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What's with all of the unnecessary downvoting?

by Fastolfe (Vicar)
on Nov 14, 2000 at 01:37 UTC ( #41442=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I don't mean to sound whiny today, but in between all of my XP gains for the day, I've lost at least 10-12 XP due to downvotes (which tells me I got a lot more nodes downvoted than 10-12). This morning there was no obvious indication which nodes were hit, so I assumed somebody was just blowing their votes on older nodes so they could get the "use all votes" bonus for the day. Fine, whatever. Lame, but OK. Nothing I can do, and I think we all get hit by those kinds of people.

But then this afternoon, every time I would post, I would get downvoted. Not once, but TWICE. Here's a list of all (or those that I noticed) of the comments that were affected:

Now, one person, OK. For whatever reason somebody doesn't like me or just wants to annoy me. Fine, I can live with that. I get far more positive XP in a day than I do negative, so it's not a big deal.

What bothers me is the fact that most of these got downvoted twice. Could I have pissed off two people? Possible, but I really don't see how. I'm one of the most polite people you could meet. The only one I've probably chafed in the last week or so has been Aigheararch (thread here). Could this be random acts of downvoting? Possible. Could we have a user with multiple voting accounts? Maybe? We've joked in the past about getting bots on PerlMonks. Rack up some XP for each of them and we'd have an effective little army. I never thought I'd see examples of something like that put to use. Could we have two users with 5 votes apiece acting in this capacity?

So I guess I'm sort of railing against two things right now. The first is the "use all votes bonus", which seems to be doing nothing but encouraging people to waste them. And if you're of that mentality, why would you promote other posts when you can demote them, giving yourself a miniscule boost over other users. These users aren't contributing, they're competing. I do not believe this bonus helps get the user into the spirit of things, and it's turning out to be simply a nuisance.

The other is indiscriminant downvoting. If you have a legitimate reason for downvoting a node, please let the author know why you did it (even if you have to do it anonymously). If you feel they were off-base, I'm sure they (and everyone reading their node) would appreciate knowing why, and knowing what alternatives they could take. If you're down-voting users just to be pissy, we do not need you on this site. Go away.

  • Comment on What's with all of the unnecessary downvoting?

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(Ovid) RE: What's with all of the unnecessary downvoting?
by Ovid (Cardinal) on Nov 14, 2000 at 01:52 UTC
    A friend advised me not to make this post, but since you've started it, I'll continue :)

    Getting regularly downvoted on good posts means, in a sense, that you have "arrived." There are several well-respected monks who routinely get downvoted regardless of the quality of the material. Though I don't know if I fall in the "well-respected" category, I have noticed that after a recent, perhaps controversial, post someone went through and started downvoting several of my nodes. One node that was downvoted was posted several months ago. Sheesh. This has slowed down somewhat, but I think that I am still getting more downvotes than normal.

    This has been discussed repeatedly and unfortunately, some people will insist upon voting the Monk and not the node. Be patient and it will either pass or not. Most of the time, these downvoters will not tell you what they are doing (for fear of retaliation) or they might even make an anonymous post that rips into you. I know that merlyn has been the victim of several of those.

    Just let it lie and it will pass. If it doesn't, rest assured that you are in good company :)


    Join the Perlmonks Setiathome Group or just go the the link and check out our stats.

      They don't even have to tell me they down-voted it. Simply saying, "Actually I think solution X is better because ___," is quite sufficient. I'd just rather not be in the dark.

      Perhaps I've just put a bullseye on my head by posting this. I guess if I start attracting more downvotes today/tomorrow I'll know. It's pretty sad.

RE: What's with all of the unnecessary downvoting?
by fundflow (Chaplain) on Nov 14, 2000 at 02:10 UTC
    I really don't understand you.

    While it is probably annoying to lose XP, it's only XP.

    If memory serves, you tend to post alot and very fast. In Hidden Characters? it was 3 minutes after the question was posted. Looking back there, it seems like your answer isn't the best one around, as other people posted later more complete answers (that suggest other a better/safer approach).

