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# Negative Reputation

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### #21Matias Goldberg  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5333

Posted 15 July 2011 - 11:26 PM

What I liked from the old rating system (I mean the one in the archives) was that people with high rating weighted more. By starting the high votes assignment with Staff and moderators, it walked towards a meritocracy.

I often found myself reading interesting stuff... and surprise they had high rating. Yes, I've also saw how someone replied to a "I believe/don't believe in God topic" and suddenly their rating went waaay down. But I didn't really pay much attention to it as I thought the lesson was learned, just don't participate in those threads, this is a Game development forum after all.

Something I've learned from Law, is that as long as we're dealing with human beings; no system will fit. Even if they're perfect. They will still need someone (i.e. a moderator; in Law it is usually the judge) to prevent abuses or injustices.

With "perfect" people, a flexible system is the best; while with very "irresponsable" a very strict system is probably a best fit.
Well, here happens the same. A rating system (whether to the post or the person) may induce higher quality and highlighting posts from people who write quality stuff, while at the same time 'ban' people who may have contributed more.
This may require moderation or some limitations (i.e. someone/post can't be rated up/down more than X times per hour, but more importantly it depends on the type of people the site draws in.

CgSociety for example is very strict and appeals to professionals, therefore people behaves a lot more there. I like their "critique system"; it's basically an "I like" button, but a window pop ups where you have to explain WHY did you like it, or WHAT did you like about it.

Edit: I like when I get rated down. Hurts almost like a knife in the stomach. But it puts your ego in place and lets you know I'm mistaken: I'm doing it wrong. It gets constructive. Little do I gain by having fanboys (not that I have) rating me up and telling me how good I am, ocasionally it helps me to know I'm in good track, that's all.
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### #22Hodgman  Moderators   -  Reputation: 40883

Posted 15 July 2011 - 11:27 PM

The old reputation system, which only allowed you to 'rate' an individual once, tended to drift towards a particular number and stay there. It was even described that way -- of being a number that would drift towards the community's view of someone's helpfulness.

Since the new system came in, my rating has stopped being a static number, and is instead climbing daily... it's pretty much just a counter for how long I've been active on the forums.

You can't encourage people to care about increasing their magic number if it's got no meaning attached... Without there being a balancing mechanism, you may as well just replace it with a post-count figure. Do you really think that giving someone +25 post-count is a good incentive to generate content for your site?

Most of the down-vote stuff also applies to up-votes, e.g. --- A positive uprate on a post tells a user absolutely nothing about the post without knowing that the uprate came from an expert on the topic - A complete noob and an expert are equals. but that's why there's an up and a down option, so that 'wrong' votes can be 'corrected' over time.

If the 'reputation' is going to just record the number of 'likes' someone's gotten, then please rename it to 'popularity', or just 'likes'.
It's not a reputation system, it's a 'likes' counter.

Also, I know this site is the noob-central of game-dev sites, but we're not all children. This image is just pathetically condescending; I'm not 5, I don't need to be given a gold star:

### #23Sirisian  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1954

Posted 15 July 2011 - 11:43 PM

So if "Yann L" likes the post it will say so, and others aware of his considerable background can pay more attention to that post.

What if no one knows who Yann L is? The number system enforces "that person is doing something right and other agree with him". A bunch of random names doesn't seem as useful as it sounds.

// edit. Reading up it appears everyone already covered what I was going to point out about an only positive rating system and the almost constant linear growth.

### #24jbadams  Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 23278

Posted 16 July 2011 - 01:48 AM

Reading through this topic, it seems to me that there's a lot of objection to the term "like this" and very little objection to the actual functionality -- perhaps we just need to replace the button with "agree" or something similar?

I would also like to see down-voting of individual posts restored -- if the problem with that (and I have personally seen it cause problems) is the potential of lowering someone's reputation then it would be nice to still be able to disagree with a post, but simply have it disconnected from the reputation -- I find myself agreeing with Hodgman though that "reputation" is of little value if it's just a number that gradually ticks up over time.

