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posted by martyb on Friday June 25 2021, @12:50PM   Printer-friendly
from the The-Mod-Squad dept.

There has been some discussion about moderation on this site leading to some misconceptions and misstatements. This story is an attempt to set things straight. It lays out the historical underpinnings for moderation, history of its implementation on Slashdot, and its later refinement on SoylentNews.

Before that, though, I am going to take this opportunity to thank fnord666 who is out Alternate Editor-in-Chief. I could not handle the load alone and his efforts have made a huge difference! Further, please join me in thanking him as he reached a new milestone: over 6,500 stories posted to the site! Many a late night or rare free moment has been generously given to the site. Teamwork++!

History:
The code for this site is a fork of code written for Slashdot. In that site's early days, it was apparent that some comments were much more interesting and informative than others. It was just as apparent that some users would just as gleefully troll the community. Moderation was conceived as a way to sift the wheat from the chaff and help users more easily avoid the "lesser" comments and more easily find the "gems".

Further, to encourage posting "good" comments, Karma was introduced. "Good" comments earned Karma; "bad" comments lost Karma. Moderation was a mechanism by which Karma could be allocated.

Slashdot experimented with several ways to moderate comments. First, it was just the staff who could moderate. Soon, there were too many comments to keep up, so a select group of members from the community were invited to moderate comments. Again, that failed to scale up, so those who had been selected were invited to recommend still other users to moderate. And, again, there were scaling issues.

Solution: make Mod Points (modpoints) available to every registered user in good standing and who indicated in their preferences that they were willing to moderate.

Originally, mod points were handed out randomly and expired after something like 6 hours: "Use 'em or lose 'em".

For the most part, that seemed to work. But there were some perceived issues and meta-moderation was implemented and introduced — moderate the moderations. Unfortunately, it experienced many of the same issues that it was supposed to rectify with comments, just one level abstracted. Further, it was unwieldy and when all was said and done, didn't work all that well, anyway.

Early Tweaking:
Such was the state of things when SoylentNews started. Well sort of. The code base we started with was not current and the meta-moderation code was broken. So much so, that meta-moderation was ripped out of the code just so regular moderation could be made to work. With that behind us, we finally we had a working moderation system on our site. Yay!

That worked okay for a while, but we found ourselves with complaints from many users that they wanted to moderate and lacked mod points. Nice problem to have, right? This was combined with many more comments than moderations. It was thought that we needed more mod points made available to the community. So, after unsuccessfully tweaking the mod point allocation algorithm, it was decided to just not expire mod points until day's end. Every user in good standing got 5 mod points each morning (00:10 UTC) and those were available until day's end whereupon any remaining modpoints were reset and a new set of 5 of modpoints were allocated.

That helped! But jerks will be jerks.

Mod Bombs:
We started to run into problems with "mod bombs" where one user "A" would apply all 5 of their mod points to downmod one other user "B". So code was written to allow checking for such moderations. Staff could generate a report and find such activity. It was decided that:

If you used ALL of your modpoints to downmod ONE user, that was a modbomb. IOW, 5 downmods bad; 4 downmods were permitted.

Initially, anyone who "modbombed" was manually given a "timeout". The first time earned a one month suspension of moderation privileges. A second occurrence earned a six month suspension.

Later, because there were still many more comments than moderations, the number of modpoints allocated to each registered user having good Karma was increased from 5 to 10 per day. The modbomb threshold was, however, kept the same: 4 downmods was still okay, 5 (or more) downmods to the same user was "bad".

A complication arose in that there is no easy way for users to keep track of how many downmods they had made on one other user. User "A" may do 3 downmods of user "B" in the morning and 4 down mods of other (unrelated) users. In the afternoon they might perform 2 more downmods of user "B". Purely unintentional transgression. When you only have 5 mod points it was reasonable to assume that a user could mentally track how many times they downmodded a single user in one day. With 10 daily mod points available, that became less reasonable.

So, along with the allocation of 10 modpoints per day (easy) it was intended to have code written that would kick in when processing moderations: when the threshold was exceeded, the excess downmods would be automatically rejected. And that is still the intent.

