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[P]
Scaling The K5 Community

By Driusan in Op-Ed
Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 12:10:01 AM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)
Kuro5hin.org

Once upon a time K5 was a happy little democratic community doing happy little democratic things, run entirely by the users. Users submitted stories, users decided what stories get posted, and users rated comments and everything was just great and peachy. Then K5 grew, and K5 grew, and K5 grew, and the happy little democratic community started to break down, and rusty had to step in to fix things.


Once there was a story called Cunt in this happy little democratic community. This was before the edit queue, so as soon as it was submitted to the queue everyone was able to vote for it. It was a pretty good, well written article, so once the users starting voting for it, it became pretty obvious that it was going to make it to the front page. Rusty decided that the title was inappropriate and renamed it to "Profanity Reconsidered", which is the name that it wound up going to the front page under. Why am I telling you this? Because its the first time I can remember rusty stepping in to change the content on K5 against the rest of the community will. It caused a pretty big controversy at the time, and I bet you either weren't here or had completely forgotten about it.

More recently K5 continued to grow, and grow, and grow and then the trolls came. People complained about them and how they were ruining K5 and how the signal-to-noise ratio was hurting and how something had to be done about them and oh god won't somebody please think of the children? and life went on, and the comment rating system pretty much took care of them.

I'm not sure if at some time rusty took an active role in censoring the trolls, but recently he decided to remove the posting privileges of one, which is causing a bit of controversy in the diary section. The responses predictably fall into two categories:


  1. Censorship is evil! Rusty shouldn't be deciding who's allowed to speak.
  2. Who cares? He was a troll, he was detrimental to the site.

Even if you fall into category two, I think you'll agree that there's much more than one troll on this site and unless rusty spends the rest of his days sitting at his computer, removing posting abilities from various users the "problem" isn't going to go away.

So how do we fix the problem? Is there even a problem? Was rusty right to remove Michael Jackson's posting privileges? Obviously your answer to the second two questions will effect how you answer the first one, but I'm going to propose a few solutions to the first question in the hope that the rest of you can come up with some more, and maybe even wind up with a solution that makes everyone the least unhappy.

Solution 1: Ignore User

This is the obvious solution which most of you probably come up with. Its pretty self-explanatory: give users the ability to ignore the postings from other users that they consider trolls. In a way it's a milder version of letting rusty delete all the trolls, because it still amounts to censorship; the only difference is it's a form of censoring the information that you intake, without forcing your opinion on other people.

Personally, I think this is a horrible idea. I think we have enough bias and groupthink here as it is, and the ability to ignore users won't help that any. You have no fundamental human right to not be offended, and I don't think you should either. Your ability to ignore other users means that if you decide to ignore someone because you don't like them, the rest of the community doesn't get the benefit of seeing what happens when the two viewpoints collide. If all the socialists start ignoring all the libertarians and vice versa (for instance), this will quickly degenerate into a very boring place to have any political discussion.

It's possible (likely, even) that I'm overly cynical of peoples'   abilities to tolerate dissenting views, but what happens to the rating system already in place if the ignore user option is implemented? Let's assume that you manage to get all the trolls, crapflooders, their dupe accounts, and whatever else you don't like ignored. Now they keep posting, and there's no one left to rate them. Anonymous users come to K5, and now all the content is lost in even more noise, because all the people who would have rated the comments lowly before are now just ignoring them.

Solution 2: Form Cliques

This idea might require some modifications to Scoop, but I think it would be a pretty neat experiment to try.

The idea is based on accepting the fact that communities will never be able to scale very well, and instead trying to make the website consist of many smaller communities. In real life this already happens on an informal basis when large groups form. They pretty quickly break down into cliques, hence the name of the idea.

In the K5 version of this what would happen is the website would try and identify what posters you tend to read and converse with the most. K5 would then highlight any posts or stories made by them so that no matter how many trolls come along they'll never get lost in the noise. This could either occur on an individual basis, or it could be arranged so if someone is in your clique it would also mean that you're in their clique. In the latter case you could also belong to many different cliques, and they would each be highlighted differently. The members of your clique are likely to have similar opinions to you when it comes to ratings too, so their comment ratings would be given higher priority when the decision is made on whether to hide or show a comment. As a result of this the people you're not likely to want to see will be culled out, and the "troll problem" disappears (assuming you have your comment preferences set to hide hidden comments.)

Solution 3: More Democracy

If you think that rusty is right to remove the comment abilities of trolls but will never be able to keep up, then this solution is for you. The idea is that we, as a community, get to vote on what permissions other users have. If you decide that Michael Jackson or Hide The Hamster is a nuisance to the community, then you simply vote for them to not be able to post anything. If you think that drduck is abusing his rating privileges, then you vote for him to not have them. If enough of the users of the website decide that a user is abusing his privileges, then they lose them. It has the same effect as rusty going and doing it (i.e. we still have censorship), but at the very least it only occurs if the entire community decides that someone is a problem, not at one arbitrary person's discretion.

The direct democracy approach does, of course, have its drawbacks. What happens when people start making multiple accounts and then vote away your ability to vote? Well then there's not much you can do within the democratic system. In theory dupe accounts will be spotted and lose their privileges, but in practice who knows how it would work?

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Poll
The Troll "Problem"
o Do nothing. 11%
o Add ignore support. 15%
o Form cliques. 4%
o Vote for priviledges. 7%
o Solutions 1 and 2. 5%
o Solutions 1 and 3. 3%
o Solutions 2 and 3. 0%
o Solution 1, Solution 2, and Solution 3. 0%
o You have too much free time on your hands. 10%
o We need checkbox polls, and maybe a cow logo. 26%
o Inoshiro. 13%

Votes: 115
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Scoop
o one
o diary
o Scoop [2]
o Also by Driusan


Display: Sort:
Scaling The K5 Community | 273 comments (248 topical, 25 editorial, 1 hidden)
SOLUTION 4 (1.01 / 52) (#1)
by Worker Bee on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 06:06:08 PM EST

GET A F*CKING LIFE, FAGG*T.

GO WORRY ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER, LIKE THE FACT THAT YOU'RE PROBABLY A HUGE LOSER.

THE WEAK AMONG US CLAMOR ABOUT ETHICS BECAUSE IT'S THE ONLY CHAIN THEY HAVE LEFT TO SHACKLE THE STRONG.

er.. (1.75 / 8) (#10)
by Driusan on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:00:01 PM EST

Is there a reason to put *s there? Is it supposed to stop me from figuring out what you said? facking? flcking? fwcking? You can go ahead and say fucking faggot if you want, no one's gonna stop you.

As far as the second part goes, what makes you think I don't already, good sir? I mean, jesus christ, I'm sitting here responding to a troll on K5 in a meta-story. Clearly we don't need you to point out that I need something better to do with my time.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

AWWW, TAKE IT EASY BRO (1.35 / 20) (#11)
by Worker Bee on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:01:29 PM EST

I WAS KINDA HARSH ON YA, MAN.  SORRY ABOUT THAT.

YOU PROBABLY JUST FUCKED A COUPLE CHICKS AND WERE CHILLIN OUT BY READING THIS SHITTY WEBLOG.

LATER BRO.

THE WEAK AMONG US CLAMOR ABOUT ETHICS BECAUSE IT'S THE ONLY CHAIN THEY HAVE LEFT TO SHACKLE THE STRONG.

[ Parent ]

s/chicks/underaged boys (1.92 / 13) (#23)
by polish surprise on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:26:58 PM EST


--
Controversy is my middle name.
[ Parent ]

Rusty has already acknowledged that he (2.00 / 13) (#2)
by Tex Bigballs on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 06:18:36 PM EST

is too lazy to lift a finger to do anything around here. Lucky for him he happens to know other people who unlike him don't have a severe allergy to work.

Recently, it is believed that rusty asked hulver to step in and save K5, even though hulver is probably rusty's most outspoken critic. From what I understand hulver refused the offer since he doesn't want to suit up in the 11th hour to try to save this fiasco of a website.

I myself have been a strong rusty supporter up until now, but enough is enough. I think we need radical changes around here, and start getting rid of the old guard and yes-men that have made this once-proud website into the single biggest joke on the entire internet.

HEY TEX (1.17 / 17) (#3)
by Worker Bee on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 06:30:00 PM EST

WE SHOULD START OUR OWN SITE.  WHAT HOSTING/SERVER COMPANIES COULD WE TRICK INTO GIVING US FREE RESOURCES?

THE WEAK AMONG US CLAMOR ABOUT ETHICS BECAUSE IT'S THE ONLY CHAIN THEY HAVE LEFT TO SHACKLE THE STRONG.

[ Parent ]
I HEAR THE PEOPLE AT VOXEL ARE PRETTY DUMB (1.91 / 12) (#4)
by Tex Bigballs on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 06:33:13 PM EST

BUT I DON'T KNOW IF THEIR COLO'D OVERCLOCKED COLECOVISION CAN TAKE ON ANOTHER SCOOP SITE

[ Parent ]
I ENCOURAGE THAT, BRO (1.90 / 10) (#5)
by Worker Bee on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 06:42:13 PM EST

I ENCOURAGE THAT.

THE WEAK AMONG US CLAMOR ABOUT ETHICS BECAUSE IT'S THE ONLY CHAIN THEY HAVE LEFT TO SHACKLE THE STRONG.

[ Parent ]
Don't dis my colecovision, man (2.75 / 4) (#50)
by localroger on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 10:26:30 PM EST

My Coleco Adam, which was an expansion box plugged into my Colecovision, was a damn good 'puter and I used it so much I bought a second one (when they got extra cheap in surplus) and I used them for almost five years.

If you want to dis someone's server compare it to something truly useless like the TRS-80 Color Computer, Commodore VIC-20, or ubiquitous but extraordinarily underpowered Atari 2600 VCS.

What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]

Neat (none / 0) (#8)
by Perianwyr on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 06:57:58 PM EST

Did you know, for instance, that sometimes we do disagree?

[ Parent ]
Hi Tex. :) (none / 2) (#12)
by aphrael on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:01:52 PM EST

Is there something *specific* you think could be done to make it better? I hear a lot of whining and very little in the way of productive ideas.

[ Parent ]
Deleted user amnesty program (1.80 / 10) (#14)
by Tex Bigballs on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:07:41 PM EST

Michael Jackson, DJ Glock, Sallybetty, Rogerborg and Night in White Satin (all accounts) along with every other unjustly-deleted user get reinstated with a full apology from rusty.

[ Parent ]
ROFL. (2.33 / 9) (#15)
by aphrael on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:09:17 PM EST

That's somehow going to make the site better?

[ Parent ]
If you aren't going to take user input seriously (1.83 / 6) (#16)
by Tex Bigballs on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:11:26 PM EST

then don't bother asking.

[ Parent ]
User input (2.40 / 5) (#17)
by aphrael on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:12:32 PM EST

User input will be taken as seriously as it deserves. This particular suggestion doesn't deserve much seriousness.

[ Parent ]
As to be determiend by you of course? (2.66 / 6) (#20)
by Tex Bigballs on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:16:17 PM EST

Anyway, I have neither the time nor the inclination to talk to one of rusty's tapdancing flunkies. When your boss is ready to step up to the plate and start making the tough decisions that will improve this website then we'll talk.

[ Parent ]
Boss? (3.00 / 7) (#27)
by aphrael on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 08:12:14 PM EST

I'm reasonably autonomous. :) But your point is valid - I can't make decisions that would imply overarching change; that runs beyond my writ. Still, your recommended and preferred change is not going to happen, and wouldn't even if all of the admins were watching this site 24-7.

[ Parent ]
Do you guys even bother to warn people? (none / 2) (#38)
by Danzig on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 09:28:34 PM EST

People who you have banned or are planning to, I mean. Or are they too denied explanations of what behavior is unnacceptable?

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
I can only speak for myself. (3.00 / 10) (#46)
by aphrael on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 09:44:52 PM EST

The only time i've killed accounts is for repeatedly crapflooding the queue - articles containing nothing but "nigger faggot nigger faggot" etc for page after page.

People doing that get no warning.

[ Parent ]

Fair enough I suppose... (none / 1) (#69)
by Danzig on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 11:24:26 AM EST

but rusty or another editor should add that to the FAQ.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
Add what to the FAQ? (2.75 / 4) (#71)
by Driusan on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 11:41:56 AM EST

Q: What type of behaviour will get my account banned?
A: This is the policy that aphrael uses to decide when to kill accounts. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the policy that other admins use, so following it won't necessarily not get your account banned. The only way to find out how much of an ass you can be before you get banned is to go out and act like an ass.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
Here ya go: (none / 3) (#114)
by ubernostrum on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 06:18:45 PM EST

WARNING: If you feel the need to engage in the written equivalent of projectile diarrhea while using this site, please be aware that your posting privileges may be revoked and your account deleted without notice.

How's that?




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
Depends. (2.20 / 10) (#60)
by ubernostrum on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 02:02:55 AM EST

Most of the accounts I've seen killed with no warning have gone like this:

<troll> HAR HAR I AM TROLL POSTING 10 GAY SEX TROLL STORIES LOL

<editor> They're deleted.

<troll> HAR HAR 10 MORE GAY SEX STORIES ROFFLE

* editor deletes account

<troll2> HAR HAR GAY SEX STORIES ROFFLE MAYO

* editor deletes account

<troll3> HAR HAR GAY SEX STORIES ROFFLE MAYO

* editor deletes account

And so on. Frankly, I don't have a problem with editors deleting accounts for stupid shit like that. If the trolling was creative or amusing, that'd be another story, but most of the "troll" we get these days are half-witted amateurs with no skill or finesse who are simply killing time here until their testicles descend.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
Alright, captain self-important. (2.50 / 4) (#63)
by Paulsweblog on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 04:01:23 AM EST

Get off your high horse now, k?

--
Blood for blood and death for death.
[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#217)
by Emissary on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 08:57:05 PM EST

If the trolling was creative, and amusing, you'd enjoy it? Really? You only dislike trolls with no skill, or finesse? Really. I think qpt may disagree with you.

"Be instead like Gamera -- mighty, a friend to children, and always, always screaming." - eSolutions
[ Parent ]
Rogerborg kicked ass (none / 1) (#198)
by CodeWright on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 12:29:47 PM EST

Even if the rest of those wankers were merely autoerotic.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Rogerborg (1.87 / 8) (#84)
by rusty on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 12:57:55 PM EST

Roger's account is still completely active. He just chooses not to use it, preferring to whine on HuSi instead.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Kind of hard to access the site after an IP ban (none / 3) (#86)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 12:59:32 PM EST

nt

[ Parent ]
He brought it on himself. (none / 1) (#130)
by it certainly is on Sun Mar 21, 2004 at 08:05:50 PM EST

Using a bot on K5 and then brazenly advertising it? I mean, that's begging for an IP ban. Honestly, I have no sympathy for martyrs.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

good (none / 0) (#156)
by Wah on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 01:57:18 PM EST

what's your IP address again?
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]
127.0.0.1 (3.00 / 4) (#157)
by Tex Bigballs on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 02:19:25 PM EST

feel free to pingflood

[ Parent ]
Damn, you must be an internet god (none / 1) (#255)
by godix on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 05:30:01 PM EST

I tried using a script I got in the leet hacker IRC channels to DDOS you but I had just barely started before you retaliated and knocked me off the net. I bow down to your godlike internet powers.

It's dawned on me that Zero Tolerance only seems to mean putting extra police in poor, run-down areas, and not in the Stock Exchange.
- Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]
I wonder what goes on in Rusty's mind (2.55 / 9) (#6)
by JChen on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 06:53:24 PM EST

each time he opens and scans the latest bill from the K5 ISP?

Let us do as we say.
You nailed it. (2.33 / 6) (#83)
by rusty on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 12:55:59 PM EST



____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Nailed what? (none / 1) (#115)
by imrdkl on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 06:34:59 PM EST

I had always understood that voxel does not charge us anything. In your posting of the bylaws for the CMF long ago, you inferred that the hosting was free, and I seem to recall a specific acknowledgement of that as well, although I've not the time to dig for it.

Whats the damage, Rusty?

[ Parent ]

Oops (2.83 / 6) (#118)
by rusty on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 07:10:44 PM EST

No, they don't charge us. There used to be a reply, to which my comment was a reply, pointing that out. I guess the original replier was Vlad's new account, which lasted a brief couple hours. So now my reply makes no sense.

