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Funding Goal
For 6-month period:
2022-01-01 to 2022-06-30
(All amounts are estimated)
Base Goal:



Covers transactions:
2022-01-01 06:02:19 ..
2022-05-24 10:39:01 UTC
(SPIDs: [1748..1808)
Last Update:
2022-05-26 12:31:44 UTC --fnord666

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We always have a place for talented people, visit the Get Involved section on the wiki to see how you can make SoylentNews better.

posted by janrinok on Wednesday May 18, @05:30AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

The submissions queue is running very low. Please support the site and make submissions on the usual topics because, without them, we will have to reduce the number of stories that we can publish each day.

Thank you.

posted by martyb on Monday March 28, @04:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the YOU-GUYS-ARE-GREAT! dept.

Thank you SO much! I had no idea that my work on SoylentNews had such a wide-ranging impact on so many people! Reading the comments to my resignation — This is Difficult in So Many Ways; I Must Resign from SoylentNews — brought me alternately to tears of joy and roars of laughter.

That said, the reality is that others have arguably played a larger role in making SoylentNews into the success that it is today. A few names that readily come to mind: NCommander (UID 2!), paulej72, TheMightyBuzzard, and LaminatorX (our first Editor-in-Chief). There are so many more!

As much as I appreciate the kind words, it would mean so much more to me to see these well-wishes turned into subscriptions to SoylentNews! This idea came to me when I received a gift subscription to the site. (Thanks drussell!) It costs roughly $7,000 per year to run this site — primarily web hosting fees. (Nobody has ever been paid anything for their work on this site!)

We have raised about $1,100 so far this year. Our goal for June 30th is only about $2,400 away (and for the year is only about $5,900 away). That is net to us after processing fees. It's a BIG stretch, but I have faith... let's see what this community can do!

[Update: Revised paulj72 to paulej72. - Fnord]

posted by martyb on Thursday March 24, @04:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the leaving-a-very-big-pair-of-boots-to-fill dept.

Where to begin?

How about at the beginning? Would that be That was the first journal article I posted to SoylentNews. I am talking still earlier than that. That would be the day I created my account on the site — it was a few days before we went live. I have been active ever since. Well, up until about a couple weeks ago.

That was when I experienced a medical condition that has precluded my continued participation here.

Since that day, janrinok (our former Editor-in-Chief) has ably filled my shoes in my absence. That is until Fnord666 (our Alternate-Editor-in-Chief) could take the reins.

I ask you to extend to them the same kindness and support you have shown me. I've grown creatively and professionally in ways I had never even imagined! Thank You!

janrinok writes:

It is hard to explain just how much of a contribution Marty has made to this site - from its very early days before it even went public Marty was there providing whatever help he could. If there was a job to be done he was there offering to help. There was nothing that he was not prepared to tackle. If he didn't know how to do something he would go and find out and then return to do whatever needed to be done.

Fnord and I have processed far more more stories than either of us had ever expected to do (6570 and 6166 respectively) but we are a long way behind Marty's contribution of 11076 stories at the time of writing. If you conservatively estimate each story at 15 minutes (and I can assure you that many stories can take much longer than that!) the man-hours he has spent keeping the front page full is a huge amount of effort. That would be, and is, worthy of recognition in its own right - but he didn't stop there.

He has also served as our QA specialist and spent many more man-hours testing software and finding ways to bring it to it's knees, and then finding solutions to each of those problems. He ran our donations and looks after the funding 'Beg-o-Meter'. And he still found time to be the Editor-in-Chief for the site since 2018. There are so many jobs that he does - many of them having gone almost unnoticed - that we now find ourselves trying to work out who will pick up which extra tasks for the future.

I am also fortunate to have Marty as a friend. My own life has had a few ups and downs over the last 5 years or so and Marty has been there to provide sound advice, wise counsel, or just a listening ear. I hope I will be able to repay him in kind in the future.

In addition, he has other ways of helping his local community which have nothing to do with this site. He would not wish me to go into details but he takes his caring and helping attitude with him throughout his life.

It is not all bad news - Marty is stepping down from the role of Editor-in-Chief but he is not leaving the community. How much he is able to contribute in the future is still very much unknown but you may still see his name appear from time-to-time alongside a comment or on IRC. He has specifically asked me to pass on his best wishes for the future to the community and the site that we all support.

Marty leaves behind a legacy he can justifiably be proud of, and a very large pair of boots to be filled. We will do our best to maintain the standards he has set. Good luck and best wishes, Marty, and I hope that your recovery is swift and complete.

posted by martyb on Wednesday February 23, @01:30AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Yes, we are aware; comment counts do not appear to be updating when viewing the main page.

We apparently have a resource availability issue. As far as I can tell, the counts are being updated correctly. (Yay!)

The problem seems to exist in a layer in which I lack expertise. The assistance of site admins has been requested.

UPDATE 20:23 23-02-2022

The problem has now been resolved. Many thanks to mechanicjay for fixing it again. As of yet we do not know the cause of the local mysql query node failure on one of our servers. However, as some of you have already deduced, there are many background tasks that are managed by the scheduler including updating comment counts, issuing moderation points, updating the journal index on the front page etc. The scheduler couldn't access the database and therefore couldn't do any of the tasks that we expect it to do.

In addition to expressing our gratitude to mechanicjay I would also like to say thanks to all in our community for your patience and good-humour in this rather protracted fix.

posted by martyb on Saturday February 12, @07:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Were-Baaaack! dept.

Our servers are back up!

Earlier today (about 12 hours before this story), our site had a server crash. Early attempts to restart things (bouncing fluorine and hydrogen) were unsuccessful. (Thanks chromas and janrinok for your efforts!)

Fortunately, the system is usually lightly-loaded at this time, so relatively few people were affected.

Then mechanicjay came on the scene and was able to restart helium and neon. Then the rest of the servers for the site successfully came on-line.