The upshot of all that is that when checking for modbombs, we no longer give a "timeout" for 5 downmods against a single user in one day. We just revert the excess mods. We do take note of repeated excesses and are fully prepared to issue a "timeout" when warranted. (e.g. 8 downmods in one day, or several days in close proximity targeting the same user. This is not done unilaterally but rather in consultation with other staff for confirmation.)

Sock Bombs:
First, there some who failed to take the hint that, maybe, they should take a look at what they were posting when they received repeated downmods. We are a community, not your personal soapbox. So, they created new ("sock puppet") accounts and proceeded to upmod their own comments, aka a "sockbomb". Staff have ways to note such behavior based on the IPID and SUBNETID that is recorded with every comment and every moderation. We try to give the benefit of the doubt. But, certain patterns do become apparent and are not tolerated. Upmodding your own comment is grounds for an immediate moderation ban.

Second, just as there is a limit on how many downmods can be targeted at one user in a day, so there is a limit on upmods. The same limits apply, each user "A" is limited to 4 upmods of user "B" in a given day, just like for "modbombs". Again with the caveat of no up-mods of your own account..

Summary:
Our experience is that the current system could stand some refinement, automation of transgression detection and mitigation is in plan (but it will be a while), but for the most part, what we have works well in the vast majority of cases. In short, Wheaton's Law still applies: "don't be a dick". Following that seems to work the best for the most. (With apologies to anyone named Richard. =)


Original Submission

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25 2021, @08:10PM (18 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25 2021, @08:10PM (#1149296)

    Moderation was conceived as a way to sift the wheat from the chaff and help users more easily avoid the "lesser" comments and more easily find the "gems".

    TMB already established that the vast majority of users read at either 0 or -1, so mod points fail in their stated goal. Keeping something that doesn't work, and encourages the bad behaviour outlined in the article, is downright stupid.

    Stupid is as stupid does. There's a reason most social media sites allow up-voting. it rewards trolls, which increases "user engagement." Same as user moderation has done since the beginning (as acknowledged in the article - I'm repeating this because it cannot be emphasized enough. Doesn't separate the wheat from the chaff and encourages bad behaviour - the worst solution. Even yanking moderation would be better.

  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday June 25 2021, @11:36PM (17 children)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday June 25 2021, @11:36PM (#1149391) Journal

    Even yanking moderation would be better.

    Funny that most people suggesting that are ACs. Now, I wonder why that should be....? Could it be that by choosing to post as AC they do not get the opportunity to moderate, or have journals where they can discuss any topic that they choose rather than having to break into a published story and trample all over it? Of course, all of these can be solved by simply logging in.

    it rewards trolls, which increases "user engagement."

    If a comment is marked as troll or flamebait it rarely contributes positively to the discussion. I most certainly do not view it as 'user engagement'. Perhaps we are looking for different things from a site.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26 2021, @03:54AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26 2021, @03:54AM (#1149493)

      Could it be that by choosing to post as AC they do not get the opportunity to moderate, or have journals where they can discuss any topic that they choose rather than having to break into a published story and trample all over it? Of course, all of these can be solved by simply logging in.

      Are you being intentionally thick again? Users can still post anonymously. Or just open up a tab in incognito mode. Or use a second device. Or temporarily log out. So people can post AC and still moderate, have journals, etc.

      Anyone who believes that registered users aren't at least sometimes posting anonymously is delusional. And posting from another device without logging in guarantees that getting your post mod-bombed doesn't affect your karma, so probably a smart move if you know your post is going to attract ire from the usual suspects.

      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday June 26 2021, @05:36AM (1 child)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 26 2021, @05:36AM (#1149516) Journal
        None of what you have written counters the statement that I have written. Yes all those things are possible but, while as AC, they can do the things that I have stated.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26 2021, @09:37PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26 2021, @09:37PM (#1149755)
          Bullishit. They can be logged in one one devitand post anonymously from another device with ease. Pretty much everyone who has a computer also has a smartphone. So they can post anonymously from their cell phone provider and logged in from their ISP at the same time. Everything I posted was easy as shit to do. And since it's different networks, you would never know, even when looking through the logs.

