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posted by martyb on Friday January 25 2019, @01:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the getting-along-with-others dept.

[Update 20190127_200249 UTC: corrected number of downmods to qualify for mod bomb from 4 to 5. Clarified that no mod bans have been handed out in a long while. --martyb]

Our primary goal at SoylentNews is to provide a forum for the community; In as much as is reasonably possible, we try to take a hands-off approach.

The infrastructure provides a means by which the community can (among other things) vote on polls, publish journal articles, submit comments, and perform moderations.

There are, however, some things that require an active role by the admins.

One of these is dealing with moderation abuse, something which can come in different forms. See the FAQ for some background. Addressed there are "mod bombs" and "spam mods". A mod bomb is deemed to have happened when one user (user1) has performed 4 5 or more downmods against comments by another user (user2). Upon review, if a mod bomb has been found to occur, then the moderator (user1) gets a 1-month mod ban on the first occasion; 6 months on the second and subsequent times. Mod bans have not been issued in a LONG while; extra mods are reversed.

Sockpuppets: And now we come to the focus of this article: there is another form of moderation abuse: sockpuppet accounts. Wikipedia has a suitable description:

A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term, a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock, originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an Internet community who spoke to, or about, themselves while pretending to be another person.[1]

The term now includes other misleading uses of online identities, such as those created to praise, defend or support a person or organization,[2] to manipulate public opinion,[3] or to circumvent a suspension or ban from a website. A significant difference between the use of a pseudonym[4] and the creation of a sockpuppet is that the sockpuppet poses as an independent third-party unaffiliated with the puppeteer. Sockpuppets are unwelcome in many online communities and may be blocked.

Right here I'll admit that I was sorely tempted to take unilateral action. Name names. Apply mod bans. And... you get the idea. Instead, I'm trying to take the high road. So, instead, I chose to present what I found to the community, solicit input, and then see what, if anything, needs to be done.

There may well be other cases, but the one I have discovered shows this history of upmods. Out of the 100 most recent moderations performed by "user1", 80 of those have been upmods of the same user "user2". And of these, there have been 10 upmods on January 21, 10 more on January 22, and yet 10 more on January 23. (For those keeping score that is 30 points in 3 days).

I cannot imagine in any way that 30 upmods in three days by "user1" on "user2" is reasonable or desirable.

This would be purely academic except that comment moderation affects a user's karma. All registered users start with a karma of 0. Submitting a story that is accepted on the site earns 3 points. Each upmod to a comment of yours earns a point. Similarly, each downmod deducts a point from your karma. Get enough karma and when posting a comment you can give it extra visibility so that it starts at a score of 2 instead of at 1. (Comments posted anonymously or by ACs start at 0.) Get a low enough karma and you earn a "timeout" against posting comments for a month.

Inasmuch as "user1" was able to perform 80 upmods of "user2" in 19 days ("user2" had hovered near the karma cap of 50 when this all started), that means that "user2" received approximately 80 downmods from the community. Excluding the actions of our sockpuppet ("user1"), "user2" should have been in negative karma and thus in a month-long "timeout".

What I see is that the community has spoken (the comments posted by "user2" are not of the kind the community wants to see on the site) and that has been intentionally countered by the sockpuppet activity of "user1".

Rather than the admins taking a unilateral action, I am asking the community what should be done in this case (and any others like it that may come up)?

I offer a proposal that is analogous to our handling of a "mod bomb."

What is a mod bomb? Four (4) or more downmods in 24 hours by "user1" against comments posted by "user2". qualifies as a mod bomb and earns "user1" a 1-month moderation ban (initially; subsequent mod bombs earn a 6-month mod ban) It's been a long time since mod bans have been issued..

Proposed: Four (4) or more upmods in 24 hours should also be considered a mod bomb (sock bomb?) and should receive the same treatment.

The point of moderation is not to bestow karma points, it is to help improve the visibility of well-written comments and reduce the visibility of the lesser ones. The karma is simply an incentive to actually perform the moderations.

I've toyed with various values for number of upmods per unit of time (4 per day? 20 per week?) I keep coming back to the same metric we use for our existing "mod bomb" definition: 4 down mods in one 24-hour span that commences when mod points are handed out at 00:10 UTC.

So, now it's your turn. I'd appreciate your feedback and thoughts on this. If we should choose to implement it, it would probably have a soft launch with any "violations" being met with a warning.

Ultimately, it's your site. How do you want us to deal with sockpuppets?


Original Submission

Related Stories

Mea Culpa! Corrections and Clarifications on Moderation [Updated] 97 comments

[Updated 20190129_204134 UTC. Added background on prior restrictions with respect to commenting and moderating in the same story discussion. Added background and link to explain the number of mod points going from 5 to 10. Clarified example of what happens when someone tries to perform more mods than they have mod points. --martyb]

I had some information incorrect in my prior story SoylentNews, Moderations, and You.

But, before I go into that I just want to say how impressed I am at the community's participation and discussion regarding the site. From that I see how much people value what we have here and do not want to see anything happen that would potentially degrade it. I saw a lot of passion expressed and it makes me all the more proud to be a part of what makes it happen.

I see my misunderstandings caused unnecessary anxiety in the community and for that I humbly apologize. I've learned to ask for feedback and verification before putting out a site-related story in the future (including this one!)

It was intended as a solicitation of feedback from the community. As in previous site upgrades we will put out a proposal, accept feedback, and if deemed warranted, give it a try. None of this is permanent; if it doesn't work out, it can be tweaked or rolled back.

Read on beyond the fold for corrections, history, and an expanded explanation of the current thinking.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Apparition on Friday January 25 2019, @01:11PM (26 children)

    by Apparition (6835) on Friday January 25 2019, @01:11PM (#791708) Journal

    Gather the IP address(es) of the people responsible for sockpuppets, and then put in a rule that automatically redirects them to the Huffington Post.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @02:53PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @02:53PM (#791778)

      Actually this is not an unreasonable response. It is more overt than shadow bans. While the rules can be adjusted this is a cat and mouse game, especially if the offender has any scripting skills at all.

      More appropriate might be, to assemble a pool of numbskullian news sites, and pick a random one for redirect. That way the receiver of the redirect can't reasonably call it an attack.

      I like that soylentnews tries to be free and anonymous at the same time (which is difficult). Invariably the sock puppets get in the way of this. And lets face it, the sock puppets are as likely to be employee's contractors for the propaganda oriented news networks as anything. So sending them back from whence they came is perfectly reasonable. Putting an auto-timout on the redirection will get the point across without too much damage.

      The other option would be to add a delayed load. Of course that creates a DOS vector itself. So you'd have to run a second machine to redirect to, that it would serve no other purpose but to hold HTTP sockets open. Essentially undesirable users would experience degraded service, which of course would eventually timeout with service returning to normal after a week or so.

      Better to drive up the price of being a dick, than have to become authoritarian or deceptive about it.

      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @07:55PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @07:55PM (#791964)

        Send them to the green site; it is the fate worse than death.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @03:28PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @03:28PM (#791805)

      And what about all of those behind a company's reverse proxy? One bad poster at company can then cause everyone at that company to be redirected because they all come from the same IP address.

      • (Score: 2) by Apparition on Friday January 25 2019, @04:22PM (3 children)

        by Apparition (6835) on Friday January 25 2019, @04:22PM (#791836) Journal

        The firewall at my place of employment has blocked SoylentNews for years, which is why I mostly read it on mobile devices. Considering that my employer is one of the largest in the western hemisphere, I figured that most of the other large employers have the site blocked as well.

        • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @07:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @07:14PM (#791943)

          /.?

        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday January 25 2019, @07:14PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday January 25 2019, @07:14PM (#791944) Homepage

          I can vouch for not always true, although Infowars and -- ha-HA! -- nationalinterest.org were conditional-blocked ("political advocacy, you may proceed but action will be logged").

          But Zerohedge wasn't blocked at all, and I wasn't stupid enough to try RT or Wikileaks. What kind of dipshit organization flags nationalinterest but not zerohedge?!

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by RandomFactor on Friday January 25 2019, @10:33PM

          by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @10:33PM (#792061) Journal

          Mine does not ban it. Add that to the wicked cool VT100 theme and I can have it up in a browser window on my desktop and people walking by just figure it for a terminal window. Nothing that wasn't absolutely work related could ever have such a look. ]:-)

          --
          В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by fakefuck39 on Friday January 25 2019, @09:18PM (15 children)

      by fakefuck39 (6620) on Friday January 25 2019, @09:18PM (#792015)

      Or, do nothing. Seriously, who uses comment score? This ain't reddit with thousands of comments. Who here wants to have random internet strangers censor their reading material (from 40 comments to 30)? Moderation is a pointless waste of time on this site. Spend your time on unicode support - I'd even donate money for this specific thing (in addition of my other donations for general expenses).

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:33AM (4 children)

        by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:33AM (#792179) Homepage Journal

        💩

        The only unicode support I know we're lacking is a bug in journal titles and I plan on fixing it in the next site update.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 0) by fakefuck39 on Saturday January 26 2019, @01:23PM (3 children)

          by fakefuck39 (6620) on Saturday January 26 2019, @01:23PM (#792276)

          точьно работает? 나는 말한다 many différent idiomas. when did this start working? I used to have to backslash a bunch of crap with letter codes.

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 26 2019, @02:52PM (2 children)

            by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Saturday January 26 2019, @02:52PM (#792309) Homepage Journal

            A little over four years ago. It was the first thing of real note I coded for the site [github.com]. It isn't much used except for funky quotation marks and emdashes and the like though.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 0) by fakefuck39 on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:01PM (1 child)

              by fakefuck39 (6620) on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:01PM (#792333)

              holy crap it's been over 4 years since I checked. that's just ridiculous on my part. now I can finally explain to people why my new username makes fun of ugly people instead of saying I'm a troll. fuck.. that's not that new either anymore! how the time flies.

              sent you guys some kching as promised good sir, and gamsa, I mean 감사! (I still think you're a hippie loser with your boat and all that, just one with good personal ethics, and you do run one of the few good sites).

              fuck beta.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:35AM (9 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:35AM (#792181)

        Agreed. I, and many others from what I gather, always read at -1. Getting rid of moderation and karma entirely wouldn't be a loss to me. Just add a "mark as spam", and keep the friend/enemy features for those that want to block people.

