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FortKnox's Journal: Again With the Author Moderations! 69

Journal by FortKnox
In honor of the past tradition I've started in my journal, lets discuss this post.

Right now, there are 134 mods on this one post. 134!!!! (Ed. note - its 240 now) Obviously, this is something that the slashdot community is trying to get into the open.
-AND-
Obviously, this is something the editors are trying to avoid like the plague.

Since you won't see any editor actually approach this discussion (with a 500 ft pole), here is the place to discuss it.

Things to think about:
  • Should editors have unlimited mod points??
  • Should users know if their posts are moderated by "normal" user moderators versus editor moderations?
  • Should editors bring this out in the open and find out what their audience wants?
  • Should overrated/underrated be metamoded? (Although I originally thought it was a cop-out for the editors, it isn't. Its only a cop-out for normal mods. Because once metamod is 'finished', an editor gets the final decision whether to check a mod 'unfair').
    Addendum: Wait, I may be wrong on this one. I went back and found the article that had the rewritten M2. Looks like it can be read as both "An editor makes judgement" and the "system makes judgement". Maybe cause taco said "It -was- autonomous" I assumed that now it would be up to an editor for a final judgement, but maybe it isn't?

If more major points come up, I'll add them, but for now, discuss, and we'll see if we can bring some editors into this discussion (link to this journal entry for maximum exposure).

Addendum: Whoever the wiseass is that is moderating on this journal entry, lay off (I wish I could mark a journal entry as "no moderations"). Either contribute, or go away. If its an editor, please contribute, cause we have questions that need answered!

Addendum: in an attempt to get underrated/overrated M2'able, I've submitted this bug report. You may want to go through and check some of the bugs written. It really gives you a feel of what they do and don't report about....
Wow. Jamie already closed this as a "fixed" bug, with the cryptic comment "we *know*". If you knew, then why wasn't anything done about it? I guess I'm probably misinterpretting what he's saying. On a brighter note, Jamie isn't in my freak list anymore. Guess he forgave & forgotten.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Again With the Author Moderations!

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  • by damiam (409504) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @10:41PM (#2859703)
    Should editors have unlimited mod points??

    Yes. The editors run the site, they can do what they want. I mostly trust the editor's moderations. But I do want accountablity.

    Should users know if their posts are moderated by "normal" user moderators versus editor moderations?

    Yes. I personally think you should always be told who's moderated you, whether or not it's an editor. That works pretty well on k5. But seeing editor mods is a good first step.

    Should editors bring this out in the open and find out what their audience wants?

    Yes.

    Should overrated/underrated be metamoded?

    Yes. I think of overrated/underrated as options for modding a post where none of the other options apply (a -1, Moron moderation would greatly reduce the need for overrated, IMHO). They're still mods and should be metamodded as such.

    • I don't think Overrated/Underrated should be mod options at all. The only occasions where these are worthwhile are...

      In the case on overrated:

      Somebody posts a "Micro$oft" joke with a +2 bonus.
      But I would rather have either -1, unfunny or even -1, pathetic for these cases.

      And for underrated

      Somebody posts a worthwile comment at -1 or 0.

      But if a post is underrated and modded as such, why isn't a standard tag applicable?

      Remeber the chap whose sig said something like "Under/overrated is metamoderation, why punish a poster for a moderator's mistakes"?. It took me a little while to twig wha that meant, but now I agree wholeheartedly.

      I definitely agree that moderation should not be anonymous. This is the problem that many people have with censorship in general - not that it is done, but it is done in secret, with no comeback. At the end of the day, if you don't agree with someone you should post, and only moderate things up.

      --cp

  • Should editors have unlimited mod points??

    I'm not sure. We (officially) do not know when they're using those points. For all we know, that post with 130+ mods may just be getting modded a lot in both directions by ordinary users. I know that's a rough statement for most to agree with, but it might be the case. However, if it turns out that they're being used a lot, perhaps some limits should be imposed, like N points per day or something like that.

