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[P]
Scoop Feature Request: Ratings Killfile

By Kletus Cassidy in Meta
Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:21:50 PM EST
Tags: Scoop (all tags)
Scoop

It was just a matter of time before the open story submission queue and fact that all users can rate posts was hit by a major abuse. A few sharp-eyed K5ers have noticed that a particuler K5er has created a large number of phony accounts which he uses to mod up each of his accounts, mod up his stories and mod down dissenting opinions.


This user has completely undermined my faith in ratings for comments because now I have to check each one to see if it's just a fake account being blatantly modded up or a dissenting opinion being blatantly modded down. This user has created a moderation cabal that can significantly sway the highest and lowest modded comments in a story especially since most comments are rarely rated by more than 5 people.

It doesn't matter if one or more of the accounts becomes untrusted since he can still use them as part of his moderation cabal. There is also the fact that some of the accounts aren't used for posting so there is no chance than they can become untrusted.

There are two potential solutions I see to this problem.
  1. Slashdot-style Metamoderation: Create a mechanism that allows users to rate the ratings of comments.


  2. Ratings Killfile: Allow users to create a killfile of user names whose ratings should be ignored when calculating the scores that a user sees.
The problem with meta-moderation is that it is complex and is open to the same abuses that story and comment rating face already while the main problem with the ratings killfile is that it is a lot more load on the K5 servers.

What are K5ers potential solutions to this problem or is this something that K5 can work around?

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Should the abusive accounts be deleted?
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Scoop Feature Request: Ratings Killfile | 143 comments (137 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
AGH! (3.38 / 26) (#1)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 01:36:28 AM EST

You have just caused me serious psychological trauma. Metamoderation? Do you really understand the implications of a metamod system?

Ratings killfiles? Do you understand the kind of work that would be?

I suspect you don't. I believe it's time to end the feature request posts that do not include, or link to, sample code to perform the requested function which could be dropped into scoop.

The reason is simple...as it stands any old person can think up any old idea, such as the above, and suggest them willy nilly without understanding how they impact the system. This pollutes the idea flow from people who do grasp the concept behind scoop and submit patches on the Scoop website. I'm not trying to be an intellectual elitist here, because I don't think that all good ideas come from coders or that NIH is a relevant design philosophy.

Instead I'm asking that people put some thought into the implementation of the idea, instead of just the idea. You don't need to write a thousand lines of perl, but describing the basic structure of the suggestion, perhaps with pseudo-code, would be a good idea. Then link to that in your meta submission on k5 so that the more technically inclined can peer-review it.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


Then provide your own solution (2.61 / 13) (#2)
by Kletus Cassidy on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 01:42:35 AM EST

Whether I provide code or not does not change the fact that this jamesarcher character has exposed a serious flaw in K5 which can undermine the usefulness of the site. If you think my ideas are stupid why don't you provide a workable solution instead of flaming me and rating down the article.

[ Parent ]
*sigh* (3.36 / 11) (#4)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 01:51:36 AM EST

Stop jumping to conclusions. First of all, I did not flame you. I flamed your idea. And it's not original to you, others have suggested it.

I do not see this as a problem. It's not undermining the site, it's not damaging you. I rated the article down because I disagree strongly with the need for a feature as bad as metamod, or as hard to implement as rating killfiles.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

Well..... (2.80 / 10) (#20)
by nads on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:57:02 AM EST

... I don't know much about this incident, but it seems that the person perpetrarting it wasn't too smart. A smarter person could automate the whole process. Fake account creation, bad mdoeration, etc. quite easily (a few hundred lines of perl max). That woudl have drastic effects on kuro5hin. Especially if such code was mass distributed (I doubt it would be mirrored like decss though). The flaw should be fixed or accounted for before such an attack is realized.

[ Parent ]
There is no flaw...or fix. (3.50 / 10) (#21)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:01:38 AM EST

If you're going to allow accounts to be created with merely an email confirmation, then you will never, ever avoid this.

As it stands, this is also not a flaw. Being rated all 1s does not interfere with your ability to use the site.

I agree, ultimately every site is vulnerable to some form of mass scripted attack. However this is just a reality, and going to extraordinary lengths to prevent it is very very unnecessary in my opinion.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

not true (2.50 / 6) (#36)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:00:34 AM EST

A trust metric with the right algorithm (a la Advogato) would be robust even in the face of perl scripts auto-generating hundreds of accounts. (Though that might DOS the server, of course :-)

See the Advogato details.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

No. (3.70 / 10) (#49)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:06:55 AM EST

Any system involving humans in inherently insecure. As mdxi said, I could say in my Advogato log (paraphrased a bit): "woke up next to jwz after our night of torrid sex, then smoked some intense weed. Went out to have lunch with Linus Torvalds, then met a whole bunch of other people you'll probably never talk to or meet."

How could you prove I didn't do it? What if I said I beat CmdrTaco at a two player game on his laptop, and then claimed victory? What if I gave a close enough picture as evidence? It's still my word against what you believe. It's still 'vulnerable.'



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Doh (2.75 / 8) (#52)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:19:22 AM EST

Of course everything involving humans is subject to insecurity. But it doesn't follow that it's pointless trying to implement a trusted user system for Kuro5hin just because someone could always get around it by abducting you and Rusty and torturing you for the root passwords on the server :-).

There are all kinds of security, all I'm suggesting is that something like the Advogato trust metric would provide some security against account abuse, not that it'll end world poverty.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

Bah! (3.53 / 13) (#56)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:34:34 AM EST

There's a motherfucking reason mojo exists! There's a motherfucking reason it's based on fancy motherfucking math that lets people gain/lose trusted user status easily. See, we made the assumption that most epople would not be lazy grab asses who refuse to rate, yet will post a comment about a bad rating (ahem.. see one of the "linked" comments for an example), or will post a motherfucking story about the thing even though rating a post is so motherfucking quick and easy!

Let me step out of my Lars Ulrich of motherfucking Metallica mode for a bit now. Since we've established we don't need some fancy trust metric for determining if people may rate (only if they may rate below 1.00) -- why is any of this a problem?

As for the root pwd, there's a reason I changed it to random gibberish and logged out without recording it ;) No one need touch Hex, so not it's as secure as it'll ever be! Mwuahaha



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
what's more important ? (2.85 / 7) (#75)
by mami on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:59:24 AM EST

Good, I got your point, but what do you think is more important, to rate fewer comments, but give an explanation why, or to rate more comments without it. Someone suggested additional buttons in combination with the rating to give a short hint for the reasons, like off-topic, unresearched, flame etc. Most probably people then start discussion those choices as well.



[ Parent ]
Increased complexity (3.66 / 3) (#89)
by ZanThrax on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:13:39 PM EST

is not going to encourage more people to rate comments. Increased complexity will just turn a simple, effective design into a Rube Goldberg monstrosity.

My opinions are my own, not those of whatever philosopher or talk radio drone they may remind you of.




[ Parent ]
Simple! (3.55 / 9) (#95)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:47:32 PM EST

Look at the "Undestand them" link in my signature. Those guidelines exist for a reason. Anyone who is curious as to why I rate things is welcome to ask, but really, I already said why in the FAQ! I hope everyone reads them, undestands them, and then goes and rates everything they read according to them.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Possible Implementations (3.30 / 13) (#7)
by Carnage4Life on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 01:55:19 AM EST

Meta-moderation

Have the links to usernames in the showrate page go to an option box that has "Fair" and "Unfair". Once a user gets a certain number of unfair scores from other users then the user cannot moderate any more and/or the user's ratings are deleted from the system so it is like they never happened.

Ratings Killfiles

I can't think of a server based implementation that wouldn't be a bitch to implement. So my solution would be for it to be a feature that was done clientside either via Javascript or XSL (if rusty ever decides to allow K5 spit out valid HTML or XML). This feature then would be accessible to people with modern W3C standards compliant browsers.

These solutions are just off the top of my head. I'm sure I could come up with better designs if I thought about it some more. Frankly I'm not sure that the attitude of "Only coders should offer suggestions" is valid in this case. The opinions of the users of the system is valuable whether they can code or not.

--
NEW IMPROVED K5 USER INFORMATION PAGE

Click here to find out more about your fellow K5 readers. A bug in the code was fixed and over 100 names have been added.


[ Parent ]
That particular method of metamoding (3.75 / 4) (#87)
by ZanThrax on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:01:42 PM EST

will lead to even more abuse than now exists... Say, for example, someone rates a bunch of my comments to one (unfairly, imo). Then, I get annoyed. At which point I make a dozen extra accounts (apparantly, I'm the only one who doesn't already have a bunch...) with which to say that those rating were unfair. Sure, said asshole probably deserves to be punished, but now I'm abusing the system just like he did... So this leads to what? meta-meta-mod?

My opinions are my own, not those of whatever philosopher or talk radio drone they may remind you of.




[ Parent ]
two issues (2.90 / 11) (#8)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 01:55:42 AM EST

I agree that the implications of metamoderation would need to be considered very carefully.

But I disagree strongly that only coders should be allowed to make feature requests.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

What I mean (3.44 / 9) (#13)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:11:42 AM EST

I'm not suggesting only coders suggest features, as everyones opinion is valid, and some great ideas come from non-coders.

What I am suggesting is that people put some thought into the implementation of the feature they're suggesting. If they don't know how it would be done, do it in a diary first and ask for ideas. Email rusty, Inoshiro, hurstdog or one of the other active scoop developers for ideas. Don't just throw it into the queue as "We should have this and someone else should do it".

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

He's got a point folks. (4.00 / 4) (#88)
by ZanThrax on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:07:45 PM EST

Those of us who can't understand the code that makes this place run shouldn't just ask for (potentially major) changes without the understanding that it may not be possible, and will almost certainly mean a lot of extra work. Its kinda like telling your house builder that you wanted all the interior doors to pnumatically slide into the walls (something I'm not sure is possible, and would require removing and replacing all the walls near the doors, if not all the interior walls) after she's already built the house; something that seems like a cool idea that you wouldn't be having to do the work of yourself.

My opinions are my own, not those of whatever philosopher or talk radio drone they may remind you of.




[ Parent ]
Non coders (3.80 / 5) (#104)
by kmself on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 07:25:12 PM EST

While I'm a programmer, I'm not a Perl hacker. Yet most of the mod and SQ suggestions are based on my ideas.

Writing software is like building houses (except for the woodpecker hazard). It's implementing an idea. Sometimes it's your own idea, sometimes it's someone elses. Both programmers and carpenters have to solve problems that aren't clearly defined (or appropriately addressed) in the spec. Some people build houses of their own design, some build from spec. There are good architects and bad ones.

