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Journal by wjwlsn

I'm seeing a lot of unwarranted (IMO) down-moderation lately, mostly on posts that express a minority opinion or that question a majority opinion (judging minority/majority based on discussion context). As a result, there are many posts ranked -1 or 0 that probably deserve higher scores.

I'd like to remind moderators that you're supposed to "Concentrate more on promoting than demoting". In the meantime, I'm going to spend all my mod points on posts that I think have been modded down unfairly. I encourage others to consider spending some mod points in this fashion as well.

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 1) by song-of-the-pogo on Thursday March 27 2014, @07:38PM

    by song-of-the-pogo (1315) on Thursday March 27 2014, @07:38PM (#22192) Homepage Journal

    I generally try to focus on up-moderation, partially to avoid committing a knee-jerk down-moderation if I encounter a comment expressing a point of view with which I strongly disagree and partially to counter moderations I suspect may be unfair (again, even if the down-modded comment expresses a view contrary to my own). What good is a one-sided discussion, provided comments on either side are well thought out and not clearly intentionally trollish or inflammatory? But I've wondered whether or not metamoderation will need to be introduced. Would it prove corrective for unfair moderations, or would it simply add another layer of potential unfairness/abuse of privilege?

    --
    "We have met the enemy and he is us."
    • (Score: 2) by wjwlsn on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:12PM

      by wjwlsn (171) on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:12PM (#22212) Homepage Journal

      ...I've wondered whether or not metamoderation will need to be introduced. Would it prove corrective for unfair moderations, or would it simply add another layer of potential unfairness/abuse of privilege?

      Good thoughts, and good questioning attitude. I don't know if it would be corrective at all, let alone corrective enough to justify the added complexity. Also, I don't know that we have the userbase to support a metamoderation scheme at this point.

      There must be other ways to deal with this. Maybe charge 2 or 3 mod points for a single down-moderation, disallow down-moderation if moderator's karma is lower than the poster's, or limit the number of mod points that any person can apply to down-moderation?

      --
      I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
      • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Thursday March 27 2014, @10:56PM

        by lhsi (711) on Thursday March 27 2014, @10:56PM (#22285) Journal

        disallow down-moderation if moderator's karma is lower than the poster's

        Does it matter that there seems to be am upper limit of karma? If this was the case then I'd only get downmods from people with equally high karma. I think limiting the amount of downmodding that can be one per moderation session sounds reasonable. If you only get to use one point for a negative mod, it had better be for a good reason if you do

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by wjwlsn on Friday March 28 2014, @06:17AM

          by wjwlsn (171) on Friday March 28 2014, @06:17AM (#22400) Homepage Journal

          Does it matter that there seems to be am upper limit of karma?

          That's a good point, and I'm glad you brought it up. I had thought about it briefly while I was writing my post, but decided to just get the idea out there without trying to bog it down with too much detail.

          Also, I happen to agree with you that limiting the number of down-mods allowed is likely the best of the three strategies I posted.

          --
          I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by lhsi on Friday March 28 2014, @08:21AM

            by lhsi (711) on Friday March 28 2014, @08:21AM (#22419) Journal

            I think tweaking moderation again would be good, like it was tweaked early on. Maybe only have 5 points instead of 10. It could be interesting to see how many mod points people have left when they expire if they didn't use them all.

          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by black6host on Sunday March 30 2014, @07:19PM

            by black6host (3827) on Sunday March 30 2014, @07:19PM (#23240) Journal

            Over on another site I would frequently have many mods points. Being able to down-mod the crap such as goatse, racist remarks etc. made for a better experience. Limiting the ability to do that might not be a good idea. But, those were the only ones I modded down. The rest of my points were spent bringing the good comments up.

    • (Score: 1) by crutchy on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:47PM

      by crutchy (179) on Thursday March 27 2014, @08:47PM (#22224) Homepage Journal

      as much as some kind of system is probably needed for these news commenting sites like soylent and /. i reckon metamoderation only encourages kneejerk downmodding and instead of unusual and discussion-provoking articles you end up with mass media news stories with "first post!" and "frosty piss" as the initial topics of discussion, and interesting discussion must be steered away from TFA (which then usually invites offtopic downmods).

      anyway, just my 2c

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Thursday March 27 2014, @10:47PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Thursday March 27 2014, @10:47PM (#22282) Homepage

    Downmodded? Fuck 'em. One good laugh for you is one mod point in the trash for some disagreeable asshole, which makes being modded down doubly sweet.

