Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
Syntactic Confectionery Delight
 
PerlMonks  

Proposal: eliminate down-votes

by sundialsvc4 (Monsignor)
on May 31, 2012 at 18:23 UTC ( #973576=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I’ve got a sworn enemy on PerlMonks.   Only one, it seems, but definitely one.   And what this not-to-be named person does, among other things, is to downvote.   Having himself an XP somewhere in the stratosphere, this person not only pushes some folks up, but steps on the toes of others.

While I certainly cannot stop someone from doing what they are able to do, I would like to offer the point for consideration that many sites have chosen not to allow anyone to down-vote a post, or a geocache, or whatever-it-is.   They can nominate a posting for outright removal, by moderators or by being “voted off the island,” but the only type of feedback that they can make to a post and therefore to the poster is ... either positive, or not-at-all.

And this, in addition to resolving a source of personal annoyance (but nothing more) for me, is what I consider would be a significant improvement for PerlMonks.   I personally don’t think that anyone posts anything anywhere on any forum for any reason other than what he or she considers to be “good.”   If others agree, I think that “goodness that is a commonly-held opinion” ought to be rewarded.   But if they dis-agree?   Well, frankly, I agree with Dr. Richard Feynmann on this one:   “why do you care what other people think?”

Briefly pursuing this point, I feel that the posting of negative feedback on anything is, as eBay for example certainly regards it, an act of declaring that something is actually bad.   That it has been made with “bad” motivation.   And I simply do not think that people on a forum ought to be given the opportunity to express an opinion like that.   The posting, and hence, the poster, ought to be “presumed good,” with the report-this-post (or, in the case of this forum, “consider”) being used to weed out the exceptions.   If you think that something adds to the discussion, you should be able to clap your hands.   But if you instead intend to shout, “Boooo!” you should be given no opportunity to do so (other than the proverbial shepherd’s-hook that shoots in from the sideline of the stage while the tomatoes pelt down).

When I am looking through a forum thread looking for an answer, I am ultimately looking for an answer, and it so happens that a forum system like PerlMonks is an excellent way to quickly produce high-quality peer-reviewed answers, thence to find them again.   I frankly want to keep personalities out of that stream.   I want to find fav’d responses as quickly as possible.   I more-or-less think that a thumbs-down response is irrelevant at best, and maybe antithetical, to that objective.   You see, I do not participate here to hear myself talk.   I participate here to try to give something to back to one of my long-standing fundamental sources of technical guidance and information.

Epilogue:   This is nothing personal; this is not a rant; I have a Rhett Butler approach about such trivialities.   But it does get me thinking and this is what I think.   What do you think?

Comment on Proposal: eliminate down-votes
Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by Your Mother (Canon) on May 31, 2012 at 18:32 UTC

    -- One of the reasons I don't participate at SO is that I cannot downvote comments. When I don't have a voice, critical or otherwise, I expect a paycheck in return.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by jdporter (Canon) on May 31, 2012 at 19:49 UTC

    just FYI, this has been proposed and discussed before. The ones I was able to find easily are We should elminate: Anonymous, and DOWN-voting and Down-vote Bad, Up-vote Good, but I know there have been several others.

    (Oh - you already know about the first of those two threads: you posted it!)

    I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by chromatic (Archbishop) on May 31, 2012 at 20:09 UTC

    Out of the last 250 votes cast on your nodes, 85.6% have been positive. Out of the last 500 votes, 87.4% have been positive.

    Another frequent poster (often controversial) has 87.6% positive of last 250 and 92% positive out of 500.

    A third controversial poster has 85.6% positive of 250 and 87.2% positive of 500.

    I don't see anyone systematically downvoting everything you post.

    (I do think you get some downvotes because your posts are often very difficult to read. You write long sentences sprinkled with what seem like arbitrary font changes and punctuation.)

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by Anonymous Monk on May 31, 2012 at 20:17 UTC

    I personally downvote all posts (here, and wherever else I have that possibility) that use double spacing after each sentence. Yes, I was taught that convention when I learnt to type (back in the 1970s). But I also learnt (in the 1980s?) that with "modern" fonts, it no longer has any justification: today, apart from being ugly, it just looks like a ridiculous affectation.

    So, henceforth, consider me as Yet Another Sworn Enemy. Any posts violating my sensibilities in this respect will be systematically downvoted.

    That's what I think.

    P.S. If you ever posted a line of code from time to time, rather than subjecting us to your usual boring, cliché-peppered (and often misleading, if not downright wrong) ramblings, maybe you would earn a small bit more respect from your fellow Monks...

      I assumed this was a joke at first, because HTML flattens any amount of whitespace into a single space, so there's no way to tell whether someone double-spaces. (I still do; after 30 years it seems like a hard habit to break, although it is annoying when some web-based editors try to "help" by turning the second space into a non-breakable-space HTML entity.) Then I noticed that the OP does have really long spaces between sentences, so I checked the source, and he's actually putting a non-breakable-space in between two regular spaces, resulting in a (more-or-less) triple-space! Carry on.

      Aaron B.
      Available for small or large Perl jobs; see my home node.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by BrowserUk (Pope) on May 31, 2012 at 20:18 UTC

    You do not "have a sworn enemy", at least not in me. There is nothing systematic about my voting on your posts. I vote on the content of your posts, not their author. If they are in a thread I am interested in, I read them.