The best programmers, system designers, carpenters, and architects, have an understanding, usually from direct experience, of the whole process. On which note, I do plan to start messing with Scoop. Really, I do.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

"Pollutes the idea flow????" (3.86 / 15) (#14)
by elenchos on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:24:36 AM EST

What the hell does that mean?

While I'm kind of sick of meta stories and feature requestes, I can't see how any harm is caused by a person making it known that they would like to see a certain feature come into existence. Sure, more detail would help. Psuedo code would really help. Actually coding it up and debugging it to perfection would be wonderful. But why should any of the above be required? It seems to me a mere feature request alone is a contribution. It at least makes you aware that at least this one person wishes a certain feature existed, which is more information than you would have if they kept their mouth shut and simply abandoned the site or product.

Even if an idea is totally impractical or physically impossible, that doesn't mean that you are better off not knowing what the users are wishing for. You never know when that knowledge could come in handy.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill. --Marcus Aurelius, Med. ii.


[ Parent ]

Strained idea (3.30 / 10) (#17)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:36:53 AM EST

Yes,I blew it what that phrasing.

I'm struggling not to sound elitist and condescending...perhaps because the idea is kinda elitist...but not intended to be.

I, for one, am tired of seeing totally impractical ideas suggested in feature requests written as if the site is about to die if this particular idea isn't in the code yesterday. This submission reads exactly like that.

This submission also would've been highly unlikely had the author looked at current scoop code, and then started trying to figure out how it might be implemented. Both ideas are really really impractical given the current code base, though C4L threw some good working ideas out.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

You are reacting to a lack of perspective. (3.83 / 12) (#23)
by elenchos on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:06:11 AM EST

It isn't just the realities of the code that are being ignored with this kind of feature request. The history of K5 is also not being taken into account. Abusive users have come and they have gone with the system working just as it always has, and this submission would be highly unlikely had they taken that into account. That is the most common flaw in meta stories: they author doesn't know the site well enough: the code, the history, the users, you name it.

So I'm tired of meta stories too. But really I suppose that they should be accepted as a natural part of the site as well. Would you want to disallow meta stories from people who are too new? That only closes your mind to new ideas.

Same with impossible features. You are the one learning when someone asks for the impossible. You can take that information and possibly do something with it some day. Even if you can't do the impossible, you can do the next to impossible, right? Of course, you still have the right to tell them that their request violates one of the laws of thermodynamics or whatever. No need for them to remain ignorant, especially since you don't want anyone to think you are ignoring them.

So I guess the thing is to just take it all with a grain of salt and carry on.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill. --Marcus Aurelius, Med. ii.


[ Parent ]

ideas for an implementation (3.57 / 14) (#24)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:10:41 AM EST

Some ideas for implementation and use of a trust metric a la advogato. First of all, trust levels:
  • Every user has a "trust level" associated with them (a real number between 0 and 1, or maybe an integer between 0 and 10, depending on the implementation)
  • A certain set of users (Rusty?) is given non-zero trust to "seed" the algorithm (or maybe use current mojo?)
  • trust levels would change with comment-rating - ie, there would be no separate metamoderation or certification (this should help with the implementation)
  • the algorithm should gurantee limited damage from a subversion attack (see the Advogato system details if you don't understand what that means). Basically, creating a hundred accounts shouldn't give someone a means to obtain high trust - even if an account made good comments and acquired higher trust, it would only be able to "leak" a certain amount of trust to other accounts by itself.
Use of trust levels:
  • the displayed ratings would be weighted by trust levels
  • users could control how much to weight "trust", or whether to ignore trust completely (in which case they'd get what they get now)
  • some trust level would give access to hidden comments, and the ability to zero-rate
Ok, it's not code, or even pseudo-code, but I can't believe this would be that hard to hack into Scoop. The only thing I'm not sure about is if an algorithm that fits the bill can be designed...

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

trust (2.66 / 9) (#26)
by Puchitao on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:27:53 AM EST

I like the idea of trust metrics, but I dunno if The Powers That Be could be convinced to implement them. Difficulties in working it into the current codebase aside, I think it would be rejected as too undemocratic. I dunno if Rusty would even accept the honor of sole seed...

Trust metrics a la Advogato are a good thing, IMO, but it might be too far from the kuro5hin way.

Perhaps we can do *snappy fun* with you everytime! -- Orz
[ Parent ]
Advogato (3.37 / 8) (#31)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:43:20 AM EST

You do realize Advogatos trust metric relies solely on the discretion of its users, right?

For example: If I can post enough convincing drivel into my advogato diary, I can get certified to a certain level. At that point I can certify other people. This allows me to bring on the fake accounts, and start certifying them, and then cross certifying.

Once the cross certification has reached a certain level, I post more meaningless drivel into my diary, and people see how many different people have certified me, and probably do the same themselves.

At this point I have now broken their trust system into a thousand tiny pieces.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

read more carefully (3.00 / 6) (#34)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:57:08 AM EST

For example: If I can post enough convincing drivel into my advogato diary, I can get certified to a certain level. At that point I can certify other people. This allows me to bring on the fake accounts, and start certifying them, and then cross certifying.

Read the Advogato write up more carefully. I haven't checked the proof, but it claims the algorithm used is immune to this, that only a limited amount of "trust" can leak out...

"The core of the trust metric is a network flow operation. Informally, if there is a rich web of interconnections, flow reaches almost all the nodes. However, only a few accounts would be accepted from a large nest of bogus accounts, as long as there are only a few certificates from the "good" web to the bogus accounts. Those certificates represent a bottleneck in the network flow.

... the number of bad nodes accepted scales linearly, and with a fairly small constant, with the number of certificates from valid accounts to bogus ones."

I think that means even a concerted attack with hundreds of fake ids and some effort put into creating valuable posts could only get a few trusted accounts created. In fact, the amount of trust a set of "bogus" users can obtain is linearly proportional to the amount of credibility they win from "good" users by making genuine posts.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

Read what I said (3.33 / 6) (#39)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:15:30 AM EST

Their algorithm depends entirely on the usefulness of their members. They have achieved the critical mass of membership necessary to subvert their system because people will do enough stupid things.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]
or a more complex trust system (3.89 / 19) (#3)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 01:45:41 AM EST

It might be possible to use something like the Advogato trust metric to avoid the need for metamoderation. This could also replace the concept of a trusted user - a more general "trust level" would be associated with each user. And perhaps people could acquire trust when other people with trust rate their comments, avoiding any need for a metamoderation system. (This would at least stop throwaway accounts being used to abuse the system, since they'd start off with no trust.)

Then people could kill-file based on trust levels, or better select how much weighting they want to assign to trust. So someone could choose to ignore the trust sytem, in which case they'd see ratings as they are now, or opt to have the ratings they see weighted by the trust of the people making them.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]

Your point is...? (1.69 / 23) (#5)
by 2400n81 on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 01:51:43 AM EST

every legit K5'er has his or her own fake account cz it is the nature of the system. this guy is a jackass but i DO NOT want to see metamoderation, deletion or any other sort of ludicrous bullshit because of some idiot user.

besides this it is free software. why don't you write the feature yourself?

I am legit and I don't (3.00 / 6) (#35)
by mami on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:00:29 AM EST

strange ideas you got...

[ Parent ]
Same Here... (1.30 / 13) (#38)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:10:32 AM EST

You F***in' Dork!

That's how y'all Fsck things up for people who want a good signal to noise ratio.

Goddamn fake accounts...


ti_dave


"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Calm down (2.72 / 11) (#40)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:17:09 AM EST

I myself have six accounts, only one of which has ever been used.

And for the record, plenty of people with only one account generate what I would consider noise. Such as this post.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

Really Now... (1.90 / 11) (#42)
by ti dave on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:32:29 AM EST

Must you be so petty?

"plenty of people with only one account generate what I would consider noise. Such as this post."

You know what? I enjoy reading K5, but when I see Bullshit passed off as fact, I feel compelled to point it out.

You know what else Mr. Miniluv?
I won't bother posting links to any of your comments that have rubbed me wrong, I'll be bigger than that.

Cheers,

ti_dave

p.s. Your server appears to be Slashdotted...
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Actually (2.75 / 12) (#43)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:41:32 AM EST

I do consider your comment noise. It was insulting, derogatory, and without anything I would call merit. I linked to it in my own quirky brand of humor. Sorry you didn't like it. My server appears to have crashed again, it's got a failing scsi drive which has the root partition on it. Desperately in need of replacement.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]
Mini, I got the humor... (3.61 / 13) (#53)
by tankgirl on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:21:22 AM EST

...and I'm restraining myself from rating any comments in this thread _at all_, because it's important to the overall discussion (at least part of me believes this, the other part is ready to hand out 0 and 1's).

But, I have to ask, why on earth did you bother to create _six_ accounts, especially if you're only going to use one? It's like keeping drugs around when you're a former addict. I don't mean for that to sound like an accusation (as in you were a troll, since I don't know your past). I just couldn't think of a better example at 2am. I guess what I'm asking is, why tempt yourself?

Also, it's rude to dare. Please keep up the good posts (as I've previously witnessed from you), and don't get into a pissing match. Remember it makes everyone involved look immature.

Dave, if you're reading this- I implore you not to keep this up also. Please help the administrators solve this problem with constructive criticism, the same way most of us do with stories in the queue.

As the k5 user community grows, we should be encouraging members to try and deal with submissions and comments fairly. This is the number one thing that will make it harder to troll. Plus we seem to have a pretty decent 'neighborhood watch' system thing going. Let's keep up the vigilance, because it's obviously paying off....

"I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie
[ Parent ]
Why 6 (2.71 / 14) (#55)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:28:05 AM EST

One is the fake rusty account I created around Christmas to make him aware of a flaw in scoop that has since been fixed.

The others are AYB meme names that I got to prevent others from using to perpetuate that annoying trend. And I kinda thought they were cool, but have since lost the activation emails.

The sig is a sort of mocking taunt at the people who've been perpetuating whiney diatribes about moderation, comment rating and so forth. My last sig mocked the same general group of people for different reasons, and I enjoy having such sigs.

I'm glad you've liked some of what I've had to say, or at least how've I've said it. I wasn't trying to get into a pissing match in this thread, instead to point out that he was severely overreacting, and ignoring things when he blew up at someone.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

I wasn't going to get involved, but ... (4.00 / 1) (#134)
by MrSpey on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 11:12:40 AM EST

The others are AYB meme names that I got to prevent others from using to perpetuate that annoying trend. And I kinda thought they were cool, but have since lost the activation emails.

That's really obnoxious. You thought of login names that you thought would bother you if people had them, so you took them. That's a bunch of crap. If someone thinks something is a good login, let them have it. Don't start effectively censoring login names because you personally find them annoying.

