Linked by Adam S on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:41 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Today, after much feedback and evaluation, we implemented some changes to the way OSNews "moderation" works. Previously, we had a dual-purposed feedback system - an "up" vote was based on agreement, but a "down" vote was based on specific rules. We've changed the way things work around here, read more for the details.
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Moderation thoughts
by Almafeta on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:53 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

I've wondered if a percentage system wouldn't work better as a metric -- sum of down votes versus sum of up votes.

Here's hoping report doesn't become overused in the new mod system.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Moderation thoughts
by Adam S on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:57 UTC in reply to "Moderation thoughts"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

For some period of time, I will be watching the reports like a hawk. If it's overused, I may flat out delete the reports, ban users from reports, etc. I'm hoping it works well.

I've also been considering that if a "report" is judged fair, good, but if they are judged "unfair," it costs the "reportER" in trust. We'll see.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Moderation thoughts
by Clinton on Wed 20th Feb 2008 16:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Moderation thoughts"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

I never understood why OSNews treated a negative vote like it was any more special or weighty than a positive vote.

If somebody says something offensive, or posts a comment that contains personal attacks, of course they should be moderated; however, there are many occasions where users post in utter ignorance and those comments should be moderated down as well, even though OSNews doesn't have a policy against ignorance.

My reason for thinking this way is that while some people who read OSNews are very knowledeable, others are not. It is not fair to those readers to have somebody post inaccurate or misleading information about an OS or some technology, and have that information remain at a 1 or 2, as far as moderation goes.

I certainly don't want OSNews's moderation system to become like Digg. I hate Digg because of its moderation system. At the same time, I think OSNews should make accomodations for negatively moderating comments that are either ignorant on a given topic, or purposely misleading.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Moderation thoughts
by Axord on Wed 20th Feb 2008 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Moderation thoughts"
Axord Member since:
2005-06-30

What is it about Digg's moderation system you dislike?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Moderation thoughts
by Clinton on Wed 20th Feb 2008 23:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Moderation thoughts"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

Digg's system makes it possible for people with very good points and ideas to be buried for no other reason than some people disagree with them. Their system is heavily abused, in my opinion.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Moderation thoughts
by flanque on Wed 20th Feb 2008 02:16 UTC in reply to "Moderation thoughts"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Personally I don't see much of a need for voting comments down. It gives too much 'power' to people whom band together with an agenda against an individual, company or technology preference (e.g. linux vs. windows).

I'd rather see a situation whereby comments can only be marked up or reported, and then people can filter out 'bad comments' by changing their minimum comment vote threshold to be shown. Reported comments should be immediately removed from view in the article pending review.

I'd also like to see some action against the folks who have a tendency to report inappropriately, such as temporary account suspention that increases by a day or so per offense.

For instance, once someone is flagged as, basically a bad 'reporter', their account is suspended for 1 day. For every report after that which is deemed 'bad', a day is added to which their account is suspended again. This not only increases the penalty but also would discourage bogus reporting against comments.

It should also be publically viewable whos accounts get temporarily disabled and for what comment they are being punished for.

Anyways, there's probably a lot of fine tuning to my ideas, but they are just that, ideas.

Reply Score: 18

RE[2]: Moderation thoughts
by thebackwash on Wed 20th Feb 2008 03:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Moderation thoughts"
thebackwash Member since:
2005-07-06

I really, really like and agree with flanque's ideas. Specifically, that it should only be a mod-up system for well-thought out or articulated ideas, with a reporting system for flat-out abusive comments.

I will echo his, and Adam's idea of punishing bad reporters, but I think there's different degrees of inappropriate reporting. Obviously, those who report a comment just because they disagree with it should be punished for wasting the moderators' time. If the comment is hostile, and confrontational, (the word vitriolic applies well here,) but the comment does not explicitly violate the terms of use, perhaps there should be little or no punishment for the reporter. And if a comment does violate the terms of use, the reporter should be given some positive level of trust. (Unknown to them or anyone else but OSNews staff.)

Of course, only the first person to report would be rewarded or punished, and though some may jump at the occasion to moderate a bad comment just to win favor with the site, this impulse should be tempered by the risk of punishment that would come from reporting incorrectly.

All staff decisions, including allocation of trust would be final. If there is a problem with someone's reporting habits, it could be taken up on an individual basis through email.

A final point to address would be the repercussions from habitual misbehavior. Of course those who flame others, who attempt to sabotage the thread, etc. might first lose their mod points for the day, then have their account suspended for a day or two, then possibly longer, with an eventual ban. I'm not quite sure what a punishment for rogue reporters would be. Maybe losing the ability to mod for the day, losing mod points, etc., and if it is determined through comparison with old comments, that they have an agenda, they could be given a warning and have their account suspended for a day or two.

