Coffeehouse Thread

46 posts

Slashdot style moderation?

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  • User profile image
    Rory

    Hey, people -

    I'm finally sitting in Building 18. Even though I haven't done anything beyond getting my parking pass, I feel like just being here gives me the right to ask for your opinions on big topics that could have a major impact on C9.

    So...

    What do you think about having a /. style moderation system? The problem with the current banning solution to trolling is that it isn't very communityish.

    Recently, I allowed myself to get dragged into a long, irritating troll thread. We've seen all the "Don't reply to trolls" posts, but you know how hard it is to do that when someone calls out your integrity in front of the rest of the board.

    It'd be nice, then, if we could use post points (I *think* they're implemented here - not sure - would have to talk to Adam) to allot mod  points. That way, instead of the C9 team having total say over who is/isn't trolling, you guys can help keep things clean around here by having some control over the environment.

    And, yeah - we'd just be stealing this feature directly from /. - but that doesn't bother me - let's just not get mired in a thread about how this feature is unoriginal (not saying that somebody would have come along and argued this, but... well, someone probably would've, and it would've been distracting).

    What do you think? I don't even know if it would be possible, as I'm not up to speed on what the new codebase is capable of, but I'd like to see the conversations here improved by leaps and bounds as a result of user moderation.

    Eh?

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    I dont like the idea because people will start modding others down based on personal opinion. People will be in fear of getting modded down if they attempt to step out and express their real feelings about a matter.


    Regards,
    Vincent

  • User profile image
    Rory

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    I dont like the idea because people will start modding others down based on personal opinion. People will be in fear of getting modded down if they attempt to step out and express their real feelings about a matter.


    Regards,
    Vincent


    I agree that that's a possibility, but I think that the majority of people around here want to have good conversations.

    Also, /. implements meta-moderation so that the moderation can be rated.

    That might be a bit much, but at least starting out with some kind of ratings system might be good - again, based on someone's posting history.

  • User profile image
    DarthVista

    I think this is an idea with some potential. I would extend it further by giving a few people "super abilities", such as the capability of nuking one post of their choice per month, or "extra modding points" power to drive certain posts into oblivion. For instance, if I see one more Gnome thread on here, I'd love to...well...you know...hit the big red "destroy this post" button.

    [6]

  • User profile image
    shreyasonli​ne

    No Thank You ! ...

    This would give rise to discrimination. It would feel like C9 team have been relocated to China ! (Or may be Iran)

    Shreyas Zare

  • User profile image
    shreyasonli​ne

    In a democratic system, problems must be dealt democratically.

    Shreyas Zare

  • User profile image
    TommyCarlier

    I haven't made up my mind whether such a system would be good or bad, but if it is implemented, I think it would be a good idea to not allow people to moderate until they have been member for a certain period. Else it would be too easy for people to create a bunch of accounts and start modding down posts.

  • User profile image
    petknep_home

    shreyasonline wrote:
    In a democratic system, problems must be dealt democratically.

    Shreyas Zare

    Right now we have a dictatorship (or at best a representative democracy).

    Slashdot style moderation is democratic.

    Community moderation is power to the people.

    A digg style moderation system would be a lot easier that slashdot. You only have to keep a count on the posts, no individual mod points. You can also choose to block specific trolls (yay!).

    Most community moderation systems suffer from groupthink and the tyrrany of the majority however. It'd be an interesting experiment though.

  • User profile image
    irascian

    Add me to the 'Can't make my mind up on this one' crowd.

    I think things have been relatively quiet on the trolling front recently so I'm probably more laid back than I would be if we'd had one of the outbreaks we've had in the past.

    My concern is that you'd probably get someone like Darth Vista voted out by the majority, when even though he's a troll he's given me some of the best laughs we've had in a long time on here and I kind of look forward to his posts. I never was one for subtlety Wink

  • User profile image
    shreyasonli​ne

    petknep_home wrote:
    Most community moderation systems suffer from groupthink and the tyrrany of the majority however. It'd be an interesting experiment though.


