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Negative Reputation

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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.

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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?
[/quote]
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.

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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.

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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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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

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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.

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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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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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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?

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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1310858450' post='4836180']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 [font="Courier New"]postCount*0.01[/font].
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.
[/quote]
Well said. +1 4 yuo :)

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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1310858450' post='4836180']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 [font="Courier New"]postCount*0.01[/font].
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.
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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.

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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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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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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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[quote name='Michael Tanczos' timestamp='1310933587' post='4836471']
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.
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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.

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Well, good to know there isn't some kind of evil staff conspiracy to screw with the site behind our backs smile.gif 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 smile.gif

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[quote name='Alpha_ProgDes' timestamp='1310955462' post='4836601']
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.
[/quote]
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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