I also like NOT having the average score next to your name, because I'm not interested in having any sort of contest. It's a bit more comfortable when you don't have some sort of tag attached to your name.

One last thing: 5 mod points per day. ;)

Edited with one more idea.

Edited 2008-02-20 03:29 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Moderation thoughts
by Quag7 on Wed 20th Feb 2008 18:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Moderation thoughts"
Quag7 Member since:
2005-07-28

I agree. I see no point in even having minus. Report makes sense, for abuse, but as much as I can ignore it, it does disturb me sometimes to see people modded down by groups of people with an agenda.

Very few sites do this - have only positive moderation, but I'd like to see one that does that.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Moderation thoughts
by J. M. on Thu 21st Feb 2008 02:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Moderation thoughts"
J. M. Member since:
2005-07-24

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said.

Reply Score: 1

Nice
by MechaShiva on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:54 UTC
MechaShiva
Member since:
2005-07-06

All in all, seems a good compromise. Thanks for listening to your users.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by merkoth
by merkoth on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:54 UTC
merkoth
Member since:
2006-09-22

I'm not really sure I like the idea. While it's true that some times it's really annoying to see some comments modded down just because users disegree with it, I find the system too digg-like. Hope the comments themself don't turn very digg-like ;)

We'll see how it fares anyway ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by merkoth
by KLU9 on Wed 20th Feb 2008 03:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by merkoth"
KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

I just dugg you up for that comment. :-D

Reply Score: 1

Comment by zizban
by zizban on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:55 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

I thought scores of 1 to 5 were good enough; then came huge mode numbers with huge mod points. Self defeating.

People who comment in a thread shouldn't be able to moderate in said thread. That would cut down on a lot of abuse.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by zizban
by Almafeta on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by zizban"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

I thought scores of 1 to 5 were good enough; then came huge mode numbers with huge mod points. Self defeating.


My mod points have always hovered in the teens...

People who comment in a thread shouldn't be able to moderate in said thread. That would cut down on a lot of abuse.


That's how it's done.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by zizban
by nexex on Thu 21st Feb 2008 01:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by zizban"
nexex Member since:
2006-06-30

I've had ZERO votes since I got modded down once. As an infrequent poster, I effectively lost my voice.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by zizban
by Adam S on Thu 21st Feb 2008 02:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by zizban"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

You have only left 11 comments total - you've never given yourself a chance to earn any actual "trust," which is how we distribute mod points.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by zizban
by Adam S on Wed 20th Feb 2008 00:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by zizban"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Once you comment, you cannot moderate. The loophole, for now, is that you can moderate and THEN comment. I've been watching it, that's not really being abused.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by zizban
by zizban on Wed 20th Feb 2008 01:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by zizban"
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

Am I special? I just tried it in the KDE 3.5.9 posting. I replied, then moderated.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by zizban
by Adam S on Wed 20th Feb 2008 02:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by zizban"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

That shouldn't happen. Try again.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by zizban
by zizban on Wed 20th Feb 2008 02:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by zizban"
zizban Member since:
2005-07-06

I shouldn't have said anything. There goes my special power.

Reply Score: 12

RE[2]: Comment by zizban
by flanque on Wed 20th Feb 2008 02:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by zizban"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I think this is a really bad idea. What you're saying in effect here is that you're either allowed to comment or moderate.

I really don't see why this is being restricted. I've made suggestions above, but then found someone else's comments were also worth voting up, but I cannot, even though it's on a completely different thread.

It seems as though it's per article now. Is this right?

Reply Score: 10

RE[3]: Comment by zizban
by Adam S on Wed 20th Feb 2008 03:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by zizban"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

I think this is a really bad idea. What you're saying in effect here is that you're either allowed to comment or moderate.


Yes, that's right. We have enough moderation-enabled accounts and enough available mod points that commenters - those participating - should not have to do any rewarding or cleanup.

Anyway, this may change as we explore this new moderation aspect.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by zizban
by flanque on Wed 20th Feb 2008 11:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by zizban"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I still think it's a bad idea. You're limited users way too much, particularly 'trusted users'.

Edited 2008-02-20 11:10 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by zizban
by anda_skoa on Wed 20th Feb 2008 13:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by zizban"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

I think this is a really bad idea.


I totally agree.


I really don't see why this is being restricted. I've made suggestions above, but then found someone else's comments were also worth voting up, but I cannot, even though it's on a completely different thread.


Exactly!
It happens quite often that one adds to a discussion and then, later on, someone like butters shows up and posts a really, really good comment which should be visible for people who have set their score filter to a high value to avoid the noise.


It seems as though it's per article now. Is this right?


It seems to be. Which is even worse since there are usually more than one thread per article.