Through it all, we retained access to IRC (thanks Deucalion!) and e-mail (thanks audioguy!).

There may be some lingering hiccups as slashd (which handles scheduled tasks -- think cron) plods through those tasks in due time.

We thank you for your patience during this time and send our thanks to all who notified us (politely!) about the outage on IRC and through e-mails.

Please join me in thanking all those who lent a hand through this period! You ROCK! =)

We return you to your regularly-scheduled stories.

posted by martyb on Thursday February 03, @02:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the actions-have-consequences dept.

DECISION – 'aristarchus':


Actions have consequences. This is not a matter of free speech or censorship.

Doxing "Doxing or doxxing is the act of publicly revealing previously private personal information about an individual or organization, usually via the internet." This is the definition upon which we are basing this decision. Legally, the term does not appear to be well-defined in the US but doxing is also covered by laws relating to harassment, threats, and abuse. Elsewhere in the world, the definitions are sometimes more clearly defined but might cover a broader interpretation than the US definitions. Which interpretation is applicable could depend on the location of the perpetrator.


We first noticed that something was amiss in late 2020. Submissions from 'aristarchus' would contain certain words, phrases and names which were apparently unconnected with the rest of the content. We were unable to understand their significance at that time, but they would be meaningful to the intended victim. (Story submissions by 'aristarchus' often contain additional material that he has inserted himself.) In almost all cases we removed them prior to posting the submission as a story because they had no bearing on the rest of the submission.

In late 2021 the doxing became more blatant both in comments that were made to stories and as well as on IRC. We also contacted the victim (by now it was obvious to us who it was) who responded and explained what had been published, where and when. We also discovered additional material that had not been seen by the victim. He had been suffering this abuse for a considerable time.

Please Note:

This investigation is not something that has been carried out purely on a whim by the admins on this site. During it we have consulted with and taken advice from a representative of the board of directors. (As an aside, SoylentNews PBC has never been 'run' by 'TheMightyBuzzard' or any of the current admin staff whose names you know well.) This is a serious matter and the investigation was conducted with utmost discretion by a very small team.

To ensure that 'aristarchus' is aware of this Decision he will receive an Admin-to-User message and an email to the address associated with his username drawing his attention to it.

Publishing Personal Information:

It is now apparent that 'aristarchus' has doxed at least one person in our community, and possibly others who may have left the site rather than suffer the harassment. This is not a single act, but has taken place repeatedly over a significant period of time.

'aristarchus' has published the victim's full name, where the victim lives, and the victim's employer. Presumably he believes this information to be accurate. We have seen additional comments that contain threats and state very personal information, such that posting them here would likely do further damage. We are trying to be discreet. If it were you, would you want us to air all the information that has been revealed? This action might also have placed other members of the victim's family at risk from abuse or embarrassment.

It is obvious that 'aristarchus' has conducted research away from this site. SoylentNews PBC does not hold such information nor has it been ever been declared in any comments.

We can only guess at the true reason behind these disclosures: at the very least it appears to be a smear campaign.

What We Have Done So Far:

  • The victim has a full copy of all the evidence that we have been able to trace to date. The evidence was all publicly accessible. We are not aware of a compromise of any other community members' information. We are not going to indicate where this information might be found.
  • We have made a separate backup of the database to ensure that evidence should not be lost.
  • We have removed personal information from database comments and IRC logs where possible.
  • It is entirely for the victim to decide whether to seek legal redress in this matter.


There are 2 options open to us.

(1) Permanent Ban

  • 'aristarchus' will face a full and permanent ban from this community.
  • His account(s) will be completely disabled.
  • Any further posting he may make to the site will be treated as Spam.

(2) Temporary Ban

  • 'aristarchus' will face a temporary ban of 3 months where his account(s) will be disabled. He will be able to restore his 'aristarchus' account when his ban ends. His conduct during this time will be taken into consideration before his account is reactivated.
  • During the ban 'aristarchus' may still post on the site as an 'Anonymous Coward', with all the limitations that are associated with that i.e. no journal, no ability to moderate, etc. Whether he wishes to make his identity known in his AC posts is entirely up to him.
  • During and subsequent to the ban he is to act as we would expect any other member of this community to act. He is not to disrupt other discussions nor is he to continue to complain about his treatment. The ban is entirely a consequence of his own actions. We will not discuss this matter publicly. If he has complaints he may contact us via email as usual.
  • He is to refrain immediately and completely from harassing other members of this community.
  • Any serious future abuses by 'aristarchus' can result in a permanent ban being imposed without further warning.

We acknowledge that 'aristarchus' regularly makes insightful and interesting observations and we recognize that he has many supporters on this site. That is why we have offered the option of a conditional Temporary ban.


'aristarchus' must now decide which ban he wishes to accept. This is not negotiable – there are no other options open to him. If he does not respond either by commenting here or by email within 48 hours of the release of this Decision then we will assume that he has chosen the Temporary Ban and he is bound by the conditions stated within it. He may elect to change to a Permanent ban at any time.

For legal reasons we do not intend to comment further. The community can now see why several of the site admins have been putting in long working days, sometimes in excess of 12 hours since just before Christmas. We are exhausted and need to have a period of normal activity so that we can recover. We urge the community to be circumspect and restrained in the discussions to this Decision – there is little to be gained from inflaming the current situation any further. We ask you not to speculate about the identity of the victim.

posted by martyb on Wednesday January 05, @06:54PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the it's-nice-to-be-nice dept.
[UPDATE: 2022-01-05 20:48:08 UTC]
We are aware there are some issues (dead links) where indicated by links to "here" in the story. It seems to be a long-dormant bug in the code. Will address this issue when addressing any other issues raised here. In the meantime, try using the links that appear in the liked-to article, directly, at: ( . Yes, we are aware that those are not the best examples and we are aware that those examples may need to be updated to point to better ones. --martyb

I've been made aware of some discussions about the permitted use of the "Spam" moderation. This has spawned a great deal of discussion among Soylent staff.