          A lot of people at work use their phones instead of the company network because they don't want their boss snooping on them. Also, sometimes it's just easier to grab your phone to look up something you bookmarked rather than be arsed finding it again on the desktop:

          Times and tech have changed, old man. You need to adjust your expectations of what is easy and what is inconvenient accordingly.

          Tell us what magic pixie dust you use that can detect simultaneous users from separate networks on separate devices, one logged in, the other anonymously with no history of ever logging in. Or admit that it's easy, convenient, and you were wrong.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by aristarchus on Saturday June 26 2021, @08:13AM (2 children)

      by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday June 26 2021, @08:13AM (#1149548) Journal

      Strange there is no mention of the #Freearistarchus movement on SoylentNews! TMB objected that aristarchus was painting all "conservatives" with a broad brush, by conflating them with the alt-right. Turns out, after the insurrection in the Capitol of the United States, that aristarchus was right. But SN was complicit in the riot by the alt-right, by censoring nearly all his submissions warning how dangerous the alt-wrong stupidity could be. Now janrinok may say this is "politics", but I expect as much from MI-4, or lower. The problems with SoylentNews go far deeper than snowflake libertarians being burned. It is a systemic bias against reality, and the well known leftist bias of reality. (Oh, am I "Bob Dole"-ing myself? Sorry! )

      • (Score: 2, Troll) by janrinok on Saturday June 26 2021, @10:16AM (1 child)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 26 2021, @10:16AM (#1149573) Journal

        You were not censored. You have a journal in which you can print anything that you wish. Dress it up however you like, but you were NOT censored.

        Your comments might well have been modded down by the community, often because they appeared off-topic in stories entirely unrelated to the point you were trying to make. Few of your submissions may have been accepted, but that is because they simply became repetitive. Those that you submitted on topics other than your anti-alt-right theme were usually accepted. As martyb has already pointed out - this site is nobody's personal soap box. If you recall, I often annotated your submission rejections with the advice to put them into your journal. That you chose not to is entirely your decision. I can see why you might not do so - perhaps you felt that in your journal they would receive relatively little coverage because many people simply were not interested. If you want to push your political views why don't you join a site where that is a topic of discussion?

        Using your logic, you rarely criticise the Chinese for their actions against the Uighurs - so does that make you supportive of the Chinese? I don't recall you ever objecting to the lack of facilities for disabled and handicapped people. Does that mean that you feel that such people deserve to be left out of many parts of society? Using a quick cursory search I cannot find where you condemn the lack of medical care for poor people in America; I therefore conclude by using your logic you think that such a thing is entirely appropriate. Lack of support for your particular views does not equate to support of the opposite viewpoint.

        SN was not complicit in supporting the alt-right, or the left wing, or any other part of the political spectrum. Individuals who work on the staff are as entitled to their opinion as any other member of our community, and they can express it in their comments. But nobody on the staff has ever directed the editorial content in any specific direction, nor do I know of any instance where an individual editor displayed a bias in his or her story selection.

        • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Saturday June 26 2021, @08:01PM

          by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday June 26 2021, @08:01PM (#1149731) Journal

          I am going to try, once again, to explain to you, my dear janrinok.

          Your comments might well have been modded down by the community, often because they appeared off-topic in stories entirely unrelated to the point you were trying to make.

          Actually this is hardly ever true. On occasion, for sure, but always a finely targeted off-topic comment that makes a relevent point about the story. And my overall karma is usually maxxed out, except when Runaway or khallow, or certain eds get angry at me.

          Few of your submissions may have been accepted, but that is because they simply became repetitive.

          How could they be repetitive when they are not accepted? The only reason it looks that way (and only to those who have access to rejected subs) is that they were rejected, so I submitted more similar submissions. And, they almost always were new stories.

          Those that you submitted on topics other than your anti-alt-right theme were usually accepted.