Mr. Spey
Cover your butt. Bernard is watching.

[ Parent ]
Did you read after you hit paste? (3.00 / 1) (#137)
by Miniluv on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 05:45:34 PM EST

Did you not notice when I said that I thought they were cool when I got them? I sat around thinking of "cool" AYB account names, came up with two, and registered them. Halfway through the process I said screw it, registered them as much to keep them from being used in the sudden AYB craze that gripped K5 for a couple weeks. There are quite a few that I'm sure are still available, so cry me a goddamn river.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]
every k5er? (4.00 / 10) (#59)
by Delirium on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:47:29 AM EST

I think you're exaggerating when you say "every legit K5'er has his or her own fake account." I only have this one account, and I'd venture a guess that the majority of K5ers only have one account each.

But I do agree that zeal to protect against the occasional idiot shouldn't create a bunch of "cures" that are worse than the problem they're attempting to solve. (This seems to happen fairly often; for example, the constant debate over trolling and false cries of "troll!" are more annoying/destructive than the actual trolls are.)

--AIM: Delirium4u. Or read my diary.


[ Parent ]

Umm.. No. (4.33 / 6) (#114)
by Phaser777 on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 10:43:09 PM EST

every legit K5'er has his or her own fake account cz it is the nature of the system.

Amazingly enough, we're not all dishonest adolescents like yourself. Just because you like to take advantage of a system based on trust doesn't mean everyone does, or even most do. True, there will always be someone trying to gain an unfair advantage in a discussion, flamewar, or whatever, but I like to think that most people, especially those on K5, would rather use their minds than their multi-accounts and loopholes to prove themselves right.

---
My business plan:
Obtain the patents for something (the more obvious and general the better)
Wait until someone else adopts the idea and becomes rich off it.
Sue them.
Repeat.


[ Parent ]
Non-technical solution probably best (4.25 / 24) (#9)
by Carnage4Life on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:02:09 AM EST

As I review ratings made by all the suspect accounts I cant help but feel that all this wouldn't be a problem if more Kuro5hin users rated comments more often. The fact that there are 15,000 accounts (I guess this means 7500 users if this comments is accurate) means that there should be enough users rating comments that one or two users with an axe to grind have their voices diluted even if they create multiple accounts to do their dirty work.

So here's my solution: We each should rate more comments, more often.

--
NEW IMPROVED K5 USER INFORMATION PAGE

Click here to find out more about your fellow K5 readers. A bug in the code was fixed and over 100 names have been added.


account skirmishes (3.66 / 9) (#68)
by eLuddite on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 09:00:55 AM EST

I think I've rated two comments all this year. And yet, I have no problem telling people where they can go.

Typically, I dont have sufficient confidence to rate someone's opinion unless that opinion agrees with mine at which point ratings become an election and elections are uninteresting in a discussion. I dont begrudge people who have the confidence to rate, either, of course.

I also think the k5 submission queue works extremely well (except for one glaring "fault" which I wont belabor by its mention) and is extremely egalitarian. Some of the posted suggestions carry a definite risk in their very complexity. What exactly is the problem, here? Rusty can delete abusive accounts, cant he? (Please, no free speech speeches unless you can show unadulterated speech is the same as free speech anywhere in the world. There is always an ultimate authority in any community.) If we are intelligent enough to spot a rare abuse, we can appeal to the site's ownership. If we arent intelligent enough to spot an abuse, it isnt an abuse, its just us basking in our stupidity. How deserving.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

The "Obvious" Solution... (4.11 / 26) (#10)
by Captain Derivative on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:06:14 AM EST

... is for everyone to start rating every comment he or she reads. That way individuals who try to abuse the system will be drowned out by the legitimate comment ratings. Of course, it's not foolproof, but it would force the abuser to make a lot of phony accounts or form an Anti-K5 Cabal with other abusers in order to overwhelm the legitimate ratings. I'd imagine very few people would want to spend two hours to abuse the comment ratings system.

I shudder at metamoderation and the can of worms that goes along with that. Ratings killfiles could be interesting, but they'd be a pain to set up and keep track of, and I'm not convinced the benefits outweigh the costs of putting it into action. Let's not change the system, but rather use the existing system to combat abuse. That's why everyone's allowed to moderate, right?

Of course, I say this not being able to recall the last time I rated any comments. Looks like I'll have change that here.


--
Hey! Why aren't you all dead yet?! Oh, that's right, it's only Tuesday. -- Zorak


yeah... (3.15 / 19) (#11)
by psctsh on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:07:34 AM EST

...or maybe you could just flip the switch over to "ignore ratings" and trust your own judgement on whether or not the comment brought up a valid argument. Since I'm getting the impression from your two solutions that you're mainly worried about the comment rating problem, the best solution is to filter out the trash yourself. Metamoderation would, in my opinion, generate excessive bloat to the site, and a killfile would become awkward due to the need for constant updating. If, on the other hand, your main concern is with the mod-ing up and down of submissions, I see how this practice could result in unfair points given to a story. However, as it stands, what method will we use to remove redundant accounts? Only allow one account per ip? Yeah right, that'll be a dream, especially with dial-ups and users who read at home and work. Also, with the range of the accept/reject values, a fuzz-factor of about 5 shouldn't make too much of a difference in submission mod-ing. I guess I just don't see this as being a major problem at the moment, and in terms of the comment ratings-- since I ignore them anyway--here really *is* no problem.

Turning off ratings (3.40 / 5) (#109)
by kmself on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 08:37:22 PM EST

Is a band-aid, not a fix.

Moderation should work. If the solution is to turn it off, it's broken. Yes, the option exists for individual users, but it shouldn't be the only way out.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Turning off... (3.00 / 1) (#139)
by psctsh on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 03:12:10 AM EST

I agree that it isn't in fact a fix, but, based on the impression I received from the article, the author doesn't have faith in the current system. My reasoning was that if there is so much room for abuse, why would any of the solutions we come up with be less prone to the same abuse? As it stands, there is no perfect solution, and using the rating system as is is just as ideal as any system with checks in place. And for those who don't trust the comments to be rated fairly, a simple solution is to just ignore them completely.

(As a side note, I don't know what impression I gave, but the reason I personally ignore ratings has nothing to do with a lack of trust in the rating system--I do it 'cause I like to read the conversation in the order it's presented.)

[ Parent ]
As other people have said.. (3.71 / 21) (#12)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:10:26 AM EST

First off, there's the "Review hidden comments" link in your user tools if you're a trusted user. It's a great way to see if someone has hidden a good comment. Second off, everyone is free to rate comments. Why are you complaining when you can simply rate the comment as you see fit, and have the net score adjusted?

As Miniluv said, these ideas aren't exactly kosher. Metamod .. well, blah. That's not exactly a well thought out solution for a site like K5. Ratings killfiles would be really hard, because right now the rating is calculated and stored in one cell. To expand that for every user would be very impractical.

So if you see an abuse, correct it! You have the power (tm)(r)(C) 1985 Nintendo.



--
[ イノシロ ]
Gee what a useless post (2.26 / 19) (#16)
by Tachys on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:34:53 AM EST

First off, there's the "Review hidden comments" link in your user tools

Wow Thanks....

if you're a trusted user

Oh I'm not a trusted user, thanks for the non-solution. How do you become a trusted user anyway?

Why are you complaining when you can simply rate the comment as you see fit, and have the net score adjusted

And if you can get some more accounts you can have an even greater influence! Except for hidden posts you are not allowed to rate unless you are a "trusted user"

So if you see an abuse, correct it!

No Problem

[ Parent ]
Please. (3.33 / 15) (#19)
by kwsNI on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:56:28 AM EST

Don't ask questions that can be found in the FAQ.

kwsNI
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -Jack Handy
[ Parent ]
Finding FAQ (3.88 / 9) (#29)
by Tachys on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:39:20 AM EST

Thanks

I had a real difficult time finding the FAQ on the site.

I finally found it on the bottom menu on every page.

The reason I found it difficult to find is I assumed the menu on the bottom is the same as the one on top. It is placed on bottom for conveinence.

As you can see the menus are very similar but not the same.

Top: submit story | your account | help | contact | links | search | IRC | k5 store

Bottom: submit story | create account | faq | mission | links | search | IRC | K5 Store | YOU choose the stories!


[ Parent ]
Try the help button (2.87 / 8) (#33)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:52:11 AM EST

It leads to the same place.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]
Blame rusty (3.72 / 11) (#44)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:42:20 AM EST

He's not the usability nut that I am. I had troubles finding the FAQ too. I just went and fixed the boxes so they say "help and FAQ" so there's no chance of people missing it now :)



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Thanks (2.85 / 7) (#51)
by kmself on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:11:21 AM EST

That's been bothering me the past few weeks as well. How about "Help/FAQ" as a less verbose version of that?

Now if y'all could set your email so people could talk at ya....

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Done.. (2.77 / 9) (#54)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:25:55 AM EST

The boxes are updated. As for the mail server, that's actually a matter of your SMTP server being on a subnet I've been spammed from before. Just use a differnet mail service ;)

The entry for '/^Received:\s.*\[209\.178.*/i REJECT' was in a section of the file for "KNOWN ULTRA SPAMMERS" .. maybe they've cleaned up their act. I'll un-deny that subnet and see how my users peep for a bit. You may now spam^Hemail me ;)



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
That is what I call service (2.83 / 6) (#60)
by Tachys on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:13:18 AM EST

Wow one hour after I put in my complaint the problem is fixed. Great Work :)

[ Parent ]
Ha :p (3.81 / 11) (#25)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:12:01 AM EST

"Not a trusted user" is a strawman since we're supposed to be talking about over-rated comments, not under rated ones. Any non-trusted user can rate comments which are >= 1.00 on the score scale.

If someone is personally willing to sit down, register a dozen accounts, and then rate a comment around.. so be it. People have done it before. Quotemaster once created ~25 accounts to make sure one post where he flamed rusty for something (advertising maybe?) would not disapear. The next day he came back and sorta appologized. People generally realize what they've done afterwards.

So all you have to do is comment on it to them, while rating the comment fairly. It all balances out.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
so we should *all* get a half-dozen accounts? (3.12 / 16) (#18)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:55:39 AM EST

Are you suggesting that we should all get half a dozen accounts, so we can fix the problems created by other people doing that? Surely that'd only make the problem worse, leading to comment ratings that reflect who's prepared to put the most time into creating extra accounts...

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

Not at all (3.50 / 14) (#22)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:04:50 AM EST

Come on...if you figure that the abuses are even 10% of the population, active rating by the remaining 90% will even things out.