What's The Point?
The whole purpose of comment moderation is for an (early) reader of a comment is to provide guidance to later readers. Like "breaking trail" for others when hiking through deep snow. The "Trail breaker" makes it eaier to navigate the path for those who follow. Before we dive into the Spam, it is important to note that it is encouraged to "upmod" more than one "downmods". I receive an e-mail each day that includes the number of each that were performed on the preceding day. I am happy to report that I generally see 2x to 4x more upmods than downmods! YAY!

Where to start?
Start at the at the top of the Left-Hand side of the Main page. There one can find a link to the FAQ. Click that link and scroll down to the link about our Moderation System. Click that link. Located there is a list of items including one on the Spam Mod.

There it states:

Spam Mod

The spam moderation (spam mod) is to be used only on comments that genuinely qualify as spam. Spam is unsolicited advertisement, undesired and offtopic filth, or possibly illegal in general. Spam can come in many forms, but it differs from a troll comment in that it will have absolutely no substance, is completely undesired, is detrimental to the site, or worse.

The spam mod is special in that is removes 10 Karma points from the user that posted the comment. This mod is meant to combat spam and not to be used to punish commenters (when in doubt, don't use this mod). Our goal is to put a spammer in Karma Hell and for them to not be able to get out of it easily. As we do not want this used against non-spamers, we monitor all spam mods to make sure moderators are not abusing the spam mod. If we find a moderator that unfairly applied the spam mod, we remove the mod giving the poster back the Karma points, and the modder is banned from modding for one month. Further bans to the same modder add increasing amounts of ban time. If you inadvertently applied a spam mod, mail the admin and we will remove the spam mod without banning you. Even though we have updated the interface to physically separate the spam mod from the other mods, unintentional modding may still be an unfortunate occurrence.


If you are unsure of whether a comment is spam or not, don't use the spam mod. Here are some examples of spam:

  • Proper spam. Anything whose primary purpose is advertisement (unless somehow relevant to the discussion/article).
  • 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, here or here for example.
  • Repeating the same thing over and over. This includes blockquoting entire comments without adding anything substantial to them.

These examples cannot cover every type of Spam that you might encounter. Please exercise common sense. We expect all comments to be on-topic or following a clearly defined thread that has developed as part of the discussion. Raising personal complaints or starting completely new discussions unrelated to the main story are certainly off-topic and also possibly trolling. Remember: if in doubt do not use the Spam moderation.

"Sock Mods" and "Mod Bombs":
You may ask: "What's that?". Simply stated, when a logged-in-user, uses one (or more) account(s) to "updmod" other account(s) in unison. This is similar to using other account(s) to "Downmod" one (or more) account(s) in unison. Both practices are Forbidden. As always, when such activity is discovered, Admins notice and discuss it to confirm the observation with other admins. Actions taken can range from a ban on moderations (for increasing durations for repeat offenders) to an outright ban on use of the accounts(s). We have observed such activity happening recently and are preparing to take action. Similarly, when several accounts can be shown to have repeatedly cooperated to prevent someone from expressing their opinion or have given other accounts an unfair advantage then that can also be a form of 'bombing'. My advice is: stop right now. We do not like taking such actions, but it would be unfair to those who DO follow the rules for us to ignore such activities.

(1) simply follow Wheaton's Law:

Don't Be a Dick

(2) "Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean."

posted by martyb on Friday December 31, @12:02AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Woo-Hoo! dept.

Happy New Year!
As the final hours of 2021 here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

In light of the holiday, I am inviting the editorial staff to post stories on a weekend/holiday schedule. Thank you for all your hard work in 2021. Here's wishing for a better year to come! Enjoy!

We did it! [*]
([*] I think).

Current Status:
Thanks to a VERY generous subscription of nearly $1,000, we reached our fundraising goal for the second half of the year THANK YOU!: $4,132.81 on a goal of $3,500.00 (all amounts are estimates):

mysql>  SELECT  SUM(payment_net) AS Net,  100.0 * SUM(payment_net) / 3500.00  AS GoalPercent, MAX(ts), MAX(spid), NOW() FROM subscribe_payments WHERE ts > '2021-06-30' ;
| Net     | GoalPercent | MAX(ts)             | MAX(spid) | NOW()               |
| 4132.81 | 118.0802857 | 2021-12-30 17:36:36 |      1744 | 2021-12-30 23:45:49 |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)


And for those of you interested in the details:

mysql> SELECT spid, ts, payment_gross, payment_net, payment_type FROM subscribe_payments WHERE ts > '2021-12-29 22:06:03' AND payment_gross > 0 ORDER BY ts ;
| spid | ts                  | payment_gross | payment_net | payment_type |
| 1728 | 2021-12-29 23:16:21 |         20.00 |       18.81 | user         |
| 1729 | 2021-12-30 00:15:05 |        100.00 |       96.80 | user         |
| 1730 | 2021-12-30 01:08:02 |         20.00 |       19.12 | user         |
| 1731 | 2021-12-30 01:13:58 |         30.00 |       28.01 | user         |
| 1732 | 2021-12-30 01:45:50 |         50.00 |       48.25 | user         |
| 1733 | 2021-12-30 02:35:54 |         40.00 |       38.54 | user         |
| 1734 | 2021-12-30 03:12:48 |         20.00 |       18.81 | user         |
| 1735 | 2021-12-30 04:24:07 |        924.43 |      897.32 | user         |
| 1736 | 2021-12-30 07:05:37 |         20.00 |       18.51 | user         |
| 1737 | 2021-12-30 07:50:05 |         20.00 |       18.51 | gift         |
| 1738 | 2021-12-30 09:23:14 |         20.00 |       19.12 | gift         |
| 1739 | 2021-12-30 12:22:42 |         20.00 |       18.51 | user         |
| 1740 | 2021-12-30 12:24:24 |         20.00 |       18.81 | user         |
| 1741 | 2021-12-30 13:59:52 |         40.00 |       38.11 | user         |
| 1742 | 2021-12-30 17:33:36 |         20.00 |       19.12 | gift         |
| 1743 | 2021-12-30 17:35:13 |         20.00 |       19.12 | gift         |
| 1744 | 2021-12-30 17:36:36 |         20.00 |       19.12 | gift         |
17 rows in set (0.00 sec)


That's great news! So why the equivocation?

