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.
Use meta-moderation to identify those users and deny them mod points.
If you can tell me how without meta-moderating becoming simply another level of group-think, I'm all ears. Meta-moderation never worked well on the other site and it wouldn't work well here unless we decided to become tyrants and appoint only meta-moderators we think are fair. I'm not cool with either of those options but I also haven't thought up a better way to implement it, which is why it's still in limbo.
You may have a point on the like button thing though, we'll have to wait and see. You also may be right about simply enough mod points being out there solving the problem; I suppose we could even try dishing a bunch more out now and not wait until January. I'll talk to paulej72 and see if he's okay with rolling that out as soon as possible.
And it's important to be clear, this isn't about anyone being butthurt over being downmodded. We're all big kids and we can get over it. It's about unpopular points of view being suppressed to the detriment of the conversations they're part of. SN as a site has the sole purpose of having the best conversations we can. I mean it's kind of why we exist. That means we don't just allow dissenting points of view, we actively need them. So if something like bad downmodding is hindering that, it needs to end if at all possible.
Also to be clear, my reference to crybabies and jackasses was not intended to refer to The Mighty Buzzard or indeed any specific person, and the subject line was a rhetorical device to call attention to my disagreement. I understand and respect the good intentions behind the proposal.
If you can tell me how without meta-moderating becoming simply another level of group-think, I'm all ears.
Umm ... yeah. You got me there. This is the difference between someone who created a proposal and someone who's reacting to it. The one who created it has more invested and has thought things through better.
You also may be right about simply enough mod points being out there solving the problem; I suppose we could even try dishing a bunch more out now and not wait until January. I'll talk to paulej72 and see if he's okay with rolling that out as soon as possible.
In all seriousness, changing one aspect of the system at a time will give you better insight into what works and what doesn't, than changing three or four things at once.
Hence the proposal. I'm up against a logical brick wall as far as I can see and could use some crowdsourced lovin.
That's really a pretty good point. I can't think of much besides the Spam mod and the Editor+ undo button that really badly need to go together. We generally work on a 2-3 month release cycle and I guess my brain's kind of gotten used to it being the way things are done.
Use meta-moderation to identify those users and deny them mod points.If you can tell me how without meta-moderating becoming simply another level of group-think, I'm all ears.
Lets assume that the majority of people moderate correctly. Now imagine a system where each moderation decision has to be agreed upon by 2 moderators. You have doubled the amount of effort, but you havealso made the proportion of incorrect moderation decisions much lower than it was before.
Now imagine you don't want to double the amount of effort. So instead you create an extra layer: meta-moderation. The extra layer does add value. Bad stuff can still happen, but less often than it does without this extra layer of mostly-correct moderation decisions.
That's my theory anyway.
Meta-moderation never worked well on the other site
Ah. Damn. I don't know anything about that, so can't really comment.
What I will say is I believe the main moderation problem is people using it as a way of expressing agreement/disagreement. And I still think [soylentnews.org] the best way to combat that is to have a completely separate system for expressing agreement/disagreement. That way no-one, whether moderator or meta-moderator, can be in any doubt. This should make both moderation and meta-moderation more straightfoward. And I think meta-mod then has a good change of success.