No, they don't charge us, and, to restate what was originally there, I think "Gee whiz, it's a great thing they don't charge us for hosting, or I'd shut this place down in about three seconds."

Sorry for the confusion.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Ok (2.33 / 6) (#119)
by imrdkl on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 07:31:44 PM EST

Thanks for clarifying that. In the midst of this latest uprising, I'd just like to take the liberty to urge you to try to stay levelheaded, and use the time you have to spend with us to the greatest benefit of all. If that sounds sappy, it's not meant to, but I think you'd kill a bunch of trolls with some work on the CMF.

[ Parent ]
YOU'D SHUT THIS PLACE DOWN? (1.10 / 20) (#120)
by Worker Bee on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 09:18:09 PM EST

WOW, TALK ABOUT LACK OF SELF-RESPECT.  I SURE HOPE YOU DON'T HAVE KIDS SOME DAY; YOU CAN BARELY CARE ENOUGH ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR LITTLE "PROJECTS" LET ALONE CHILDREN.

BUT HEY, K5'S YOUR LITTLE BABY ANYWAY, AND YOU JUST SAID YOU'D "SHUT [IT] DOWN IN ABOUT THREE SECONDS."

SO YEAH, I HOPE YOU'RE INFERTILE, BRO ;-)

HOW'S THAT DECEMBER 2003 MONTHLY UPDATE COMING? ;-)

THE WEAK AMONG US CLAMOR ABOUT ETHICS BECAUSE IT'S THE ONLY CHAIN THEY HAVE LEFT TO SHACKLE THE STRONG.

[ Parent ]

how ironic (none / 1) (#138)
by speek on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:52:28 AM EST

So, when do you decide to end the experiment and proceed to make K5 as good as possible with what you've learned? I know you're loathe to do things like killfiles and all because you're conducting an experiment on how far completely open democracy can go, but it seems to me that A) the experiment should end at some point and that which has been learned should be applied to make K5 better, and B) it's already over as you have been taking liberties to remove posts and people for a while now.

What are your plans for k5?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Gimme a couple days (2.88 / 9) (#139)
by rusty on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 08:09:10 AM EST

I need to get this server stuff sorted out, and I have two deadlines on Wednesday for other things. New user signups are off for now, until I figure out what comes next.

In a more general sense, I don't think this is the kind of experiment that ends exactly. Whatever happens, I very much doubt it will be the end of anything, or the "solution" to anything. Every change to the site changes the problem again, and every solution creates the opportunity for new problems.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

in other words (none / 0) (#152)
by speek on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 01:36:49 PM EST

You will never have as the primary goal to make K5 as functional as you can. More important than that is to continue the experiment in never using "excluding" techniques (for lack of a better term). Yes?

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

I think... (none / 2) (#161)
by rusty on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 05:02:48 PM EST

...you're reading too much into that. There's a pretty hard excluding technique in place right now. I'm just trying to balance the goals of the site with functionality.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
not to belabor this, but... (none / 1) (#167)
by speek on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 06:25:25 PM EST

So, we just haven't convinced you that killfiles would improve the site. You don't have a principled objection to it (as I thought was the case), you just think they wouldn't help or would make things worse.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

No (none / 2) (#171)
by rusty on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:14:26 PM EST

I don't have a universal moral objection to killfiles. I think for IRC they work pretty well, when used as directed. I think for some websites they could be the right solution. I'm just not convinced they are the right idea for K5. I think restoring the hard mojo/ratings system would make more sense than going straight to a killfile. Also, for this site the individual "personal filter" kind of mindset that killfiles embody strikes me as wrong.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Mojo (none / 2) (#174)
by Driusan on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:45:12 PM EST

Not that my opinion matters that much on this point, but I've been lurking here for years and I never liked the idea of mojo. I just don't see the point of tying rating and commenting together. Getting high ratings on comments mostly involves being fluent in English and having enough free time to actually post them. Rating should be tied to your ability to judge other people fairly, not your ability to argue a point coherently. I can't think of any way to automate checking people's ability to judge fairly, but don't see why you should tie it to something completely unrelated just because of that.

Besides, some people (like me) refuse to rate things zero on principle. It always irked me that I couldn't see things when they got < 1 just because I wasn't "trusted" when there was mojo. At the very least leave the "Show hidden comments" option for untrusted users. There's even less reason to tie what people are allowed to read with their fluency.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

Man points at the moon... (3.00 / 8) (#181)
by eSolutions on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 10:33:44 PM EST

...look at the finger, you just see a finger. Miss where the finger's pointing, and you miss the immortal glory.

God damn! A couple of weeks ago, the drying Chicago snow left a shallow pool of water on my back deck. Periodically, a single drop would drip onto the pool. And then, a series of echo drops would cascade across the pool. It was INSANE. One splash fell, and the entire razor-thin pool sang back in answer. See?

With one post, you could change this site. Not with database fiddling, not with bit-wanking, but with Tao. One post. You could unify the trolls and the normals, fuse the posters together, Dark Crystal-style, into a glorious testimony to the infinite. But you must stop looking at the finger!

Yours in Christ,
eSolutions

[ Parent ]

r000r (none / 3) (#192)
by noogie on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 09:08:14 AM EST




*** ANONYMIZED BY THE EVIL KUROFIVEHIN MILITARY JUNTA ***
[ Parent ]
More Democracy (none / 0) (#230)
by bjlhct on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 12:34:15 AM EST

Well, you could do a poll on whether we should have killfiles...

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
Ha (none / 0) (#231)
by rusty on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 12:50:55 AM EST

Sort of like electing a dictator for life? Sometimes voting does not equal democracy. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Yes, let's not forget... (none / 0) (#256)
by skyknight on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 05:47:49 PM EST

that Hitler* was democratically elected. ;-)

*: this was deliberate, and thus invocation of Godwin's law is averted; continue on!



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Or (none / 0) (#233)
by Driusan on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 12:59:42 AM EST

You could just look at this poll.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
Indeed ;-) (none / 0) (#235)
by bjlhct on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 01:07:08 AM EST

Pretty close,  but not everyone will read this story and there is no statement that the poll would be considered significant and that poll is not straightforward enough for this.

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
I think... (none / 0) (#172)
by Elendale on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:32:13 PM EST

That's a safe assumption. I'm one of the old moderation-whiners, but i've never seen any way in which a killfile would produce a better K5. Sure, it would fix the current problem- but it would invite a whole host of other issues.
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Out of idle curiosity (none / 0) (#254)
by godix on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 05:25:26 PM EST

Have you considered letting Jjayson know that if he reactivates his account and crapfloods the holy hell out of K5 then he'll get wiped like he wanted?

It's dawned on me that Zero Tolerance only seems to mean putting extra police in poor, run-down areas, and not in the Stock Exchange.
- Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]
But they don't bill him [nt] (none / 1) (#94)
by Stick on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 02:17:26 PM EST




---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Hierachies (2.84 / 13) (#7)
by sien on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 06:57:30 PM EST

Metafilter is about the best web link site. There is not much trolling there. And the way they've done it appears to be to not let new people in. It's a bit harsh, but it's worked.

Why not try something like that here? Why not make it so that you can't get an account for a week. Change the system so that you have to post x times or post x number of diaries before you can get post an article.

The other problem with K5 is that it takes time and effort to write something decent. How many of you have written an article that isn't MLP? I tried once, and the article was slammed in the edit queue, which was legitimate. But, what it comes down to is writing even a decent MLP requires effort, and there has to be some reward. If the site runs well, and even now, the reward is good responses and knowing that you've written something that gets a lot of responses. As the site is now, clearly people have left and gone to Husi, Orkut or where ever.

In other words, why not have a hierarchy? If you look at some open source projects this is exactly what happens. Linus has people who check submissions for him, and it goes gradually up. K5 does not seem to do this, perhaps I'm wrong. It seems that is rusty and one or two other admins, and then the rest of us, but perhaps that needs to change.

Some of the trolls would hopefully stay, Tex, James Joyce and a few others are actually funny. But if they went overboard they'd get kicked off and have to wait a while before coming back. The only problem with this is that it would require people to watch the place. Would enough people volunteer? It would also require changes to scoop. Again, would there be enough volunteers?

Hierarchies and stuff. (3.00 / 5) (#18)
by Driusan on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:15:04 PM EST

If the fundamental problem is that communities don't scale very well, then obviously not letting new people join is one way to stop it from growing too large and hierarchies are a good way to help them grow bigger than they otherwise would. It's not limited to open source projects, look at any government, business, etc. Hierarchies do tend to develop, but I don't think they really mesh with the philosophy behind K5. I like the fact that everyone is equal here, and I like the fact that anyone can join. The slogan of the software K5 is built on is "collaborative media for the masses" for a reason. Taking out the "collaborative" and "masses" may solve some problems, but is it worth it? I know I, for one, think the fact that anyone can join and immediately contribute (in theory) is pretty important.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
Equality (2.85 / 7) (#24)
by sien on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:31:52 PM EST

There is equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. Democracy goes for the first, communism for the second.

Most of us live in democracies, we don't think that we should be able to run into congress/parliament/the Bundestag and scream our lungs out and say whatever we want, when we want, to that audience or that we get as much say in deciding things as a politician.

Instead, we can vote, and can slowly change things, but this is controlled.

If K5 stays the way it is, then you just have to put up with crapflooding. Otherwise, some system of hierachy is required. Your cliques are fairly similar to what I'm suggesting, the difference is that hierarchies are simpler.

Finally, someone says why save K5, the simple reason is the recognition this site has. A lot of eyeballs look at this place, even in its current delapidated state, if it were improved more would. That's why. When you tried to start your own community you found this out.

[ Parent ]

Indeed (none / 1) (#26)
by Driusan on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:58:02 PM EST

I whole heartedly agree, except for the "some system of hierarchy is required" part. Setting up some sort of hierarchy system needs to give people more power than others, and just because it's the simplest method of doing something doesn't mean it's the best (er.. unless you have a "simpler is better" philosophy).

As soon as you have a system where someone has more power than others, then you'll always have people who feel like they're being unfairly treated. The people in power will always make mistakes at some point in their lives, because they're not necessarily any better than the people below them. So why not try and design a novel system, that puts everyone on completely equal footing? (Yes, I'm aware of wikis. They aren't very good for discussing things.)


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

Elections? (none / 3) (#36)
by jongleur on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 09:16:34 PM EST

Vote for people for a 3 month term, individuals build up a history, you can see what kind of person they are, everyone with an account gets to vote.  I know people have multiple accounts but, could they outvote the bulk of people?  I guess with automation they could, actually, hmmm.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
I sincerely doubt... (none / 2) (#40)
by Danzig on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 09:31:20 PM EST

that anyone would care enough to do the work to automate something like that.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
You would be wrong on that (2.70 / 10) (#82)
by rusty on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 12:55:41 PM EST

It's been done to slashdot, and probably to K5, though for pretty obvious reasons I've only ever been shown the Slashdot version. Imagine a web proxy which uses hundreds of accounts, automatically posts enough comments with those accounts to ensure that many of them have mod points at any given time, and runs all requests through a rotating pool of proxies to prevent IP tracing. Using the system, you can moderate any comment nearly any number of times without leaving any tracks at all. This existed at one time. I don't know if something like it exists now, but I wouldn't be surprised.

That's basically the problem with a lot of the democratic suggestions. It would be incredibly easy to game them, so someone would do it. Unlike story voting, where it would be very obvious if a lot of crap started mysteriously being voted up, using voting to do stuff like kick people off the site or elect admins would just cry out for gaming.

The conclusion I've come to is the same as a lot of people here have said. Anonymous democracy has its limits. When there's no way to prevent (or at least severely curtail) multiple accounts, then you can't count on voting for important stuff.

Virtually every suggestion for how to improve K5 ultimately comes down to whether or not it should be made more difficult or expensive to have an account, or possibly to have an account with access to certain features. It could remain simple and free to have an account with access to all the existing features right now. But maybe, if there was a way to vote to either elect moderators or kick users out, that would require a payment or like mailing a SASE to me to activate and send your password. Something that imposes a real-world barrier and helps prevent duplication. It's something I'd consider, but I don't know if it would prove acceptable to all of you.

The nightmares of trying to use voting to determine membership without doing anything to prevent dupe accounts, I don't even want to think about.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

What's a SASE? (nt) (none / 1) (#90)
by Driusan on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 01:57:25 PM EST




--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (none / 2) (#92)
by ti dave on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 02:12:47 PM EST

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

[ Parent ]
What's HTH? (none / 2) (#159)
by Fatty Arbuckle on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 03:00:24 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Hope This Helps (none / 1) (#195)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 10:13:19 AM EST

HAND

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

I'll pay for that. (2.28 / 7) (#95)
by maynard on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 02:27:06 PM EST

If you're willing to manually enforce basic rules of civility, setting explicit limits by: wiping out crapflooding and contentless non sequitors; by removing uncivil insults in the public discussion forums; and by deleting or censuring those who abuse dupe accounts to scam the voting/rating system, then I'll accept (but probably -1) those well written trolls, such as what James A. C. Joyce submits to the queue. And I'll pay you for the trouble. $50/yr, no questions asked. 1000 or so folks like me and you'll have a stable finacial base to maintain K5 plus the added benefit of greater S/N. Betcha the oldtime posters will return too. IMO, you ought to treat this like a business, Rusty. The users who fuck with your cash flow should feel the door slamming on their ass. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
What a dumbass statement (3.00 / 5) (#96)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 02:37:25 PM EST

"$50/year no questions asked, but let me dictate to you the new terms of running the site"

[ Parent ]
How much money are you willing to ante up? -nt (none / 2) (#97)
by maynard on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 02:45:01 PM EST

.


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
He only needs to name his price (2.50 / 3) (#99)
by Tex Bigballs on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 02:51:14 PM EST

so long as he's willing to get rid of trolls like you

[ Parent ]
Hey, I'm up for that! (1.25 / 4) (#108)
by maynard on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 04:31:38 PM EST

If rusty is willing to split the fee with me 50/50, I'll consider leaving the island with all my comments and story postings. But it will have to be a substantial sum. Let's talk when you pass the four figure mark. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
He's not a troll, he's a mediocre humorist. (none / 0) (#209)
by gzt on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 03:08:38 PM EST

At least, what Mr. Joyce is writing now is low-grade comedy rants. Unless that's what you mean by a troll, but that's hardly useful.

[ Parent ]
anonymous democracy is an oxymoron (none / 2) (#153)
by Wah on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 01:37:14 PM EST

Anonymous democracy has its limits. When there's no way to prevent (or at least severely curtail) multiple accounts, then you can't count on voting for important stuff.

"If you would like to vote for k5 offices, you must have a current paid membership.  Also, you must call the k5 office at ###-###-#### to confirm your individual identity.  During this phone call an email address will be collected and confirmed over the next week."

You need a core of 'real people' to build from.  Then one can start to build hierarchies of control needed to expand.  

If you still want to use internet voting for various issues amoung those members, use random throwaway URLS for each vote and each voting member gets a specific username and password for each 'vote site' and T hours in which to vote.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

Only let paid subscribers post comments (none / 1) (#199)
by CodeWright on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 12:39:50 PM EST

Everyone else can just lurk or attempt to get stories through the queue...

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Rewarding Submissions (none / 0) (#226)
by bjlhct on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 12:11:49 AM EST

Perhaps getting an FP post should get you some ads or a subscription?

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
[ Parent ]
I've got an idea! (2.22 / 9) (#9)
by clover_kicker on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 06:58:56 PM EST

Start your own discussion site, and run it any way you please.
--
I am the very model of a K5 personality.
I intersperse obscenity with tedious banality.

I've got an answer! (none / 1) (#21)
by Driusan on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:16:54 PM EST

I did. I do. No, I won't tell you where it is. Right now I'm trying to suggest ideas for how this one could be improved. Any other questions?


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
questions (none / 0) (#22)
by clover_kicker on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:20:11 PM EST

why won't you tell us where your site is?

How democratic is your site?

Why are you presenting suggestions for K5 when you know they'll be ignored?
--
I am the very model of a K5 personality.
I intersperse obscenity with tedious banality.

[ Parent ]

answers (none / 0) (#25)
by Driusan on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:43:46 PM EST

because I don't have the bandwidth or other resources to publicize it, and because it's a site that's mostly for friends in real life. If you really, really care email me, and I'll tell you where it is, but you won't find it at all interesting.