Looking Closer:
Actually, it's more of a stepping back to look at things over the course of the entire year:

mysql> SELECT SUM(payment_gross) AS Gross, SUM(payment_net) AS Net, ts, max(spid) AS SPID FROM subscribe_payments WHERE ts > '2020-12-31' ;
| Gross   | Net     | ts                  | SPID |
| 6916.61 | 6611.75 | 2020-12-31 21:47:25 | 1744 |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)


The fundraising goal for the first half of the year was also $3,500.00. So... (2 x $3,500.00) is $7,000.00 but we have a total of... $6,916.61?

The Crash:
And then I remembered. Early this year we had a server (fluorine) crash. We had backups (yay!), but they were borken (Boo! Hiss!). We lost over a day's worth of activity, including a number of subscriptions. I *was* able to manually reconstruct people's subscriptions (time) based on information displayed on a window I just happened to have open at the time. But that was in a table separate from what is used to generate these numbers. After 3 days' effort, I'd patched things up as well as I could. Thankfully the official numbers (on which income and taxes are calculated) are kept on a completely separate server. Whew! One that I DO NOT have access. I'd concluded that we'll just have to sort things out at the end of the year. And that time has draw nigh.

We're probably all set for the year, but there is also the matter that (unknown to me) we had previously been running at a deficit for a couple years. So anything additional you can contribute will go to replenish our funding base. (NCommander and Matt_ each put up $5,000.00 of their own money that to get us started.)

posted by martyb on Thursday December 30, @12:08AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the We're-getting-there!!! dept.

You guys are GREAT!

In our last Fundraising Update we had raised $1,808.21 (net) towards our goal of $3,500.00 for the 2nd half of the year. (And five days earlier we stood at just $1,510.49).

And where are we now? Hold onto your seat...

mysql>  SELECT SUM(payment_gross) AS Gross, SUM(payment_net) AS Net, ts, max(spid) AS SPID FROM subscribe_payments WHERE ts >= '2021-07-01' ;
| Gross   | Net     | ts                  | SPID |
| 2435.06 | 2307.23 | 2021-07-01 02:15:00 | 1727 |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)


In that time, we had 4x $50.00 subscriptions and a $100.00 subscription (flagged by an "*" below):

mysql> SELECT ts, payment_gross, payment_net, method, submethod, payment_type FROM subscribe_payments WHERE ts > '2021-12-28 13:01:56' AND payment_gross > 0 ORDER BY ts ;
| ts                  | payment_gross | payment_net | method | submethod | payment_type |
| 2021-12-28 22:28:09 |         *50.00 |       47.76 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-28 22:48:32 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-28 23:33:57 |         *50.00 |       47.76 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-29 00:54:44 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-29 02:47:41 |         *50.00 |       47.01 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-29 03:08:48 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-29 04:50:49 |        *100.00 |       96.02 | paypal | NULL      | gift         |
| 2021-12-29 07:01:43 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-29 10:58:54 |         10.00 |        9.16 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-29 12:46:04 |         25.00 |       23.26 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-29 13:32:12 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-12-29 13:37:36 |         *50.00 |       48.25 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-12-29 14:16:35 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-29 14:24:29 |         40.00 |       37.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-29 21:11:32 |         12.00 |       10.91 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-29 22:06:03 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
16 rows in set (0.00 sec)


Yes, the larger subscriptions are attention-getting, but $220.00 of that $527.00 came from subscriptions of $20.00 or less.

Since I started writing this, we received two more $20.00 subscriptions! All told, we need just $1,173.96 to make our goal and only 2 days to go. Can we do it? We Can Do This... Please Subscribe!

Ahem. Got carried away there. But seriously, every bit makes a difference; please help.

posted by martyb on Tuesday December 28, @10:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the teamwork++ dept.

I hope this reaches you after a safe and healthy holiday!

Where We're At:
In our last fundraising update on 2021-21-20 we stood at $1510.49 towards our goal of $3,500.00 for the second half of the year. I am happy to report that we have since collected additional net subscriptions totaling $279.72. Thank You! You Rock!

mysql> SELECT SUM(payment_gross) AS Gross, SUM(payment_net) AS Net, ts, max(spid) AS SPID FROM subscribe_payments WHERE ts >= '2021-07-01' ;
| Gross   | Net     | ts                  | SPID |
| 1908.06 | 1808.21 | 2021-07-01 00:41:45 | 1711 |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)


There were a total of 81 (YAY!) subscriptions purchased in the second half of this year (click to see):