    • If I think they are useful, insightful or funny etc. I upvote them.
    • If they do not move me one way or the other, I do not vote on them.
    • If I consider that they are technically, grossly inaccurate or ill-informed; or if they appear to serve no purpose in respect of answering the OPs question; I downvote them.

    Remember, I can only downvote any post once. You only need impress one other person sufficiently that they upvote you, and you are at net 0, with my expression of opinion totally negated.

    Some stats: Of your 2155 posts, I have voted on just over 10% at 245. Of those 24 have been upvotes and 221, downvotes.

    The most recent upvote was on the 7th May, the most recent downvote was on the 31st May.

    I've generally made it my practice to reply to posts I downvote, in order to explain why I downvoted it, but I long since gave up with you. Doing so never seems to stop you from trotting out the same vague, condescending, soapbox wisdoms -- often barely, if at all, related to the question at hand -- even on subjects that it is perfectly obvious -- and repeatedly demonstrated -- that you do not have a clue.

    Like a politician. you'll often court popularity, by talking up popular subjects -- eg. "It should of course go without saying that there are numerous complete frameworks within CPAN for implementing scenarios such as this one." without actually identifying which modules you are alluding to.

    And you never post actual solutions. (Ie. code.).

    Those posts I've downvoted have earned that downvote by dint of their content; not because of their authorship.


    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".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

    The start of some sanity?

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by ww (Bishop) on May 31, 2012 at 20:44 UTC
    I downvoted this proposal because
    1. It's been thoroughly discussed before (cf jdporter's note above).
    2. Thumbs down (aka - -) is a relevant and appropriate response to false or garbage posts; a point contradicted in this proposal, IMO.
    3. Similarly, this is not eBay; nobody's transactions here necessarily involve financial gain or loss and reputation is to some extent or another a consequence of worthwhile contributions -- which is to say, wise answers, appropriate tutelage or even thoughtful voting (<rant> which does NOT include the ++ votes that appear so often for truly ill-formed questions</rant>).
    4. Just because I disagree with your proposal (and would oppose it, even were it presented without such easily disputed/rebutted "arguments in support")>.
    5. Finally, I second Your Mother's point, and call the question.

    BTW, there must be more than one villain of the type you posit in your introduction: I probably downvote you nodes slightly more often than I ++ them (but then, most of them I leave unmolested in either direction.)

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by roboticus (Canon) on May 31, 2012 at 20:49 UTC

    sundialsvc4:

    I strongly disagree. I enjoy the ability to encourage behaviour I like, and discourage behavior I don't. I consider the ++ and -- as 'tiny' modifiers, and replies as 'bigger' ones.

    I'll drop a ++ whenever I see something I like, and want to see more of:

    • Extremely interesting questions. (I don't upvote "normal" questions, as I consider the answers to be adequate reward.)
    • Good replies.
    • Feedback from the OP describing what worked and why.

    Similarly, I'll drop a -- on any node with behavior I'd like to see less of:

    • Flamewars: I'll frequently drop a -- on all participants, and try to stay the heck out of it.
    • Misleading answers
    • Explicit spoon feeding of homework

    Other people have different opinions on the behaviors they want to reward and which they want to discourage. I don't consider my opinions to be any better than any others, as it's a communal effort. If the behavioral norm moves away from what I like, I'll leave.

    When I notice downvotes on one of my nodes, I re-read it to see if I can understand why. That way, I can decide whether I want adjust the way I do things in order to "play well with others". For example, when I started participating, I used to write messages like:


    sundialsvc4--

    This is an example...

    --roboticus


    But then someone asked why I was downvoting/disapproving a node. I then switched over to using a colon after their name to avoid confusion.

    Another example: I used to give out explicit answers to homework questions without thinking about it. Someone (here? elsewhere?) convinced me that it's usually not a good practice. So now I try to give appropriately-sized hints. If they showed good effort and presented their code, I might post a corrected version. If someone showed no effort but didn't ask for code, I'll point them at a couple modules or documents. For others I might give them a partial skeleton.

    If you review my posting history, you'll see that my opinions change over time. I view the -- as a tool that helps everyone out. If we only had ++ or "shut up", I doubt that perlmonks would be as good as it is.

    Ah, well, I've blathered on quite enough on the topic.

    Update: s/upvode/upvote/

    ...roboticus

    When your only tool is an upvote, it's hard to tell whether your node is bad or is simply boring.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by Argel (Prior) on May 31, 2012 at 21:54 UTC
    Over the past ~10.5 years I have been a member here, voting has for the most part worked fine. Instead of trying to remove the ability to down vote, you should be meditating on how to become a better Monk.

    Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
    My deviantART gallery

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Canon) on May 31, 2012 at 22:30 UTC

    I'm confused on two points.

    Six months ago, you posted essentially the same proposal to eliminate down-votes, receiving much useful feedback. So why post again, and without providing a link to your previous post? Did you forget you posted it?

    You claim that, like Rhett Butler, you don't give a damn about being down-voted. If down-votes don't bother you, why go to the trouble, not once but twice, to write at length about the ill-feeling caused by down-voting?

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by stevieb (Hermit) on May 31, 2012 at 23:39 UTC

    I share roboticus' methodology in this post they wrote for upvoting, but with one further addition... I'll usually also upvote an OP for showing appreciation to the person who solved the issue, and/or all who provided aid.

    As far as downvoting is concerned, I believe I've only used two downvotes in my near three years here on PM. With that said, I'm not against downvoting, as it allows one to create thresholds as to what they want to look at. If something is very offensive, over-the-top derogatory or just plain stupid, I want the option to cast my doubt on that post.