That's if you even consider "rating abuse" to be a real problem, which we appear pretty divided about.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

some stats would be good (3.27 / 11) (#27)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:29:02 AM EST

I suspect that the average rated comment receives maybe two to four ratings, though I'd love to see some stats on that. In any event, "if everyone rated more this wouldn't be a problem" is *not* a solution - it's just a fact that people don't rate that much.

As for "is rating abuse really problem?" - it's a problem if and only if ratings matter, and if they don't then we can certainly solve the problem by removing rating altogether.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

Hrm... (3.12 / 8) (#30)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:39:53 AM EST

So, people care enough about ratings to not fix it themselves is what you're saying?

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]
what am I supposed to do? (2.92 / 13) (#32)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:47:54 AM EST

I make a comment critical of a story and the submitter's bevy of accounts hit me with four 1 ratings. I can't do anything at all about that.

The sam bevy of accounts starts posting "+1FP praise" all over the story, and rating it 5. I can do a bit about that, but unless I go off and create half a dozen accounts of my own, not much.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

majority (4.20 / 10) (#37)
by Delirium on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:06:42 AM EST

But the point is that there are many more users than there are accounts owned by that poster. The rest of us can rate you higher to even out his 1s and rate him lower to even out his 5s. Multiple accounts can't get very powerful unless either:
1) Users don't care enough about ratings to bother giving any, in which case it doesn't seem like ratings abuse is even a problem; or
2) The abuser has an absurdly large number of accounts (and to abuse the story rating system this would also require an absurdly large number of IPs due to scoop's story-voting-flood protection).

--AIM: Delirium4u. Or read my diary.


[ Parent ]

not so simple (3.00 / 9) (#45)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:42:42 AM EST

Sure, there are more "good" users than "bad" ones, but on average maybe three or four people rate any given post, allowing half a dozen accounts (forget about hundreds) to totally skew some ratings. It's simply not practical to expect every user, or even a large fraction of them, to rate every post.

And it only takes a relatively small fraction of the ratings to be produced by account abuse to create mistrust and drastically decrease the value of the rating system.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

rating (3.62 / 8) (#46)
by Delirium on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:51:24 AM EST

Well, that's the problem then. Why not rate all the posts you read? It's really not that hard - it takes much less time than actually reading them does. Certainly you should at least rate any posts you feel are rated higher or lower than they should be. This, combined with the "review hidden comments" link to make it easy for trusted users to check for abuse of 0 ratings, should even things out.

--AIM: Delirium4u. Or read my diary.


[ Parent ]

conflict of interest (3.00 / 7) (#61)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:22:59 AM EST

I used to avoid rating comments in threads in which I was participating, since it avoids the more obvious possibilities for bias. I guess that has it's own problems, though.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

Different strokes... (3.28 / 7) (#86)
by ZanThrax on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:49:46 PM EST

I often rate the comments of the people that I have long sub conversations with, since the two of us are often the only ones reading it. Unless I think that the comments deserve a one, in which case I don't, for the same reason you don't rate your own threads at all. Either way though, that still leaves a lot of commentary for everyone to rate.

My opinions are my own, not those of whatever philosopher or talk radio drone they may remind you of.




[ Parent ]
Another perspective (3.42 / 7) (#58)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:45:18 AM EST

Don't rate every comment you read. Rate 1/10th of them. So, if you read 50, rate 5. I bet that's more than the average K5 reader does right now.

With 16K accounts, and our hypothetical 5 ratings per day that's 80K ratings per day. We do not get 80K comments per day. Probably more in the neighborhood of 10K as an absolute high end. I seriously doubt it's even half of that, but it'll still prove my argument.

10K comments rated 80K times means 8 ratings per comment. That's double what you suggest. Isn't that a strong improvement?

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

16k accounts != 16k users per day (4.28 / 7) (#62)
by danny on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:28:26 AM EST

With 16K accounts, and our hypothetical 5 ratings per day that's 80K ratings per day. We do not get 80K comments per day. Probably more in the neighborhood of 10K as an absolute high end. I seriously doubt it's even half of that, but it'll still prove my argument.

I don't think all 16k accounts are active, and even the active ones aren't all daily users - and don't forget about all the people with six or a dozen accounts. Anyway, just look at this story - people are doing more rating than usual (Inoshiro went through and rated everything), but there still aren't that many ratings on the comments.

Jumping up and down and yelling "rate more comments" won't make it happen (maybe locally, for a brief time). If we want to get more rating happening, we need to find some way to encourage it. I don't have any bright ideas there.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]
[ Parent ]

I agree (3.16 / 6) (#66)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:38:06 AM EST

Just saying it should happen won't make it happen. But we weren't arguing that now were we?

We were really debating whether it was a solution. My numbers are semi-inflated, but you can scale them down to reality and you'll find it equals an even higher rating to comment ratio than I gave.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

Missing the point.. (3.35 / 14) (#28)
by ignatiusst on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:36:44 AM EST

I think you may have missed the heart of the matter.. You make a valid argument by contending that one person's opinion tends to get averaged out when dealing with 15,000 opinons from other people. But (for me, at least), this issue isn't about being mod'ed up or down. Its about subverting the reasons k5 has been such a good site..

Why post a story to k5? Certainly the dissemination of information is one goal. But I think the primary goal is to elicit feedback from other k5 members.. to get other's perspectives, to gain different understanding of issues, and to build (to paraphrase a recent article) what matters.. community.

Instead, we have a k5 member who seems to post for the sole reason of destroying communication, destroying trust, and.. well, not to put to fine a point on it.. to troll.

I guess it was only a matter of time before the trolls found the chinks in the anti-trolling armor k5 built around itself.. And, to a certain extent, that would be okay, too if the matter weren't exacerbated by your seemingly.. what? Indifference? Defensiveness? What ever it is, it is a slap in the face to those of us (or perhaps I should only speak for myself) who take the idea of kuro5hin seriously.. I dunno.. I should probably hold my tongue. This, like most things will almost certainly pass in time..

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

Funny. (4.15 / 13) (#47)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:51:25 AM EST

I never thought someone would ever seriously accuse me of not defending the idea of K5.. but I'm silly:p

That person was not trolling. Rather, they were posting stuff, and supporting it with dummy accounts as best as they could. That's not any where near the same as trolling. See, your post could be considered a troll, because you imply something which is not true, and then continue along as if it had just been establish it was true, and then go on a different attack.

Of course, this is all for the "Good of K5."

Rating comments unfairly, while it does hurt feelings, and does cause some tension, is not a large problem. And, much like community watch, it's easily combatted by just taking the time to rate comments. Think a rating is unfair? Then rate the comment what you think it should be, or use a steering rating to set it to what you think it should be. I even recommend this in the docs! (Note: Farl revised most of the docs for K5, which originally were much less comprehensive patchwork of the original Rusty docs and the secondary Inoshiro updates)

So, as has been said elsewhere, just rate some comments and stop the tyranny of that one user. You do have the power.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
If you have a moment (3.33 / 3) (#123)
by ignatiusst on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 01:37:22 AM EST

That person was not trolling.

You can't be serious.. This guy wrote a story called "Weblogs Suck" and posted it on a weblog. If that is shaky ground to accuse someone of trolling, consider just two of the comments extracted from that story:

Many web loggers, having realized that they are, in the grand scheme of things, completely worthless, have resorted to "meta" web logging;
The point is that web logs are worthless. Contrary to what you have been told, you really don't have anything interesting to say.

And, as long as we are citing from this document, I would like to point out this definition of trolls...But of course, you know that as you yourself wrote the faq..

See, your post could be considered a troll, because you imply something which is not true, and then continue along as if it had just been establish it was true, and then go on a different attack.
Really, I am as tired as you are of this discussion. I had hoped (somewhat naively it seems now in retrospect) that more would come of it, but I begin to see we aren't going to change one another's minds.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

"Weblogs Suck" taken waaay to seriosly (4.00 / 2) (#131)
by codemonkey_uk on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 05:21:10 AM EST

That article (written by a known moderation abuser or not) was not a Troll. By that definition anything even slightly controversial would be a troll.

It was clearly tounge in cheek. I was very surprised to see how up tight some people where getting about it.
---
Thad
"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

+1, Section (3.90 / 20) (#15)
by kwsNI on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:30:13 AM EST

Ok, really, I don't agree with the article. I think both Metamoderation and a ratings killfile are bad ideas. But the conversation so far seems to be pretty good.

Personally, I'd like to see the K5 staff take out all of the offending accounts, but I really don't see that as anything more than a pain to anyone who wants to mod themselves up.

With that said, I offer two solutions. 1) Rate more comments. A few bogus ratings really won't mean much if everyone rated every comment that they read. 5 or 6 ratings of 1 really won't matter if 100 people rated a comment 4. Rate everything, even if it's just an average 2 or 3.

My second solution is to get over it. It really doesn't matter. Last time I checked, neither my friends, my boss, my family, my girlfriend, my professors or anyone else I can think of give a damn what my mojo is. Yeah, maybe a good story will get shot down, but that's why I read the submission queue. Maybe a bad story will get posted, but then you just ignore it.

I don't think we should tolerate moderation abuse, but I think we should step back and see just how insignificant a comments rating really is. I promise, if a bad story makes it to section or someone rates your comments to 1, you're not going to lose your spouse. You're not going to get fired over it. Your life will not end. So smile. Take a deep breath. Take a walk outside.

kwsNI
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. -Jack Handy

I agree, they are pretty insignificant (2.54 / 11) (#41)
by mami on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:22:16 AM EST

But rating more comments is really very time consuming. If you really would like to get more mere mortal readers to rate comments then you need less mere mortal articles.

It always ends up that one doesn't really use the ratings for what they are supposed to offer you, the option to eliminate lowly rated comments whilst reading. But isn't finding that out an experience worth going through at K5 ?





[ Parent ]
No it is not! (3.93 / 15) (#48)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:55:10 AM EST

Rating a comment is not very time consuming at all. As you scroll down the page, and read each comment -- select a score! When you hit the bottom, slap "rate all" and then move on! Boom!

To illustrate this, I'm rating every comment on this story.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Update. (3.81 / 16) (#50)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:09:10 AM EST

It takes aprox the same amount of time for me to read and rate 40 comments on a story as it does for me to write a two paragraph reply (w/ a few previews) in nested mode. Is that so hard? Nooo :p Just scroll, read, select, repeat while page not done, click rate all.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
then it's just me (3.50 / 14) (#74)
by mami on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:36:40 AM EST

but it takes me some time to make up my mind how I rate a comment. The whole reading and clicking process is nothing at all, but trying to be a considerate judge about subject areas which are at times not familiar to me is not that easy.

