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## Thumbs down

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15 replies to this topic

### #1wildboar  Members

Posted 06 June 2011 - 11:25 PM

I dont understand, whats the point of this thumbs down, thumbs up thing,
its ruining gamedev.net.

It seems random newbies just pointlessly down thumbing peoples posts,
this irritates people and causes people to stop wanting to help people or post
because of the subconscious thought of their post being down thumbed.

This feature should be removed from gamedev.net, it doesn't really add anything.
At least make the down rating system private like how it was before.
The whole system needs a major rework.

### #2jbadams  Senior Staff

Posted 06 June 2011 - 11:42 PM

I disagree -- I'm not going to down-vote your post to express it though.

Any system is going to be misused sometimes, but I think the way the new system allows people to rate posts rather than users is an improvement over the old per user rating, and I think it's generally being used pretty fairly. I do think it would be nice if more people would take the time to up-vote helpful posts on occasion, but apart from a few instances of particularly unpopular opinions I haven't personally seen a lot of gang-down-voting, and even then I would really still consider what happened to be a correct usage of the system.

The display of negative reputation has been capped to 0 in the forums but I've noticed (at least for me) still shows up in the profile, which would probably be worth fixing.

I don't see the problem with down-votes being visible on individual posts -- sure, it can be discouraging in cases where it isn't deserved, but it's pretty good at highlighting when the community thinks an answer is wrong or bad, and unlike a hidden system it actually gives users some feedback as to what content they have posted that people have disagreed with -- being able to search "my content" sorted by down/up-votes would probably help make this feedback even more useful. I did myself propose an adjustment to the system where down-votes on an individual post would not show up until a couple of people had also voted it down, but I believe the idea was generally unpopular.

- Jason Astle-Adams

### #3rip-off  Moderators

Posted 07 June 2011 - 03:17 AM

... I think the way the new system allows people to rate posts rather than users is an improvement over the old per user rating...

Unfortunately, at the moment it does both, which I think leads to some troubles.

I think it is an improvement over the old system, mostly. The main problem for any such system is that everyone has a different idea of how it should work. My criticism of the current reputation system follows.

• I see the OP in some "For Beginners" (or someone posting elsewhere who clearly is a beginner) being down-voted. While these posts frequently display the kind of conduct cited as down-votable (vague questions, no error messages, limited code, lack of research, poor spelling/grammar), I think we all can appreciate that when you are starting out you just are not going to get all these things correct. This is a problem in the community rather than the tech I think, but maybe it would be nice to have some way of "warning" people that they are down-voting someone new to the site, and to encourage them to post feedback (via thread or direct message) rather than down voting them for rules they might not be aware of yet.
• Related is the fact that beginners have the same voting power as experienced users. So it can take a number of users to give a "balanced" rating to a post rather than the "this fixed my immediate problem" voting that newbies often use. This is a subtle problem, because it ties in with a popular criticism of the old rating system. Now that votes are on posts rather than people the community might be more open to this idea.
• Apparent direct mapping between post thumbs and reputation. I can't directly prove this but there seems to be a very strong link between the two, possibly even a 1 to 1 mapping. I think they should be slightly decoupled, e.g. only posts with +/- 3 points or more should contribute to your reputation.
• We now have what we always wanted with the old system, you can see the posts that people have voted up/down and change your behaviour accordingly! Except there is no way that I know of to see when your posts have been rated, or be notified when the rating changes. You basically will only see it for active threads, and then only in short ones where you are likely to see your older posts. This is essentially the same idea as detailed in the thread jbadams linked to.
• Long running threads can generate significant feedback on posts. In the "debate me about the bible" thread, some of the posts have a high "thumb" values, simply because the thread runs for a long time. I'm not sure whether we should have a moratorium on up/down voting on old threads, or have the age of the vote used to "dilute" it (e.g. first 3 days = 1 point, next 3 = .5 point, next 3 = .25 point, all others .1 point).