mysql> SELECT ts, payment_gross, payment_net, method, submethod, payment_type FROM subscribe_payments WHERE ts >= '2021-07-01' AND payment_gross > 0 ORDER BY ts ;
| ts                  | payment_gross | payment_net | method | submethod | payment_type |
| 2021-07-01 00:41:45 |         20.00 |       19.12 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-07-01 02:15:00 |         20.00 |       18.82 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-07-01 02:20:50 |         20.00 |       19.12 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-07-01 02:34:13 |         20.00 |       18.82 | paypal | NULL      | gift         |
| 2021-07-01 03:26:34 |         20.00 |       18.82 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-07-01 14:19:33 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-07-01 16:35:50 |         22.34 |       21.39 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-07-01 18:36:56 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-07-02 10:49:17 |         20.00 |       19.12 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-07-02 14:43:16 |         20.00 |       19.12 | paypal | NULL      | gift         |
| 2021-07-02 21:06:24 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-07-05 21:59:27 |         40.00 |       37.94 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-07-05 22:07:16 |        400.00 |      388.10 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-07-06 14:07:24 |          5.00 |        4.55 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-07-18 14:27:40 |          5.00 |        4.55 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-07-19 15:13:31 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-07-22 12:14:55 |          4.00 |        3.52 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-07-25 07:14:27 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-07-29 11:57:17 |         10.00 |        9.41 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-08-06 12:30:41 |          5.00 |        4.34 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-08-13 10:28:11 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-08-18 11:54:17 |          5.00 |        4.34 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-08-22 12:11:44 |          4.00 |        3.31 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-08-29 13:03:40 |         10.00 |        9.16 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-09-03 12:33:49 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-09-06 10:20:14 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-09-06 13:35:17 |          5.00 |        4.34 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-09-10 18:30:22 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-09-11 23:56:46 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | gift         |
| 2021-09-18 10:37:19 |          5.00 |        4.34 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-09-22 10:12:38 |          4.00 |        3.31 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-09-29 14:37:56 |         10.00 |        9.16 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-10-05 00:31:51 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-10-06 10:58:25 |          5.00 |        4.34 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-10-14 11:33:56 |         30.00 |       28.46 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-10-16 09:38:51 |         13.72 |       13.02 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-10-18 11:21:58 |          5.00 |        4.34 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-10-21 13:29:39 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-10-22 12:00:55 |          4.00 |        3.31 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-10-24 19:27:39 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-10-26 19:43:45 |         40.00 |       38.11 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-10-29 12:01:11 |         10.00 |        9.16 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-10-30 18:22:11 |         50.00 |       47.01 | paypal | NULL      | gift         |
| 2021-11-06 12:28:43 |          5.00 |        4.34 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-11-08 15:02:34 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-11-09 19:14:31 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-11-10 06:40:55 |         50.00 |       47.76 | paypal | NULL      | gift         |
| 2021-11-10 11:47:46 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-11-12 03:08:14 |         30.00 |       28.46 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-11-17 01:01:32 |         12.00 |       11.35 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-11-18 12:22:21 |          5.00 |        4.34 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-11-21 14:54:31 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-11-22 12:28:08 |          4.00 |        3.31 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-11-27 18:53:45 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-11-29 10:45:50 |         10.00 |        9.16 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-03 15:58:30 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | gift         |
| 2021-12-04 02:20:36 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-06 11:29:58 |          5.00 |        4.34 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-11 04:02:13 |          4.00 |        3.31 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-11 12:38:48 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-12 11:08:54 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-13 20:52:42 |         12.00 |       11.09 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-15 09:21:39 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-15 16:00:03 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-16 10:32:40 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-16 13:42:40 |        100.00 |       96.80 | stripe | CC        | gift         |
| 2021-12-18 10:16:24 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-18 10:52:56 |          5.00 |        4.34 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-20 23:21:01 |         20.00 |       18.81 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-21 02:21:21 |         40.00 |       38.11 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-21 05:25:20 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-21 17:14:58 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-12-21 21:00:59 |         50.00 |       48.25 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-12-22 10:26:01 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-22 10:45:00 |          4.00 |        3.31 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-23 05:17:16 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-12-23 18:26:06 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | gift         |
| 2021-12-23 20:05:03 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | gift         |
| 2021-12-25 12:02:11 |         40.00 |       38.11 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
| 2021-12-26 01:32:21 |         20.00 |       19.12 | stripe | CC        | user         |
| 2021-12-28 13:01:56 |         20.00 |       18.51 | paypal | NULL      | user         |
81 rows in set (0.00 sec)

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posted by martyb on Thursday November 25 2021, @01:01AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Gobble!-Gobble!-Gobble! dept.

On behalf of all the staff I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

I am grateful for all the support the community has shown us since we started on February 12, 2014. Has it really been that long? Back then, the internet was dominated by HTTP; it would take some time (years?) until we transitioned to Gandhi and then Let's Encrypt!

I have been active on the site since we started. Why? It was the spirit of gratitude I saw here to be free from having "corporate overlords"; how people pitched in trying to help. They were looking not at what they could get but rather what they could give! That spirit lives on to this day. Where? I see it in the people who submit stories and journal articles. I see it when people post (and moderate) comments. And lets not forget those who subscribe to the site which pays bills (hosting fees and accounting expenses, primarily). We are all volunteers here; nobody has ever been paid anything for their work here!

I'm taking this opportunity to thank all the editors who perform the seemingly thankless task of selecting, reviewing, editing, and posting stories to the site. I hereby invite them to enjoy the long holiday weekend.

We will be on a holiday/weekend story schedule from the start of Thursday through the end of Sunday (UTC). Enjoy the well-deserved break! Thank You!

Another story will be along presently; this story is in addition to our normal schedule. --martyb/Bytram

posted by martyb on Wednesday September 15 2021, @02:45PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Late last night (~10 PM UTC), the security certificates for expired. (Out-of-date certs result in nasty warning messages being displayed by your browser.)

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience the outage caused.

Unfortunately, that was after I (and others on staff who could do anything about it) had gone to bed.

I had personally updated the certs in the past, but the last time was years ago. (TheMightyBuzzard had previously — and subsequently — handled getting and applying updated certs.) It had been so long that I could not find my notes on the process. (Note to self: it helps to look in the correct directory tree!)

Thankfully, audioguy appeared and was able to get things updated.

Please join me in thanking him for getting things straightened out!

P.S. The current certs are due to expire December 14, 2021, Please feel free to remind us as that date approaches!

P.P.S. The technical staff is aware of various automated solutions to renewals but made a conscious decision to do them manually. Remember that people make mistakes but to really foul things up use a computer!

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Sunday September 05 2021, @08:56AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the See-dick-mod.-See-dick-sock-mod.-See-dick-get-banned.-Don't-be-a-dick dept.

