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#41 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6107

Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:11 PM

Personally i'd like to have the downvote buttons back, the community as a whole is in my opinion mature enough to vote up posts with unfairly low scores and downvote overrated posts, when only "liking" the posts is possible the number becomes meaningless as it just keeps growing, restricting the ability to downrate posts to those with a reasonably high rating might be a good solution to avoid massive abuse.

An even better option would be to be able to rate posts from -2 to +2 and then display a weighted average of the scores but i understand if thats too much work to implement.
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#42 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30352

Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:12 PM

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.

Lots of users here are complete jerks most of the time -- as an example, in this thread, there's a newbie who obviously does not know C++ very well, and needs some hand-holding to have C++ serialization tactics explained to him.

SiCrane explains the exact situation/problem very well in post #6, but it's at too high of a level for the OP to understand. When the OP asks what the jargon means, he just gets a series of jerk "you should've used google to teach yourself"-type replies.

This kind of bad attitude isn't worth reporting to mods (especially when it's coming from a mod), but IMHO, it is worthy of a thumbs down for being a jerk. When it comes to making new members feel welcome here, giving a thumbs-down to jerk replies is very important in showing them that not all of us want to be mean to them -- it shows them that some people are on their side and support them.

I don't mean to pick on SiCrane here (as I said, his initial post was very helpful) -- this kind of 'jerk' attitude is extremely common on the boards from a very large number of helpful (and unhelpful) members.

#43 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6107

Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:24 PM

I don't mean to pick on SiCrane here (as I said, his initial post was very helpful) -- this kind of 'jerk' attitude is extremely common on the boards from a range of helpful (and unhelpful) members.


I would consider posts telling beginners to use google to be quite helpful when its appropriate, spoonfeeding might solve the problem they have today but giving them the ability to find information will solve the problems they have in the future aswell.
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The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

#44 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5206

Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:29 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.


I didn't remove the reputation and I'm not sure if it was some sort of glitch or if someone turned it off. My first reaction when seeing that it was turned off was a big capital letter WTF followed by figuring out how to turn it back on followed by a post of my own to the other staff members. If it was deliberate I'm sure it was one of the staff possibly reacting to a "turn off ratings altogether" post, which I don't think is a fair solution.

I definitely respect your point of view, because I think their is value in community moderation both for positive/negative.. but I think it comes with a whole host of issues that we just haven't come up with solutions with. I'd wager it's the same reason facebook doesn't have a "Dislike" this and why google doesn't have a "-1". One issue we see is when users sign up, don't know how we operate, make a post, get voted down for not following rules or doing their homework, and then they get an instant bad taste in their mouth for Gamedev.net. Solutions probably exist, but it's also a matter of committing development resources to the solutions.. and we don't have that right now.

A counterpoint I might make though, is for posts that go beyond the bounds of good forum behavior we've always relied on moderator reports even going back 10 years.. and right now we're down on traffic on average after the switchover, largely because of all the broken links that left google unable to forward users to our site but we are slowly getting it back. This means less posts that our larger moderator base has to police. If you really want a good forum, you need rich discussions that show a lot of thought. Look at it this way, let's say a user posts something that sucks and 10 people vote that post down.. unless there is a user who posts a correct solution the topic is nothing better than a dead end (or search trap) for people who might find that topic later via google search. If expert users can offer counterexamples that solve the problem then the thread remains something of value.

I would argue that adding a negative vote adds less value to the topic because it adds absolutely nothing to the post because you have zero idea of the credibility behind that downrating. That is my biggest problem with downrating - is that everyone is equal including non-experts. It would have to require some level of weighting. Likewise, "liking" a post is more recognition that you appreciate the contribution of another person. It's not "you're right", because again we don't have a measure of how competent a user is to make that judgement call in the first case. If all users were experts then that upvote would matter for determining correctness. So then, what this system is relegated to, is a *recognition* system rather than some type of "you're right" system.

#45 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30352

Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:34 PM

I would consider posts telling beginners to use google to be quite helpful when its appropriate, spoonfeeding might solve the problem they have today but giving them the ability to find information will solve the problems they have in the future aswell.

I agree -- but if you want people to listen and learn, it should be done without the jerk attitude attached.

Nonetheless, when you disagree with my -1, you can counteract it with a +1 and the balance of the universe is restored.

#46 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5206

Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:41 PM


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.

Lots of users here are complete jerks most of the time -- as an example, in this thread, there's a newbie who obviously does not know C++ very well, and needs some hand-holding to have C++ serialization tactics explained to him.

