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Re^2: RFC: Hide Very Bad Answers From Visitors

by jdporter (Canon)
on Jul 25, 2018 at 20:06 UTC ( #1219283=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: RFC: Hide Very Bad Answers From Visitors
in thread RFC: Hide Very Bad Answers From Visitors

Thank you, shmem, for your very thoughtful and detailed reply.

I guess that this policy is meant to prevent the decision on how to vote on a particular node from being biased by the node's actual tally; and to prevent Anonymous Monk to add negativity upon negativity

Well, no. The idea was as I stated in the OP. It's about protecting, in some measure, the overall "quality" and reputation of the site in the eyes of the wider world, by hiding from Anonymous Monk (which would include folks following hits from google, for example) the worst of the site's content.

That being said, it could possibly also have the effects you stated. It would, ever so slightly, "break the wall" of invisibility around each node's rep before voting. But is this really such a concern? It would require more than a little effort on a monk's part to discover that a bad node has a rep above or below the threshold; and then what?

It's worth pointing out that we already have ways in which this kimono is partially opened — in particular, with ordering of replies by reputation. I don't view this cloaking as particularly sacred. Is it really?

hiding negatively reputed nodes goes against free speech

As others have said -- this isn't really true. If you want to make an argument along this line, you'd better attack reaping first.

the perl monks endured people like ... with great patience and no harm done to the community

Unfortunately, I don't think you're right on either count. Anyway, we as a community have a right to protect ourselves from the effects wrought by bad actors, and this proposal is an attempt to do so in the least intrusive and disruptive way.

it is up to anybody themselves what to do being presented with a bit of information, and how to react

There is a substantial difference between how logged-in users use the site, and how (we suppose) random drive-by visitors use the site. The present proposal is based on the presumption that the latter are mainly looking for good technical content. In this light, we would actually be doing them a service. If you want to see all the content, grab a nametag and come on in.

Privacy is a whole different thing I want to add, just in case

Okayyy... What is your point? Privacy is generally not a concern here, since no one is required to use real names nor any other "PII". The main privacy element I can think of is private messaging between monks. Does that factor into this somehow?

I think that adding "this node has negative reputation" to, rather than hiding a node, would be a better choice.

Thank you; that is an excellent idea. We could style a very negative note in such a way that says "this reply has been deemed of very poor quality by a consensus of monks" or some such.

Hiding subtrees: Don't! because answers and discussions to/about a bad node might contain valuable information and interesting subthreads worth reading.

Theoretically, maybe. But be honest: When's the last time you saw a reply to a very low-quality note contain matter of worthy technical merit? It's very rare. Such subthreads almost always consist of bashing the author for continuing to post garbage, etc.

I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
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Re^3: RFC: Hide Very Bad Answers From Visitors
by shmem (Chancellor) on Jul 26, 2018 at 01:21 UTC

    shmem bows politely. Retorting thanks.

    The idea was as I stated in the OP. It's about protecting, in some measure, the overall "quality" and reputation of the site in the eyes of the wider world, by hiding from Anonymous Monk (which would include folks following hits from google, for example) the worst of the site's content.

    I was referring to the introduction of this policy in the first place: whom are node tallies to be shown.

    As for the overall "quality" and reputation of the site in the eyes of the wider world, the contents of this site speak for themselves, as does every node (speak for itself), and every monk does. This site doesn't need to boost its reputation in the eyes of a wider world - the reputation is in the eye of the beholder, in short: I don't care really, and I personally am against (tongue in cheek) shenanigans to boost PerlMonks acceptance: it wouldn't be a monastery any more ;-)

    About free speech -

    As others have said -- this isn't really true. If you want to make an argument along this line, you'd better attack reaping first.

    No. There's no need to "attack reaping". The rules for reaping a node are well established: a node has to be considered, voted for reaping by a significant amount of insiders, and NodeReaper isn't sent to do his work by an algorithm, rather quite sensible folks do that afaik. SPAM and such aren't free speech, since they are no speech at all. We could start to argue what speech is and when, but that would prrobably go beyond the scope of PerlMonks.

    Anyway, we as a community have a right to protect ourselves from the effects wrought by bad actors, and this proposal is an attempt to do so in the least intrusive and disruptive way.

    Yes, and we did that - as a community - in the most friendly and peaceful way (exceptions prove the rule) as long as PerlMonks exists, and my argument is that we need not any further restrictions, except security for our site and fellow monks.