Labor Day:
In observance of Labor Day (a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the first Monday in September) I am hereby inviting the SoylentNews editorial staff to enjoy a three-day weekend — Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Stories will be scheduled and released on a weekend-story-spacing schedule. The holiday marks the unofficial end of summer and it often marked by parades, sales, cookouts, and the like.

These volunteers give selflessly of their spare time to try and make sure we keep the stories coming. Please join me in thanking them for their generous sacrifice of spare time and experience to keep those stories coming!

(short for The Onion Router) is in the process of rolling out an updated protocol. ThIs update is NOT compatible with prior versions. SoylentNews has had support from the early days of the site (thanks to NCommander, IIRC). As nobody on staff has experience in this area, our support will cease at any time - the TOR site is saying October. It was laudable at the time. Unfortunately, its more recent use seems to have been primarily by spammers. As such, we could lose access to Tor at anytime as our network "neighbors" either upgrade or find themselves no longer "adjacent" to back-level versions like ours is. You can still access this site using TOR with our normal URL.

Sock Mods
We have been methodically identifying and shutting down sockpuppet accounts. These are NOT allowed. Attempts to bypass the will of the community by controlling multiple accounts is forbidden. One user, one account. Do NOT use another account (or accounts) to upmod one-or-more accounts that you control. If you do not like getting downmods, take a look at the comments you post. Sure, occasionally, someone might mis-moderate a comment by accident (heck, *I* have done it!) In our experience, such errors are generally rare and are frequently followed at some point by others, offsetting moderations.

So: "Sock mods" are being tracked. We are methodically investigating cases. Accounts are being disabled, and never in isolation. It takes agreement by at least two admins, and usually more, for any action to be taken.

If you are generally a positive contributor to the site, such impacts to your karma are usually just "line noise" in the grand scheme of things.

Mod bombs:
In a similar vein, if you disagree with someone, do not attempt to silence them by using multiple accounts to mod their comments down.

We have seen cases of both "mod bombs" and "sock mods". We have held back on taking action until we are certain. Any action taken is first confirmed by at least one other staff member. Complaining about moderation is OFF TOPIC and tends to get moderated as such.

We've previously tried to set concrete limits. "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile." I have personally witnessed cases where one account downmodded another account 4 times in one day. For ten days in a row! That was just enough to avoid getting moderations reversed, but certainly enough to show a concerted effort to moderate the commenter rather than just the comment.

This will no longer be tolerated.

Admins can see who has moderated whom. We talk among ourselves. We discuss cases that come up. It's pretty simple, really: "Don't be a jerk!"

posted by martyb on Sunday August 22 2021, @09:03PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Actually.-it-was-just-a-Full-Moon dept.

[Update #2; 2021-08-23 02:35:27 UTC]

So, mechanicjay responded to the bat signal, and "did a kill on every process that referenced slashd and started the service."

We think that should do the trick; please reply here or in the #soylent channel on IRC.

Again, many MANY thanks for your patience and understanding!

[Update #1; 2021-08-23 01:41:16 UTC]

"Constants aren't; variables won't." So goes an old adage. Seems to be the case for us, as well. My efforts to get comment counts to update and to get get mod points to be distributed have been fruitless. I've reached out to mechanicjay to see if he is available to take a look and lend a hand. So far, it appears that mod points were not distributed at 00:10 UTC this [Monday] morning.

I apologize for the disruption. --martyb

Original story follows below the fold.

As if nothing else of importance was going on with the site pertaining to moderation...

We discovered this morning that slashd (think slashdot's creation of cron way back in slashdot's early days) did not run to completion overnight. And, obviously, it chose to die right when it was handing out mod points for the day.

(NB: Rehash (the code that runs the site) is a fork of a version of slashcode. That code was open-sourced a couple years before we grabbed it. It also needed a great deal of work to get into an actually-functioning state.)

It actually handed out some mod points. It wasn't until we received reports that some people failed to get mod points that we realized there was a problem. I restarted slashd. Problem solved, right?

That would be easy. Who wants easy on a Sunday? Apparently easy was not in the cards for today.

We later learned that things were left in an interim state — some users got some mod points and others did not get any. Of course, I did not realize *that* until a bunch of people had used mod points.

So there was no obvious way to give "make up" mod points to those who missed out. (My mysql skills are limited.) Nor, apparently, was it obvious to any other staff who was around.

Rather than mung (Mung Until No Good) things even further, in discussion with other staff, it was decided to leave well enough alone. Things should clear themselves up on their own the next time mod points are scheduled to be re-issued (starting each morning at 00:10 UTC).


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday August 20 2021, @10:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Milestone #1:
First off, please join me in congratulating janrinok in posting his 5,400th story! I can attest that it represents a tremendous commitment of time and effort, all freely given to the community. Thanks JR!

Milestone #2:
Secondly, we are a few days away from our team reaching 2.8 billion points towards Folding at Home. Official Team Stats and a more informative summary. As I write this, our team is currently ranked #392 in the world. Please be aware we are up against teams such as AWS, Google, Apple, Facebook, SAP, IBM, Dell, Oracle... you get the idea. Our top contributor is Runaway1956 who has been contributing about 2.5 million points per day. Barring any surprises, he is on track to reach 1 billion points by month's end. Way to go!

Lastly, I need to call the community's attention to some problems with moderations.

For the most part, things have been working out well! Considering the diverse viewpoints — and strong feelings about them — I'd say things are working amazingly well. There are some, however, who are prolific, vocal, strong-willed, and are trying to push their own agenda. They are likely to be unhappy with these changes. Until notified otherwise, feel free to moderate complaints about moderation as "-1 Offtopic" and just move on.

Effective Immediately:
For the benefit of the community who have been acting in good faith all along, staff will commence issuing moderation bans on accounts that have been acting unfairly. Each ban will have been discussed among staff and no unilateral action will be taken. If you receive a ban, it's because a majority of staff are in agreement that unfair moderations have been performed and needed to be dealt with.

