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Feature: Auto hide. Change: show node vote counts to all, not just logged in users.

by marto (Bishop)
on Jul 18, 2017 at 09:22 UTC ( #1195305=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

A couple of suggested changes. I propose that if a node not under considereation hits the same level of downvotes required to trigger auto reaping, the node content should be automatically hidden, a message displayed warning readers that it's quality/relevance is in question, a link would allow reading the original. Something along the lines of:

This node was taken out by the NodeReaper on Jul 16, 2017 at 09:42 BST Reason: [NodeReaper] - Post contents hidden due to sufficiently negati +ve reputation. You may view the original node and the consideration vote tally.

All other cases I can think of (trolling, abuse, duplicate post etc) are already catered for by the consideration system as is.

Secondly, the vote count be displayed to all, not just logged in users.

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Re: Feature: Auto hide. Change: show node vote counts to all, not just logged in users.
by jdporter (Canon) on Jul 18, 2017 at 17:04 UTC

    Thanks to you for sparking this discussion. Here are my thoughts, in semi-digested bullet form. :-)

    • We're talking about how to handle nodes which are deemed by consensus to be "bad", content-wise.
    • The concern is primarily about "protecting" newbs from that content.
    • Actually modifying (e.g. redacting) node contents, like is done with reaped nodes, is not a good idea.
    • The solution, whatever it is, should be targeted primarily, if not solely, at Anonymous Monk, because that affects how the site's contents get indexed by search engines, as well as what casual visitors see.
    • The consensus should be determined by the node's actual rep, compared against some threshold. I'd propose that that threshold be a simple hard-coded number like -10.
    • Such nodes could be "hidden" in some way. The model I think is close is the one we use for hiding nodes "below your chosen depth" in comment threads. (The "Replies text depth" in User Settings.)
    • A human user, including Anonymous Monk, should be able to reveal the node by clicking a button/link. The way we do this should thwart robots from doing the same.
    • Logged-in users should be able to use CSS to implement their solution of choice.
    I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.

      Seems close to perfect to me. The hard-coded number should have a ratio consideration still though. A node with 100, or even just 40, upvotes and 10 downvotes is likely valuable/important, just contentious for whatever reason. So I’d propose 4:1 ratio only checked when -10 is reached. Even 3:1 might be fine, for a simple super-majority.

        I'm talking about actual rep. So a node with 40 upvotes and 10 downvotes has a rep of +30.

        I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.

      FWIW: I concur.


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". The enemy of (IT) success is complexity.
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice. Suck that fhit
      I approve!

      PS we want to make a poll about?



      L*

      There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
      Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.

      Hi jdporter, this solution sounds ideal. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

      Not having read the whole thread (and sorry about the late response), but here my thoughts anyway.

      • The idea is to put even more weight behind the votes, without working on the vote quality? Hm.
      • So a decision was made, that preference is given to information folding instead of presentation choices ((de-)emphasis, etc.)?
      • A community building effort? Consensus building effort? Rose-tinted glasses for the outside view? Consensus building can be good or it can be bad. Community building can be good or it can be bad. (Walled-garden aspect and so on).
      • Slowly but surely, in little baby-steps, the Anonymonk seems to get marginalised. There's a certain monk who has advocated for outright removal of the Anonymonk. I wonder if he gets what he wants, in the end?
      • Hm. Could it be that the certain monk is a manufactured entity, the arch-enemy figure for the community cinematic experience? Like paco was the content seed? *inhales smoke*
      • In a discussion long ago, I outlined my take on this matter: flexible node depth in the thread view. What else does one need? Although cutting off the 1st level replies en masse would be dismissive and obscure, so better keep them individually as
        -> a reply by Foo
      • Having a fixed "browsing threshold" that does not account for the size of the thread is like slashdot and IMO terrible.
      • As an aside, I had this 1apr idea about replying to nodes with considered (grand)parent: anyone who wants to respond has to play an automated game of rock-paper-scissors, winning 2 out of 3. Except on Tuesdays. Then you have to lose on purpose.
      • But really, why would you want to hide content from search engines? Shame?
      • And finally, why focus or obsess with the negative? Why not emphasize the good stuff instead so that the negative would not even need caveats attached?

      ps. I seem to have lots of sentences ending with a question mark, isn't that so?

        Why not emphasize the good stuff instead so that the negative would not even need caveats attached?

        That's essentially where I'm trying to go with RFC: Better Best Answers, which was inspired by an earlier post of yours.