Many may come here not only to read and judge, but to read and learn. I think their judgement is worthwhile as well, because it's in my mind important to understand how misunderstood an author can be by his readers.

Anyhow, I will obey and go on a rating rage tour now...:-)


[ Parent ]
Keep in mind (4.28 / 7) (#83)
by ZanThrax on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:38:48 PM EST

that each individual rating isn't that signifigant, especially if many more people did it. Plus, like KwsNI said, the ratings don't have any real effect, so don't worry too much that you're being unfair. With only 5 (maybe 6, depending) options, its pretty easy to just say "3" or "4" right away. If you later change your mind, well, change your vote. No biggie...

My opinions are my own, not those of whatever philosopher or talk radio drone they may remind you of.




[ Parent ]
Yeh, maybe, but (3.50 / 8) (#92)
by delmoi on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:18:55 PM EST

I tend to take a little bit of care rating comments, that is, If I was going to try to rate every comment, I would need to read it carefully and try to make an objective analysis as to whether I wanted to rate it 2 or 3. Really that seems kind of pointless (I never rate an comment 3 unless I'm trying to change the average without being provocative).

If a comment strikes me as being spectacularly good (or if it makes me laugh), or spectacularly bad then I'll rate. but I don't really see the point in trying to differentiate different shades of mediocrity
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Except.. (3.76 / 13) (#96)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:51:57 PM EST

An important part of rating all such comments is that it stops people from abusing. By reinforcing the "mediocrity" of some commenst, you solve the problem that this article is about!

Don't shirk your duty because you can't (yet) make snap ratings decisions. You can always change them later, and everyone averages out over time so that each individual rating has lesser power! Kinda like how 260 million US citizens got a president they didn't want ;)



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Largely agreed, but... (4.00 / 11) (#65)
by kmself on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:36:34 AM EST

Some people Just Cant Be Bothered š. (No, not me, I'm a compulsive moderator).

There are times when the richness of the K5 interface starts getting in the way -- I've moderated a dozen comments, I want to vote on an article in queue, and, oh, here's a poll to vote in....waitaminute.

I've discussed this with Rusty. IMO, there should be some sort of "submit everything on the page" button which doesn't lose state in other forms. I realize it breaks a few conventions, but as Scoop keeps getting more and more complex, there's going to be a point at which you have to sacrifice on thing for another.

There are also times when comment display prefs get in the way of moderation. Viewing becomes a multi-step process with a series of page refreshes required for each. Open thread/post. Moderate. Reply. Preview. Preview. Submit. Back up to parent(s)..... (Bitch, bitch, groan, groan ;-) I'll try to figure out what my problem is and what might make it better.

I'm up too late for coherence. Beat me over the head if you have questions.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Well, (3.25 / 4) (#84)
by ZanThrax on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:41:30 PM EST

you could do like I do, and open up reply boxes in a new window. (Speeds things up considerably, actually.) And if Rusty could see fit to have poll results not reload the window, that would fix that. (Either put em in a popup or use some script language trick or other to just change part of the page. No html purist attacks please.)

My opinions are my own, not those of whatever philosopher or talk radio drone they may remind you of.




[ Parent ]
What makes you think I don't? (2.66 / 3) (#101)
by kmself on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:48:50 PM EST

That's a browsing style I adopted a long time ago. Lessee....seven Netscape windows open right now. That's a pretty low count for me.

Problem is that this varies in effectiveness depending on both the site and my platform. 17" desktop at 1152x864 works pretty well with a couple of side-by-side or slightly overlapped browser windows. Laptop, 13.3", 1024x768, it's a bit too tight. Non-graphical browsers (w3m is one I use a lot these days) don't quite support this as well, though I've got a couple of ways of getting around this.

There seems to be something vaguely cumbersome in the current Scoop configuration that I can't quite put my finger on. I'll mess with it and see what I come up with.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

I always fullscreen all my browser windows (3.00 / 3) (#120)
by ZanThrax on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:23:22 PM EST

and switch between them, so the only thing that ever gets crowded is the taskbar (which is a good warning that something is going to crash soon & its time to close a few things). I didn't really notice your mentioning the view settings you use. (That's sounds like threaded, I think.) I always use nested, so I don't have any back & forth action to read and mod an entire discussion.

My opinions are my own, not those of whatever philosopher or talk radio drone they may remind you of.




[ Parent ]
Ratings, trusted user status, and rating comments (4.22 / 18) (#57)
by jesterzog on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:35:32 AM EST

I'm not in favour of a killfile or metamoderation. (Although when it's obvious that people are abusing the system badly, I wouldn't object to some action being taken.)

I've been the victim of ratings abuse in the past, including jamesarcher himself trashing the rating on one of my comments. At the moment I don't think it's a serious problem - it's just irritating when it happens.

IMHO, the biggest problem at the moment is that there's an active reason that people want highly rated comments. That reason is that by having high ratings, you get trusted user status. It's why so many people (sometimes myself included) get frustrated when others so obviously abuse the rating system which might unfairly cause them to lose "what they have". For the poster, trusted user status takes the emphasis away from how good the comment is, and provides an incentive for them to actually care about what ratings people give them.

It's not to say that I ever make genuine use of trusted user status when I have it. There are probably two or three comments over several months that I've actually rated 0... and I don't bother reviewing hidden comments any more because I've never once seen a comment there that I don't think deserves to be there. It's just the fact that trusted user status is there at all that causes people to get irked when their comments get rated unfairly.

IMHO, the best way out of this is to do away with ratings determining who is a trusted user. Don't ask me what the new system should be, but if there even is a trusted user status it should be determined some other way.

What I find almost as bad, is when I get a very low rating completely out of phase with all the other ratings. I don't know if it's abuse, or if the person genuinely rated me down for a proper reason. Sometimes I think it's the latter, but it's annoying because I just can't understand what was going through the person's head. If I did, I might be able to do something about it in the future.

Replying with a comment about why you gave a certain rating means a big overhead of effort, which is probably why people don't tell other people why they rated comments down. There's also a dis-incentive because replying with meta-information about someone's comment is likely to be offtopic, and rated down itself.

I'd find it very helpful if there was an easy way that people rating comments could give the reason that they rated the way they did. Something like a text box to type a few words into would be great. eg. "Offtopic", "Good points", "Unresearched", etc. How much effort would it be to implement something like that?

I'd almost go as far as saying that people should be forced to state why they're rating something the way they are, but I'm not sure if there's a point. It'd put people off rating comments at all, and it would just get filled with meaningless junk if it was required to be filled in.

This would never stop abuse, but it would help with understanding between the rater and the poster so there wouldn't be as much annoyance.


jesterzog Fight the light


Old news, perspective (4.60 / 20) (#63)
by kmself on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:29:42 AM EST

First, this has happened before, several times. Multiple accounts are pretty much a design feature fo K5/Scoop. I've got them, I'm pretty sure Rusty and Inoshiro do as well ;-) They're a topic directly addressed in the moderation system background docs. There's not much that can be directly done to prevent this. If this incident is shattering your faith in K5's moderation system, this is probably a good thing. The system's designed to be useful, not perfect. By me. Intentionally. Your expectations exceed the designer's by a long shot.

Second, some perspective. This isn't bringing K5 to a screeching halt. Hell, the site's own design is doing it more harm than this Archer clown (though we're addressing that as well).

As far as fixes. The social solutions are storngly encouraged: moderate more comments. There are limits to this, so while it's encouraged, I don't expect to see major changes in behavior. If trusted users decide that retaliating on the Archer family of accounts is something they want to do...well, Scoop/K5 doesn't handle that sort of abuse very well either. And moderation is transparent -- it's possible to see who's moderated specific comments. Collaboration or chained accounts tend to show up pretty rapidly, Archer was pretty careless -- two accounts with similar names, another pointing to the same website, and strongly suspicious activities with two additional accounts.

On the administrative side, there appears to have been abuse and intent to abuse with these accounts, I'd recommend simply killing them to Rusty and Inoshiro. Play with the system. Have fun with it. Don't abuse it. You lose your rights.

The other "fix" I'd suggest is that a set of useful system queries start being generated such that this type of activity becomes more readily evident. Fact is that eyeballing activity by these accounts is largely sufficient to establish a connection and malfeasance. While there are all sorts of high-end statistical tools devoted to detecting these kinds of patterns, simple frequency analysis will get you a long ways. Correlations will take you a few steps further. Cluster analysis beyond that. I've got to start building an analytic suite up against my Scoop installation.

Point is that any really earth-shattering attacks against K5/Scoop are going to be really blindingly obvious. The approach is also going to be pretty straightforward: close down the accounts involved, if there are new accounts being created to effect the attack, disable new account creation for the duration, or until a better authentication system can be implemented. Anything more subtle is likely to be lost in the noise.

No, I don't see metamoderation as necessary. Analysis of existing K5 moderation data is going to be far more effective in producing information and documentation of abuse. Email to admins over potentially abusive activities is probably as good a notification system as any, though something more detailed might be ginned up over time.

Rating affinity groups -- explicitly or implicitly specified -- might be of interest. In general though I think this is only going to be spectacularly effective where moderation is fairly rich -- articles and some top-level posts. Not leafnode comments in editorial comments.

Trust metrics, or other ways of determining weightings for users' moderations may also be effective. Though typically moderation distribution is fairly thin. Hmmm...actually better for top-level comments than I'd have thought, 8, 9, 10 mods here. Thread comments tend toward 2 to 4 moderations. In most cases, weighting isn't going to make much of a difference, particularly if we assume that the majority of users will have default weights. Currently the number of "trusted" users tends about 1% of all registered users, and "untrusted" is even lower -- the rest of y'all 98% of everyone out there is average. That's an awful lot of design work for a 1% edge condition. Better to have effective policing tools, you ask me.

While there have been some complaints about the K5 moderation system, they appear to be edge phenomena. By and large, most comments are rated about right. Far more so than at a site that's been an inspiration and friend (if only in how not to do things.

Or do you disagree?

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.

