The Mighty Buzzard writes:
I've been hinting around about this for a week or two, so here it is. I circulated this proposal around the staff mailing list before Thanksgiving and got nobody telling me it sucks and to die in a fire, so it falls to you lot to do it if necessary. Let's be clear beforehand though. This is not a complete solution; no meta-mod consideration included for instance. Nor is it a permanent change. What it is is an experiment. Unless you lot are overwhelmingly opposed, we'll run it for a month or two and either keep it, keep parts of it, or trash it entirely based on staff and community feedback. We're not the other site and this isn't Beta; what we as a community want is what's going to happen. So, here's the deal with the bit that's likely to be most controversial right out front. Bad downmods and mod-bombing both suck hardcore but you can't really get rid of them and still have downmods even with meta-moderation because you still have the same ideologically driven few who think Troll/Flamebait/Overrated means Disagree. To that end, I converted all the downmods to +0 mods and added a proper Disagree +0 mod. They affect neither score of the comment nor karma of the commenter but will show up beside the comment score (and be subject to user adjustment from their comments preferences page) if they hold a majority vote. It'll be entirely possible, for instance, to have a +5 Troll comment and equally possible that the same comment will show as -1 Troll to someone who has Troll set to -6 in their preferences. Underrated and Overrated are also out. For Underrated, I for one would really like to know why you think it's underrated. For Overrated, it was almost exclusively used as Disagree, which we now have. Second, everyone who's been registered for a month or more gets five mod points a day. We're not getting enough mods on comments to suit the number of comments; this should have been tweaked a while back but we quite frankly just let it slip through the cracks. Also, the zero-mod system will need the extra points to reliably push comments from +5 insightful to +5 Flamebait if they warrant it. We may end up tweaking this number as necessary to find the right balance during The Experiment. Third, we're introducing a new Spam mod. As of this writing it's a -1 to comment score and a -10 to the commenter's karma; this may very well change. Sounds easily abused, yeah? Not so much. Every comment with this mod applied to it will have a link out beside the score that any staff with editor or above clearance on the main site (this excludes me by the way) can simply click to undo every aspect of the spam moderation and ban the moderator(s) who said it was from moderating. First time for a month, second time for six months; these also are arbitrary numbers that could easily change. So, what qualifies as spam so you don't inadvertently get mod-banned?
Caveats about banning aside, if something is really spam, please use the mod. It will make it much, much easier for us to find spam posts and attempt to block the spammers. One SELECT statement period vs one per post level of easier. Lastly, if I can find it and change it in time for thorough testing on dev, we'll be doing away with mod-then-post in favor of mod-and-post. Without proper downmods, there's really just no point in limiting you on when you can moderate a comment. Right, that's pretty much it. Flame or agree as the spirit moves you. Suggestions will all be read and considered but getting them debated, coded, and tested before the January release will be a bit tricky for all but the exceedingly simple ones.
Some really interesting ideas there. It'll be really interesting to see how they work out.
I fully support this kind of experimentation. Slashdot was always a cut above on their comment system; but as comments have generally degraded in the rest of the web over the years, so have they degraded there. The "Disagree" mod is a long-awaited feature; perhaps a "Poster doesn't have a clue what he's talking about" mod would be another way to avoid the more generic negative mods.
Anyway, good move.
I'm looking forward to these changes as well. Slashdot may have had a proper metamod feature, but their system had been stagnant for a long time. These kinds of experiments keep the site exciting.
The best part about this is the "disagree" mod -- the less ambiguity in online communication (hell, all communication), the better. The post-and-mod changes will also provide more "honest" posters with an opportunity to explain their disagreement in a reply.
The staff have been doing a bang-up job in balancing the community demands and striving to create a more perfect system while mitigating all of the bullshit like spam. It should be noted that any one angry person has the ability to machine-gun spam a discussion because of the removal of the "Slow down Cowboy" filters, which was prompted by community complaints.
Great job, fellas. Glad to see my twenty bucks is well-spent, I had to give up a whole weekend's worth of booze-money for 'dat star.
Endorsement of these changes by someone who has described himself as a "professional troll" [soylentnews.org] does not bode well.
Where's that disagree mod when I need it! Mr. Ethanol pushes the edges of the moderation system (maybe not here, but certainly at slashdot) and sees the darker side of moderation. His input is very valuable. Certainly a lot more valuable than the standard cookie cutter group think poster. You know, the kind that posts stale and obvious jokes and boring generic comments that conform to the collective bubble -- it's a trap! +5 funny; micr$oft sux +5 informative, etc. Their input, their comments, their existence has no value.
"Poster doesn't have a clue what he's talking about" mod
That would be awesome, but probably greatly abused.
I was thinking of a different phrase: Not even wrong [google.com]As Buzzard notes below, it really needs an explanation of -why- it's garbage; that requires a new comment.So, no. Not a good idea.
No R&D experience?If it doesn't work, try something else.Again, however, I can't see it adding enough to be worthwhile.
The couple of times I would have wanted the "Poster doesn't have a clue" mod I had to think hard about either a) ignoring the BS or b) calming my hyperbolic response enough to contribute something worthwhile about why it was apparent (to me) that poster didn't have a clue. I agree with Buzzard completely on that sentiment, and I'm interested to see how the "Disagree" mod plays out.
(also thanks for the intro to mr pauli -- interesting read, particularly the 'Personality and reputation' section w/ the quote. "The Pauli effect" sounds like a both awesome and horrible ability for a **scientist** to have.)
Someone did suggest a Factually Incorrect mod a long while back. Could be worth revisiting. By all rights it should be followed by a citation though so it would be better to go in after mod-and-post does.
I support "factually incorrect", but also the ability to positively mod someone with a great reply to one of my comments (dangerous if abused, frustrating right now). Post-and-mod will take care of the second one.
It will just be abused by people who won't alter their existing world view no matter what, and so conclude that the poster must be factually incorrect since they can't possibly be.
And what if a certain group doesn't LIKE the facts, hmmm? Go to Slash and look at a Linux article and see how quick the bullshit piles up, it quickly turns into the circle of loon [tmrepository.com] but there as here there are a few that worship the great GNU and for those the only "facts" that count are the ones that support their own biases. its like debating a scientologist and pointing out the universe isn't 100 billion trillion years old, doesn't matter that facts show that isn't so because that is what they believe so fuck you.
So for your idea to work one would have to decide what counts as a "fact" and what does not. Does regular websites count? What about Wikipedia? Do you need 1 page to count as a fact or 2? 3? The parameters would have to be defined otherwise you could just go to the blogosphere and find any looney to back you up, hell I could probably find 3 sites that support the Timecube for the love of pete.
perhaps a "Poster doesn't have a clue what he's talking about" mod would be another way to avoid the more generic negative mods.
Actually... what about the opposite. "+1 Expert". If there was some way of categorizing the discussion, enough of these could give a person an "Expert" status. Some badge or indicator that they know what they're talking about. Maybe it starts their posts at a higher score, or makes them more resistant to downmods in that area.
It's much harder to abuse / grief with an upmod than a downmod.
I like that!