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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: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:32PM

    by HiThere (866) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:32PM (#94150) Journal

    There needs to be a systematic discouragement of downvoting. A mere policy statement doesn't suffice. Probably allowing a downvote to be half as effective as an upvote would suffice, but that needs to be tested. OTOH, downvoting is useful to enabling those browsing at a higher threshold to avoid useless junk.

    An alternative is to allow no downvoting, but to start posts at 1 and allow scores to rise in an essentially unlimited way. Then you need to modify browsing thresholds to allow people not only to skip those posts below a threshold, but also to skip those above a threshold. In this scenario you might also want to allow people to with a positive score (i.e., accounts that have posted useful posts) to mod in any discussion that they don't post in. You'd probably want to set a threshold for what "counts as a useful post" somewhere above 7...but since scores could go into the 100's (or theoretically higher) that shouldn't be too restrictive. (As usual, if you post in a discussion, any moderations you may have made will be canceled. Alternatively, if you moderate in a discussion, you are prevented from posting to that discussion.)

    --
    Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +1  
       Interesting=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   3  
  • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @10:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @10:12PM (#94270)

    If you're looking beyond a policy, how about raising the cost of a down vote to more than a single moderation point? Perhaps an exception made for final point available, or maybe not since you're talking about seriously discouraging down votes. I'm sure that wouldn't take too much to change in the code.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17 2014, @03:26AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17 2014, @03:26AM (#94377)

    > There needs to be a systematic discouragement of downvoting.

    While I agree that if something must be done, making downvotes half-strength is probably the way to go. But I don't necessarily agree that down-votes need to be discouraged. In the last couple of days the people complaining the loudest about being down-voted turned out not to be the ones who were actually downvoted the most.

    I would like to see meta-moderation working. But I have not seen anything close to a problem with downvoting here so far. Lots and lots of complaining, but minimal empirical evidence. If there were an ongoing and systemic problem, then I would think different. But that's a long way off.