    All in all, even if PerlMonks has a few rogue a-holes who just downvote everything, they're likely the type who don't have many votes per day to begin with, and most likely will get bored with it and move on in short order. Also, I'm a *firm* believer that the vast majority of Monks here are positive people who are here for the benefit of the community, so they would rather upvote a good post than downvote a bad one.

    If a post is good and one receives negative feedback/votes by a couple douchebags thinking they are going to upset the system, the rest of us who really care will wipe those votes out in a heartbeat.

    Down voting stays imho.

    Steve

    Update: To further, I believe I have had but two posts out of the ~200 I've written that ended up in a negative state. That is very constructive criticism, as it shows I'm doing something wrong. In both cases it *was* my mistake, and I believe in each of them I updated the post with such a statement. At work, I WANT both my staff and other departments giving me this critical feedback, as it allows me to not only become more effective at my job, but it also allows me to build my character. It shows I'm willing to communicate and respond to complaints, and that builds stronger teams and morale. I give props to BrowserUK for his approach of commenting on his downvotes. That's a tactic which I am going to forever remember and use.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by sundialsvc4 (Monsignor) on May 31, 2012 at 23:43 UTC

    Perhaps I am raising this issue once again because nothing has been done.

    Consider this point:   why do we have PerlMonks, anyway?   Is it because we like to hear ourselves talk?   Is it because we have a “beef” with a colleague somewhere in the world which, with nearly 100% certainty, we will never meet?   Is it actually because we seek to influence one another’s personal behavior?   I would argue that none of these are the case.

    We participate in PerlMonks because of what we know that we can get out of it.   We know that we can Super Search and find a solution.   We also know that we can usually ask a “dumb” question.   When we search, we naturally gravitate toward those threads and solutions which have positive votes, because these positive votes represent assent to what has been said.

    What, then, are we to glean from negative votes?   Most likely these will be “errors of procedure,” or momentary personal squabbles that took place maybe four, six years ago.   From my point-of-view in the future, these negatives mean nothing to me now.   I am interested to see the effect of positive votes about a particular posting, and to that end I really don’t want those positive votes to be countered (blurred out...) by negative ones.

    Go ahead, if you want to ... damn this thread into the oblivion of -1,000 downvotes if you are that affronted by the fact that I dare to ask this question.   I dare to ask it, nonetheless, and I challenge you to answer it squarely.   A great many other sites on the Internet have made the decision to eliminate down-votes.   Should we not?

      I would argue that none of these are the case.

      I have to disagree. People use PerlMonks for all those reasons, and many more.

      People want to have a say in a node's reputation. And if there is no -- vote, then those who would like to see the reputation of a node depressed have no more influence than those who don't have an opinion either way. Indeed, no more influence that those who have never even read the node. That's not fair. That is why we have downvotes.

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

        I completely concur with jdporter.

        A minimum zero votes has the potential impact of eliminating great posts from a threshold and being overlooked just because they were posted on a thread from three weeks ago that we aren't looking at anymore. This could cause a situation where a fantastic post is rated equivalent to a shiaty post, solely because the great post hasn't ever been seen yet, and we can't chastise the 'crappy' ones.

      When we search, we naturally gravitate toward those threads and solutions which have positive votes, because these positive votes represent assent to what has been said.

      You can't see vote counts without having voted, so I'm not sure how you gravitate to threads with positive votes. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's not how the site works at all.

        You can see the relative reputation of the direct children of each node, by selecting "Best First" under Note Configuration in your User Settings. (Of course, Anonymous Monk can't do this.)

      Consider this point: why do we have PerlMonks, anyway?

      To learn and improve Perl and related practices. I cannot recall seeing you post code and I have disagreed with every practice argument you've made recently. I propose that we eliminate monks who do not include code in at least 50% of their non-meditative posts.

      A great many other sites on the Internet have made the decision to eliminate down-votes. Should we not?

      No. We should not. “A great many other sites” online are dung heaps frequented only by gluttonous flies. This is the only site I visit where one must have the chops or the backing evidence to speak out or be clobbered with same. Like JavaFan—who I seem to be channeling—and others, I've been considering “leaving” to put my surplus dev time into more rewarding areas. Losing downvotes would seal the deal.

      I cannot remember the last time I agreed with Argel++, the monk I stalk with downvotes, but he was right on previously in this thread: Instead of trying to remove the ability to down vote, you should be meditating on how to become a better Monk.

        sundialsvc4 not posting code isn't the problem. He argues alot of theory and pedagogy and he makes you think twice if your current code or current design the best one you can use.
      why do we have PerlMonks, anyway? Is it because we like to hear ourselves talk?

      It's because here at Perlmonks, programming IS a team sport. :-) as opposed to your OpEd: Programming is not Team Sports. Each of us monks has a certain specialty, just like players on a team, and the synergy of that team input is what it's all about.

      When you downvote someone, it's because they made a bad play. If you don't have that negative option, the play gets sloppy.

      If you do have someone who downvotes you out of spite, just accept it as your karma, maybe you've been acting bad in your other life, and the spirits get on your case. Or, you could join the Monastery under a few other names, and go around upvoting yourself as compensation. :-)

      Finally, isn't there something called "dog voting" where your voting priviledges are curtailed if your negative votes get too high? Why does the XP nodelet say that I have "dog" votes left?