I appreciate that resources are limited and that the current change is a decent way of quickly solving some of the problems with the previous iteration, but that being said I think this is still an appropriate time to offer suggestions for the future, and in that spirit I think a good system might be:
• Rename "Like This" to "Agree", and make the button green rather than blue. Green is (in my opinion) more readily associated with a positive action, and by making these two changes the association with facebook is removed (even though the functionality is essentially identical).
• Add a nice red "Disagree" button back in as well -- but only for users who themselves have a reputation over a certain threshold (say 50 for example) -- this way random newbies and trolls will generally not have access to the negative functionality, but it will still be in place for more knowledgeable members. Whatever the threshold value is should be high enough to not be achievable with only a couple of funny off-topic posts, but should be low enough to be reasonably easy for a genuinely helpful member to attain in a relatively short period of time. "Disagreeing" with posts should lower reputation.
• The buttons should be disabled in The Lounge -- it's an off-topic forum, it can at times be rather loosely moderated, and the conversations people choose to engage in there often have little reflection on their helpfulness elsewhere on the site.
• Users with a higher reputation (I'd go for a significantly higher value -- at least over 500, probably even higher) should have more weight than those with a lower reputation, perhaps having their "disagree" count as double for purposes of adjusting reputation.
• During the first few days of any particular member participating in the site, it should be possible to "disagree" with their posts (bearing in mind that the functionality would only be available to members above a certain rep level), but their reputation should not be affected; this should allow potentially valuable feedback on their individual posts whilst sheltering them from having their reputation damaged until they've had some time to settle in to our community.
• The votes on posts should be shown as a number -- you might also make a list of names available, but it should not be the only thing available, and the number should be more readily viewable than the list -- as mentioned by many people above, a list of names only holds weight if you happen to know the reputations of those people.

- Jason Astle-Adams.

### #25Tachikoma  Members   -  Reputation: 552

Posted 16 July 2011 - 02:10 AM

I also like the youtube system. How about basing the reputation calculation on some kind of positive and negative ratio per post; as opposed to adding, or subtracting raw vote points?

Furthermore, the ratio could have more weight on the final reputation, depending on the number of total votes for that particular post. Therefore, if someone decides to go on a "-1" rampage on every post his opponent made, number of votes for each individual post is too small to make a huge dint in the opponent's reputation.

Something like:

ReputationChange  = WeightFromVoteRatio(NumPositiveVotes, NumNegativeVotes); //Signed result
ReputationChange *= WeightAdjust(NumPositiveVotes + NumNegativeVotes);

ReputationTotal += ReputationChange;


... dunno, just random thoughts.

Even more effective, limiting the number of votes you can make on a particular user in a given time frame could also alleviate voting rampage.

(ps.. Gold star was funny.)
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### #26phantom  Moderators   -  Reputation: 8935

Posted 16 July 2011 - 03:39 AM

Furthermore, the ratio could have more weight on the final reputation, depending on the number of total votes for that particular post. Therefore, if someone decides to go on a "-1" rampage on every post his opponent made, number of votes for each individual post is too small to make a huge dint in the opponent's reputation.

The problem with this, or any sort of bias system, is while it deals with 'abuse' it also cripples legitimate usage.

Let me give you an example of something I have done in a thread a few times now.

I enter the thread and read through, at some point someone turns up thinking they know The Answer and say as such; this answer is clearly wrong be it because the user is misguided or simply not experianced enough to know it's wrong. My reaction at this point is to down rate all the posts which are wrong and any supporting follow up where they try do defend the answer without being reasonable about it, often resulting to attacks on those posting the correct information or getting things horribly wrong. During this sweep if people are correcting them and giving good information I will also 'agree'/up rate those posts in order to highlight important information. If, by the end, I feel parts haven't been covered only THEN will I make a post to cover those points.

Another example is where the OP answers a question, a couple of people will give 'wrong' advice and someone will turn up and correct them. With the agree/disagree system I could quickly down vote the 'wrong' posts and agree with the 'correct' one quickly. This allows me, with my limited time, to quickly highlight good information while pointing out bad.

With the current system this isn't as possible; sure you can 'like' (ugh) the good post but there is no way of visually and quickly de-emphasising incorrect information. So it either gets left at zero or, in a worst case, gets voted UP by people who might know no different. You lose the balence in those posts with only an 'up' vote, almost make it a requirement to be 'safe' with good information to quote the whole thing and just add 'QFT' or 'I agree' so it becomes clearer that yes, this is the best way of doing things.

Basically up votes without the ability to down vote is useless, as mentioned it just gives people a lovely ever increasing number without any consequences of any bad actions or information they might give out. You might as well scrap 'rep' and be done with it if we are going down this route.

### #27rip-off  Moderators   -  Reputation: 9782

Posted 16 July 2011 - 06:09 AM

Personally, I think that if you are going to ditch downratings you should get rid of ratings altogether. The exact same pros/cons of "disagree in the thread" applies to a positive rating too.

Reading through this topic, it seems to me that there's a lot of objection to the term "like this" and very little objection to the actual functionality -- perhaps we just need to replace the button with "agree" or something similar?

The name is particularly obnoxious, yes. I don't want to join gamebook.com or facedev.net. I will almost certainly never use it in its current form.

### #28braindigitalis  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7959

Posted 16 July 2011 - 07:33 AM

What makes it more confusing is that at the bottom of the thread is an actual facebook like button, exactly the same colour scheme...