SiCrane explains the exact situation/problem very well in post #6, but it's at too high of a level for the OP to understand. When the OP asks what the jargon means, he just gets a series of jerk "you should've used google to teach yourself"-type replies.

This kind of bad attitude isn't worth reporting to mods (especially when it's coming from a mod), but IMHO, it is worthy of a thumbs down for being a jerk. When it comes to making new members feel welcome here, giving a thumbs-down to jerk replies is very important in showing them that not all of us want to be mean to them -- it shows them that some people are on their side and support them.

I don't mean to pick on SiCrane here (as I said, his initial post was very helpful) -- this kind of 'jerk' attitude is extremely common on the boards from a very large number of helpful (and unhelpful) members.


I like this post because I agree with it. I also don't think this site should have room for people who treat each other like their idiots. Beginners aren't necessarily lazy by asking a certain question.. some of them may not have developed the research skills necessary to be wholly independent. That comes with time and experience. The thumbs down absolutely has pros to it's use.. we just saw too many issues related to abuse that was causing *more* problems than someone just being a jerk. So we don't get too carried away, we're not saying we're not going to try to find a better way of doing this. The downvoting was causing more problems than it was solving unfortunately at the moment and discussions like this one will help in determining a solution down the road.

Also one thing to consider, is that answering a beginner question today might show up in the search results of a beginner doing research tomorrow.

#47 ApochPiQ   Moderators   -  Reputation: 15697

Posted 17 July 2011 - 07:44 PM

Well, good to know there isn't some kind of evil staff conspiracy to screw with the site behind our backs Posted Image Honestly I'm a little embarrassed that it never occurred to me that the rep disappearance was an accident, so if I came off a little too pissy, my apologies.

As for reputation... I think the philosophically expedient approach would be to have reputation-rating be a privilege, not a right - and that reputation votes on someone should be weighted based on how long the person has been here, to some degree.

I can't suggest actual formulas off the top of my head, but what I'm driving for is something where people can't just get rated into oblivion (or the stratosphere for that matter) on Day 1, regardless of what they do. Simultaneously, a weighted rep factor would be nice to restore, along the lines of the old rating system. There should always be a way to quantify - even if it isn't perfect - that a well-respected community member gets to affect other people's reputations with according weight.

Maybe we should get rid of a cumulative score altogether, but instead compute some kind of "trend over time" sort of factor. Instead of "rep points go up/rep points go down" it should be along the lines of "this guy has consistently gotten a high +1-to-post-count ratio over the past N weeks" detector, whereby people who are consistently and prolifically useful to the community get a net boost. If, during the next N week window, the same guy goes on a certain-goat-posting rampage and gets a lot of -1s per post, the automated trend detector docks his rating accordingly.

So ratings would take time to converge on a value, but simultaneously reflect patterns of behavior. Bonus points for showing a graph of an individual's rep adjustments based on these thresholds over time... then I can go look at someone and see "hey he was a douche for a while but has been better ever since" or maybe "he's going downhill fast" or "someone has multiple personality disorder going on."


Sorry if this came out all disjointed and fragmented - I'm thinking about five different things at once and keep stopping and coming back to this, so coherency may not be optimal. I'd be happy to come back and clarify the concepts if they're as poorly expressed as I fear them to be Posted Image

#48 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 17 July 2011 - 08:17 PM

Well. I see we got negative ratings back. Was that the intention to bring them back? Or to make an "undo" button for the Like This button?
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#49 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5206

Posted 17 July 2011 - 08:43 PM

Well. I see we got negative ratings back. Was that the intention to bring them back? Or to make an "undo" button for the Like This button?


You only get one vote per post.

#50 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 17 July 2011 - 09:20 PM


Well. I see we got negative ratings back. Was that the intention to bring them back? Or to make an "undo" button for the Like This button?


You only get one vote per post.

Well. I see it's not an "undo" button for the Like This button. ApochPiQ you just got a free point, lol.
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#51 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

Posted 17 July 2011 - 10:23 PM

"Beginners aren't necessarily lazy by asking a certain question.. some of them may not have developed the research skills necessary to be wholly independent ..."

Incidentally, one time a user came into the beginner forum and asked how to make a game (or something like that) and was somewhat stubborn about the responses. He revealed he had no computer... I decided to write to him directly and asked if he wanted to make games. He seemed a little weird, but I convinced him to get a computer, and... This took a few months for no reason I could gather. I pressed him and advised, then I tried to press him to do this and that and try this, but he'd just play X-Box all day.

Eventually I realized he was mentally challenged.

I forgot where I was going with this ...