      I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
      Old Perl Programmer Haiku ................... flash japh

        "Or, you could join the Monastery under a few other names, and go around upvoting yourself as compensation. :-)"

        Joking aside, this is against the site rules.

      Perhaps I am raising this issue once again because nothing has been done.
      Something was done when you asked for downvotes to be eliminated six months ago: There was an extensive discussion on the topic and, just like this time around, the community soundly rejected your proposal.

      We didn't ignore you. We disagreed with you.

      Do not mistake the continued existence of downvotes for inertia or neglect. They are still here because the monks as a whole have made an affirmative decision that we believe the site is better for their being here, not because we did nothing.

      Most likely these will be “errors of procedure,” or momentary personal squabbles that took place maybe four, six years ago.

      Downvotes are also for (to varying degrees, depends on your pet peeves): spam nodes, errors of fact, blatant disregard for formatting, inappropriate (flame/troll), homework / job interview cheats, etc.

      Errors of procedure, at least as I understand it, are cause for consideration not downvoting. There's not a whole lot of procedure around here, but posing in the wrong section comes to mind.


      One thing that does bug me is when people post the same question repeatedly, and fail to notice all the replies they got the previous time(s). The urge to downvote such posts increases exponentially with additional repeats.

      PerlMonks is a community,and much more so than most programming language sites. What is so hard to comprehend about that? And down below, planetscape points to one very good reason to keep down votes, which would be the whole alleged plagiarism incident.

      Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
      My deviantART gallery

      PM already has dog votes. A monk can't downvote his whole quota of votes each day.
        Yes he can. He just risks losing XP (which could be overcome with a half-way decent post or two).

        Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
        My deviantART gallery

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by planetscape (Canon) on May 31, 2012 at 23:56 UTC

    No.

    HTH,

    planetscape
Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 01, 2012 at 02:23 UTC

    What do you think?

    I think you should change the nature of your responses so they're not pointless distractions -- stop trolling

      Are you recommending people should stop posting only when their drinking? How absurd.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by thomas895 (Hermit) on Jun 01, 2012 at 06:37 UTC

    Proposal: How about...no?

    On some of the communities I'm a member of, this has been suggested time and time again as well. And every time it's been suggested, it's been shot down. Why?
    There's a number of reasons. One is that we want to express our opinion. That goes without saying -- imagine if this applied to real life, in terms of free speech, perhaps. Sound like Germany in the '40s to you?
    Also, it is almost a given that there are some, well, assholes in every community. PerlMonks is no exception, and there always those who enjoy downvoting everything they can just to get that thrill of "I just made somebody's life miserable. That felt so good!" And then they do it again and again.

    I'm always amazed at how easily people get irritated, often over the most trivial of trivial issues.

    Okay, I'm done. :-)

    ~Thomas~
    bless( $you ) if $you->{sneezed};
      The problem here is that person is complaining about the downvotes -- he won't stop being that but he wants the downvotes to stop

        I can say, with very high confidence...it ain't happenin' bro B-).

        :-)

        ~Thomas~
        bless( $you ) if $you->{sneezed};
Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by DrHyde (Prior) on Jun 01, 2012 at 11:42 UTC
    Downvoted, for whining about XP
Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by RedElk (Hermit) on Jun 01, 2012 at 14:46 UTC

    Brother sundialsvc4 I thoroughly disagree.

    This community has A LOT of personality, for better or worse. Seems like the whole of open source is like that. Leveling this out by removing the negative opinion is not a good thing.

    In fact, some of what you posted smacks of mind control and thought police and ... sheesh. Haven't you noticed that about your post? After all, just because a node has lots of up-votes it doesn't mean that the node has the right answer.

    Leave down-votes intact.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by flexvault (Parson) on Jun 01, 2012 at 14:47 UTC

    Dear Monks,

    I don't know how many 'down-votes' I've used over the last few years, and I don't know if any one else does what I do before voting. In the last year or so, I read all posts before voting for any of them. Sometimes that has been hard to do, but I want to get a feeling for the value of the question and the value of the answers before starting to vote.

    Many times I have been amazed by great answers to questions that I saw as trivial. If the whole post turns into a 'rant', I just skip it and find another sequence of posts to read.

    That said, I see a new type(to me) of poster that asks a question showing that they don't know anything about Perl, and after a monk supplies an explanation and sample code, the original poster goes back and updates the original question with "Update: I fixed it myself" or something like this. Before I started reading the entire sequence of posts, I skipped this 'self-answered' post and the real monk that deserves the '++" was ignored. If I remember correctly, in one case they actually cut and pasted the real answer into the updated question.

    I think I have found a good use for the 'down-vote'!

    Just my 2¢

    "Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franklin

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by aaron_baugher (Deacon) on Jun 01, 2012 at 18:15 UTC

    I've made 741 ++ votes and only 7 -- votes, but I wouldn't want to see down-voting go away. I assume that the threat of down-votes prevents a certain amount of nonsense, and regularly receiving down-votes probably drives away a certain kind of problem user.

    "I feel that the posting of negative feedback on anything is, as eBay for example certainly regards it, an act of declaring that something is actually bad. That it has been made with “bad” motivation. And I simply do not think that people on a forum ought to be given the opportunity to express an opinion like that."