I would understand if one couldn't mod down people who post into a thread originating at one's own comment or at worst in the whole thread, but a restriction voting up?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by zizban
by Soulbender on Wed 20th Feb 2008 03:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by zizban"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Once you comment, you cannot moderate.


What's preventing people from just creating a second account and use that for mod'ing only?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by zizban
by Adam S on Wed 20th Feb 2008 03:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by zizban"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

What's preventing people from just creating a second account and use that for mod'ing only?


Absolutely nothing. If you're that desperate for approval that you'd go to that much trouble just to bump yourself up a single point of ego boost - especially now that it's essentially meaningless, go for it. We can't police everything.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by zizban
by Soulbender on Wed 20th Feb 2008 03:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by zizban"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

If you're that desperate for approval that you'd go to that much trouble just to bump yourself up a single point of ego boostp


That was my point. Those who are prone to abusing the current system are usually those kind of people which means the abuse will just continue.


especially now that it's essentially meaningless, go for it


If it's essentially meaningless why not just allow moderation AND commenting?

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: Comment by zizban
by BiPolar on Wed 20th Feb 2008 12:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by zizban"
BiPolar Member since:
2007-07-06

If it's essentially meaningless why not just allow moderation AND commenting?


I think that one should not be able to mod-down replies to own comments, that's all.

I mean: I read a comment, find it good, mod it up. Reply to it, someone replies to me, I don't like what he said, I attempt to mod him down: Not allowed. OK.

But... later on, someone else makes a great comment (not on the same "thread" I've posted a reply)... I should be able to mod it up, don't you think?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by zizban
by flanque on Wed 20th Feb 2008 19:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by zizban"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

"especially now that it's essentially meaningless, go for it


If it's essentially meaningless why not just allow moderation AND commenting?
"

Excellent point. Why not?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by zizban
by holywood on Thu 21st Feb 2008 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by zizban"
holywood Member since:
2006-09-25

The loophole, for now, is that you can moderate and THEN comment.
Isn't that loophole enough to say that the idea isn't a good one ?

I like the idea to get voted up comments before being able to vote.

(edit : quoted the parent)

Edited 2008-02-21 22:15 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Another issue that irks me...
by umccullough on Wed 20th Feb 2008 01:17 UTC
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

I realize this is a result of my own incompetence, but I absolutely HATE when I mod a comment the opposite of what I intended, and then I'm not allowed to fix my mistake.

So, with that said, I will continue trying not to make that mistake often ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Another issue that irks me...
by raver31 on Wed 20th Feb 2008 07:00 UTC in reply to "Another issue that irks me..."
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, I have dont that a few times.
I do not let it annoy me though, I know that if it is a bad post, someone else will come along and mod it down again... and, if it is a good post that I had unintentionally modded down, other people will see it is a good one, and mod it back up again.

swings and roundabouts.

Reply Score: 2

Popularity point system.
by tupp on Wed 20th Feb 2008 03:38 UTC
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

Okay. If you are going to have a popularity ranking system, please show two separate figures: one for "mods up"; and one for "mods down."

By showing these two figures (instead of just one figure for the sum of mods up/down), the reader gets an idea of the power and controversy of the comment. For instance, say a comment showed 1000 mods up and 999 mods down -- such a score would indicate that the comment is very powerful and has gotten a huge reaction. However, with the current system, such a powerful comment would merely show a score of "1".

Reply Score: 9

Comment by oma2la
by oma2la on Wed 20th Feb 2008 03:48 UTC
oma2la
Member since:
2005-07-05

I can't help wondering - why have comment scores at all? Yes it is gratifying to come back to a comment and find it's been modded +5, allowing me to think "Oh hooray, I am a comedy genius after all!", but how much do we need to know how anonymous users feel about our posts? More than that, how much do we need to know how anonymous users feel about other people's posts?

The most gratifying thing is when other named users engage with us in the comments. Perhaps I'm the only one, but too often I'm guilty of lurking here and using the mod points as a lazy-man's way of participating.

Strangely enough, I quite like having the mod points, but in the interests of debate I wondered what an argument in favour of abolishing them might sound like!

Reply Score: 11

RE: Comment by oma2la
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 20th Feb 2008 12:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by oma2la"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

"in the interests of debate I wondered what an argument in favour of abolishing them might sound like!"

I have just written my arguments in favour of abolishing mod points both in this thread and in this conversation:

http://www.osnews.com/conversation/47ba3d6c/Why_this_place_is_not_a......

See how you feel about it.

Reply Score: 2

"Comment credits"
by ebasconp on Wed 20th Feb 2008 04:09 UTC
ebasconp
Member since:
2006-05-09

I was thinking about a "credits" mechanism;
let's suppose I have just registered into OSNews... the system gives me "20 credits"; with those credits, I can submit 20 comments. If I am modded up, I will gain credits, and if I am modded down, I will lose credits.