    Should users know if their posts are moderated by "normal" user moderators versus editor moderations?

    I think it should be seriously considered. Someone out there discussing this pointed out an RFE link in the slashcode. I cant find that link now. But basically, CT rejected the RFE because editors are users themselves.

    Should overrated/underrated be metamoded? (Although I originally thought it was a cop-out for the editors, it isn't. Its only a cop-out for normal mods. Because once metamod is 'finished', an editor gets the final decision whether to check a mod 'unfair').

    FK: Could you elaborate on this a bit? I dont really follow what you're saying.

    In addition, I put some suggestions [slashdot.org] in negativekarmanow's (the guy who started this phase of the controversy) journal [slashdot.org].

    Also, some of his comments could go either way. We also dont know some things, like the average time on how long it takes for a comment to get moderated, whether logged in or not, how many posts he used to make his judgements, or what accounts he used. I made the suggestion that if someone else wants to undertake an investigative task like this, keep records [slashdot.org]. This way you can back up certain claims with concrete facts.
    • from my post above:
      ...pointed out an RFE link in the slashcode. I cant find that link now.

      found that link: http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=deta il&aid=488550&group_id=4421&atid=104421 [sourceforge.net]

      be sure to pay attention to the comments (particularly sllort's and CT's) at the bottom of the page (they're listed in reverse chronological order)
    • For all we know, that post with 130+ mods may just be getting modded a lot in both directions by ordinary users.

      It's not. I posted a reply in that thread with my +1 bonus, and about 10 minutes later I saw three messages, all at the exact same time, all notifying me of -1, Offtopic mods. No normal user would mod me down that fast, wasting 3 mod points for no decent reason. Nor would even an editor have the time to patrol that thread and mod everyone down to -1. It has to be a script.

    • Should overrated/underrated be metamoded? (Although I originally thought it was a cop-out for the editors, it isn't. Its only a cop-out for normal mods. Because once metamod is 'finished', an editor gets the final decision whether to check a mod 'unfair').

      FK: Could you elaborate on this a bit? I dont really follow what you're saying.


      Certainly. First of all, you probably already know that "overrated" and "underrated" are not meta-modded. Meaning, if you put "underrated" on a crapflood, you wouldn't feel any repercussions, cause it won't be metamodded.

      Because of that, I figured the editors used it to bitchslap someone and not worry about metamod. But one of the slashcode update articles, Taco explained that metamoderation has been changed, so once a moderation has cycled through metamod, it goes to an editor, which makes the final decision whether the moderation is unfair or not. So if it is an editor moderation, they just mark it fair, regardless...
    • I think it should be seriously considered. Someone out there discussing this pointed out an RFE link in the slashcode. I cant find that link now. But basically, CT rejected the RFE because editors are users themselves.

      Having been an editor on a slashcode site, I can tell you that authors have, not only unlimited mod points, but flags set that state that they are editors. If they got mod points like users, then I can see this rejection, but they don't. Not to mention they can post replies to articles they mod'ed without penalty.

      Taco saying editors are users to, only works in an OO sense. Yeah, they log in like users and are on the "User" table in the DB, but they have priveleges above any "normal" user.
  • Author moderations (Score:1, Interesting)

    by theancient2 (527101)
    Should editors have unlimited mod points??

    If they have unlimited points, they shouldn't be able to repeatedly moderate the same post, just like regular mods can't. With the thread in question, it's moderated up by a few people, and then moderated down again each time by the editors. If the users are willing to spend their mod points to mark something interesting, it should be left as interesting. When the editors pull the "I have more points than you" thing, that's just censorship.

    Unlimited points may be useful to remove vast amounts of trolling. But that only requires one point per post.

    One might argue it's okay to mark that whole thing offtopic because, techinically, it is. However, it's an equally good argument to say it's more interesting than offtopic, and thus deserves a positive overall moderation. But let the majority decide -- don't force your opinion on everyone.