    Why on earth not? Yes, my judgment that a post was made from "bad motivation" is exactly why I would vote it down. I wouldn't vote down a post for being honestly clueless or wrong, or for being poorly written, as long as the poster seemed to be doing his best. But when it looks like a troll, or is insulting, or ignores the question in favor of pushing an unhelpful solution, then I may cast a down vote. In short, I won't down-vote someone who's honestly looking for help or trying to be helpful, but I may when it's clear to me that helpfulness was not the goal.

    I suspect most people vote that way. I know I've been just plain wrong on a couple of solutions I offered, and I still didn't get down votes, presumably because people could tell it was an honest mistake and I accepted their corrections gracefully.

    (Sometimes I'm tempted to down-vote for sloppy writing, but I resist that unless it's combined with another reason. It's not that hard to tell the "knows English but can't be bothered to write correctly" posts from the "doing his best with a foreign language" posts, but I wouldn't want to guess wrong. I do draw the line at up-voting those posts though; no one who can't be bothered to capitalize the first letter of a sentence will ever get a ++ from me, for instance, no matter how brilliant the content. But that's just me.)

    "This is nothing personal; this is not a rant; I have a Rhett Butler approach about such trivialities."

    Sorry, but no, you don't, or you wouldn't be posting on the subject repeatedly. And to be brutally honest, perhaps you shouldn't be blasé about this. If more than a negligible percentage of the votes you receive are negative, then maybe you should be concerned about it. Stop telling yourself it's because some one person doesn't like you, and ask yourself what there might be about the way you post that makes people react that way. If you're truly trying to be helpful and you're getting down votes, there's a disconnect there, and it's up to you to find it. I say this with nothing but kindness: we all need to stop once in a while and say, "Wait a second, is it me? Am I just being a jackass?"

    Another option: make a few posts anonymously, chosen randomly from your usual postings. Do your anonymous posts get down-voted too, or just the ones where people know who you are? That will tell you the score, if you really want to know.

    Aaron B.
    Available for small or large Perl jobs; see my home node.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by hominid (Curate) on Jun 01, 2012 at 20:16 UTC
    Your "sworn enemy" is helping you. Learn from him.
Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by doom (Deacon) on Jun 01, 2012 at 20:45 UTC

    You have my sympathies, but I think you're going after the wrong problem. I've been on the receiving end of that treatment myself -- I was daring to argue with someone who was clearly initially down-voting everything I said, in addition to responding to me -- but the thing that was most interesting about that was the pattern of up-votes happening with the person I was arguing with. Everything, even trivia, seemed to be getting a few up-votes: I strongly suspect he's using sock-puppets to vote for his own postings.

    The fact that we don't have any sort of real, verified I.D.s means that the entire XP system is essentially a toy, which really can't be taken seriously. You can hack on it all you want-- eliminate downvotes, forbid voting in threads you're participating in, add "meta-moderation", whatever-- but it'll remain an easily gameable toy.

      I have doubts as to how much damage one person can do to another with down-voting, even with sock puppets. Looking at my own posting history, I have made 248 posts which have received a total score of +1634, for an average of +6.6 per post. I assume I'm pretty ordinary; the most I've gotten for a post was +26 (for what I thought was a fairly routine bit about web servers and CGI -- not even directly about Perl, oddly enough) and my least was -1. (Which appeared to get two -- votes because I implied that negative look-behind is a "recent" regex feature. Oops.) No really high ones or really low ones.

      So anyway, to give me 15% negative votes, as chromatic reported above, my arch-enemy would have to vote at least once on every single one of my posts. That would be too obvious if he did it from a single account, so maybe he'd divide it up with a couple sock puppets. Then, so it still wouldn't be obvious, he'd have to down-vote some other people too (and really, is the kind of person who would do this likely to only have one target?). Then to keep from getting penalized for too many down-votes, he'd have to spread around a lot of up-votes to other people -- and not just to his sock puppets, or that would be obvious too.

      So I'm guessing that to make it work and keep the accounts functioning and avoid getting caught, he'd have to spread around a dozen or more votes for every negative one he gives me. And I'm not that prolific; I only post once or twice per day. To keep up with someone who posts several times a day, he'd have to spread around several dozen votes. That means more time, and even more sock puppets, just to have enough votes to keep up.

      I don't know; maybe I'm not dastardly enough, but it just seems like way too much work to me.

      Aaron B.
      Available for small or large Perl jobs; see my home node.

        aaron_baugher:

        but it just seems like way too much work to me.

        Well ... uh ... perhaps he could write a script? I hear perl is nice...

        /me ducks and runs...

        ...roboticus

        When your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like your thumb.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by Argel (Prior) on Jun 01, 2012 at 23:24 UTC
    Hmm, you know, looking at your OP again, I think you undermined your own proposal in the first sentence. You have a sworn enemy on PM? Really?? That right there is the the kind of behavior that down voting is designed to discourage. I realize you think BrowserUK really is your sworn enemy, but for it to have merit, he would have to feel the same about you. And I just do not believe that one. He can be brash, and he definitely speaks his mind, but if you limited your posting to accurate responses, I believe he would be there up voting those posts. I really think you need to look in to the mirror on this one.

    Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
    My deviantART gallery

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Canon) on Jun 02, 2012 at 07:43 UTC

    It seems that sundialsvc4's account was hacked during August 2011, for an imposter masquerading as sundialsvc4 posted:

    Humble Monks, I just spent half of my "dog votes" today voting-down this entire thread, except for the original post, which I did not down-vote.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Canon) on Jun 02, 2012 at 09:23 UTC

        Please, do keep it up. A lot of times I about choke on my coffee going "wtf!?1" when I read his posts and then I see you've already called him on his vaguely theoretical bs and then I smile because you've saved me the trouble of having to do it.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by afoken (Parson) on Jun 02, 2012 at 17:24 UTC

    My first impression when I read the heading: Oh no, not another ebay.de!