Everything is autoposted, I've never deleted anything someone posted (other than some test comments). I try to implement suggestions on the rare occasion that I get them. The one that I've got (make stories move to the front of the front page when a comment is posted) I did in under a week.

Because they're problems that aren't specific to K5, and because it's also a place to generally discuss the way the site is run and who it's for (I started writing this before I saw MechA article). Also, because if there's any demand or good ideas I'm willing to try and implement them and submit patches to scoop.

Any other questions?


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

I like your article better anyway (none / 0) (#105)
by MechaA on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 03:22:46 PM EST

It's more general and probably more necessary.

k24anson on K5: Imagine fifty, sixty year old men and women still playing with their genitals like ten year olds!

[ Parent ]
Announcing his site here (none / 2) (#29)
by aphrael on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 08:15:36 PM EST

Announcing his site here is a good way to get his bandwidth overwhelmed.

[ Parent ]
its not really a "community" (2.85 / 7) (#19)
by thekubrix on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 07:15:13 PM EST

its a website run by one guy, and he decides when/if  things change around here.....

I've been around long enough to know that many many many great ideas have been passed around and nothing was ever done, much less discussed by the admins...

its futile, trust me,.....

Query (none / 3) (#28)
by aphrael on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 08:15:02 PM EST

how do you know what is discussed among the admins? I can't discuss the specific ideas you're referring to as I don't know what they are, but there are many things that are discussed that never see the light of day.

[ Parent ]
self-negating query (none / 0) (#150)
by Wah on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 01:08:43 PM EST

how do you know what is discussed among the admins?

He reads the site?  Knows what people keep saying, over and over.  Or maybe I am thinking of what the admins should be discussing.  Sometimes I get confused about that.

there are many things that are discussed that never see the light of day.

Pretty much all of them, eh?
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#246)
by aphrael on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 01:48:33 PM EST

He reads the site?

Yes. More than I do, probably; I go through hot periods where i'm reading a lot and cold periods where i'm reading nothing. He's more consistent, except when he's out of town.

Knows what people keep saying, over and over.

Yes.

Pretty much all of them, eh?

Yes, but that's a *different* problem; all of us have too many irons in two many fires. So there are often times when we'll decide to do [x] and then not follow through. Better not to publicize that, eh?

[ Parent ]

oy vey (none / 0) (#260)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 09:32:31 AM EST

all of us have too many irons in two many fires.  So there are often times when we'll decide to do [x] and then not follow through. Better not to publicize that, eh?

I kinda figured it was generally a problem of that sort.  Really, there was never anything wrong with this place that a dedicated worker or two couldn't have fixed, but it would take people with as much time and dedication to stopping the trolls as they had for going.  I guess the resources were never really there.

I thought that's what we bought a couple years ago, but it really was monacle polish we were getting in bulk.  Wild.  Thanks for the clarification.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

Nah. (none / 0) (#263)
by aphrael on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 12:23:08 PM EST

We - the k5 community, i wasn't an admin then - got a dedicated worker for a while. But 70K doesn't last that long as a salary; we don't have a dedicated worker now.

[ Parent ]
I just like ranting (none / 0) (#215)
by Phil San on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 07:12:55 PM EST

its not really a "community"

its a website run by one guy, and he decides when/if things change around here.....

Well in theory that's why kuroshin was created, because a group of peoople hated slashdot because of whinyness and formed their own group.

I've been around long enough to know that many many many great ideas have been passed around and nothing was ever done, much less discussed by the admins...

Maybe it isn't a problem. Hell it's not that hard to just simply respond to something you want to respond to. Like I'm doing right now.

its futile, trust me,.....

As it should be.

[ Parent ]
Flaws? (2.40 / 20) (#31)
by kitten on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 08:25:39 PM EST

You have no fundamental human right to not be offended, and I don't think you should either.

On the other hand, what we have instead is a situation in which actions are divorced from consequences. The normal "consequence" aspect of any other social interaction, whatever that consequence may be, tends to keep obnoxious or detrimental behavior in check.

But here, the crapflooders and tossers are able to run amok with zero consequences whatsoever, and the more legitimate users suffer for it in the form of increased signal-to-noise and general annoyance.

What we have is totally artificial - a more "natural" alternative would be to allow users to impose some kind of actual consequences upon offenders, and if that consequence is "People aren't even going to see what you write," then so be it.

Most people around here are not so blithe that they would ignore any passing user who happens to have an opposing view. The problem with your argument is that the people this would largely affect aren't espousing opinions at all - so it's not as though we're censoring opinions to suit our personal fancy. It's like someone vaulting onto the stage at some sort of recital or reading, screaming incoherently at the top of their lungs, and the audience being told that they are not allowed to kick this clown off the stage and make room for the real performers, or indeed to even cover their ears to block out the babbling.

The idea is that we, as a community, get to vote on what permissions other users have. If you decide that Michael Jackson or Hide The Hampster is a nuisance to the community, then you simply vote for them to not be able to post anything.

Solutions simliar to this have been offered before. The vote threshold would have to have a fairly high limit, and each vote would have to have an expiration date, to allow for inevitable abuse of the system, but I think that properly implemented, such a voting system could go a long way to helping the situation. "Legitimate" users come here to discuss current events, technology, and other interesting aspects of society and the world, and that's primarily what the site was made for. There's no reason we should all have to put up with a small but extremely vocal group of asshats hell-bent on spewing their brainvomit all over the place just to make noise.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
Stuff and whatnot (none / 2) (#32)
by Driusan on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 08:53:20 PM EST

Actions are not divorced from their consequences here, it's just that the social consequences happen to be slightly different than what they usually are in the real world. We already have the "people aren't going to be able to see what you write" consequence, and I don't really have a problem with it now that there's the option to show hidden comments (although I'd prefer it if no one was allowed to 0-rate, myself included). It doesn't stop them from crapflooding because a number in a database being low isn't much of a consequence.

Adding the ignore-user option won't improve the quality of the site, it'll just improve the quality of the part of it that you see. (At best.) Any anonymous users who come along now will see K5 as an even worse place, because all the crapflooding isn't getting down-modded since you're just ignoring the user instead of rating him. Maybe most people wouldn't go and ignore people just because they disagree with them, but have you noticed the number of zeros going around since all users have gotten the ability to zero-rate? I'm not talking about on crapflooding or contentless comments, I'm talking about just in general. Or I could just be more cynical than I should be.

The democracy idea which I proposed might not be original, but I'm not sure of anywhere that uses it. Of course, there's also the problem of multiple accounts. In theory they'd be voted away, but it might not work that way in reality.

Hm, I think I need to go add some of these ideas to the article.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

When you hear the phrase... (2.37 / 8) (#65)
by James A C Joyce on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 08:05:12 AM EST

..."small but extremely vocal group of asshats hell-bent on spewing their brainvomit", do you think of:

1. Trolls
2. kitten

Hmm...

[ Parent ]

Do you ever stop whining? (1.09 / 11) (#66)
by kitten on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 09:08:07 AM EST

Seriously.

Go back to writing shitty stories about velcro for us to vote down. You're out of your league in any serious discussion, champ.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Who said anything about whining? [nt] (1.75 / 4) (#72)
by James A C Joyce on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 11:42:27 AM EST


I bought this account on eBay
[ Parent ]

Stop whining, whiner. (1.00 / 10) (#102)
by kitten on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 02:59:30 PM EST


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
I'm gonna tell my mummy off you. (1.42 / 7) (#106)
by James A C Joyce on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 03:26:53 PM EST


I bought this account on eBay
[ Parent ]

increased signal-to-noise would be good (none / 0) (#183)
by tin on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 12:05:30 AM EST

flooding decreases the signal to noise ratio, as it raises the noise level. the value of s:n, or s/n, descreases when n increases.

-justin
[ Parent ]
I always did suck at math. (none / 2) (#189)
by kitten on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 04:52:25 AM EST

Which is why I'm now in the remedial class (sorry, "Learning Supported"), although I do have an A in there now, which I find amusing.

So.. I never quite understood how this works.

Is 2:5 a lower or higher ratio than 2:6?

Does it depend on what the labels are, and which label you're interested in?

If I say the signal:noise ratio is 2:4, and then it goes to 2:5, do I say the ratio has increased or decreased?


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Ratios (none / 1) (#222)
by rusty on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 11:00:51 PM EST

Think of it as division. Putting a colon in the middle just confuses the issue. 2/4 is 0.5. 2/5 is 0.4. So 2:4 is a higher signal to noise ratio than 2:5. Two parts signal to four parts noise is more relative signal than two parts signal to five parts noise.

Now, if you said "the noise to signal ratio," you'd have to reverse your numbers, but the gist remains the same. Since we're generally interested in signal, it generally comes first, and higher is better.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I prefer trial by jury for trolls. (2.73 / 15) (#33)
by waxmop on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 09:02:45 PM EST

They can be accused, then tried by a jury, then banned. It could be fun!

I'd also like to see a 24 hour waiting period after opening an account before posting permission is turned on. It would slow down people from using the queue as a place to dump press releases.
--
Long-term consequences of Bush deficits

how about an automated system (none / 1) (#43)
by momocrome on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 09:40:46 PM EST

where your posting privileges are suspended after a certain percentage of 0'd comments? this is the information age, after all.

"Give a wide berth to all that foam and spray." - - Lucian, The Way to Write History
[ Parent ]
anything automatic will get abused. (none / 2) (#52)
by waxmop on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 10:39:55 PM EST

People will open up armies of dupe accounts to modbomb other people.
--
Long-term consequences of Bush deficits

[ Parent ]
I think you should stand trial first [nt] (none / 1) (#124)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Sun Mar 21, 2004 at 02:17:36 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Fine. (none / 0) (#143)
by waxmop on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 09:21:02 AM EST

You write an argument that overcomes the presumption of innocence and then let's see what happens.

Oh wait -- that sounds like work, doesn't it?
--
Long-term consequences of Bush deficits

[ Parent ]

Solution 1: Ignore User (2.20 / 5) (#51)
by glor on Fri Mar 19, 2004 at 10:30:56 PM EST

Starting with this article.

Though I suppose by posting I am doing a poor job of ignoring.

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.

Yes, you are. [nt] (none / 1) (#64)
by James A C Joyce on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 07:46:51 AM EST


I bought this account on eBay
[ Parent ]

The whole thing is ridiculous to me. (2.58 / 12) (#59)
by Kasreyn on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 12:11:28 AM EST

Rusty, if trolls outnumber "legitimate" users, then doesn't that mean that trolling is the new DEFINITION of "legitimate"?

I find Michael Jackson's trolls amusing as hell, most of the time at any rate. Often the same for NIWS. Meta-humor, basically. I still don't see where you get off banning or "anonymizing" (anyone care to tell me what the heck that is?) someone's account.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Agreed. Worker Bee is next. [n/t] (none / 0) (#126)
by kRaZy 4 eSolutions on Sun Mar 21, 2004 at 05:18:51 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Some thoughts of mine (2.83 / 6) (#62)
by melia on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 03:37:43 AM EST

Personally, I think this is a horrible idea. I think we have enough bias and groupthink here as it is

The impression I get is that this is part of K5's goal - to try and be a site without cliques and groupthink. If so, then it must be understood that this whole site is an experiment, designed to consider whether that goal scales. Besides, since the membership of the group has an effect on new entrance, K5 itself is a clique. So what's the point?

Perhaps the fundamental (and given the nature of the internet, difficult to solve) problem is one of verifying identity, or rather, preventing users from having multiple identities. Otherwise, how is it possible to have democracy?

If K5 was a democracy, what makes you think you'd like it? Maybe the opinion of the masses is diametrically opposed to yours.

Surely, as soon as we give people the ability to ignore other users, this place basically just duplicates usenet.

I think that fundamentally, the idea of "rated comments" is a good one, yet I rarely rate. Perhaps a better interface? I also think that maybe "trusted users" should never have been done away with.

I think the administrators have something of a PR problem - the impression given (whether true or not I don't know) is that nothing about K5 has changed for a long time. I'm sure just the faintest hint of activity would give the place a new lease of life. While the content is still enough to bring me back this place is really feeling a little stale. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but there's an air of neglect surrounding it. I think it's a mistake to think that putting a database behind a site means it'll run itself.

Finally, I really don't think that K5 is as bad as people make out. I suspect the quality of the stories is slightly lower than when I arrived, but how much I can't judge.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong

detecting dups (none / 1) (#137)
by speek on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:44:32 AM EST

Why can't the system tell when the same session logs out and then in for a different account? That would pretty much be a giveaway that these are dup accounts. Sure, it's possible it's two people using the same computer, but most likely it's a dup. Once a dup has been detected, just link them in the db someway and only count their votes and ratings once. Let people post from multiple accounts, but only count their votes once.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Because (3.00 / 5) (#140)
by rusty on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 08:11:55 AM EST

People unsophisticated enough to be caught by that don't use multiple accounts (or at least they only use them for play, not for abuse). Anyone actually trying to use multiple acounts to accomplish anything runs them through proxies.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
-1, didn't read it very much (1.04 / 24) (#67)
by Hide The Hamster on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 10:49:21 AM EST

Saw "community" and "democratic" then went weeep-beeooooohh -1, Dump It!


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

I know this is ironic (none / 0) (#125)
by Anjin on Sun Mar 21, 2004 at 02:25:33 PM EST

...but I'm not sure if you already knew that

"The problem of whether invisible men exist is a thorny one. We simply don't know, because they are invisible." - Morkney
[ Parent ]
I want my ostrakion! (2.00 / 4) (#68)
by craigd on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 11:05:30 AM EST

Give us the ability to vote to ban other users. If most people want someone banned, away they go, just like ancient Greek ostracism.


A man who says little is a man who speaks two syllables.
Meh. (2.88 / 9) (#79)
by regeya on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 12:44:46 PM EST

I suppose we could turn kuro5hin.org into Avogato.

People who bitch about Rusty forget about Paul Dunne, though most the current readership doesn't know that Paul Dunne ever posted here. Not surprising; Paul's been gone for, what, over three years now? Christ, I feel positively ancient. His last comment was on February 1, 2001.

He deleted an obvious troll. Didn't just discourage posting it, or using heavy-handed influence to get the story voted down quick; he deleted it.

It wasn't even that bad of a troll. Some might have even called it thought-provoking, though I wouldn't. I don't even remember whose story he deleted, or what it was about, but I seem to remember thinking that it wasn't all that bad, just, well, trollish.

I've only seen Rusty delete crap, and his current band of admin-types seem to follow his lead. There's a lot of garbage on kuro5hin, and the thing to bear in mind is that Rusty (bless his heart) puts up with it, though Lord knows why.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Some level of super-editorship is always required (2.83 / 6) (#101)
by FishBait on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 02:59:09 PM EST

There will always be a need for one person (or a small group) to have the final say on what gets deleted. As others have pointed out, any fully automatic system will be abused.

Personally, I think that having users mark posts as "troll" is a bad idea. It doesn't work well on slashdot, many posts are marked as troll which don't deserve it. Branding certain users as trolls is also a bad idea, just downvote their comments if you think they are detrimental to the site.

Remember, there is a fine line between making a point sarcastically and trolling. Troll's can stimulate discussion as well as destroy it. Of course, really offensive stories and posts (abusive, racist, etc) should be deleted by the editors. Everything else should just be downvoted as it is now.



Sure (none / 2) (#104)
by Driusan on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 03:21:44 PM EST

But some level of super-editor will always be present too. No matter how equal footing you try and put everyone on someone needs to upgrade the software and hardware, pay for the bandwidth, make sure major features don't stay broken for any extended periods of time (ahem), etc, etc. unless you decide to publicly give out the root password to the box that the website is running on (which could also be interesting, but isn't really the topic at hand) you need to assume that whoever's trying to do that won't abuse their powers (which they mostly don't here.)

I havn't been to slashdot for a long, long time, so maybe things have changed since the last time I was there. Don't they use some sort of a non-sensicle lottery system to decide who's allowed to mark posts as trolls, or insightful, or funny or whatever instead of just allowing everyone to do it whenever they have an opinion? Or maybe it was somehow tied to how your posts were rated, which is equally idiotic since your ability to write coherently doesn't really have anything to do with your ability to accurately judge other people's writings.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

Cool. (2.30 / 13) (#107)
by kitten on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 04:17:30 PM EST

In the "real world," you have to deal with people you may not like all the time.