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by fliptop on Friday March 28 2014, @02:28AM

      by fliptop (1666) on Friday March 28 2014, @02:28AM (#22352) Journal

      One good laugh for you is one mod point in the trash for some disagreeable asshole

      So anyone that disagrees w/ you is an asshole?

      I don't see the problem, the down mods are there to be used AFAICT. What's wrong w/ modding something you disagree w/ down? There are times when I don't have a dog in the fight so I don't feel like commenting, but if I read something that seems wrong I don't have a problem w/ modding it down.

      --
      To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by wjwlsn on Friday March 28 2014, @03:05AM

        by wjwlsn (171) on Friday March 28 2014, @03:05AM (#22368) Homepage Journal

        ... if I read something that seems wrong I don't have a problem w/ modding it down.

        Alright then, this is the problem in my opinion, and it's why I wrote this journal entry. I don't believe the point of moderating is to vote for what you like or what you don't like, but rather to rate the quality or value of a post to the discussion. Posts that express opposing, alternate, or complementary views are what drive good discussion -- whether you agree with them or not.

        Personally, if I wanted to frequent a website where everyone agreed with me, then I wouldn't be here. I come here precisely because I know I will be exposed to viewpoints that differ from my own. That's why I don't vote down posts that I disagree with. I only vote down posts that have no value.

        --
        I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @05:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28 2014, @05:42AM (#22395)

        What's wrong w/ modding something you disagree w/ down?

        There is no -1, Disagree mod. Moderation is supposed to be used to rate comments based on how much they contribute to the value of the discussion. I very rarely issue negative mods: there was only one non-anonymous user [soylentnews.org] on whose posts I frequently used them. Not because I disagreed with him, but because a lot of what he's written seems to start off reasonable then go off on an insane off-topic tangent, though occasionally it seems he forgets to go off the deep end and actually writes something worthwhile. Go have a look at that guy's posts. I wonder how that fellow had the energy to write such walls of text that often seem on-topic for a few paragraphs and then go absolutely batshit crazy. The mod system was created to rein in people like him who seem to be here just to lower the SNR of the discussion by writing off-topic and/or blatantly trollish stuff.

        • (Score: 2) by wjwlsn on Friday March 28 2014, @06:11AM

          by wjwlsn (171) on Friday March 28 2014, @06:11AM (#22399) Homepage Journal

          Agree 100%. Also, I've noticed the same thing about the particular user you mentioned -- occasionally insightful, but usually off-topic and nutty. By the way, thank you for writing "rein in" properly instead of the incorrect, but apparently more common, "reign in". That particular error really gets to me, nearly as much as "for all intensive purposes". Arg.

          --
          I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by fliptop on Friday March 28 2014, @11:54AM

          by fliptop (1666) on Friday March 28 2014, @11:54AM (#22464) Journal

          There is no -1, Disagree mod.

          Yes, but overrated does mean "assessed too highly." If something is rated +5 and I think it's wrong then it's overrated IMHO.

          --
          To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @07:29AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31 2014, @07:29AM (#23469)

            'Overrated' should mean that you believe that other moderators who have modded up the post have assessed it too highly. It means you disagree with the moderation it has been given, which is a different question from disagreeing with the post. You seem to be wilfully misunderstanding this very basic idea behind moderation. If you disagree with what was said in the post, then the right thing to do is not to use what mod points you might have been given to mod it down, but to reply and say why you disagree. I've been caught writing something factually wrong more than once on the old site (not yet here: I've not posted too much yet...), and responses pointing this out were more telling than moderation.

          • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Monday March 31 2014, @04:18PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Monday March 31 2014, @04:18PM (#23630) Homepage Journal

            Exactly. I've been too busy to be here much the last week so maybe things have changed, but rather than bad downmoderation I see way too many +5s on comments that should be +3 at most. Also, folks should remember that trying to be funny is dangerous to your karma. If your joke doesn't at least make me grin, I'll mod it overrated. If anyone seems to get modded down every time they try to crack a joke they should consider the possibility that they may just not be funny. Think "Lt. Steve" in Good Morning, Vietnam.

