. If it didn't exist I wouldn't have added this (not that it's a big deal, but it's nice to be able to contribute).

            • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:58AM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:58AM (#27920) Homepage Journal

              This isn't implemented yet :-)

              But its coming.

              --
              Still always moving
            • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday April 08 2014, @03:59AM

              by edIII (791) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @03:59AM (#27935)

              Thanks. RequestPolicy sounds interesting. I use Chrome though. FireFox just has piss-poor stability and performance. Shame though. It was my browser for years.

              As for the third party scripts I have a simple rule. NEVER.

              If you don't care enough to host it locally, then I'm damn sure you didn't care enough to validate the code. Any third party script that I know about where control must be kept with the third party is always to my detriment. It can be beacons, trackers, widgets, the stupid social networking buttons, all of them leak way too much information about me.

              So the simplest rule for third party scripts is over-my-dead-body.

              --
              Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Tuesday April 08 2014, @09:29PM

          by etherscythe (937) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @09:29PM (#28466) Journal

          After you moderate you get taken to the top of the article rather than holding your place at the comment you just moderated

          I've struggled with this myself. I have discovered that you can assign modpoints to multiple posts and wait til you're done reading the whole discussion to push the "moderate" button, at which time they are all awarded at once. The downside is that I occasionally forget that I assigned mod points if I didn't do any towards the end of the page, and I close the tab and lose all the mods.

          On a related note, I've been wondering if maybe some difficulty in using the mod system (and comment system in general) isn't a good thing - the people who really use the system are the ones who are smart enough to figure it out (kind of like a meta-Captcha test) and/or motivated to participate, most likely due to being interested in healthy discussion. This has the effect of keeping out some of the noise, but maybe reduces participation from (for example) experts on the subject at hand who don't have time to mess around with seemingly non-standard (i.e. not common on the web) forum interfaces.

          Regarding "factually incorrect", I think this is where mod-and-post in the same thread becomes useful - specifically, posting citations to a source. I suggest a moderator should be able to post a source for/against an assertion, and apply it with a mod up/down at the same time. Add it to the post bibliographical-style [1] and allow other moderators to mod the citation up or down separately or together with the parent post. If the moderator has anything more to say, they can still follow up as an AC with a new post, and it will keep the thread clean and with high signal-per-pixel ratio, in theory.

          [1] show full URL at the bottom, indicate mod up/down status, referenced from the appropriate part of the post, like this comment
          --
          "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:39AM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:39AM (#27909) Homepage Journal

        The rule of thumb we use is the site works without JS; I'm not against avoiding it all together, and css visible/hide have issues (plus have to be triggered by CSS); being able to expand/collaspe trees dynamicly (like with the greasemonkey script) is a huge functionality win, and I'm not sure how you could do it without JS that wouldn't work in everyones browser. As long as the site has full functionality (if a tad clunkly) w/o JS, I don't think anyone is going to complain.

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 2) by egcagrac0 on Tuesday April 08 2014, @07:18AM

          by egcagrac0 (2705) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @07:18AM (#28015)

          As long as the site has full functionality (if a tad clunkly) w/o JS, I don't think anyone is going to complain.

          Can you make it work both ways and satisfy everyone? A few non-obnoxious slick features for the rest of us, and let the curmudgeons enjoy their tadly-clunky JS-free site?

          • (Score: 2) by Jaruzel on Tuesday April 08 2014, @09:22AM

            by Jaruzel (812) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @09:22AM (#28044) Homepage Journal

            The key thing is I think, is that any JS that is used MUST have a functional purpose. I don't think many people would have issues with a Hide DIV JS function as it actually does something useful. Loads of JS just to make the site shiny (which I know we're not doing anyway) is where the core problem is. It seems that so many young designers have swallowed the JQuery koolaid, and have totally forgotten that HTML plus a smatter of CSS and JS is what they should be writing, not buckets of JS with a smattering of HTML.

            Pesonally, I'm happy reading a basic HTML only site with black on grey Times font and underlined blue/purple links and GIF images, as long as I get the information I need.

            So all you young hipster web designers: Get off my lawn!

            -Jar

            --
            This is my opinion, there are many others, but this one is mine.
    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday April 08 2014, @04:19AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @04:19AM (#27940) Homepage

      The trouble with "factually incorrect" (aka "wrong") is that the moderator may themselves not have all the facts straight.

      As to your current slew of notions, I take back my previous objections, since I think you covered 'em all. Okay, I'm willing to try out your proposed mod setup.

      BTW speaking of being modded into oblivion -- couple days ago I found an interesting comment (albeit expressing an unpopular viewpoint) at -1 Troll, and tried to upmod it. Reloaded the page to check and there it was still at -1 Troll. Rinse and repeat a few times with no change and finally I gave up.

