|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
You say you noticed, but here's the thing; your XP is not noticably lower than it was on Monday. In fact, although I may be mistaken - I don't even track MY XP all that closely, much less someone else's - it appears to be quite a bit higher. So tell me, in what way were you affected? Because you had to waste time and effort on this discussion? Well, there's a simple solution to that.
As for your fixes:
Tye's idea of making it impossible to target a person too heavily by limiting how rapidly you can downvote one person.
I already made my opinion clear on this one, but let me say it again; I oppose this idea with all the strength and conviction I'm willing to put into it. What you are proposing here is nothing short of censorship, in the sense that voting, for better or for worse, is a form of expression. You may not like that some individuals appear to be using this as a form of expression against you, rather than against your posts, but it is a form of expression. As for you judging their impact on this site - how dare you? You have been here less than a week, but you feel qualified to comment on the community and how things will impact it? You've been making a lot of posts, and the technical details in them are for the most part excellent, but you have a long way to go before you can claim to know this community and how it works, much less what is and is not good for it.
Have a public discussion.
What does it say that you favor making the changes instead?
In any event, that's what we're doing here, having a public discussion. In my opinion, you are wrong. Flat out, around the bend, wrong. I have gotten what seems to me to be more than my fair share of -- votes in the past, I will get them again. It happens.
Also, when I say "In My Opinion", I mean that I have posted numbers in the very node you are replying to showing you how little effect an attack like this can have. Perhaps I'm wrong, and you are free to say so - but if I'm wrong, WHERE ARE YOUR NUMBERS? Don't just tell me I'm wrong and expect me to believe you. Show me why my numbers are wrong.
Display next to each user a count of how they have used their votes recently. What proportion are down, what proportion are up.
This "fix" does not prevent someone from attacking you, it only makes it easier for you to attack someone who may or may not have done anything to you, simply because they have made some negative votes lately. The only way to be sure you're attacking the right person would be to have a record of who voted against you...
Give a way for the person who is voted on and that person only to know who voted how on them.
...which is covered here.
And once again - no. Anonymous voting means exactly that; you cast your votes without fear of reprisal or retribution. Post good nodes, and the few spiteful -- votes won't matter. If lots of people are voting --, then evidently the community doesn't agree with what you're doing.
Many people have suggested forcing people to anonymously give a reason for negative votes. That's also unreasonable. A -- vote expresses displeasure with a node, or, unfortunately in many ways, with the poster of the node. That's all. There's no need for a dissertation on how the node made you feel that caused you to vote that way, and no way, if it's anonymous, to force people to give true responses. I for one, if this system is implemented, will protest it; not only will I refuse to give any answer other than, say, "BORK", but I will stop giving any sort of explanation for any vote outside the system, either.
If I vote -- on a post, I usually explain why. But not always, nor should I be forced to have to explain why. Sometimes, I vote -- because the information in the post is wrong - and when that happens, I explain why it's wrong, and give the correct information. Sometimes I vote -- because of a node's tone, particularly in the case of answers to new users' questions. Or I might vote -- because I just don't like the node, no other reason than because it seems like a waste of space - a "me too" node or a duplicate answer to a question long answered. Giving a reason there would only be a bigger waste of effort. And yes, being human, I have in the past voted -- simply because I felt the poster was being foolish, or whining about something unimportant. If you insist on asking me why I voted -- on one of those nodes, that's all the answer you'll get, too. This is a reasonable expenditure of effort? Awful strange, coming from someone who only a few paragraphs ago was complaining about wasted effort.
Tell everyone that there is no problem, nobody should care, there has been no impact. Honest.
Sounds good to me. One thing, though - I showed you EXACTLY how much this would affect me, were it to happen. You can calculate exactly how much it would affect you, too, the same way. In my case, assuming this attack started several days ago, such that it would end today, I can say exactly where I would be; up almost 30 points. Off of a relatively small number of posts. So tell me - why SHOULDN'T we do this? How have you or anyone else been hurt? The only time I have seen this attack be somewhat effective, it was a JOKE, with the full knowledge and in part cooperation of the target, in forcing him to drop from Monk to Scribe and back again several times in one day. At the end of the day, with as many as a dozen people cooperating to push him down to Scribe, he was a Monk. Granted, it was something like the fourth time he became a Monk that day. But in the end, it didn't hurt him at all.
In other words, you can whine and complain about how much this hurts you all you like. But unless you can list out EXACTLY how much you've been "hurt" and make me believe that it's worth pursuing, I will continue to argue against taking any sort of action about this. The cure, so far as I can determine, is much worse than the disease, because I don't see anyone suffering any symptoms. You complain, but your XP is higher than ever. A few other people, including close friends, say they have been hit... but they also add that it made no practical difference, they made up the difference in hours.
In short, if you think that the technical contributions that I am capable of making matter (and some here most definitely do) then there is a problem and it does no good to say otherwise. If you do not think that the technical contributions that I am capable of matter, or you have strongly negative opinions about how I make them, well you know how to chatter at me so please do.
I disagree. I do not and have not seen the problem you are complaining about, and not for lack of looking. In examining my own node reputations while calculating the numbers I used here, I noticed several prominent nodes - my favorites, if you will - that were lower than I recall. So, perhaps somewhat hit me, too. All I can say is, it never registered in my mind when it was happening, and from the numbers that I'm calculating, I can see why. As I said above, I'm willing to admit that it's possible I'm wrong. But you had better show me the numbers before I'll admit that I *am* wrong.
The only means by which something like this could be an effective attack are:
1. A high ranking monk, or several, attack one low-ranking monk with a lot of posts. This wouldn't be very effective; if the monk has a lot of posts, but no XP, that indicates that not many people have been voting the posts up, anyway. If it's a low ranking monk WITHOUT a lot of posts, then there's very little damage that can be done; if I hit a user in this manner with, say, 15 nodes, then at most, I could expect to cost them 5 XP. With the XP system changes that were made recently, it would be considerably less than that if the posts were well regarded by the other monks.
2. A majority of the community participated in the attack. On the one hand, this would indeed be a devestating attack on someone's XP... but then, if it's the community at large doing it, it's not an attack, it's the voting system at work. Besides, the people here are too individualistic for this to be a real threat.
3. The victim is so wrapped up in watching their XP that losing a point seriously bothers them, causing them to complain about it in the chatterbox and post nodes proposing sweeping changes to systems they can't possibly know well, generating more ill-will towards themselves and wasting a lot of time and effort.
In this case, your "Shadow Conspiracy" attackers must be laughing themselves silly.
In reply to RE: RE (2): Limit on voting down a person (Run in circles, scream and shout)