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Slashdot Moderation : Exercising Agreement

sllort (442574) writes | more than 12 years ago

Slashdot.org 42

Update (5/28/03): The information in this journal is outdated and no longer reflects the state of Slashcode; this journal is a historical record but is no longer accurate.
--
Slashdot Moderation : Exercising Agreement

A journey into the statistical methods employed to create Comments That Agree .

Update (5/28/03): The information in this journal is outdated and no longer reflects the state of Slashcode; this journal is a historical record but is no longer accurate.
--
Slashdot Moderation : Exercising Agreement

A journey into the statistical methods employed to create Comments That Agree .

As I discussed in my previous journal entry, nearly 500 moderators were manually and permanently removed from the pool of potential moderators for giving positive moderation to this comment. While the manual banning of potential moderators by the Editorial staff is not documented, the source code used to accomplish this is readily available and the practice appears to be quite commonplace. The reasonable questions that arise from this practice are: how many moderators are being banned, what is the objective, and what are the actual results? The Slashdot Editorial staff has repeatedly stated that they don't have time to answer these questions (they're certainly not addressed in the FAQ), so it's up to us, the readers, to ponder them.

How many moderators are being permanently banned from the moderation pool? No one knows for certain except perhaps the Editors. Let's look at what we do know. Five hundred moderators were banned for moderating this comment. If we assume that one such comment is posted on a daily basis, that is approximately 185,000 potential moderators banned per year. That post was probably an exception, so we must revise our number. Jamie McCarthy made a post to a User-Created discussion which is deleted every two weeks, so I must reproduce his comment by cut & paste:

"Well, again, we have the logs, so we know what we're talking about. We log both how many times we give mod points, and how many times we would have given mod points but didn't. In the former category: 99.73%; in the latter, 0.27%." - Jamie McCarthy, Slashdot Editor

Additionally, Rob Malda made a related comment in a User-Created discussion:

There are a quarter of a million daily readers, but (and I just checked) only 1.2% of them post. So understand that those of you posting in the forums are already a minority of the community. - Rob Malda, Slashdot Founder & Editor

Now we have some numbers to run with. Of the 250,000 people who read Slashdot, 3,000 of them have an "Interest Level" high enough to post comments here. This "Interest Level" stands at 1.2%, or .012. Now that we have the "Interest Level" for comments, we can use it to determine the "Interest Level" for Moderating & Metamoderating. Moderation requires less personal risk, so let's assume (to be as conservative as possible) that far more people want to moderate comments than post them. Let's assume that up to five times as many people want to moderate comments. There are probably far fewer, but since we are dealing with an assumption, we should make it a conservative one. This makes the "Interest Level" for Moderation about 6%, or .06. Now, Jamie has stated that 99.73% of readers receive moderator points and are not banned. Their "Interest Level" is .06, which means that (99.73 *.06 = 5.98) 5.98% of these people (at most) actually use their points. Now we have the banned moderators, the .27% that Jamie mentioned, who have been banned for bad moderation. Banned moderators have an interest level of 100%, because they have all used their points to get banned by an Editor. So, now we have a figure for the number of Moderators and Metamoderators who are included and excluded by the manual intervention of the Editors. (.27/(.27+5.98)) = .045, or 4.5%, is the lower bound for the percentage of moderators being manually excluded from the pool. If you run the numbers again assuming that the Interest Level for Moderation is the same as the Interest Level for posting comments, you arrive at a figure of 18.4% of moderators being manually banned. This would be our conservative upper bound. So, depending on how interested people are in moderation, between 5 and 18 percent of moderators have been manually banned from participating by the Editors.