    Note that I'm not saying that it is bad to give quick reply, but if you post the first thing that comes to mind, it might not be the best answer, thus people might not like it.

    If you see a bad solution, don't you vote -- on it?

    On the good side, i don't think any individual can damage too much, and since you post alot, this will probably wear off.

    Quick math: You have 1800 XP's in 5 about months, thats about 360 XP a month, which means that you'll be a Saint in 3 months.
    Some people devote their whole life to it :)

    Cheer up.

RE: What's with all of the unnecessary downvoting?
by footpad (Abbot) on Nov 14, 2000 at 09:20 UTC
    please let the author know why you did it (even if you have to do it anonymously). If you feel they were off-base, I'm sure they (and everyone reading their node) would appreciate knowing why, and knowing what alternatives they could take.

    Actually, this touches on something that I'd like to see more of. The community is very good about letting exsting posts rest; that is, if a post seems to adequately cover the topic at hand, no one else feels it necessarily to jump in.

    This is a good thing

    It could also be a bad thing.

    As has been noted, we have many collegues of varying levels of experience.

    I would ask, as someone who still considers themselves as an apprentice in this black art, for the senior members to take a second look at threads. I've seen followups that I've voted up simply to see what the reputation was...and because I thought it was thought provoking, interesting, and a point well-raised. Sadly, I don't yet have the direct experience with perl to offer sound advice. I suspect the senior members of the Order have that experience and more.

    After all, the evolution of a thread can be as illuminating as the answer that starts it.


    P.S. Keep the faith...

      I know I generally keep a followup on threads I've posted to, either aging them out after a while, or when there are just too many replies that start to have little relevance. But like everything else, it's a case by case basis, not a blanket statement .

      I tend not to keep up with threads that don't pique my interest, such as the current Load Balancing thread .

      Personally, I think it's important to keep up with threads you've particpated in, for a number of reasons. If for nothing else, to see if some one has logically disputed your presentation, and (to use a bit of southern speak here) learnt you somethin'.


      e-mail jcwren
RE: What's with all of the unnecessary downvoting?
by AgentM (Curate) on Nov 14, 2000 at 02:27 UTC
    I've experienced the same phenomena, noticeably after I dissected a small utility script. I actually didn't notice, but Ovid alerted me to the fact and notified me that he had upvoted my nodes just as a bit of a buffer. I'm grateful, but really it wasn't necessary. I just take it with a grain of salt. Normally, I find and I consider my daily votes as a buffer against ANY -- damage that can be done to me. This ensures my XP will be positive everyday! :-) The true XP is that derived from good posts! Sorry, but I don't share your sympathies- I guess I just don't care enough. Especially for a guy like you who makes a buttload of XP daily, is it really worth ranting about a loss of some 5 XP? Sure, the guy's a dipstick, just ignore him and he'll go away.
    AgentM Systems nor Nasca Enterprises nor Bone::Easy nor Macperl is responsible for the comments made by AgentM. Remember, you can build any logical system with NOR.
      Actually the occasional down-voting doesn't really bother me. It's a bit of a nuisance, but isn't isolated to me (though I guess I did extend my rant to include them at the end). I was just concerned about the systematic downvoting with multiple user accounts (at essentially the same time, or at least far enough apart to be explained by a logout/login). Either we have 2 nuisances, or 1 serious nuisance that could potentially become much worse.

        We have hundreds of active monks. I think you are currently the number one fastest moving monk. So 0.5% of the community took notice and decided that they didn't like you, you post too much, you are getting XP too fast, they are jealous, you somehow pissed them off, or whatever.

        In a community of this size, if you don't manage to piss off a couple of people, then you aren't very visible. If you actually know a few people that you've pissed off, then you might be psychic or a jerk. (: So just expect to piss off a few people who don't make their feelings public. You wouldn't even know about them if it weren't for the negative votes.