On the other hand, in the "real world", people who act the way you act around here tend to get punched in the face a lot.

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
I like this... (none / 1) (#169)
by Elendale on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 06:51:33 PM EST

Can we implement a "0, punch user RIGHT IN THE DAMN FACE" option? It'd be really nice. Of course, it doesn't fix the underlying problem of the current moderation system...
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Well, to some degree... (none / 0) (#182)
by Eater on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 11:30:39 PM EST

...it does fix that problem, because although just about everyone will end up with black eyes, the real trolls will probably come out of the deal with a concussion or two, and that can really interfere with someone's ability to post.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
The problem, of course... (none / 1) (#187)
by Elendale on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 01:32:14 AM EST

Is that it gives trolls an even higher incentive to grab multiple accounts and mod-bomb the hell out of people (See the "you can now vote -1 rather than 0" incident). Sure, most of the trolls will end up with heavy hospital bills- but you just know one of them will write up a script and cause similar injuries for half of kuro5hin's legitimate users.
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
No. (reposted so it's topical, not editorial..bah) (3.00 / 9) (#110)
by coryking on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 05:10:51 PM EST


You are limiting your options

   4.  Have a board of editors who maintain a section.
   5.  Fork the site into smaller subsites, each with their own editor/moderators.

Your crys of cencorship are unfounded and inmature.  They are unfounded that most editorial control is far from cencorship, it's merely weeding out the crap.  You honstly belive that a community can scale with no editorial oversight?  Point me to a single discussion site with no editorial control that doesn't have pure crap for comments.  Here are some examples  of sites with no mechanisms for weeding crap.  I assure you that most comments to those websites are purely inflamitory crap.  You are inmature for thinking that a discussion board should be like some university debate hall where every discusses stuff in some coridal manner.  It ain't like that kid - this is the internet and any asshole can and does overrun a forum with no strong administration.

Community moderation, aka rating are a dysmal failure.  Every site that uses them attracts nothing but "geeks", cause geeks are about the only people who can figure out how to use them and have a thick enough internet skin to tollerate low ratings.  Everybody else gets pissed off that some rightous nerd moderated their braindump a "one" or "troll" cause they mis-used "its" or didn't post a page of references and leaves.  That or nobody knows anything about moderation yet the controls exist, but nobody uses them (my best example is on the largest scoop site out there - http://www.dailykos.com - the rating controls are there, but there is nary a single comment rating on anything save one or two hard-core scoop users).

I'm sorry, but community moderation and more democracy is not the answer.  Incorporating user feedback is essential, but it will not build a solid community.  You must have an editor, or a team of editors that keep a website on focus by cleaning out the crap.  To ignore this fact is to ignore the heaps of ghost-town websites ran people thought otherwise.

fuck (none / 0) (#111)
by coryking on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 05:13:18 PM EST

of course now half my urls are lost:

here are some "uncencored" discussion sites.  I hope you enjoy the quality discussions they provide:

http://www.mobog.com
http://www.fuckedcompany.com

PS:  Since the admins dont weed out the crap, these are both not safe for work.

[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#253)
by godix on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 05:14:20 PM EST

A site that uses the work fuck in it's url isn't work safe? Who would have guessed....

It's dawned on me that Zero Tolerance only seems to mean putting extra police in poor, run-down areas, and not in the Stock Exchange.
- Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]
And I note... (none / 3) (#112)
by maynard on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 05:37:40 PM EST

...that dailykos doesn't censor based on content. I've seen plenty of well written conservative commentators do perfectly fine on dailykos. But crapflooders and blatant trolls are shown the door, with a boot imprint on their ass. And that's why dailykos earns enough money to support kos and friends, along with a nice little salary for rusty.

The unfortunate truth is that any and all automated editorial systems will fail, due to gaming by unscrupulous players, within anonymous community forums. Yet, rusty's original desire of running a self managed forum is still a worthy pursuit. I just don't know how it could be run without removing anonymous access. And yet the potential censorship issues the trolls complain about are real. Groupthink overtaking the site could be potential problem. It's just not K5's issue right now; quite the opposite.

One positive thing to note is that rusty has a well developed sense introspection and self awareness. Note this recent comment where he discusses the "cunt" episode and reveals his self recrimination over changing the title of that story. He thought about it and decided he was wrong, and said so. He didn't shirk away and boldly claim that up is down and wrong is right. He took his lumps. IMO: that's what editorial integrity is all about. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

I agree (none / 1) (#113)
by coryking on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 05:51:15 PM EST

Self management is a good thing to strive for. Somebody, someday will figure out a way to have a forum be somewhat self managed. I say somewhat because you always need somebody in charge. Anarchy doesn't work. A good site requires focus, and you need a visionary to keep that focus.

I'll predict a one thing though. However it works, it will be very, very transparent and tucked away in the background. It will not be overt like scoop or slash. It might look closer to amazon or something - "was this comment useful to you?".

Still though, the best forums i've ever seen have no self-moderation at all. I'd say something awful is quite a model for a successful, large-scale, highly-unfocused community.

[ Parent ]

We need k5-sponsored hosting (none / 0) (#128)
by kRaZy 4 eSolutions on Sun Mar 21, 2004 at 06:11:00 PM EST

or Scoop needs a better ad-system.

The only YASSs left are Kos, HuSi, Satanosphere, and Photographica. Active de-centralization of K5 and its already-existing cliques would allow for different levels of editing to keep the NIWSs out of serious debates while those who'd rather have a Scoop-powered Live Journal could whine about their bosses all day without having their comments flooded with "-1 FAGGIT."

"Gee whiz, it's a great thing they don't charge us for hosting, or I'd shut this place down in about three seconds."

...hell I've already packed up and left town at least three times once I'd found something better, only to have to come crawling back and re-register again because I couldn't remember what fake email I gave.

[ Parent ]

Actually, (none / 0) (#154)
by coryking on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 01:37:45 PM EST

There are a fair number of smaller scale scoop sites that do quite well.

[ Parent ]
guh.. too sick. Can't be coherent today (none / 2) (#166)
by Driusan on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 06:06:00 PM EST

I'm not trying to limit my options. Ideas like having a board of editors are perfectly fine, but if you go that route then I don't see what differentiates this from any other site on the internet other than the fact that it's a different board of editors. I don't know whether it's possible for a site to scale without editorial oversight, but the fact that it hasn't been done doesn't mean it's not possible, it just mean that whatever's been tried hasn't worked.

The fact that editorial control might be required sometimes to keep the crap out doesn't make it not censorship. All editorial control is censorship on some level, it's just a matter of if you can justify it or not. Yes, that includes stories that are voted down. No, I don't think that's a bad thing. Increased democracy doesn't have any effect on the nature of the censorship either, it just has the effect of allowing everyone a say instead of some elite group.

Point taken about comment ratings being a failure when your audience isn't thick-skinned though.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

I'm all for Ignore User (option 1) (2.95 / 23) (#117)
by Kasreyn on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 06:54:31 PM EST

Here's why.

Responsible users who came here for discussion and not just for ME-TOO'ing will only use it to ignore egregious crapflooders and truly content-free posters. This will reduce the constantly flow of valuable contributors abandoning the site for alternatives like HuSi because of the dropping signal to noise ratio. Individuals would be able to filter out the worst of the noise, like Worker Bee's recent "what I had to eat" diary crapflood. There's no debate there, only discouragement.

Irresponsible or intellectually cowardly users will use it to block any opposing viewpoint, and will thus rapidly edit themselves out of the discussion. They'll fall silent because, as far as their eye can see, there is no discussion occurring. After blinding themselves to the site's vitality, k5 will be about as exciting to them as watching linoleum peel. They'll get bored and eventually (hopefully) leave, leaving only adult-minded debate participants.

This will naturally thin the k5 ranks substantially, but I have no problem with that. A lot of our problems are being caused by site overpopulation anyway. V will back me up on that.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
I totally agree (none / 1) (#123)
by driptray on Sun Mar 21, 2004 at 06:54:03 AM EST

The anti-killfile argument is wrong because people tend to use killfiles very sparingly. They definitely don't tend to killfile those who disagree with them, because arguing with such people is pretty much the point of the site.

So, yes to killfiles. After a few more years development, maybe scoop will approach the featureset of an average news reader.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

IAWTP (nt) (none / 0) (#127)
by localroger on Sun Mar 21, 2004 at 05:37:34 PM EST



What will people of the future think of us? Will they say, as Roger Williams said of some of the Massachusetts Indians, that we were wolves with the min
[ Parent ]
yes (3.00 / 6) (#136)
by speek on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:41:01 AM EST

A further refinement of the killfile feature is that it can't affect what stories you see. Comments and diaries, but not stories. That would prevent the potential for stupid stories going front page because all the reasonable people had killfiled the author.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Good point! - people, read parent comment! -nt (none / 0) (#186)
by Kasreyn on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 01:07:17 AM EST

nt
"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
ME TOO (n/t) (none / 1) (#164)
by EvilGwyn on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 05:30:23 PM EST



[ Parent ]
This gets my vote {n/t} (none / 0) (#191)
by mr strange on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 05:34:51 AM EST



intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
Totally agree (none / 0) (#200)
by CodeWright on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 12:50:31 PM EST

I've been asking Rusty for killfiles since back in the day.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
I used to be completely anti-killfile (none / 2) (#205)
by aphrael on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 01:42:59 PM EST

but i'm coming to have second thoughts on that. It still troubles me, though, if the community has no way to prevent itself from fissioning into opposing cliques who don't talk to each other.

[ Parent ]
Silent Killfile with timeout. /nt (none / 0) (#257)
by claes on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 06:31:38 PM EST

No

[ Parent ]
Horrible (2.14 / 7) (#121)
by anticlimax on Sat Mar 20, 2004 at 09:33:06 PM EST

Note: I didn't read much of your article, only the headings and a few excerpts. I really don't think anything you produce will be worth my time. However,

Solution 1 - What you don't realize is that they are, in fact, generally ignored now. Take a peek into any of their diaries and the only people you'll see responding is the other crapflooders. Even if a non-crapflooder responds, it is not in a sense that would make any pundit say, "wow, that guy was trolled." What they've done is mutate (in their own heads, i suppose) the very definition of being trolled. Generally, *any* response at all is considered a "bite". Even a post which solely contains "you're a witless crapflooder" would fall under their criteria of a "bite".

What I think would be nice is if the crapflooders would ignore the regular users and trolls. They essentially only interact with each other nowadays, so I just wish they would finally realize that their common bond of crapflooding is a misrepresentation to their common bond of sophomoric antics. However, for some odd reason they feel they need an audience to "troll", even though the audience never gives them any attention. Even more odd is that some crapflooders (NIWS) have even stated that they wish to destroy the audience, which is even more of a paradox (in the "why are retards so happy" kind of way).

Anyway, i think the goal should be to convince the crapflooders they really don't need others to watch them play grabass. Once they realize this, they'll be able to start their own site and post ascii art and trollaxor pieces until the cows come home.

Solution 2 - no.

Solution 3 - no. as you said, there will always be the idiots who create dupe accounts. unless rusty implements some type of measure which prevents them from registering or possibly being functional (the former being near impossible), then you'll see dupe accounts fucking everything up. to give you an idea of one crapflooders obsession, i must remind you that suicidal ideation once tried create ~95 dupe accounts to vote up some crapflood of his in the queue. I think he was caught halfway.

Remember that the crapflooders around here (Jackson, Hampster, M Moore, gangsta, etc.) hang around here all hours of the day and night, so don't think that they don't have the time or the inclination to do something massively [stupid].

Fight Dupe Account Power With Restricted Voting (none / 0) (#132)
by freestylefiend on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 06:23:18 AM EST

unless rusty implements some type of measure which prevents them from registering or possibly being functional (the former being near impossible), then you'll see dupe accounts fucking everything up.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to only give the privilege of moderating submissions and rating comments to trusted users. Then there would be no reason to discourage people from creating dupe accounts, as people would only disproportionately powerful if they made a large (desired) contribution to the site. Other than such people, we could assume that one person has only one vote and democratic decision making ought to be more reliable.

[ Parent ]

re: horrible (none / 2) (#163)
by Driusan on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 05:29:23 PM EST

Note: I didn't read much of your comment*, I just skimmed it and therefore feel qualified to reply to it.

Solution 1 - I do, in fact, realize that you're perfectly capable of ignoring people without any technology built into the web site. So why bother making the site do it for you?

Solution 2 - People seem to be generally opposed to the idea going by the poll, but the most in depth comment about what's wrong with it has been "no." Presumably by subdividing the users into cliques and highlighting things that your previous behaviour here has shown that you tend to be interested in reading it would be even easier for you to ignore the crapflooders without losing as much in the noise, so why not?

Solution 3 - rusty has already implemented a method of preventing them from registering, apparently (where "preventing them from registering" means "completely disabling new registrations"). But ignoring that for now, I'm not sure I see how your suicidal ideation example proves your point. If he got caught before he could finish abusing the voting queue, what makes you think he wouldn't get caught if he abused some other voting mechanism?

* That's actually a lie. I did read it, but why let the truth get in the way of rhetoric?


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]

I remember (none / 0) (#122)
by Armada on Sun Mar 21, 2004 at 01:46:40 AM EST

I remember the "Cunt" story.

No, he shouldn't have changed the name of it, but at the time he wanted K5 to be something he could no doubt put on a resume, and with stuff like that, it wouldn't be great. Now there are other "scoop success stories" so he doesn't have to just point to the bastard child.

If you really think the troll situation is under control, you're living in a fantasy world.

There's fucking faeries (for lack of a better term) running around calling other people trolls just for shits and giggles. That's what lets you know how people truly see the site. They see it as an infestation of trolls, and thus, a "mob rule" would be deterimental.

Which is why I agree with this idea. I would like to see even more of a mob rule, with people stripping posting rights of other users for posting crap like, "-1, another god damn Bush-hating article".

Cause then it won't be intelligent discussion on here, it'll be the liberals vs. "liberals as conservative trolls". Which IMHO, is what K5 has pretty much already turned out to be.

I guess thurler is still here, but my old account, Sheepdot, is long, long, gone. And it'll probably only be a matter of time before I quit posting under this account too.

I'll keep my diaries though, those are always fun.

Actually (3.00 / 6) (#141)
by rusty on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 08:15:52 AM EST

but at the time he wanted K5 to be something he could no doubt put on a resume

That wasn't it. What mainly pushed me into it was that fact that we had an RSS feed that would syndicate that to a whole lot of sites that might not be expecting to carry such things. Like I said though, I think I was wrong.

It may also be interesting to note that that story was written and posted entirely in order to get the title on the front page.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

yeah (none / 0) (#288)
by Armada on Thu Apr 01, 2004 at 11:59:30 PM EST

Oh yeah, I agree it was posted with shock value. And the feeds are an issue, but, I mean, if you want a community to truly show itself, it outta show the shit, too.

And if someone refuses to run the feeds cause of the crap that comes over them, then tell them you're sorry that the community let such a thing happen, but you're not changing policy.

Then when they dump the feed, post a story DIRECTLY attributing the loss of the feed to one particular story written by one particular person.

Might sound far-fetched, but hey, it worked for the Bush-is-a-nazi scheme on MoveOn.org!

[ Parent ]

What? (none / 0) (#243)
by LilDebbie on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 10:26:04 AM EST

I thought it was conservatives vs. "conservatives as liberal trolls." I'm confused.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
A Simple Solution. (2.85 / 7) (#129)
by it certainly is on Sun Mar 21, 2004 at 07:51:48 PM EST

Have Eric Krout and Scott Lockwood taken out and shot. Pulling the plug on those two enfants terribles will remove 90% of the crapflooding on K5 instantaneously. The rest of the crapflooders can stay, for now.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

Scott Lockwood? (none / 1) (#179)
by JayGarner on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 09:40:11 PM EST

I know who Eric are, who are Scott?

[ Parent ]
Bad Karma comes back to K5 (none / 2) (#131)
by sakusha on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 06:23:18 AM EST

K5 recently posted a crapflooder manifesto by the GNA, and I objected to using K5 as a forum for people who want to sabotage MovableType blogs, and for hosting links to tools to DDoS those blogs. Of course I got shouted down as a censorious bastard.
So excuse me if I laugh my ass off, now that K5 is struggling with crapflooders. Serves you right.

K5 has been troubled with crapflooders (none / 1) (#204)
by aphrael on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 01:40:35 PM EST

for many moons now.