        • (Score: 0) by fakefuck39 on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:14PM (8 children)

          by fakefuck39 (6620) on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:14PM (#792336)

          I.. enjoy scrolling through the spam for some reason. Brings back fond memories of niggers eating delicious shit out of the toilet. I seriously think this is too small to care about reducing visible content. The guys in charge are fairly ethical and open minded here, but that's a retarded and boring use of time. community voting is useless - look at hacker news. any kind of voting becomes "you're not nice" and "i disagree. I actually believe the best solution is scrolling through shit you don't want to see - for this site as it currently stands. That spam thing - ripe for abuse.

          now categorizing things, in much more detail than now, then letting you pick categories of comments you want - that's useful, but again, site is too small now. like friendly funny (hide), offensive funny (show), propaganda shit (hide), spam (hide) flamebait (hide), troll (show), etc. Then we meta mod those mods, and users who pick the wrong category don't get less votes for categories. But just based on points - useless.

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 26 2019, @06:34PM (7 children)

            by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Saturday January 26 2019, @06:34PM (#792382) Homepage Journal

            We're actually planning on putting a user preference in to have Spam moderated comments default to collapsed as if you'd hit the single minus up in the top left of the comment. We police Spam mods constantly though and it's currently the only thing that will earn you a moderation ban, so I'm not worried about it being abused. I kind of like the collapse/expand based on moderation preferences idea but I don't think it'd be as useful in practice as in theory.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 0) by fakefuck39 on Sunday January 27 2019, @01:42AM (6 children)

              by fakefuck39 (6620) on Sunday January 27 2019, @01:42AM (#792512)

              Cool. Don't count my suggestions as an opinion or vote though. I don't participate in moderation or use it, so I don't get a vote here. Just throwing ideas out there others who use it might like, and I'm not seeing anyone reply with agreement. It's great that you got unicode working.

              An idea that would actually be useful - an android app that looks just like the site, that let's me view a week of comments offline, and caches viewing of the article linked in the original post. Can even make it pay to download - just not using the play store or google services, since a lot of us asshole trolls run google-free android. That's a big project though. I'd do it myself but us pro-big-corp shills only got money to contribute, not time. Would be soooo useful for long flights though. Internet on a plane is absolute shit. And get a passport you hippies!

              Now back to svengoolie. the werewolf is on the loose.

              • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday January 27 2019, @05:24AM (5 children)

                by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Sunday January 27 2019, @05:24AM (#792552) Homepage Journal

                Anyone feel like volunteering for that bit of coding? I'll do scripts, programs, SQL, even occasionally an extremely simple OS but it's against my religion to code an "app".

                --
                My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Sunday January 27 2019, @06:33AM

                  by RS3 (6367) on Sunday January 27 2019, @06:33AM (#792566)

                  Um, not right now, but I'll consider looking into it. The site works great on my Android thing.

                  For WordPress (I know, horrible sacrilege) there's a plugin (more sacrilege) called WPtouch that cleans up and simplifies sites for pads, phones, etc. Seems to work very well.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27 2019, @11:36AM (3 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27 2019, @11:36AM (#792604)

                  What religion is that?
                  Does it involve a teapot?

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @01:13PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @01:13PM (#791709)

    I think this is a well reasoned response to the situation. You've explained it well and offered a good solution.
    Now, I have to switch users and up-vote myself so I can be sure you see this!

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by realDonaldTrump on Friday January 25 2019, @01:48PM (10 children)

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Friday January 25 2019, @01:48PM (#791720) Homepage Journal

      User #1 did 80 Up Mods in 19 days. And with the new "rule", User #1 could only do 76 Up Modes in 19 days. Because, 4 times 19 is 76. Same amount of time, 4 less Up Mods. Or, User #1 could do the 80 Up Mods in 20 days. Instead of 19 days. One more day. Because 4 goes into 80 20 times. Does that make sense? Does that make sense? And I would say, that's a very small change. Sounds like a nothing.

      And maybe it will block the person Martyb wants blocked. Maybe it will block other people. And possibly it won't block anybody. It's great that he asked about doing the new "rule." And I think he should run for Congress. Because that's how Congress does things. They're not allowed to make a "law" -- for or against -- about one person. Or one Company. They call it the Bill of Attainder. But, they write a "law" in a very special way. So that only one person (Company) gets the benefit. Or the punishment. They're very smart about that. And this is a very smart move. That's the kind of thinking we want!!!

      • (Score: 4, Troll) by realDonaldTrump on Friday January 25 2019, @02:24PM (6 children)

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Friday January 25 2019, @02:24PM (#791750) Homepage Journal

        (cont) The H-1B visa, very special visa and we have so many people immigrating under that one. And the Companies are only supposed to ask for those visas when they have a job, but there's no American that can do it. And wants to do it. In other words, when they can't find an American for that job.

        But the way it "works" so many times is, there are plenty of Americans that can do the Job. But, the Company doesn't WANT an American for that job. They want a Foreigner. Because when they bring somebody in on the H-1B, that Foreign Worker is almost like a slave. Very expensive, very difficult for him to quit and go someplace else. So he keeps his mouth shut. And does what he's told. So the Companies have a very special trick. When they have a job opening, they look overseas first. They find a Foreign Worker they like. They get his resume'. And they write their classifieds Ad, their job listing, with what they find in his resume'. Even stuff that has nothing to do with the job. That guy "qualifies" and of course he applies. The Company is hoping nobody else applies, because they don't "qualify." And maybe somebody applies anyway, right? They look at his resume', they turn him down for a phoney reason, they do a new classified Ad. Until that Foreign Worker is the only guy that answers.

        And this new "rule" is a little bit like that. They have somebody in mind. The Problem Person. And they came up with the "rule" that, they hope, will get that person blocked. And if it doesn't block that person, they'll come up with some more "rules." Until they get what they want. And it's funny, because they could just ask "oh, we think So-and-So is a big problem, should we do the Block?" Or the Ban. But instead they want to make the "rule." And the "rules" keep piling up.

        I'm doing a lot of regulation "busting." As I promised. I asked my staff for the Hard Copy of the regulations we had in 1960. When our Country was 171 years old. 171 years of Regulations. And the ones we've gotten since then. Much less years, less time. But much more Regulations -- Clean Air Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Americans w/Disabilities Act, Fair Packaging and Labeling Act -- it never ends. And we're moving very strongly on, less regulation. The regulation "busting." With tremendous success. And possibly SoylentNews could be much more successful by repealing some "rules." With less "rules." Instead of more!!!

        • (Score: 5, Touché) by kazzie on Friday January 25 2019, @02:36PM

          by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @02:36PM (#791765)

          With a long post like that, I can see why you're over here, and not on twitter.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 25 2019, @03:27PM (4 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @03:27PM (#791801) Journal

          I asked my staff for the Hard Copy of the regulations we had in 1960.

          Oooooh - you just kinda skirted around one of my peeves. "Hard copy". Idiots are always asking for "hard copy", and don't even know what "hard copy" means. In 1960, hard copies were pretty common. You're handed a form to fill out. It's 3, or 7, or 15 papers thick. On top, an onion skin, next a thin pink paper, then a white paper, a yellow paper, maybe a blue paper, and so on. Any number of thin papers, all bound together at one edge. And, the last page of that form was a thin piece of cardboard-like thick paper - the "hard copy". The onion skin went to legal, the pink paper went to my secretary, the white paper went to your secretary, etc ad nauseum. And, the hard copy went into somebody's working archive.

          Nowadays, when some dummy asks for a "hard copy", what he means is a standard computer printer paper.

          --
          We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday January 25 2019, @06:25PM (2 children)

            by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @06:25PM (#791923) Journal

            Sorry about your usage, but hard copy has referred to printout in my lexicon, and that of the place I worked, since around 1980. Possibly earlier, as I learned the term from my first professional boss. (OTOH, we didn't use it in college, so I've no idea how widespread that usage was.)

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:57AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:57AM (#792189)

              We are all sorry, sincerely, about Runaway's age. And the accompanying dementia. Onionskin! "As was the fashion at the time, I wore an onionskin on my belt. Get off my Moon, you younglings!"

              • (Score: 2) by RandomFactor on Saturday January 26 2019, @05:38PM

                by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 26 2019, @05:38PM (#792365) Journal

                Runaway1956 has dementia? I'm not that far behind him I don't think. Dammit.
                 
                As such I may be able to provide some perspective.
                 
                I suspect you are confusing 'dementia' and the natural crusty "I don't give a sh*t-ism" of more ..uh.. 'seasoned' individuals who don't mind calling a bowl a bowl(*).
                .
                .
                .
                .

                * -- the phrase "To call a spade a spade" or "to call a spade a bloody shovel" was a mistranslation of a Greek saying "To call a bowl a bowl." It has the basic meaning of speaking plainly and calling things as they are without euphemism or over-sensitivity to feelings, to the verge of rudeness. Due to the erroneous conflation with the 20th century use of 'spade' as a racial epithet, I defer here to the original Greek phraseology. Hopefully this doesn't cause problems with the 420 crowd.

                --
                В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @09:18PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @09:18PM (#792016)

            Language evolves over time? MADNESS!

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by RandomFactor on Friday January 25 2019, @11:01PM

        by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @11:01PM (#792076) Journal

        Hmmm. I've never hit that 4 downmod limit that I'm aware of, but if not I've probably come close.

        The upbomb thing seems more problematic from my perspective - I could well have hit that.

        I'll rabbit hole sometimes. I'll just randomly get interested in someone because I liked what/how they said something and say to myself, 'self, maybe you should friend this person? Go see if you find their other posts similarly interesting and if so, click the friend button.' So having been advised to go do this by someone I trust implicitly, I promptly troll through some of their old posts and likely upmod a few of them as I go, on account of finding their posts twere brillig in the first toves is the whole reason i'm stalkering them anyhow. When all's said and done, maybe i friend them, or maybe I don't. But i could see some potential for hitting upmod bomb limit :-\

        Sooo, is AC considered one user? :-)

        I suppose knowing of rules around this I could restrain myself.

        --
        В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:38AM

        by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:38AM (#792182) Homepage Journal

        Don't go asking me. I opined we should lock every account and block every IP the person had ever used. I'm downright cranky when I'm sick, which is why I'm staying out of the discussion aside from a bit of drive-by grouchiness.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:42AM (#792183)

        Ahem...
        A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term, a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock, originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an Internet community who spoke to, or about, themselves while pretending to be another person.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Arik on Friday January 25 2019, @01:43PM (35 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Friday January 25 2019, @01:43PM (#791714) Journal
    First, let me express my surprise at this: " Four (4) or more downmods in 24 hours by "user1" against comments posted by "user2". qualifies as a mod bomb and earns "user1" a 1-month moderation ban (initially; subsequent mod bombs earn a 6-month mod ban)."

