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Grow up, Cliff

fm6 (162816) writes | more than 11 years ago

User Journal 14

Here's a really weird "offtopic" mod. Here's another one. They're both in stories edited by Cliff. Do you suppose I pissed him off by pointing out yet another totally lame Ask Slashdot?Here's a really weird "offtopic" mod. Here's another one. They're both in stories edited by Cliff. Do you suppose I pissed him off by pointing out yet another totally lame Ask Slashdot?

Edited to add: more on this breaking controversy in the comments below and in Cliff's Journal.

14 comments

For the record... (2)

Clifton Wood (213) | more than 11 years ago | (#4304384)

This journal entry is the first time I've ever heard of you and the off topic moderations you earned were done by other regular users. The "lame Ask Slashdot" criticism I can take. I get those all the time, but please don't blame me for moderation abuses that I do not do.

Grow up, fm6.

Growupedness (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4304640)

Well, I take your word for it that you haven't abused your Editor status. I apologize for such a public rant, but it was the only way to raise awareness of the issue. We really need some kind of Slashdot Policy forum.

Why am I so willing to take your word for it? Because you do deserve a certain presumption of honesty. And because I know how appearances can deceive. As witness all the posts in the Firefly story that "prove" that I'm an employee of Fox. Now that is an offensive accusation!

I still don't see how you can say my suggestion on the Filesystem issue were offtopic. How can a post that describes a possible solution to the problem submitted be "offtopic"?

And I still think Infinite Moderator Points for editors is a Very Bad Thing. Even if editors never abuse this authority, just the fact that they have it sends exactly the wrong message.

Re:Growupedness (2)

Cliff (4114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4304951)

I never moderated any of your posts in either topic. If you feel that you have been moderated unfairly, then more than likely the moderators will be penalized when they hit meta-moderation.

To think that have something against you just because you were hit by two odd moderations in stories that I posted is kind of a stretch, don't you think? There are thousands of moderators on Slashdot. Occam's razor can produce a lot more likely scenarios than me invoking my oh-so-godlike editor powers to mod you into oblivion. For the record. I don't do that. I rarely moderate. When I moderate, I tend to moderate up not down because there are plenty of other moderators to pick up the slack.

My thoughts on this "controversy" of editors having infinite mod points:

Yes, it does tend to breed mistrust on the readership, but only because the readership lets this be so; someone out there has to have the points to deal with the trolls, the redundant comments, the crapflodders, and the plain idiots that post if not hurtful and untrue things, crap like pornography in articles. Is this the Slashdot that you want to show to your friends? Right now the moderation system just doesn't have the amount of points to keep it all clean, and if we inject more points, that paves the way to other sorts of abuses. We tread a fine line, here. It may be broken but I posit that it's better than nothing, otherwise Slashdot would be USENET. Have you seen USENET lately? Aside from porn, there's not much USE left in it!

A few other interesting facts:

  • Today is the first time I've hard of you or even read any of your posts.
  • I could swear you had me marked as a Friend because, earlier, I saw that little "Fan" perl in your comment headers.

Is this a conversation? (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4305118)

Cliff I've already admitted that I was wrong to think that you abusing your editor status. How many times do I have to say it?

The question isn't whether we're going to deal with all the idiots who post crap. The question is, what's the best way. to do this. You have to look at costs versus benefits. For example, I would really like to see an end to AC posts, since ACs are responsible for most of the abuse. But the Slashdot team takes the attitude that anonymous comments are too important too discard.

Now, that's just a matter of prioritization. I don't agree with your choices, but I do understand that you have to make them.

But when you choose to go around "fixing" post scores, what kind of choice is that? You can't hope to find more than a small fraction of the crap. Whatever you do, the main resource has to be the volunteer, 5-point at a time moderators. Keeping these folks happy and involved is more important than anything.

But when you second guess them with your IMPs, you're being damned rude to these same volunteers. Worse, it screws up the very sense of consensus that makes Slashdot so interesting.