If I am with 0 credits, I will not be able to send any comment for a timeframe, after that, the system will give me, let's say, 5 credits...

If I got modded down again, I will lose the capability of comment for a longer time, and so on...

In this way, people that wants to participate in the comments, will comment in a constructive way and the negative commenters will be removed gradually from the OSNews users.

Reply Score: 5

RE: "Comment credits"
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 20th Feb 2008 12:14 UTC in reply to ""Comment credits""
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I strongly disagree. We are just discussing why peer moderation doesn't always work, far from it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: "Comment credits"
by Moochman on Sat 23rd Feb 2008 10:28 UTC in reply to ""Comment credits""
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I also strongly disagree. That would mean that people would be *unable* to post, just because their ideas are unpopular.

Edited 2008-02-23 10:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

report button
by google_ninja on Wed 20th Feb 2008 06:07 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

Good idea, the up and down are already simply used as a score anyways, adding the report button seperates rule violation from popularity.

not to nit pick though, but the report button itself could use a bit of work. I don't know exactly what your mandate is for things like loading speed or javascript use, but you should really consider going with a real "web two-point-ohey" style js library, like YUI or Ext.

Reply Score: 2

What a horrible idea
by JMcCarthy on Wed 20th Feb 2008 06:54 UTC
JMcCarthy
Member since:
2005-08-12

Keep report, and do away with +/- entirely. All it does is ensure vacuous speech from apprentice politicians.

Reply Score: 4

RE: What a horrible idea
by raver31 on Wed 20th Feb 2008 07:06 UTC in reply to "What a horrible idea"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

hehehee and have the whole thing back the way it was when I first found the site in the late 90's

/me drops whiskey glass, rocks on chair, tips hat back and gazes at the sunset before saying....

way back then we only had two ways to show disapproval to what them ornery cusses were saying....

/me spits out chawing baccy...

there was the option to reply to the offending criter, or the "Report Abuse" button

I only one or twice had to press the report abuse button.

I think it would make the site a bit better if we went back to that ancient custom and tried it out for a few weeks. Is this possible ?

Reply Score: 2

No moderation after commenting?
by pepa on Wed 20th Feb 2008 07:03 UTC
pepa
Member since:
2005-07-08

I can't remember this feature of No Moderation Allowed After Commenting. It doesn't encourage participation either way. If you comment, you can no longer vote, so you hold back your comments to the last minute??

Reply Score: 4

RE: No moderation after commenting?
by raver31 on Wed 20th Feb 2008 07:09 UTC in reply to "No moderation after commenting?"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

I think it is a mixture of a bad and a good idea.

I dont know which one to pick though as I am scared I will never be able to go back and use the other option ;)

Reply Score: 2

Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Exactly. So if there's a topic I'm interested in, I can either hand out points for others' posts that I think are especially thoughtful, or I can post something myself. But I can't do both?

That's no good...

Maybe I should only vote in topics that I have no interest in?

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree, and in fact that's one of the things I really *hate* about Slashdot (that you can't mod a story you commented on). I'm glad OSNews has a more participative-encouraging system than Slashdot in that it gives more mod points, and I also think it should err to the side of less restriction when it comes to modding comments. It just doesn't feel natural to be told you can't mod comments any more just because you already commented on a story.... In fact, it's rather counterintuitive.... Those who comment usually have more interest/knowledge about a topic than those who don't, so why shouldn't they be allowed to mod as well?

Reply Score: 2

Just join in
by orfanum on Wed 20th Feb 2008 07:43 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

I don't think comments should be modded up or down at all. The result of any debate is the collective conscience if you like of all the participants in regard to the subject discussed; anything which is way off the mark (off-topic), irrelevant, or plain incorrect will be countered by a comment saying so, If no-one can muster anything against a particular comment, then it cannot have articulated anything very mad, bad or dangerous to know about.

Keep the reporting however: flamebait-throwers, the vitriolic, and downright 'I-fancy-being-in your-facers' will,if they receive a number of reports against them from different users, be seen to be offending against generally accepted rules of conduct (if there's a ding-dong reporting battle between two individuals, then they both get a ticking off, and perhaps a suspension from the moderators).

This method may stop the 'apprentice politician effect' as someone else has called it. It may also give a bit more motivation to folks who have something to say, but use the voting system to say it, rather than commit to expression. Let's have your participation - it will mix things up and the collective conscience will be richer for it ;-)!


Edited - one sentence incomplete

Edited 2008-02-20 07:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just join in
by Square on Wed 20th Feb 2008 20:45 UTC in reply to "Just join in"
Square Member since:
2005-10-01

I agree.