            And any factually incorrect comment that isn't funny is obviously overrated.

            But I see very few -1s and most of the zeros are ACs. An AC's comment has to be really good before I'll mod it up, I usually don't even moderate ACs.

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
      • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Friday March 28 2014, @02:22PM

        by Common Joe (33) Subscriber Badge <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday March 28 2014, @02:22PM (#22522) Journal

        I have mod points and I was so tempted to mod you down... because I disagree with you and I wanted to make a point. Unfortunately, my name would not be attached. It's not my standard policy to mod down unless the comment is truly trolling. If I think the comment is overrated, I'll mark it as such, but in all the years I've been doing modding here and on Slashdot, I think I've used it twice.

        Think twice about your policy. I read your comments here on Soylent News and I agree with about half of them and disagree with about half of them. That would be a lot of troll points coming your way if I had the same policy you did.

        • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Friday March 28 2014, @03:31PM

          by fliptop (1666) on Friday March 28 2014, @03:31PM (#22548) Journal

          Think twice about your policy. I read your comments here on Soylent News and I agree with about half of them and disagree with about half of them. That would be a lot of troll points coming your way if I had the same policy you did.

          So what? The times I've used -1 overrated have been when a comment was rated high but was wrong IMHO and another member had already made the argument I would have made, and I happened to have mod points.

          I take what's probably a minority opinion many times here and on /. because I'm a practicing Catholic and a business owner. Those 2 things seem to work against me and my opinions when compared to the opinions of the SN and /. communities. In fact, I just had a slew of -1 overrated comments directed at me, even on topics that were not related to the lively gov't/religion thread. I just shrug, because to me a -1 overrated mod is the community's way of telling me I'm in the minority.

          --
          To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
          • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:46AM

            by Open4D (371) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:46AM (#24037) Journal

            To keep people with this mindset happy, and to make it clear what moderation is not, maybe there should be a completely separate system that allows any registered user at any time to click "agree" or "disagree" on any comment.

            This could be shown as thumbs up and thumbs down icons with little numbers next to them.

            • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:27PM

              by Open4D (371) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:27PM (#24067) Journal

              Also, there could be a similar system, allowing us to "thank" people for their comments.

              Now, this does overlap with the moderation system somewhat, because every +1 moderation is effectively the moderator thanking the commenter for a worthwhile comment. But we could still have both. Unlike moderation, any registered user at any time could click "thank" on any comment.

               
              Of course, it should be possible in a user's preferences to make these 3 fields hidden.

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by wjwlsn on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:51PM

                by wjwlsn (171) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:51PM (#24096) Homepage Journal

                These are both good ideas. I prefer the first one though (agree/disagree alongside moderation). It would be very interesting to see a "+5 Insightful" comment that is 90% disagree, for example. Being the kind of person that I am, those are probably the types of comments I would seek out when I'm reading or participating in a discussion. And, I just realized that this is why I'm so against using mod-points to vote down comments based on agreement / disagreement: it penalizes what I would consider to be the most valuable comments of all, the ones that would probably teach me the most.

                --
                I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
                • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:09PM

                  by fliptop (1666) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:09PM (#24493) Journal

                  It would be very interesting to see a "+5 Insightful" comment that is 90% disagree, for example

                  I agree, this is a great idea. It can provide a way to vote down w/o actually voting down, which seems to be quite taboo. You're right, sometimes comments that are voted down and subsequently buried can be valuable (which is why I usually browse at -1 raw, uncut).

                  Now the question is, what are the chances NCommander can front-burner code to do this?

                  --
                  To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
            • (Score: 1) by Open4D on Friday October 03 2014, @09:07AM

              by Open4D (371) on Friday October 03 2014, @09:07AM (#101316) Journal

              And it should be very clearly explained why the "agree"/"disagree" system is completely separate from the moderation system.

              And the very first time you are allocated mod points, you should be forced to click that you understand the moderation guidelines.