        Ignore the negative votes. You and we will be happier.

        Update: It just occurred to me... maybe they are tired of never getting a chance to be the first to repond to a node. :)

                - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
RE: What's with all of the unnecessary downvoting?
by Blue (Hermit) on Nov 14, 2000 at 01:57 UTC
    There's been a good amount of previous discussion about downvoting, mostly connected to merlyn, who seems to be contreversial.

    Perhaps limit the amount of time something can be downvoted - after a week or a month it can no longer be --d to limit someone with a grudge downvoting all of a person posts, loosing good information because of an unrelated bad feeling. This limit would not affect ++ - if someone finds information useful after it was written, it will most likely continue to be useful.

    I don't know what type of logs are kept, but it might be possible to see if a monk downvotes much by a single user. Of course, this may be warrented like bravismore, but more likely would denote a grudge.

    A collection of bots is unfortunately possible. Anywhere where lurking is allowed can give rise to it. However I know from my own experience that getting to understand the feel before becoming an active member of the community helps people adjust to the style, so I can't say lurking is bad.

    The idea to get rid of the "use all votes bonus" would just slow a bot - they would still get a +1 after 25% of their votes. Moving the -- to a higher level then (2) would just delay that.

    Perhaps taking the -- out of "automatic", where you have to reply to the node for it to count might work. I know this has been previously discussed and it has it's share of problems, but it would reduce grudges, and also take bootstamping from bots.

    Any other ideas?

    =Blue might be eaten by a grue...

      I don't comment on "political" issues much, but here it goes:

      "Perhaps limit the amount of time something can be downvoted - after a week or a month it can no longer be --d to limit someone with a grudge downvoting all of a person posts, loosing good information because of an unrelated bad feeling. This limit would not affect ++ - if someone finds information useful after it was written, it will most likely continue to be useful."

      I disagree. Time does not affect the quality of a node...whether the quality is good or bad. I think that a node will deserve what it deserves no matter when it is viewed and voted upon. While, this idea could prevent some abuse, I think that it would be a shame to have a limit on the time that you can reap the fruit (XP) of your labors (nodes). (And by the same token, if your fruit (nodes) are rotten, you should bear the consequences (anti-XP.)

      I must whole-heartedly agree with Blue regarding necessitating a reply for a -- vote. When I write performance reviews for the people who work for me, I must document, often in gory detail, anything which they did... not so well. And, I must make suggestions on how they can improve. The HR department will not accept low scores without suggestions for improvement. Neither should we, as good monks.

      Update: Thanks to all of the people who anonymously downvoted this post. I think it proves my point...

RE: What's with all of the unnecessary downvoting?
by lemming (Priest) on Nov 14, 2000 at 01:59 UTC
    As a fairly new member of perl monks, I appreciate the use all vote bonus. However I've only got 5 votes so right now, it's no big deal to consider five nodes that deserve a vote. I think I voted negative once and that was versus a rude post. I've voted yes on those posts I think added to my knowledge base or ones I wish I had written. (If you can't say something nice...)
    I was surprised to get a downvote on RE: RE: Voting in the US won't matter this time. I figure someone was sick of presidential trivia...
RE: What's with all of the unnecessary downvoting?
by Albannach (Monsignor) on Nov 14, 2000 at 02:46 UTC
    Not that vroom has that much spare time as I understand things, but would anyone find it useful to have optional one-line (max. 80 chars?) comments attached to votes?:
    - if left blank, vote is recorded as it is now
    - if filled in, the comment could be appended to the bottom of the node, with a prefix of ++ or -- as appropriate, perhaps only the first 5 or so shown.
    - naturally the username would not be used (though I'm hesitant to provide more anonimity)

    Hmmm.. this seems like it would make an awful mess, and what use would it really serve? People who are just blowing off votes would never fill it in (not politely anyway) and people with good comments would normally post a reply node. Forget it!

      As far as the mess, it could be a user-configurable option...

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