I somewhat dislike the presence of a smack button if folks are using it against newbies, but one could also make the case that newbies and lazy observers can smack someone responding with the local equivalent to "RTFM" on a topic that just plain isn't intuitive.

In the latter case, using an anonymous smack button can fall under the "choosing your battles" principle. Sometimes it's obvious why something is smackworthy and you don't really want to get that invested in it..?

#52 ApochPiQ   Moderators   -  Reputation: 15697

Posted 18 July 2011 - 12:00 AM

Of course, one option would be to remove the "up/down" model entirely and simply replace the buttons with a "tag this post" link. Meta-tags like "helpful" or "rude" or "inaccurate" could be supplied, so that people cannot simply vote down (or up!) a post without providing a cogent reason. By making it a tag rather than a free-form input, we can ensure that people don't just type "asdl;fkasdglk;mnsd" into the box and thereby go around abusing the system.

I think this might be doable in the new IPB version with tag support, but I might be mistaken. If it is possible, I think it'd be a great solution to the issue. We could even have the tags be aggregated into a number automatically (every "negative" tag is -1, every "positive" tag is +1, show the sum on the post instead of the vote count). This could also be supplemented with a detection method that says "oh, hey, person A flagged this as useful and B flagged it as inaccurate; let's mark the post as controversial."

This solves the problem of nobody knowing why a post is red or green, while still retaining elements of both community self-policing (for negative behavior) and supplementing the rating system with a mechanism for objectively determining quality content.

#53 Gaiiden   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5160

Posted 18 July 2011 - 02:34 PM

Check the latest Staff Journal post I made, everyone. We're looking for help in making these kinds of changes a reality. The more help we get, the sooner we can start implementing stuff that needs to be developed in order to make these features work.

We have a GD.Net facebook fan page ?! Please tell me this is a joke.

Laugh it up, fuzzball. Although I wouldn't call it a fan page, since it's run by us.

There's always the stackexchange system, where downvoting costs you a tiny bit of your own rep?

We've been hearing this a lot. I'm in favor of it

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.

Are these critiques publicly visible? I think one argument to be made against this is similar to what Mike has been saying where a full reply would serve the same purpose and also explain to others what is good/bad about the post.

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.

Yea that's a good point to ponder.... still pondering...


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.

True, but this is where stuff like badges can come in. You'll notice in the IPB post Mike linked to you can hover over names to see profile info. We can begin having badges that denote certain members as experienced users or experts on certain topics that mods can hand out to members they recognize for these abilities. It would at least let people recognize who is thinking their post is accurate/helpful

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?

This should be possible - you can change a lot of terminology by editing the site's word bank. For example I changed all instances of "blog" to "journal"

Of course, one option would be to remove the "up/down" model entirely and simply replace the buttons with a "tag this post" link. Meta-tags like "helpful" or "rude" or "inaccurate" could be supplied, so that people cannot simply vote down (or up!) a post without providing a cogent reason. By making it a tag rather than a free-form input, we can ensure that people don't just type "asdl;fkasdglk;mnsd" into the box and thereby go around abusing the system.

I think this might be doable in the new IPB version with tag support, but I might be mistaken. If it is possible, I think it'd be a great solution to the issue. We could even have the tags be aggregated into a number automatically (every "negative" tag is -1, every "positive" tag is +1, show the sum on the post instead of the vote count). This could also be supplemented with a detection method that says "oh, hey, person A flagged this as useful and B flagged it as inaccurate; let's mark the post as controversial."

This solves the problem of nobody knowing why a post is red or green, while still retaining elements of both community self-policing (for negative behavior) and supplementing the rating system with a mechanism for objectively determining quality content.

Interesting idea, mainly because it's been suggested and considered before. I think it merits consideration again now that tagging is coming to IPB.

Drew Sikora
Executive Producer
GameDev.net


#54 SymLinked   Members   -  Reputation: 864

Posted 19 July 2011 - 04:56 AM

Are downratings restored? I can't downvote others, but others obviously can downvote. Is that some new functionallity based on your rep number, perhaps?

#55 ChurchSkiz   Members   -  Reputation: 449

Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:37 AM

I respect the decision to remove the down rating, but in all honesty, I thought it was the best system GD.Net ever had. You had immediate impact on what specific posts got down rated.

The negative for keeping it is, some people may opt not to post specific content for fear of being downvoted or losing personal rep. Isn't that the whole idea of the reputation system? To be the little buzzer going off in your head that says, "If I post this I might lower my rep..."

