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Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on

by merlyn (Sage)
on Apr 10, 2001 at 06:12 UTC ( #71231=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

OK, I just had a nice compact informative factual node go from 0 to -3 in five minutes. From now on, when I see that happen, I'm cutting and pasting the "Other Users" nodelet and attaching it to the node. With enough occurances, we can find the common suspects, and make more precise accusations.

I'm tired of this crappy "personality downvoting" that some of you think you can get away with because you're anonymous. Well, you won't be anonymous for long.

-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

Comment on Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by Macphisto (Hermit) on Apr 10, 2001 at 06:22 UTC
    Well, this really does sound like a grand clever plan. People advised you to stop complaining and just let it go, but now you want to make yet another attempt at removing the anonymity from the voting system. This thing has been attempted over and over again by various other people who later grew up and decided it wasn't worth their time. Really, is it worth the effort? And what makes you think, that with sheer volume of posts, and users at this community, that you'll be able to figure out who's downvoting you everytime you spy a drop in reputation? The statistical chances of not being able to "make more precise accusations" are staggering!

    Macphisto

    Everyone has their demons....
Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by stevens (Acolyte) on Apr 10, 2001 at 06:24 UTC

    Isn't this yet another manfiestation of the same old troll problem the internet has had since about, well AOL?

    • Advogato tries to get around it with a trust metric system.
    • Slashdot has both moderation and meta-moderation.
    • K5 has a more open voting system.
    • On USENET, you get either no moderation or central moderation through a single address (but with a set of moderators or a bot). But this is usually fairly slow (human) or not very discriminating (bot).

    None of these get rid of trolling completely. The closer you get to troll-free, the more stringent the hoops one has to jump through to participate.

    So, although I'd like to see the ideal voting system, I don't really know what that is. Anyone have any ideas to help the situation rather than just finding one or two fools who are abusing it now?

    After all, there will always be fools, and you can't keep them away from the site anyway.

(ar0n) Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by ar0n (Priest) on Apr 10, 2001 at 06:27 UTC
    Nice idea, but you seem to be forgetting the monks who run a Chatter Box client all day, like myself (mostly, not all the time), and from what I can tell mkmcconn (either that or he's a *really* obsessive user), and hence show up on the Other Users nodelet all the time.


    [ar0n]

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by voyager (Friar) on Apr 10, 2001 at 06:35 UTC
    Merlyn Your XP is in five figures and you're a saint. Let it go. As was pointed out, you're only providing the desired reaction, assuming the effort is even organized.

    I will come forward now and say there are times I wanted to -- you because I thought your tone was awfully harsh. One of the great things about this place is that complete newbies can get help. That is great for Perl. And an unpleasant first encounter might chase people away.

    But I was afraid to downgrade you because I didn't know the voting system would keep me anonymous, and because I was in awe of the fact that you were here contributing.

    I suspect that if people gave reasons for the --, it would be for the tone.

    When I get help, I'm grateful for the help and don't care too much about the manner in which it's delivered. Not everyone is that way.

      I suspect that if people gave reasons for the --, it would be for the tone.

      If it was on certain other of merlyn's nodes then I might agree with you. But the node in question here contains only accurate, factual information.

      --
      <http://www.dave.org.uk>

      "Perl makes the fun jobs fun
      and the boring jobs bearable" - me

        i hesitate to get involved in this kind of thing, but i want to point out that the post in question does not just contain "accurate, factual data" -- it contains an imperitive ("be sure to...") which makes it seem as if it is everyone who buys the camel's responsibility to tell ora about problems in their books. while i personally agree that one should report errata, i do not in any way feel that one must do so; and commands of any form often seem harsh over electronic media, since tone of voice is absent. it would perhaps be more acceptable to some people to word it as "ORA actually appreciates reports of typos, so that they can be fixed in later revisions; they can be reported to..."

        on the one hand, i agree that voting based on personality, rather than content, is poor form. on the other, i am reluctant to say that perceived tone is not at all content or the poster's responsibility.

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by scottstef (Curate) on Apr 10, 2001 at 06:38 UTC
    Has anyone ever considered a Mandatory anonymous comment feature for a down vote? If you down vote, you have to give a reason? Allow the voter to remain anonymous, but at least make them think for a moment before they get to downvote a node. /start rant
    Personally I rarely down vote anything that is not blatantly incorrect, extremely rude, or someone trying to sneak in a school project without admitting it.
    The node that brought this up, is short(a definite ++), good to know (another ++), and probably very helpful to people that purchase future versions of the books. I just wonder why these people downvoted this node, I would like to see them defend their vote by commenting why they voted this way.
    /end rant
      Yes that option was fully explored a long time ago. It didn't really stand up to scruitiny. I could downvote your post and put "Because you're a moron" in as the reason and it doesn't fix anything. However I wouldn't do that.

      Macphisto

      Everyone has their demons....
        At least we would KNOW it was a personality vote %^)
(jcwren) Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters
by jcwren (Prior) on Apr 10, 2001 at 07:03 UTC

    OK, one shot at this:

    • Technically, they're *my* votes, I can use'm any way I damn well please. If I have to allocate a certain number of votes one way or the other, they're not my votes, and they're of little use.

    • If your little Narc-o-tron system works, what will you do with the information? Post a giant +7 FONT tagged node with all their names? So what? All you're really succeeding in doing is dragging down the overall quality of the monastery. Suck it up, be a man. There are plenty of people that you've pissed off, plenty that I've pissed off, and plenty more we'll both piss off. Are you going to go through life chasing each and every little demon, and spamming their name all over the net? And to what end?

    • Everyone likes the anomoninity of the voting system until they're a victim. Then it's *evil*, and must be *changed*. Explain that -- vote! Only vote the ++ vote. Blah blah blah. The system we've got, by and large, works. In *any* given voting system, you'll have faults. Any idea where the term "Yellow Dog Democrat" came from? How about "Vote early, vote often"? No system is perfect. It'll never be both attainable *and* usable. All systems that involve peoples opinions are compromises.

    • Know what I really hate about this crap? Feeling compelled to respond to it. And believe me, I do. I don't have anything personal against you. Never met you, odds are I never will. I don't do Perl meetings, don't like to go out, not a real social kinda person. But I'm tired of hearing about this. Gonna go on a Jihad to find out the --'ers? It would have been a lot more subtle to keep it to yourself. Write a script, poll your nodes, couple it to the others users box. At least make it worth writing a WT column about it, if you're going to waste the time.

    • As point 1 mentioned, they're my votes. I'll vote how I'll please, explain to whomever when and how I feel like it, if I do at all. I don't have these compunctions (is that even a word?) about not using them. Stupid nodes get it. It's an opinion. *MY* opinion of that node, whether you or anyone else agrees with it or not. In 99% of all cases, the nodes are self-evident that they ought to be hammered. Or, in the case of good stuff, ++'ed.

    The loud public whining that goes on when people get voted down not only gets *old*, it drags the quality down. No doubt as this node here is fixing to do. And on top of it, we'll have to listen to 88 different users explain why we should change the voting system. Again.

    Take it as you will, this is not intended to be a personal attack. You're a very smart person. You write good Perl code, and have a good knowledge base. Just *ignore* the personal attacks. They don't mean crap. For every one user that doesn't like you, there are a hundred you've helped, and made happy. Hell, if I retaliated against every person that pissed me off, I'd be spending my entire paycheck on ammunition. You've got enough issues to deal with already, without worry about a few -- votes, be the reason for them valid or not.

    End of rant.

    --Chris

    e-mail jcwren
Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by Trimbach (Curate) on Apr 10, 2001 at 07:05 UTC
    I, too, have felt that Merlyn's tone has been a tad harsh now and again, but I generally blow it off because a) he's right a hell of lot more often than not and b) he's been around the block a hell of a lot more times than I have. And besides, people, don't you think he knows his style grates on people? I think his tendency to use smiley's more than most is evidence of his deliberately trying to take the edge off his posts.

    But onto my point: I'm not sure you can do anything about Trolls (and Troll voting) without poisoning the well (freedom of speech means you're going to occasionally have people piss you off) but I don't buy the "Merlyn's a Saint and he's got a zillion XP so why should he care" argument. Yes, the actual damage is slight, but it's the intent that's worse than the loss of XP.

    I mean, suppose you're some big strong guy and you help some old lady across a busy street. She takes your help, and on the other side of the street turns, slaps you in the face, stomps on your foot, and leaves, cursing your name. It's not that any real damage was done (you're a big strong guy, remember) it's not even that she wasn't grateful (though she certainly wasn't.) It's the disdain that's worse than anything else. Disdain from someone you went out of your way to help, where you're not getting anything out of the deal anyway, where you were just trying to be nice.Yeah, I'd be pissed if it were me, and yeah, you shouldn't begrudge Merlyn's right to be pissy when someone disses him for no reason.

    I knew it would suck sometimes to be a "personality", but geez...

    Gary Blackburn
    Trained Killer

Re (tilly) 1: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by tilly (Archbishop) on Apr 10, 2001 at 07:28 UTC
    I find the timing on Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why does this happen? to be very appropriate. This is (excepting the above) in response to the closest that I have seen merlyn come to flaming someone in the last bit, during which time he has been going through an uncommon amount of stress.

    merlyn both can and does rub people the wrong way. But I maintain what I noticed when I first came here. He has a classic Usenet style that you see in many old-timers. Terse. Accurate. And easily misunderstood by people who read in what is not there.

    If you disagree with me then please do as Coleoid did, go back and try to find the nodes by merlyn that show him at his most arrogant, rudest self. Other than the ones which (like the above) show him getting upset, what specifically do you find?

    That much, eh?*

    * I can say this. I am Canadian. :-)

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by Maclir (Curate) on Apr 10, 2001 at 07:47 UTC
    Okay, I will throw my comments into the ring. Let me make two comments first:
    1. Yes, mindless jerks downvoting a post because who wrote it, not on the content ot the post pisses me off.
    2. I have once downvoted Merlyn because I disagreed with what he said and how it was said. And I would have treated the post just the same no matter who wrote it. (and I have the scars to prove it :) )
    What can be done about the problem of "personality voting"? (as a side line - just how many elections are won or lost on personalities, and not the true merits of the various candidates?). There are some sites that have non-anonymous voting - but that doesn't stop the problem. Some of these people probably crave the additional attention they will get. "See how leet I am - I can piss the so called Perl gods off." Maybe getting listed on the "Merlyn Hall of Shame" earns them the same respect among their peers as if they cracked some minor government web server?

    The approach Merlyn is taking is one solution - but assuming you can find the culprits, what can you do? Ban them from the site? Hold them up for general ridicule? Reply in kind to every one of their posts?

    The next problem is, how do you distinguish the "mindless personality downvotes" from the (relative small number) of downvotes that people gave after due consideration of the merits of the post?

    In Australia we have behaviour we call the "tall poppy syndrome". Anyone who has achieved a certain level of fame has clearly got too big for their boots, and needs taking down a peg or two. This is just human nature; most likely rooted in jealousy. You can try to fight it - but you won't eat it. Or you can ignore it.

    Ultimately, what is more important - the recognition from one's peers, or the juvenile chatterings of people that really should just be ignored.

Re: Posting "Other Users..."
by footpad (Monsignor) on Apr 10, 2001 at 07:55 UTC

    I was going to stay out of this until I noticed the update you made to the node in question.

    I sympathize with your frustration; unfairness and injustice are difficult to accept in any form. Also, I know you're not the only person this happens to.

    However, I wonder if you're taking the most effective approach toward solving the problem. Updating the node in question with the Scarlet Monk list seems a little unfair to those who aren't doing this.

    In some ways, you're raising the spectre of the HUAC. "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Personality Voting Cult?"

    I find this interesting in light of something you once posted in response to an idea of mine:

    I'm not here for the XP. I'm here to get and give advice and be part of a community.

    Do you really believe that folks like jcwren, zdog, ZZamboni, TStanley, and PsychoSpunk would do this? Also, I noticed that you edited tilly's name from the list. Interesting. It's possible to read that as implying that you trust him, but not anyone else you listed.

    Is that what you were meaning to communicate? If not, is it possible that it would have been wise to wait awhile before posting list of the Usual Suspects?

    I respect your knowledge and the help you offer this and the larger Perl community. I appreciate all you've done for anyone with an ear to listen. However, I'm a little startled that you would not provide the monks not doing this with the same courtesy that you expect. Would you treat your clients this way? How about your best friends? If not, then why treat those trying to be your peers?

    I'm not concerned about finding my name on your list. I fully realize that I'm still proving myself to you. However, I am disappointed to see that you extend (and willingly broadcast) an apparent distrust to other members of our community, members I believe have fully demonstrated as strong a commitment to the Monastery and its ideals that you have.

    If you want to solve this problem, once and for all, would it not be wiser to quietly collect data, correlate activities, and determine more specific suspicions rather than using the shotgun of suspicion toward every monk you don't trust?

    I spoke with a couple of other monks about this privately and, with certain urging (and a clue), did a bit of research into some older threads. I found an interesting one containing this quote by Corion:

    The people who ... do not actively and repeatedly contribute to Perlmonks are a part of us, just as Anonymous Coward and Trolls are a part of Slashdot.

    It's a little out of context, but I think there's a point here, one that you either choose to ignore or that you repeatedly miss. A point I tried to make last October when I first started slouching about. There is more than one way to earn respect. You give so much to the community that you will get a certain amount of negative reaction, reaction from people like (forgive me for naming names) bravismore, mr_leisure, DiscoStu, and similar people. Is it fair? Is it right? No.

    However, I ask the same of your choice to post the Scarlet Monk list. Sherlock Holmes is quoted as claiming that it is a capital mistake to theorize in the absence of data. It may be wise to consider taking a slow, methodical approach and to use more than a single data point when casting aspersions.

    It's right to root out and prevent unfair and unjust behavior. As Dr. King said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere."

    However, I do think that by casting a wide net, you do a disservice to those monks who aren't doing this. I do not believe it will "catch" the offenders in this case. Please reconsider your tactics, if only to show respect for those monks who may be able to earn your trust, or at least your respect some day.

    --f

      I actually arrived just as merlyn left, so I strongly doubt I was in Other Users when he took the snapshot. Therefore I think your accusation that he took me (or anyone in particular) out of the list is both unfair and in all likelyhood incorrect. In fact had I been there, I suspect my name would have appeared in the list without comment.

      As for the rest, he posted a list and made it clear that most on that list were not downvoting him, but there were some who had. He didn't say that he suspected any of them in particular. It is unreasonable to assume (as many apparently have) that he has singled out that list of people and cast a mental blot on their names. What he is saying is that if he does this a few times, he will get an idea of who some likely candidates are.

      Which he probably will. With some room for false postives. But in a few iterations, taking into account the people who are always around, he will probably get a reasonable idea. of a few.

      And frankly, while I don't like the tone of the response, he has so far done a better job of analysis than the people criticizing him. He was voted down 3 times, fast, on a node with useful information. (Namely the contact address through which O'Reilly wants to receive typo corrections on their books.) That means 3 login accounts at least. And it wasn't the quality of the node that was in question, so all things considered it was almost certainly personal. Care to take odds that 2-3 of them were still around when he took his chatter snapshot...?

      When I see him post a conclusion that I doubt, I will be first to tell him publically that I do not agree with him. But that hasn't happened yet.

      And flipping your theorizing request around, if it is unfair for him to leap to the theory that everyone on that list is downvoting unreasonably, isn't it equally unfair to leap to the theory that he thinks that?

        I actually arrived just as merlyn left, so I strongly doubt I was in Other Users when he took the snapshot.

        I thought you were. If I was mistaken, I apologize--freely.

        As for the rest, he posted a list and made it clear that most on that list were not downvoting him...

        Yes...and I believe he could have been more considerate of those who were not personality voting. I believe he knee-jerked; I called him on it. I stand by that call, for I do not believe that, in this case, the means do justify the end. Three monks were rude; he listed 21. That's a 7:1 innocence ratio. Pardon me, but I thought that sort of crud went out with Salem and HUAC.

        When I see him post a conclusion that I doubt, I will be first to tell him publically that I do not agree with him. But that hasn't happened yet.

        Then we see things slightly differently on this one. That's a good thing. I shouldn't have to wait for you to call him on something before I express my disappointment over his behaviour. I expect to be held to certain standards; so should he.

        And flipping your theorizing request around, if it is unfair for him to leap to the theory that everyone on that list is downvoting unreasonably, isn't it equally unfair to leap to the theory that he thinks that?

        A fair point, one I will accept. However, I believe that if any other monk had posted the origin of this thread, it would have been placed into Consideration and promptly reaped without a second thought.

        And *that* is what irks me most. merlyn rightly feels aggravated; however, he should not be allowed to be any more disrespectful or trollish than the rest of us. It's certainly his right, but I don't think he should be accorded any special treatment due to his 'nym nor his stature in the community. When he posts stuff I find to be cr@p, I will call him on it. And including 18 innocents to find three dipweeds that might not even have been logged in at that moment strikes me as cr@p.

        (Apologies to chipmunk for the rhetoric, but this is how I see it. We're all asked to adhere to the same standards and those that don't or refuse to create more problems than they solve.)

        --f

        The only name I edited from the list was my own, which is obviously excluded because I can't vote on my own posts. {grin}

        I wish to eliminate personality voting. I've asked vroom to implement technical solutions, and he hasn't, either for lack of will or time.

        So I'm doing it another way. If I post the list of people on each time I get personality downvoted, eventually the culprit can be narrowed down. It's simple logic.

        Sure, I could have done all this in private, then posted an article with my conclusions, but I think if I capture the raw data, you can all conclude the same thing.

        I fully expect to be downvoted when I'm wrong. But when I've given a brief, factual, correct statement as I did earlier today, to have gotten -3 in 5 minutes is a disservice to the others trying to sort fact from fiction in the Monestary. The XP system fails when personality voting is permitted. I intend to at least reveal the offenders, even if I can't do anything about it.

        And to repeat what I've said frequently in the CB:

        • I do not care about my personal total XP!
        It's just silly that a posting gets downgraded simply because it says "by merlyn" at the top. That's just completely confusing, and an abuse of the XP system. I want that to stop. And I want to start by identifying the culprits.

        I will post an uncensored list from now on, for each posting that gets -XP right away when I can't see a reason. For example, I bet this post will get -XP right away, because I'm stepping on toes (and you know who you are).

        I've had time to think this over, and I now believe I'm doing the right thing. vroom has the power to make it stop, and has not. So now I take it into my own hands.

        -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

      Wow, hadn't looked back at the "NIQ" so I didn't realize that I had made it into a post by merlyn. I wish that I could own up to personality voting, in fact, because at least then, I'd be in the post with some validity. I ran out of votes earlier today, because SHOCKER there was actually some discussion and questions that I found to be useful!

      footpad, when I do get votes I will vote you up. I will vote jcwren up. And I will vote the root node here down. There, merlyn I have come out and said that I am going to vote you down. I think that right now, you need honesty from people. We're a bunch of faceless bits that you choose to interact with on a day to day basis, and likewise, everyone I've listed in my previous sentences are faceless bits to me that I like to interact with. Unfortunately for you, your personal life is subject to headlines. As such, I can only imagine the effect of the personality voting along with any other blows to your ego (in the Freudian sense of self) coupled with serious issues isn't quite the most pleasant experience.

      My point is, I have made attempts in the CB before to emphatically state that you have the right to be terse, rude, or anything else you please. jcwren's point is that voting keeps it all accountable. footpad's point is that he's struggling in keeping his level of respect considering his view that you are blatantly disservicing the unwritten rule of not archiving the CB or Other Users nodelets. And my final note is that I happened to wander into the monastery with messages of how your post had been hit with a -3 reputation. I'm not angry that my name is listed amongst the "accused". I'm just disappointed that in this community that you choose to participate in, you don't know a list of names that have been around for some time and have probably mentioned at one time or another that they either don't downvote, or don't have issue with you, or generally just don't vote for you one way or the other. It makes me wonder what you see as your role in this community.

      Update: I just got downvoted. I thought about posting the list in Other Users right now, you know for irony. Then I realized that I'd just be wasting my time. I'm just going to chock it up to somebody who probably isn't happy with my comments.

      ALL HAIL BRAK!!!

(tye)Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by tye (Cardinal) on Apr 10, 2001 at 07:57 UTC

    Oh, yeah, the down votes must be personal because merlyn could never be wrong? Perhaps the node was downvoted because it was encouraging someone to report something that probably isn't a typo. (Update: It is a typo.)

    I refuse to discuss merlyn's personality and am tired of reading about it so if this point was already mentioned in this thread, I apologize for the redundancy of this node.

            - tye
(redmist) Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by redmist (Deacon) on Apr 10, 2001 at 08:37 UTC

    Nobody cares! It's only a web site. XP does not effect your quality of life, intelligence, virtue or anything else that is of any real substance.

    redmist
    Silicon Cowboy
Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 10, 2001 at 08:51 UTC
    You sir, have too much free time on your hands. Grow up.
Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by dws (Chancellor) on Apr 10, 2001 at 09:29 UTC
    From now on, when I see that happen, I'm cutting and pasting the "Other Users" nodelet and attaching it to the node.

    It's your choice to go off on a crusade against people who downvote you. However, you might reconsider your choice of how you wage that crusade. Copy/pasting "Other Users" is indiscriminant. It's not unlink a skunk letting go on a roomful of people to get at one or two unknown targets. The targets may get hit, but the process doesn't win the skunk any friends.

    If you're going to wage a campaign, at least be smart about how you do it. Come up a script that keeps a history of "Other Users" and then does some analysis on it to cull the list way down so that you can accuse with precision. Then you can write an article about how you did it.

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by danger (Priest) on Apr 10, 2001 at 10:30 UTC

    Oh fer chrissakes merlyn, grow up already. Oh and take a snapshot while your at it -- but I'll freely admit to downvoting this one.

(isn't talking the solution ?) Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by arhuman (Vicar) on Apr 10, 2001 at 11:48 UTC
    Personality downvoting is a fact especially for you merlyn,
    and even if I agree it's a bad thing,
    I don't think a denunciation campaign is the right path to follow.

    • You bring suspiscion on monks who didn't downvote.
    • You will only increase the anger of the peole who downvoted you.
    • You KNOW it's bad (denunciation)

    We all know you don't care about XP, most of us know you're technically a demi-god,
    if you really care about personality voting, try rather education :
    A kind tone explaining why/how you answered would, to my mind, achieve better results...
    Of course it is only my point of view, I don't pretend to have the truth, but this way often keep me away of some troubles...
    I don't ask you to answer like ovid or tilly but maybe trying to adapt your anwer to your listener could help...

    Just my 2 cents idea.

    "Only Bad Coders Badly Code In Perl" (OBC2IP)
Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by cajun (Chaplain) on Apr 10, 2001 at 12:42 UTC
    For the most part I agree 100% with merlyn, voting based seemingly solely on ones name sucks.

    merlyn has FAR MORE XP than most on this site will ever have (certainly me). We could probably debate quite a while over what good that XP does.

    I believe merlyn's real XP is counted in his EXPERIENCE in Perl, using it, and teaching its use.

    As I've said in previous posts, I could really care less about my meager XP. I came here for knowledge and answers to questions about using Perl. I can usually find what I need using super search or just browsing others questions and answers.

    If merlyn's comments don't agree with you or you think them harsh, take it up with him personally in the CB or via email. His email address is readily available and I feel fairly certain that he'd be willing to discuss the particulars with you.

    I appreciate merlyn's presence here and although a lot of what he says is above my head, I respect his knowledge and experience.

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by LD2 (Curate) on Apr 10, 2001 at 19:26 UTC
    This seems way overdone, but it's your choice merlyn. I have nothing against you or your posts. Usually, I find them to be informative. The tone may not be as friendly as it could be at times, but the information is good (which is usually all a questioner wants..).

    But, I find this idea to be a tad ridiculous.. why don't you just ask vroom to somehow add our names to our votes, that way you can see exactly who is downvoting you. Hmm, maybe that's not how this site or community is supposed to be. Maybe having the freedom to vote on what nodes are appropriate and what nodes may not be is part of the users choice. It's not a perfect world, those who have a 'beef' with you should just discuss it with you privately. Unfortunately, they may have chosen a different route - but citing their names by each post isn't going to get them to say 'Oh yea..I'm sorry.. I was the one who downvoted you' - in reality, there are a few names who are always on and I seriously doubt they are the ones who are voting, yet their names will most likely always be on your list. Is that fair? I think not. Maybe it's just one of those things - to brush aside and let go...
      Well, a good parallel for me is vandalism. Sure, it's just a few people who spray paint their mark for whatever reasons, and yes, I can ignore it as I drive by, but I keep pondering why I should put up with this anti-community behavior.

      So, I'm putting up a camera. Sure, it captures all the people on the street at the time the vandalism is noted (including innocent bystanders), but maybe if the vandals know they're being watched, they might do it a bit less.

      I refuse to feel helpless about this. I'm taking action because I'm tired of the uncommunity-like behavior that this anominity affords.

      -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

        Sorry merlyn,

        Your metafor stinks!
        In a community there are personal votes... In real life politics there also ppl who vote for popular ppl.(Actually you can't downvote them but hey give it some liberty).

        Glad you brought up the fact of the camera! *yikes* I don't want to live in a community where the street need to be filmed. Where do you stop? Who decides where to stop?

        All I want to say is: you feel offended by the downvotes, so you decide to place *camera's*. But in this case your are the enlighted despot who decides what happens in this community. If you really want to be part of a community, personality votes are a fact and this is a social phenomenon part of a communtity.

        Please let it rest and live with the fact there are some people on the world who hate your guts!!!! I know there are a lot of people who hate my guts. And if all they can do to hurt me is downvote me on PM, hey I'm a happy guy :)

        Let it be said I like the things you do. I admire your skills and helpfullness.


        --
        My opinions may have changed,
        but not the fact that I am right

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by zigster (Hermit) on Apr 10, 2001 at 19:45 UTC
    As everyone else has had their say I will add my 6 pence. As I believe you said once (I have looked and cannot find the reference so please forgive me if I have missquoted you). Every post gets a certain number of random upvotes form ppl using up their votes. Every post gets a certain number of up votes based on a person. How often have I seen your posts shoot past mine in ++ despite the fact we have said the same thing. Names carry weight, if you are well known ppl will read your post ahead of others. Every post gets a certian number of random and targetted down votes.

    It is my firm belief that these all balance out. Looking around the monestary it seems to work. What you lose on the corners you make up on the other corners.

    If it aint broke then it was probably written in perl. So lets not fix this eh!


    --

    Zigster

      I think we should eliminate personality replying ;o). I mean, fancy having strong opinions on a topic like this.

      I find the fact that -- are a anonymous a double-edged sword. Naming and shaming folk for -- or expecting justification is ludicrous. If it came to be that, on the odd occasion I do -- I had to explain why I'd say: "because". If anyone said " that's him, over there, he down voted my node" I'd role my sleeves up and prepare to defend my convictions, it is up to each monk to be his own judge as too the worthiness of his vote. A good reason why lower level monks should have less votes.

      Everyone occasionally gets -- votes on posts, most of us deal with it, some of us enquire and get answers. I don't think you should make a node out of it. I think the best thing is to update the root node for this, as you did for Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?

      Look on the bright side, if you're suffering from personality voting, at least the fact that you have a personality is being recognised. ;O)

      --
      
      Brother Frankus.

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by Desdinova (Friar) on Apr 10, 2001 at 20:38 UTC
    My 1/50 of dollar... I hold that nodes should be voted based on thier content. If Anonymous post something informitive and insightful then ++ it. If merlyn or even vroom posts something that is flat out wrong or flaming someone -- it. Real simple.
    There is more involved her than XP. Taken to the extreme personality voting can bury real useful info. Generally I don't downvote unless I am sure that the info in it is wrong.

    As for this way of dealing with it.. I don't really see the point. Even if you narrow it down to whomever it is...Then what? You made the anoalogy about the vandalism the catch there is after you narrow that down you can get law enforcement to do something about it, last time i checked there was no Perlmonks Police Force. I mean the most this can do is encourage other people to begin downvoting the offenders nodes, which is exactly what you say you want to stop.

    As a final point about this. The node may have gone down at first, but as i write this the rep is +17 which to me shows that the few personality voters are still offset by those of us who take a node on its own merits.
      It's only +17 because everyone's afraid to downvote it, they don't want to get on merlyn's hit list.
        Nah i upvoted when i first saw it because it is useful and relevant info. I could care less about being on anyone's "list". I cant take things that seriously.

        Update:Cleaned up my wording dont know what i was thinking
Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by jynx (Priest) on Apr 11, 2001 at 01:06 UTC

    i am loath to add my name to the long list of people who have replied, since as it has been mentioned, this topic has had more than enough posts. However, i would like to point out what i think to be a logical fallacy in merlyn's thinking. This is not meant as offense or defence of anything, it is just what i consider to be pointedly obvious and needs (if that's too strong a word, forgive me) saying.

    Yes, it seems reasonable that one could find out who was downvoting for improper reasons. One could make a list of people who were around at the time. In order to do this correctly, since only active users are noted in the Other Users nodelet, one would need two snapshots. One at the time of each individual downvote, and one about 2-3 minutes later when it is certain that the (IIRC) 3 minute refresh on people who have actively done something happens so that it's certain that the name appears.

    What then? One now has a snapshot? And if one did this silently one could figure out who it was, since they would not be prone to changing their names for anonymity. But now that you have announced to everyone that you will be doing this, publicly, anyone who would like to continue this tirade against you needs only create a new account and build it up until they can downvote you again. Not to mention that by taking this little vendetta public, you have now aggravated more people than was previously possible so there will be quite probably more than 3 people downvoting (when i voted on this it had a rep of -30! my vote not included).

    i can understand being upset for losing rep or getting --'d in general. But this plan of attack seems feeble and unable to catch culprits with any knowledge of the monestary. It is not my place to give advice to someone with far more knowledge and experience than i have, but please, next time you get upset, please think about what you are doing a little (or a lot) more before going through with it.

    Hope This Helps,
    jynx

    Update: Changed the "this" link to the appropriate node (seen above by merlyn.

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by aardvark (Pilgrim) on Apr 11, 2001 at 09:03 UTC
    I have to say that I find the update: to the node in question to be be distasteful. The people on that list are guilty until proven innocent. That is not the way our community should be run. merlyn run your analysis, get the answers you need, but please be sure that who you are accusing is in fact guilty. Right now you are accusing anybody who was in the Monestary at the time.

    I ask you kindly, please remove that list until you are certain of who the guilty people are.

    Get Strong Together!!

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by Chady (Priest) on Apr 11, 2001 at 17:13 UTC

    Yeah! I'm sure a lot of ppl coming in to read information will be very pleased in reading a list of who was there when that post was written..


    He who asks will be a fool for five minutes, but he who doesn't ask will remain a fool for life.
Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by KM (Priest) on Apr 12, 2001 at 00:55 UTC
    use Flog; my $horse = new Flog; my $topic = "dead"; $horse->flog while ($topic);

    This topic comes up more often than a full moon! Can't it be left to rest? People vote as people vote.. move on and do what you think is right.

    Cheers,
    KM

Re: Posting "Other Users" on potential personality voters from now on
by royalanjr (Chaplain) on Apr 14, 2001 at 01:12 UTC
    I agree that I see no sense that the post in question should have been downvoted for any logical reason. Obvious case of a few personality down votes.

    But the truth is, you have to take the good with the bad. I am willing to bet that a lot of personality up votes happen (to certain people anyway). So now what? You have votes going both ways for no real reason.

    People are not perfect, and they will sometimes do something for the oddest reason, or even no reason at all. Maybe one of the posters was just mad at the world and spent all his votes on negative voting. It could happen. Thing is, you never know.

    Merlyn, I completely understand your wanting to make sure that the votes will help "sort fact from fiction". That is absolutely what votes are for. Human nature will intrude however, and make the system non-perfect. That is unavoidable. So now what?

    I think most of the people that come to this site have enough intelligence to (when they chose to) put any node under scrutiny and decide what they think of it no matter what the vote count is or who the author is. Yes, the votes will get messed up in relation to the quality of the node. But for the most part, people will still sort through the mess and do as they see fit with what they read. All it takes is a little time, a little patience, and people can discover those people around here who are good sources of information.



    Roy Alan

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