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

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

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

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

There it states:

Spam Mod

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

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

Examples

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

  • Proper spam. Anything whose primary purpose is advertisement (unless somehow relevant to the discussion/article).
  • HOSTS/GNAA/etc... type posts. Recurring, useless annoyances we're all familiar with.
  • Posts so offtopic and lacking value to even be a troll that they can't be called anything else. See here, here or here for example.
  • Repeating the same thing over and over. This includes blockquoting entire comments without adding anything substantial to them.

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

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

Summary:
(1) simply follow Wheaton's Law:

Don't Be a Dick

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

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @08:51PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @08:51PM (#1210262)

    1st downmodded spam right here folks

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @09:11PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @09:11PM (#1210272)

    I've seen these grumblings about whether is something is Troll, Spam, Offtopic, etc. and I never really paid much attention because it seemed like arguing for arguing's sake over a distinction without a difference (they're all -1, aren't they?). For 20 years I've always looked at this as bascially "Should this be modded up or down?" and the tag that gets applied is just to roughly justify. But here:

    The spam mod is special in that is removes 10 Karma points from the user that posted the comment.

    I at least understand now why people are getting their panties in a wad about this.

    Now, I still struggle with the difference between Insightful and Informative . . .

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @09:44PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @09:44PM (#1210294)

      Insightful is for comments that analyze information, Informative is providing the information.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @10:31PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @10:31PM (#1210316)

        The Venn diagrams for those two overlap significantly, in my mind.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:51PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:51PM (#1210349) Homepage Journal

          Just do what feels good. No one ever bitches about being upmodded.

          --
          "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Thursday January 06 2022, @03:45AM

      by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Thursday January 06 2022, @03:45AM (#1210426)

      "Elephants have no sweat glands" is informative.

      "Forgiveness means letting go of the hope for a better past" is insightful.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @09:32PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @09:32PM (#1210287)

    An anti-Biden comment that had been copy-pasted on multiple articles with no substance and completely off topic got me banned for a month.

    Mighty buzzard thought such trolling was funny because it supported his political views. Not to dance on his grave but don't miss him one iota.

    Who watches the watchers? If you're going to police the Spam mod, remember a separation of powers.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:52PM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:52PM (#1210350) Homepage Journal

      I watch the watchers. And, when they aren't looking, I steal their beer from the fridge.

      --
      "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 07 2022, @12:13AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 07 2022, @12:13AM (#1210713)

        That's not watching, that's stalking

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by acid andy on Thursday January 06 2022, @01:22AM (4 children)

      by acid andy (1683) on Thursday January 06 2022, @01:22AM (#1210383) Homepage Journal

      I strongly disagreed with his politics and ethical views but he sometimes managed something approaching civil discussion. The quality of his posts was still (most of the time) a lot higher than a couple of the worst spammers that we're still stuck with. I'd gladly trade having Buzz back for them being gone. He also did really good work fixing the site, regardless of the controversies. If he ever became a politician himself though I'd feel very, very differently about him.

      --
      Master of the science of the art of the science of art.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jelizondo on Thursday January 06 2022, @06:23AM (3 children)

        by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 06 2022, @06:23AM (#1210460) Journal

        I miss the old bastard. I agree with you, I strongly disagreed with his views, but given half a chance I would buy him some beers and shoot the wind with him.

        As you say, he managed to approach a civil discussion and as long as we don't have to agree with each other, I'll be happy to discuss anything, provided that we talk as civilized adults.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by aristarchus on Thursday January 06 2022, @06:56AM (1 child)

          by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday January 06 2022, @06:56AM (#1210469) Journal

          Buzzard was a Chickasaw millennial. Hardly an "old bastard", more of a young an uneducated bastard, who made it out of Oklahoma. Do try to keep up.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06 2022, @08:05AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06 2022, @08:05AM (#1210472)

            ignant bastid - hillbillies with a 6th grade edumacation are more edumacated than you

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 07 2022, @12:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 07 2022, @12:16AM (#1210717)

          and shoot the wind with him.

          Inquiring minds want to know: is this an euphemism for "farting"?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MIRV888 on Wednesday January 05 2022, @09:36PM

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Wednesday January 05 2022, @09:36PM (#1210289)

    That's one of the reasons I like this place.
    Most of the poor behavior is weeded out.
    I can't say I have never made a stupid or off topic post, but I try not to.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:06PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:06PM (#1210327)

    Sockpuppets. Modbombing. Petty bullying. Repeatedly posting purposely offensive things. It's all so high school. Even decades removed, some people never got out of high school. Most of this isn't clever trolling either, the kind of thing where you'd get someone SO worked up that they couldn't tell it was being done on purpose, then it would end with "YHBT HAND". It is like we've handed the Internet over to the perpetual 13-year-olds who fancy themselves very clever by making the same dick jokes all the time. That's one reason I miss usenet of the 80s and very early 90s; the barrier to entry was a lot higher and the level of interaction was a LOT better. Sure it could get rough (where phrases like "flaming" and "you better put on your asbestos underpants" came from), but even in those flamewars the quality of discourse was much higher in general as we waited to see when comparisons to Nazis would eventually get introduced.

    Think about sockpuppetry for a moment and all the effort that goes into that. You have to create all these accounts and track and manage them. You need to use them enough to build up the reputation to even be able to mod. You need to log out of one and into another to switch. You go to all this trouble, for what? So that you can up-mod yourself on one particular account, or down-mod someone else? Was all that effort really worth it? That's pretty sad, even if you're retired and surfing around the Net with not much else to do.

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by aristarchus on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:10PM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:10PM (#1210329) Journal

      You seem to know an awful lot about the mechanics of sock-puppetry! Did you come by this through experience? But you are right about the adolescent level of discourse. I wonder what would drive someone to resort to such difficult means to remain part of the conversation? Could it be, censorship?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06 2022, @12:11AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06 2022, @12:11AM (#1210363)

      You need to use them enough to build up the reputation to even be able to mod.

      No you don't. Create a hidden journal on an account without enough karma to show on the front page. New user posts 5 comments there, mod all up with another user. Now you have two users who can mod up. You should be able to figure out from here how to get a small army with full mod privileges (including downmodding, which requires more karma than upmodding).

      Granted, if the admins are actually being vigilant and looking for mod bombing that may not work any more.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06 2022, @01:25AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06 2022, @01:25AM (#1210385)

        Even though you point out that it is easier than I thought, is it really worth the effort to do, what? Inflate your own ego? Try to keep other people from posting? What benefit or pleasure is derived in shitting on a small site or community? Is it to assuage some deep insecurity? That's the part I don't understand. It isn't like a drive by random vandalism, people actually put in effort to do this stuff. That's the sad part.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:36PM (2 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:36PM (#1210341) Journal

    (1) simply follow Wheaton's Law [wheatonslaw.com]:

            Don't Be a Dick

    I'm following (or try to) MDC's doctrine: try to be nice at all times. Not....always successful, but in the right area mostly.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:55PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 05 2022, @11:55PM (#1210352)

      Life is more fun on the dark side, Luke. You should listen to your father.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by aristarchus on Thursday January 06 2022, @06:41AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday January 06 2022, @06:41AM (#1210463) Journal

        They have cookies, so they can track Runaway! Ha, what a newb!

  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 07 2022, @06:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 07 2022, @06:16AM (#1210774)

    "Touché" really needs to go-- it's being abused in the "imma gonna imply you just got a real smackdown from my sick burn truth" whenever a mod/et.al has their beliefs argued.

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