I don't. (3.33 / 9) (#93)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:29:25 PM EST

I have 1 account on all things, except for ICQ.. I lost my old ICQ password after moving to OS/2 for a year, and reregistered. Everything else, K5 included, has 1 account, and 1 account only. I don't believe in multiple accounts (since I'm willing to take responsibility for what I say, even if it's wrong), and I hate the idea of having to relogin since I'm lazy :p



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Admin/Testing? (3.00 / 6) (#98)
by kmself on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:20:20 PM EST

I know Rusty uses a non-admin user account to test site changes. Which is a legitimate use. Surprised that you wouldn't too.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Because.... (3.22 / 9) (#102)
by Inoshiro on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:51:07 PM EST

Any Scoop QA I do on a test box at home. Any I do on K5, I test with #kuro5hin people :) Most of what I do is on the box itself, from an SSH session anyways.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Funny, that (none / 0) (#141)
by rusty on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 01:16:28 AM EST

As a matter of fact, I use "cypherpunks" for "normal user" testing. Seriously. I'm that lazy. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Please Read Before Modding Down (3.90 / 11) (#106)
by jamesarcher on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 07:43:11 PM EST

(I posted this separately, but I'm also posting it by way of reply.) The K5 moderation system is fine, and in fact is probably the most efficient of any web log. While I did stir up the muck for a day or two, it wasn't long before I was caught, dragged out, tarred and feathered, and sent away. My words no longer carry weight, and anything I post will probably die a quiet death in the submission queue. This speaks to the effectiveness of the k5 system. Nobody outside of the moderation queue knows that any of this ever happened. A few feathers were ruffled and a few toes stepped on, but in the end the system smoothed out the rough spots, and 99.98% of the people who read this site never noticed any turbulence. My actions are not the symptom of any inherent problem with the k5 moderation system. Quite the opposite; They point to it's strength and effectiveness. That being said, I'm sorry for this whole lark. If I cannot be respectable, at least let me be penitent. James

[ Parent ]
his website is real and you can post to it (2.88 / 9) (#64)
by imperium on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:35:54 AM EST

You can go to jamesarcher's site and give him some guidance. I did. No abuse, please, but if he will leave us the option of modifying his own website, it's all too fitting, I think.

x.
imperium

who cares about their ratings anyway? (3.30 / 13) (#67)
by warez_d00d on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 08:43:57 AM EST

When reading comments I rarely pay attention to the ratings. Of course you won't get any meaningful results with less than ten people rating comments on average...

wait a minute (3.27 / 11) (#69)
by eLuddite on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 09:23:30 AM EST

Whos is Kletus Cassidy an alias for? Seems hiiiighly unusual that someone with this much k5 insight should have this little history.

Ok, start pumping up the anagram muscles.

i suck, sad style

---
God hates human rights.

Olympic style moderation (4.11 / 17) (#71)
by ucblockhead on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 10:21:50 AM EST

What if moderation used the same system that judges at the olympics do. Throw out the top 10% and the bottom 10% of the moderations for every post. Or something like that.

Or just learned that if $Foobar rates an obviously worthwhile comment to 1, it means nothing about the post, only that $Foobar is an idiot. Plenty of idiots around, but who cares? Life's too short to waste time on them.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

Interesting to see (2.80 / 5) (#82)
by ZanThrax on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:34:30 PM EST

that I'm not the only one snellac dislikes. Wonder if he went after Khalad over this as well?

My opinions are my own, not those of whatever philosopher or talk radio drone they may remind you of.




[ Parent ]
Even more interesting... (3.00 / 4) (#100)
by theboz on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:07:23 PM EST

It seems that this snellac person doesn't dislike everyone. It must be a friend of mine or something. I dunno, but it's not the first account to give me a lot of +5 ratings.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Ha! (none / 0) (#138)
by Khalad on Tue Apr 24, 2001 at 07:02:13 AM EST

You know, I was wondering what the hell was going on with that guy. Random behavior like that irks me to no end. It's kinda funny, actually, since when I rated that post I was actually bringing it up!


You remind me why I still, deep in my bitter crusty broken heart, love K5. —rusty


[ Parent ]
Outlier elimination (3.33 / 6) (#103)
by kmself on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 06:53:08 PM EST

This is a valid statistical technique in many instances. Note that in the Olympics, there are a known number of judges, while this may not be the case at K5 -- a lot of posts fall into the 1-3 mods range, at which point, outlier elimination isn't feasible. But the moderations also don't count all that much toward your mojo. Remember that mojo is weighted both by the number of moderations, and toward recent posts. It tends to be a self-healing system.

Once you get to about ten mods on a post, you can start chucking the highest and lowest mods to see how that changes things. This might be a good test of bias in the system, when I get some numbers, I'll try it.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Perhaps the Median not the Mean (3.28 / 7) (#113)
by MrAcheson on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 10:22:03 PM EST

My personal preference would be to determine ratings based on the median moderation (or average of the middle two in the case of an even number) instead of the mean. This will essentially reject the extremes but retain the overall evaluation of the majority.

Personally I think that using the mean is a big problem. After a few people have moderated people start moderating at the extremes so that the end result after averaging is what they want. Some people call this fairness moderating. In any case its really crap, what they are really saying is that the current moderation system doesn't converge fast enough to the proper value. Ideally this sort of behavior should not be necessary in a good statistical system.


These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
Median useful with outliers, not closed moderation (4.50 / 4) (#126)
by kmself on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 02:10:17 AM EST

Mean, median, and mode are all measures of central tendency (or "average"). Taking the median is more useful when you're dealing with widely distributed values. With the Scoop/K5 5 (or six) point Likert scale, they're far less signficant.

It also has the unfortunate property of losing any decimal points -- one nice aspect of Scoop moderation is that it provides about 500 levels of distinction in comments, which is helpful in ranking large numbers of similarly, but distinctly, rated comments.

Some examples (using R, a free statistical system based on the AT&T "S" program):

Let's build two samples, one in the 1-5 range, one with a broader distribution:

With a series of: 3 2 3 1 3 4 5 5 1 1
The mean is 2.8.
The median is 3.

With a series of: 2 0 2 3 3 5 5 2 2 0 101 102 103
The mean is 25.385.
The median is 3.

Again, medians work well where you expect to have a few grossly out-of-range values. They aren't very useful on closed-range categorical data.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Decimals and Median (3.00 / 4) (#135)
by MrAcheson on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 12:17:29 PM EST

So you essentially have whole number scores with the occasional x.5 when an even number of moderations is made. This isn't exactly a problem since slashdot always used a whole number scores in their moderation system and they recieve a lot more traffic than we do. I admit however that I do like the floating point nature of scoop scoring.

As for the statistical samples, I think you made my point. It won't make a big difference in the case of a nice bell curve. However if we have a sample that is essentially all at one end of the scale then it will essentially reject the noise at the other extreme.

What I really like about the median however is that there is no incentive to moderate posts only 1 and 5 once a significant number of moderations have been made. If a post is rated at 4 and you think it deserves a 2, then you moderate it at 2 and hopefully the rating will drop. There is no incentive to moderate it at 1 (lower than you think it deserves) in order to get the number you want. Any result lower or higher than the current rating will produce the same result so moderating to the extremes is pointless. I like this aspect a lot because it fixes a big behavioral issue in current moderation. Note however that some other statistical system may fix it just as well. I am not a statistician.


These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
What about the opposite? (3.36 / 11) (#72)
by theboz on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:00:12 AM EST

Sometimes you might find that someone has went through and rated all of your comments up. There's no reason to have multiple accounts when people seem to just like you or something. It's happened to me from multiple people in the past.

Stuff.

I've always thought of it like this... (3.50 / 10) (#73)
by funwithmazers on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:27:10 AM EST

You see, many people on k5 use multiple accounts. So, if the universe is in balance, and everything is good, some people will use their multiple accounts to vote you up, some people will use their multiple accounts to vote you down. The votes will still be roughly in proportion to what you would've received if everyone only used single accounts. Plus, the threshold is a percent of the accounts on k5. Therefore, the moderation system remains somewhat in balance regardless of the number of accounts that are used.
WARNING--I know this model is somewhat flawed, because it's based on a couple of assumptions that would probably hold true if the k5 population was larger, but might not atm.
a)Most users use multiple accounts.
b)Most users have a relatively close number of accounts.
c)The multiple account activity is done with no malice.


A witch hunt results? (4.12 / 16) (#76)
by duxup on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 12:10:34 PM EST

Calls for some sort of retribution directed at people who seem to abuse the rating system always worries me. Other than blatent abuse, I do not believe that we can reliably identify moderation abuse.

Example: I have a few friends that read K5 once in a while. They rarely post and are just as likely to moderate. However, they frequently vote positively my stories and some even moderate me up. So how can you tell if they're just lurking or if I've got two other accounts and I'm moderating myself up?

You can't, and if we did assume I was being abusive you'd either punish one (or all) of the users who are in fact innocent separate users. This would open us up to another type of abuse. If I didn't like someone, I'd run around and moderate them up hoping for someone to accuse them of moderation abuse. If we decided to only punish the person moderating them up, that won't help much because creating a new account is quite easy. You then would need to punish the person being modded up, playing right into the bad person's hands.

I also worry that moderation is becoming almost as much a discussion point as the site's regular topics. So much emphasis is being placed on how we're moderated that we're in danger of starting a moderation witch hunt where the solution to our current problems are worse than the problems themselves.


What witch hunt? (3.25 / 8) (#77)
by roystgnr on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 12:40:07 PM EST

Focusing on one particular abuser only served to give an example. You'll notice that among the "potential solutions", there is no entry for "find James' home address and beat his ass into the ground." I'm glad the article takes this approach; for every troll you try to get rid of individually, there will be a half dozen more willing to take his place as long as the system itself is exploitable.

[ Parent ]
Not now, but maybe later (3.50 / 6) (#79)
by duxup on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 01:49:48 PM EST

I wouldn't say this solution is a witch hunt, but I believe that it's solutions are doomed to fail. I've got a domain, I could create e-mail addresses to create accounts up the wazoo and defeat this proposal very easily.

Considering the writer has already started naming names and the end result is to identify individuals I believe a witch hunt type mentality is possible.

[ Parent ]
I've Seen this before: Elandale Diary Entry (3.50 / 8) (#81)
by Epoch of Entropy on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 02:43:39 PM EST

Elandale recently posted a diary entry about this. I don't know if anyone read it, but it's a pre-story submission generally concerning the same topic. I think that some of the ideas in this pre-story submission should be considered.

I'm a new user to k5 and it surprises me that this hasn't happened before, as it would seem likely that someone would try to be unscrupulus[sic] with a freely regulated forum. But it is in my opinion that quality is a prerequiste to having a great site, that whatever system is implimented should afford a flexible level of quality control, but still not loose the 'openess' that k5 is founded on. Can there be a middle ground?


.:: Epoch of Entropy ::. .:: http://entropy.ice.org ::.
Flexibility (4.50 / 4) (#110)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 09:50:17 PM EST

The thing about systems like K5 moderation is that they are inherently autocorrecting. That autocorrection comes in the fact that we have around 15K viewpoints represented here, with varying numbers of them active on any given issue.