    Thata what exactly I am fearing. Such system may create groups say a good group of C9ers and a bad group of trolls and both hiting at each other to take each others post down.

    Its like when two people/groups are fighting, giving them *weapons of mass destruction* dont make any sense ! (Sorry, Bush made me habituated with WMD Wink )

    Shreyas Zare

  • User profile image
    Antitorgo

    Just a thought -- but if we wanted Slashdot or Digg, wouldn't we just go there?

    The amount of opinion-based negative moderation that goes on with both those sites means that some interesting posts get modded down because they don't meet the "group ideology" of the site.

    How many times have you been frustrated by Slashdot Linux and Mac zealots moderating you down just because you happen to not bash, or heaven forbid be pro Microsoft?

    Digg is even worse. Just go look at any of the political opinion boards to see the left-right wingers go nuts.

    Is the volume of posts on C9 even high enough to even warrant a moderation system?

  • User profile image
    Rory

    Antitorgo wrote:
    Just a thought -- but if we wanted Slashdot or Digg, wouldn't we just go there?


    Yes - you would.

    This isn't about recreating /. or digg.

    Look at /. - it isn't a piece of software - it's a community that runs on software that's well designed for a community. The community is what makes /. a strong presence.

    There are plenty of sites out there running on slashcode, but they aren't popular because they aren't /. - if it were just a matter software, then those sites ought to be popular too.

    Point being, I'm talking about strengthening the community by making the software more community-friendly - not recreating another community here.

    Antitorgo wrote:

    The amount of opinion-based negative moderation that goes on with both those sites means that some interesting posts get modded down because they don't meet the "group ideology" of the site.


    That's partly true, but in my experience, a well thought out comment on /. is likely not to get unfairly modded down. I state in my sig that I work for MS. While this has caused some people to have a problem with me, most seem to be very understanding, and I've had quite a few posts modded up very highly.

    The reason the opposing viewpoints often get modded down is that the viewpoint is delivered in the traditionally tactless style of the drive-by forum troll. If you're respectful on /., and if your message is good, it's pretty likely you'll get modded up.

    What I'm talking about here, though, isn't a system to rate content as being good or bad - it's really just a troll filter. In other words, let's not mod someone down because they're advancing an opposing viewpoint - let's mod them down because they're insulting people for no reason, or because they're clearly trying to be disruptive.

    It's not content control - it's behavior control. Trying to keep things civil around here where it's been demonstrated time and again that some people have a very difficult time doing that.

    Antitorgo wrote:

    How many times have you been frustrated by Slashdot Linux and Mac zealots moderating you down just because you happen to not bash, or heaven forbid be pro Microsoft?


    Like I said, the /. community has been very fair with me, but I think it's because I argue the content rather than the people. I don't sling mud, and I don't pick fights. If someone's dishing out misinformation about MS, then I'll correct them - not in an insulting way, but in a "Hey - somebody told you the wrong thing" kind of way. And it's been very positive.

    Antitorgo wrote:

    Is the volume of posts on C9 even high enough to even warrant a moderation system?


    I think so.

    I also think the post volume might increase if we had such a system in place.

    I wonder how many people don't want to take part in conversations here because they want to avoid flamewars - or how many have been driven away by making perfectly good points, only to be told that they're shills, zealots, sell-outs, or whatever.

    I see this as improving the community and increasing posting volume over time.

  • User profile image
    Rory

    irascian wrote:
    My concern is that you'd probably get someone like Darth Vista voted out by the majority, when even though he's a troll he's given me some of the best laughs we've had in a long time on here and I kind of look forward to his posts. I never was one for subtlety Wink


    I hear you on the DarthVista thing.

    I guess that, technically speaking he's trolling, but I like the guy. He's clever and not outright rude - that changes things quite a bit.

    Nothing wrong with comic relief.

    Hopefully, people like him (OK - just him - there's nobody really like him) wouldn't be voted off the C9 island.

    It's a good point, though - I wouldn't want to see the forums lose some "color" because of overzealous moderation.