I was sad when OSNews adopted the voting system as I knew it was going to turn into other web forums like slashdot where instead of discussion about the topic it turns into a game to see who can get modded up or down the most. OSNews hasn't gotten as bad as slashdot or digg but still going that way

People figure out quickly what way the wind is blowing and will adjust what they say in order to score more points. Even if they disagree 100% with what they are saying but sense its virtually anonymous and the goal is to score more points they do it.

Take digg for example a not to long ago Ron Paul was the fad anything positive about him was voted way up and anything positive about Obama was voted down. But now that Obama is the fad things have switched

In theory voting systems reduce the workload of the staff, reduce trolls and increase the number of "insightful" posts. In reality it mostly creates a forum of nearly identical posts agreeing with the status quo

Reply Score: 1

Fun experiment
by PlatformAgnostic on Wed 20th Feb 2008 08:50 UTC
PlatformAgnostic
Member since:
2006-01-02

I'm sure looking at the changes in the moderation system and the data of who mods which posts in what way would make an interesting psychosocial experiment.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Buck on Wed 20th Feb 2008 09:11 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

Excuse me, but what will 'reporting' bring exactly? BTW, I remember we used to have that back in OSNews v2 or whatever... So anyway, what would prevent an abuser from making another account and just doing the same stuff all over again? I think it's kinda useless. So we're going to weed out some users but without a system that prohibits registering in the first place this will achieve nothing. Unless we want to separate the newly-registered users in a special highly untrusted group and they'll have to earn trust by posting valid comments. Then I see it working. Otherwise it's a waste of everyone's time.
To recap, what's the strategy, again? Or is it just an ad-hoc implementation of another idea?

Reply Score: 3

Step in the right direction
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 20th Feb 2008 09:44 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks for what seems like a step in the right direction towards much needed change (getting rid of modding down abuse).

Reply Score: 2

karl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have been frequenting OSNews for several years now, 5 IIRC. Back some number of years ago I frequently participated and even wrote an article. The changes in the rank system over the last 1-2 years has led me to stop participating. I would love to rejoin-but unless some changes take place to return to a level playing field I doubt I will. Here are a few suggestions:

1) get rid of the exorbitant ranks- anything beyond 5 is simply absurd and means that the "default viewing level" is basically useless. Please explain why something like level 15 is even necessary.

2) the real weakness of the OSNews forums has been that it has not properly dealt with voting down posts. For years you could only vote a post down by trying to associate a particular post with some violation. Nonsense. People have a right to their opinion and that includes the right to vote others down. Make the forums self-moderating, reduce your workload, reserve "reports" for anything which is a clear violation of server standards and let people +1/-1 individual posts-scrap the accumulative point system(it is only there from POV to reward popular posters and punish those who post flame bait).

Those two issues: exorbitant rankings and the accumulative point system go hand in hand and have, for me, eliminated the feeling that there is a level playing field here.

Perhaps something could be done to allow one to choose whether they wish to contribute or moderate when they visit a topic(instead of comments link-have 2 links, participate and moderate). The maximum number of points that any one post can get (ideally 5) should be the number of moderation points for a particular topic a user visits to moderate (ideally 5). Once a user has visited a topic via the moderate link and submitted their moderation the moderate link for that topic could be disabled.

If you wish to prevent people from participating and moderating have 3 links instead of 2 -1) read 2) participate 3) moderate and once someone has moderated or participated 2 and 3 would be disabled out leaving only 1(read). As far as editing your own posts-you could have your recent posts (last 5 days) available via preferences to edit once the links have been disabled.

Additionally if you want people to be able to participate and moderate in the same thread having only the same number moderation points available as could be gained by a posting (ideally 5) makes this a level playing field. I do however understand the desire to prevent participation and moderation in same thread.


It would also be nice if when moderating if one could tag the moderation(informative, misleading, funny,etc.) and combine this with the default viewing level to exclude posts marked as misleading, or only those which are marked informative.

Please focus on a) simplicity b) a level playing field. Lately popular posters automatically get +15 even if their contribution is a 1 line rebuttal of someone else and posts which required thought and energy languish at +1. I do not post quips- when I respond I take a little time and attempt to actually write something.

Just some ideas, maybe something useful here.

Reply Score: 4

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

"2) the real weakness of the OSNews forums has been that it has not properly dealt with voting down posts. For years you could only vote a post down by trying to associate a particular post with some violation. Nonsense. People have a right to their opinion and that includes the right to vote others down."

There is a fundamental difference between a minus vote which means "I disagree" and a minus vote which means "this poster has broken the forum rules", especially when the latter is used to mean the former.
That is why I wrote that this change feels like a step in the right direction. Having said that, personally I prefer forums where there is nothing like the system here. I am and I have been a (often very respected) member of plenty of forums where you could express your consent/dissent only with a reply.
Normally such forums work very well, there is a sense of community, and a well working sense of hierarchy as well. If you have entered 2,000 useful posts you won't count the same as somebody who has entered 10 silly or trolling posts.
In such a forum a respected user can be even above an immature moderator, as it has happened to me recently.