The bottom line is that the Slashdot community is a kind of democracy. Now democracies are made up of people, and people do stupid things. But that's just something you have to live with, because insisting that everything be Just So destroys trust. And without mutual trust, you can't have democracy.

And yes, you are on my friend list. Doesn't mean I like you, just means I think you sometimes say interesting things. When you're not getting all defensive, that is.

A Conversation of Two Hemispheres.... (2)

Cliff (4114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4305186)

Cliff I've already admitted that I was wrong to think that you abusing your editor status. How many times do I have to say it?
Once. But there are two issues here, me moderating you offtopic and me moderating you with infinite moderator points (IMP, heh!) - neither of which I have done. To end this issue however I will say one thing: I didn't think you were offtopic at all, for either comment.

The question isn't whether we're going to deal with all the idiots who post crap. The question is, what's the best way. to do this. You have to look at costs versus benefits. For example, I would really like to see an end to AC posts, since ACs are responsible for most of the abuse. But the Slashdot team takes the attitude that anonymous comments are too important too discard.


Now, that's just a matter of prioritization. I don't agree with your choices, but I do understand that you have to make them.

But when you choose to go around 'fixing' post scores, what kind of choice is that? You can't hope to find more than a small fraction of the crap. Whatever you do, the main resource has to be the volunteer, 5-point at a time moderators. Keeping these folks happy and involved is more important than anything.

But when you second guess them with your IMPs, you're being damned rude to these same volunteers. Worse, it screws up the very sense of consensus that makes Slashdot so interesting.

The bottom line is that the Slashdot community is a kind of democracy. Now democracies are made up of people, and people do stupid things. But that's just something you have to live with, because insisting that everything be Just So destroys trust. And without mutual trust, you can't have democracy.
I agree, in part, with most of this, however sooo many people have said it and yet have not come up with a workable fix to the problem. It's one thing to say the moderation system is broken, and many of its detractors raise valid points, but I have yet to see workable fixes. You will have to trust me when I say that moving the moderation system to a "democracy" would not solve the problem, and in some cases might make things worse, although the Slash team is always open to suggestions. Also, I have no authority when it comes to moderation -- that's CmdrTaco's call.
And yes, you are on my friend list. Doesn't mean I like you, just means I think you sometimes say interesting things. When you're not getting all defensive, that is.
I can't help but be defensive when I read a sig that says "Grow up, Cliff!", which is accusing me of something that I had no hand in at all. I think I have that right. Mind you this whole thing started when I read your sig and investigated what went on so I could try to resolve the problem. Now that it's (sort-of) resolved...

Wow! I say interesting things? Gotta keep my head from inflating.

Move it, move it, move it (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4305258)

You will have to trust me when I say that moving the moderation system to a "democracy" would not solve the problem,
I don't want you "move" the mod system anywhere. You don't have to invent democracy in the mod system -- it's already there. You don't even have to make it more democratic. You just need to have a little more faith in the democracy you already have. And that means that sometimes you just just look the other way when people do stupid things.

Example: that stupid little pissing contest we had a while back, when a bunch of moderators insisted on modding up a totally offtopic post, and the editors insisted on on matching them mod-for-mod. What did that accomplish, except to raise tempers and destroy reputations? Is one popular offtopic post worth that much trouble?

Mind you, I'm not suggesting you tolerate off-topic posts. Not unless you want to transform Slashdot into a spam repository! But you just have to accept that the volunteer moderators are not always going to do the right thing. Any more than you do.

And if you do want the moderators to do a better job, you really should do something about those convoluted, hard-to-read moderator guidelines. You can't really blame moderators for having bad priorities when you don't do a good job of spelling the priorities out.

Dude, my hands are tied. (2)

Cliff (4114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4305349)

I agree with you. That little brouhaha wasn't the brightest point of Slashdot.