    I don't know about international ebay sites, but the german one has removed the "downvotes" for vendors. Vendors can send a neutral or positive rating, buyers can additionally send a negative rating. Sure, the rating system was abused by some people, but without any way to tell others that a buyer shows unwanted behaviour, the rating system on ebay.de is essentially useless for vendors. And neutral is the "new negative".

    What does that mean for perlmonks? There is no neutral vote, just up and down. Remove down and you get a completely useless tool, just like the page visit counters on every web page in the 1990s.

    I use the voting tool as a shotcut to "punish" bad behavior or really stupid posts with downvotes, and to reward good posts. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Yes, there are trolls around here, some plain stupid ones, and a few some very clever ones. The former disappear rater quickly, but the clever ones are harder to handle. I downvote troll postings of both kinds, even if that does not hurt the XP of the clever ones much. But even if I prefer upvoting, I would really miss the downvote function.

    Alexander

    --
    Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)

      I would really miss the downvote function.

      I don't know, the new neutered downvote function dosn't seem quite as useful as the old unfiltered one

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 02, 2012 at 23:13 UTC
    If your suffering from sockpuppets, I suggest making some of your own to upvote yourself.

      If your suffering from sockpuppets, I suggest making some of your own to upvote yourself.

      That is against the site rules

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by tobyink (Abbot) on Jun 03, 2012 at 12:07 UTC

    Personally I down-vote all the posts I see just to be non-biased. I'd down-vote my own posts if it would let me.

    (Aside: why can't I down-vote my own posts? I understand why I'm not allowed to up-vote them.)

    Update: thank you whoever downvoted this post. I would have done it myself if I could.

    perl -E'sub Monkey::do{say$_,for@_,do{($monkey=[caller(0)]->[3])=~s{::}{ }and$monkey}}"Monkey say"->Monkey::do'
Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by sundialsvc4 (Monsignor) on Jun 04, 2012 at 15:26 UTC

    Let me put my money where my mouth is and direct you to e.g. the following web site: http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/03/the-value-of-downvoting-or-how-hacker-news-gets-it-wrong/

    Now, let me be quick to point out that the case being made in this article is against my own view:   the author, Jeff Atwood, argues that downvoting should be allowed and that it is important.   But he goes on to say, about two-thirds of the way through the piece:

    The problem isn’t downvotes, per se, but encouraging responsible downvoting. That’s why on Stack Overflow, we do it this way:
    • Upvotes add 10 reputation to the post author.
    • Downvotes remove 2 reputation from the post author, and 1 from your reputation.

    And of course, the real information value begins where the article ends, in the 39-so-far follow-on responses.

    For example, Steve Sheldon chimed in that, “Every community I have been involved in, the process of downvoting has caused such destruction, it is not clear to me how anyone would treat it so casually.   By destruction, I mean rating wars.”

    CHMike later said: “The current model relies on the assumption that popularity ‘up votes’ is an indicator of pertinence and validity.   But this depends on the competence and quality of judgment of the voters.  Weighting the votes by the voter’s recognized ‘competence’ will yield a more valid estimation of the true value of the subject.   This is how it works in the scientific domain.   It is worth to take in consideration because it has been validated through a century old darwinian selection process.”

    Max echoed my opinion when he said, “The problem with downvotes is it allows people who disagree to suppress the opinions of others.   The whole upvote/downvote isn’t a measure of quality, it’s a measure of differences between the post and the person reading it.”

    Dan Paluska turns to the animal kingdom when he says, “How do you teach animals new tricks?   With positive rewards only.   You ignore bad behavior.   http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/25/fashion/25love.html

    I can freely accept that the only apparent response to my posting was 30 (so far...) downvotes.   It may well be that this section of the forum is only frequented by frequenters.   But, contrary to any opinion that I might be harboring puerile motives here ... I think that this is a very legitimate topic for discussion here at PerlMonks in the manner that I actually intended it (twice).   Right now, the system offers both up- and down-votes, of equal weight and no adverse cost, and only has a limited “dog votes” defense against bots and sock-puppets (presumably) which are used to blanket-downvote one’s chosen enemies.   There are hundreds of discussion articles similar to the one at StackOverflow.   But I don’t seem to be being too successful at starting one here...

    I’m rather disappointed at that, frankly.   “Are we doing it right, or wrong?”   Given that we are looking closely at aesthetic improvements to the site, should we not also look at other aspects of how the software functions in service to the community?   Should there be a “poll” offered to the community-at-large?   (Has one ever been done?)   Why is the only response that has so-far been offered here, to this I-think important question, “thirty downvotes?”   Is this merely, as I frankly argue that it just might be, merely an effort to suppress a dissenting and hence unpopular view?

    What arguments or discussions from elsewhere on the Internet might you bring to the discussion that I am (still...) trying to launch?   Or should I just saddle up my pony and vamoose?

      But I don’t seem to be being too successful at starting one here...
      Why is the only response that has so-far been offered here, to this I-think important question, “thirty downvotes?”

      I downvoted your node because of the blatant disregard to the 20+ replies you got to this root post and your other root post. If you're not going to look at and address the arguments these replies bring forth, but instead clamor for a poll, I can only assume that is because the replies are not in favour of your argument and you hope that a poll might be.