    That does NOT agree with the FAQ info and was not expected from it. FAQ info: "A 'mod bomb' is simply when a user, 'A', uses all 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 of their mod points on your comments? It works both ways -- don't use all 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. 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. "

    Very different standards actually. And I'm not sure either is appropriate. In fact, if I'm not misunderstanding you and this is the actual rule being enforced right now, I'm surprised I haven't been banned for accidentally mod bombing someone already. There's a relatively small set of people making posts to be moderated in the first place, and some of them post much more than others, particularly in the subset of cases where I actually wind up seeing them. This is a rule that could make the frequent poster a landmine for the moderator - you see 4 posts in a row from X and moderate them and boom! you're banned? Seems a bit premature.

    Even if we assume I'm the poster in question, I could not endorse the idea that anyone who downmodded me 4 times in 24 hours has necessarily done anything wrong. Might be a good flag for a review, sure. If you have someone searching for my posts and just going through those posts specifically and hitting the button, then yeah, obviously that's what's happening. But if you see them open up a discussion where I have posted prolifically and they actually appear to be reading through it and just happen to come up with 4 downmods on me, then maybe it's not, maybe they're doing what they're supposed to do.

    On the other hand, if someone who wanted to modbomb was to carefully follow the rules and only mod me *3* times each 24 hours, that wouldn't make it ok either.

    That aside, the main point, how do you deal with sockpuppets? This is not trivial to answer, and getting the answer right is important. I don't think you should be using any sort of automated 4 strikes rule to mete these things out, those are too easily gamed and therefore pointless. But if you're absolutely certain of the sockpuppet allegation, then there should be some pretty severe consequences. If the punishment is weak there's no real disincentive to continue violation. For instance you might give this poster the timeout that would have been triggered had the sockpuppet not been used? You might think that's good - it's not. The problem is the puppeteer is then left no worse off than if the violation had not occurred - arguably better, so why would there be any regret, or any deterrence? There would not be.

    I don't have a firm idea what should be done, maybe after some time for thought. Thanks for bringing this out into the open.
    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday January 25 2019, @03:46PM (28 children)

      by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Friday January 25 2019, @03:46PM (#791815) Journal

      I'm going to violate my general rule here and actually reply to Arik, but I agree with most of this post. I'm very surprised that 4 downmods in one day is a sufficient threshold to flag someone as "mod bombing." Heck, I've seen a single poster frequently make 4 downmod-worthy posts on a single article!

      As some of you know, I took a break from this site for a while because I believe moderation is not working here. Not that I have a much better solution -- I just feel like we have several users who take advantage of other users' goodwill (as well as quirks of the moderation system). But that's for a separate post.

      What I do think is important to consider is that moderation serves at least two separate (though related) functions:

      (1) Individual post moderation helps us flag useful posts in a discussion, as well as spam/trolls/flamebait and other bad actors.

      (2) As a whole, moderation affects karma, which helps establish the reputation of users and thereby identifies consistently good and bad voices in the community.

      The first of these is necessarily an individual judgment call. The second should only emerge with the consensus of a larger portion of the community.

      Thus, while no system is perfect, one method I might propose could go something like this:

      -- First, the "mod bombing" definition is far too broad. Martyb suggested 20 mods/week as an alternate to 4 mods/day in his post regarding sockpuppetry, but I think that's a reasonable threshold for mod-bombing too. If user1 is downmodding user2 at least 20 times in a single week, that seems like it should be targeted for review. (NOTE: before you have a kneejerk reaction about how this might affect karma, note I have an important qualification coming below.) If we were wanted to implement some other triggers for review, perhaps consistent targeting could also trigger a review even if it doesn't rise to 20 downmods in a single week (e.g., >50% of user1's mods over a given week or longer period are downmods of user2, or perhaps a different percentage). Some will note here that I am assuming downmodding should be fairly common, which I think it should be. I think we're far too lenient with bad behavior here. And I think a "4 downmods triggers review or ban on moderation" is a horrific policy that discourages downmodding of consistent bad actors.

      -- Second, whatever policy we adopt for downmodding should be (as Martyb suggests) roughly mirrored for upmodding and sockpuppetry too. 20 upmods from user1 to user2 in a single week should probably be an unusual event. Though here I do think it's perhaps more important to take into account overall modding patterns, as we tend to encourage upmodding here. If someone uses all 70 possible moderation points in a single week, I don't even know if 20 upmods for one user should flag it as a problem. If X% of all of user1's mods over that period are simply upmodding user2 though, maybe that's a better flag. I don't know. (Again, note below regarding effects on karma.)

      -- Third, the above comments also presuppose modification to karma calculation. I don't know the details of the current karma calculation, but I do think a single user shouldn't be able to affect another user's karma by a huge amount (particularly over a short time). Someone else here proposed a limit of user1 affecting user2's karma by a maximum of 1 point per day. I think that's reasonable, and will cut down on any possible effects of modbombing or sockpuppetry without discouraging moderation of posts. (Sometimes on a particularly active story, you get one user posting 10-20 posts on a single story, and if they get into an argument with another poster who is consistently acting like a jerk, a moderator may reasonably want to flag a bunch of those as good or bad.)

      -- Fourth, regarding karma, I also think (as I said above) that karma should be a reflection of community consensus. I don't think a single user1 should ever be responsible for more than, say, 20% of user2's reputation. (If we had a larger community, I would lower that expectation to maybe 10% or 5% or even lower.) My off-the-cuff proposal would be to implement something in the karma calculation to the effect that user1's mods of user2 cannot exceed 20% of the overall karma calculation. Thus, if user1 consistently upmods or consistently downmods user2, even over a longer period of time, user1 will not be sufficient alone to raise or tank the reputation of user2. That ensures that even borderline modbombing or sockpuppetry won't have a huge affect from a single user to another individual user. (Yes, any system can be gamed, but this combined with my third restriction above would make sockpuppetry a lot more cumbersome to maintain.)

      I don't claim any of this is a final answer. I just offer it with the following beliefs in mind: (1) downmodding here should not be discouraged; quite a few users behave with a "Jekyll and Hyde" mentality, maintaining relatively high karma which seems to allow them to act like jerks or trolls, and they should be able to be downmodded when they do so, (2) karma should be hard to earn, should take some time, and should require community consensus. (And I don't mean to highlight downmodding so much -- upmodding is also very good, but it also shouldn't be discouraged when someone is consistently posting good things... it shouldn't trigger an automatic suspicion of sockpuppetry.)

      Obviously I also agree with Arik that any major action should be reviewed by an admin, rather than just an automated rule. Or perhaps some sort of warning displayed for a first offense, a minor punishment and more severe warning for a second offense, and then admin review before more severe action against a user. Just some thoughts.

      • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday January 25 2019, @04:05PM (3 children)

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Friday January 25 2019, @04:05PM (#791827) Journal

        By the way, I also realize that my suggestions would result in more "moderation wars." While I don't look forward to it, I do think it's healthy on controversial threads. Also, note that I am not encouraging people to downmod posts purely for disagreement (other than the "disagree" mod, which of course does little). However, I don't think anyone should be afraid to downmod someone who is acting like a jerk, posts in bad faith, or threatens civil discussion here. Others may disagree with my stance there, but if our goal is good discussion and not just shouting and insults, I think it's important to think about.

        • (Score: 2) by Arik on Friday January 25 2019, @04:33PM

          by Arik (4543) on Friday January 25 2019, @04:33PM (#791845) Journal
          I think we agree on that.

          Of course it's relatively easy to set an objective standard like 4 posts in 24 hours then enforce that impartially. I have to understand why the admins want a rule like that. I just know from experience they never work, that just turns it into a game and whoever exploits the rule more effectively wins. I've seen that happen too many times.

          I never mod people down *merely* for disagreement but I'm all too aware of how subjective downmods are, even when I'm doing it. Is posterX really trolling, or mentally ill/incompetent or do we simply lack sufficient shared background to communicate? At some level that's impossible for me to know, or for anyone else. But at some point you just have to make an honest pick and hit the button and move on.
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
        • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @05:06PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @05:06PM (#791875)

          Veteran of the Mod Wars Blue Oyster Cult

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @06:57AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @06:57AM (#792227)

            Let's dance, city cop!

      • (Score: 3, Disagree) by SunTzuWarmaster on Friday January 25 2019, @04:46PM (10 children)

        by SunTzuWarmaster (3971) on Friday January 25 2019, @04:46PM (#791854)

        Check out some of my posting below. I think the lions' share of the solution is actually to simply limit modding. A limit on modding to "just a little, only to people with positive karma" makes a sock puppet network difficult to maintain, as the sock puppets have to contribute. 70 mods/week is just way too much - it is enough to significantly influence a discussion or to trash a user. Are people actually using 70/week?! I'm probably closer to *2*.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Arik on Friday January 25 2019, @05:08PM

          by Arik (4543) on Friday January 25 2019, @05:08PM (#791879) Journal
          We are told we need to mod to contribute to the system, so although it's sporadic, I have been trying to do more and I mod a lot more here now than I ever did on the old site. I'm guessing I probably use 30+ most weeks. Kind of scary to think that I might get banned for doing it.
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by http on Friday January 25 2019, @05:42PM (1 child)

          by http (1920) on Friday January 25 2019, @05:42PM (#791899)

          ...if you browse at -1. You'll see some that deserve to be higher, and plenty that deserves to be lower.

          --
          I browse at -1 when I have mod points. It's unsettling.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 25 2019, @09:19PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 25 2019, @09:19PM (#792017)

            Thank you for shaping the content that I see, I don't generally read anything that hasn't achieved at least a 3.

            Of course, the problem is achieving community consensus about - well - anything, but especially which posts "deserve" to be modded up or down. As you say, some are clear, but many will fall into a grey area where some think they are good and some think they are bad, and which way those fall has a big impact on the content that floats up above a 2.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by RandomFactor on Friday January 25 2019, @11:17PM

          by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @11:17PM (#792087) Journal

          Someone got peeved at me a month or so ago (probably because there are NHL and Olympic Ice Hockey Rink dimensions, and i was using the wrong one for measurement). It was idly interesting to see all the notices of old posts getting downmodded. They apparently got bored after a few days though.

          I vaguely wonder if they hit the limit or were using multiple accounts.

          Curse you Red Downmod Bomber!!

          --
          В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
        • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday January 25 2019, @11:25PM (1 child)

          by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Friday January 25 2019, @11:25PM (#792092) Journal

          I'd have to see moderation statistics. I'm not opposed to limiting the number of mod points, but my perception for why we have so many here is to ensure adequate moderation within a relatively small community. Some days I have used all 10 of my mod points (though VERY rarely), most days I probably use 0. I should probably do more.