The more you try and steer a system like this, the worse of it gets. You feed in some correction and end up further out to the other side, and then you overcorrect again until you end up like poor Malda over at Slashdot, hated by everyone, cursed to continually overcorrect a horribly broken system. The worst part is, you'll never understand what went so wrong until you remember the old adage about the road to hell, and that one always sucks to prove the truth of.

Having been here a decent bit of time, and having posted almost a thousand comments, virtually all of which are rated, and having been subject of a couple ratings attacks, as well as having perpetrated one or two, I can tell you the system responds beautifully. It takes an arbitrary metric, lets anyone and everyone assign values to this metric, performs a simple mathematical operation and suddenly, amazingly, you have something which actually has some relation to reality. Don't ask me to explain it, because I most certainly cannot. In fact, I would dare say Karsten, rusty and the others who put so much effort into the system are probably continually surprised as just how well it does work.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

I'll Admit (3.00 / 3) (#117)
by Epoch of Entropy on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:15:40 PM EST

I'll admit you do have a good point there. But there should be some recognizable grey area between quality control and over moderation. Are there any power users besides the the infamous Rusty? (Sorry, I'm new around here)

.:: Epoch of Entropy ::. .:: http://entropy.ice.org ::.
[ Parent ]
Yep... (3.00 / 3) (#121)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:33:43 PM EST

Rusty, our glorious leader, has "supermojo" meaning that how his comments are moderated has zero impact on his ability to view hidden comments and rate with a zero. I believe Inoshiro, hurstdog, and cp all also have this. There are various admin rights within scoop that various users have, but these are rarely exercised, especially in relation to comments.

cp tends to be the person who catches editorial requests, such as fixing links or tags in story submissions, because he reads the queue more regularly than any of the others. The best explanation would come from Rusty, who has assigned all the privilege levels and thus knows who has what. He's a great guy btw, as are, imho, all the other "staff" members. I've yet to see them be anything but responsive to the needs of the users, though sometimes their response is not exactly what the users desire.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

Is who's what around here (3.33 / 3) (#125)
by ZanThrax on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 02:05:18 AM EST

actually written down somewhere? I know Rusty and Inoshiro's functions, realised through his commentary in the queue that cp has editorial powers, and have noticed a few posts by others that imply that they (or the people the post is refering to - see parent for example) have some degree of control, but I have very little actual knowledge of who's what...

Time for a new .sig




[ Parent ]
Actually.. (3.25 / 4) (#130)
by Inoshiro on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 05:05:38 AM EST

Rusty and I have equal access on K5 (superuser.. hurstdog also shares this since he might be around when we're not, and he can fix Perl problems I can't when rusty's not available). We (rusty and I) share root on Hex and Paranoia, although I'm the only one with root on Zephyr. Hurstdog has root on Paranoia since its main purpose is Scoop (not K5) related (and Hurstdog is a Scoop guy). Even though I have the same K5 powers as rusty, I don't tend to use them.

cp is an editor. He has the power to correct stories, and does (although I've been doing it more often recently.. I really hate seeing bad grammar). Driph has some limited powers since he creates all the images and looks for the site. However, like most of us, I don't think he uses his powers much.

I'm happy we don't have to use our powers much. The less we use them, the better the system is. A good thing.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Exactly (3.00 / 2) (#132)
by Miniluv on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 06:46:12 AM EST

Thanks for clarifying the access levels, though I'm intending to promptly forget them as I either email help@k5, or pop into #k5 when I need assistance. Or if it's something that I think needs rusty's personal attention I send email directly to him, though that's only ever happened once, with the magical disappearing story situation. If the reader doesn't know what that is, don't ask because it's completely irrelevant at this point.

As far as admins having to exercise their Scoop given rights, I totally agree with you Inoshiro. I tend to perceive the need to step in and do admin stuff on stories/comments/accounts as necessary negative feedback, and we all know how unstable machines tend to get with too much negative feedback.

I think the beauty of the Scoop system is that it has managed to scale this far without becoming admin driven, but instead has moved farther and farther from needing admin input. Sure, every once in a great while we have to chase down an original source so rusty can sleep at night after hiding a plagiarised story submission, but overall the site tends to run itself for all intents and purposes. That is all hearsay of course, as I'm am blessedly free of responsibility for the site, but I suspect it's pretty accurate from what Inoshiro, Rusty, cp, hurstdog, etc have said.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

Annoying or unworkable, and ultimately pointless (4.25 / 8) (#85)
by delmoi on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 03:43:57 PM EST

First of all, I *hate* slashdot moderation, and I don't really see how it would solve the problem you're talking about. Do you mean a system where only a few people can moderate at a certain time, or do you mean being able to set thresholds? I personally don't like slashdot moderation much at all, and I greatly prefer K5.

And as for having moderation killfiles, well, do you want to pay for the few new servers it would take to process all of that? Don't forget, these websites are being run by computers off, Right now all you have to do is store the number of ratings, and the overall average in the record for the comment. In your system, each rating would have to be calculated on the fly for each comment as you loaded the page. And you would need to extract the kill file, and filter each rating for each comment as well. If my math is right (and I haven't done *that* much with databases) a story with 100 comments would require one hundred and two database lookups, whereas the current system would only require one (not counting things like display preferences for the user, etc). And k5 is kinda slow already. What your asking for might be easy to code, but it would be hell to actually execute.

And finally, why does it matter so much? I mean really. Sure, I might be more liable to read a post rated 5 then 1, (but I doubt it), but it's only a suggestion. You have the ultimate arbiter of comment quality right in front of you, without trying to make sure that the comment system hasn't been hax0red. The text itself. Monkey
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
M2, not M (3.40 / 5) (#97)
by fluffy grue on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:59:41 PM EST

The article suggested meta-moderation, not moderation. Meta-moderation is where people moderate the moderation. It's pretty damned silly, really.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Selective community (3.80 / 10) (#90)
by skim123 on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:15:55 PM EST

The one direction I'd really like to see k5 take is to become a selective community. Currently, I am involved in the k5 community with all k5 participators, even if I don't want to be in such a community with certain folks.

The author of this article seems to be encouraging selective communities in a way, where a user could ignore another user's ratings. I encourage rusty to consider taking this germ of an idea a step further:

I've been kicking around this idea in my head for a while. I think it has its benefits over a regional approach because the Internet kind of removes all geographic boundaries and such. Also, since a community site is only as good as its members, here's my idea:

Every person can create a list of k5 members they count as trusted friends, or people whose comments/posts/stories the find interesting. They can then, optionally, view a story with a filter turned on saying, "Show me posts only by my group of friends," or "Show me posts only by those on my friends list and the friends on my friends list," or "Show me everyone's comments." You could also filter the submission queue via this method.

So, why is this a Good Thing? There are certain k5 posters whose comments I enjoy reading, and I'd like to be able to get to those quickly. There are posters who I've not enjoyed reading, and I'd like to be able to easily skip over that. Granted, I do not have the time to pick through newer people and decide whose new posts I should like, but if someone on my friends list enjoys user x's commentary, chances are I will too. So I can view his posts by setting it so that I see posts by my buddies and by my buddies' buddies.

This would have the effect of partioning k5 into chunks of users who found one another interesting. I guess you could make some prefabricated groups that people could sign up to if they wanted to, special interest groups, like, "People from location x," or "People whose userid is less than 1,000," or "People who have active diaries," or whatever. There could be an optional poll/survey on the user page where people could indicate interests and then sign up to groups of people with similar interests and all.

I know this all may sound a triffle hokey, but it would be a wonderful way to get to know those posting. If, rather than seeing 100 posts, you say a handful of posts from a group of people you hand picked or who shared something in common with you, then you'd get to know those folks better, be more incentivized to participate in a discussion, etc.

(quotes from a previous post of mine)

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.


Ah! "quotes" should be "quote<b (2.25 / 4) (#91)
by skim123 on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:16:43 PM EST

Sorry. The BLOCKQUOTE section was a quote from an earlier post of mine.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.


[ Parent ]

So, you're suggesting that K5 implement cliques? (4.00 / 12) (#94)
by ZanThrax on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 04:32:14 PM EST

I thought the point of internet discussion was that it isn't like hight school... Nevermind that though, I suspect that (assuming that everyone made a list and didn't just say "everybody", as I would) the same few dozen posters who have posted often enough and for long enough to have their names actually known to most of the readership would be the only ones on the lists. I suppose that most of the interesting comments do come from those people, but that's more because they are more prolific than the majority of the posters, who are just as likely to have something good to say when they do say something. And again, nevermind that; such lists would guarantee the death of K5. Sooner or later, the people on the lists will get bored with K5 and wander off, and since people are only listening to those on the lists, new posters will be completely ignored, and after a while, no one who wasn't already in the loop at the conception of the lists wouldn't bother to post anymore, and after a while no one's posting anything... Oh yeah, I also have problems with the idea of only listening to the opinions of those people whose opinions you like. Read Hickman's Immortals for a good story of what can happen when people aren't presented with dissenting viewpoints.

My opinions are my own, not those of whatever philosopher or talk radio drone they may remind you of.




[ Parent ]
The beautiful thing about this... (3.16 / 6) (#99)
by skim123 on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 05:44:34 PM EST

It allows total freedom. If you want to listen to everyone talk, fine, no one's stopping you. But if I want to read posts only by Person X, what right do you have to say that I can't? Right now I can simply do a search for comments by particular users if I only want to read posts, by say, five folks, but this would make it easier. Also the notion of sharing lists with those you trust, it would help form smaller, tightly-related communities. I am for that. I hate to sound like an old fart, but k5 is a site that works best, IMHO, with fewer total users.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.


[ Parent ]

But then... (4.33 / 6) (#111)
by Miniluv on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 09:57:31 PM EST

Wouldn't it be incredibly damaging to trhurlers ego when he suddenly discovers 15K people are technologically ignoring him? You know eventually rusty would spill the beans, if only to allow himself the evil smirk as he would be able to hear the blink, the sniffle, and the tear, even across the 'net.

Seriously though, why is it a good idea to remove the required effort to ignore new points of view? Sure, you can only read the posts by the people you like, whose ideas or presentation styles you agree with, already. There are already active sub-communities within the overall Kuro5hin world. The diaries are the perfect example of this, as many of us have people whose diary we regularly read. Large conversations happen in these diaries, people stay in contact, share ideas, and so forth. But nobody is locked out, that's the beauty of it. I've discovered plenty of people who I think are really, really worth listening to purely because of a chance comment they made in my diary, or fluffy's, or someone else whom I read regularly diary.

Come on, tell me how to moderate. I DARE YOU!