          Not. Many seem to be rejected based solely on the submitter, namely, aristarchus. Once is a while there might be a string of acceptances when a non-biased ed is on duty, but they are soon pulled into line.

          As martyb has already pointed out - this site is nobody's personal soap box.

          But it does have a right-leaning, pseudo-libertarian editorial bias, not surprising for an allegedly "tech" site. Unfortunately, it tends to go off the deep end, and to censor anything slightly leftish. I object not to the box, but to the ground beneath it.

          If you recall, I often annotated your submission rejections with the advice to put them into your journal. That you chose not to is entirely your decision. I can see why you might not do so - perhaps you felt that in your journal they would receive relatively little coverage because many people simply were not interested.

          Someone just dinged you in this thread for your emphasis on popularity, as if SN were an ad-driven site. Little coverage? My journal entries are about the only thing recently that goes into triple digit comments, but really the amount of attention is not the point. The point is rational discussion, and the exposing of dastardly mendacity of fake-news mongering imbeciles.

          If you want to push your political views why don't you join a site where that is a topic of discussion?

          Near original member of SoylentNews. I am here to BuckFeta! I, too, am interested in science and technology. It was only after I was censored at the insistence of The Mighty Buzzard that I was launched on a crusade to save SN from an alt-right infarction.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26 2021, @02:48PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26 2021, @02:48PM (#1149647)

      Even yanking moderation would be better.

      Funny that most people suggesting that are ACs.

      I'm going to take this opportunity to remind you of what you wrote up-thread - that it would be a shame to get rid of AC posting because some of the best comments are from ACs.

      You can't have it both ways - denigrating AC posters and lauding thrm.

      It reminds me of when, in the discussion of CMS alternatives, I told you to learn to code, and you cited your experience - NONE of it relevant to web development. You are seriously out of date and refuse to consider any changes because to you change is a threat. Same as TMB.

      That's what happens when people get old and ossify. Mustn't even consider getting rid of anonymous posting, or the broken and never-was-fit-for-purpose mod points scheme or swapping out perl or even doing all the functions of real editors (which includes censorship of hate speech on broadcast TV, print media, and in the EU, online).

      Circumstances change. You don't. And you refuse to acknowledge it. Not something to be proud of, but Dunning kruger will have the final say.

      And before you get in a hissy fit, you're the one who doesn't want to get rid of anonymous posting. Because it's often the most insightful.

      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday June 26 2021, @04:05PM (7 children)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 26 2021, @04:05PM (#1149667) Journal

        The point still stands - in many cases it is those that cannot moderate who want the system scrapping. I support the input from many ACs who contribute to the stories here. There is no contradiction between these two statements. I am not denigrating ACs at all, but those of us who DO benefit from the moderation system are not the ones who are usually asking to get rid of it. It is almost though they resent other people from having something that they haven't.

        It reminds me of when, in the discussion of CMS alternatives, I told you to learn to code, and you cited your experience - NONE of it relevant to web development. You are seriously out of date and refuse to consider any changes because to you change is a threat.

        There has not been a problem caused by the current CMS for quite a long time. For the moment, and without any active developer on the team, changing it is a waste of our scarce resources. We do not have the capacity at present to do a complete rewrite of the site. However, we DO have a problem with the system configuration that we have adopted over recent years. We do have sys-admins on the team. Fortunately, they have been able to get us up and running fairly quickly and they are now reconfiguring the systems that we use to make them more robust by removing those elements that we no longer need - including the one that HAS caused several failures over the last few years.

        I have 2 personal sites/servers which use a modern CMS (1 x flask and 1 x Django) which I have written myself in Python3 and which are working satisfactorily. If you re-read my experience you will see that I mention Python there too. I cannot be held responsible if you fail to read the information presented to you. I can and do program most days, thank you. However, if you are volunteering your time to write a replacement for our Perl code by producing a CMS then you are welcome to join us. And as I said last time we had this conversation you seem to be suggesting that it wouldn't take you long at all. We will quite happily wait for you to write it.

        Circumstances change. You don't. And you refuse to acknowledge it.