Again, I have no authority and would be quite happy with doing away with IMP (as long as something was put into place that would control the bad apples) -- you'd be surprised the amount of people there are trying to abuse the system (and not solely for this reason), and I think IMP was implemented because it was the easiest way to deal with the problem, as there just aren't enough points in the system to handle what we already get. Injecting more points into the system just opens up other abuse issues...that suggestion has already been made.

I seem to be unclear today (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4305421)

No, don't inject more points into the system. There are more than enough already. Just ignore the abuses as long as you can. Put up with a few bad upmods and firstposters. Let the volunteer moderators try to deal with them. Maybe they can't, but you need to give them more of a chance.

And when moderators screw up, concentrate on educating them and maybe banishing them. You can even undo moderations that were done for the wrong reasons. But please don't jump in as super-moderators. That makes the work of the volunteer moderators meaningless.

And most of all, you need to rewrite the moderator guidelines so they cannot be misunderstood. Maybe even hire a tech writer to do it.

Re:A Conversation of Two Hemispheres.... (1)

sllort (442574) | more than 11 years ago | (#4308173)

I agree, in part, with most of this, however sooo many people have said it and yet have not come up with a workable fix to the problem. It's one thing to say the moderation system is broken, and many of its detractors raise valid points, but I have yet to see workable fixes.

Cliff, you have a good point there. Too much bitching, and not enough solving. It's a lot easier to criticize a problem than it is to solve it. Let me go out on a limb then and propose some ideas. They are not a solution but I believe they would all be improvements.

  1. Limit Underrated and Overrated so that they can only swing a post up to 4 or down to 1. This was the way CmdrTaco originally intended to implement them (I believe) and it makes sense. How can a post be so Overrated that it should be scored -1? If a moderator believes a post should be scored 0 (garbage), -1 (abuse), or 5 (insanely stellar), there should be a reason. I like this change because it would be easy to implement. And because I wouldn't have to see scores like -1, Insightful anymore.
  2. Introduce some level of accountability in the Moderation system. I know, I know, it's a huge can of worms. But you have to admit that right now, the system breeds distrust. Fm6 might have flown off the handle at you... but seriously, how was he supposed to know that you weren't modbombing him? I'm sure you're aware that people who disagreed with Michael were modbombed for their insolence [slashdot.org] - and Moderation is anonymous, so we can only decipher from intuition and guessing who is attacking us. You've stated yourself that the Offtopic moderations fm6 received were unfair... if we see fits of temper like the one above, how can we distinguish these from the norm? It's very hard to do. It breeds mistrust and paranoia. I'm not suggesting that Slashdot abandon its current model and go to a fully transparent system like K5 - CmdrTaco is very protective of his model. But doing something less extreme, like messaging people who've been hit with IMP [sourceforge.net] might not be a bad idea. It's certainly something to think about.
  3. Allow us to "Disable Moderation" in our user preferences. Right now, it is possible to go into your user preferences and set the bonus for all Moderations (Insightful, Troll, etc) to zero, negating Moderation. The problem is that Overrated and Underrated can't be ignored, so those two Moderations (which are used quite frequently) ruin the entire setup. A post which is +6 Insightful and -2 Overrated becomes -2, Overrated. Why would anyone want to ignore Moderation? Because with the Zoo system, a lot of people want to set everything to -1 except for their friends. Disabling Moderation allows people to get by solely on Zoo scores, which is an interesting prospect. It also solves the problem of people who want an "ignore Editor Moderation" switch - they can just ignore all of it.
  4. Prevent "Moderators who are Users" (people who don't have "IMP") from negatively moderating the same user more than once from the same batch of (5) points. If the purpose and spirit of Moderation is to have a Moderator browsing stories and improving their content, shouldn't we prohibit Moderators from browsing the user history of their foes and attacking people's Karma? It's childish behaviour that doesn't improve the content of Slashdot. If I had access to the Moderation logs (which I don't) I'd run a grep for users who spend all their points negatively moderating a single other user. It might surprise you how much this goes on - and I can't think of a single case where this could be considered in the spirit of the Moderation Guidelines and their "focus on promoting".

