The most confusing issue in M2 is context. We don't have enough of it. The comment is seen without its parent comment and its replies. Hell, we don't even see the story it was written in reply to. We don't know what the score was when the moderator moderated. All of these things are issues that I'll fiddle with resolving as I have time to tweak them around. When in doubt, feel free to leave the button alone and simply not moderate. I've found that usually its pretty easy to flag "Fair/Unfair" on half the comments, but sometimes I need more context: Then the parent link is helpful to see where the comment was coming from. When in doubt, leave it alone. I've found that only a handful of moderation is ever really unfair (maybe 2 or 3 out of my 10).
Some details on the system:
First is some limits. Certain circumstances will cause your M2 to be disregarded. This is to prevent abuses. I'm not going to release the specifics as that would defeat the purpose, but essentially, if you vote to heavily in either direction (like say if you vote that all 10 moderations were "Unfair") your M2 may be discarded.
Second is the addition of a karma bonus for meta moderating. There is a sliding scale of karma that might be "earned" for meta moderating. It won't be enough to ever earn you "the bonus point", but its something. Since you aren't eligible for M2 if you have negative karma, this can't be used to dig you out of the hole. Most of the stuff in place is designed to make abuse difficult.
Third is the finalized restrictions on M2 eligibility:
- Registered/Logged in User
- Non Negative Karma
- Hasn't M2 moderated yet today
- Account is in the older 75% of all Slashdot accounts (filters out the newbies)
These are basically the same restrictions as the normal moderator access, except that M2 is once a day, and moderation tries to pick from people who read an "Average" amount of Slashdot a day (weeding out occasional readers and obsessive overreaders)
Finally is an interesting idea that has been proposed a few times that I just wanted to throw out for discussion. As it stands, you only see the moderator controls when you have moderator points to use. What if the moderator controls were always visible, but when you submitted the form, they were only counted if you had moderator points. Oh, and you wouldn't know if you had points.
On one hand, people would burn out on moderating fairly rapidly (the randomness in the existing system means people tend to use their points) but on the other hand, only the diligent would actually be relevant. The only question is would the people obsessive enough to do it be honest moderators, or guys trying to push around their own agendas.
Side notes I've been adding a few bits to the FAQ trying to address a few of the, well, FAQs. So read the the guidelines FAQ for answers to exciting questions like "Why don't you give my points back if I post into a discussion I moderated" and "I think I should have longer than 3 days before my points expire". I've also got a few new things in the "Ideas" space that I'm currently mulling over.
Update: 09/07 04:19 by CT :Answering the old questions:
- Simply creating dummy accounts won't work.... the accounts need to be older to be eligible anyway.
- Duplicates are OK. You're M2ing an individual act of moderation- it just so happens that you got 2 moderations upon the same comment. (this is very likely in cases where comments are moderated in rapid succession which often happens on new/extremely bad comments.
- I'll probably link it from the left hand menu. Else from the top of the comments. Maybe right on the homepage "You haven't MetaModerated Today". I'll worry about that later.