Reply Score: 5

Great
by Daniel Borgmann on Wed 20th Feb 2008 10:49 UTC
Daniel Borgmann
Member since:
2005-07-08

I've never liked the system of only voting up, what proponents of this idea fail to acknowledge is that it is a system that polarizes instead of moderates. The more polarizing a comment, the more up votes it will get by the supporters, no matter how flamebaiting or downright hate-mongering the comment is.

A balanced up/down voting system is much more likely to reward informative and insightful comments over polarizing comments. The fear that it will be used by groups to support a cause is mostly theoretical in my experience. Of course it can happen in isolated cases, but generally I believe that the silent majority is going to balance this out.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Great
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 20th Feb 2008 11:32 UTC in reply to "Great"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I have said it countless times and I am going to say it once more: a forum with a minus/plus voting system promotes subgroups and fanboyism.
With other words, if I am a Linux user and there is a Windows topic (just an example) I'll do one of the following:
1)Avoid participating (that this what I'd probably do, personally)
2)Participate anyway, but not express my true feelings.
3)Risk being modded down to hell. Now nobody come and tell me that it doesn't hurt, you know that yours was only an opinion after all.

It gets even worse: you risk being modded down even by people who feel almost exactly like you, if you aren't a cheerleader all the time. Example, openSUSE is my favorite distro. A few days ago I wrote something people didn't want to hear about KDE4 and I was modded down twice.
Now somebody please explain me how this is beneficial to a discussion which is nothing but an exchange of pats on the back.

Reply Score: 4

Booo
by liamdawe on Wed 20th Feb 2008 11:15 UTC
liamdawe
Member since:
2006-07-04

Boooo i liked having the power to make someones comment look good, don't remove it ;)

Reply Score: 0

Just an Idea
by backdoc on Wed 20th Feb 2008 14:44 UTC
backdoc
Member since:
2006-01-14

Adam,

I'm kinda just thinking out loud here, but could there be some sort of metric so that the more you mod down, the less your votes count? The only way to restore your voting metric could be elapsed time. Restoring it by modding up would be too easy for people to abuse.

Furthermore, you could possibly make negativity visible to others. That way, if you make excessive negative comments, it shows. And, again, you are stuck that way until after some time has passed.

I've never really thought about it before. But, there does seem to be some relationship between the power to vote people down and the increase in unwanted traffic.

I can appreciate what you are trying to accomplish here. I've often wished I had a way to mod people down because I disagreed with them. But, I've resisted because I try to respect the spirit of the rules. But, not having that ability may be one of the things that keeps the OSNews threads/comments as clean as they are and what keeps OSNews unique.

So, I would caution you to be very careful about giving too much control to people to mod down. And, if modding down is continued, attach some negative consequence to discourage it. Come to think of it, do we really need to mod every post we read, either up or down? If you really feel strongly about a post, just reply to it. Maybe too much modding (either positive or negative) should be viewed as bad. A real world example of where this happens is, getting a credit report. Simply checking your credit worthiness lowers your credit score.

Finally, remember that OSNews has done well over the years, and just because a majority of people agree, including me, it may not be what's best for them.

I read OSNews everyday. I appreciate what you guys do. Keep up the good work.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Just an Idea
by holywood on Thu 21st Feb 2008 22:26 UTC in reply to "Just an Idea"
holywood Member since:
2006-09-25

I'm kinda just thinking out loud here, but could there be some sort of metric so that the more you mod down, the less your votes count?

What about « the more a comment is modded, the more a vote counts. »

That way, an isolated voter won't be able to have a great impact.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Just an Idea
by backdoc on Thu 21st Feb 2008 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Just an Idea"
backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

"I'm kinda just thinking out loud here, but could there be some sort of metric so that the more you mod down, the less your votes count?

What about « the more a comment is modded, the more a vote counts. »

That way, an isolated voter won't be able to have a great impact.
"

I think this leaves them open for groups of people who agree to help each other out by voting down the same people.

I think "too much influence" on a per vote basis is NOT the problem. The goal should be to eliminate people who make a hobby out of trolling and aggravating users. Dissenting votes, in and of themselves, are fine. However, if you are excessively voting people down, you're influence and thus your opinion becomes less valuable.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting
by eggs on Wed 20th Feb 2008 15:17 UTC
eggs
Member since:
2006-01-23

Seems to be how people used it anyway... so I guess it is a good change.

I use the threaded view all the time and I wish that when I clicked on a reply, then clicked the back button that the scroll bar went back to the position it was at when I clicked on the reply. It does this on slashdot and digg, not sure why it doesn't happen here. It worked before the upgrade as well.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Oliver
by Oliver on Wed 20th Feb 2008 16:00 UTC
Oliver
Member since:
2006-07-15

Who cares about up and down? Post your comment, that's enough.