      And that made me think of another suggestion: =after= we've modded something, let us see the list of mods for that comment (kinda like we can for our own comments).

      --
      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by isostatic on Monday April 07 2014, @07:47PM

    by isostatic (365) on Monday April 07 2014, @07:47PM (#27693) Journal

    The correct thing to do is reply and say how they are wrong. However in the past if you're half way through modding a story you don't want your work undone, so you hope someone else will, and you might overrate it (which is technically correct if it's been modded up on the basis of a falsity)

    However under this new system you can reply, and you don't lose your existing moderations

  • (Score: 1) by Woods on Monday April 07 2014, @07:53PM

    by Woods (2726) <woods12@gmail.com> on Monday April 07 2014, @07:53PM (#27703) Journal

    What about a 'factually incorrect' mod?

    I agree 100%
    Usually in this instance, the comment is neither good or bad, but just wrong. I cannot rightfully mod the comment up or down, but something needs to be done, but if I post my own comment correcting it, then I get a (Score:-1, Pedant)

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tibman on Monday April 07 2014, @08:07PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 07 2014, @08:07PM (#27726)

      I'm not sure (yet) if i'm comfortable with moderators down-modding a comment because it is incorrect. I would prefer they upmod the correction in a reply. We all make mistakes and civil discussion shouldn't have penalties for not always being 100% correct. If it's intentional, factually incorrect posts are usually used for flame bating and trolling. Those posts can easily be dealt with and there is a good reason for receiving the penalty.

      I didn't see any negative comments for you. Could have been something that occurred at slashdot? Or it may have been here but a bad mod that was fixed by another mod (or two)? If so, that sounds exactly the reason why moderation is getting an upgrade.

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Monday April 07 2014, @10:23PM

        by edIII (791) on Monday April 07 2014, @10:23PM (#27825)

        I'm not comfortable about the factually incorrect mod simply because a lot of what we talk about is difficult and technical in nature. There are an awful lot of educated opinions floating around that when you consider them objectively are not so easy to categorize into a black and white assessment of incorrect/correct.

        Some people confuse an educated opinion with fact as well, especially if we start dragging politics into it. Can you imagine all the factually incorrect mods if we started talking about politics, the economy, and corruption in private corporations? Yeah. I have my own rather strong views on dragging everyone from Wall Street out into Main Street and beating them like red headed step children. Not everything here is a purely evidence based scientific discussion, and is perhaps the minority.

        A simple moderation saying a post is factually incorrect is no different than replying to the person and complaining that they are wrong, and never explaining why.

        If we allow such a moderation, it should have a dedicated section to explain why, provide at least one reference, and be shown separate from the discussion itself. If you can't provide references you shouldn't be able to say it's not a fact.

        No, I'm not talking about how we deal with Flat Earthers either :) Just downmod those and don't bother modding it factually incorrect...

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @11:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07 2014, @11:31PM (#27851)

      I could easily see "factually incorrect" quickly becoming the "I disagree" mod.

      Then there are going to be topics where there may be differing views of what is factual.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday April 07 2014, @07:56PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday April 07 2014, @07:56PM (#27705) Homepage

    I think a better idea, rather than modding down, is to simply post a comment explaining why the parent is factually wrong, and being modded up for it. Hopefully the new moderation options will enable good corrective-posters to have high scores.

    One thing I really enjoyed about the other site was when myself or somebody else posted a factually-incorrect bullshit post that sounded plausible, so it was modded up to 5, and then when somebody inevitably replied to that post calling bullshit, you could see the bullshit post start to be modded down as the reply was modded up. Perhaps I'm just an easily-amused idiot.

    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Monday April 07 2014, @08:19PM

      by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 07 2014, @08:19PM (#27749)
      Oh.. are you describing a + 5 Troll? I got one of those once, I put it on my resume.
      --
      🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
      • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:20AM

        by Nerdfest (80) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @02:20AM (#27903)

        As you should. I don't think I ever managed to pull one off, nor a post that had all moderations applied to it, although I was close. I think I missed off-topic.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Adrian Harvey on Monday April 07 2014, @08:01PM

    by Adrian Harvey (222) on Monday April 07 2014, @08:01PM (#27712)

    Yes, I've been wondering about that - in the past (on that other site, you know, the green one) I've mused that the button for that as well as 'disagree' for that is labeled 'reply'. However I've begun to wonder whether there should be such a moderation with 0 points. Ie it would put factually inaccurate in the score heading, but not actually mod the post down...