  • (Score: 2) by Common Joe on Friday March 28 2014, @02:25PM

    by Common Joe (33) Subscriber Badge <common.joe.0101NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday March 28 2014, @02:25PM (#22525) Journal

    I've noticed that myself. It seems to be a recent phenomenon and I don't like it. I was really puzzled by a couple of -1 comments recently. Not great comments and I disagreed with him (or her), but that is no reason for the -1 troll rating.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bradley13 on Friday March 28 2014, @04:48PM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 28 2014, @04:48PM (#22585) Homepage Journal

    This was often a problem on the other site as well: Express an unpopular or non-PC opinion, be modded into oblivion. Sometimes I put up posts like that just to spark discussion, but a post at -1 doesn't spark anything.

    I hope people here will think about it, but it's a basic human problem: We all tend to be lemmings (or sheep, if you prefer), and want to go along with the flock. If we don't stop ourselves, downmodding unpopular opinions is just human nature...

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
  • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Sunday March 30 2014, @07:02PM

    by moondrake (2658) on Sunday March 30 2014, @07:02PM (#23234)

    I do not see the problem with this. Could it be that your "idea" that comments deserve a +5 are perhaps derived from an alternative site? There are not often more than 20 posts. If you browse at -1 you see all. Perhaps that +4 comment is really just worth a little bit less compared to another +5 comment. In this, I actually feel this site is much more balanced compared to some others (somebody should do an analysis on this).

    That said, I am not sure the current moderation system is perfect. Sometimes I have no clue what to do with my mod points. And sometimes I feel I have not enough (which is why I think that limiting them to 5 is also not a perfect solution. It depends on the amount of stories, and even more on the amount of stories that I find interesting enough to read the comments for, but not interesting enough to comment on). So if the amount is going to be changed, it should be scaled with nr. of stories and/or nr. of posts. (perhaps this is already done but the scaling is with nr. of people that get modpoints?)

    Modding on (dis)agreement:
    Actually, the problem is that it is not somewhat blurry. I think it is impossible to be objective. I try to mod up things that I find interesting or insightful, but if I disagree with something (and I may have good arguments) I will probably not find it insightful as I see an error in the arguments made. So I will not mod it up. I try not to mod it down when I just disagree, but if it also happens to be off-topic, perhaps I will be more inclined to mod it down.

    Metamodding is not going to help much as it is prone to the same type of problem.

    • (Score: 2) by wjwlsn on Monday March 31 2014, @05:05AM

      by wjwlsn (171) on Monday March 31 2014, @05:05AM (#23432) Homepage Journal

      I never said that more comments deserve a +5... in fact, there seem to be too many +5 comments IMO. Modding a comment down to +4 from +5 isn't really "overzealous". With regards to being objective, I believe that a choice has to be made by the moderator: if you question your own objectivity in response to a particular comment, then just don't moderate it. The strategy you described in your post (i.e., don't mod up if you can't be objective, try not to mod down unless the post is clearly off-topic) seems like a good one. However, when I see more than a few reasonably lucid and on-topic comments modded down to 0 or -1, I start to think that something funny's going on.

      --
      I am a traveler of both time and space. Duh.
    • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Wednesday April 02 2014, @11:55PM

      by Open4D (371) on Wednesday April 02 2014, @11:55PM (#25256) Journal

      I try to mod up things that I find interesting or insightful, but if I disagree with something (and I may have good arguments) I will probably not find it insightful as I see an error in the arguments made. So I will not mod it up.

      Couldn't you mod it as +1 Interesting instead? If a comment contains arguments that are made by your 'opponents' on that particular topic, it's good to air it. Other people who agree with you can then pick the holes in it.

       
      But yes, what you say about the "Insightful" rating is ... insightful! It does tend to indicate some degree of agreement, IMHO. Maybe the average moderator's mindset would be better if that option was simply removed?

      I then immediately think what other rating options could be added or removed. But then I tell myself: no! That's a whole can of worms! Just open the can, remove 1 worm, and shut the can again!

      • (Score: 2) by moondrake on Thursday April 03 2014, @08:39AM

        by moondrake (2658) on Thursday April 03 2014, @08:39AM (#25407)

        >Couldn't you mod it as +1 Interesting instead?

        I guess I am still somewhat flawed :) I will attempt to experiment with this however!

  • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday June 20 2014, @10:44PM

    by Open4D (371) on Friday June 20 2014, @10:44PM (#58207) Journal

    Unless anyone objects, I'm tempted to start collecting some examples here. I'll post them as replies to this comment.