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Re: Challenging votes

by petdance (Parson)
on Jun 23, 2001 at 01:58 UTC ( #90884=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Challenging votes

What is the problem that this is supposed to solve?

I'm guessing that there's a scenario that goes something like: "UserX is mad at Petdance. UserX votes against a Petdance node, even though it's an excellent node. UserX needs to be penalized for voting against it, because he did it out of spite, rather than for a reason." Is this the problem we're addressing?

Personally, I don't see it as much of a problem. I certainly don't want my time at Perlmonks to be buried in administrivia, and the worst thing that's happened is that my XP has gone down some. I'm not very concerned about an angry UserX voting against me, since the rest of my nodes are of such a high quality. It's a small downward blip. I've had plenty of nodes voted against inexplicably, but I don't cry over it.

Now, if the goal is to provide feedback to the writer of the nodes, THAT'S a heck of an idea. I envision something like this:

Node score: 9 = 12++, 3--
++ Nicely done, this is a big help
++ Useful
-- Code is broken
Note that not everyone (indeed, very few) gave reasons for their votes, which is what I expect would happen.

I was dreaming when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Re: Challenging votes
by Vynce (Friar) on Jun 23, 2001 at 13:22 UTC

    But you cannot choose to vote both unaccountably and controversially.
    er. um. ew. I am not sure i can explain how icky i find this; and the list of reasons is long. Now i can't downvote even a troll unless i am prepared to type in an explanation of why i think it's a troll. and what counts as valid? can i send a blank message as my explanation? or do i have to say "this node is bad"? maybe you want a 4-paragraph essay on the grammatical, algorithmic, and emotional problems i detected in the writing? i think most of the time the explanations would be too long to write or too short to help. i think agonizing over whether or not i'll be challenged will keep me from downvoting nodes worthy of being downvoted; and what's worse, i think fear of having to explain why i liked an unpopular node will keep me from voting up nodes that deserve it. i think a lot of people have raised a lot of good points, and i'm not sure you've answered all of them, though i'll have to re-read this whole conversation to assimilate it all.

    i replied to petdance's post because i like this idea; it's what they used to do at Red Meat Construction, and similar to what they still do; basically, comments are optional and can be anonymous but are often signed. we could even make the signing unfakable (or rather, such that it always signs the username if there is a sig) via a checkbox rather than in the text. i think this would do everything that the accountability would do, and actually not make life unlivable.

    the other compromise i thought of was that the challenge be added to the "consider" options in nodes to consider. that way, if the higher level monks feel a node's rep is not representative of its value, they can make that call. (and i do mean higher level; this is probably something only a saint can ask for, but not limited to his own nodes.)

    over all, however, i think my attitude is that votes should remain anonymous, and people should just take it easy. after all, XP just gets you more votes, and votes just generate XP. all in all the sum total is nothing; voting is just for fun. if you don't like the system, don't use it. there's nothing that says you can't post just because you don't vote.


    slight tangent: sometimes i think there should be a section for "suggestions" where rep votes cannot count against your XP, where the voting "context" is agree or disagree, especially for nodes like this. my instinct is to vote against this node (though i won't, i'll vote for it) because i don't want the thing it proposes to be made reality, and i feel like there should be a numeric way to express this. this would be different from other areas of perlmonks because you would be voting up or down the *idea* not the *node*: suggestions with high positive response would be more likely to be implemented than those without. but i think it's clear that suggesting something people don't want should not cause you to lose XP. i also think tha tthere, you should be able to change your vote if argument sways your opinion.

Problems that could use solving
by tilly (Archbishop) on Jun 23, 2001 at 04:57 UTC
    You ask what problem would be solved, and then give an instance that I think it would be least effective for. Well here are a list of problems that I think this would be good for.
    1. Make it harder for someone to distort the system with vote-bots. And if someone wrote a better bot, make it possible for someone other than vroom to get an idea who some of the bots probably are.
    2. Fairly frequently we have people who say, "What didn't people like about that node?" They want feedback, but the current system keeps them from getting it. The best anyone can say is that people vote for all sorts of reasons. Well this would provide a way to get that feedback.
    3. Some people use the anonymity of their votes to snipe at others and vote indiscriminantly. We often call this "personality voting". Often the personality votes come very fast. This would reduce that abuse.
    4. Periodically monks have become frustrated at being completely powerless when faced with voting abuses. This would give them a fairly low-impact tool (compared with merlyn's "Other Users" snapshot anything is low-impact) for doing something. Not a very effective or powerful tool. But something is better than nothing.
    Now one point I should make. I structured the proposal explicitly with the idea that the vast majority of your votes remain anonymous, and of the fraction that do not remain anonymous, you get considerable choice. I think that the privacy issues are preserved. What has changed is that there is some accountability for the "faceless hordes". Is that worth potential for conflict that comes with accountability? I think so, but then again I was on the wrong side of the current system right at the start, and in every case where it has been argued, I have been on the side of making things more accountable...

      2. Fairly frequently we have people who say, "What didn't people like about that node?" They want feedback, but the current system keeps them from getting it.
      with all due respect, tilly, i think this is just not true. the current system doesn't facilitate it, but it in no way prevents it. most nodes can be edited easily; others you might have to put in an edit request or post a reply; but you can certainly ask, "I am very interested in why people downvoted this; i honestly thought it was a good node and would appreciate feedback. chatterbox /msg or AM replies welcome."

      granted that if it is a separate node, that request is likely to get downvoted by at least all the people who downvoted the original; sometimes you just have to live with it.


      (i got an explanation of a downvote once; i was happy to get it. i looked at the node again and decided that they were wrong, but at least i knew why they did it. but i suspect i'd not be any happier if i got the "i didn't like what you said in the chatterbox earlier" "i think you're rather an arrogant jerk for a newbie" and "just shut up" explanations that would go with the majority of the downvotes i've received.)

        With all due respect, if you put out a request for an explanation of why you were downvoted and got an answer, that is very unusual. Certainly I have both been at the center of and watched quite a few controversies caused by someone who was downvoted ask for explanation and not get it.

        While you can ask, it doesn't seem to work.

Re: Re: Challenging votes
by John M. Dlugosz (Monsignor) on Jun 23, 2001 at 02:54 UTC
    I like the idea of categorizing votes. Especially since people will pat you on the back by just ++'ing the node rather than replying with more detailed comments, so you don't really know and don't get as much satisfaction as you would with a more personal feedback.

    However, then people would need to explain why they didn't vote, too! E.g. “I found the idea interesting, but found the prose too annoying and unformatted, so it came out neutral.”

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