        I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
Re: Feature: Auto hide. Change: show node vote counts to all, not just logged in users.
by Eily (Parson) on Jul 18, 2017 at 09:50 UTC

    AFAIK there is no requirement on the number of downvotes for autoreaping. Autoreaping will happen when a consideration-vote is cast, if the reputation is negative (can be -1 with a single vote) and there are at least 5 consideration-votes, most of which are "Reap" (the condition is more complex than that, the number of Reap votes required depends on the number of Keep votes). Someone mentionned -$NORM, which might be a better idea (yes, a -10 reputation is hard to reach, but I like the overall culture of forgiveness of perlmonks and its reputation system).

    Discipulus is the one I've seen mention the reduced font solution the most, maybe the one who proposed it in the first place. But unless you can force the font size on some content, the user could just redefine the font size to ignore the one applied globally to the node. Adding a warning at the top of the message might work. I also like reap-like replacement message where the node is replaced by a message stating that it is below some threshold reputation. It could be the default when viewed as Anonymonk, are require activation for other users.

Re: Feature: Auto hide. Change: show node vote counts to all, not just logged in users. (updated)
by haukex (Abbot) on Jul 18, 2017 at 09:29 UTC

    I have been thinking about something similar, but perhaps not as drastic. It was inspired by a post somewhere here, but I don't remember where, so I can't give credit at the moment. Basically, for a certain "sufficiently low" reputation (or downvote-to-upvote ratio, with a minimum number of votes required), just reduce the font size*, perhaps in two steps. That would give readers a visual clue as to which nodes have a "sufficiently low" reputation without going so far as to hiding them or publicly displaying the vote count.

    * Update: Through the various counterarguments in this thread I have been sufficiently convinced that reducing the font size is probably not the best way to go, so for now I'm going with my other idea of an indicator message at the top of the node.

      Thanks for your input. Users have the ability to have custom CSS which may override any cosmetic changes, and then there are the associated accessability issues associated with such things. Perhaps some people need fonts to be a certain size in order to be able to read them at all. Having to change some setting/zoom to be able to see the content in question would, at least to me, be more annoying than reading the warning and clicking a link. Hiding such posts, displaying a warning and presenting an option to see the post content in the same way one can view reaped content seems like an extension of the method used here for a long time, to cater for a different use case. How do you feel about all users being able to see vote count/spread?

        Hmm, I don't think I've fully made up my mind yet about the vote counts... it seems that traditionally there isn't such an emphasis placed on them (only people who vote on nodes get to see the reputation, plus Best Nodes and Worst Nodes, I don't think they're displayed elsewhere?), so suddenly showing them might be considered too drastic. Hence my idea of using some other indicator. I'm just brainstorming here, but perhaps just a note at the top of the node where the vote count usually is saying that a certain threshold has been passed.

        As for CSS and settings for showing/hiding stuff, I think that it's very important what new visitors see (as Anonymous Monk), so there'd have to be a useful default.

      I recall that plan and thought it was a good one (and still do). However, it has no effect on search engines. marto's suggestion means that the content would not be indexed in the context of the thread which would be even better. Reducing the font size also has no effect on readers with character-cell browsers (lynx/elinks/etc) or screen readers (so there's a WAI concern).

      Perhaps we could do both? Below one threshold (-3? -4?) start progressively reducing the font size and then below a second threshold (-8? -10?) hide the content entirely.

        Those are good points in regards to only changing the font size. See my other post for some more thoughts.

        As for the threshold, since such a change would affect all older content as well, and AFAIK the vote counts were higher in the past (e.g. Selected Best Nodes), I suspect the threshold would have to be dynamic based on the number of votes cast. I don't think it's necessary to start at something like -3 or -4, since there are always some threads with simple disagreements in which hiding content might not be warranted. But then there are certainly nodes where the downvotes are overwhelming.

        I'm just putting my two cents out there, I don't yet have a clear idea on what the best way to go about something like this might be.

Re: Feature: Auto hide. Change: show node vote counts to all, not just logged in users.
by 1nickt (Prior) on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:27 UTC

    Bad idea. Nodes are sometimes downvoted for good cause, and other times for bad cause, e.g. antipathy towards the poster.

    Leave the system as is. If anyone believes the node should not be displayed they can can consider it. Then the community will decide.

    However, I would support showing the vote count for especially high- or low-ranked posts to all readers. Maybe a formula based on overall rep, up- vs. down-votes percentage, and number of up- or down-votes compared to all votes cast for posts authored on that day ? Not easy to calculate, I guess, but it would be an improvement to reveal that a node is viewed very negatively. Just no automated reaping or hiding -- make someone take the action of considering.