I think the new system gets a lot right, I like the idea of it anway. One major improvement I see is we no longer get the "spiral to zero", where a new user would get down-rated and complain about it until their rating reached zero. Though that was becoming less common in the old forums towards the end anyway. The only reputation spirals I've seen so far are obvious trolls.

I did myself propose an adjustment to the system where down-votes on an individual post would not show up until a couple of people had also voted it down, but I believe the idea was generally unpopular.

Again, a tricky problem. In some of the less popular forums/threads, there might be only the one down vote on a post that contains inaccurate information. There is also the problem that unless you see UI feedback when using the system people will probably stop voting.

### #4SymLinked  Members

Posted 07 June 2011 - 03:31 AM

Just like rip-off I do find the post voting useful on its own, but I don't think it should reflect on the users total rating like it does now.

I've found that some users, when faced with corrections on their incorrect facts in posts (even when pointed out in a friendly manner and sometimes even with external sources!) retaliate in anger by thumbing-down; which isn't something I find very useful nor mature but every system has its disadvantages and this definatly is one of the few.

### #5wildboar  Members

Posted 07 June 2011 - 01:26 PM

rip-off I like your idea about the For Beginners section. Newbies should be encouraged to provide more information and/or code for certain problems, maybe a dialog box reminding them about the source tags?.
Also I sometimes see threads that have a certain problem just end with "OK... I solved it guys thanks". It would be nice to suggest to the person to write how they solved the problem
so future readers can look at the thread and know.

### #6Rattrap  Members

Posted 07 June 2011 - 01:34 PM

• Apparent direct mapping between post thumbs and reputation. I can't directly prove this but there seems to be a very strong link between the two, possibly even a 1 to 1 mapping. I think they should be slightly decoupled, e.g. only posts with +/- 3 points or more should contribute to your reputation.
• Long running threads can generate significant feedback on posts. In the "debate me about the bible" thread, some of the posts have a high "thumb" values, simply because the thread runs for a long time. I'm not sure whether we should have a moratorium on up/down voting on old threads, or have the age of the vote used to "dilute" it (e.g. first 3 days = 1 point, next 3 = .5 point, next 3 = .25 point, all others .1 point).

These both seem like good ideas.

"I can't believe I'm defending logic to a turing machine." - Kent Woolworth [Other Space]

### #7Puciek  Members

Posted 07 June 2011 - 07:01 PM

I never understood what is the point of "karma" system. For most because you are asking users to do moderators work (without any of the responsibility). This is very bad because on top of lack of responsibility for your actions, people don't have a clear idea how they should use this system. Most people just click "down" when they don't like that post (most of the time because they didn't understand the post and felt like it was just nonconstructive attempt to troll) which would be "fine" (as fine as democratic forum posting rating system can be) if they did equal amount of "voting up" on all posts they like.

Contrary to what was said, this system doesn't provide feedback, just "how people feel about your post" and well, i'm not a democrat because for most part majority knows nothing. This is funny because it makes "nice" posts more valuable than constructive ones.

### #8Hodgman  Moderators

Posted 07 June 2011 - 07:36 PM

Apparent direct mapping between post thumbs and reputation. I can't directly prove this but there seems to be a very strong link between the two, possibly even a 1 to 1 mapping. I think they should be slightly decoupled, e.g. only posts with +/- 3 points or more should contribute to your reputation.

Multiply rated posts tend to mean something different than posts that only get +1 though.
From what I can tell, someone who gets lots of "+1"'s is generally posting advice that helps specific members. On the other hand, someone who occasionally gets a "+5" has just said something popular / funny.
Many small bumps seems to indicate helpfulness, while a few large bumps indicates popularity :/

Long running threads can generate significant feedback on posts. In the "debate me about the bible" thread, some of the posts have a high "thumb" values, simply because the thread runs for a long time. I'm not sure whether we should have a moratorium on up/down voting on old threads, or have the age of the vote used to "dilute" it (e.g. first 3 days = 1 point, next 3 = .5 point, next 3 = .25 point, all others .1 point).

