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.
No No No No, quit changing things! Go sit on your hands if you want something to do! It's not that bad. You don't need to "fix" this.
Besides, as I understand it, the GNAA posts will not be modded off the default page that visitors see, just marked as troll for them to see. Sometimes, there's dirt you DO want to sweep under the rug so that guests and visitors don't see it and think badly of you despite your far more numerous positive qualities. Goatse, GNAA, the new Wigger troll -- if you've been around long enough you realize these are just some kind of twisted-not-so-funny attempts by idiots who _think_ they're being funny, and you get that these posts are not reflective of the wider community. To a stranger though, these things will be in their face (they won't have an account to set trolls to -6) and will reflect badly on us. Perhaps horribly badly. That is a far worse detriment than somebody whining about unfair mods. I rarely see those last long -- most are corrected.
TL:DR -- without actual downmods, trolls will define how we appear and who we are perceived to be, to visitors and guests. That is worse than the (mostly imagined) problem with unfair downmods.
To a stranger though, these things will be in their face (they won't have an account to set trolls to -6) and will reflect badly on us. Perhaps horribly badly. That is a far worse detriment than somebody whining about unfair mods.
I would argue that the person who judges a community on a scant handful of post, which are in fact being *actively rejected* by the community, is not the sort of person we want around anyway.
Free Speech Forever
These people aren't going to be members. That wasn't my point. Say for an example a reporter is doing a story in which something SN related plays a role. That person has public influence and whether wrong or right, the SN choice to display GNAA posts for all to see is going to reflect badly on us.
If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.
Yeah, but goatse makes it effortless.
You think that the rare case of unfair mod is more important than SN's members' public image.You think that presenting our worst face front and center for the general public to see, is a good thing.
I disagree. I guess that's about all there is to say.
NO, I've explicitly explained that it is in fact IMPOSSIBLE to present a face that isn't offensive without draconian censorship, and that we therefore shouldn't try.
downmodding GNAA is hardly draconian censorship. It's more like flushing the toilet after taking a dump.
I'm not arguing against downmodding. Downmodding is what we ALREADY HAVE. You were talking about removing comments like that completely.
Rereading your initial post, I'm not sure if that's what you're saying, but if it isn't I don't know what you're trying to:
Sometimes, there's dirt you DO want to sweep under the rug so that guests and visitors don't see it
without actual downmods, trolls will...
We already have a Troll mod. If you're not logged in, don't you browse at 0? In which case, the worst posts will be collapsed anyway.
I was not talking about removing them, I was talking about hiding them unless you go looking. That's what downmodding does. It sweeps them under the rug -- somebody can peek under the rug. Deleting them would be doing a real cleanup and throwing them out.
As items swept under the rug, and not displayed without a person taking an effort, it improves our public image without draconian (delete it) censorship. Leaving that garbage on the default display level however, is a mistake from a public perception point of view.
I guess it depends on whether you consider "collapsed but still present" to be "displayed" or not. The argument could be made that a first-time reader may not know how the moderation scheme works, yes.
Position noted. Hope you can hang in there for the duration of The Experiment at least though, because most people seem in favor of at least giving it a try so far and we're a community-driven site above all things.