[ Parent ]
The answer is always cool experimental technology (3.00 / 6) (#133)
by digitaleus on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:05:21 AM EST

This is just the outline of an idea, that will probably be full of holes. But, i still think that in principle it could work. Essentially, rather than say "what's a good post" and "what's a bad post", say "what posts do i want to read?". and for anonymous visitors, they can read what rusty likes. Each post has a rating, say 1-3, 2 being the default. so far so ordinary. Then, via some computationally expensive (but not too expensive) trickery, you make a set of tuples: user-id-1, user-id-2, similarity quotient.
  • It would need to ensure fuzzy transitivity (if jim is mostly like sue, and tim is mostly like jim, then tim is at least mostly^2 like sue. when was the last time you saw/heard mostly^2 used? :P)
  • it would also help if it categorised new members relatively quickly (your first 5 moderations match exactly to this guy, so we'll start you there)
Finally, when displaying posts, rather than taking the average of votes as the score, you take an average weighted by the similarity quotient, with respect to you. Also, rather than defaulting the rating to 2, you could default to the average rating of that member's posts. Effectively, it's bypassing the need for meta-moderation - and would allow for emergent clique-forming, even including a venerable troll clique. Members who make multiple accounts and inappropriately vote up posts would have their opinions ignore by all but those who agree with them.

didn't work (none / 1) (#287)
by Jim Madison on Tue Mar 30, 2004 at 10:23:14 AM EST

We tried something similar at our community site (then called quorum.org now called e-thePeople.org). In order to make it the sorting algorithm scale, we used segments rather than individual correlations among user ratings. These segments were based on a political values quiz. It was kinda neat that you could see the top conversative article, or the top new democrat article. But more importantly, it was really confusing because no one knew exactly what others were reading and that undermined the sense of community.

For us it also undermined our mission, perhaps, because it encouraged the formation of cliques rather than having people who disagree with each confront each other to try to arise at a consensus. (We're trying to promote thoughtful, diverse conversations.)

Anyway, just a few thoughts from our experience.

- Mike

Got democracy? Try e-thePeople.org.
[ Parent ]

a small comment on "horrible" option #1 (none / 0) (#134)
by digitaleus on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:12:59 AM EST

I believe that I have the right to ignore people. Electronic means of facilitating this are consquently of little "moral" concern (moral in the sens of "what does the world become if i allow this?")

I may be a shallower person for it, but I'm under no obligation to fill the world with interesting debate for your enlightenment. in practise, people who care will get into interesting debate; it's kind of like how people continue to make art even though there's no money in it :p

there will also be some groups of people who just don't get anything out of communicating, and not simply because they disagree.

Scaling isn't the problem (2.86 / 15) (#135)
by R Mutt on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:20:31 AM EST

K5 used to be a lot bigger. In mid-2002 is was getting 220,000 hits per day on average. That's now down to about 100,000. DailyKos is bigger than K5 ever was, averaging 320,000 in February, and has virtually no crapflooding and few trolls.

It's not the growth of K5 that's the problem. It might be the shrinking.

More likely, though, it's neither size nor trolling, just the change of demographic. Reading K5 diaries now isn't much different to the experience of being on a bus with a bunch of 14 year old boys. "You're gay! Ha Ha! No, you're a fag! Haw haw!".

Essentially, most humour, comes from a sudden release of tension. Telling a joke for instance, usually involves creating a tense situation involving sex, danger; then abruptly releasing the tension with an absurdity. Early teens, who haven't yet come to terms with their sexuality, find it a lot easier to generate this tension in their humour, just by mentioning a sexual act or detail.

Most of their comments, such as "rusty is a cocksucking fagort" are thus neither trolling nor crapflooding, just attempts at humor, which are genuinely amusing to them and their peers.

At the end of the day they're only kids, just leave them to it.
----
Coward... Asshole... from the start you kept up the appearance of objectively posting interesting links.

curious argument (none / 2) (#193)
by Wah on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 09:49:43 AM EST

At the end of the day they're only kids, just leave them to it.

I'm sorry, but how does this help?

Most of their comments, such as "rusty is a cocksucking fagort" are thus neither trolling nor crapflooding, just attempts at humor, which are genuinely amusing to them and their peers.

Do you not think there might be a correlation between the above and the statement copied below?

K5 used to be a lot bigger. In mid-2002 is was getting 220,000 hits per day on average. That's now down to about 100,000.

So this is how I saw it happening. K5 continued to grow until it got large enough to contract disease. Then it was decided it wasn't a disease, but a feature.  Slowly that feature blocks out the others, as 'the disease' is the antithesis of useful discussion.  Then things start spiraling downward.

Glad to see something is being done, finally, but I don't see how ignoring the party crashers helps.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

I don't think it is spiralling downwards (none / 3) (#197)
by R Mutt on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 10:36:03 AM EST

If you look at the graph I linked to, the stats have remained pretty steady since October. The decline seems to have levelled off since then.

Correlation does not imply cause. I don't think the teeny contingent killed K5, I think many of the grown-ups left, which happened to leave a lot of them around.

K5 achieved popularity when slashdot was going through a very bad patch: goatse links, crapfloods and trolls modded up everywhere. When slashdot "solved" their problems with harsher moderation, I think a lot of the techie crowd just moved straight back. Carnage4Life followed that path for instance.

Similarly, a lot of the warbloggers and the Bush-haters have moved to their own dedicated sites, like DailyKos. It's not reasonable to expect K5 to maintain the same popularity as when it was the only game in town.

Meanwhile the 4-minimum rating system seems to have quelled a lot of abuse in the story section. Why not just leave the teenies to it in the diary section? Most of the old-school diarists have moved to HuSi anyway.
----
Coward... Asshole... from the start you kept up the appearance of objectively posting interesting links.
[ Parent ]

Yesish. (none / 1) (#203)
by aphrael on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 01:40:04 PM EST

I find that average quality of *posted* stories - as opposed to submitted ones - is somewhat higher now than it was six months ago. The people posting in the diaries and the people posting in the stories are by and large not the same crowd. We've had some discussion of splitting it off into two sites for that reason.

[ Parent ]
Only game in town (none / 2) (#220)
by rusty on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 10:56:22 PM EST

I don't have any real answers about why traffic declined, but I think it's partly that the beginning of the drop was last winter, when we had some bad server problems, and partly what you point out, that we simply aren't the only game in town anymore. There's a lot more personal blogs, niche communities, and overall things like K5 than there were before. I suspect that people wandered off during the server issues and discovered that there's a lot of cool sites out there. Some of them just don't come back as much.

I don't really think it has that much to do with the faggort contingent, but certainly they've created an atmosphere of hostility that's unpleasant to be around. I know I don't post nearly as much because who needs the hassle? I assume others feel the same.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Close registrations, (none / 0) (#142)
by tiamat on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 09:20:58 AM EST

& make karma cumulative so that people zeroed widely and constantly die out. Crapflooders will die out, amusing trolls will live, and after a few months we can introduce some sort of new system for people to join whereas we prevent the multiply account problem.


Censorship (none / 0) (#144)
by B'Trey on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 10:50:14 AM EST

This is the obvious solution which most of you probably come up with. Its pretty self-explanatory: give users the ability to ignore the postings from other users that they consider trolls. In a way it's a milder version of letting rusty delete all the trolls, because it still amounts to censorship; the only difference is it's a form of censoring the information that you intake, without forcing your opinion on other people. while I believe I understand your point here, ignoring users is not censorship. You have a right of free speech but that does not obligate anyone else to listen. If I choose not to listen to you, I haven't censored you. Censorship is imposed by an authrity. It is a third party deciding that a first party may not hear a second party.

Look, IT'S GODDAM FUCKING SIMPLE RUSTY (2.00 / 5) (#145)
by Wah on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 11:41:19 AM EST

If I can find and link 10 threads by a user that a rational person would consider to be 'useless trolls' that account should be banned and that IP address blocked (or alternate means of public humiliation, see below).  If they continue such conversations over time it really becomes obvious whether or not outlandish comments are merely sarcasm, or useless drivel. Some people have shitty senses of humor, no doubt, but it crosses a line here more often that is useful.

If that user comes back and continues the same behaviour, he/she/it should be banned again.

If that person has so much time on their hands, and is so unhappy with themselves they come back a third time and continue with the same behaviour..ALL EFFORTS SHOULD THEN BE DIRECTED TO IDENTIFYING THE REAL NAME, LOCATION, and PICTURE OF THAT PERSON.  They should then be exposed and publicly riduculed (or possibly offered free psychiatic evaluations by another member, or local clinic).  All future comments from that user should automatically include a link to the publication of said 'Real Life' information.  The troll accounts only become 'valuable' when they become 'known' (by other trolls, not users).   By including the public case and verdict on each of user's comments, they will quickly tired of WEARING AROUND A BIG FUCKING 'T' ON THEIR CHEST.

We should make a section for it.

No, I'm not fuckin' kiddding.  The reason this site has such a problem with trolls is that Rusty is a fucking pansy about it, and tacitly encourages the behaviour.  

The reason trolls feel emboldened is a combination of that attitude and the pseudo-anonymity provided by the Net.

He finds it amusing.  If you still have a subscription, that's pretty much what you are paying for (and the bandwidth of course, the trolls use an assload of it).  It certainly isn't to pay someone to spend 4 hours a day identifying and exposing useless users.  

Trying to sove this problem with software is trying to solve a hard AI problem, the frickin' Turing Test.   Can you program a computer to identify people acting like other people?  On any given subject, at any given time?  

No?  Well, that's not too surprising given your lack of budget and dedicated resources.  Here's a crazy idea.

Why not just do it yourself every now and again?  Nature built a hell of an AI (well, more just an 'I'), why not use it?
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?

Duh. (none / 1) (#146)
by melia on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 12:03:45 PM EST

If I can find and link 10 threads by a user that a rational person would consider to be 'useless trolls'

Define rational. What if people disagree. Take it to the vote? Why, that's the way it works already - just with a different implementation. (Which, in my opinion doesn't work, I think we should have trusted users again)

All future comments from that user should automatically include a link to the publication of said 'Real Life' information.

Hmm. IANAL, but I am positively convinced that this would be illegal. Ergo, we are unable to use this dubious "blackmail" method of stopping trolls, even if it were to be plausible.

Why not just do it yourself every now and again?

Because the whole point of the site is that it's supposed to be vaguely "democratic". To some extent, the whole thing is an experiment. It worked quite well while we had trusted users.

As fas as I remember:

  • There was more incentive to rate up, since it effectively voted in the "rulers"
  • There was more incentive to rate down - having a privilige makes you more inclined to use it
  • There was more incentive to be a good poster, since you could gain the coveted position of "trusted"
  • There was much less abuse of the "hide" rating, since only trusted users could use it

Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]
NO (none / 2) (#148)
by Wah on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 12:44:54 PM EST

Define rational.

It's in the goddam dictionary for gawdsakes. That sort of insipid order makes me question your rationality. Since I am using reason to do so, I'm already more rational than you.  STFU, unless you have a real point.  Semantics doesn't count (haven't you notice that I'm yelling and cussing?).

Why, that's the way it works already - just with a different implementation.

Really?  We gather around and say, "hey, look user [xxxxx] is a jackass, looks at what he's done (those would be links).  Do you guys want to hang the sign around his head, hoping he's got some potential, or just ban the shit?"

[next time]

"Hey guys, this jackass is back. Yea, I checked the logs and read a bunch of comments and I THINK IN MY RATIONAL JUDGEMENT AS A THINKING BEING you guys should take a closer look at this jackass.  Sign or ban? (note: calling wolf has penalties, at least to me, as a rational person.  Remember we aren't talking about goddam software here, but a person's own sense of reality as that person sensing it.  All all the neat tricks and abilities of such a such a 'rational entity', including a damn near innate, yet still improvable, sense of when something is BULLSHIT).  

[next time the person comes back]

"Yo, fellas (and a lady, or did the constant queries for blowjobs drive you away?), [xxxxx] is back.  Can you help me out, here's what I know......"

--

Then is becomes happy jolly information hunt.   There's nothing illegal about that.  If someone wants to go to all the way to court there is ample evidence (remember how the whole thing started) the person was disengenuous from the start, making such a course of action extremely unlikely.   Without a court, nothing is illegal (or at least not in a way that matters to the pragmatic).

I don't think 'blackmail' fits, any more than all laws and punishments could be considered blackmail.  

If this is a civilized place it can have civilized laws. If it is not, and it is a 'wild west' place, THEN IT CAN HAVE WILD WEST LAWS.

It just needs a bit more, and this is why this rant is topical....(let me catch my breath)....

It just needs a bit more OR IT IS NOT GOING TO SCALE.

--

...vaguely "democratic".

Sorry, but the combination of 'vaguely' and quotes over a word like democratic screams semantic argument, AND I'M STILL YELLING!

--

Rating is useless.  When the worst you can offer is a slap on the wrist, or a moment in time-out, it is only a good punishment for genuine members.  As the army of conservatives continues to tell me, 'some people just suck ass, they need to be put down'.  I'm inclined to agree with them in this context.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

Let me try again (none / 2) (#176)
by melia on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 08:40:32 PM EST

Hmm, this dictionary thing intrigues me. If only all those philsophers, psychologists, lawyers and economists had one, we could truly pin down rationality.

Anyway, I was just trying to point out that people have different opinions of what constitutes a troll. My apologies for being obtuse.

As for your little story, (the thing with the jackass) i'm not quite sure what it's about. But then, I don't understand my own post either.

Then is becomes happy jolly information hunt. There's nothing illegal about that... If this is a civilized place it can have civilized laws. If it is not, and it is a 'wild west' place, THEN IT CAN HAVE WILD WEST LAWS.

What are you on about? Certainly, posting someone's personal information online without their consent would land you (or rather, Rusty, or his host) in some sort of trouble. Furthermore, I expect that the sort of thing you're talking about could be interpreted as incitement. I have no idea what the wild west has to do with the law.

Rating is useless. When the worst you can offer is a slap on the wrist, or a moment in time-out, it is only a good punishment for genuine members

Well, that's sort of my point. At the moment all K5 offers is punishment for bad behaviour, whereas when we had trusted users there was reward for good behaviour. I think that system had a better set of incentives that worked well.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong
[ Parent ]

Public ridicule of trolls (none / 3) (#147)
by maynard on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 12:44:19 PM EST

If that person has so much time on their hands, and is so unhappy with themselves they come back a third time and continue with the same behaviour..ALL EFFORTS SHOULD THEN BE DIRECTED TO IDENTIFYING THE REAL NAME, LOCATION, and PICTURE OF THAT PERSON.  They should then be exposed and publicly riduculed (or possibly offered free psychiatic evaluations by another member, or local clinic).

As much as I would enjoy seeing this put into practice, as we all know that trolls and crapflooders could never exist without anonymity, no site administrator could do this without taking on significant legal risks. rusty isn't going to risk incurring severe fines and penalties in court over this web site, nor should we ask him to do so. There are only two workable solutions to the troll problem (presuming the site administrator wants to "solve" it):

  1. Force real life verification of all user accounts. Most BBSs used to do this back in the 80s due to trolling (I know, I ran a BBS from '82 to '86 and was forced to do so for the same reason). There are real downsides to this though:
    • Would the site lose a significant number of users due to this policy? Duh.
    • Would such a policy be administratively expensive? Very much so; he'll have to implement enforced subscriptions to pay for it (which means the contributors will be paying so that anonymous readers can browse for free).
    • Would some interesting/worthwhile content be lost due to lack of anonymous posting? Yes. While our lovely trolls and crapflooders depend on anonymity to spew their diarrhea upon the site, so do political and corporate dissidents. To squelch the trolls this way we'll also have to squelch real dissent. Sucks, doesn't it.
    • Would such a policy make it easier for law enforcement to determine who is behind each username in the event of subpoena? Probably so.

  2. Hire (or request volunteers) to manually oversee and edit the site per specific rules as stated in the site FAQ. Currently, site rules are pretty ambiguous about what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate behavior, so trolls and crapflooders have the advantage of pointing to it and saying "how does my post violate that rule?". And they're right. So, while no policy or FAQ can be specific enough to include all situations and examples, tightening up the FAQ to clarify appropriate behavior might help. But only if the administration is willing to back up these clarifications with enforcement.

