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posted by Blackmoore on Monday December 08 2014, @09:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain dept.

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?

  • Proper spam. Anything whose primary purpose is advertisement.
  • HOSTS/GNAA/etc... type posts. Recurring, useless annoyances we're all familiar with.
  • Posts so offtopic and lacking value to even be a troll that they can't be called anything else. See here for an example.

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.

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  • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Wednesday December 10 2014, @07:01PM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Wednesday December 10 2014, @07:01PM (#124817) Journal

    1) WOOHOO! Sounds like I might finally get some mod points! I've had 50 karma for months and haven't gotten a single mod point yet...

    2) I'd personally be a *little* more lenient on mod banning people for false spam reports. I'd rather deal with a couple jerks than accidentally ban someone who was trying to do the right thing. Maybe add one more tier at the bottom, a day or a week or something, maybe even just a warning the very first time. And make the rules VERY clear if you're going to ban first-time offenders -- ie, when you flag something as spam, a second page (or popup/overlay?) appears that says 'By flagging this comment you agree that it violates one of the following guidelines. A false report will result in your account being banned from moderation for [duration]' Also, your strikes should expire over time -- set up a three or six month cron job that just decrements everyone's number of strikes by one or something. Ideally this value should be visible in the user's profile somewhere too. And be very clear when you give examples of what should and should not be flagged -- I have *no idea* what you mean by "HOSTS/GNAA posts"

    3) I'm not sure how removing downmods has any connection to the post and/or moderate thing. I always understood the concern as up-modding other posts in the same thread to try to get yours noticed. Ie, you make your karma-whoring post on top of some troll or otherwise crap post, then you upmod that post in the hopes that people will upmod your post refuting them. Or you upmod a reply to your comment so people will view the parent. How would you gain an advantage by downmodding other posts? Silencing dissent?

    4) Downmodding is VERY necessary and should not be removed!!! Otherwise all it takes is someone registering 6 accounts and they can shill all they want and have all their posts modded +5 informative, and they just have to shill well enough to not be blatantly obvious as spam. Granted, no matter how many accounts you have, "IPOD SUCKS GO BUY A ZUNE LOLOL" is gonna get flagged spam. But something like "I used to have an iPod but I had some trouble with the iTunes software and found the Zune much easier to use" isn't clearly spam -- in fact, I'd expect anyone modding that as spam to be banned. But it adds nothing to the discussion, and it sure as hell shouldn't be so easy to get that instantly and permanently modded to +5 insightful.

    Right now all it takes to keep the shills at bay is that we have more good moderators than bad. In fact, we could even handle more bad moderators than good as long as the bad moderators weren't all working together. With the proposed changes it sounds like it will be impossible to fight these kinds of posts even if we have a million good moderators and only a half dozen bad ones.

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2