Prior to the forum change I was getting downvoted for posting opinions contrary to the mood of the board, which really sucked. With the last system that happened maybe 1 or 2 times, because other people could see when you got down voted and vote you back up if you got downvoted for no reason. On that note, the times I did get downvoted were honestly warranted. It was a really well done feature that provided immediate feedback to posters.

The only real down side I saw was the abuse that you mentioned (which I think could be remedied), and the lack of ability to sort posts (specifically of yourself) by ratings.

It seems like every time the rate down feature goes away, idiotic posts go up exponentially.

#56 mrchrismnh   Members   -  Reputation: 82

Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:05 AM

Without downrating, when someone comes onto the forum and is WRONG how else is the army of GD.net computer geniuses supposed to punish them?
"It's like naming him Asskicker Monstertrucktits O'Ninja" -Khaiy


#57 Promethium   Members   -  Reputation: 580

Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:15 PM

A suggestion for an alternative post rating/voting system from another site I often read: Instead of vote up/down buttons, have a combo box with a set of preset words. When you read a post you can select one of the words and the average vote is displayed. The words could be something like "neutral" (the default), "helpful", "correct", "incorrect", "irrelevant", "off topic", "repeat", "funny", "rude", "flamebait", and so on. So if a few people selects correct and a lot of people selects incorrect the average would show incorrect, and in this way the community can converge on a classification of how informative a given post is. This system is used on newz.dk (in danish.) Of course, you must be logged in before you can select. Oh, and you are free to change you selection later, the average is computed dynamically.

I guess this could even tie in with a member reputation. Instead of having a numerical reputation, show something like "Most of this posters posts are <correct>".

As I see it this system has two advantages over a like/dislike system. 1) It is more fine grained: I can indicate why I like or dislike this post, as in, was it correct information, was it rude, was it irrelevant. 2) It is "easier" to rate posts. I will only click the like/dislike button on posts that I am really sure are good or bad, the in-betweens are lost, but I can easily attach a word like helpful or irrelevant to how I feel about a post so I'm more inclined to do it.

#58 Michael Tanczos   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 5206

Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:16 PM

Downvoting is restored for some people - We are experimenting with factors that to help determine those who would be less likely to abuse the system and thus cause troubles for everyone else using the site. Think of it as automatic selection of meta-moderators. Think of the algorithm as a big black box where a bunch of calculated variables based on your account go in and it decides whether or not to give you downvote access yet. If you don't have access, it doesn't mean you're not trustworthy.. at some point you may get access.

- Michael

#59 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:04 PM

I curious if the ratings could be setup so that beginners have to "earn" the right to upvote or downvote a post. This could be participation in the site, not having less than 0 for so many months, or getting their posts upvoted.
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 Posted Image
 
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#60 __sprite   Members   -  Reputation: 461

Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:41 AM

Downvoting is restored for some people - We are experimenting with factors that to help determine those who would be less likely to abuse the system and thus cause troubles for everyone else using the site. Think of it as automatic selection of meta-moderators. Think of the algorithm as a big black box where a bunch of calculated variables based on your account go in and it decides whether or not to give you downvote access yet. If you don't have access, it doesn't mean you're not trustworthy.. at some point you may get access.

- Michael



I'd rather not think of it as a magical black box of judgement. Even though you say it's not a measure of trustworthiness, that does appear to be exactly what it is (people more likely to abuse the system == less trustworthy). It's apparenty not a GDNet+ thing, so I'm guessing it's just a plain old "if you have >n reputation, you can downvote"? (Incidentally, I can downrate journal entries, but not posts - is this a bug?)

I'm curious to know if you've actually confirmed any cases of people "abusing the system". Unless this is actually a problem, and was happening in more than one or two cases with the old system, this is somewhat reminiscent of premature optimisation. (And if it was in the Lounge, then you could just not allow rating at all in that forum).

I also don't really see how you can judge some users less likely to "abuse the system" than others. Letting everyone vote both up and down means that you end up with a post rating representative of the community as a whole.

Without downrating, when someone comes onto the forum and is WRONG how else is the army of GD.net computer geniuses supposed to punish them?


Maybe my sarcasm detector is broken, but it should never be about punishment. Post ratings should just be about marking incorrect information, IMHO (another reason to not have ratings in the lounge, or at least not to count them towards user reputation). I'd be perfectly happy with user ratings being removed altogether, but it's also why I suggested basing the rating on number of +ve or -ve posts above, rather than directly on the number of pluses or minuses. That way one bad post in a thread with lots of traffic doesn't nuke someone's reputation, and you don't get the perception of being "picked on" leading to a long-lasting stigma.




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