          Anyhow, if we can get adequate moderation of posts with a lot number of points granted per individual, that's fine by me. Or, as I think you (and others) have noted, only give large numbers of mod points to those who are consistently maintaining high karma or good posts or whatever.

          • (Score: 2) by Hyper on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:03AM

            by Hyper (1525) on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:03AM (#792230) Journal

            This is a good idea!
            Publish anonymized moderation stats.
            In graph form of de-identification is a concern.

            Who mods the most? Daily? Weekly?

            Are there positive and negative modding patterns between specific accounts? (Stripped of user names etc of course)?

            Who up votes or down votes the most?

            Do we get badges for hitting limits? "Modded positively 300 times" You get the Community Member award.
            Modded 30,000 times! You get the "Part of the furniture" award!

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by acid andy on Friday January 25 2019, @11:56PM (1 child)

          by acid andy (1683) on Friday January 25 2019, @11:56PM (#792103) Homepage Journal

          Here's why the mod points got increased to 10: Too much trolling [soylentnews.org]. At the time, I agreed with the decision and it seemed to help a lot at fighting some of the off-topic spam and trolling whilst still leaving enough mod points to upvote genuinely positive contributions.

          --
          Consumerism is poison.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by SunTzuWarmaster on Saturday January 26 2019, @12:47AM

            by SunTzuWarmaster (3971) on Saturday January 26 2019, @12:47AM (#792124)

            Thanks for referring me to this. Maybe a solution is what was suggested there? Separate modding pools for AC/realUsers? That would seem to solve both the two classes of (traditional and sockPuppet).

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by stretch611 on Monday January 28 2019, @06:06AM (1 child)

          by stretch611 (6199) on Monday January 28 2019, @06:06AM (#792906)

          Personally, I agree with the 10 moderations a day.

          I admit that I do not always use them all and often enough I do not use any. But I am more likely to mod knowing that I have points left if I see another worthy post.

          However, maybe we should make a change to base the number of moderations you get on your current karma. Instead of everyone getting 10 points when they have a karma of 20+ (I don't remember what the minimum is any more.) Maybe you get 5 mod points at 20+, and 10 mod points at a karma of 45+. I would expect that most of the regular SN community that people listen too have a 50 karma, (I would not require 50 only because anyone can have a bad post from time to time.)

          A similar possibility would be to assign 2 mod points to anyone with a karma of 20, and add 2 more mod points per day for every 5 more karma. (e.g. 20karma = 2mods/day, 25 karma = 4 mods/day, 30 karma = 6 mods/day, ... )

          This idea will not eliminate mod bombing, but it will make it take longer before a sock puppet account can become effective.

          --
          Now with 5 covid vaccine shots/boosters altering my DNA :P
      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Gault.Drakkor on Friday January 25 2019, @08:25PM (1 child)

        by Gault.Drakkor (1079) on Friday January 25 2019, @08:25PM (#791981)

        Obviously I also agree with Arik that any major action should be reviewed by an admin, rather than just an automated rule.

        This perhaps over time could add up to some chunk of admin/moderator time. Perhaps maybe a system where first tier of review is other logged in members. Probably would need a settings flag set indicating: 'willing to adjudicate'.

        Proposed procedure.
        An event of suspected mod bombing/sock puppetry(or other event) occurs and review is desired.
        The relevant information is displayed to say five users(or more). The users make a decision on a sliding scale 0..100.
        If all users agree (low standard deviation) then appropriate automated action is taken.
        If users disagree more users can be asked or it is bumped up for moderator/admin review.

        Benefits:
        Allow some semi automated salable review, with reviewers being community members.
        Keep workload of dedicated moderators/admins lower.
        Concerns:
        Will selected users be fair and impartial?
        Will enough users be willing and actually do adjudication when asked?
        How much would it cost to create relevant information display? I would suppose a compact view would be good idea even for admins/moderators.
        Would revealing account X is doing mods y be too much privacy dropping?
        Is this happening often enough for this to be worth while?

        • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Friday January 25 2019, @11:31PM

          by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Friday January 25 2019, @11:31PM (#792097) Journal

          The key word in my post was "MAJOR action." To me, a "major" action would be something like banning a user from moderation for a month or more, banning a user from posting (temporarily or permanently), and such things. I don't imagine these would be triggered very often. Warnings and a temporary ban on moderation for a day or even a week seems like it could be automated -- most users actually engaging in bad behavior will likely get the hint, and if the system is flagging false positives, they can contact admins about it.

          (Again, note that my post suggested a relatively high bar for warnings and bans -- like 20 fairly consistent mods from user1 to user2 within a week, perhaps an even higher threshold for upmods. And warnings should be clearly given before any banning takes place.)

      • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Friday January 25 2019, @11:02PM (5 children)

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Friday January 25 2019, @11:02PM (#792078)

        Perhaps I am misunderstanding but I took the concept of mod bombs to refer to moderating a single post multiple times, not just modding for or against a particular user across the board.

        • (Score: 2) by Arik on Saturday January 26 2019, @01:47AM (4 children)

          by Arik (4543) on Saturday January 26 2019, @01:47AM (#792141) Journal
          You're only allowed to moderate each post once.

          If someone triggers you so badly you want to make a real impact on their karma, you have to go back and look at their previous posts and hand out mod points on those also.
          --
          If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:06AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:06AM (#792231)

            Some people are sick in the head.

            No, I don't mean MDC. Actually ill. In need of therapy. Or a hug.

          • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Monday January 28 2019, @09:51PM (1 child)

            by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Monday January 28 2019, @09:51PM (#793241)

            If someone triggers you so badly you want to make a real impact on their karma, you have to go back and look at their previous posts and hand out mod points on those also.

            Ah, I see. Wow. That seems like a whole lot more effort than I'm interested in putting forth. I can't say I haven't up or downmodded any particular user more than once in any given session, but I at least think I base any such decisions on the content of a post, I don't really pay too much attention to the user. It's usually more fun to argue the stupid and/or trollish posts, and watch them dig themselves deeper.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by dvader on Friday January 25 2019, @11:13PM

        by dvader (1936) on Friday January 25 2019, @11:13PM (#792085)

        +1 to Third and Fourth.

        Modding based on relation and not content should be discouraged. To avoid bias, a single but active user should ideally not have as much influence as many less active ones.

        Modding serves one main purpose: it makes the site readable. Karma etc is secondary (imho) and only necessary for distribution of mod points.

        If I had a lot of time for implementation, I would try different measures of suspect behavior and perhaps make automated ban rules based on a total score. Things like:

        1. Distribution of mods. Score based on how many percent of the up/down-mods go to the same person
        2. Timing. How long does the user spend "reading" a thread before modding. Rapid modding would be more suspicious than slow.
        3. Account activity. How many articles are read, comments are written, mods are applied etc.
        4. Controversial mods. Is the mod "aligned" with the general consensus about the comment/user? This would of course never be enough on its own but could indicate if someone is actively trying to inflate a comment/user.
        5. ...

        On their own 2-4 mean nothing but a medium score on 1 and high on 2-4 would be suspicious. The best would be to implement and gather data for six months, then analyze and see what combination of factors indicates suspicious activity.

        However, I am painfully aware that time is limited for most people so a hard rule of max N mods / day / user is better than nothing. The kind of behavior the summary described is detrimental to the site and should be dealt with. In fact, on top of banning, I would argue for flagging and Karma removal from the target after a manual review.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by requerdanos on Saturday January 26 2019, @12:39AM

        by requerdanos (5997) on Saturday January 26 2019, @12:39AM (#792118) Journal

        I'm very surprised that 4 downmods in one day is a sufficient threshold to flag someone as "mod bombing." Heck, I've seen a single poster frequently make 4 downmod-worthy posts on a single article!

        Rather than moderating sensibly, which is apparently no longer desired, I am going to take this opportunity to post instead and say that the above statement is all three of interesting, informative, and insightful, if one-sided--because there are regular users who've made four *upmod*-worthy posts on a single article. Takyon comes to mind as doing this on a regular basis, but there are others.

        In any case, this site does not have a large enough userbase of regular posters for four (or 4*4) of *anything* matching between two given users being any sort of "bomb," good or bad, and if someone is looking at such trivial stats and worrying over them, then I salute their dedication but disagree with their conclusions.

        It's the same people story in and story out that make comments. Some of the same people make regular insightful posts and get the love frequently, and some of the same people make regular insipid posts and get the -1. "Dealing with" *four* of something (as "abuse"!) has nothing to do with "mod bombs" or "sock puppets." There's going to be a significant overlap between these "bomb groups" and "people who actively moderate." By all means, automatically remove moderation points from people who consistently mod up the good and mod down the junk, but only if moderation isn't important to you, because, again, anyone doing that is applying moderation to the same small group over and over and is going to match at least "four same mods" over and over. I am not a super-regular moderator, but I have certainly matched the both four-down-mods and four-up-mods in 24 hours because when I set about moderating, I moderate posts made by the same people posting over and over.

        The tldr in case you missed it: This site does not have a large enough userbase of regular posters for four (or 4*4) of *anything* matching between two given users being any sort of "bomb."

        Proposed: Four (4) or more upmods in 24 hours should also be considered a mod bomb (sock bomb?) and should receive the same treatment.
        The point of moderation is not to bestow karma points, it is to help improve the visibility of well-written comments and reduce the visibility of the lesser ones.... I'd appreciate your feedback and thoughts on this....Ultimately, it's your site. How do you want us to deal with sockpuppets?

        I believe that your proposal to limit any interaction between two users (including upmod or downmod) to such a low threshold will produce results that group actual up or down bombs together with expected moderation behavior given the active and posting size of the userbase on a given day.

        Given the "four mod limit" it's hard to take seriously the sockpuppet question, since four upmods do not a sockpuppet make. But I'd say that setting reasonable automatic thresholds such as ten upmods per day more than one day in a (some short period) + a total of (some reasonably high number >50 such as the 80 you mentioned) over a slightly longer period, with (some)% total mods applied to same user. Once someone meets a threshold, a live person (preferably more than one) should look and see whether the data indeed have revealed sockpuppetry or modbombery, with mod points withdrawn in clear cases where that's so.

        Four upmods for user3 means user3 is making good, helpful posts that should rise to the top. Four downmods for user4 means that user4 is making insipid, offtopic, redundant, or whatever posts that should not rise to the top. Neither of these people is being "bombed." We're just discussing the news a couple days after it happened here, because we don't go to the general store.