The changes made in the last month have been a huge improvement. I realize that implementing any of the things above takes time, but given the changes that have come recently, I'm content to sit back and hope things continue to improve.

-s.

Re:Growupedness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4307903)


It may be broken but I posit that it's better than nothing, otherwise Slashdot would be USENET. Have you seen USENET lately? Aside from porn, there's not much USE left in it!

Have you done any kind of serious comparision between the posts in your typical *BSD newsgroup (especially comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc) and the replies in *BSD section here?

Oh well. BAck to crapflooding. Here, look at this [goatse.cx].

No, I am not trying to confuse you. (2)

Cliff (4114) | more than 11 years ago | (#4304973)

I just am now using my Super-Editor cookies! :p

Totally Lame Ask Slashdot (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 11 years ago | (#4306184)

On the topic of "Totally Lame Ask Slashdot" I thought I'd vent that a question I submitted, and had rejected, was much better than most of the trash that is accepted. As a consolation to myself, I posted my question here [slashdot.org]. Tell me, is that question not better than:
  1. Weblogs and Fair Use? [slashdot.org] by Cliff with 15 comments on 21:26 Saturday 21 September 2002
  2. Unionfs for Linux? [slashdot.org] by Cliff with 26 comments on 18:52 Saturday 21 September 2002
  3. Defective Console DVD Drives? [slashdot.org] by Cliff with 18 comments on 15:05 Saturday 21 September 2002
  4. How Would You Start a Radio Station? [slashdot.org] by Cliff with 338 comments on 12:35 Saturday 21 September 2002
  5. New Tech - What is RCA's VPORT? [slashdot.org] by Cliff with 21 comments on 9:01 Saturday 21 September 2002
  6. Developing a 21st Century Public Transportation System? [slashdot.org] by Cliff with 27 comments on 6:51 Saturday 21 September 2002
  7. Non-Red Hat Linux Hosting? [slashdot.org] by Cliff with 51 comments on 3:47 Saturday 21 September 2002
  8. Science for the Car Ride? [slashdot.org] by Cliff with 29 comments on 23:27 Friday 20 September 2002
  9. Dealing w/ Draconian Severance Contracts? [slashdot.org] by Cliff with 343 comments on 19:48 Friday 20 September 2002
  10. Making Changes to an IT Business? [slashdot.org] by Cliff with 47 comments on 16:26 Friday 20 September 2002
Ok, maybe now I can get over it. Though I still need an answer to the question (beside that given by someone kind enough to humor me).

Delamed (2)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4308454)

Well, yeah, I thought your submission was a good one. But I don't think it's productive to say, "My submission was better than X." Face it, there are thousands of submissions, and of course most of them get rejected. I'm sure every rejectee feels that the submission was better than something that was accepted.

I've had 20 or so submissions rejected. Each one is a complete mystery too me, especially since I always try to pick topics that I know the editors are interested in. But what's the point in worrying about it? No way you can get the editors to properly justify all the thousands of rejections they have to do. And it distracts from a more important issue:

Namely, Cliff keeps accepting Ask Slashdots that should not be accepted. It doesn't matter whether or not they are displacing "better" submission. Slashdot should not be a forum for dispensing legal advice -- it can only cause grief for the submitter, and maybe legal problems for OSDN. Nor should Slashdot try to answer simple newbie questions, a service already well covered by other sites and by Usenet. It's a total mystery to me as to why Cliff keeps accepting questions like this.

I used to enjoy answering newbie questions online, but got tired of answering the same questions over and over. I used to be excited about abuzz.com, which had some clever software for archiving and retrieving old technical discussion. Alas, the NY Times bought it and turned it into a gossip site. I don't want the same thing to happen to Slashdot! I want the questions to remain fresh and interesting.

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