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### #29Michael Tanczos  Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5561

Posted 16 July 2011 - 09:02 AM

A couple of extra comments:

Personally, I never liked the lack of weighting given to votes - I'm a fan of the system I made for the previous version of the site, but our goal with transitioning to off-the-shelf software was to not try to rewrite every part of the software and to figure out ways to utilize what *is* there and take advantage of that. I do think reputation points should actually represent reputation, but I also don't equate reputation points to post counts either. Somewhere in between someone has to click the "Like this" button and recognize the post. I think the votes on posts were for a long time proposed to be an alternative to determining member reputation over the approach I implemented on the pre-2011 gdnet which was weight-based and very stable.

My best solution would be to decouple post ratings from reputation somewhat, perhaps using one of the weighting suggestions to impact the reputation.

### #30Alpha_ProgDes  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4965

Posted 16 July 2011 - 12:22 PM

It would be nice if the amount of positive (or negative) votes on a post affected your reputation but not directly (ie. 1 to 1). Something like:

• This person has 40 posts with a positive rating and 5 posts with a negative rating. Therefore he gets +17 points of reputation.
• One of his posts has gotten over +20. So that's +3 points for his reputation.
• The community has rated this person positively in the Graphics forum consistently and their post-rating per post (in the Graphics thread) on average is +5. (Let's say he has made 50 positive posts) Therefore the community now can vote him to be a "Graphics Master-Apprentice" (you don't like the name feel free to make up your own). If the community votes to make him a GM-A, then that person gets +15 points of reputation.
And honestly, I think we're hung up on the wrong thing here: Like This, Agree, Correct, Care-Bear-Hug. Who cares. I'm happy that the "I don't like you so I'll vote down every post you make" rating abuse is gone. Though it would be nice if negative ratings were back but it was somewhat decoupled from the reputation. But for now, if I don't agree with or like the post, I won't hit the button.
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### #31__sprite  Members   -  Reputation: 461

Posted 16 July 2011 - 01:29 PM

I agree with those who have said that the negative rating was really helpful for marking incorrect information, and differentiating posts quickly and easily. Instead of like / dislike, why not "agree / disagree", since that doesn't have the same emotional connotations. This should largely reduce the view that some users are "being picked on" that you're trying to prevent.

As a further step, I think the user rating should be a ratio of posts with net agreement to posts with net disagreement. That way things aren't affected by the number of ratings on just one post, but on overall helpfulness of all that users posts. That way you can quickly see whether someone's likely to be right or not, but one bad post alone doesn't cripple their reputation. I'd suggest displaying one number, with 0.0 meaning a balance of positive / negative posts, -1.0 as all negative posts, and 1.0 as all positive posts. For example with 300 posts, of which 47 are uprated, 5 are downrated, and the rest are neutral, someone's score would be: 47 / 300 - 5 / 300 = 0.14

### #32swiftcoder  Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 14335

Posted 16 July 2011 - 02:04 PM

My feeling is that if the impetus for this change is to be all warm and fuzzy, and not offend anyone by the little minus signs next to their name, then let's just do away ratings altogether.

Positive-only ratings are completely useless. The more you post, the higher your rating will climb, even if you are only occasionally useful. Having the highest rating turns into a popularity contest, to see who can post the most, and the original purpose of the ratings system (as I see it: to let people know when they are being an ass) is lost.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]

### #33Alpha_ProgDes  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4965

Posted 16 July 2011 - 05:20 PM

My feeling is that if the impetus for this change is to be all warm and fuzzy, and not offend anyone by the little minus signs next to their name, then let's just do away ratings altogether.

Positive-only ratings are completely useless. The more you post, the higher your rating will climb, even if you are only occasionally useful. Having the highest rating turns into a popularity contest, to see who can post the most, and the original purpose of the ratings system (as I see it: to let people know when they are being an ass) is lost.

I disagree. Even with the positive-only rating no one is going to spam post to just to get a higher reputation. Everyone will see that and not rate the person up. If the negative ratings were removed because its current form was an abuse pit, then, personally, I'm ok with it temporarily going away until that issue is resolved. I doubt the staff got hit with Care-Bear-itis and decided not to "hurt people feelings" by removing negative ratings.
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### #34Hodgman  Moderators   -  Reputation: 40883

Posted 17 July 2011 - 02:41 AM

Even with the positive-only rating no one is going to spam post to just to get a higher reputation.

You're taking that too literally.

Let's say that only 1% of your posts get a 'like' click. That means that your 'reputation' is just postCount*0.01.
Going by this formula, then being on the site longer and having more posts means a higher 'reputation' -- it's just a scaled post count.