    Also, under NO circumstances should the font size be reduced. That just punishes readers whose eyesight is dimming.


    The way forward always starts with a minimal test.

      Thanks for the input. I agree, leave the font size alone.

      "If anyone believes the node should not be displayed they can can consider it. Then the community will decide."

      How do I use the power of consideration responsibly? states (among other things)

      "Poor reasons to consider a node include:

      • To correct factual errors. Instead, post a response or send a message to the original author."

      It's often not pratcical in terms of time and effort to take someone to task, especially when time and time again the same nonsense gets regurgitated. Especially were there are some cases where, regardless how many times a user is corrected, the same nonsense is reposted. In some cases the content is so bad it could be harmful to a computer system, or ones career/sanity. Bad/dangerous advice on an electronics forum can see your post nuked completly.

      Update: To expand on this, How do I use the power of consideration responsibly? there is nothing I can see applicable under "Good reasons to consider a node" which would allow removal of a node for the reasons under discussion.

        Look, let's be frank here. When you say "when time and time again the same nonsense gets regurgitated" you're obviously talking about sundialsvc4. I agree with the overwhelming majority of Monks that the overwhelming majority of his posts are worthless at best. But I do not believe that they always, or even most of the time, cross into the realm of downvotes or reapage.

        Mostly the fellow offers vague advice gleaned from a career in IT consulting that peaked about 30 years ago, and is thus often stale, as well as vague and possibly irrelevant. But that's different from offering specific answers that are wrong. He does this as well, on occasion, of course, and such posts should be countered with a reply correcting the misstatement. But what is the danger, really, of leaving intact his barely-related waffling? (In fact, a large portion of the time the advice is quite sound, albeit in a far too generalized sense to be of use to the thread's OP.)

        I tend to think that seekers of Perl wisdom should be developing the ability to determine for themselves whether or not a particular piece of writing or answer is valuable. If such a seeker, presented with half a dozen concise, code-demonstrating answers to their question, and then a wordy, over-formatted, vague diatribe containing only advice of the most general nature, cannot distinguish between the two classes of reply, well, then I consider that the seeker deserves their fate.

        All that said, however, I do believe, as I stated elsewhere, that vote totals should be displayed to all readers, when the vote total is high or low enough (based on some as yet unwritten and complicated formula). This -- along with a good deal of retarding use of the downvote on the part of some of those quick to turn to it -- would assist in what I think is our obligation vis-a-vis worthless posts by sundial or by anyone: to warn the unsuspecting reader when there is a real danger of being misled. Being bored or even baffled by the content does not rise to that level, IMO.


        The way forward always starts with a minimal test.

      I now agree on the font size issue. I just wanted to pick up on one other thing:

      Nodes are sometimes downvoted ... for bad cause

      IMO the issue of why nodes get downvoted would be best for another discussion in another thread. In my view the central issue at hand is that we've got nodes with a significant negative reputation, i.e. the community has already spoken, but we don't have a way to inform newcomers and casual visitors of that fact. (And of course adding a CSS class for such nodes would also allow registered users to hide or format such nodes to their liking.)

      Update: Fixed typo.

        I do not intend that the reasons for down-voting should be debated here. However, in my view it *is* pertinent to consider the fact that nodes can be down-voted both in accordance with and not in accordance with the guidelines that are published. Unfortunately, those are not always followed and some posts accrue a slew of downvotes based on something else, such as, as mentioned earlier, antipathy towards the poster.

        Therefore I am opposed to any automated system that would determine, in the absence of consideration by a human Monk, whether a post should or should not be displayed to viewers and/or search engines, based solely on down-votes cast.

        update: added clarification


        The way forward always starts with a minimal test.
Re: Feature: Auto hide. Change: show node vote counts to all, not just logged in users.
by kcott (Chancellor) on Jul 19, 2017 at 05:50 UTC

    G'day marto,

    I agree with the general idea of what you've put forward, but not all the details.

    I think the "trigger" should be more along the lines of Reputation <= -N, rather than Downvotes >= N. I visit "Selected Best Nodes" every so often and see nodes with numbers like Rep: 185 (+200 -15): I wouldn't want those automatically hidden. I've noticed others have discussed this point and -10 has been mentioned a few times: that would seem to be a reasonable figure to me.