    The key reason not to mod them down is that some of the best discussions come out of putting right errors or misconceptions, indeed it is sometimes used as a teaching tool. However there may be some value in marking them as factually incorrect to act as a 'don't try this at home' warning or note to read further down the thread for the safe way to, say, charge your phone with a microwave :-)

    The other reason (and argument for the current state too) is to prevent a discussion on, say, politics, being hijacked by each side labeling the other factually inaccurate - say because they have different interpretations of the statistics, or are basing their conclusions on a different set of axioms.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by egcagrac0 on Monday April 07 2014, @08:13PM

      by egcagrac0 (2705) on Monday April 07 2014, @08:13PM (#27739)

      some of the best discussions come out of putting right errors or misconceptions, indeed it is sometimes used as a teaching tool

      I believe that's the origin of trolling, yes?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by urza9814 on Monday April 07 2014, @08:50PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Monday April 07 2014, @08:50PM (#27773) Journal

      However I've begun to wonder whether there should be such a moderation with 0 points. Ie it would put factually inaccurate in the score heading, but not actually mod the post down...

      I like this idea, because it has a side bonus of communicating some expectations to the moderator. With the current setup, people may not immediately get the concept of 'if it's wrong, post why' and instead will try to downmod, and say to themselves "hey, this crappy system has no 'incorrect' option; I guess overrated is close enough". If they instead see a '-0 factually incorrect' option, that's better even if it doesn't do anything to the post.

      Of course we don't want the moderation options cluttered with a bunch of useless options, but in certain cases having even a no action -0 option could help steer the moderators by sending a message: 'we don't downmod for those reasons around here!'

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Sir Garlon on Monday April 07 2014, @08:03PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Monday April 07 2014, @08:03PM (#27715)

    Maybe this idea is dumb, but thinking from the point of view of making changes simple: What about a 'factually incorrect' mod?

    The problem is that it would be subject to abuse, and there is no guarantee the moderator knows enough to make the evaluation. I imagine how such a mod would be applied in a topic such as climate change, and suggest we are better off without it.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Tork on Monday April 07 2014, @08:17PM

      by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 07 2014, @08:17PM (#27745)
      It's already being abused. In this case the nature of the abuse is being called out. In the scenario you described it would keep the conversation going. "The factually incorrect mod is wrong... here's the data that proves it..."
      --
      🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
      • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Monday April 07 2014, @08:31PM

        by Sir Garlon (1264) on Monday April 07 2014, @08:31PM (#27761)

        I've wished for such a thing before, I admit. It's probably no worse than the vague "overrated" and "troll" mods. You have a good point about the abuse happening already, just with the "overrated" or "troll" labels.

        --
        [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by VLM on Monday April 07 2014, @08:08PM

    by VLM (445) on Monday April 07 2014, @08:08PM (#27727)

    "that guy insightfuled the post about Steve Jobs rising from the dead on Easter? F that guy I'm downvoting whatever I see any post of his"

    Now I could see an interesting mechanic where you can anon-mod all you want, BUT the cost will be 2,3,4 of your modpoints not just one.

    So if there's a "bill gates is a really nice guy in person" and I mod it up, I can do it anonymous but it'll cost me 3 points.

    Maybe your metamod history should control how many extra points anon-modding costs. If I'm generally trustworthy I should be trusted to do more anon-modding and someone who's nuts (or crazier, anyway) or astroturfing should find anon-modding to be very expensive.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Buck Feta on Monday April 07 2014, @09:02PM

    by Buck Feta (958) on Monday April 07 2014, @09:02PM (#27781) Journal

    > factually incorrect

    Sir, this is the internet. Facts have no place here.

    --
    - fractious political commentary goes here -
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by SplawnDarts on Monday April 07 2014, @09:10PM

    by SplawnDarts (3962) on Monday April 07 2014, @09:10PM (#27788)

    This strikes me as a very bad idea. On many controversial subjects, the facts themselves are in question. That's often a big part of the controversy. Frequently one or both sides of the argument would like to claim that the facts are not in dispute, and "-1 factually incorrect" could thus easily become a proxy for "-1 disagree" which is bad for obvious reasons.

    You need only look at the history of knowledge and science to see that many things which were once "facts" no longer are.

  • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Monday April 07 2014, @09:13PM

    by lhsi (711) on Monday April 07 2014, @09:13PM (#27793) Journal

    Maybe this idea is dumb, but thinking from the point of view of making changes simple: What about a 'factually incorrect' mod?

    You mean something like "-1 Repudiate"? As mentioned replying to something with proof would allow one to refute an incorrect claim. It would also show that a claim is actually incorrect as opposed to assumed incorrect.

    • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Tuesday April 08 2014, @10:10PM

      by etherscythe (937) on Tuesday April 08 2014, @10:10PM (#28482) Journal

      I mentioned above [soylentnews.org] a possibility of adding citations (as a moderator) that have +/- modifiers attached, above. I think it could work.

      --
      "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"