    My argument is that there is no such thing as "effects wrought by bad actors" at this site, as long as "bad actors" and their utterings are visible, and their doings aren't carefully crafted psy-ops. But that is a whole other theme, which doesn't make sense on a technical site devoted to a computing language. As said, even bad advice is educational in my eyes.

    There is a substantial difference between how logged-in users use the site, and how (we suppose) random drive-by visitors use the site. The present proposal is based on the presumption that the latter are mainly looking for good technical content.

    Substantial difference based on supposition isn't far from prejudice, sorry. At least a very weak argument presented as is alone.

    I'd say that random drive-by users use the site basically for the same purpose as regulars: seeking, and (Anonymous Monk probably to a lesser extent) providing technical content, since this site has little more to offer. The main difference between Anonymous Monk and regulars is that the latter are able to keep track of their doings for whatever purpose.

    In this light, we would actually be doing them a service.
    Not really. Absolute vote tally is dependant on overall interest on the topic, amongst other factors, so votes don't really say anything reliable about technical quality. If that were so, and if votes would be cast only dependant on technical merit, you'd probably be right. But there's no way to isolate technical from social stuff in each voter, let alone for the whole site. See the infamous Quantum Weirdness subthread.

    Privacy is a whole different thing I want to add, just in case
    Okayyy... What is your point?

    Point is "just in case". It is generally not a good idea to add more data than needed to a public discussion. I added this only to prevent this discussion from trailing off into something else. *Sigh*.

    When's the last time you saw a reply to a very low-quality note contain matter of worthy technical merit? It's very rare.

    Agreed, and I vaguely remember occasions, but I won't dig into that. But since your proposal is about an automatism without human interaction, I thought that this possibility is worth mentioning. Imagine somebody posting the ultimate solution for world peace based on pure perl, seven hawks downvote that, and then it is shunned from all but regular monkses.

    perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'

      Thank you, shmem!

      This site doesn't need to boost its reputation in the eyes of a wider world ... it wouldn't be a monastery any more ;-)

      We'd only be hiding the worst of the worst. It seems to me there are always these nodes that are so cringe-worthy that I feel embarrassed that the wider world will see them. And genuinely concerned that some newbie will read them without the discernment necessary to reject them.

      The rules for reaping a node are well established

      The rules for the activation of this mechanism would be equally well established.

      NodeReaper isn't sent to do his work by an algorithm, rather quite sensible folks do that afaik.

      Alas, you're mistaken. Once the defined criteria are met, NodeReaper consumes the node automatically. (The triggering action has to be a "vote for reap", however; a downvote won't do it. Unfortunately.)

      SPAM and such aren't free speech, since they are no speech at all.

      I would say that's only true if the offending content is posted by a bot. Also, "and such" is both vague and broad. Surely, plenty of reap-worthy content would qualify as speech.

      My point is, reaping is far more absolute -- both in terms of how the content is hidden and in how difficult it is to restore -- than this "crap shrouding" mechanism would be. For those who are concerned about "free speech", reaping is a greater threat, because some number of real people here have collectively said "this content should be removed." People aren't necessarily saying that when they simply downvote a note.

      we as a community have a right to protect ourselves from the effects wrought by bad actors
      Yes, and we did that - as a community - in the most friendly and peaceful way

      We did? How? By bullying "bad actors" mercilessly until they withdraw in disgust?

      even bad advice is educational in my eyes.

      That is an interesting contention worthy of further exploration.

      Substantial difference based on supposition isn't far from prejudice, sorry. At least a very weak argument presented as is alone.

      True. I'm trying to be transparent with my biases.

      I thought that this possibility is worth mentioning.

      It certainly is a possibility, and worth mentioning. :-)

      Thanks again!

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

        Point, point, point, point, but...

        By bullying "bad actors" mercilessly until they withdraw in disgust?

        ...I'm not aware of any bullying going on here. Even when arguments are defended with strong language and casual ad hominem attacks, things are much better here than e.g. a post by Linus Torvalds. Strong dismissal afair almost always followd lack of technical merit.

        Concerning the bit of bad advice being educational - that's only true if the discussion about the topic at hand is followed thoroughly. I completely forgot the fact, in my responses so far, that this site is anonymously indexed, and that by means of undisclosed algorithms shitty posts might appear up front in the output of search engines, if garbage is long enough repeated over and over.

        So, I wholeheartedly concur lastly with your measures, and:

        Thanks for the inordinate amount of work you were and are doing to improve PerlMonks.

        perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'

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