Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Tuesday September 16 2014, @12:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the mod-me-up! dept.

An article posted by Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing has interesting insight into moderation:

A study [PDF] published in a journal of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence found that sites that have a "downvote" button to punish bad comments lock the downvoted users into spirals of ever-more-prolific, ever-lower-quality posting due to a perception of having been martyred by the downvoters.

Cory continues: What's more, positive attention for writing good posts acts as less of an incentive to write more good stuff than the incentive to write bad stuff that's produced by negative attention.

How Community Feedback Shapes User Behavior [Justin Cheng, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Jure Leskovec]

Why Reddit sucks: some scientific evidence [Henry Farrell/Washington Post]

So... do you downvote? if so, why? Does this article make you reconsider your down-modding?

[Editor's note: I offer for your consideration and commentary our very own SoylentNews Moderation FAQ.]

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MrGuy on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:54PM

    by MrGuy (1007) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:54PM (#94034)

    Just wanted to point out that the Slashcode-style moderation system has several important differences to the systems studied for this article.

    The article considers a system where every passing user can upvote or downvote every article. There's no "who can vote?" criteria. Also, voting is costless - you can upvote or downvote every post on the site if you so choose (or do both, in some systems). There's also no reasonable expectation that you even read the post in question before voting - you can vote just on the headline.

    Such systems tend to get an immediate, mass-audience, gut reaction to the post.

    Slashcode voting is different in a few ways that I think make us less different (and, I'd hope, less susceptible to this, but I guess that's to be seen).

    * Most individuals don't vote on what topics go on the site, nor can they change the order in which the posts are presented. This is the domain of the editors, who decide what gets posted/not, and the topics are presented strictly chronologically.
    * Voting is not purely democratic. Not everyone has mod-points. The voting process is weighted towards those individuals that peers have recognized for their contributions (by karma).
    * Voting is not costless. Moderators have limited points. Downvoting one post means you can't upvote others (and vice versa). This puts in an important distinction between "is this post better/worse than average?" and "do I want to spend one of my scarce mod points on this particular post, or save it for later?"

    A downvote means considerably more on SoylentNews because its not just a "Meh, I didn't like it." They're also more rare - I'd wager our "upvote to downvote" percentage on SN is much more heavily weighted towards upvotes than the sites where downvoting is costless...

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +3  
       Insightful=2, Informative=1, Total=3
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   5  
  • (Score: 1) by jbernardo on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:25PM

    by jbernardo (300) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:25PM (#94059)

    I mostly agree with you - but you forgot that downvotes also have more weight on this system than on most others, as people usually filter what they see to posts valued at 2 or above. When you downvote you might be pushing a post into "invisibility zone". Never mind the effect on the karma of the downvoted.
    This might be used to censor opinions contrary to "groupthink" on occasion, but from my experience on this and that other site, it ends up doing a lot to weed out the astroturfers/spammers/trolls.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by TK on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:28PM

    by TK (2760) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:28PM (#94062)

    There are two other major distinctions between Slashcode moderation and Reddit's* moderation systems.

    Slashcode moderation has a floor and a ceiling. You can only downmod something so far, there's no kicking a dead horse. Sure your poorly researched, flame-baiting diatribe about $Ethnics may be downmodded to -1, but that's as far down as you can go, and your next rant may be more accepted by the community.

    Slashcode moderation is more permanent. You can undo it (well, not any more on SN), but you can't change your positive to a negative or vice versa. Unlike Reddit, where every week or so someone's human interest story at +3000 gets called out as BS by someone looking through their comment history, then the tides shift and it goes to -5000. The closest analog to Slashcode would be a comment below the OP explaining why it's wrong and deserving of downmods, and then a plethora of -1 Overrated mods.

    *I can't speak for other voting systems, but I am fairly familiar with Reddit's system, and as I understand it, the basic concept is the same for a lot of sites that are relevant to this article.

    The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum