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Re^4: History now influences voting (plagiarism)

by tye (Cardinal)
on Nov 21, 2007 at 20:47 UTC ( #652239=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^3: History now influences voting (criticism)
in thread History now influences voting

I guess I'll reply to all of your nodes here.

Regarding "forced empathy", I wonder if some other system could be worked out instead such as not counting the vote if it would cause an XP loss [to the person doing the voting]? Perhaps this could even be configurable (so those who are fine with losing some XP can do so while those who do not like the idea can avoid it).

If the prospect of losing 1 XP before one notices that they've cast a long string of down-votes is unacceptable to somebody, then they are a huge hypocrite for casting so many down-votes subtracting so much from the XP of other monk(s). So if losing XP is so abhorrent to somebody, then they need to stop imposing that terrible fate upon others. Period.

Anyway, I'm just throwing some ideas out because I think sending negative feedback for positive actions will discourage the positive actions.

Oh, I'm completely fine with discouraging long strings of down-voting. And long strings of down-voting are hardly ever a "positive action". Even when it isn't abuse or verging on abuse, it is most likely at the very best a "mixed blessing".

I'm curious because in the OP you claim these are minor changes yet it seems like at least in the scenario above your changes are anything but minor.

How many times has that (systematic plaigerism) happened? Yes, I consider that scenario to be an extremely minor part of voting/XP at PerlMonks.

I assume you have read that node of mine that you keep linking to. I've re-read it and I don't see where I encouraged massive downvoting of all past nodes because the XP loss will solve the problem. The only sentence that I can see even pointing in that direction is "If you are concerned about copyrights, then contact the alleged owner and/or the alleged copier (the two parties that have both the power and responsibility to do something about it)". I don't consider "down-voting" to qualify as "contacting".

And my node had very little to do with plagiarism (it was about copyright and also about how copyright likely didn't matter much in that plagiarism incident).

I think it makes good sense to raise awareness of the repeated behavior. I think it makes good sense to mark many of the plagiarized nodes with indications of where they were copied from and even pointing to a node about the larger pattern of behavior (by replying to them and by asking the author to fess up in updates). I don't think it makes sense to consider the old nodes. I actually don't think that systematically downvoting the old nodes is required or even much of a "solution". Given the rules at the time, it was fairly inevitable and so the vigilanteism saved the gods from making a ruling about punishment, not directly for the plaigerism but to compensate for the ill-gotten XP from gaming the system via systematic plaigerism.

So I guess your points all really just go back to this one incident. Which means still allowing (and not even discouraging) systematic vigilanteism in case something like this happens again. That would require allowing the current abusive downvoting of all old nodes of a single author which means just undoing the majority of the changes. But, no, I don't think we should list "vigilanteism" as "amongst our weaponry that includes such diverse elements as...".

Had this incident come to light in the future, I suspect the gods will have been forced to get involved not because imposing an XP penalty would really solve much, but because not doing so would seem unfair to some who "played by the rules". (time travel makes for complex tenses)

- tye        


Comment on Re^4: History now influences voting (plagiarism)
Re^5: History now influences voting (plagiarism)
by Fletch (Chancellor) on Nov 21, 2007 at 22:34 UTC
    If the prospect of losing 1 XP before one notices that they've cast a long string of down-votes is unacceptable to somebody, then they are a huge hypocrite for casting so many down-votes subtracting so much from the XP of other monk(s). So if losing XP is so abhorrent to somebody, then they need to stop imposing that terrible fate upon others. Period.

    Huh? You're projecting one idea of some conjectured bad actor's motivation upon all instances of a behavior which exhibit the same pattern. If one is downvoting a user's nodes because one sincerely believes they're not good how the frak does that make one a hypocrite?

    I downvote a lot of nodes because frankly there's not a lot of nodes recently that I (custodian of my votes, earned by me because of my body of work here which has proven useful enough to someone to garner my current status in the hierarchy) believe are worthy of upvotes.

    I'm not doing it to take away XP (cackling menacingly (while of course twirling my handlebar mustache) at the undeserved XP woe I'm inflicting). I'm doing it because I think they're not good (whether because they show a lack of effort, they're poor or just plain wrong answers, or they're worthless drivel from somebody who has no business trying to code looking for a free ride).

    I believe the stuff I downvote isn't of much worth; I believe the stuff I upvote is.

    I believe the stuff I post is of some worth (be it technical or humorous in nature). The voting population however is free to agree with me or not, and vote accordingly as they see fit just as they have seen fit to do so in the past. One posts one's nodes, one takes one's chances.

    The only way this could be hypocritical in some way would be if I downvoted nodes while expecting my own output to be protected from the same in return. I don't.

    Having said that I also find it somewhat patronizing to be seemingly told that I can't be trusted to responsibly exercise my franchise according to my honest belief as to the the quality of content being created here, and that I need my nose whapped with the metaphorical newspaper of negative XP because I see fit to honestly express my views as to the (what I see as) dreck coming in.

    Admission Against Interest:

    Yes, I'm guilty of the "offense" in question here at least once. I did go back through and downvote most of Win's nodes when he became an obvious leech on the community; and yes, most of what I downvoted I felt deserved downvoting as well. I'll be sure immediately commence my penance by saying 9 "Hail Larry"s.

      Huh? You're projecting one idea of some conjectured bad actor's motivation upon all instances of a behavior which exhibit the same pattern. [....] I'm not doing it to take away XP (cackling menacingly (while of course twirling my handlebar mustache) at the undeserved XP woe I'm inflicting).

      Thanks for mentioning the mustache; I forgot to note that. No, I actually don't presume that the pattern of a long strings of down-votes implies evil motivation. And, obviously, the implemented voting rules can't distinguish motivation.

      If one is downvoting a user's nodes because one sincerely believes they're not good how the frak does that make one a hypocrite?

      It doesn't. I don't believe I claimed that it did.

      I downvote a lot of nodes because frankly there's not a lot of nodes recently that I (custodian of my votes, earned by me because of my body of work here which has proven useful enough to someone to garner my current status in the hierarchy) believe are worthy of upvotes.

      I'm doing it because I think they're not good (whether because they show a lack of effort, they're poor or just plain wrong answers, or they're worthless drivel from somebody who has no business trying to code looking for a free ride).

      I'm doing it because I think they're not good (whether because they show a lack of effort, they're poor or just plain wrong answers, or they're worthless drivel from somebody who has no business trying to code looking for a free ride).

      And I'm not stopping you from continuing to do that.

      The only way this could be hypocritical in some way would be if I downvoted nodes while expecting my own output to be protected from the same in return. I don't.

      I agree that you present one way of being hypocritical. I disagree that it is the only way. The way I was talking about (several times) was feeling cavalier about doing something that causes people to lose XP while being quite the opposite of cavalier about the prospect of losing XP oneself.

      Your linked article on hyprocrisy starts with one definition of the word that is much more limited than the definition I found when searching for a definition instead of an article. Certainly, by the limited definition you linked to (I didn't read the entire article), you can claim that what I was seeing as hypocritical isn't. But I think that is a problem with that particular definition more so than my use of the word.

      Having said that I also find it somewhat patronizing to be seemingly told that I can't be trusted to responsibly exercise my franchise according to my honest belief as to the the quality of content being created here, and that I need my nose whapped with the metaphorical newspaper of negative XP because I see fit to honestly express my views as to the (what I see as) dreck coming in.

      So are you saying that our visitors can't be trusted to responsibly exercise the privlege (that we give them) to post questions based on their honest desire for answers such that you need to whap their noses with the metaphorical newspaper of negative XP because they see fit to honestly express their questions? Oversight is a bitch, I guess.

      In the aggregate, downvoting nodes for minor infractions is a disruptive influence at PerlMonks and so, yes, I'm encouraging that it be done less often. If you want to take it as a personal insult as to your maturity, than who am I to stop you? If the natural tendency to turn into an old grump and complain about all the clueless, inconsiderate newbies is never resisted, then PerlMonks too can become the bastion of quality content that Usenet became. We can get to the point that the number one feature everyone needs to be able to get the slightest use out of the site is an advanced "kill file".

      Yes, I'm guilty of the "offense" in question here at least once. I did go back through and downvote most of Win's nodes when he became an obvious leech on the community; and yes, most of what I downvoted I felt deserved downvoting as well. I'll be sure immediately commence my penance by saying 9 "Hail Larry"s.

      I guess you should count yourself lucky that I'm not whapping your nose for past sins, then. I guess you would strongly object if I proposed doing so despite you having thwapped Win for his past sins (quite understandably, FYI). I think there is a term for having that kind of double standard... :)

      - tye        

Re^5: History now influences voting (plagiarism)
by Argel (Prior) on Nov 22, 2007 at 00:26 UTC
    I assume you have read that node of mine that you keep linking to.

    When I linked to that post I was thinking more of the thread that led to it in addition to its contents (i.e. the context of the post as well).

    I've re-read it and I don't see where I encouraged massive downvoting of all past nodes because the XP loss will solve the problem.

    You never did nor did you imply it. Nor did I imply it for that matter. I was just pointing out that based on the discussions in your thread several options or direct involvement from the gods were not from a legal standpoint in the best interests on the Monastery. What I was saying is that that left massive downvoting.

    Personally I think the alleged plagiarism incident was a good example of a self-policing community. You can argue how effective it was or not but I think the results speak for themselves. Now the community will have to rely on the gods. Can you really call that a minor change? Would it have been too much to at least address that in your OP?

    Personally, I agree with most of the points you have made and that the plagiarism incident is likely a good example of an exception that proves the rule. On the other hand, there is something to be said for the less formal community we have here and forcing the community to put pressure on the gods to deal with a similar incident in the future feels like a fundamental change to the community. I guess I just wish we were at least given an opportunity to discuss it.

    Anyway, I appreciate that you took the time to respond to my posts. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

      Would it have been too much to at least address that in your OP?

      It wasn't anywhere in my mind. I still consider it the extremely rare exception and don't believe it is of much importance to the voting rules, though you are correct that the voting rules certainly impact how such an incident plays out in no small way.

      Personally I think the alleged plagiarism incident was a good example of a self-policing community. You can argue how effective it was or not but I think the results speak for themselves.

      Yes, I certainly approve of the community being able to manage on its own. And the community certainly did manage that on their own.

      Now the community will have to rely on the gods.

      Well, the only intervention I would expect would be a pronouncement and a single SQL update statement to subtract the determined number from one field (yes, a little bit more goes along with that behind the scenes). And I don't think that part is of much importance for the resolution of the actual problem, the halting of continued plagiarising. And I don't mind intervention in very rare situations, especially in such a non-crucial manner. I think the "vigilanteism" against old nodes was a good example of two "wrongs" nearly making a "right". I was at least somewhat happy to not have to intervene (which is never fun) but I think I would have preferred the case of vigilanteism being forced to be very limited, not being sufficient to reverse the accumulated XP (though certainly causing plenty of loss of future "good will") and an XP penalty based on a judgement being levied.

      I guess I just wish we were at least given an opportunity to discuss it.

      Strange, I got the feeling some discussion was happening right here and still yet the most controversial part is not yet deployed (and the other parts were announced quite a few years ago so I don't think you can reasonably complain about not having had a chance to discuss those -- and precursors of this most controversial feature were being discussed years ago as well).

      I'm quite happy with the feedback I've gotten. One point was easily turned around and I was happy to scratch that off the list of consideration. Other points were challenged along several fronts and at the least a need for more clarity was demonstrated. I got more insight into different perspectives and at the least have more filed away for how things might be adjusted in future and there is still the possibility that things will be adjusted quite soon, depending on how these (and other) discussions progress.

      I several times lightly lamented that there was not more contributions from other monks. I really prefer to see others jump into a discussion like this (and some did), rather than it mostly being OP, replies, and only OP responding to the replies. I've previously pushed for "speak up, either way" so there would be more cases of "me too" on all sides and was briefly tempted to do that here. But I think I've gotten somewhat used to "Warnock" because I'm now happy with the subtler signs I've seen that this is fairly widely approved of in general terms so far.

      I don't think I'll be "throwing the big switch" at the original one-week mark (I didn't give good odds of that schedule surviving anyway). I'm mulling things, expecting further input, and will solicit more input as things gel...

      - tye        

        Strange, I got the feeling some discussion was happening right here and still yet the most controversial part is not yet deployed (and the other parts were announced quite a few years ago so I don't think you can reasonably complain about not having had a chance to discuss those -- and precursors of this most controversial feature were being discussed years ago as well).

        My apologies. I was under the impression they were implemented already.

        As some of my co-workers like to say "I can't even remember what happened two days ago let alone last week". :-) So maybe some links to those discussions that happened years ago would have been in order?

        I several times lightly lamented that there was not more contributions from other monks.

        Well, FWIW I have been thanked privately for raising the plagiarism incident (ironically by people likely more concerned about it than I am). Anyway, I would say my work here is done as the issue has been raised and acknowledged. Again, thanks for responding and have a happy Thanksgiving!

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