    Still... I'd like to see a way to take some of these threads in which the conversation dies after ten posts, and find a way to keep the main topic alive for two or three times as long, and I don't see another way to do that right now. I'm tired of the ten-on-topic-comments-followed-by-thirty-flames threads.

    C9 is better than that, yo. The people here who really want to make this a good place have a hard time doing that because they're getting called out by people who are paranoid, have an agenda, hate MS, or who are just bored.

  • User profile image
    Rory

    petknep_home wrote:
    
    Most community moderation systems suffer from groupthink and the tyrrany of the majority however. It'd be an interesting experiment though.


    Well... isn't groupthink, to some extent, part of what makes a community?

    Not so much thinking in exactly the same direction, but at least being brought together by a set of factors the community members have in common.

    Most of us, for example, are here because we're interested in MS in some way. Some of us work for the company, others want to, others don't but would like to see inside, and so on.

    That's going to lead to some insularity. It's like joining a Harley club or getting together on poker night. There's that common bond that brings you all together.

    It's just the glue, though - as you learn after joining a group, you eventually start having conversations outside the domain of the reason for which the group was created (like the Coffeehouse).

    But the initial binding factor is still present - some people wouldn't have met if it weren't for a common interest in Harleys or poker.

    Even within the vertical communities that are created by people coming together for a set of very specific reasons, there will be discord among the members over topics of discussion. But, hopefully, that discord remains a difference of opinion, and not the lead-in to three pages of ad-hominem attacks as we've seen here.

    There's nothing wrong with dissent - without it, there's actually little reason to continue a conversation. It's what creates the conflict and drama that makes discussion lively. The challenge is to keep the discussions at least remotely on topic, and about the topic rather than becoming mud-slinging exercises in which members post inflammatory vitriole in attempts to derail the conversations.

    How do you do that without some kind of a system? The "Please Don't" approach doesn't seem to be working.

    Any ideas, anyone? Alternatives are always welcome...

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Rory wrote:
    
    It's a good point, though - I wouldn't want to see the forums lose some "color" because of overzealous moderation.


    Color? -1 spelling.

    What I think would be useful is a slightly cut back slashdot moderation; where you can mark comments as spam (and those marked enough they hide from those with the default view), whereas the rest of the options are positive (interesting, insightful, another blowdart post etc.) Perhaps the only other "negative" would be "off topic", where someone posts a technical question in the coffeehouse etc.

    Enabling a personal ignore list would be far more useful. *plonk*

  • User profile image
    LaBomba

    I don't know who mentioned it (maybe adam or duncan..) but when you vote to ignore a user their posts aren't completely lost but rather become minimized and you would need to click to expand; to view the post(s) from that user.

    So because we agree that darthvista is a troll; albeit an entertaining one. While his posts won't show up by default it's still there for you, if you are looking for a laugh.

  • User profile image
    Massif

    blowdart wrote:
    
    Rory wrote: 
    It's a good point, though - I wouldn't want to see the forums lose some "color" because of overzealous moderation.


    Color? -1 spelling.

    What I think would be useful is a slightly cut back slashdot moderation; where you can mark comments as spam (and those marked enough they hide from those with the default view), whereas the rest of the options are positive (interesting, insightful, another blowdart post etc.) Perhaps the only other "negative" would be "off topic", where someone posts a technical question in the coffeehouse etc.

    Enabling a personal ignore list would be far more useful. *plonk*


    That is how Americans spell colour you know.

    We've had the discussion about ignore lists before haven't we? I thought it was decided that you could get some strange looking conversations because of people ignoring replies.

    I would personally opt for a Digg style moderation, so the text of the posts is hidden (and you can opt to read it).  But then it's been about five years since I visited /. so I can't remember what they do.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    I don't know whether to like or dislike the idea. I haven't been much on slashdot as I'm no fan of the bashing going on over there... So, please don't recreated a slashdot community here.

    We just need a few mods all around the world to ban trolls as they appear. That's everything that is required.

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