    Should users know if their posts are moderated by "normal" user moderators versus editor moderations?

    How about letting everyone know who the moderators are?

    Moderation totals:
    Interesting (48): UserA, UserB, ...
    Offtopic (74): UserX, UserY, UserZ, robot, robot, robot, robot, robot
    ...

    Should overrated/underrated be metamoded

    They should be removed entirely. If they got +5, that means 3-4 people thought it deserved to be modded up. How about removing the +5 limit? That would eliminate the need for overrated as well. What purpose does limiting things to +5 serve? Underrated seems useless to me -- use one of the other moderations. (I don't ususally care whether something is Insightful versus Interesting or Troll vs Flamebait -- I just moderate based on +1 or -1.)

    At least one bulletin board system I've seen has the ability to move an entire thread to a different forum. Perhaps that's a good idea here -- "this thread has been moved to the user's journal." Then there'd be no excuse for what's happening here.
  • I posted twice in that thread, and got doubly bitchslapped. About 20 minutes ago, a completely on-topic, relevent, serious comment [slashdot.org] was modded down -1, Troll twice at the exact same time, putting my comment at -1. Does the modscript the editors are running add all posters in the bitchslapped thread to a "mod everything this guy posts in a regular story down to -1" list? Or is it just bad luck?

    Or is it just lame that out of the six posts in this thread, half are mine?

  • But doesn't the following raise a bit of concern:

    Because once metamod is 'finished', an editor gets the final decision whether to check a mod 'unfair').

    So, that is to say, basically, if a metamod on an unfair mod done by an editor is marked unfair, the editor can turn around and mark it as fair.

    This, in tandem with unlimited mod points makes me feel a bit uneasy.

    Now, let me postfix this by saying:

    Unlimited points to editors, theoretically, could be a good thing. It allows someone to police all of those disgusting goatse.cx links. But, alas, how does that saying go? ... "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely"

    It could also be a case of the ModsOnCrack syndrome that I have observed alot lately (see my journal ...)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Two comments in this thread have been bumped to OT, yet CLEARLY they aint OT:

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=26391&cid=2860 127 [slashdot.org]
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=26391&cid=2860 210 [slashdot.org]
  • Jamie has already put in a "We *know*" comment and closed it already. *sigh*

    Interestingly enough, looking through the bug listings, I couldnt find the duplicate report that jamie was referring to.

    Perhaps SF needs something similar to Java's BugParade and Mozilla, where someone must give the number of a report that is a duplicate before closing it out as such.
    • I have two questions about that:
      Its marked "fixed", so will we be able to M2 Over/Underrated mods?

      If not, what was the original excuse??
      • the Status field near the top is marked "Closed." According to the Changelog at the bottom, it's been like this since about 1:30pm Eastern Time. I cant tell what that means. No where does it say it was "Fixed." Looking at some other bugs, someone typically puts in a comment saying so before closing it.

        Maybe it's different because it's your report.
  • I am saying many, many witty and intelligent things today and getting almost 0 karma for it. This is just not right. Clearly, there need to be more points allocated so that these kinds of wars of frustration with the system can continue in perpetuity while not robbing those of us who are still striving for excellence and the very finest in humor, right?

    Now, I agree that karma-inflation is probably a bad thing, but these are desperate times, folks. Perhaps karma-bonds should even be considered. I could purchase a karma-bond with a click and redeem later at maturity. Whaddya think?

  • Here's another moderation issue that's pissed me off in the past. I don't know if there's really a good solution to it, but...

    I've posted in an "Interview" article before and had my question for the Interview-ee modded up to +5. Eventually, the article scrolled off the front page and, as it is want to do, out of your average Slashdotter's mind. I figured great, I'll at least have my question in the pool for possible inclusion in the interview.

    Much later that day, I get a -1 mod putting me down to +4, which removed that post's chance for inclusion in the interview. So basically, someone received mod points and went around "last-minute-moderating" whatever posts they deemed fit or unfit for inclusion in the interview.