    I'm not sure about displaying the vote count on the node. If I haven't voted on the node yet, would I see both the current votes (as I currently do after voting) and the radio buttons to allow voting (as I currently do before voting): it could be somewhat confusing; especially to someone fairly new to the Monastery. There's also the issue of implementing such a change and how much work that might entail (I've no idea on that). As an alternative, can I suggest simply adding a link to "Worst Nodes" as part of your posted message (i.e. "This node was taken out ..."): that stands a good chance of having a current, or at least a fairly recent, vote count; it would also highlight repeat offenders.

    — Ken

Re: Feature: Auto hide. Change: show node vote counts to all, not just logged in users. (CSS class)
by LanX (Bishop) on Jul 19, 2017 at 20:27 UTC
    Where exactly do you want these posts to be "marked"? ... ?

    And in case of root nodes

    • In their category listing like SOPW
    • In the monastery gates
    ... ?

    Discipulus suggestion about font size is here and I further elaborated about the already available CSS classes like .nnt-line-minusminus for RAT

    The IMHO easiest implementation might be adding one (or several) more CSS class reflecting "worstness".

    The actual default behavior - at least for anonymous visitors - could be left to the default style and any logged in user could choose to override it in his stylesheet settings.

    possible changes could effect

    • visibility / display
    • font size / color / ...
    • background color / image° ...
    • a blur filter on top
    and could be easily maintained and adjusted later, for instance for differing tastes or design changes.

    Would this fit your requirements?

    EDIT

    see also Re: Blocking users for a proof of concept

    UPDATE

    Plus: A voluntary revealing could be easily implemented in JS

    Minus: search engines would still see the content.

    Summary: Not a replacement for Reaping, just a more flexible parallel mechanism which doesn't cause interference with consideration.

    Cheers Rolf
    (addicted to the Perl Programming Language and ☆☆☆☆ :)
    Je suis Charlie!

    °) here a pic I might choose in my settings ;-)

      Using CSS to allow users to implement their own "hiding" solutions is easy, and practically a no-brainer. However, it only helps logged-in monks. That's why I'm not focusing on this branch of the total solution. It's easy, and monks are smart enough to do whatever. It's the anonymous monks I'm concerned about. CSS is not part of any solution there.

      I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.

      Minus: search engines would still see the content.

      Thats only if the default anonymous view is the same as the view for search engines -- no technical reason for this to be the case

        I think adding additional CSS classes is far easier in the context of this framework than special cases for bots.

        And I don't see a reason to "auto-hide" posts from bots, that's what consideration is for.

        Cheers Rolf
        (addicted to the Perl Programming Language and ☆☆☆☆ :)
        Je suis Charlie!

Re: Feature: Auto hide. Change: show node vote counts to all, not just logged in users.
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Jul 20, 2017 at 22:31 UTC

    Another important argument against this feature is what it would do when seen by search engines – either the first time, or upon a re-scan or audit:

    1. New content would be seen as containing an identical string of text.
    2. On a re-audit of this site, (currently) at least 4,318 posts ... ahem ... would now be seen upon re-inspection to contain the same identical string of text.

    The first sin will simply convince search engines that PerlMonks is not as high-quality a site as it used to be.   But the second might cause it to be seen as a site which is trying to “bait and switch” search engines.   And this could be extremely bad.   It’s one thing to expunge a post ... or even, to excommunicate a user ... ahem ... along with all of his/her posts.   That’s not bad (as long as you issue the appropriate HTTP status-code.   Substantially altering the content, especially replacing it with stylized content (which might be an advertisement for condoms, as far as a search engine might know or care ... an advertisement, anyway), can get your entire site de-listed.

    Most of all, you should all consider yourselves to be curators of what has become a very important and respected single-purpose database about Perl.   It is one of the oldest reference sites surviving on the Internet.   Don’t do anything to damage its reputation or its content, in the eyes of people or the eyes of robots.

    I would much rather see you simply excommunicate me, and delete 100% of my posts, than to do something (like this) which could be permanently harmful to PerlMonks.   This site is much more important than me.

      "Don’t do anything to damage its reputation or its content, in the eyes of people or the eyes of robots"

      "This site is much more important than me."

      This statements don't match with your constant behaviour. If you want to stop posting, do so. Your continued contributions, such as they are, are harmful.

      He can't "excommunicate" you, and your posts aren't going anywhere. You could stop posting crap (adding to the pile) or stop posting period.

        Correct, I can't, and I don't believe this user merits a complete ban. In the past I remember a few people asking the gods that their accounts be locked, and seem to remember one individual having their account locked due to destructive behaviour. These aren't common occurrences around here.

        Update: fixed typo - occurrences. thanks chacham.