        Karma, as you point out, is not a "reward", and a consequence of that is that twenty sock puppets upmodding mr_egotistical just gets his karma to max value--with no detriment to the site other than the maybe-not-upmodworthy posts that he has made being a few points higher than they would otherwise be.

        Thanks & Peace.

      • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Saturday January 26 2019, @03:18AM

        by coolgopher (1157) on Saturday January 26 2019, @03:18AM (#792160)

        Good points, and I'm largely in agreement I think. One thing I do see as an obvious weakness here is that it would encourage large-scale sock-puppetry where before a single sock could give +20 karma, now 20 socks will be used. Maybe they'll circle-jerk for good measure. At that point it becomes a matter of distinguishing modding groups, which again can be interfered with by the socks also randomly modding others. Continue the race for a while longer and it'll soon be algorithmically implausible to distinguish between frequent socks groups and frequent genuine groups.

        One option to delay this progression might be to a) only allow any one user to affect another's karma by +/- 1 at any given time, and b) only allow that effect provided the user is already in good karma standing. I think SN has the critical mass to sustain such a scheme now. Something along those veins would make it quite tiresome to get even a single sock account up to the level where it can affect karma.

        Another option which strikes me as somewhat more dangerous, is to give subscribers some sort of extra boost (e.g. more mod points, a +/- 2 karma cap, etc). The rationale would be that at least they've put some money where their mouth is, but the downsides are obvious, and I could easily argue that SN should not become so easily influenced by doshing around. I'm also reminded of the Blizzard Real Id saga [cad-comic.com] here...

      • (Score: 2) by gringer on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:31AM

        by gringer (962) on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:31AM (#792246)

        karma should be hard to earn, should take some time, and should require community consensus

        Then make every unique upmod (or downmod) count towards karma, making it impossible for a single user to [significantly] bump up another user's karma, no matter how much they are upmodded.

        --
        Ask me about Sequencing DNA in front of Linus Torvalds [youtube.com]
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by stretch611 on Monday January 28 2019, @05:37AM

        by stretch611 (6199) on Monday January 28 2019, @05:37AM (#792902)

        Third, the above comments also presuppose modification to karma calculation. I don't know the details of the current karma calculation, but I do think a single user shouldn't be able to affect another user's karma by a huge amount (particularly over a short time). Someone else here proposed a limit of user1 affecting user2's karma by a maximum of 1 point per day. I think that's reasonable, and will cut down on any possible effects of modbombing or sockpuppetry without discouraging moderation of posts.

        Actually, this sounds like a good idea to me. You should be allowed to moderate any number of posts, but only allow one point of karma change between users per day.

        I do not see this as being a big moderation problem. Most individual comments will be corrected by the rest of the community... if you post crap, it will be modded down. If you are unjustifiably modded down, usually the community will mod you back up. (This will fail if the mod bomber goes back a week to an old story to change moderation, but then again, how many people read something older than a few days.)

        As long as the rest of the community continues to properly moderate, Adding one point of Karma per day from a sock puppet account should be overpowered by down mods and negative karma from the rest of the community.

        As for the sock puppet account, when caught, in addition to losing mod privileges for 30 days, maybe they can lose 10-20 karma in that account (or even all karma) This will require a sock puppet account to rebuild their karma in order to mod bomb again. (And unless you are in tune with the rest of the community, I would think this would be a long time to rebuild a reputation.)

        --
        Now with 5 covid vaccine shots/boosters altering my DNA :P
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:45AM (5 children)

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:45AM (#792184) Homepage Journal

      It's five not four. And we haven't been mod-banning for it for most of a year, just reversing the moderations. We might toss a "shame shame, we know your name" admin to user message if we felt like it too. When we moved up to ten points a day to give folks more ability to downmod the same exact guy's garbage and often spam posts, I did say in the announcement that the cut-off for a mod bomb would still be five. I'm just shit at updating documentation promptly.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Monday January 28 2019, @01:41PM (4 children)

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Monday January 28 2019, @01:41PM (#792980) Homepage Journal

        You gave the Down Modders DOUBLE Down Mods. You said, go after Anonymous, Down Mod Anonymous. At the time, you said Anonymous was causing big problems. By making too many "bad" Tweets. You said, it's more than one person. And now you're saying, there's a "guy." And you're not saying, "oh, Anonymous is fine, it's not Anonymous." You're saying, the big problem now is somebody who, supposedly, has accounts, uses accounts. You think, if you ban the bad accounts, ban the bad IP Cyber, the horrible Tweets will stop. And everything will be beautiful. You changed your story, big league. 100%. And maybe you knew all along what was going on, but you have a grudge against Anonymous. So you said, "oh, it's Anonymous." Or maybe you didn't know. Maybe you still don't know.

        And there were some horrible tweets from Anonymous, that's so true. The baby rape, baby murder. Woman rape & murder. And they did stop -- after many months. Many months with the Double Down Mods, didn't seem to make much difference to that person. Then he or she stopped. Who knows why? Could be a new job -- so many folks getting much better jobs now. A fabulous vacation. Or a new child -- big responsibility. I haven't seen those tweets in awhile, a month or a few months. But, no announcement from the Administration. Of, "we caught the bad Tweeter, everything is back to normal!" I didn't see the announcement about that one. No explanation about the TOTAL change in your story. No cancel on the Double Down Mods. But, big fuss about too many Up Mods.

        But now this big fuss about too many Up Mods. Now it's, your Administration is saying, big problem with Socks -- Sock Fetish. The Socks doing bad Tweets and Up Moding them. The "garbage & spam" Tweets. And you're saying, this is the same person as before. But before, you said it was a bunch of people, you said it was Anonymous. Like I said, big change in your story.

        It's a lot like the Mueller Witch Hunt. Which supposedly was about, did Russia fix the Election, did Russia get us elected. That was the story. Right? But they didn't look at the before, they're not looking at that. They're looking at the after. After the election and after I took office. And they've found ZERO about the before, about my 2016 campaign. It's a total disgrace. Which has wasted tens of millions of dollars. They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction, but they aren’t looking at the corruption in the Hillary Clinton Campaign where she deleted 33,000 Emails, got $145,000,000 while Secretary of State, paid McCabes wife $700,000 (and got off the FBI hook along with Terry M) and so much more. Republicans and real Americans should start getting tough on this Scam. It's totally phoney. But it sells newspapers. It brings big ratings for the TV. And so many "views" for the websites. Like your Sock Hunt is bringing many "views." Many Tweets. And big donations. Congratulations!!!

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 29 2019, @04:06AM (3 children)

          by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Tuesday January 29 2019, @04:06AM (#793425) Homepage Journal

          The anonymous asshat problem was solved - to my satisfaction at least - by the additional points being distributed. The asshat who's modding themselves with sockpuppet accounts is another story entirely.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday January 29 2019, @06:03AM (2 children)

            by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday January 29 2019, @06:03AM (#793442) Homepage Journal

            Different story, but same exact guy. Crazy!

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday January 29 2019, @11:32AM (1 child)

              by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Tuesday January 29 2019, @11:32AM (#793492) Homepage Journal

              He appears fairly determined to be a dick who screws things up for the entire community, yes.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
              • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday January 29 2019, @12:58PM

                by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday January 29 2019, @12:58PM (#793522) Homepage Journal

                2017, you said a bunch of people were causing problems. Now you say it's one. And you're saying it was that one all along. Like you don't really know who you're fighting.

                The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our Country, going into the Middle East, by President Bush. Seven trillion, and millions of lives -- you know, because I like to count both sides. Millions of lives. The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn't kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him. And George Bush -- by the way, George Bush had the chance, also, and he didn't listen to the advice of his C.I.A. He went after Iraq, very strongly. But Iraq had nothing to do with it. He went after Afghanistan. And they had a lot to do with it. But, Osama wasn't there. Osama was in Pakistan. Big waste of lives & money. But, it made George Bush very popular. Good luck with your Osama!!

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by deathlyslow on Friday January 25 2019, @01:45PM (8 children)

    by deathlyslow (2818) <wmasmith@gmail.com> on Friday January 25 2019, @01:45PM (#791716)

    I would also add that you post up the puppet accounts. That way we, with mod points, can ignore or down mod. I really don't use mod points too often. I take the comments at face value, which lets be honest here, may or may not be worth the electricity it too to display them. I don't get mad at peoples comments like some do. One thing is certain though it'll not really change as someone will always find a way to game the system.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 25 2019, @03:56PM (7 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 25 2019, @03:56PM (#791820)

      someone will always find a way to game the system.

      Someone pointed out that you don't have to login to post AC - well, with that door wide open the site could get flooded with bot generated garbage. Sure, there's a 2 minute hold between posts (which someone determined enough could probably circumvent), but even at face value, that's an opening for 720 garbage comments per 24 hours from every throttled spambot.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @04:18PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @04:18PM (#791834)

        Hey, you're right, AC doesn't need to login!

        Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

        Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

        But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @04:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @04:20PM (#791835)

        Hey, you're right, AC doesn't need to login:

        Industrial Society and Its Future
        Theodore Kaczynski
        1995
        INTRODUCTION
        1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have
        been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly
        increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in
        “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society,
        have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings
        to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering
        (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and
        have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The
        continued development of technology will worsen the situation.
        It will certainly subject human being to greater indignities
        and inflict greater damage on the natural world,
        it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological
        suffering, and it may lead to increased physical
        suffering even in “advanced” countries.
        2. The industrial-technological system may survive or it
        may break down. If it survives, it MAY eventually achieve
        a low level of physical and psychological suffering, but
        only after passing through a long and very painful period
        of adjustment and only at the cost of permanently reducing
        human beings and many other living organisms to
        engineered products and mere cogs in the social machine.
        Furthermore, if the system survives, the consequences will
        be inevitable: There is no way of reforming or modifying
        the system so as to prevent it from depriving people of
        dignity and autonomy.
        3. If the system breaks down the consequences will still
        be very painful. But the bigger the system grows the more
        disastrous the results of its breakdown will be, so if it is
        to break down it had best break down sooner rather than
        later.
        4. We therefore advocate a revolution against the industrial
        system. This revolution may or may not make use
        of violence; it may be sudden or it may be a relatively
        gradual process spanning a few decades. We can’t predict
        any of that. But we do outline in a very general way the
        measures that those who hate the industrial system should
        take in order to prepare the way for a revolution against
        that form of society. This is not to be a POLITICAL revolution.
        Its object will be to overthrow not governments
        but the economic and technological basis of the present
        society.
        5. In this article we give attention to only some of
        the negative developments that have grown out of the
        industrial-technological system. Other such developments
        we mention only briefly or ignore altogether. This does not
        mean that we regard these other developments as unimportant.
        For practical reasons we have to confine our discussion
        to areas that have received insufficient public attention
        or in which we have something new to say. For
        example, since there are well-developed environmental
        and wilderness movements, we have written very little
        about environmental degradation or the destruction of
        wild nature, even though we consider these to be highly
        important.
        THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MODERN LEFTISM
        6. Almost everyone will agree that we live in a deeply
        troubled society. One of the most widespread manifestations
        of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion
        of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction
        to the discussion of the problems of modern society
        in general.
        7. But what is leftism? During the first half of the 20th
        century leftism could have been practically identified with
        socialism. Today the movement is fragmented and it is not
        clear who can properly be called a leftist. When we speak
        of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists,
        collectivists, “politically correct” types, feminists, gay and
        disability activists, animal rights activists and the like. But
        not everyone who is associated with one of these movements
        is a leftist. What we are trying to get at in discussing
        leftism is not so much movement or an ideology as a
        psychological type, or rather a collection of related types.
        Thus, what we mean by “leftism” will emerge more clearly
        in the course of our discussion of leftist psychology. (Also,
        see paragraphs 227-230.)
        8. Even so, our conception of leftism will remain a good
        deal less clear than we would wish, but there doesn’t seem
        to be any remedy for this. All we are trying to do here is
        indicate in a rough and approximate way the two psychological
        tendencies that we believe are the main driving
        force of modern leftism. We by no means claim to be telling
        the WHOLE truth about leftist psychology. Also, our
        discussion is meant to apply to modern leftism only. We
        leave open the question of the extent to which our discussion
        could be applied to the leftists of the 19th and early
        20th centuries.
        9. The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern
        leftism we call “feelings of inferiority” and “oversocialization”.
        Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of
        modern leftism as a whole, while oversocialization is characteristic
        only of a certain segment of modern leftism;
        but this segment is highly influential.

      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @04:23PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @04:23PM (#791837)

        Hey, you're right, AC doesn't need to login!

        FEELINGS OF INFERIORITY
        10. By “feelings of inferiority” we mean not only inferiority
        feelings in the strict sense but a whole spectrum
        of related traits; low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness,
        depressive tendencies, defeatism, guilt, self-hatred,
        1
        etc. We argue that modern leftists tend to have some such
        feelings (possibly more or less repressed) and that these
        feelings are decisive in determining the direction of modern
        leftism.
        11. When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything
        that is said about him (or about groups with whom
        he identifies) we conclude that he has inferiority feelings
        or low self-esteem. This tendency is pronounced among
        minority rights activists, whether or not they belong to the
        minority groups whose rights they defend. They are hypersensitive
        about the words used to designate minorities
        and about anything that is said concerning minorities. The
        terms “negro”, “oriental”, “handicapped” or “chick” for an
        African, an Asian, a disabled person or a woman originally
        had no derogatory connotation. “Broad” and “chick”
        were merely the feminine equivalents of “guy”, “dude” or
        “fellow”. The negative connotations have been attached
        to these terms by the activists themselves. Some animal
        rights activists have gone so far as to reject the word
        “pet” and insist on its replacement by “animal companion”.
        Leftish anthropologists go to great lengths to avoid
        saying anything about primitive peoples that could conceivably
        be interpreted as negative. They want to replace the
        word “primitive” by “nonliterate”. They seem almost paranoid
        about anything that might suggest that any primitive
        culture is inferior to our own. (We do not mean to imply
        that primitive cultures ARE inferior to ours. We merely
        point out the hyper sensitivity of leftish anthropologists.)
        12. Those who are most sensitive about “politically incorrect”
        terminology are not the average black ghettodweller,
        Asian immigrant, abused woman or disabled person,
        but a minority of activists, many of whom do not
        even belong to any “oppressed” group but come from
        privileged strata of society. Political correctness has its
        stronghold among university professors, who have secure
        employment with comfortable salaries, and the majority
        of whom are heterosexual white males from middle- to
        upper-middle-class families.
        13. Many leftists have an intense identification with the
        problems of groups that have an image of being weak
        (women), defeated (American Indians), repellent (homosexuals)
        or otherwise inferior. The leftists themselves feel
        that these groups are inferior. They would never admit to
        themselves that they have such feelings, but it is precisely
        because they do see these groups as inferior that they
        identify with their problems. (We do not mean to suggest
        that women, Indians, etc. ARE inferior; we are only making
        a point about leftist psychology.)
        14. Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women
        are as strong and as capable as men. Clearly they are
        nagged by a fear that women may NOT be as strong and
        as capable as men.
        15. Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image
        of being strong, good and successful. They hate America,
        they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they
        hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating
        the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real
        motives. They SAY they hate the West because it is warlike,
        imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so forth, but
        where these same faults appear in socialist countries or
        in primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them,
        or at best he GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas
        he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly
        exaggerates) these faults where they appear in Western
        civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are not the
        leftist’s real motive for hating America and the West. He
        hates America and the West because they are strong and
        successful.
        16. Words like “self-confidence”, “self-reliance”, “initiative”,
        “enterprise”, “optimism”, etc., play little role
        in the liberal and leftist vocabulary. The leftist is antiindividualistic,
        pro-collectivist. He wants society to solve
        every one’s problems for them, satisfy everyone’s needs
        for them, take care of them. He is not the sort of person
        who has an inner sense of confidence in his ability to solve
        his own problems and satisfy his own needs. The leftist is
        antagohistic to the concept of competition because, deep
        inside, he feels like a loser.
        17. Art forms that appeal to modern leftish intellectuals
        tend to focus on sordidness, defeat and despair, or
        else they take an orgiastic tone, throwing off rational
        control as if there were no hope of accomplishing anything
        through rational calculation and all that was left was
        to immerse oneself in the sensations of the moment.
        18. Modern leftish philosophers tend to dismiss reason,
        science, objective reality and to insist that everything is
        culturally relative. It is true that one can ask serious questions
        about the foundations of scientific knowledge and
        about how, if at all, the concept of objective reality can
        be defined. But it is obvious that modern leftish philosophers
        are not simply cool-headed logicians systematically
        analyzing the foundations of knowledge. They are deeply
        involved emotionally in their attack on truth and reality.
        They attack these concepts because of their own psychological
        needs. For one thing, their attack is an outlet for
        hostility, and, to the extent that it is successful, it satisfies
        the drive for power. More importantly, the leftist hates
        science and rationality because they classify certain beliefs
        as true (i.e., successful, superior) and other beliefs as false
        (i.e., failed, inferior). The leftist’s feelings of inferiority
        run so deep that he cannot tolerate any classification of
        some things as successful or superior and other things as
        failed or inferior. This also underlies the rejection by many
        leftists of the concept of mental illness and of the utility of
        IQ tests. Leftists are antagonistic to genetic explanations
        of human abilities or behavior because such explanations
        tend to make some persons appear superior or inferior to
        others. Leftists prefer to give society the credit or blame
        for an individual’s ability or lack of it. Thus if a person is
        “inferior” it is not his fault, but society’s, because he has
        not been brought up properly.
        19. The leftist is not typically the kind of person whose
        feelings of inferiority make him a braggart, an egotist, a
        bully, a self-promoter, a ruthless competitor. This kind of
        person has not wholly lost faith in himself. He has a deficit
        in his sense of power and self-worth, but he can still
        conceive of himself as having the capacity to be strong,
        and his efforts to make himself strong produce his unpleasant
        behavior. [1] But the leftist is too far gone for
        that. His feelings of inferiority are so ingrained that he
        2
        cannot conceive of himself as individually strong and valuable.
        Hence the collectivism of the leftist. He can feel
        strong only as a member of a large organization or a mass
        movement with which he identifies himself.
        20. Notice the masochistic tendency of leftist tactics.
        Leftists protest by lying down in front of vehicles, they
        intentionally provoke police or racists to abuse them, etc.
        These tactics may often be effective, but many leftists use
        them not as a means to an end but because they PREFER
        masochistic tactics. Self-hatred is a leftist trait.
        21. Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated
        by compassion or by moral principles, and moral principle
        does play a role for the leftist of the oversocialized type.
        But compassion and moral principle cannot be the main
        motives for leftist activism. Hostility is too prominent a
        component of leftist behavior; so is the drive for power.
        Moreover, much leftist behavior is not rationally calculated
        to be of benefit to the people whom the leftists claim
        to be trying to help. For example, if one believes that affirmative
        action is good for black people, does it make
        sense to demand affirmative action in hostile or dogmatic
        terms? Obviously it would be more productive to take a
        diplomatic and conciliatory approach that would make at
        least verbal and symbolic concessions to white people who
        think that affirmative action discriminates against them.
        But leftist activists do not take such an approach because
        it would not satisfy their emotional needs. Helping black
        people is not their real goal. Instead, race problems serve
        as an excuse for them to express their own hostility and
        frustrated need for power. In doing so they actually harm
        black people, because the activists’ hostile attitude toward
        the white majority tends to intensify race hatred.
        22. If our society had no social problems at all, the leftists
        would have to INVENT problems in order to provide
        themselves with an excuse for making a fuss.
        23. We emphasize that the foregoing does not pretend
        to be an accurate description of everyone who might be
        considered a leftist. It is only a rough indication of a general
        tendency of leftism

      • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @04:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @04:26PM (#791838)

        Hey, you're right, AC doesn't need to login!