The actual interesting information (the scaling factor 0.01) is lost, along with the measure of unhelpful posts... I can be a complete jerk 99% of the time, but as long as I still post helpful information for that 1% of the time, my 'reputation' will still increase at the exact same rate.

### #35Serapth  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6185

Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:24 AM

I think StackOverflow has about nailed the reputation system. Rip theirs off!

So, is this why reputation and join date is gone from the thread? This change I rather dislike, as flawed as it may have been, it served a purpose.
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### #36JoeCooper  Members   -  Reputation: 338

Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:17 AM

I disliked the idea that one could smack a post because they have a distaste for it or disagree with it. I don't know that I've seen it, but...

There's also the possibility that it can be interpreted. I know they're anonymous, but for example there's a thread in another section that's just me and one other person conversing.

A 3rd party smacked one of his posts - and maybe it was slightly smackworthy - but since nobody else is participating it kind of looks like I did it. I didn't say anything, but you know what I mean right?

I'm gonna second the unlike thing. If we're this concerned with reps, we should have something for mis-clicks. I accidentally clicked downrate on someone's post elsewhere - I don't know why, my head wasn't sharp and I was fidgeting with the mouse - then discovered I couldn't undo it. So I had to say so and then other folks bumped the post back up. Embarrassing.

On that note, the old GDnet weighted the influence of a reputation bump by the rep of the bumper. Why not do that?

### #37Alpha_ProgDes  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4965

Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:36 AM

Even with the positive-only rating no one is going to spam post to just to get a higher reputation.

You're taking that too literally.

Let's say that only 1% of your posts get a 'like' click. That means that your 'reputation' is just postCount*0.01.
Going by this formula, then being on the site longer and having more posts means a higher 'reputation' -- it's just a scaled post count.

The actual interesting information (the scaling factor 0.01) is lost, along with the measure of unhelpful posts... I can be a complete jerk 99% of the time, but as long as I still post helpful information for that 1% of the time, my 'reputation' will still increase at the exact same rate.

Well said. +1 4 yuo
External Articulation of Concepts Materializes Innate Knowledge of One's Craft and Science

Beginner in Game Development? Read here.

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If you have found any of the posts helpful, please show your appreciation by clicking the up arrow on those posts

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### #38Michael Tanczos  Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5561

Posted 17 July 2011 - 02:13 PM

Even with the positive-only rating no one is going to spam post to just to get a higher reputation.

You're taking that too literally.

Let's say that only 1% of your posts get a 'like' click. That means that your 'reputation' is just postCount*0.01.
Going by this formula, then being on the site longer and having more posts means a higher 'reputation' -- it's just a scaled post count.

The actual interesting information (the scaling factor 0.01) is lost, along with the measure of unhelpful posts... I can be a complete jerk 99% of the time, but as long as I still post helpful information for that 1% of the time, my 'reputation' will still increase at the exact same rate.

If you divide your reputation by postCount, yes.. there will always be a mathematical relation and that number means nothing because it will never be the same as everyone elses. But more importantly, there is nothing wrong with having a higher reputation with no cap. From my viewpoint I can call millionaires rich just as much as billionaires are rich.. I know when people have a lot of money. So in comparison, not having an upper limit on reputation doesn't mean people can't tell a number is high.

And to be fair, if you are a complete jerk the community does have meta-moderation power in their ability to report posts to a moderator. It's been done hundreds of times so far and users can be warned, suspended temporarily, and even banned. I'd bet you couldn't get away with being a jerk 99% of the time.

### #39JoeCooper  Members   -  Reputation: 338

Posted 17 July 2011 - 05:13 PM

Ah, I see the bit about weighted reps has already been answered. Sorry.

### #40ApochPiQ  Moderators   -  Reputation: 17991

Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:44 PM

Speaking as one of the mods, I think this is a horrible step backwards.

The point of down-rating things is to allow the community to help control itself without requiring direct mod intervention. I for one think that's a good goal, because I don't have 19 hours a day to wade through reported posts and slap people for being naughty. If there is a disincentive towards bad behavior built into the community dynamic, everyone wins.

I think it deserves to be very carefully considered. Because building a reputation as a community of encouraging helpful, constructive, polite, and accurate discussions is something we not only should want to do, but have to do - or GDNet will become irrelevant very soon.

Also, speaking as a mod, I'd appreciate it if we could at least get some warning before this stuff is done to the live site. For a while there reputation disappeared entirely from people's post sidebars, and I nearly sent a vicious screed to the mods list over it, because this kind of thing is just not polite to your volunteer mod team.

And yes, I'm deliberately calling you guys out on this in public, because there's been a lot of comforting noises about increasing the transparency of how the site is run, opening up things for wider discussion, etc. and so far that transparency is not materializing. I'm not trying to generate hostility, point fingers, or sling blame here - just keep you accountable to your promises.
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