[ Parent ]

What is good about my idea, IMHO... (2.80 / 5) (#115)
by skim123 on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:11:22 PM EST

My idea would, I think, turn k5 from a site that hosts a community to a community-hosting site. For example, say that me and ten friends of mine I've made through cyber-space want a place we can "hang out." This would be a great place, I could create a "clique" and just read stories/comments from my ten friends and their associated friends. If some online friend of mine made another online friend and invited them into my clique, I would get to know them too. I would want to get to know them too, because I would assume that they would be an interesting person, one who my other online friend thought interesting enough to let into our group.

This wouldn't stop me from also having an account where I viewed everybody's posts, like it is now, but this would let me create a smaller group too, if I liked.

I read a post earlier from someone who said that k5 works best with a smaller group (say, 5k users max). Rather than having folks get pissed off that k5 is too big (too many articles in the submission queue, too many comments, too rapidly revolving diaries, etc.), such a system would allow me to limit my k5 univser to, say 200 folks who's comments I've come to enjoy.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.


[ Parent ]

Not beautiful to me (4.50 / 6) (#133)
by iGrrrl on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 07:23:00 AM EST

This is me being a jerk. Feel free to mod this down, but it's my honest reaction. Your suggestion will forever give me the impression of a cartoon figure with its thumbs in its ears and fingers over its eyes, singing, "I'm not listening!"

I read stuff on K5 with which I do not agree. I even vote up stories with which I do not agree if I think they're otherwise worthy. Remember the buzz word <a href="http://www8.zdnet.com/pcmag/issues/1616/pcmg0032.htm>"push technology"? At the time I found the idea appalling. It would not only bring to the user the info he wanetd (and the info the pusher decided he wanted), but it would also allow the user to never see large blocks of information.

Silly me. I worry both about the Balkanization of the culture and the homogenization. I see both quite a bit in the South, where my inlaws live. Almost all the stores are big chains, but they'd never even heard of the Harry Potter books. I find these people to be very nice, but very narrow.

From your response to Miniluv:

My idea would, I think, turn k5 from a site that hosts a community to a community-hosting site.
Perhaps it would, but was that the intent? Besides, as has been similarly said, I left high school over 20 years ago, and have no desire to go back.

--
You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

can't you *think* before you talk? (3.66 / 9) (#107)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 08:15:39 PM EST

"Show me posts only by those on my friends list and the friends on my friends list,"

Isn't this an exponetial time problem?

Suppose everybody has k friends, and that overlap between friend lists is minimal. First round, you need to look at your k friends; next round, you need to look at most at k^2 friends; next, k^3. In general, for an n-round search, the worst case is that you need to look at k^n people.

And you're asking for a nearly unbounded lookup, bounded only by the number of users in k5. Which has an interesting consequence-- since you need to keep track of whose list's you've checked already, you need to use memory to store a hash from user # to "seen/not seen" status. Since the only bounds on the search are the numbers of users, this hash could in principle have as many elements as k5 has users. And all this for a single instance of a search.

Not to mention that if a single person somewhere down the tree puts somebody you don't like on his list, you get to see comments you don't want. (Assuming the servers haven't ground to a near halt from attacking hundreds of EXPTIME problems at once.) So you'd need "nonfriend" lists too.

So yeah, yet another proposed "improvement" for k5 that is not only socially bad (as Zanthrax points out quite eloquently), but computationally implausible

--em
[ Parent ]

Your insulting subject line is a great lead in (3.00 / 4) (#119)
by skim123 on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:19:58 PM EST

Isn't this an exponetial time problem

Let's see, maybe we could:

  • Limit the list of friends' lists to iterate down to some small number: 2 or 3, perhaps.
  • A batch job could run once a day updating a static list of your "total set of friends," so, when you needed to consult who your friends were, you could look at one linear list and not have to keep computing the total friends.

Not to mention that if a single person somewhere down the tree puts somebody you don't like on his list, you get to see comments you don't want

You could opt not to inherit your friends' friends. Or you could say, "Only inherit friends of friends who appear on more than N of my friends lists."

So yeah, yet another proposed "improvement" for k5 that is not only socially bad (as Zanthrax points out quite eloquently), but computationally implausible

How is this socially bad? It grants more freedom. If I want to see only a set of folks' posts, I can. If you want to see everyone's, you can. Why do you want to force everyone to see everyone else's posts? That's like trying to make a law requiring that everyone reads every newspaper, or watches the news on all the channels. Also, what is wrong with making "improvement" suggestions, and how are such comments worser comment than your condescending reply?

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.


[ Parent ]

self-segregation ? (3.33 / 6) (#112)
by mami on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 10:01:35 PM EST

The one direction I'd really like to see k5 take is to become a selective community.

Why ? That would be very boring, not inviting to newcomers and a reason to leave for many lurkers. This is deliberate self-segregation to experience more of a "home" feeling for yourself and your buddies. Understandable that you would like it, but isn't K5 supposed to be a bit more than that ? It's already not easy to stick around here, if one doesn't fit in by nature, age and political affiliation and level of IQ so to speak. Your set-up would make it even harder.

But, hey, you guys know what you are doing.

[ Parent ]

I'm not saying that you have to segregate (3.00 / 4) (#116)
by skim123 on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:14:04 PM EST

Just that you can. If you want to read everyone's posts, I don't want to stop you. But this would allow me to have two accounts - a general one, and one that focused in on only those folks whose opinions I was more interested in.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.


[ Parent ]

Highlighting users (2.75 / 4) (#127)
by Scrymarch on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 02:33:27 AM EST

Well, like some other commenters, I wouldn't want to stem the tide of k5 punditry; scanning a large number of opinions is part of the appeal. Identifying interesting user's comments would be useful though. It would be the equivalent of turning to your favourite columnist in the newspaper.

How to achieve this cleanly is another matter. I'm a fan of using colour but apparently colour-blind people aren't. There is already the established red convention for editorial comments, however. Maybe posts by those on your interesting people list could be outlined in green.

[ Parent ]

Oy (3.25 / 4) (#128)
by Inoshiro on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 04:47:49 AM EST

You're not familiar with red/green colour blindness, are you? Red and green are the two worst colours to choose to contrast -- especially for people who are colour blind!

User selected colours would work.. but I think the idea is silly to begin with.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Red, green, whatever (none / 0) (#140)
by Scrymarch on Wed Apr 25, 2001 at 06:50:21 PM EST

Ok, sure, maybe green was a bad choice, it was off the top of my head. Substitute black, purple, or whatever would work well for colour blindness.

[ Parent ]
A request (3.44 / 9) (#129)
by streetlawyer on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 04:51:20 AM EST

As soon as this feature is implemented, could you please add me and my alter ego account "spira1x" to your killfile, and encourage your "friends" to do likewise? I'd hate to think that anything I wrote was being read by such a self-regarding, exclusive clique. You have my permission to read this post, but otherwise, I'd really prefer it if you excluded me. I don't want to be part of any clique that would have me as a member.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
For cripe's sake (2.50 / 2) (#136)
by skim123 on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 01:38:45 PM EST

Please read my post and think about it before you respond with the popular, "You clique loving homos can burn in hell."

I am not saying that this should be used to exclude folks, but to bring together folks who fall under a smaller, specialized set of folks. I'll quote my post:

This would have the effect of partioning k5 into chunks of users who found one another interesting. I guess you could make some prefabricated groups that people could sign up to if they wanted to, special interest groups, like, "People from location x," or "People whose userid is less than 1,000," or "People who have active diaries," or whatever. There could be an optional poll/survey on the user page where people could indicate interests and then sign up to groups of people with similar interests and all

How is that bad? How is that exlusivatory, if that's even a word? It would bring together folks with common interests.

Sorta like being gay: you're walking around, you know something's up, you just don't know what it is yet.


[ Parent ]

A better way (2.87 / 8) (#108)
by enterfornone on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 08:28:03 PM EST

Unless you agree with the majority all the time, democratic moderation just doesn't work.

The usual alternative you see is having a bunch of admins. Again, unless you agree with the admins this doesn't work either.

The solution would be, rather than a killfile, to have a list of people you agree with whose moderations you will accept. This way moderation will always be done by like minded people.



--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
A social problem with a technical solution? (3.66 / 6) (#118)
by Mabb on Sun Apr 22, 2001 at 11:18:39 PM EST

I'm sorry Kletus, but I can't agree with your dire assessment of the situation. I don't think what archer did was that serious, it certainly didn't last that long and the solution has already been administered (read his own posts to this story) without any need for new Scoop code.

What's more, you'll see from other posts that this is not the first time such "abuses" have occurred - sorry to tell you that it's all happened before, including stories calling for technical solutions to the "problem".

As others have said, the more complex a system gets, the less useful it gets - and that's a pretty good metric for software design. Another good adage is to keep a problem in its own domain: ie, problems of a technical nature are solved best by a technical solution; problems of a social nature are solved best by a social solution.

In my view, the community and not the software has the best chance of punishing, rehabilitating and deterring aberrant behaviour.

Peer pressure is VERY powerful, and immediate.

It appears that this "major abuse" is pretty much over before your story even gets out of the queue.



QuiltBlog: WIP, SEX, WOW, MQ, LQS, HST...

Try this on for size... (3.25 / 4) (#124)
by chuqui on Mon Apr 23, 2001 at 01:55:28 AM EST


Everyone has the ability to rate users as well as comments. A person's ability to affect the ranking of something depends on their personal rating.

The lower a person's ranking, the less impact they have on stories and users. Allow users to simply "edit out" users with a rating less than a given value, and you have consensus kill files. if you use the ranking to affect a person's rating values, you can build a system that automagically filters out problem people, because the users of a system will rank them down, which allows the system to filter them out.

it's a nice self-modifying system, somewhat computationally expensive. It will tend to encourage moderation towards consensus, but so does the current system. It just enforces it automatically.


-- Chuq Von Rospach, Internet Gnome <http://www.chuqui.com> <kuro@chuqui.com> "The first rule of holes: If you are in one, stop digging"
how about ip numbers? (none / 0) (#142)
by Rainy on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 08:40:44 PM EST

Right now, can someone mod the same post multiple times from the same ip? If yes, isn't it trivial to forbid this?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
Bad idea (none / 0) (#143)
by fluffy grue on Mon May 28, 2001 at 08:43:57 PM EST

At NMSU, they're experimenting with a transparent web proxy. All web access appears to come from the same IP address. I'm not the only K5 user at NMSU.

Then there's plenty of ISPs which also do this. Earthlink, AOL (yes, I know "ISP" is being used loosely there) and several others also use transparent proxies. Some transparent proxies (such as Earthlink's) still appear to originate from the original IP address. Many don't.

Throttling based on IP address is always a Bad Idea.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Scoop Feature Request: Ratings Killfile | 143 comments (137 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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