        OVERSOCIALIZATION
        24. Psychologists use the term “socialization” to designate
        the process by which children are trained to think
        and act as society demands. A person is said to be well
        socialized if he believes in and obeys the moral code of
        his society and fits in well as a functioning part of that
        society. It may seem senseless to say that many leftists are
        over-socialized, since the leftist is perceived as a rebel. Nevertheless,
        the position can be defended. Many leftists are
        not such rebels as they seem.
        25. The moral code of our society is so demanding that
        no one can think, feel and act in a completely moral way.
        For example, we are not supposed to hate anyone, yet
        almost everyone hates somebody at some time or other,
        whether he admits it to himself or not. Some people are
        so highly socialized that the attempt to think, feel and
        act morally imposes a severe burden on them. In order
        to avoid feelings of guilt, they continually have to deceive
        themselves about their own motives and find moral explanations
        for feelings and actions that in reality have a
        nonmoral origin. We use the term “oversocialized” to describe
        such people. [2]
        26. Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a
        sense of powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of the
        most important means by which our society socializes
        children is by making them feel ashamed of behavior or
        speech that is contrary to society’s expectations. If this is
        overdone, or if a particular child is especially susceptible
        to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed of HIMSELF.
        Moreover the thought and the behavior of the oversocialized
        person are more restricted by society’s expectations
        than are those of the lightly socialized person. The majority
        of people engage in a significant amount of naughty
        behavior. They lie, they commit petty thefts, they break
        traffic laws, they goof off at work, they hate someone, they
        say spiteful things or they use some underhanded trick to
        get ahead of the other guy. The oversocialized person cannot
        do these things, or if he does do them he generates
        in himself a sense of shame and self-hatred. The oversocialized
        person cannot even experience, without guilt,
        thoughts or feelings that are contrary to the accepted morality;
        he cannot think “unclean” thoughts. And socialization
        is not just a matter of morality; we are socialized to
        conform to many norms of behavior that do not fall under
        the heading of morality. Thus the oversocialized person is
        kept on a psychological leash and spends his life running
        on rails that society has laid down for him. In many oversocialized
        people this results in a sense of constraint and
        powerlessness that can be a severe hardship. We suggest
        that oversocialization is among the more serious cruelties
        that human being inflict on one another.
        27. We argue that a very important and influential segment
        of the modern left is oversocialized and that their
        oversocialization is of great importance in determining
        the direction of modern leftism. Leftists of the oversocialized
        type tend to be intellectuals or members of the
        upper-middle class. Notice that university intellectuals [3]
        constitute the most highly socialized segment of our society
        and also the most leftwing segment.
        28. The leftist of the oversocialized type tries to get off
        his psychological leash and assert his autonomy by rebelling.
        But usually he is not strong enough to rebel against
        the most basic values of society. Generally speaking, the
        goals of today’s leftists are NOT in conflict with the accepted
        morality. On the contrary, the left takes an accepted
        moral principle, adopts it as its own, and then accuses
        mainstream society of violating that principle. Examples:
        racial equality, equality of the sexes, helping poor people,
        peace as opposed to war, nonviolence generally, freedom
        of expression, kindness to animals. More fundamentally,
        the duty of the individual to serve society and the duty
        of society to take care of the individual. All these have
        been deeply rooted values of our society (or at least of its
        middle and upper classes [4] for a long time. These values
        are explicitly or implicitly expressed or presupposed
        in most of the material presented to us by the mainstream
        communications media and the educational system. Lef3
        tists, especially those of the oversocialized type, usually
        do not rebel against these principles but justify their hostility
        to society by claiming (with some degree of truth)
        that society is not living up to these principles.
        29. Here is an illustration of the way in which the oversocialized
        leftist shows his real attachment to the conventional
        attitudes of our society while pretending to be in
        rebellion aginst it. Many leftists push for affirmative action,
        for moving black people into high-prestige jobs, for
        improved education in black schools and more money for
        such schools; the way of life of the black “underclass” they
        regard as a social disgrace. They want to integrate the
        black man into the system, make him a business executive,
        a lawyer, a scientist just like upper-middle-class white
        people. The leftists will reply that the last thing they want
        is to make the black man into a copy of the white man; instead,
        they want to preserve African American culture. But
        in what does this preservation of African American culture
        consist? It can hardly consist in anything more than eating
        black-style food, listening to black-style music, wearing
        black-style clothing and going to a black-style church
        or mosque. In other words, it can express itself only in superficial
        matters. In all ESSENTIAL respects most leftists
        of the oversocialized type want to make the black man
        conform to white, middle-class ideals. They want to make
        him study technical subjects, become an executive or a
        scientist, spend his life climbing the status ladder to prove
        that black people are as good as white. They want to make
        black fathers “responsible,” they want black gangs to become
        nonviolent, etc. But these are exactly the values of
        the industrial- technological system. The system couldn’t
        care less what kind of music a man listens to, what kind
        of clothes he wears or what religion he believes in as long
        as he studies in school, holds a respectable job, climbs the
        status ladder, is a “responsible” parent, is nonviolent and
        so forth. In effect, however much he may deny it, the oversocialized
        leftist wants to integrate the black man into the
        system and make him adopt its values.
        30. We certainly do not claim that leftists, even of the
        oversocialized type, NEVER rebel against the fundamental
        values of our society. Clearly they sometimes do. Some
        oversocialized leftists have gone so far as to rebel against
        one of modern society’s most important principles by engaging
        in physical violence. By their own account, violence
        is for them a form of “liberation.” In other words,
        by committing violence they break through the psychological
        restraints that have been trained into them. Because
        they are oversocialized these restraints have been more
        confining for them than for others; hence their need to
        break free of them. But they usually justify their rebellion
        in terms of mainstream values. If they engage in violence
        they claim to be fighting against racism or the like.
        31. We realize that many objections could be raised to
        the foregoing thumbnail sketch of leftist psychology. The
        real situation is complex, and anything like a complete
        description of it would take several volumes even if the
        necessary data were available. We claim only to have indicated
        very roughly the two most important tendencies
        in the psychology of modern leftism.
        32. The problems of the leftist are indicative of the problems
        of our society as a whole. Low self-esteem, depressive
        tendencies and defeatism are not restricted to the left.
        Though they are especially noticeable in the left, they are
        widespread in our society. And today’s society tries to socialize
        us to a greater extent than any previous society. We
        are even told by experts how to eat, how to exercise, how
        to make love, how to raise our kids and so forth.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @04:29PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @04:29PM (#791840)

        Dear diary
        Today I saw a boy
        And I wondered if he noticed me
        He took my breath away
        Dear diary
        I can't get him off my mind
        And it scares me
        Cause I've never felt this way

        No one in this world
        Knows me better than you do
        So diary I'll confide in you

        Dear diary
        Today I saw a boy
        As he walked by I thought he smiled at me

        And I wondered
        Does he know what's in my heart
        I tried to smile, but I could hardly breathe

        Should I tell him how I feel
        Or would that scare him away
        Diary, tell me what to do
        Please tell me what to say

        Dear diary
        One touch of his hand
        Now I can't wait to see that boy again

        He smiled
        And I thought my heart could fly
        Diary, do you think that we'll be more than friends?
        I've got a feeling we'll be so much more than friends

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @05:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @05:09PM (#791880)

          thank you fuckmunch

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by gawdonblue on Friday January 25 2019, @01:45PM (40 children)

    by gawdonblue (412) on Friday January 25 2019, @01:45PM (#791717)

    In the past I might have up-modded the same user 4 times in a day when they've been on a bit of a roll - interesting/insightful/informative or funny are the mods I mostly make - but there's no way I'm anyone's sockpuppet.

    Aren't we encouraged to up-mod and, given we don't really have a huge pool of commenters aren't we likely to give some people multiple up-mods in a 24 hour period?

    I'd hate anyone to get caught up in this and be banned for trying to do the right thing. Being punished as a "sock-bomber" when that isn't the reality would definitely make someone question whether to remain as a lurker or whether to just quit the site altogether.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by kazzie on Friday January 25 2019, @02:08PM (6 children)

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @02:08PM (#791740)

      This mirrors my thoughts.

      When moderating, I don't tend to pay much attention to the author of a post: if I think it's a good post, I'll mod it up. If this sort of system were in place*, I'd feel pressured to start checking who's posts I'm promoting, for fear of accidentally upmodbombing. It would get rid of the impartiality I try to apply: moderate the content, not the person.

      Downmods are another matter: I do them far less often (I doubt I've ever done four to any group of people in a day), so I don't have to worry about accidental transgressions. I do, of course, think seriously befor applying any downmod.

      *with the proposed limits

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by kazzie on Friday January 25 2019, @02:11PM (3 children)

        by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @02:11PM (#791743)

        A further thought: sending 4 out of 5 moderating points to the same person unintentionally is relatively unlikely. But as we now get ten points a day, it's easier to give 4 points to a person without noticing.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Friday January 25 2019, @06:59PM (1 child)

          by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 25 2019, @06:59PM (#791935)

          Hence my humble contribution: If there has to be a limit, make it higher, like 7 or 8.

          I may have accidentally given 5 or more points in a day to some of the most prolific posters around here, because they occasionally do deserve it.
          Conversely, I have most likely already downvoted obvious trolls and spam more than 3 or 4 times in the same thread. (VIM guy going 10x redundant comes to mind)

          Another idea (I didn't read the comment below yet) might be to limit the full 10 points a day to people in good Karma standing and with enough posts/stories (many of us are above the 1k post threshold).
          A further idea, but that sounds like more coding, could be to keep a tally, as per the example, and prevent User2 from modding User1 more than $X times per $period

          BUT, two observations:
          1) It's not so bad that just reading posts without knowing about sockpuppets, made me wonder. Sure, the crazy over-the-top paranoid posts are often unsettling and upmodded, but I chalked this up to a subgroup agreeing with each other.
          2) It's f___ing Soylentnews, people ! I know some people buy followers on twitter or FB, but faking self-importance on SN ? What's the bloody point ? You ain't gonna get money or fame from posting here, and if everyone downvotes you, get a clue and change how you write or go write it elsewhere...

          • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Friday January 25 2019, @08:31PM

            by hemocyanin (186) on Friday January 25 2019, @08:31PM (#791984) Journal

            2) It's f___ing Soylentnews, people ! I know some people buy followers on twitter or FB, but faking self-importance on SN ? What's the bloody point ? You ain't gonna get money or fame from posting here, and if everyone downvotes you, get a clue and change how you write or go write it elsewhere...

            I'll be dropping +10 mod points on this!!

            Kidding aside -- this is a good perspective.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27 2019, @11:29AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27 2019, @11:29AM (#792602)

          I can't say I've ever really taken notice of who I'm modding
          Except ethfuel and maybe a couple of other usernames

          I guess the system could show a counter next to someone's name to show how many times per day someone from your IP has modded that account?

          EthFule (+2)
          AC (-1)
          RandomPrickWithAPoint (+1)

          Then if someone persists on modding from the same IP then they are either warranted or deliberately crossing a line.

          Of course, then people will just change IP addres. But then what do you do.

      • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Friday January 25 2019, @03:25PM

        by zocalo (302) on Friday January 25 2019, @03:25PM (#791799)
        Mine also. I seldom look at the poster unless I have a reason to. Pretty sure I've upmodded the same person multiple times in the same thread, let alone the same day, and likewise downmodded others multiple times, although I generally prefer to upvote and reserve actually downmods (e.g. not Disagree) for obvious trolls etc. which are usually ACs anyway and presumably wouldn't count here. There are probably a few specific users I hit more than others when the content misses the mark a bit too much though.