        Not true at all. For the last few years I have been a full-time carer for my wife which is why I contributed less to the site than before. My circumstances have now changed and I have returned in an editorial role again. I am not responsible for development, nor sys-admin, or any of the other roles that are required to maintain a site. I am merely an editor. But we do consider - as a team - all aspects of the site's operation. We have discussed ACs - and for the moment can see no major advantage in stopping ACs from contributing. If we were to do such a thing, we would lose some valuable members of our community, and those who simply want to disrupt the site will simply create numerous false accounts and continue to do whatever you seem to think they do at the moment which justifies their removal. We are looking at the long-term future of the site and the software changes that will undoubtedly be necessary to support it - including a maintainable CMS. But that is beyond our current capacity and will have to wait a little longer. We are looking at the problem of staffing, but while many in our community complain about how the site is today, very few want to help us change it into something better.

        Please don't get into a hissy fit - but learn to read before you come back repeating the same suggestions that you made last time. We can only do whatever is possible within our current resources.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26 2021, @10:16PM (6 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26 2021, @10:16PM (#1149764)
          For most people, "quite some time" means more than just a month or two.

          And anyone can post anonymously on one network one one device, and logged in on another network on another device, simultaneously. So they have access to journals, mod points, etc.

          All while being able to post anonymously on. a second device on a separate network that they never logged in from.

          Seriously, how many users do you think don't have a cell phone with separate internet access? Completely different networks, network providers, IP ranges, browsers (so no browser fingerprint to match).

          You still think Fuck Beta is relevant. You think that by fighting against dropping user moderation it will have a catastrophic effect, because … [citatio needed]. Inertia. resistance to change. Same with every other possible change.

          Even logged in people are anonymous unless they reveal their real-life name. So requiring people to log in has sweet fuck all to do with anonymity, and more to do with "can't be arsed to."

          So the supposed "loss of anonymity" that would come with disabling anonymous posting is 100% bullshit. And it's the same fact-free bs that khallow subscribes to in his opposition to removing anonymous posting.

          There's plenty of throwaway email addresses available, so an email address doesn't tie you to an identity.

          But you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Or new perspectives and possibilities.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday June 27 2021, @12:52AM (5 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 27 2021, @12:52AM (#1149803) Journal

            So the supposed "loss of anonymity" that would come with disabling anonymous posting is 100% bullshit. And it's the same fact-free bs that khallow subscribes to in his opposition to removing anonymous posting.

            Except, of course, that the "loss of anonymity" is there by definition not by subscription.

            And the "they'll troll with their cell phones!" is quite the compelling argument.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 27 2021, @02:32AM (4 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 27 2021, @02:32AM (#1149845)
              Your reply is a complete load of nonsense. And you know it. Everyone has a smartphone. Most internet access now is done on smartphones. so if you're sitting at your office computer and logged in and you want to say something that you know will attract bad mods, it's childs play to post from your phone.

              It may be just to avoid people who make a habit of targeting you. As in "the ho needs the aggravation?"

              And neither the journals nor mod points is an incentive for many people to bother creating an account.

              Moderation has always been problematic, to say the least. Getting rid of it and encouraging people to express their opinion of a post by actually posting a reply is obviously much better. Moderation is for lazy inarticulate people who can't be arsed to explain why they hold a certain view, or don't want to admit they are wrong but still want some payback.

              If moderation is so important, why not create shadow accounts for anonymous posters, complete with karma and the ability to moderate? Each shadow account would have an auto-generated identifier, such as AC1234, AC1235, etc. And journals. and a posting history. And mod points.

              Give them the ability to claim the account and change the name, problem solved (if you REALLY REALLY REALLY believe that moderation and journals are so important). Or give reasons why moderation and journals aren't that important after all. Your move.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday June 27 2021, @06:02AM (3 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 27 2021, @06:02AM (#1149879) Journal

                Moderation has always been problematic, to say the least.

                Funny how I've been on Slashdot since 2000 and here since 2014, and I have yet to have a problem with moderation - somehow I just never get mod bombed. My good posts get modded up, my trolls get modded down. Everything working as expected for longer than you've been out of diapers. So to say the least, moderation isn't significantly problematic.