Staff have been developing tools and procedures for tracking moderation abuse for some time, and we are now reaching the stage where we can take action against offenders. It is necessary for these tools to provide a high degree of confidence to avoid false positives. We now have that confidence.

What's the Point?
Moderation is intended for the community to decrease the visibility of "poor" comments and to improve the visibility of "good" comments. Note the word "comments". The user who posted the comment should have no bearing on your moderation. (If it does, you are doing it wrong.) Express your disagreement either by presenting a counter argument in a new comment, or by using a "-1 Disagree" mod — that's what it's there for. As one staff member noted: "If you find almost everything another user posts objectionable, then moderation is not the solution — simply foe him, and set your preferences for foes to a suitably-low negative value."

We have tried to provide the tools for the community to moderate itself. This has worked out well for the most part! Here's a big thank you to those who quietly go along and try to make SoylentNews a better place each day.

Sockpuppet Accounts:
These are hereby forbidden. If staff detects collusion in moderation, that is grounds for an immediate ban on moderation. Acct #1 and acct #2 both moderating acct #3 in lockstep? Ban. Acct #1 upmoding acct #2 and acct #2 upmodding acct #1 to boost karma? Ban.

The guidelines had previously stated that more than 4 downmods per day were forbidden, excess would be reversed. We have seen cases where user "A" has downmodded user "B" exactly 4 times per day for many days in a row. This demonstrates intentional action of one user against another user. Because such actions do have negative consequences on the visibility of user "B"'s posts and journals, they are effectively an act of censorship, and are strongly frowned upon; therefore staff reserves the right to take action up to an including a mod ban, at our sole discretion.

There are more instances; this list is NOT intended to be exhaustive.

Think you can get away with something? Just because you have not seen us act so far, does not mean we have not noticed. If you persist, you're doing so at your own risk. Please do not come crying to us or the community when your schemes backfire — you have been warned. As mentioned earlier, complaints about moderation and moderation bans are off-topic and are to be moderated that way.

Staff has access to daily reports and ad-hoc queries. We have been holding regular discussions about moderation abuse. We will continue to do so. Cases of perceived abuse are discussed and no action is taken unless there is unassailable evidence about the facts and substantial agreement about the consequences (thus avoiding unilateral action).

For future reference, here are the moderator guidelines at the time of this being written. They are undergoing review right now and will be revised to include the preceding.

This document attempts to explain the moderation system that lies underneath this implementation of Slashcode's vast comment section. It was originally written for Slashcode years ago, so the specifics of this moderation system are outlined here. Keep in mind that as this project grows, some aspects can change to better serve the community and improve the overall experience.


  1. Purpose
  2. Goals
  3. Who
  4. How
  5. Mod Bombs
  6. Sock Bombs
  7. Spam Mod
  8. Moderation Issues
  9. FAQ


As you might have noticed, a site like this can get a lot of comments. Some are downright terrible; others are truly gems, and hundreds of comments can be hard to sift through.

The moderation system is designed to sort the gems and the crap from the steady stream of information that flows through the pipe. And wherever possible, it tries to make the readers of the site take on the responsibility.

The goal is that each reader will be able to read the the threshold they prefer. Select "-1" and you'll see trolls and possible wrongly-modded comments, try "5" and you'll see only the top-rated comments.


  1. Promote Quality, Discourage Crap.
  2. Make SoylentNews as readable as possible for as many people as possible.
  3. Do not require a huge amount of time from any single moderator.
  4. Do not allow any single moderator a 'reign of terror' -- no 'mod bombs'.


We've set up a few simple rules for determining who is eligible to moderate.

  1. Logged In User If the system can't keep track, it won't work, so you gotta log in. Sorry if you're paranoid, but this system demands a certain level of accountability.
  2. Positive Contributors Slashcode tracks your "Karma" (see the FAQ). If you have non-negative Karma, this means you have posted more good comments than bad, and are eligible to moderate. This weeds out spam accounts.
  3. No Sockpuppet Accounts Accounts newer than 1 month are not eligible to moderate. This should keep sockpuppet accounts from immediately being a problem.

So the end result is a pool of eligible users that represent (hopefully) average, positive SoylentNews contributors.


Each day every eligible moderator is given 5 10 mod points to play with. Each comment they moderate deducts a point. When they run out of points, they are done moderating until 00:10 UTC when mod points are regenerated.

Moderation takes place by clicking the drop down list that appears next to comments, and selecting one of the adjectives like 'Flamebait' or 'Informative'. In general, bad words will reduce a comment's score by a single point (a 'down mod'), good words increase a comment's score by a single point (an 'up mod'). All comments are scored on an absolute scale from -1 to 5. Logged in users start at 1 (although this can vary from -1 to 2 based on their overall contribution to discussions) and anonymous users start at 0.

Moderators can participate in the same discussion as both a moderator and a poster. You are only prevented from modding your own posts.

Concentrate more on promoting than on demoting. The real goal here is to find the juicy good stuff and let others read it. Do not promote personal agendas. Do not let your opinions factor in. Try to be impartial about this. Simply disagreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to 'down mod' it. Likewise, agreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to 'up mod' it. The goal here is to share ideas. To sift through the haystack and find golden, shiny needles. And to keep the children who like to spam in check.

Mod Bombs

A 'mod bomb' is simply when a user, 'A', uses all 5 or more of their moderation points to 'down mod' comments posted by a single user, 'B'. Would you want someone who has a vendetta to use all a bunch of their mod points on your comments? It works both ways -- don't use all a bunch of your mod points on a single user. When this is detected, the account performing the moderation ('A') is given a 30-day 'time out' on moderating all moderations making up the mod bomb are reversed and the mod points are not returned. We would like to make the code automatically prevent a mod bomb from occurring, but this is not yet in place. The focus is on the quality of the comments on the site, not on who posts them. Remember that there are other users on the site who have mod points. If you have used all that are permitted, do not fret as someone else will likely come along later.