What is the objective of the Editorial staff in manually removing User Moderators? That's a really tricky question to answer. Keep in mind that the Editors have gone to extensive lengths not to answer that question, so we must assume that it is an emotionally loaded subject. However, we can interpret some of their actions to arrive at an answer. The post mentioned in the beginning of this article was repeatedly moderated as Offtopic by many Editors. Rob Malda described it this way:

however only a smaller percentage of those moderators actually use their points... hundreds of users moderated it up [and I subsequently banned them all] I modded it [the comment] down a few times too. - Rob Malda, Slashdot Founder & Editor

Note that text in brackets was added by myself to reflect what we've learned. Reading that statement makes it pretty obvious that the purpose of removing Moderators from the pool is to ensure that the results of the Moderation system are consistent with what Rob Malda believes that the results of the moderation system should be. Moderators are chosen from a pool of Slashdot users who have not moderated contrary to the wishes of the Editors in the past. As the Slashdot FAQ states, "The Slashdot Editors have unlimited mod points ... These moderations represent approximately 8% of all moderation". In short, nearly ten percent of Moderation is accomplished manually by the Editorial staff, and the rest of User Moderation is accomplished by users that have not disagreed with the Editors about how to Moderate. What does this mean?

When surveying the impact of the Moderation system, there is one overridingly important statistic. That statistic is that over 99% of Slashdot readers do not post comments. Keep in mind that the default view of Slashdot has a threshold of one. This means that if you're moderated to zero or less, 99% of the people who would have read your comment... won't. Books could be written about whether or not blocking communication to 99% of the possible audience constitutes "Censorship", whatever that means today, but for the purposes of this essay, the point is moot. Suffice it to say that Moderation determines 99% of visibility, statistically. Now, consider that the Slashdot system, as a whole, is a constantly evolving system in which Moderators can transition from unbanned to banned, but not vice versa. Moderators who moderate differently than the "guide" Moderations of the Editors (which constitute 10% of the Moderation) are removed from the pool of influence. Therefore, Slashdot as a system moves in only one direction: towards promoting comments that are Moderated in agreement with the Editors. What is the role of Metamoderation? Let's look at the FAQ:

according to Meta Moderation, the fairness of these [editor Moderations] is statistically indistinguishable from the moderation of non admin users (92-93% of moderations are ruled 'Fair').

Keep in mind that the 5 to 18 percent of Slashdot Moderators who are banned from participating in Moderation are also banned from participating in MetaModeration. The purpose of MetaModeration, therefore, is that of reinforcing agreement. Those who have agreed with the Editors in the past are allowed to vote on whether the Editors moderate fairly. Not surprisingly, this subset of potential MetaModerators often agrees with the Editors. If they didn't, they'd probably have been removed already! MetaModeration, therefore, serves to reinforce agreement with the Editors among the selected Moderator pool, and Moderation serves to enact agreement with the Editors among the comments visible to 99% of Slashdot's readership. We only need one more quote from the FAQ to understand what this means:

Goals [of Moderation]: 1.Promote quality, discourage crap.

Since the Moderation system is a self-reinforcing system that promotes comments that agree with the Editors, we must assume that this comment means two things:

  1. What the editors believe is quality.
  2. What people who disagree with the Editors believe is crap.

That may be a strongly worded value judgement, but it stands as a conclusion easily & objectively reached. But aside from this value judgement, Slashdot stands as an example of a best-of-breed solution for those who wish to create a community that promotes agreement. Slash appears to have been specifically designed for this purpose, and it can be employed to create a community that agrees about.. just about anything! For instance, ask a Slashdot reader if Linux is a great Operating System. The answer will almost certainly be an emphatic yes! Rob Malda has created an excellent system for managing a userbase into agreement, and for the most part, the users agree with the system. Which was probably the whole point.

Slashdot: News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters. Comments that Agree.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

two comments (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2917669)

First, I'd like to comment on the reinforcing nature of metamoderation. I can't recall the discussion thread, nor who said it, but I distinctly remember someone saying metamods are looked at, but only acted upon if there is consensus. I think the example was: if there are ten metamods for a mod, and 7 say fair/neutral, and three say unfair, the unfair is ignored.

I have a feeling that at some point in time, metamod will not be automatic, and only those who frequently agree with the 70% will be allowed to metamod. They may even do this already. How am I supposed to know if when I click 'submit' on metamod.pl it does anything other than dump the input to /dev/null?

We have only the word of CT and a few others that /. runs on publicly available code. And that should be taken with a serious grain of salt, given his reluctance to publish it. He might bitch and whine about closed QT codecs and operating systems, but webboard software apparantly does not need to be either Free or free.