      What arguments or discussions from elsewhere on the Internet might you bring to the discussion that I am (still...) trying to launch?

      Why should arguments elsewhere have bearing on how things are here?

      If you're trying to launch a discussion, maybe that discussion would benefit from you not just arguing a side but addressing the arguments of the other side?

      I feel that my reply to your first such post was not addressed, and still stands. I won't repeat it as you seem to be unlikely to read it this time around.

      Update: Tyops

      That’s why on Stack Overflow, we do it this way

      Our "dog votes" does essentially the same thing: excessive downvoting threatens an XP penalty.

      By destruction, I mean rating wars.

      I'm not sure what he means by "rating wars", but I haven't seen any phenomenon here at PerlMonks I'd describe as a "rating war".

      The problem with downvotes is it allows people who disagree to suppress the opinions of others.

      It does no such thing. No one is ever silenced (leaving aside the issue of reaping). And anyway, those who disagree are as entitled to express their opinion as those who agree.

      How do you teach animals new tricks? With positive rewards only. You ignore bad behavior.

      The problem with applying this in an on-line forum is that -- as I said earlier -- it completely eliminates the (very useful) ability to distinguish between a node which has been ignored or upon which people simply don't have much of an opinion, and a node which people actively regard as "bad" in some way.

      The whole upvote/downvote isn’t a measure of quality, it’s a measure of differences between the post and the person reading it.

      Actually, it's not a measure of anything (except of itself). The problems come when people start making assumptions about what the node rep system means, or should mean.

      I can freely accept that the only apparent response to my posting was 30 (so far...) downvotes.
      But I don’t seem to be being too successful at starting one here...

      Uh... what about the 50+ nodes posted in this thread so far, including 27 direct replies to your post? Stop being so melodramatic. It doesn't help your argument.

      limited “dog votes” defense against bots and sock-puppets (presumably) which are used to blanket-downvote one’s chosen enemies

      I don't think that's what dog votes are intended to do. In fact, they would be particularly ineffective at doing that. First of all, only a high-ranking monk would have enough votes at his disposal to do any kind of carpet bombing of a chosen enemy; and such high-ranking monks are buffered against the effects of losing XP by the wide XP increments needed to gain (or lose) a level. For example, a mid-level Canon (26,000 XP) gets 38 votes to expend in a day. If he uses them all for downvoting, he'll lose (on average) 13 XP per day. At that rate, it would take him well over 300 days to drop down to level 19. And even though that would be somewhat shameful, the only concrete penalty is that he'd be getting 36 votes per day instead of 38. Even at 36 or 38 votes per day, using them all for carpet bombing, one person can't really do much damage to another monk's XP, except for the lowest level monks. And what high-level monk is going to carpet-bomb a newbie, unless he really deserves it?

      Is this merely ... an effort to suppress a dissenting and hence unpopular view?

      Unless your node is in danger of getting reaped, no. A post with negative rep is just as visible as post with positive rep. This is especially true in sections other than SoPW.
      Update: And this is in distinction to some other sites such as Slashdot, where a visibility threshold is applied, so that people don't (normally) see nodes with a rep lower than zero (or something).

      I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
        Also of note is that a single user can vote on a given node only once. This further limits the damage a single user can do to a node, or another user by proxy.
      Should there be a “poll” offered to the community-at-large?

      I find it interesting (which is to say, ironic) that you argue against the capability for each post to be a poll, and then say you think a poll on the topic might be useful. Consider: your root post is a poll. The voting has shown that your proposal is unpopular. Yay, the system works as it is.

      I think that this is a very legitimate topic for discussion here at PerlMonks [....] I don’t seem to be being too successful at starting one here...

      Don't sell yourself short; you've been very successful at starting a discussion. This post has been active for almost a week and has prompted dozens of thoughtful replies. It currently dominates the Weekly Best nodelet. I'd call that a successful discussion starter by any measure. To say that the "only response" has been thirty downvotes is to insult the people who took the time to write thoughtful responses.

      That you (apparently) haven't been successful in converting anyone to your way of thinking is a separate issue altogether. You seem to be saying that, as long as people disagree with you, it means that: A) you haven't couched your argument in the right way, or B) you've been prevented from reaching the right people in the right manner. So you restart the discussion in a new thread, perhaps stating your case slightly differently; and you suggest a poll, as if dozens of votes and replies aren't a clear poll in themselves. You refuse to accept that you could simply be wrong (which in this case doesn't mean morally or factually wrong, but simply out of step with the preferences of the rest of the group), and that manifests as a social obnoxiousness that grates on people.

      Or should I just saddle up my pony and vamoose?

      Honestly, if you can't be content at a forum that allows down-voting, and it's clear that this one will not be changing any time soon, then that may be your best option. I'm not trying to get rid of you, and I don't get the impression any else here is either. But there are other places to discuss Perl that may be more to your liking; there's no need to work so hard to remake this one your own way. Life is too short to spend your time on Internet forums that make you unhappy. And threatening to take your ball and go home....well, that kind of thing makes it pretty tempting to call your bluff.

      Aaron B.
      Available for small or large Perl jobs; see my home node.

        Extremely well analyzed and concisely stated. Thank you.

        Or should I just saddle up my pony and vamoose?