                If moderation is so important, why not create shadow accounts for anonymous posters, complete with karma and the ability to moderate? Each shadow account would have an auto-generated identifier, such as AC1234, AC1235, etc. And journals. and a posting history. And mod points.

                Is that suggestion supposed to go somewhere? Seems a bit non sequiturish to me. Might as well suggest we make the Moon out of purple cheese - because moderation is so important, of course.

                I'll note the habit of spammers to game freebies. Try surfing this [soylentnews.org]. There's already spammers trying to milk the system via journal posting - we just don't see them because of the modest activity threshold required to write journals that are visible to the outside world. Why make a system that's easy to exploit? We already know it would be a bad idea.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 27 2021, @12:35PM (2 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 27 2021, @12:35PM (#1149932)
                  Read the article. It's quite clear that moderation encourages bad behaviour. Heck, just read the title.

                  Again, if user moderation is so great, why not open it to non-registered users? You already have registered users gaming the system (RTFA). So what's the difference. And most registered users are de facto anonymous - you don't see them posting under their legal names - so what is the difference?

                  You're making a distinction without a difference. Fact: Most registered users are anonymous. They don't use their full legal name. And then they have the nerve to say that ACs are cowards. While saying it would be "dangerous" to post under their real identity. Teuly hypocritical cowards.

                  So what your position comes down to is (a) when push comes to shove, moderation isn't important enough to extend to everyone, (b) that most registered users are de facto anonymous cowards too afraid to use their real names, (c) a real name policy for allowing pisting would encourage people to self-police rather than posting unbridled hate speech because of rwal-world consequences, (d) there is zero proof that requiring people to register to post will drive a significant portion of posters away, and (e) when offered the solution of creating accounts for everyone to avoid this, you reject it.

                  Truly Alice in Wonderland logic.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday June 27 2021, @11:32PM (1 child)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 27 2021, @11:32PM (#1150140) Journal

                    Read the article. It's quite clear that moderation encourages bad behaviour.

                    I did. And what I observe in the real world is that there's not a lot of incentive in this system to do this sort of bad behavior. It's work, and you don't get much out of it, especially when admins run interference.

                    You're making a distinction without a difference. Fact: Most registered users are anonymous. They don't use their full legal name. And then they have the nerve to say that ACs are cowards. While saying it would be "dangerous" to post under their real identity. Teuly hypocritical cowards.

                    To be fair, it doesn't take much nerve.

                    So what your position comes down to is (a) when push comes to shove, moderation isn't important enough to extend to everyone, (b) that most registered users are de facto anonymous cowards too afraid to use their real names, (c) a real name policy for allowing pisting would encourage people to self-police rather than posting unbridled hate speech because of rwal-world consequences, (d) there is zero proof that requiring people to register to post will drive a significant portion of posters away, and (e) when offered the solution of creating accounts for everyone to avoid this, you reject it.

                    You're nobody. Literally. We have no idea who you are. So no use trying to extend moderation when we aren't keeping track of you.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28 2021, @07:04AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28 2021, @07:04AM (#1150252)

                      It's probably Ari, again!

    • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Saturday June 26 2021, @08:06PM (1 child)

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 26 2021, @08:06PM (#1149732)

      Perhaps it's the other way around: they stay as ACs instead of logging in because they see no value in moderation?

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26 2021, @11:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26 2021, @11:11PM (#1149779)
        I don't bother logging in because I am too lazy to. The benefits (journal and mod points) don't meet the inertia. Adults realize that mod points mean squat. And there are plenty of blogging platforms out there.

        Sure, I could create an account, but WHY? I could create one using a pseudonym , but there's no real value to that, because I don't think friends, family, and coworkers would be able to filter out the crap, so "why are you posting THERE?"

        I could post with my real name, but then random people searching for me would come upon this place. And judge me negatively because this site is quite retrograde. Because people do judge you by the company you keep.

        Of course if everyone had to post using their verified real name a lot of the rightwing libertarian and racist crap would just disappear.