    While the interview topic was on the front page, the odds were good that if someone pulled something like this, my post would get bounced back up to +5 (this did, in fact, happen to that same post). But once the story scrolled off the front page and people forgot about it, the "last-minute-moderators" have free reign to decide what posts will get included in the interview.

    On a regular post, I couldn't care less. Who cares that someone decided to bounce my post down to +4? But the "Interview" topics should be treated as a special case and moderation should be stopped when the story scrolls off the front page. Otherwise, the Slashdot community as a whole hasn't chosen the interview questions - last minute karma hoarders have chosen them.
    • This may or may not have been the case, but...

      I'm sure it will come as a surprise to many of you, but some people actually don't have the time
      (or the desire) to read Slashdot stories as soon as they come out. :-)

      I sometimes read stories a couple of days after they are posted. When I do that, I moderate normally if I have points. It never even ocurred to me that this might generate the condition you complained about!
      • I sometimes read stories a couple of days after they are posted. When I do that, I moderate normally if I have points.

        That makes perfectly reasonable sense, and there's a very real possibility that what I experienced was not caused by someone maliciously working the system. On anything but the "Interview" topics, I think people should be able to moderate whenever it's convenient for them.

        Whether or not it was intentional, though, it still had the same effect - one person was able to go through and handpick the questions that they wanted asked and knock out the ones they didn't want asked.
  • I'm posting this because you replied to my rebuttal of the "The first Slashdot troll post investigation" post.

    While I think you have valid points, and I commend you for not flaming me, there is still something that remains unclear to me.

    You make the following claim:

    This isn't the solution to the problem. If there are more trolls & crapflooders than insightful posts, its not just a coincidence. Obviously, something has gone wrong with slashdot (perhaps the choice of articles? Perhaps something else). But adding aggressive moderation and (corruptible) absolute rule is only making the problem WORSE. More people are becoming trolls and crapflooders because of it.

    I maintain the trolls are here because Slashdot is one of the few places that actually allow it. Kuro5hin has a much better signal to noise ratio, yet they would smack down most of these trolls faster than you could say "goatse". They wouldn't mod them down, they would just delete them. Care to comment?

  • I posted into the doomed thread and within 2 minutes the posts had been modded down twice to (-1, Off-topic). Hmmm... ;(
  • No, i don't think they should have moderation capabilities. Or if they do, they should be strictly on the same level with us. But they already have a monopoly over what gets posted to this, one of, if not, the biggest Rayo-Stallmanistic websites in existence.

    I ran a bbs in the olden days. I deleted a post once or twice. I caught hell over it. I cheated in lord (hey, i was 14 and enjoyed snogging Violet.). I caught hell for it. I abused my privilages. And it was a small local board. I became ostricised from the community until I apologized. Why should /. be any different? Especially since they're larger on a geometric scale. Responsibility to their own creedo and morality standards they dispense here on a daily basis should be -required-. That doesn't include abusing your power (microsoft) or censoring users (scientologists) or anything the MPAA, RIAA, Phillips, or the demon-of-the-day would do.

    If /. were mainstream media, it would need to be marketed with the tabloids due to its partiality and sensationalism.
  • Not that I'm in any way for certain, but could the Meta-Moderation system be having any effect on this? I just hit it and had 4 or 5 instances of the posts in question. Anybody notice something similar?
  • I agree with many of the comments posted here .. and I agree on most of the the Journal entry, but here's my $.02 on the whole unlimited editor mod points, and mod veto's on metamodding, and in all honesty the entire conversation happening here.

    Slashdot is free to you, and me. I don't pay for any of the content here, it's all free with the exception of a tiny, non-intrusive banner ad at the top, which unlike 99% of the Internet's banner ads, actually targets me with products I like. ThinkGeek, Internet Computer stuff. Even with OSDN now over the original Slashdot crew, Slashdot has truely changed very little. With all the bandwidth, server, support (employee hours), Slashdot costs I'm sure a sizable chuck of money for OSDN. We all joke about the Slashdot effect taking down so many sites, so we can all see how much bandwidth Slashdot itself uses.