        I'd go beyond what Aaron said and emphasize that sundialsvc4 has been an outstanding contributor to the site (IMHO). I think it would be a terrible shame if he left over an issue as trivial as whether we should allow downvoting or not.

        I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
      defense against bots and sock-puppets (presumably) which are used to blanket-downvote one’s chosen enemies

      As was pointed out, nobody is using sock puppets nor bots to blanket-downvote you. Having investigated suspected sock puppets, suspected bots, and suspected blanket-downvoting, I can tell you that most of those suspicions turn out to be incorrect. (Blanket-downvoting used to be relatively frequent but not as frequent as people suspected and is now quite rare.)

      You don't even appear to have a sworn enemy.

      Despite tons of replies, you don't seem to have taken much note of them. You don't appear to have reconsidered your proposal in light of the replies before proposing it again. Beyond that, it seems you should re-examine your founding assumptions that lead you to your conclusions.

      - tye        

      Upon reading this post, I thought of much retort, thankfully, aaron_baugher said most of it more clearly and succinctly than I might have. So I'll confine myself to addressing this sentence:

      I can freely accept that the only apparent response to my posting was 30 (so far...) downvotes.

      That pretty well sums up why this place (and other sites; but that is their problem) need downvotes. A few more statistics.

      Without downvotes, your three posts in this thread would show: +8 +5 +1

      Which could only be read as a small but consistently positive support for your proposal.

      But the reality stands as -38 .v. +8 -20 .v. +5 -9 .v. +1

      Hence, a notional, small positive support turns into an overwhelming 82.7% rejection of your proposal, on the basis of the response to your posts alone.

      On the basis of pro .v. anti posts in the thread, it is nearer 95% anti your proposal.

      And on the basis of all the votes cast in the thread for posts that vaguely support you; versus those very clearly against, it is closer to 99%.

      The disenfranchisement of the ability to record an active rejection -- in favor of passive acceptance -- would place the monastery into a reality distortion field, leading to the same outcome as "a few good men doing nothing".


      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".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

      The start of some sanity?

        ++ on this particular post, and ++ on -- staying.

        Update: thanks BrowserUK for calculating the numbers, effectively presenting the results of a 'poll'.

      How do you teach animals new tricks? With positive rewards only. You ignore bad behavior.

      And you end up with a fat spoiled brat ... I mean dog.

      If you really take a look at the animal kingdom, you'll find out that the animals use both positive and negative feedback to teach their offspring "new tricks". There's not just "here, that's what you do", but rather also "no! This is not how you should behave." But the animals did not read didactic texts from acclaimed professors with no actual students, child-less well-meaning feminists or mothers neglecting their spoiled brats 'cause they have no time for the kids due to all the conferences and books.

      Jenda
      Enoch was right!
      Enjoy the last years of Rome.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by stevieb (Hermit) on Jun 05, 2012 at 04:30 UTC

    I'm going to jump on this, and reflect on one of my earlier posts within the thread.

    Because coding is a side-effect of my job, I don't often get a chance to look at PerlMonks until 18-24 hours late. That means my posts are often forgotten.

    If one would go through my history, they'd find that I'm positive across the board. Unfortunately, because I'm usually late to the party, the code I've provided is forgotten because it is lost in the obscurity that is yesterday.

    I have many 0-3 votes, simply because I was late to the game. I'd rather my helpful posts as a 0-2 show up as useful than a 0 that matches it that is a piece of fuscking spam or whatever.

    A -N is much better than my quality 0.

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by Argel (Prior) on Jun 08, 2012 at 00:41 UTC
    What arguments or discussions from elsewhere on the Internet might you bring to the discussion that I am (still...) trying to launch? Or should I just saddle up my pony and vamoose?
    Gah! Seriously!? Work on limiting your posts to subjects you are very knowledgeable on and your downvoting and alleged sworn enemy issues will go away. As I said way up above, "you should be meditating on how to become a better Monk." Overall, I believe PM has benefited from your presence and I would be disappointed to see you leave. :(

    Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
    My deviantART gallery

      out of votes, but ++

Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by ig (Vicar) on Jun 25, 2012 at 22:55 UTC

    I am more interested in what people have written than how others voted about it.

    The voting system doesn't reliably distinguish between "good" and "bad" posts, for any definitions of good and bad that are useful to me.

    I suspect you are no less likely to have a sworn enemy if downvotes are eliminated.

      If you have a sworn enemy and they can't down-vote you, then they have to resort to anonymously replying rudely.
        That's true. I'll happily click a -- button in many cases when I can't be bothered to type out a negative reply. Don't force me to!
Re: Proposal: eliminate down-votes
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 27, 2012 at 04:13 UTC
    Well, frankly, I agree with Dr. Richard Feynmann on this one: “why do you care what other people think?”

    Quoting Feynmann to support your thinly veiled whining about getting downvoted is, frankly, very offensive and I'm sure the good Doctor is rolling over in his grave right now.

    If you really don't care, you can do what I did and just log out: let your words stand or fall based on their own merits rather than playing some silly ego game.

    FWIW, as much as this post is asking for it, I didn't bother to log in and downvote you

    --The Anonymous Monk formerly known as rowdog

Log In?
Username:
Password:

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: monkdiscuss [id://973576]
Approved by kcott
help
Chatterbox?
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others musing on the Monastery: (12)
As of 2014-08-29 15:46 GMT
Sections?
Information?
Find Nodes?
Leftovers?
    Voting Booth?

    The best computer themed movie is:











    Results (281 votes), past polls