One thing that will not work is writing more code to try to automate the problem away. At least not while anonymity pervades the site, and the 'net in general. Unfortunately for all, I think the trolls (and general 'net populace) will soon see their worst privacy nightmares enacted into law someday soon - and then they, and 'net anonymity in general, will die across the 'net. I don't think it will be a reaction to the trolls, who are just a nuisance honestly. No, governments across the world fear anonymous networking for some perfectly valid reasons: terrorism, uprisings, and organized crime, for example. But by doing so such policies would as a side effect wipe out trolling.

I'm honestly not sure which is worse for the 'net: freedom from trollish noise at the cost of anonymity, or wiping anonymity to help law enforcement limit terrorism at the cost of fundamental rights. It's a conundrum without an easy answer... especially for those of us who continue to donate to the EFF and support EPIC. I don't know the right answer to trolling, nor whether anonymity should remain a primary feature of the 'net given today's security situation. (which basically means I've written a lot of crap with no conclusion! :) )

Cheers,
--Maynard


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

how public? (none / 1) (#149)
by Wah on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 01:02:01 PM EST

rusty isn't going to risk incurring severe fines and penalties in court over this web site, nor should we ask him to do so.

Well, one, it's incorporated, so there isn't that much personal risk.  The consulting gigs seems to be plentiful so then k5 would just die given a major misstep.  New domain name, port database, email users, problem solved.  And that's the worst case scenario.

What are the fines if you append the following information to a certain users account, instead of a .sig of course.  

"Hello, as best the other people around here can tell, my name is Randy Jeffers.  I'm 16 and live around Buffalo, NY.  I spend a lot of time on the Internet and have learned to mimic the behaviour of other people.  Please take this into account before replying."

And there's your big red 'T'.  If a comment from such a tagged user gets over three lines long, it's truncated and replaced with that.  Otherwise, just a normal .sig.

What's illegal about that?  Certainly no more dangerous than accusing a President of lying to a nation about how he handled a threat and instigated a war on false pretenses, eh?

I like your other ideas.  But yes, it does finally, depend on the administrator even hoping for a solution.  

Hey, I'm not a member now for this very reason, so my right to bitch is limited to the amount of good I provide to the site, which from these comments, and the general response to my last diary post, ain't a whole bunch.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

Exposing real names without prior consent... (none / 1) (#160)
by maynard on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 04:58:48 PM EST

...could get ugly. I don't think rusty should go down that road. I think the primary lesson learned from this little site fiasco is that he needs to remove anonymity at the administrative level (tracking users and accounts), or he needs more site editors enforcing some new explicit policy he has yet to present. I guess the best we can do is sit back and watch the fireworks for now... --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
bah (none / 2) (#165)
by Wah on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 05:39:23 PM EST

shine lights on rats they go away.  String a room up for lights to keep them away.

I can't really comment on the actual actions of the admins, since I don't know what was done, how, and by whom in this particular case, but a general skimming seems to show they've just been whacking a few accounts.  But since Tex is still posting, they haven't gone after the roots yet.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

You profoundly don't get this. (none / 3) (#201)
by ninja rmg on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 01:12:08 PM EST

Marking them as trolls will have absolutely no effect. The only kind of "troll" that causes any damage is the crapflooding troll and nothing is easier than identifying one of these. Further, they do not care about bites. If you look at their comment histories, you'll see they get very few responses and most of them are from other crapflooders.

Your idea about killing accounts after being reported for trolling is a somewhat good one, as long as you make a clear distinction between trolling and crapflooding. Trolling ought to be tolerated (simply as a matter of free speech), while crapflooding should not be. Again, identifying crapflooders is extremely easy, so there should be very little controversy.



[ Parent ]

I think that's about right. (none / 1) (#202)
by aphrael on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 01:36:44 PM EST



[ Parent ]
no, you misunderstand. (none / 1) (#206)
by Wah on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 02:20:33 PM EST

first off, if I have any good ideas (IYHO), it's hard to say I have a profound ignorance of the problem.

What's your name BTW?  Where ya from?

The only kind of "troll" that causes any damage is the crapflooding troll and nothing is easier than identifying one of these.

Not in the slightest.  What good is Tex, again?  

If you look at their comment histories, you'll see they get very few responses and most of them are from other crapflooders.

Yep it's not that hard to spot trolls in training, good idea to flag those accounts too so I don't have to keep an index in my mind of who is being a jackass.  

Trolling ought to be tolerated (simply as a matter of free speech), while crapflooding should not be.

No, it should not. It should be defnined as a negative type of behaviour.  If one want to be probing, or cynical, or put forth ironic notions, fine, but in my experience there isn't much of a fine line between those who want to participate in a discussion, and those that just wish to disrupt it.   Trolls fall in this later category, by definition, IMHO.

Or did you believe someone who hangs out under bridges and eats unwary passers-by to be tolerable behaviour?
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

This is why you are ignorant of the situation (none / 3) (#208)
by ninja rmg on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 02:46:52 PM EST

For one thing, Tex is not a troll. He rarely posts anything anyone could take seriously, except in the defense of other crapflooders (where he's often serious). He posts jokes, often obscene or caustic, but whatever. He's often pretty funny and I don't see any problem with what he does, beyond encouraging crapflooders. Tex is much more of an online comedian than a troll -- which is fine. Most regulars like Tex.

People like elenchos, to some extent turmeric (although there is debate in several directions on him) and circletimessquare, myself (although a lot of my posts fall into the category of jokes or being a complete bastard), qpt, Adam Rightman, definitely sellison, and so forth are what you'd call trolls. They often post things designed to provoke argument or confusion amongst other users. These are classic trolls -- real trolls, not crapflooders (though again, on my part and turmeric's there's some debate). This is not such a bad thing -- you can still ignore them or laugh at their respondants. Crapflooders just fill the place with nondiscursive crap. They do things to undermine the readability and usability of the site. That is a problem that should be dealt with.

Here's the fundamental distinction: Trolls present discourse (which you might not like or want to participate in, but which has some sort of value), while crapflooders consciously do not. Rather, they undermine it by consciously attempting to drive people away.

If you can't appreciate this difference, then you're not in the position to discuss this problem.



[ Parent ]

And hackers don't break into computers (none / 1) (#218)
by Estanislao Martínez on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 10:36:32 PM EST

It's *crackers* that do that. Hackers are extremely expert computer enthusiasts driven by a noble hunger for knowledge.

--em
[ Parent ]

Point taken. (none / 0) (#221)
by ninja rmg on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 10:58:09 PM EST

I think you're the one who got me thinking about this stuff. You've probably given it more thought than I have. Am I wasting my time trying to make this distinction clear to morons like this Wah guy? Have you risen above it?

Enlighten me.



[ Parent ]

a few points (3.00 / 4) (#228)
by Estanislao Martínez on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 12:28:19 AM EST

Internet arguments hardly ever are about convincing one's interlocutor. Needless to say, that almost never happens. They're about the third parties.

"Hacker vs. cracker", "troll vs. crapflooder", etc., are just the same sort of general thing as "freedom fighter vs. terrorist"; somebody's freedom fighter is always somebody else's terrorist. The terms have an evaluative charge, and people struggle to impose their use of them over other people's. Those who engage in massive scripted posting of obscenity to disrupt discussion sites want the the label "troll", because they want the perceived prestige of "old school trolls" to rub off on them. (The term "crapflooder" was invented to deny this move, just like "cracker".) Likewise, people who dislike contrarian, satirical, argumentative or whatever posters call the crapflooders "trolls", in an attempt to make the disprestige of the scripters rub off on the "classic trolls."

Final point: there really isn't a coherent thing that "trolling" is, nor a discrete barrier that separates it from "crapflooding":

  • It may disappoint some to know that a lot of "classic" slashdot trolling was assisted by automated account pool management scripts. Writing scripts to defeat the features of the site software is not part of most people's picture of "real trolls", but historically, it is.
  • A number of the "old school trolls" engaged on stuff that today would be labeled "crapflooding", too. Natalie Portman naked and petrified, anybody? (Hell, some of these people today are generally labeled as "crapflooders".)
  • Definitions of "trolling" usually fail to cover all of the activities that the people held up as exemplar trolls historically engaged in. The scripting is a good example, but the writing from the so-called "trolls" doesn't always fit the mold of "obviously false, outrageous argument to draw outraged responses."

--em
[ Parent ]

True enough. (none / 0) (#236)
by ninja rmg on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 01:07:45 AM EST

I would differ on one point, though. While there may be a whole range of things on and around the border between trolling and crapflooding, there are not so many people near that border. People tend to be on one side or the other. Those on the wrong side are fairly easy to identify. On that level, the difference between trolling and crapflooding is as discrete as the difference between people.

Kuro5hin's lack of anonymous posting allows us to operate on the level of people and not just posts. It would be foolish to overlook this and not take advantage of the simplifications it allows.



[ Parent ]

yup (none / 0) (#241)
by Wah on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 10:00:21 AM EST

you are anonymous with a name.  Hence the problem.  Anonymous democracy is an oxymoron, and you are no more than a bully.  See my other response to 'that ninja rmg guy'.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]
Jesus loves you my friend (none / 1) (#245)
by Tex Bigballs on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 01:06:57 PM EST

let the holy spirit fill your heart with happiness

[ Parent ]
it does everyday kiddo (none / 0) (#248)
by Wah on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 02:59:06 PM EST

how's that search for a purpose coming?

oh...
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

I will be praying for your soul sir (none / 0) (#249)
by Tex Bigballs on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 03:01:08 PM EST

Ezekiel 19:26

[ Parent ]
Sweet (none / 0) (#261)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 10:05:35 AM EST

do you mind upping the prayings and downing the postings?
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]
You are a very tense and angry man Wah (none / 0) (#262)
by Tex Bigballs on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 10:08:45 AM EST

perhaps we could do some spiritual yoga together and then I could give you a very nice and relaxing massage.

[ Parent ]
hehe (none / 0) (#265)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 02:09:43 PM EST

aww, now you are trying to butter me up, how sweet.  Can you do tricks, too?
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]
Oh sure I do all sorts of tricks (none / 1) (#267)
by Tex Bigballs on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 02:27:23 PM EST

but you'll just have to find out for yourself my sweetest little sugarbuns.

<3 <3 xoxoxoxo
Texy

[ Parent ]

great (none / 0) (#271)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 04:24:04 PM EST

when can we get together?

That vagina is looking a little peaked, maybe we should have a closer look, no?
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

...pushing back the veils of ignorance, letting in (none / 0) (#284)
by Battle Troll on Mon Mar 29, 2004 at 02:15:47 PM EST

the light of pure scientific truth, braving the wilds of interstellar space to explore strange worlds beyond those man has ever known...
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
no, you are ignorant of my position... (none / 1) (#240)
by Wah on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 09:58:09 AM EST

...and your own nature.

For one thing, Tex is not a troll.

He posts jokes, often obscene or caustic, but whatever

Wow, so obscene, caustic jokes are your basic outlines for useful contribution?  I'll be you love racist jokes too.  They are great for stimulating discussion, right? No wonder you keep at it, you think it's good.

They often post things designed to provoke argument or confusion amongst other users.

Yes, argument against a false strawman and general chaos in the discussion.   And, again, you think this is good?  Nothing yet mentioned has been even slightly worthwhile except in one sense.

This is not such a bad thing -- you can still ignore them or laugh at their respondants.

Yes, and we should ignore them to the point of banning them, or hangin signs around their head making it easier to ignore them.  They stimulate false, useless discussion, flamewars, and like you said, confusion.  On purpose.

Why?  To laugh at other people.

This is why you are ignorant of your nature. What trolls participate in is no more than intellectual bullying. Tripping someone and then laughing as they fall, poining it out to their friends.  It is to be no more respected than physical bullying.

Trolls present discourse (which you might not like or want to participate in, but which has some sort of value),

Sorry, but when value is a representation of S/N adding more N is NEVER USEFUL is you have a decent S.  Trolling might have been of some use to generate the illusion of a bunch of people hanging around and discussing topics, hence attracting real people looking for such an experience.

But later, when there ARE a bunch of real people hanging around, the false ones just cause problems.  The OS is loaded, go boot yourself
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

Luckily, (none / 2) (#244)
by ninja rmg on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 12:55:37 PM EST

Your opinion on this matter is irrelevant. Kuro5hin has always tolerated trolls and it always will. By failing to recognize a distinction that is at the core of this site's policy, you remove yourself from the debate.

You're probably right that I am an intellectual bully, but an argument like that basically amounts to whining. People don't listen to whiners.

More than that, if you wonderful "real people" would learn to discuss only what you know and show each other courtesy rather than calling people "fucktards" at the drop of a hat, you'd hardly have to worry about trolls at all anyway.

And on the matter of Tex -- most people like him, so just shut up.



[ Parent ]

thank god... (none / 0) (#247)
by Wah on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 02:58:13 PM EST

...I have no respect for your opinion.  What was your name again?

Citing the site policy is a funny defense. "Well, geez, it doesn't specifically say I can't be a heel, so it sounds like worthy goal for me."

As the general bent of my argument is to clarify or influence this specific site policy, pointing out the fact that it is vague only strengthens my position.

You're probably right that I am an intellectual bully, but an argument like that basically amounts to whining. People don't listen to whiners.

Well, if we both agree, then you can drop the probably.  Now given that type of behaviour, it's not really whining to point it out, now is it?  I'm not saying, "Ohh, oh, he's hitting me."  I am say, "Hey, maybe we shouldn't encourage fucktards like ninja rmg to hang out on k5?".

You can stop licking Tex's balls,  I think it's fairly clear we can shift to talking about you as an excellent example of how trolling is a negative behaviour used by the weak to shore up their self-esteem (you agreed to that a moment ago, if you weren't paying attention).
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

I stand by my contributions. (none / 0) (#251)
by ninja rmg on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 05:03:23 PM EST

I doubt a halfwit like yourself could hold a candle to my contributions on this site and I think others can attest to that.

The points on site policy pertain to the history of and philosophy behind this site and the attitudes of the administrators. Any failure to address these is a failure to address the entire issue of site policy. Your suggestions are, like a test of the emergency W system, nondiscursive crap.

I had a good laugh at the rest of your post.



[ Parent ]

then link to 'em jackass (none / 0) (#259)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 09:13:01 AM EST

I've love to read about your latest and greatest exploits.  Who have you tripped up lately?  Really confuse the shit out of someone?  C'mon, share the laughter at causing suffering, it's good clean fun, doncha know?

I think others can attest to that.

Umm, didn't you just write a diary about them all getting banned?  But fine, you've made the claim.  Back it up. Let's see how far that ninja rmj penis extends, fucktard.

I had a good laugh at the rest of your post.

Well of course you did.  It's an attack on a weak person, your favorite kind of discussion.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

References: (none / 1) (#264)
by ninja rmg on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 12:42:10 PM EST

gzt, cr8dle2grave, infinitera, Battle Troll (though he may deny it). All of these people can point you to worthwhile contributions from yours truly in areas such as literature, mathematics, philosophy, and so forth. I should also say that this is a select, elite group, amongst the very few around here with anything to say. These are not your parents' community members.

I'm sure if one of them passes by this thread, they'd be willing to say a little something to my credit. A nobody like you cannot say the same.



[ Parent ]

hehe (none / 0) (#266)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 02:15:45 PM EST

oh well, we'll just wait for them, shall we.  And up to the point they wander by we'll just go with what you linked to in your response.

Wow, impressive.  How do you walk with that thing?
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

Check the ratings on the parent. (none / 0) (#272)
by ninja rmg on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 06:04:01 PM EST

You have lost.



[ Parent ]
what a joke (none / 0) (#273)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 07:11:28 PM EST

that's why ratings are a joke, fucktard.

3 3's and then two trolls 0's.

Jeez, no wonder you think what you do is worthwhile.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

I'm sorry, evidently I was not clear enough. (none / 0) (#274)
by ninja rmg on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 07:20:19 PM EST

By the parent, one means not the post being responded to, but rather the parent of that post.

HTH.



[ Parent ]

even bigger joke (none / 0) (#276)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 07:28:40 PM EST

nice bio for your savior.

I'm some kind of dullard. I'm not very special. If you see me making a large number of comments, please respond with something better for me to do.

Please, give up.  this is sad.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

gzt is a highly respected member of this community (none / 0) (#278)
by ninja rmg on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 07:36:25 PM EST

And your intellectual superior. Show some respect.