Re: Feature: Auto hide. Change: show node vote counts to all, not just logged in users.
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Jul 20, 2017 at 20:52 UTC

    I think of “reaping” as mostly a spam-removal mechanism and I am not sure that the site should bother with “auto-”reaping, based on number of negative votes nor anything else.   Saying that I do or don’t like the content of a post, and saying that I think it should be reaped out of the database, is not the same thing.   A relatively small number of reap votes should serve to establish the community consensus that the post should be removed.   Spammers who target a site often use other bots, and a variety of sock-puppet accounts, to give their spam stellar ratings, hence my argument that the two objectives should not be blended.   People can express their opinion, and that doesn’t mean they do or do not want the thing gone.   Likewise, they should be able to say that they want the thing gone, without expressing an opinion.

    “Hiding a post because of excessively negative reputation” would just clog up the display with hidden posts!   Far easier is to just gang-up on the post and vote it off the island.   If the post is noise, get rid of the damned thing.   It’s a waste of time and programming to play games with it.   Participants, for instance, observing that the negativity has fallen below their own level of tolerance, can proceed to consider the post for reaping.   This would be their own decision, and a separate one, and a human one.   The existing mechanisms would require no change.

    Now, if you seriously want to improve the voting system, the most valuable change from my point of view would be to separate the up vs. the down vote tallies.   Display it something like this:   -2 (+5/-7).   And then, most importantly, to make these separated tallies available to Super Search.   If five people think that a post is great and seven people think it is stupid, well, five people thought the post was great, and that’s what I want the ability to search by.   Any one of these three components ... positive, negative, and sum ... might be important to my search.   (This also should mean that the vote tallies for a post will be visible to me whether I have cast a vote myself on it or not.)

    Where a forum allows searches based on reputation, I find the facility to be very useful especially if the site only allows upvotes (as in “likes”).   Not so useful if it goes both ways because then I might find myself searching for site-community politics.   (And if the site maintains votes but doesn’t let you do anything with them in a search, well, they basically are just site-community politics.)   Properly applied, a search-by-rep filter can be very helpful in winnowing the chaff, and I would find such a thing to be very useful here.   (Reputation should not be the only search-criteria that can be acted upon:   you must also provide some kind of keyword.)

      Amazing, not only don't you understand what's under discussion, the most valuable new feature you wish for already exists, and has done for as long as I can remember. Are you sure you're in a position to comment on any of this? You don't seem to grasp the basic concepts and issues being discussed, not that that's ever stopped you.

      “Hiding a post because of excessively negative reputation” would just clog up the display with hidden posts!

      That, at this time, seems to be entirely up to you; with 33 entries on the Worst Nodes page and it was more yesterday and will be more again soon.

      Also, I was cautioned against humorous and ironic meta considerations recently lest I lose my hall-pass so I’ll say here—just sport since I don’t really think it, the proof should stay—instead: I want this post off the island.

      Now, if you seriously want to improve the voting system, the most valuable change from my point of view would be to separate the up vs. the down vote tallies.

      10 years a member and unaware this feature already exists? Wow

Re: Feature: Auto hide. Change: show node vote counts to all, not just logged in users. (bullshit ideas)
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 19, 2017 at 02:27 UTC

    I think this idea is bullshit,

    Much more obviously bullshit than sort by reputation as default

    votes don't indicate a quality "answer" at most they hint that that it might be not completely wrong and evil

    I also think those who expressed concern about "newbs" and search engines are fakes and shitheads who didn't take more than a second to think about the idea

    Now you want to slap "quality answer" moderation on 18 years of content (1.2 million nodes)?

    Thats batshit

      Now you want to slap "quality answer" moderation on 18 years of content (1.2 million nodes)?

      I'm pretty sure nobody said that.

        I'm pretty sure nobody said that.

        Said what?

        If showing negative reputation nodes (no click required) was "fine" for 18 years, why is it a problem now?

      Yeah! You tell ’em! Bats and bulls living together, and fakers who didn’t think for two seconds between them. Nodes with -10 reputation are valuable too. SJJAPHs, unite!

        Your Mother: Yeah! You tell ’em! Bats and bulls living together, and fakers who didn’t think for two seconds between them. Nodes with -10 reputation are valuable too. SJJAPHs, unite!

        Yeah,

        How many new SOPW have negative reputations?

        How many new Meditations have negative reputations?

        And still get lots of replies and discussion going past Re^10 multiple times?

        Even reaped nodes with negative reputation get lots of followup, even from you

        So how exactly are they not valuable? Just because they're "unpopular"?

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