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a humble suggestion about the rep. system


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One of the hazards of anonymous voting is people who can't or won't support their positions are still able to express their judgement with a negative vote.
Maybe the system could be augmented to invert the votes of drive by naysayers, who have given no reason for their opinions.
This could motivate some to try and explain themselves.

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We used to have a system where you could even add comments, but as far as I'm aware, the upgraded software does not support such things.

 

Oh well, I will always see it that way (as a sign of surrender on the neg repper's behalf).

 

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I think there are two situations in which I give negative rep.

 

The most common is where a member has been posting baseless arguments over multiple posts, failing to provide evidence, refusing to offer citations, not answering questions, or combinations of these and other unwelcome behaviours. I, or other members have pointed this out repeatedly and the member has not responded, but continues to post in that style. I may then vote one of their posts down without a specific listing of why that post is bad. The down vote is more for their "body of work" than one in particular.

 

In the second case I will both vote the post down and provide a reasoned critique of their contribution.

 

the first approach, for me, is much more frequent, since anyone may make the occasional bad post - unless it is obscence, or deeply offensive, I don't think one bad post deserves negative rep - I need to see that the member is consistently screwed up. :)

 

 

We've previously discussed the anonymity of both negative and positive rep. The strong consensus was that if we could see who had voted posts down it would initiate wars between individuals. I did not agree with that view than. I do not agree with it now.

 

Coincidentally someone just voted down a very short post of mine in which I commented on what would be the significance of discovering we were the only intelligent life in the universe. I offered a thought, intended to provoke discussion, that also reflected my view. If I knew who had voted it down I could directly ask them to explain what they found so negative about my thought: we could engage in discussion, which is what this forum is for. Annoying.

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This could motivate some to try and explain themselves.

 

Not everyone is comfortable with that, and there are many situations where it would just be repeating points that have been made by others, which just clutters up the thread.

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One of the hazards of anonymous voting is people who can't or won't support their positions are still able to express their judgement with a negative vote.

Maybe the system could be augmented to invert the votes of drive by naysayers, who have given no reason for their opinions.

This could motivate some to try and explain themselves.

 

I get the sense that the software isn't nearly sophisticated enough to allow tweaks like this, or at least with the rep system. I could be wrong, it's an Admin thing.

 

Also, I think the membership in general tends to correct rep points that aren't deserved. If you see a red flag you don't feel is deserved, cancel it out with a + vote. Everyone, everyone, gets the same 1 vote per post.

 

And if someone uses the rep system to express their opinion on a discussion forum, maybe that's all they have that's worth saying. It shouldn't be a substitute for reasoned conversation, but in some cases it's all they have.

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I generally only give neg reps for attacks on others or for displaying willful ignorance. They need some kind of feedback so they can hopefully realize their behavior is a problem, but I certainly don't feel that getting down into their mud pit is always a good use of my time. Obviously if their behavior is extreme enough Moderators step in, but IMO that doesn't tend to have the same impact as peer pressure.

 

 

Also, I think the membership in general tends to correct rep points that aren't deserved. If you see a red flag you don't feel is deserved, cancel it out with a + vote. Everyone, everyone, gets the same 1 vote per post.

 

Which is what ended up happening with the post Ophiolite mentioned. :) Note it wasn't me, though I've certainly canceled out what I've felt was undeserved neg reputation in the past.

Edited by Endy0816
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I generally only give neg reps for attacks on others or for displaying willful ignorance. ...

Agree entirely - well almost entirely, you have one too many Ls in wilful for my taste. +1

We've previously discussed the anonymity of both negative and positive rep. The strong consensus was that if we could see who had voted posts down it would initiate wars between individuals. I did not agree with that view than. I do not agree with it now.

 

Coincidentally someone just voted down a very short post of mine in which I commented on what would be the significance of discovering we were the only intelligent life in the universe. I offered a thought, intended to provoke discussion, that also reflected my view. If I knew who had voted it down I could directly ask them to explain what they found so negative about my thought: we could engage in discussion, which is what this forum is for. Annoying.

I managed to lose my response to this post - so this post is now out of time. If the member who gave you negative reputation points had wished (or had time) to enter a discussion then I hope they would have done so. I think it is reasonable to ask why someone is spending time on a discussion website if they have no interest in debate - so the faceless and reasonless disapproval of posts based on content is, to my mind, a problem. However, if the demerit was given to show a dislike of the manner of posting or of the tone rather than content then I would not argue the point in principle (although as I have read the post in question I would argue the case in point).

 

Almost every negative reputation point I give is a response to rude or insulting posts or are directed at a member who refuses to listen to reasoned argument - and honestly I like to be able to dispense the little red pills without justification.

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Coincidentally someone just voted down a very short post of mine in which I commented on what would be the significance of discovering we were the only intelligent life in the universe. I offered a thought, intended to provoke discussion, that also reflected my view. If I knew who had voted it down I could directly ask them to explain what they found so negative about my thought: we could engage in discussion, which is what this forum is for. Annoying.

 

The neg. rep on the post you are talking about provoked my suggestion. I felt inspired by the thought, and can't imagine why somebody found fault in it.

 

 

 

Not everyone is comfortable with that, and there are many situations where it would just be repeating points that have been made by others, which just clutters up the thread.

 

I definitely would not want to encourage any who feel that repeating themselves is like an argument.

 

 

Also, I think the membership in general tends to correct rep points that aren't deserved. If you see a red flag you don't feel is deserved, cancel it out with a + vote. Everyone, everyone, gets the same 1 vote per post.

 

And if someone uses the rep system to express their opinion on a discussion forum, maybe that's all they have that's worth saying. It shouldn't be a substitute for reasoned conversation, but in some cases it's all they have.

 

Although the situation is generally resolved as you suggest, there are times when I can imagine no fault in a position and wonder if I'm blind, or the critic is just an ass.

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Agree entirely - well almost entirely, you have one too many Ls in wilful for my taste. +1

 

Little did you know that even as we speak Google is gearing up to "forget" every page that includes words not written in proper American English. ;)

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Although the situation is generally resolved as you suggest, there are times when I can imagine no fault in a position and wonder if I'm blind, or the critic is just an ass.

 

Based on observational evidence, the latter is the case for you in virtually every instance.

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Little did you know that even as we speak Google is gearing up to "forget" every page that includes words not written in proper American English. ;)

 

If I can disappear from the view and memory of Google, and thus from various US govt agencies, just by continuing to spell things correctly then I see that as a huge bonus. :)

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Little did you know that even as we speak Google is gearing up to "forget" every page that includes words not written in proper American English. ;)

Two nations divided by a common language. I find the notion of proper American-English highly amusing . I suppose proper English is now sufficiently bastardised beyond recognition as to be another official language in other places now. :D

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Or maybe the upvote-downvote buttons are too close to be distinguished on a small touchscreen, and i over-react to baffling input.
Thanks everyone. I do see now there are good reasons for anonymous dissent.

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Or maybe the upvote-downvote buttons are too close to be distinguished on a small touchscreen, and i over-react to baffling input.

Thanks everyone. I do see now there are good reasons for anonymous dissent.

The thing is to look over the long term when someone has quite a few posts and you can see more of a pattern of the kind of poster they are. and how they are generally regarded. Some negatives/positives are deserved/undeserved/mistakes but these become insignificant in the long term trend.

Edited by StringJunky
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