Reply Score: 4

space out the rules in the Rules page
by xushi on Wed 20th Feb 2008 16:18 UTC
xushi
Member since:
2005-08-29

I was reading through this post, and it had a link to the Rules page, which I then read to update myself.

I have a request.. Is it possible to space out, or put a single new line between each point mentioned in the Rules page? It'll make it much easier on the eyes to read.

Thanks.

Reply Score: 2

Another suggestion to think about
by TLZ_ on Wed 20th Feb 2008 17:43 UTC
TLZ_
Member since:
2007-02-05

First of all I would like to say I welcome this change and I definetely think it's a step in the right direction. I'm glad that you're actually listening to our feedback. Keep up the good work.

On what is Norways largest newssite with commenting system(Dagbladet.no) they've tried some things. Among this is the voting. After a while they decided to remove the "minus" vote altoghter. Why? Because controversiel and politically incorrect opinions where voted down even if they where well-written and well-argumented. People used this as some kind of ceonsor-system against opinions they didn't like. It must be said that the comments where viewed in order of highst to lowest points. (And as this is nationwide public newspaper there where a lot of comments.)

I think their solution(getting rid of minus altogheter). This is good because then what some people think is good will always get high points, even if equally people think it's bad. This way what people appriciate get's high up.

Possibly not right for this site, but I definetely think it's something to consider.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Wed 20th Feb 2008 18:23 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Just my 2 cents, but the problem with moderation on any site is that a lot of folks seem unable to distinguish between disagreement and abuse. You can mod a post down because it violates site policy but not because you happen to disagree with it. The latter is called intolerance. And so long as a moderation system exists at all, that is always going to be a problem.

You could look at reverting to limits: +5 is surely more than enough, while -1 should be a limit in order to stop gangs of fanboys trying to mod a post down until it ceases to appear at all. That one's called censorship and I've seen it happen too often on the web. If a post really is mega-problematic, then it's up to the site admins to remove it or keep it.

Alternatively, drop the points system and as others have suggested, instead use a ./-style quality rating - interesting, informative, very interesting, funny, boring, etc. You could use icons instead of text if text is felt too dull.

A way to make folks think twice about abusing any mod system would be to make public every member's moderation record via a new tab in their membership details. But I guess this might add hugely to msql overheads, etc. Or, limit that record to modding down only - a light threat of naming and shaming for those who think the mod system is for promoting/demoting their favourite hobbyhorses.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by moleskine
by tsume on Wed 20th Feb 2008 19:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by moleskine"
tsume Member since:
2006-07-24

I rarely participate in commenting on articles, but I feel the articles where I participate in comments are generally prone to other being very arrogant.

I'm a very smart person, more so than others, and I've ADD. Many on here were attacking saying "no, people who have ADD are stupid no matter what they can do." I modded them down for attacking and then they cried wolf at the admins.

I won't tolerate such professional arrogance. I'm going better than most who grad and I don't have papers/certs, etc. I'll be going to college sometimes, but to improve my knowledge on a topic where I can use my programming skills.

I'm a bit happy there is a report button now, I've seen a few cases to where the people were being modded down for simple commenting which were not trolling but a contradiction of what another person has said on the thread.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by moleskine
by berzerko on Thu 21st Feb 2008 01:32 UTC in reply to "Comment by moleskine"
berzerko Member since:
2005-11-11



A way to make folks think twice about abusing any mod system would be to make public every member's moderation record via a new tab in their membership details. But I guess this might add hugely to msql overheads, etc. Or, limit that record to modding down only - a light threat of naming and shaming for those who think the mod system is for promoting/demoting their favourite hobbyhorses.



That's a really good point. You have to register in order to comment, but you can basically mod away anonymously. I like the idea of a link to "see who modded this comment" attached too every comment. maybe not the best way to implement it, but the main idea is non-anonymous modding.

Reply Score: 1

Dumbing Down of OSnews
by hylas on Wed 20th Feb 2008 18:25 UTC
hylas
Member since:
2005-07-10

I too have stopped bothering to participate in this once brilliant forum. The packs of roaming fanbois have dumb down practically every OS related story to one liners - "oh, no you don't, oh, yes I do" girl-fight.
It's just not worth my time to attempt to have any real discussion or link to something relevant, especially when they can mod you (with multiple accounts) to irrelevancy.

Truly the "Deliberate Dumbing Down of America":

http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

Reply Score: 4

RE: Dumbing Down of OSnews
by tsume on Wed 20th Feb 2008 19:34 UTC in reply to "Dumbing Down of OSnews"
tsume Member since:
2006-07-24

Slashdot at one time used to also be a brilliant forum to communicate believe it or not. Then once the popularity set in, trolls and dimwits infested the site.