[ Parent ]
yawn (none / 0) (#279)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 08:40:23 PM EST

yea, you're right, he's up on the top of the list, linked to on the front page, of the all-star k5'ers. And he very well might be my intellectual superior, there's a lot of sharp folk around here.  But there's no point in talking about anyone else, depsite your efforts to drag them into this.

I asked for simple empirical examples of your value as a troll (after you made the claim), and I get rhetoric.

Count me unsuprised.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

Yes, I am. (none / 0) (#283)
by gzt on Fri Mar 26, 2004 at 11:12:48 AM EST

And, frankly, rmg is one of the few things making this site tolerable. He's not on the top of my list of all-stars, but I do read his work.

And that, sir, is an empirical example of his value.

[ Parent ]

of course you are.. (none / 0) (#285)
by Wah on Mon Mar 29, 2004 at 06:41:24 PM EST

..having said so yourself.  I'll bet he'll back you up on it too.  Curious thing to claim while supporting him in this particular conversation, but it's stuff like that which entertains me...  

But it's not about that, I just want to hang a sign around his head, and all those who claim the same title of 'troll', so I can ignore them more easily.  No one else even has to see it.  

I'm not that kind of dickhead, so I don't get off on it, and don't think that type of behaviour is particularly useful.  But to each their own.

HAND.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

here's a nice one (none / 0) (#269)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 02:57:31 PM EST

from that new thread, you know, the one where folks are turning on the trolls like you (As you mention yourself).

The accounts that got banned were long overdue, and their like drove a lot of formers k5er's away. K5 is like slashdot in that there are several times more people who read than ever post. It got so bad a while back that when asked in meat-space about k5 by a once reader my first response was to say that it had become a breeding ground for hate-speech. Intolerance and blatant trolling let the tyranny of the vocal minority reign, and chased away a lot of those who just wanted a place to chat about whatever. -onyxruby

You see a fitting description of yourself anywhere up there?

And you say, "But wait, I'm not a crapflooder". And I respond, "You are a troll, and crapflooders consider themselves trolls.  Stop supporting the crapflooders with your inane defense of trolling."
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

No one is turning on me. (none / 0) (#270)
by ninja rmg on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 03:16:07 PM EST

Regulars who know me and my contributions have never called for my banning (except once in August, but that was a long time ago). You simply don't know what you are talking about.

You will not see hate speech from me (with the exception of "kill whitey" comments, which are clearly satirical). If you read my works, you'll find no uses of the words "faggot," "nigger," or even use of the word "gay" in any but its dictionary sense -- except in quoting or satirizing others in a direct and obvious way, never actually advocating or appearing to advocate their position.

The crapflooders around here are crystal clear on my opinions about them, which is why they hate me so much. You won't hear them using my authority to bolster their position.

I know you're feeling righteous right now, but you've just run into the wrong guy. Maybe you should just get out of this thread and maintain some shread of dignity. There's a good chance most readers will forget all about your "contributions" here, in time.



[ Parent ]

so let me see if I have your argument correct (none / 0) (#275)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 07:21:06 PM EST

let's see here...it seems that your general argument is that your 'enlightened' trolling is the example of a useful poster.  And yet, were the rules in effect now, in effect last August (which is about when it became blindingly obvious they were needed), by your own admission we wouldn't even be having this conversation, since this 'persona' of yours would have gotten rightfully whacked.

Powerful stuff there, ya ninja.

If you read my works, you'll find no uses of the words "faggot," "nigger," or even use of the word "gay" in any but its dictionary sense -- except in quoting or satirizing others in a direct and obvious way, never actually advocating or appearing to advocate their position.

Aahh, it's so clear now, you only call people faggot, nigger, and gay when you are satirizing others by acting like you advocate an outlandish opinion.  Yes, this is exactly the useless crap I'm talking about.  

I know you're feeling righteous right now, but you've just run into the wrong guy.

Doesn't really seem like it to me.  You try to walk the line and think you are in the center.  People without your obviously copious restraint and vast trolling skill are really the ones who disrupt conversations by viciously satirizing people who call others racial slurs on pulbic web boards.  You, on the other hand, are not like that.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

Perhaps I was not clear enough. (none / 0) (#277)
by ninja rmg on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 07:35:13 PM EST

The people I satirize are uniformly 'trolls' whose positions I certainly do not advocate or even appear to advocate. I never call people "niggers" at all. I have never used that word here at all, except in quoting or direct reference to the word itself. I have called one person (gangsta) a "fag" in mockery of his own posting behavior. The the character of the usage there was understood by all relevant parties. Again, there are others here who can attest to all of this.

On the matter of August, Rusty did not ban me. He took the diary writing and story submission privileges from my primary account (rmg). He later gave them back because of my useful contributions to the community.

If you read the latest update, you'll see that Rusty's position on trolling is more or less the same as mine. It's only those with an irrational hatred of trolls that say things like you have in this thread.



[ Parent ]

maybe you are just dense. (none / 0) (#280)
by Wah on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 11:27:01 PM EST

It's good to know that you are such a moral bully, though.  I guess you really can put make-up on a pig.

Still doesn't do much about the smell.

On the matter of August, Rusty did not ban me. He took the diary writing and story submission privileges from my primary account (rmg). He later gave them back because of my useful contributions to the community.

Strange world where 'useful contribution to the community' is basically just not being an over the top dickhead.  Congrats, you've demonstrated the capacity for learning.  I shouldn't have underestimated you so much, I'm quite surprised.

I'm really not sure how wearing that on your sleeve strengthens your argument here.  But that doesn't really seem to be your point with this thread, so whatever.

If you read the latest update, you'll see that Rusty's position on trolling is more or less the same as mine.

Yea, and I mentioned how I thought the use of the word 'inherently' was rather curious (note: that's the only caveat you have left, you aren't 'inherently unwelcome'.  Feel the love.)   He's taken a weak position, but that seems to be his style.  I don't agree with it, but it seems to work for him (like Lamar and his limp-wristed throwing style).  So sue me.

Oh yea, and you have to play by the rules now, or did you skim that condition?  

It's only those with an irrational hatred of trolls that say things like you have in this thread.

This isn't what hatred looks like, you should know better than that.  I know words can't hurt you.  The only thing I can do is build doubt in your mind, expose the obvious contradictions in your self-image.  Let you know that some folks are aware of what you are doing and think it's crap.

I've done the same thing before, only then it was strong guys, not smart guys, and they picked on weak ones, not honest ones.

But it's the same game. Do you like the way I play?
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

You overestimate the strength of your position. (none / 0) (#281)
by ninja rmg on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 11:57:15 PM EST

You haven't challenged my position significantly, or at all really.

I have thought of all the things you've talked about in this thread and I am at peace with my conclusions. You think you're revealing these new things I haven't thought about or bringing moral clarity that I lack, but it's just not the case. Sorry.



[ Parent ]

You have no idea of my patience.. (none / 0) (#282)
by Wah on Fri Mar 26, 2004 at 12:09:35 AM EST

..which is the real strength of my position, and my tactics.

Good day to you, sir.  Oh, sorry. Forget the lingo...

HAND.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

Agreed (2.80 / 5) (#151)
by cyberdruid on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 01:19:36 PM EST

Simple to implement and almost entirely without bad sides. "Ignore user" would be good.

An extended possibility might be to have a check box that lets me ignore all users that are ignored by more than x other users. This makes us able to benifit from others in the group.

OTOH if my "extended feature" is implemented, it might then be possible to create a zillion fake accounts and ignore a user to death.

Hmmmm...

Hear hear! /nt (none / 0) (#178)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 09:14:15 PM EST


-------
"If we really want to stop terrorism, we have to get Muslim men laid." -Bill Maher
[ Parent ]

extending your extended feature (none / 0) (#180)
by jacoplane on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 10:17:45 PM EST

You could have 3 options for every user: Trust/Ignore this user or the default neutral stance. Then you could say "ignore all users that are ignored by X users I trust". that should solve the problem of users creating a zillion fake accounts and ignoring a user to death...

[ Parent ]
OVER HERE!! (none / 0) (#196)
by tiamat on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 10:13:41 AM EST

Good idea above, somebody pay attention!

[ Parent ]
Ptht. (none / 1) (#190)
by Kwil on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 04:58:29 AM EST

Just go to usenet if that's what you want.
You can find as narrow-minded a group as you like.

What, you say you'll just killfile the trolls? Guess what, they're not really attached to their specific names, so you'll basically wind up spending all your time kill-filing.

The new troll game will be to see how fast they can get their 3 new accounts each day dropped onto someone's killfile list.

And again.. anybody new and legitimate who comes in gets to see the results of all these "games".

No, all a killfile does is solve the problem for you. It doesn't actually do anything to address the real problem, so the site doesn't really get any better, and the decline continues.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
There is no troll problem (2.76 / 17) (#155)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 01:43:39 PM EST

There aren't many actual trolls on this site.  There's a lot of smart asses on this site.  They write smart ass comments primarily for the amusement of other smart asses.

Is there a smart ass problem?  Well, it's a matter of perspective.  If the smart asses like the site and like each other then K5 doesn't really have a problem.  There's plenty of sites on the internet.  K5 is good for being a smart ass and having stupid fun.  Husi and LiveJournal are good for talking about your feelings.  Slashdot is good for technology stories.  DailyKos and the Free Republic are good for talking politics.

In fact, since K5 caters to these other needs better than anyone else K5 is the most well rounded of the discussion sites and the others have a problem accomidating smart asses.

And to be perfectly honest, I think K5 has a problem with having too many meta articles.  They're just stupid for the most part.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

Trolling for laughs (none / 2) (#177)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 09:09:02 PM EST

Trouble is, a lot of them are just crapflooders. Now, the ones you mention I often find hilarious. "John Asscroft" is brilliantly stupid.

Then there are those who are, or have been extremely offensive to 99% of th ecommunity; "nigga" fits in this category on his nick alone (considering he's really a white teenager).

Personally, I thought the way the ratings used to be here were fine; I had no problem with it. The problem was that an offensive troll would register 50 accounts, and there was no way to hide his comments.

If I were Rusty I'd be kinda pissed, too.

-------
When drugs are outlawed, only outlaws will get well
[ Parent ]

or eliminate comments altogether! (plug) (none / 1) (#158)
by tert on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 02:35:50 PM EST

shortjournal.org was designed to eliminate this exact problem, partially by eliminating comments. One person's troll is another person's devil's advocate. In the end comments fall into two categories: (A) those that make no sense outside of a very specific comments -- these almost always degrade into flamewars because it becomes about the "he said/she said" rather than the facts, or (B) comments that would make just-fine stand-alone stories if it weren't for the volume problem. By limiting posting length characters we can pretty much guarantee that even if someone posts worthless drivel you aren't going to waste too much time reading it, and you simultaneously guarantee that everyone sticks to the topic they're actually interested in rather than digressing into a flamewar. I think the root cause is not the poorly-behaved users, but rather a forum that does nothing to discourage flamewars, or encourage free discourse.

Sorry to Say... (2.20 / 5) (#162)
by sethadam1 on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 05:15:47 PM EST

I hate to beat a dead horse, but the reason for the high "signal to noise ration" is because K5 moderation sucks.  

See, over at Slashdot, it's a rare privilege to moderate (I get points about once every two weeks or so), and even then, it's only for 5 comments and only for three days.  So people use it, usually to mod up the first few comments (which nearly always have good info), or mod down the trolls.  Then I browse at +3 or higher and have a great experience.

At K5, the rating system sucks, it's not used nearly as frequently, and it's confusing - encourage what? people to read it? what's a hidden comment? how many people have to mod a comment before it shows up?  Too damned confusing.  

By fixing moderation, the community will police itself.  But someone once said people don't value something that comes free.  And K5 moderation is a good example.  If I browse at a higher level, I'll miss a LOT of content.  


You're kidding, right? (nt) (none / 2) (#168)
by Driusan on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 06:28:41 PM EST




--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
Surely you jest. (none / 2) (#219)
by Kinq of Prussia on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 10:40:44 PM EST

The moderation system on k5 would work if the general user population were not a bunch of apathetic whiners.

My old account was recently banned from rating and posting for giving too many 3's. Yes, that's right, for using too many of the unlimited moderations that I had been given. The problem was, not enough of the "legitimate" users rated, so my ratings were apparently having too much of an effect to continue.

The problem isn't with the system, it's with the users.

Making the moon less necessary since 1998.
[ Parent ]

Interesting Thoughts, But It's a Moot Point... (none / 3) (#170)
by cribcage on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 06:59:39 PM EST

I'm surprised by the number of people saying they enjoy the trollings of Joyce, Jackson, Moore, Tex, Hamster, etc. I didn't realize that self-respecting posters actually paid attention to these antics, let alone considered them valuable. I guess you learn something every day.

Personally, I don't understand why Rusty bothers. Every few weeks, he deletes someone's account, or suspends someone's privileges. But it's always an isolated event, usually affecting a single user. If he wanted to fix the problem, he'd simply eliminate the few dozen accounts we all know to be trolls, and institute a few IP blocks. I can understand why he doesn't choose to do this -- but I don't understand continuing to block individual users. It never achieves anything, yet he keeps doing it. There's an old adage about that being the definition of insanity.

I think K5 is probably lost to those who would like to see it as a legitimate discussion site. Consequently, I suppose if the trolls can make it their corner of the 'net, then maybe we should wish them well.

It's a shame. K5 provides a good model for people of diverse interests to share their passions. Every so often, a wonderful article will still pop up in the queue. And although K5 hasn't gotten so bad that worthwhile articles will automatically be voted down, the discussions are quickly tainted by quips from children about bathroom humor, or how Saddam gassed his own people.

If Rusty wanted to fix the site, I think he'd have to block dozens of users, permanently. He'd have to seriously revise the moderation scheme, to prevent trolls from nullifying legitimate "hides" (and vice versa). The current audience would have to be tailored, and that would require altering the mechanics of the site. And frankly, since I don't think Rusty cares enough to bother, I don't see much point in even brainstorming the idea.

My two cents.

crib

Please don't read my journal.

You forget (none / 1) (#223)
by rusty on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 11:09:41 PM EST

It is impossible to block anyone permanently if they don't wish to be blocked. Short of requiring credit card payment for every account, and keeping a big database to check against all past signups, it cannot be done. Not by email, or IP bans, or anything.

If it's any consolation to you, I've done all the things you blithely suggest. They don't work. The reason I boot an account here and there is because it's all the defense there is.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

And credit card payment... (none / 0) (#227)
by aperick on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 12:24:42 AM EST

being a requirement of signup with posting privilege would be bad, why?
--------
Beside the obvious need for them to possess certain qualities, only those who know me well can understand or love me -- and no one knows me well.


[ Parent ]

Because (none / 1) (#229)
by Driusan on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 12:30:54 AM EST

Then the only people who could signup and post are those who have a credit card, and then only the ones who trust the site enough to give it their credit card number.


--
This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
A few reasons (none / 1) (#232)
by rusty on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 12:55:41 AM EST

I'm interested in talking to many people who either can't or wouldn't ever pay to post here. Hell, I'm positive I wouldn't pay to post here.

It's also a very uninteresting solution. I mean, sure you could do that. Putting a pay gate in front of stuff cuts way down on abuse. I already know that, so why bother proving it? I'm much more interested in solutions that work without such a requirement. And, for good or ill, K5 is an experimental site.  It's the place where we see what works. So we might as well try to come up with something more interesting than just charging for it.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

In the course of experimentation, (none / 2) (#237)
by ninja rmg on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 01:31:36 AM EST

One finds what does not work as well.

If one finds that something does not work, but continues to do it rather than advance alternate hypotheses and implement new tests, one is no longer experimenting. Such a researcher is only watching his petri dish continue to fill with mold month after month.

You talk about experimentation, but all I see here month after month is the same thing with the same result. Those who suggest improvement are uniformly ignored -- and in the spirit of experimentation, no less!

Cloaked in your ideology, your excuses about experimentation, and all your other sweet nothings, you let this place stagnate when even the simplest actions would bring it that stagnation to a screeching halt. Indeed, done right, there'd hardly even be any screeching.

You're so quick to debate those with "uninteresting solutions." "Your solution is uninteresting, but since I have none better myself and it is my policy (unwritten of course!) to ignore those with workable ideas, I will do nothing in lieu of something and look all the more thoughtful for it!"



