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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 http://boingboing.net/2014/09/15/downvoting-considered-harmful.html has interesting insight into moderation:

A study http://cs.stanford.edu/people/jure/pubs/disqus-icwsm14.pdf [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 http://cs.stanford.edu/people/jure/pubs/disqus-icwsm14.pdf [Justin Cheng, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Jure Leskovec]

Why Reddit sucks: some scientific evidence http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/09/09/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.]

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:31PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:31PM (#94105)

    I once posted a complete working solution to a frequently asked computing problem at the SuperUser site. I had put in a big effort way beyond what was necessary for the sake of helping every possible user-range, noob to expert...

    ...some registered user came along one day and downvoted my post 'This answer is not useful'. So thanks to him, my post sits there with a rating of minus-1. Fundamentally, I am not emotionally fussed by the downvote, but the fact that some registered user with a Rep of '15 or better' was allowed to anonymously cast such a vote without leaving a comment explaining why......it was ummmm 'not useful' !!!! it's like your teacher at school failing your assignment without explanation.

    The other problem I could see by the downvote was that many inexperienced users surfing the net looking for a solution to this problem may bypass my answer because they see a downvote, when in reality my solution is actually exactly what they are looking for.

    However, an experienced web surfer would also deduce some value in the fact that Google's indexing of that Superuser page as one of the top search results would mean there is a strong chance that the answer to what they are looking for is somewhere on that page...if they bothered to ignore all the 'up/down votes' and actually engaged with all the answers.

  • (Score: 2) by strattitarius on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:51PM

    by strattitarius (3191) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:51PM (#94157) Journal

    SU and SO are really fun and useful tools. But the moderation on there can be downright horrendous and as the article says, it sometimes makes me want to start being a real asshole or just quit. I have put similar effort into an answer only to have it or the question downvoted and now nobody will ever see what I thought was very useful. I realize others can disagree, and I might even be wrong and the post was useless, but damn... it wasn't incorrect!

    SU and SO also suffer from becoming too popular as of late. When I can start answering questions, you know the level of questions has dropped!

    --
    Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
    • (Score: 1) by Tanuki64 on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:41PM

      by Tanuki64 (4712) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:41PM (#94183)

      When I can start answering questions, you know the level of questions has dropped!

      Don't sell you short. This most likely is an illusion. You are just getting better and more experienced, so suddenly more stuff appears trivial.

      Where I disagree is that I don't think SO is still fun. I stopped answering there a long time ago. And when I have a problem, I usually google: ...search word... ...search word... ...search word... -stackoverflow

      I always try to find my answer elsewhere. Searching an answer in SO has become like wading through mud.

      Probably one problem is that it still gives points for asking questions. It is easy to ask 1000 stupid questions, but difficult to give even one good answer. Therefore the 'power' lies with the.... members on the lower end of the quality spectrum.