        However, I still don't think I've ever been the subject of a mod ban, other than when we only had 5-points a day and I'd managed to burn through them, as the Mod dropdowns are always there. Stats and other moderators who get there first should even it out, so the chances of hitting the cap unless you're deliberately targetting someone are probably slim. That indicates to me that the approach is probably good, but the threshold for a ban for upvoting a sockpuppet might need tuning depending on how other posters moderate. Four might work for Downmods, but some posters do tend get on a roll and post a lot of up-vote worthy posts in quick succession and maybe five, six, or even more might be the necessary threshold there. I probably go with four to start and see how it goes for a bit then do another Meta discussion for feedback - if a lot of people are complaining they're getting unwarranted bans, then up the cap.
        --
        UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 25 2019, @03:33PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @03:33PM (#791807) Journal

        Ditto that. I've often moderated a comment up or down, then looked back, to find that I don't (or do) like the person who made the post, and maybe I wouldn't have modded that way had I known who posted.

        I *think* that is a good thing. You're not supposed to shoot the messenger, right? Shoot the message instead.

        --
        We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday January 25 2019, @02:14PM (19 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday January 25 2019, @02:14PM (#791745) Journal

      I thought there was a plan to simply disable putting more than 4 up/down mods on the same user per day (though that would not stop sock puppet modding that uses multiple accounts).

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 5, Funny) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday January 25 2019, @02:28PM (11 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday January 25 2019, @02:28PM (#791756) Homepage

        You don't gotta worry about that sockpuppet shit with me. Not only am I predictable, but have a brand to uphold. But in the meantime I can draw the fire from sockpuppets so that they waste their points. Because I'm the hero Soylentnews deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So they'll hunt me. Because I can take it. Because I'm not your hero. A dickhead knight.

        • (Score: 5, Touché) by kazzie on Friday January 25 2019, @02:40PM (9 children)

          by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @02:40PM (#791768)

          Not only am I predictable, but have a brand to uphold.

          Cool, so where do we buy the t-shirts?

          (Or for this article, maybe some special edition socks...)

          • (Score: 5, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 25 2019, @04:32PM (7 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 25 2019, @04:32PM (#791843)

            I'm pretty sure it's underwear - soiled tighty whities would seem to fit the brand.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday January 25 2019, @07:48PM (5 children)

              by Freeman (732) on Friday January 25 2019, @07:48PM (#791959) Journal

              I know you're trying to be funny, but that just brings up disturbing thoughts in my mind. Like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burusera [wikipedia.org] Now, you can be equally disturbed, enjoy!

              --
              Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
              • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @09:41PM (4 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @09:41PM (#792029)

                That is the point. Do you not find EF's racist trolling disturbing?

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @01:59PM (3 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @01:59PM (#792281)

                  What racist trolling?

                  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 26 2019, @02:56PM (2 children)

                    by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Saturday January 26 2019, @02:56PM (#792311) Homepage Journal

                    Someone who says racist things because they know it'll get a rise out of people rather than because they genuinely believe them and are trying to convince anyone.

                    --
                    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27 2019, @11:24AM (1 child)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 27 2019, @11:24AM (#792601)

                      I was asking for specific examples..

            • (Score: 2) by RandomFactor on Friday January 25 2019, @11:25PM

              by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @11:25PM (#792091) Journal

              Tighty whities were discussed some time back here [soylentnews.org]

              --
              В «Правде» нет известий, в «Известиях» нет правды
          • (Score: 2) by Hyper on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:34AM

            by Hyper (1525) on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:34AM (#792247) Journal
        • (Score: 2) by SunTzuWarmaster on Friday January 25 2019, @02:59PM

          by SunTzuWarmaster (3971) on Friday January 25 2019, @02:59PM (#791785)

          Notably - you have been the target of up-mod-bomb from me in the past. I'm also not a sock puppet, but a relatively quiet real person (14 posts in the last 6 months?) with only one account. For the most part, I don't usually have anything to say beyond what has been said.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @02:46PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @02:46PM (#791773)

        Posting the rules just means that the duckheads find a way around them

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @03:09PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @03:09PM (#791790)

          Secret rule by a cabal would obviously be the superior choice!

          /s

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Friday January 25 2019, @07:10PM (3 children)

            by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 25 2019, @07:10PM (#791940)

            The secret court will contact you when you break the secret law, consider evidence you do not have access to, and will render a classified judgement.
            Oppa Gitmo-style!

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday January 25 2019, @07:32PM

              by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday January 25 2019, @07:32PM (#791949) Homepage

              Now I agree with this, to a certain extent. Of course that depends on the entire chain of command on up to be trustworthy, fair, and of sound and impartial-but-realistic judgement. And, as somebody who went by the handle Zleader told me long ago on 4chan, the entire chain of command has to be trustworthy. Unfortunately, the only modern ecosystem in which you're going to find that kind of consistency is the federal government of the Sentinel Islands. They don't call it "Sentinel" for nuthin'.

              On an unrelated note, even the mighty Linux kernel is vulnerable to fifth-columnists should it become big enough to warrant enough attention.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by SpockLogic on Friday January 25 2019, @09:42PM (1 child)

              by SpockLogic (2762) on Friday January 25 2019, @09:42PM (#792031)

              Star Chamber Modding?

              Just what we need, not.

              --
              Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
      • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Friday January 25 2019, @08:11PM

        by shortscreen (2252) on Friday January 25 2019, @08:11PM (#791976) Journal

        Sounds reasonable. Maybe have an x-times-in-a-row limit in addition to, or instead of x-per-day. Then just add a couple of new error pages.

        You already gave user1 x up-mods, get a room!

        You already gave user1 x down-mods, stop grinding that axe!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @02:41PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @02:41PM (#791769)

      In case anyone cares, I am not a sock puppet for Azuma.
      If that isn't obvious.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday January 25 2019, @05:40PM (4 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Friday January 25 2019, @05:40PM (#791897) Journal

        The SHA2 hashes for IP addresses will prove it. I need no sock puppets; I fight this battle alone. Always have, always will.

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:36AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:36AM (#792248)

          Omfg they know which stories I have posted!!
          *runs*

          Perhaps I should just post from an account :(

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 26 2019, @03:01PM

          by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Saturday January 26 2019, @03:01PM (#792313) Homepage Journal

          Confirmed. As currently does everyone on the site except one asshat.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Saturday January 26 2019, @03:50PM (1 child)

          by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 26 2019, @03:50PM (#792331) Homepage Journal

          SHA2 hashes of IP numbers? Isn't it easy to use a rainbow table on them?

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 26 2019, @06:44PM

            by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Saturday January 26 2019, @06:44PM (#792387) Homepage Journal

            For IPv4, yes. Utterly impossible for IPv6. We'd have to wipe our backup server to hold the IPv4 table on account of it not being possible to fit on any of our servers except that one but it's technically doable. It'd be easier to just put a line or two of code in to dump the uid/address combos to a new db table. You're not anonymous to us staff folks because of any code, you're anonymous to us because we do not want to know. What we don't know, we can't be made to tell anyone. Even with a $5 wrench.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 25 2019, @04:04PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 25 2019, @04:04PM (#791826)

      I'd hate anyone to get caught up in this and be banned for trying to do the right thing.

      That's why I think any algorithm / system that's implemented should include a "human in the loop" layer.

      Especially if the algorithm is published, it will be gamed and abused by those so inclined (i.e. those with far more time on their hands than I have). Putting a human in the loop would at least reduce the predictability of response and make false positive abuse ID much less likely.

      In the example you point out, I'd say that you should be flagged for moderator review, then the moderator can see you're not a bad sockpuppet and flag your account to ignore X future sockpuppet flags before you pop up in their review queue again. Or, if you're really an evil sockpuppet, they can take appropriate action and/or set you on the short leash to review you again the next time you start sockpuppeting.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday January 25 2019, @04:30PM (3 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @04:30PM (#791841) Journal

      I came here to say the same thing. i would hate to get caught up in this by innocently using moderation without any intention of breaking the rules. Either up modding or down modding.

      Maybe the rule of the 4 up/down mods in 24 hours should have some additional qualification such as your history, karma, how often you get modded Funny, Inciteful, etc.

      --
      Trump is a poor man's idea of a rich man, a weak man's idea of a strong man, and a stupid man's idea of a smart man.
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday January 25 2019, @07:21PM (2 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 25 2019, @07:21PM (#791947)

        Well, you don't have mod points if you don't have enough Karma...
        I'm still try wrap my head around the dedication required to create enough accounts and post enough comments to have enough Karma to start sockpuppetting (Firefox suggests "uppercutting". I like it).

        Why do you bother, people ? How many people bother ? Is this really epidemic enough to warrant a systematic solution, rather than a monthly "odd behavior report" with 20 lines in it for the mods to apply brains to ?

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday January 25 2019, @08:42PM

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 25 2019, @08:42PM (#791991) Journal

          Back in the day, on Y! SCOX, I had, well, I had a friend, yeah, that's it, a friend with, let's just say hundreds of accounts. That bored was a cesspool.

          But I have exactly one account on SN.

          Obviously it requires dedication to maintain numerous accounts. Or good software tooling in a language that makes this sort of thing easy. Keeps track of the cookies for each account. Login in, log out, etc. But the whole thing can be like a rube goldberg contraption that spits out a bash script of curl commands that do the massive up / downvoting. The script can be split to run on different boxes so as to come from a handful of ip addresses.

          Not that I would know anything about such things.

          --
          Trump is a poor man's idea of a rich man, a weak man's idea of a strong man, and a stupid man's idea of a smart man.
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 25 2019, @09:26PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 25 2019, @09:26PM (#792020)

          I browse SN in my spare time, which varies from weeks of absence to upwards of 2 hours some days, with an average around 20 minutes a day, I think...

          There are people with nothing but time on their hands, and limited interests (and presumably limited funds/abilities), who do derive satisfaction from a system well gamed, people well messed around with.

          Back when I was in high school, 300 baud based modem BBSs were the thing, and there were people back then who would log onto "anonymous" permitting boards and fill their floppy disks with junk messages, just to mess with the sysops.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:48AM (1 child)

      by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Saturday January 26 2019, @04:48AM (#792185) Homepage Journal

      Upmod away. He's talking about a dumbass who doesn't even have the courtesy to do it from a different IP address so there's at least some doubt.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:21AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 26 2019, @07:21AM (#792239)

        Ha. I never knew about the IP matching.
        I assumed it all goes into a database so anyone interested can pull out the raw data.

        Watch the IP hoppers then?

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