This happened with the old system too. I had a colleague who stopped coming here, because one day he logged in to see his rep had dropped by 600 points overnight. Turns out a mod had dug up an old thread where he made a distasteful joke (which no one seemed to notice at the time) and this mod missed the humour and took it as a serious post, and absolutely flamed the crap out of him for it. This bumped the thread onto active topics, where lots of people read the flaming, agreed, and down-voted him.

At the same time though, I've come across a lot of old posts via Google, and use the "+1" button when finding good advice...

Most people just click "down" when they don't like that post (most of the time because they didn't understand the post and felt like it was just nonconstructive attempt to troll) which would be "fine" (as fine as democratic forum posting rating system can be) if they did equal amount of "voting up" on all posts they like.

It would be interesting to see what the average ratio of +1's vs -1's is. Over time, will the average rating go up or down?

Contrary to what was said, this system doesn't provide feedback, just "how people feel about your post"

It would be interesting if in order to use that button, you had to type in a reason - so people could read the list of reasons it was up/down voted.

### #9rip-off  Moderators

Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:47 AM

Good points Hodgman. I don't actually think there is a perfect system that can balance all these competing problems without losing some of the upsides.

### #10/ owl   Banned

Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:54 AM

OP: I rated you down. It was me. Here.

Why? I'm no actually sure.

I guess that in "reality" people is entitled to dislike you for no reason.
I like the Walrus best.

### #11CRYP7IK  Members

Posted 08 June 2011 - 03:27 AM

but it's pretty good at highlighting when the community thinks an answer is wrong or bad

Majority is always right yeah?

To accomplish great things we must first dream, then visualize, then plan...believe... act! - Alfred A. Montapert
C# Programmer and Unity Developer at Well Placed Cactus.

### #12Puciek  Members

Posted 08 June 2011 - 04:58 AM

but it's pretty good at highlighting when the community thinks an answer is wrong or bad

Majority is always right yeah?

Well, duh. That's why successful companies are run in democratic manner.

### #13Hodgman  Moderators

Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:05 AM

but it's pretty good at highlighting when the community thinks an answer is wrong or bad

Majority is always right yeah?

There's a big difference between absolute right/wrong and community standards.

OP: I rated you down. It was me. Here. Why? I'm no actually sure.

It was an unspoken rule on the old forums that anyone who mentioned ratings would be rated down by everyone

### #14Mussi  GDNet+

Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:12 AM

I often check down rated posts to see if I agree and if not, I try to cancel it out with an up vote. I'm curious to what my up to down vote ratio is.
Rip-off and Hodgman make some good points and judging by their ratings, they do that all the time . I wouldn't worry too much about reputation, after reading a gazillion amount of posts I often look at the users name instead of his/her reputation. Their reputation is stored in my brain and is based on all their posts I've read, not the number under their name. There are a lot of members in this community that I would follow blindly because they've build up their name, not their reputation.

### #15SimonForsman  Members

Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:23 AM

I often check down rated posts to see if I agree and if not, I try to cancel it out with an up vote. I'm curious to what my up to down vote ratio is.
Rip-off and Hodgman make some good points and judging by their ratings, they do that all the time . I wouldn't worry too much about reputation, after reading a gazillion amount of posts I often look at the users name instead of his/her reputation. Their reputation is stored in my brain and is based on all their posts I've read, not the number under their name. There are a lot of members in this community that I would follow blindly because they've build up their name, not their reputation.

Aye, a persons reputation isn't very important now but the post ratings can be useful.
Adding the ability to hide posts below a certain treshold would probably improve things further, (just replace them with the posters name, the rating and a button to show the full post).
In the technical forums it has the potential to be useful if its used primarily to highlight the really good or really bad posts (Its up to the community to make it work though).

I don't quite see the point of post ratings in the lounge (+- ratings are primarily handed out there to people having the "right" or "wrong" opinions and its not really interesting to know that half the board disagrees with another posters political views)
I don't suffer from insanity, I'm enjoying every minute of it.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

### #16Gaiiden  Senior Staff

Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:23 AM

We appreciate all the thoughts and opinions. Keep em coming. We'll probably dedicate a new staff blog post to this topic soon

Drew Sikora
Executive Producer
GameDev.net

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