Sock Bombs

Much like a 'mod bomb', a 'sock bomb' is when a user, 'A', use 4 or more of their moderation points to 'up mod' comments posted by a single user, 'B'. (The name is taken from the idea of a "sockpuppet" account.) Again, our intention is to update the code to automatically prevent this from happening. We realize that this can happen unintentionally when, say, a subject-matter expert provides supporting information in comments to a story. Excess 'up mods' beyond 4 per day are subject to being reversed. A repeated pattern of user 'A' upmodding user 'B' may be subject to further action. In short, please do not try to 'game' the system.

Spam Mod

The spam moderation (spam mod) is to be used only on comments that genuinely qualify as spam. Spam is unsolicited advertisement, undesired and offtopic filth, or possibly illegal in general. Spam can come in many forms, but it differs from a troll comment in that it will have absolutely no substance, is completely undesired, is detrimental to the site, or worse.

The spam mod is special in that is removes 10 Karma points from the user that posted the comment. This mod is meant to combat spam and not to be used to punish commenters (when in doubt, don't use this mod). Our goal is to put a spammer in Karma Hell and for them to not be able to get out of it easily. As we do not want this used against non-spamers, we monitor all spam mods to make sure moderators are not abusing the spam mod. If we find a moderator that unfairly applied the spam mod, we remove the mod giving the poster back the Karma points, and the modder is banned from modding for one month. Further bans to the same modder add increasing amounts of ban time. If you inadvertently applied a spam mod, mail the admin and we will remove the spam mod without banning you. Even though we have updated the interface to physically separate the spam mod from the other mods, unintentional modding may still be an unfortunate occurrence.


If you are unsure of whether a comment is spam or not, don't use the spam mod. Here are some examples of spam:

  • Proper spam. Anything whose primary purpose is advertisement (unless somehow relevant to the discussion/article).
  • 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, here or here for example.
  • Repeating the same thing over and over. This includes blockquoting entire comments without adding anything substantial to them.

Moderation Issues

If you see moderation abuse (mod bombing or spam mod), please mail the admin any comments (the cid link) showing the abuse. Alternatively, mention it on the main IRC channel. We will investigate and make amends if necessary. This also applies for users who display an atypical pattern of up or down mods against another user. Moderation abuse may result in the loss of ability to moderate for a time, or in some cases, permanently. (If you find almost everything another user posts objectionable, then moderation is not the solution - simply foe them, and set your preferences for foes to a suitably low negative value.

FAQ I just got moderator access, what do I do?

The fact that you are reading this document proves that you are already on the right track.

Why can't I moderate any more?

  • Do you still have any moderator points left?
  • You can't moderate your own posts.

What is a Good Comment? A Bad Comment?

  • Good Comments are insightful. You read them and are better off having read them. They add new information to a discussion. They are clear, hopefully well written, or maybe amusing. These are the gems we're looking for, and they deserve to be promoted. (Score: 2-5)
  • Average Comments might be slightly offtopic, but still might be worth reading. They might be redundant. They might be a 'Me Too' comment. They might say something painfully obvious. They don't detract from the discussion, but they don't necessarily significantly add to it. They are the comments that require the most attention from the moderators, and they also represent the bulk of the comments. (Score: 0-1)
  • Bad Comments are flamebait, incorrect, or have nothing to do with the article. Other examples: Ad Hominem, ridicule for others with different opinion (without backing it up with anything more tangible than strong words), repeats of something said 15 times already (read previous comments before you post), use of unnecessary foul language, some are hard to read or just don't make any sense. Basically they detract from the article they are attached to. (Score: -1)

What is Karma?

Karma is the sum of all moderation activity done to a user. Karma is used to determine eligibility for moderator status and can affect your comments starting score. Every new user starts with a Karma of 0, and as long as your Karma isn't negative you are eligible to become a moderator.

Why Don't I get my points back after I post in a discussion I moderated?

We've decided to allow a moderator to moderate in a discussion, and then comment afterward without undoing their moderation.

How can I improve my Karma?

10 tips for improving your Karma:

Post intelligently:
Interesting, insightful, thought provoking comments are rated higher on a fairly consistent basis.
Post calmly:
Nobody likes a flame war. In fact, more times than not the flamer gets burned much more than their target. "Flamebait" is hit quickly and consistently with "-1" by moderators. As the bumper sticker says... "Don't be a dick."
If you can't be deep, be funny:
If you don't have something to contribute to the discussion, some humor is welcome. Humor is lacking in our lives and will continue to be promoted. Remember though, what rips your sides out may be completely inane to somebody else.
Post early:
If an article has over a certain number of posts on it already, yours is less likely to be moderated. This is less likely both statistically (there are more to choose from) and due to positioning (as a moderator I have to actually find your post way at the end of a long list.)
Post often:
If you only post once a month you can expect your karma to remain low. Also, lively discussion in an open forum is what makes SoylentNews really "Rock the Casbah."
Stay on topic:
Off topic posts are slapped quickly and consistently with "-1" by moderators.
Be original:
Avoid being redundant and just repeating what has already been said. (Did I really just say that?) Yes, being moderated as "redundant" is worth "-1" to your post and your karma. Especially to be avoided are the "what he said" and "me too" posts.
Read it before you post:
Does it say what you really want it to say? Check your own spelling and grammar. Occasionally, a perfectly beneficial post is passed over by moderators because it is completely irrelevant to content feature. This is also a good approach to checking yourself for what you're really saying. Can't tell you the number of times I've stopped myself from saying the opposite of what I meant by checking my own s&g.
Log in as a registered user:
I know, this sounds obvious but, "Anonymous Coward" does not have a karma rating. You can't reap the perceived benefits of your own accidental brilliance if you post anonymously. Have pride in your work and take credit for it.
Read SoylentNews regularly:
You can't possibly contribute to the discussion if you're not in the room. Come to the party and play.

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