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posted by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the now-with-longer-half-lifes dept.
*cough*

Ok, I meant to have an open forum about moderation *way* before this point. I did read the various feedback and comments left on my journal and the last moderation, and have made some changes to the moderation system.

First, mod points now expire after eight hours. I'm willing to extend this to 12 or 16 hours after I'm sure comments will still reach +5 fairly regularly. With luck, we'll get to the point we can extend mod-points to last a full 24 hours which I suspect will end most of the complaining on them vanishing too soon.

Second, I'd like to open the floor to making a more fundamental change to the moderation system. Specifically, allowing people to post AND moderate in the same discussion. We've seen plenty of posts get up to +5, which means 3-4 people gave up their right to post to keep our comments high quality. This was brought up during our last plea for stories, and I wanted to solicit more feedback before unleashing this upon the site.

I've floated the idea on IRC, and it seems there's a fair bit of support for removing the post/moderate split, though we'd need to make some changes to prevent rampant abuse. Here's what was suggested to keep things sane:
  • Mod points won't roll back after a post
  • Moderators can post in the same discussion (either before or after moderating), but can not moderate replies to their posts.

I've heard various ideas such as limiting it only after mods have expended their points (this will require implementing a cooldown to prevent a user from getting points again too soon). I want to hear your feedback, and I'll roll together something for the next major update of the site. Leave your comments

 
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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by theluggage on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:48AM

    by theluggage (1797) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:48AM (#24014)

    First, mod points now expire after eight hours.

    Unless I'm missing something, anything less than 24 hours is surely going to exclude large numbers of people based on where they live and/or their sleeping and working habits - and could bias the population of moderators.

    Or will you arrange for the points to be awarded at random (by design, not by accident) times throughout the day?

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +1  
       Insightful=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:53AM

    by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @10:53AM (#24018) Homepage Journal

    Points are awarded only to users who are currently logged in, and work in a LIFO system, so if you haven't gotten mod points in awhile, then log in, you'll get them within five minutes if you meet all other critera (currently positive karma, 80% of oldest accounts)

    --
    Still always moving
    • (Score: 1) by theluggage on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:39AM

      by theluggage (1797) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @11:39AM (#24035)

      OK, that's fine.
      P.S. Sorry for using the A-word in the subject line - bit of a brainfart there.

    • (Score: 2) by MrGuy on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:10PM

      by MrGuy (1007) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @12:10PM (#24056)

      Thanks for the clarification.

      I still think 8 hours are too little, unless we have a really good reason to make them expire that quickly.

      My use case may or may not be typical, but I typically check SN in the morning before I go to work, read a few stories, then go to work. After work, I have time to check in again (and maybe read/moderate stories that I only glanced at earlier or that are new). I've more than once been awarded mod points in the AM, then when I went back in the afternoon with time to use them have found they've already expired.

      I'd really like to see ~16 hours, personally. YMMV.

      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:09PM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:09PM (#24114) Homepage Journal

        When the site first launched, the value was set at 24 hours. The problem was that we got stuck with people hoarding points, and the new algo needs points going in/out (it tries to maintain X points at all times, so its dependent on rapid expiration, or people using points). Dropping it down to 4 was an emergency fix until I could get around to revising the mod algo.

        Unfortunately, when I wrote it, I had no hard numbers to work again, and its working on some faulty assumptions. I keep putting rewrite on the list, but its not SUPER high priority.

        --
        Still always moving
    • (Score: 1) by SlySmiles on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:14PM

      by SlySmiles (3841) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:14PM (#24118)
      80% of oldest accounts: Can you clarify this?
      Also is there a timeout on the logins? I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a browser open all the time with 20 tabs active.
      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:39PM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:39PM (#24137) Homepage Journal

        The system considers you active if you've clicked within five minutes; a timestamp in the backend is updated with every page refresh. As for accounts, its basically max_uid*0.8 for eligibility.

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 1) by SlySmiles on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:54PM

          by SlySmiles (3841) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @01:54PM (#24149)

          so you're penalising 20% of your users for no apparent reason, good job sonny...

          • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:08PM

            by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @02:08PM (#24160) Homepage Journal

            This is true on the other site as well; this variable is the default in Slash. We've set it so there's a slight delay from when a user first signs up, and then gets handed modpoints.

            --
            Still always moving
            • (Score: 1) by SlySmiles on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:15PM

              by SlySmiles (3841) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:15PM (#24232)
              A time/activity counter would be more appropriate than their uid/max, what happens if sign ups slow down after a relatively high initial sign up, for example 5000 people join, then it slows; you then need 1000 more people to sign up before before they can moderate. Making it karma/activity based wouldn't penalise unfairly.
              Saying some-one else does it that way as well is not an excuse for saying it's acceptable. It's a less than ideal algorithm that locks out 20% of your user base from moderating. So to clarify, is it a 'slight delay' or are you permanently shutting out 20% (moving window) from moderating?
              • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:28PM

                by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Tuesday April 01 2014, @03:28PM (#24246) Homepage Journal

                I had a hole which pre-existed for the moderation algorthim, and at the time, very little idea how slash works. This code was written three days into the slashcott during madness. I've jotted this down for v2 of the algorthim, but until now, this is a stopgap until I can sit down, rework the math, and get it better.

                --
                Still always moving
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:42PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Tuesday April 01 2014, @07:42PM (#24435) Journal

      I think the main problem is that the selection for mod points is asynchronous (if I understand it right). That is, the user accesses the site, and gets no mod points yet. Then, while the user is reading, he gets mod points, but doesn't see them because he doesn't reload the site (there's no need to do so, because he's still busy reading the current version). He may even then quit reading for now. Then, at a later time, he again accesses SN, and gets a message that he has mod points. But they are to expire soon (because all the time they were sitting there without him knowing anything about that).

      I think the right thing to do is to only tentatively give mod points in the asynchronous process, but really activate them only the next time he loads a page (so at that time — the first time he can learn about them — he gets the full period).

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.