Reply Score: 3

Suggestions for All
by fretinator on Wed 20th Feb 2008 18:47 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Really, everybody stop sweating the moderation so much. Look at it this way (leaving out Report for now, which I think is obvious):

+1 are applause (clapping)
-1 are boos

When you make a comment, you may receive some applause, and you may receive some boos. Neither is necessarily bad. Sometimes someone has to say the things no one wants to hear and they may receive some boos.

There will be no perfect moderation systems, but I think the systems tried at OSNews are all pretty good. Just don't take it all so seriously. Really, you have bigger issues if a -1 from a few people ruins your day. There will always be a few immature folks that try to manipulate things, but in general it balances out.

Just to prove a point, I think a few boos are in order for this comment. It's way to long!

Reply Score: 7

RE: Suggestions for All
by Adam S on Wed 20th Feb 2008 21:42 UTC in reply to "Suggestions for All"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Amen.

People are putting WAY too much thought into this. It already works - and works well - this is just to appease the readers who get antsy about a few downvotes. And even now, some are upset.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Suggestions for All
by Anonymous Penguin on Thu 21st Feb 2008 02:45 UTC in reply to "Suggestions for All"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

"There will be no perfect moderation systems,"

I have been arguing about this since this minus/plus system was introduced here. The best moderating system is still the traditional one (IMO), done by appointed moderators.
Besides, such systems are also self-adjusting: the majority of users, especially the most senior ones, will attack trolls and morons, and eventually they'll either change their ways or go away.
I know that such a system puts a lot of strain on moderators, but why not appoint a few among the most trusted users?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Suggestions for All
by Moochman on Sat 23rd Feb 2008 10:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Suggestions for All"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I highly disagree. The fact that I've always got a bunch of mod votes at my disposal is one of the reasons I like OSNews. If I only got them once in a blue moon, a la Slashdot, I would hardly ever use them, because I don't like having to use up votes within a limited time period dictated by the system, not by my own interest in a story. This is why my participation on OSNews is WAY more than on Slashdot (well, that and the fact that Slashdot's just so damn big and full of people who will say anything *except* if it means having a serious conversation).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Suggestions for All
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 23rd Feb 2008 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Suggestions for All"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't like Slashdot either, but Slashdot has nothing to do with the kind of forums I have in mind.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Suggestions for All
by Moochman on Sun 24th Feb 2008 09:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Suggestions for All"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I see. I just sort of thought since you were talking about having a few "privileged" users as moderators, that those moderators would also rotate randomly. That's basically how it works on Slashdot. On the other hand, I don't like the idea of privileged users that *don't* rotate all too much either.

Reply Score: 2

I don't think this will work, unless
by scuro_falcao on Wed 20th Feb 2008 21:06 UTC
scuro_falcao
Member since:
2006-03-18

I think people are just going to click report on a bunch of comments that they don't agree with and cause too much work for the moderators..

i dont see why people would go into some sort of "reports panel" to specifically say if the report is valid or not especially if they havent read the article the comment was referring to..

Then again, you might have some moderators who really do want to spend time doing this.

Youtube does the comments thing and does the report thing(althoug thats specifically referring to spam).

I personally like the idea of if more than 1 person "reports" a comment only then will it go to the moderator for review.. and you just cant suspend people's accounts either they can just recreate new ones... hmmmmm

Reply Score: 2

minus plus becomes...
by JrezIN on Wed 20th Feb 2008 23:24 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

It's nice to see OSnews always putting work behind their system to actually improve it...


The report button is ok. I don't think there's much to comment here, the system is pretty strait foward...

...but with the report button, I think that the plus/minus system is a bit out of place... I see that people still want to mark comments as "good" or "bad" (ITHO)... so, why not change this "exclusive" system (where each mod doesn't speak for itself, but instead the final "score" is what is important), to a less "modal" system where plus/minus are replaced to "agree" and "don't agree", where everyone could keep track of who many users agree this the comment and who many disagree... also, it becomes less of a "score game" and more some kind of measurement of not only the quality of the comment itself but also the different opinions of who read these comments.

Well, I'm not sure if something like that is what OSnews want to their community, but IMHO it would be a nice improvement and something that could make the community better understand itself.

Reply Score: 3

Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

No. The idea is to filter the trolls and crap, not promise them that everyone gets to see them.

Admins vote very rarely, it's not censorship. If you're downmodded, it's because your peers think you leave poor comments.

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree that it is patently unfair for you to get -1 comments by default. OK, so maybe u've posted troll-posts before (I don't know), but that doesn't mean your new posts should always be assumed to be bad. This post, for instance, was a very good one, IMHO.

Innocent until proven guilty, that should be the principle.

Reply Score: 2