[ Parent ]

Because (none / 1) (#252)
by godix on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 05:05:12 PM EST

A) Credit Cards are a thing of the first world, and even then not all of the first world has gone as batshit over them as Americans have. Considering that K5 has a wider than average appeal across nationalities that is an important consideration

B) Not everyone has credit cards even in the first world. Especially amoung teenagers which is a large part of almost any online forum.

C) Not everyone wants to pay. Even amoung those inclined to support something they enjoy it's debatable if they'd do it with money, or even should. The servers and bandwidth are donated. Rusty has a job and isn't trying to survive by being K5's admin. CMF is in limbo land AFAIK. There's really nothing to pay for so why would K5 need financial support?

D) Plenty of people are paranoid of using credit cards online. Just a fact of life you have to deal with.

It's dawned on me that Zero Tolerance only seems to mean putting extra police in poor, run-down areas, and not in the Stock Exchange.
- Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

My proposal... (none / 1) (#173)
by Elendale on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:44:33 PM EST

First, bring back untrusted users. Everyone with karma below 1 is untrusted and doesn't have voting/story posting/diary posting privileges. Now all new users start untrusted. Presto, no more problem.

Now: why does this suck? I know all moderation schemes have to suck, i'm just not really sure why this one does...


---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


Wait, wait... one addition... (none / 0) (#175)
by Elendale on Mon Mar 22, 2004 at 07:46:28 PM EST

All comments by untrusted users start hidden. Can't forget that.
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
Yeah well. (2.66 / 6) (#184)
by qwee on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 12:12:10 AM EST

I got banned.

I am Arduinothor The Vile

I have had a story hit FP. You can't say that I do not contribute.

I am banned. I am muzzled. No comments. No stories. No diaries.

Arduinothor The Vile
- I rest my case.

I'm sorry? (none / 0) (#194)
by tiamat on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 09:54:45 AM EST

If you're banned then it's an awfully light sentence, seeing as you seem to be posting still. Perhaps you meant that ONE account of yours has been banned?

Just out of curiosity, which account was it that had the front page story? The 'vile' account or this rather more serious one?

My theory would be this: if you have two accounts, and are nice with one and an asshole with the other, I think it's right and proper to ban the one and let you keep the other. So in other words, STFU and behave yourself and we'll all get along just fine.


[ Parent ]

trolls vs crapflooding (none / 2) (#185)
by cronian on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 12:15:16 AM EST

I think trolls can be quite interesting. Well done trolls can be quite effective. The problem comes from crapflodding. We could have users who get too many of their comments zeroed kicked off k5. New users should have to get at least a few comments rated up by users above certain karma. New users, who haven't achieved a certain karma wouldn't be allowed to rate comments.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
Rusty, The Editor and Bayes (none / 0) (#188)
by Highlander on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 04:34:13 AM EST

First, Rusty as one of the editors is responsible if someone posts shit on this site if this shit is legally crap too. So Rusty or someone will always have the privilege of deleting something.

I think making vote -1 equal "ignore postings from this author", combined with an accumulation and evalution of the votes a user gets is a good idea for finding out who is a pest.

To prevent people from rejoining under a different name and posting the same crap, it would be interesting to have a filter, maybe a bayesian, that filters out crap (like GNAA, three of four keywords should be enough to filter such a post). But I realize such a filter may be too complicated to make and deploy on kuro5hin right now, esp. if you want it fully automated.

To take the load of the editors, trusted users could be given the option to read and unhide hidden comments, but I really don't believe unhiding would happen often.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.

This is a policy and enforcement issue. (2.40 / 5) (#207)
by ninja rmg on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 02:29:34 PM EST

Rusty needs an explicit policy on crapflooding (not trolling -- they are different and trolling must be protected in the interest of free speech). That policy must be strictly and fairly enforced. If this means Rusty getting more volunteer editors, then by golly, that's just what he'll have to do.

From the Post Comment page:

Spamming is not tolerated here. Any comment may be deleted by a site admin, and all spammers will be deleted. This is fair warning. If you don't know what spamming is, then you're probably not about to do it, so don't worry. But you can read the definition in The Jargon File if you were wondering (particularly number 2). :-)

This message is extremely unclear. The Jargon File definition of spamming is very broad and very different from what most people think of when they hear the word "spamming." Now clearly (to me), crapflooding is spamming under the definition given, but that isn't clear enough (to most people) right now.

This can be fixed very easily. Ammend the message on the Post Comment page as follows:

Spamming and crapflooding are not tolerated here. Any comment may be deleted by a site admin, and all spammers and crapflooders will be deleted. This is fair warning. If you are unsure of what is meant by "spamming" and "crapflooding," you are probably not about to do it. You can find out exactly what we mean here.

Or something like that. Incidentally, as an expert on the subject, I'd be happy to write up a full definition of crapflooding with examples for inclusion in the FAQ. I think it would be best to use the obvious definition of spamming, rather the Jargon File one.

Also, the same needs to be done for diaries. The current message gives a _carte blanc to crapflood.

This is your diary. There are no rules, you can post basically anything you want here. This is your spot to tell the rest of the community what's on your mind, or what's going on in your life, or just anything really.

Unlike the rest of the site, this area is not subject to peer review, so don't fear the voting masses. Just tell us what's up with you.

Please Note: There's no strict rule on how often you can post diaries, but please be aware that your diary will show up with everyone else's on the Diary page, and it's considered bad form to post more than two in a day. Please be considerate of others with your posting.

First of all, there are rules. If you page widen, you're gone, etc. This gives the people who get nailed for doing stupid shit ammunition to come back and claim they've been wronged. That is a bad thing. It needs to be clear that there are rules and those rules must be made clear. In particular, no crapflooding.

Second, there needs to be a strict limit on the number of diaries per day, but it must be enforced by editors, not software. Posting multiple diaries per day is simply a cagey form of crapflooding -- we've seen it with Spencer Perceval, many of the recently deleted crapflooders, and with the "college class" that posts diaries all the time (which I happen to know is just an elaborate crapflood). Such activity drives away real diarists.

Finally, action needs to be prompt. Warnings just cause commotion. They are not necessary. Those who feel they've been treated unfairly can simply email the editors. As long as the editors are reasonable people, this will work fine. Rusty likes to give people the benefit of the doubt, even if what they are doing is clearly and obviously in violation of the rules (for example, there was a guy a few months back who posted nothing but ads for his marijuana mail order site for three days before Rusty even said anything, and even then it was only a warning). That needs to stop. Benefit of the doubt is an invitation for exploitation -- it is only for borderline cases, not clear violations.

I realize people like to think this place has no rules or whatever, but that only works when no one is fucking things up. Now people are. If you want to regulate the site (and I think people see the value of doing so), then in the interest of fairness, there must be clear cut rules and even application of them. So far, there has not been. That needs to change. Normal users won't even have to worry about these rules anyway -- it will just like normal. It's just miscreants like myself and a few others who might run up against them.

... that was too long...



Allright that's not cool... (none / 1) (#210)
by IndianaTroll on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 03:32:20 PM EST

To whomever stole rmg's password and posted that, the jig's up.

We all know the game...just email rustv and tell him which account to ban.

Thanks, and please don't do that anymore.

Your personal experiences don't mean diddly in a nation of 300 million people. jubal3
[ Parent ]

Don't get the wrong idea. (none / 1) (#211)
by ninja rmg on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 03:42:29 PM EST

I think that eliminating crapflooding will be good for business. Old users will return, there will be less crap people will have to look though before finding trolls to bite on, etc.

The site is dying and it's bad for business. Slashdot makes me sick, so I can't go there, even though in my darker moments I contemplate making the move. I'd rather see this place get back to where it was when I arrived than find a completely new site.



[ Parent ]

Why would... (none / 1) (#212)
by IndianaTroll on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 04:56:51 PM EST

...old users return?

What's the incentive?

I'm not arguing with your common-sense suggestions for the resolution of the rusty-manufactured crisis here...simply with the conclusions you draw from them.

I'm reminded of a diary or comment posted by yourself, Mr. G.  I've tried many times since to track it down, but to no avail...it seems that the search functionality doesn't work so well on this site.

In any case, the basic gist of your yet-unfound point was that the original core of this here site has melted away into segmented groups.  The bloggers over to hulver's site, the hard-core trolls through the up and down of Adequacy, the turmerics and the fluffy_grue's grown up and moved beyond the rather peurile form of communication that this site inspires.

Those who remain are the logical and the dispassionate.  The xutopias, the imdklrs and yourself, Mr. G.  No more burns the flaming passion of jjayson or his ilk.

The internet grew up a lot between 1999 and today.  There's no way to undiscover whatever version of goodwin's law has been discovered here.

turmeric is gone, Mr. G.  Work through your grief and give it up.

And HOLY FUCKING SHIT.  gangsta is gone too?  Completely wiped...

What was that nickname's particular offense?  Anyone know?  Why boot gangsta and not Michael Moore?

Your personal experiences don't mean diddly in a nation of 300 million people. jubal3
[ Parent ]

Common wisdom. (none / 2) (#213)
by ninja rmg on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 05:54:07 PM EST

This "internet has grown up" business smells of common wisdom -- the worst sort of wisdom one can have. The internet is the never ever land of the postmodern world -- you see it everyday here and on slashdot and every other forum you'll ever find: internet junkies never grow up. Case in point: turmeric. Did he throw in the towel? Hell no. He's actively trolling hannity.com as we speak.

Hulver's site is just a stone's throw away. They will flock back the instant Rusty gets his shit together. For the rest: Go to Slashdot and call them back.

They need no incentive to return, just the assurance that they might be able to glimpse the former glory of Kuro5hin. They will believe in the green light on the end of the dock.



[ Parent ]

yay for turmeric (none / 0) (#216)
by UncannyVortex on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 07:23:53 PM EST

*reading hannity.com*

he's getting more bites than a postman.

[ Parent ]

FYAD (none / 0) (#286)
by Wah on Mon Mar 29, 2004 at 09:47:34 PM EST

HAND.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]
An idea (none / 0) (#214)
by xmedar on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 06:52:34 PM EST

First I think that it might be a good idea to have more than one way to read the comments posted, each using different metrics, here are some suggestions
  1. Seeing all comments, for those that like no filtering.
  2. Filtering based on moderation for the post only.
  3. Filtering based on moderation + global karma of the posting user + karma based on how much the viewing user has liked or disliked previous posts of this user. If this were done by having an automatic adjustment of coefficents of these three variables based on the number of child posts it generates from different users, you could have a system that allows for people who disagree to see each others posts, debate the points and still keep the troll posts seen to a minimum, if you really wanted to be flash you could throw in a random serendipity factor or use some cute adaptive algorithms like simulated annealing.
I think banning people might be counterproductive, the trolls are as likely to be vindictive and create more accounts as slink away, I think if the last filtering option could be made to work trolls could troll to thier hearts content, and never really be seen by the rest of the community.

Look, it's this simple.... (none / 1) (#225)
by SvnLyrBrto on Tue Mar 23, 2004 at 11:34:53 PM EST

Once a bunch of assholes decide to troll or crapflood or in some other way render a forum unuseable for people intrested in legitimate discussion, there are two possible outcomes:

1)
The trolls/crapflooders/etc. will get bored (or find another target) and leave.

or

2)
The forum becomes a wasteland of useless noise.

And if 1 doesn't occur, no amount of administrative action will prevent 2; at best, administration can only delay #2.  And, as often as not, administative action against the assholes only causes them to redouble their attacks.  Witness the wasteland that is usenet thesedays.  Or, a bit closer to "home", just how much have taco's efforts, over the years, have done to eliminate those who would disrupt slashdot?  Little to nothing.

If you implement strong moderation (that, for example, can hide a comment), the trolls/crapflooders/etc. will simply moderate each others' comments up; or use dupe accounts to do the same.

If you implement killfiles/bitchslaps/etc. they'll just use said dupe accounts to post.

If you ban accounts, they'll use dupes.

If you ban IPs, they'll use proxies.

If you add the domain linked to in brackets after a link, they'll use HTML tricks to send people to goatse.cx anyway.

If some prude gets goatse.cx taken off the web, they'll recreate it in ASCII-art, and post that.

Really, I hate to be pessimisitc.  I hate to sound like a "K5 is dieing" whiner.  And, honestly, I *DO* have enough faith in Rusty to believe that he'll be able to delay #2 long enough that I'll still be able to enjoy K5 for some time longer.  But much of what used to make K5 special is already gone.  And the outcomes of the battles against those who would ruin other forums, such as usenet and slashdot, don't exactly leave me with much hope that it is possible to overcome such a determined attack by those who would seek to ruin K5.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...

Yeah (none / 0) (#234)
by rusty on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 01:01:12 AM EST

But hell, we might as well try. You got something better to do? :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
the only question I have ... (none / 0) (#239)
by mami on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 07:36:17 AM EST

are you an idealist first, a writer second, a coder third and a scientist fourth or the same in reverse order?

Seems to me you are not scientifically inclined, but quite a stubborn idealist.

Otherwise you would know when to stop an experiment and draw conclusion about it. Next you would brainstorm a new thesis or you would give up. Thirdly you most probably would, on the way doing so, detect the "unintended consequential solution" to a problem where you least expected it to find.  

And of course, we all could end up just "praying" to the higher power ... :-)

[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 0) (#242)
by Wah on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 10:08:53 AM EST

If you implement killfiles/bitchslaps/etc. they'll just use said dupe accounts to post.

turn off new accounts, ban trolls.  wait for 1)

rinse, recycle, repeat.

Of course if you generate enough revenue to have a staff member, vetting new members 'the old fashioned way' would solve the same problem 'the old fashioned way'.
--
sometimes things just are that way and that's it. They're true. Sure, Popper, et. al., may argue otherwise, but they're dead. You get it? Yet?
[ Parent ]

"Death of Usenet predicted ... (none / 1) (#250)
by pyramid termite on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 04:49:00 PM EST

Film at 11."

You forgot 3) things pretty much stay the same, getting a little worse at times and sometimes better. Some take advantage of it, some just deal with it, and others whine about it endlessly.

Sort of like the real world, isn't it?

1) We'll either come to our senses and do everything the way I thi^H^H^H, the way it should be done or

2) We'll hole up in a locked shelter with AK-47s and 7 years worth of graham crackers and dehydrated eggs and wait for civilization to finish collapsing.

Don't you get it? This is the human race posting here on K5 and anything you see in the real world is going to have its counterpart here, fortunately in a text-based manner.

Why does this surprise people? Why do they assume that it's going to be better?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Killfiles and account delay (none / 0) (#238)
by StephenThompson on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 07:02:28 AM EST

All I want is a killfile and a delay on posting for accounts.  This wont fix every problem, but boy it would go a long way for my own sense of well being.

I dont care if it causes factions and cliques in, i dont want to hear from certain people ever. Ever. ever.  

The "problem" is over-stated (none / 2) (#258)
by Lord Snott on Wed Mar 24, 2004 at 11:17:22 PM EST

I agree with you that "ignore user" would be a bad idea. You'd just have a bunch of wankers patting each other on the back, agreeing with each other.

A "clique" wouldn't work either. I'd want to be in the clique with dickheads like James AC Joyce and kitten, BECAUSE I DISAGREE WITH THEM.

Every time they speak I immediately lunge at the reply link to abuse them, but then, I stop. I have to actually THINK about why I disagree. That's why I like this site. People here make me think. I don't always agree, but I want to here what they have to say.

Of course, they probably wouldn't want me in their clique, because I call them dickheads, so that idea wouldn't work.

To be honest, if you can't just ignore someone you think is crapflooding, there's something wrong. K5 has nowhere near the crap other sites do. And if you don't like a story that gets posted, don't vote it up.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This sig in violation of U.S. trademark
registration number 2,347,676.
Bummer :-(

Ignore. Like the real world. (none / 0) (#268)
by Occams Hammer on Thu Mar 25, 2004 at 02:47:36 PM EST

I agree with Cyberdruid. If someone is pissing you off or irritating you, select "ignore user" and the problem goes away. Hell, you could even use this to tailor your reading experience to a particular religious bent or political view. Multiple dimensions!

I would hate to see the Metafilter effect happen here. I like reading the stories at Mefi but I am just a fly on the wall there. Very frustrating when I have something to add. The upside is that the mefi subscription management system would be REALLY easy to code:

While Kuro5hin goes through another bout of growing pains, it's time to regroup and reprogram to better handle the crowds. During that time all new user signups are closed.

Scaling The K5 Community | 273 comments (248 topical, 25 editorial, 1 hidden)
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