    I understand the concepts that it's a community and yes its a free community and users should still be able to make suggestions, complaints and even do whats happening here. So in conclusion, until I'm paying for something and getting something else no one has really any grounds to be pissed off at the moderators/Slashdot staff, they're just doing their job to provide a free service. It's not like a Government that you pay taxes to and is there to serve you, Slashdot is not in any way obligated to serve anyone, Rob/OSDN could up and say, "sorry we're shutting down Slashdot, it's too expensive. Have a nice day."

    So my suggestion is yeah keep making suggestions to the Slashdot crew, but appreciate the good things they are giving you for free and not constantly focus the whole moderation "conspiracy"... Just enjoy what they are giving you.
    • But when we're missing out on info from other users, even when it might be considered the slightest bit off topic by the editors, isn't it unfair to weild complete control over what other users want to hear simply because you're an editor and 'don't agree'?

      If all us users could care less about the newest changelog for the newest linux kernel, but instead decide to go off on a tagent discussing how RMS is a neo-nazi based on a users comment, why should the editors be deleting or modding down such a comment when they themselves proclaim at the bottom of their page that all posts are owned by the poster? Shouldn't they instead be allowing us to ruin/not-ruin their website? If they feel like they gotta keep every comment on topic by wielding their club of unlimited modding power, don't claim that we own our posts. Claim that we can post whatever we want, but that slashdot owns the posts and can do whatever they want with them.

    • ... is that although it is free to us, we are the ones paying their wages through advertising revenue. So while you can say "it's free, it's their site, deal with it" you can also say "we're paying their wages, why should we be getting this shitty treatment?"

  • Here's another idea. (And also a test to see if that IP ban has expired yet. :-)

    First, some stats. That thread has accumulated as of this time almost 400 -1 comments. (There are 684 comments in the story overall, and only 290 of those even managed a score of 0. But there are quite a few above -1 now, so I'm assuming their script hasn't run in the past few minutes.) The moderation totals are currently 395.

    Slashdot's editors have demonstrated that they believe their moderation abilities to be superior to everyone else's. No matter how many people try to moderate that thread up, they keep slapping it back down. Is it offtopic? Yes. Is it interesting? Yes. But rather than just applying a single Offtopic moderation and leaving it at that, the editors abuse their power to override everyone else.

    The message is clear -- the editors' opinions are the only ones that matter.

    And moderators: your opinions aren't worth the bytes they are transmitted with.

    So why moderate at all? If the editors have such a low opinion of their own users that they refuse to let them have a voice -- if they think they are so much better at it, then let them do all the moderation from now on. I don't see why we should help them run their site.

    Now, I'm sure there are so many people that boycotting moderation won't make a bit of difference, but what else can you do? (I wonder if we can get that story into the hall of fame? :)

    If they're going to start charging a subscription fee, they should respect their users a bit more.
  • I've made a web page [phatstart.net] with links to all the various Slashdot threads that I've found. Let me know if I ought to change anything.
  • Its kind of a late post and the editors will likely banish it to -1 land if they see it anyway, but I thought you might enjoy this post [slashdot.org], criticizing the recent editor modfest.
  • frisina@charter.net (Francis Frisina) writes:

    > > Nobody's been bitchslapped in months. We moderate off-topic
    > > comments "offtopic."

    > Does this mean that the editors of Slashdot are using their
    > infinite powers to continually mod down that entire thread that
    > is causing such a fuss?

    Yes.

    > Slashdot used to be an amazing place to be - it used to be THE
    > place to be, but it is in general decline. I'm hoping the
    > editors will make a mature response to the concerns of their
    > readers... no.... content creators.

    We're considering it.
    --
    Jamie McCarthy
    jamie@mccarthy.vg

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