Second is the difference of opinions. I rarely, if ever, agree with the M$ zealots. Or the FreeBSD zealots. I am largely a linux convert (he says from the safe viewpoint of IE6.0). But at least it is something different. Without them, /. is the classic 'vi vs. emacs', 'VMS vs. Unix' navel gazing that has been going on for decades.

Flamebait is not necessarily bad. Saying stuff a little over the line that is pro-[M$,Linux,BSD,etc] in order to spark discussion is a good thing. Saying that Bill Gates (or Linus, etc) is actually Hitler is bad flamage. Unfortunately, moderators don't understand it, and the eds (if they understand it) don't say anything about this discrepancy.

Moreso than the rampant abuse of power, the homogenization of /. is what is more likely to cause me to leave.

Re:two comments (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 12 years ago | (#2934109)

You're on the right track. In a recent Slash tarball, look at themes/slashcode/tasks/run_moderatord.pl. That's where the M2 reconciliation code lives. The important facts are these:
  • A moderation is ruled fair or unfair based upon a majority consensus of the metamoderators.
  • If the ratio of agreement to dissention is above a certain threshold, each person in the majority has the potential for a karmic bonus for participating in metamoderation.
  • If the ratio is above an even stricter threshold, the dissenters are penalized.
  • There is commented-out code to flag suspicious metamoderators for later.
  • Moderators are rewarded or penalized for a fair or unfair moderation, unless they are at the bounds of karma which can be gained or lost due to moderation.
I thought there was also a flag which marked severely unfair moderations as suspicious, but I can't seem to find it at the moment.

I don't have complete proof that Slashdot runs on this code, but I believe it does for two reasons. First, I've had patches accepted to enable features that were available on Slashdot the very next day. Second, I worked with Krow (specifically) and the Slashteam last year to produce the Slash book, and I trust them when they say it's running the same code.

Rob and I disagree on some things, but I don't think he's heading some vast conspiracy. You can quote the Slash book at him though: Keep the site FAQ updated, keep your users informed about the site, and have a site-specific discussion every now and then. He's read chapter 8.

Re:two comments (2)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2935674)

Rob and I disagree on some things, but I don't think he's heading some vast conspiracy.

Neither do I. I think he's just (understandably) posessive. My worst rant [slashdot.org] was motivated by what I felt was a really bad decision to ban users with high karma for a handful of negative moderations. Do I go too far? Sometimes, yes. But this journal entry... I believe provides valuable information to the small community of regular posters. And I didn't label it "discouraging dissent", I labelled it "encouraging agreement". At least I phrased it positively.

I don't have complete proof that Slashdot runs on this code, but I believe it does for two reasons.

I cvs update quite often, and I've seen multiple features appear live hours after they appeared in Slash. I'm 99.9% certain that you're right, and I firmly believe that SlashTeam limits itself to lies of omission only. If they say something, it's usually true; the exception being Michael's strange accusations against Seth F.

You can quote the Slash book at him though: Keep the site FAQ updated, keep your users informed about the site, and have a site-specific discussion every now and then. He's read chapter 8.

Now that would be downright obnoxious.

Maybe someday I'll get angry enough (-;

Hopefully someday the META discussion will become a real forum for Slash contributors.

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Re:two comments (1)

mirabilos (219607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983477)

I once got +1 for my good M1 rated fair by M2.
Once, only.

This is getting out of hand (1)

Metrollica (552191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2917732)

Ever since the post of The First Troll Post Investigation or whatever it was called this has really been getting out of hand. Settle down a little.

Re:This is getting out of hand (2)

AnalogBoy (51094) | more than 12 years ago | (#2921577)

The first troll post investigation was insightful. It's shined a light on the abuses the moderators of slashdot. A forum which is apparently fanatical about personal freedoms - denies them. Plus, an analysis of slashdot is.. educational to read, from a philosophical standpoint. I applaud the world of LinSux, Trollaxor, Sillort, et al. Informative, intelligent trolls are to my benefit. Why I continue to read slashdot, I don't know. But its refreshing to see people here who share my opinions of the place.

"Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2929647)

Is it just my overactive imagination, or was this journal entry deliberately crafted to sound a little bit like the statistical analysis in "*BSD is dying"?

Speaking of "*BSD is dying", has anyone archived the original thread from the first time it was ever posted?

Re:"Let's keep to the facts and look at the number (1)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2930423)

It was not at all crafted with BSD is dying in mind. I actually sat down and tried to figure out what percentage of moderators were banned given existing evidence. If it bears a resemblance, I guess I'll have to take that as a compliment by misspelling resembelance. Twice.

I don't think anyone did archive it.

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Comments that agree (2)

nusuth (520833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2938869)

Yeah, but it is like that without any editor moderation, banning whatsoever anyway. I happen to be from a different country and I have some views that do not exactly agree with majority here (especially about US politics.) I also happen to dislike linux after using it two years in a dula boot setting, and four months as the sole operating system. Comments expressing these are either modded "flamebait" or "overrated", sometimes even "troll" or "redundant." I don't think it is editors doing that, it is probably users that don't agree with me. I don't think except for the post, I have ever been moderated by an editor. /. is not a free discussion forum precisely because users can moderate. Editor's unlimited mod points, banning and stuff like that only worsen it a bit.

Re:Comments that agree (2)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2940270)

I see you're familiar with America's best film export, Dr. Strangelove. You're probably better equipped then to understand the perversity of a system whereby a chosen subset of voters get to vote on whether votes are fair or not.

Comments expressing these are either modded "flamebait" or "overrated", sometimes even "troll" or "redundant." I don't think it is editors doing that, it is probably users that don't agree with me.

Don't be so sure. One thing I noticed in the META thread was that they continually quoted the fact that "over 3/4ths of Moderation on Slashdot is positive" but they shied away from the question of what percentage of Editor Moderation is positive. I suspect that over 90% of Editor Moderation is negative (as Jamie called it, "grunt work"). Keep in mind this entire weblog was built on Free Software. If you posted a "At least Oracle is better than MySql" comment into the Oracle story, it would be on topic, but it wouldn't survive for more than 60 seconds before it reached -1. Take your own guesses as to why.

Peace.

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Re:Comments that agree (2)

nusuth (520833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941402)

I see you're familiar with America's best film export, Dr. Strangelove.

Just for demonstration, I have never thought Dr.Strangelove as one of "America's exports" until now. I always though about it as "one of Kubrick's best, and the best of Sellers."

You're probably better equipped then to understand the perversity of a system whereby a chosen subset of voters get to vote on whether votes are fair or not.

Sure, it makes things worse, but not much worse. The "community" idea, which all of us perceive as a Good Thing (tm) is also the root of herd mentality, which most of us percieve as Evil(tm). User moderations suppress alternative ideas. Selecting users that do a good job as suppressing makes it worse, but that is not the cause, that is just the icing on the cake.

One thing I noticed in the META thread was that they continually quoted the fact that "over 3/4ths of Moderation on Slashdot is positive" but they shied away from the question of what percentage of Editor Moderation is positive. I suspect that over 90% of Editor Moderation is negative (as Jamie called it, "grunt work").

I would think so. They have repeatedly said that unlimited mod points of editors are for cleaning around, not moderating good comments. Yet...

Keep in mind this entire weblog was built on Free Software. If you posted a "At least Oracle is better than MySql" comment into the Oracle story, it would be on topic, but it wouldn't survive for more than 60 seconds before it reached -1.

...I don't think editors would go that far. It is just not justifayable, although Rob has seemingly a "my site, my policy, fuck off if you don't like" attidute he indeed tries to justify his actions. Then again I'm new around (I'm not even eligable to metamoderate) perhaps you are right.

I posted 4 times to troll investigation thread attached to oracle story. Two were AC's and two were this account. Two posts were ontopic, only one of those were moderated as offtopic. Infact, I have one of three surviving posts in the thread above threshold 2. And that post did refer to parent thread, as you can guess I have no interest in the oracle story, it was just to attract attention (and it shows too.) If editors were that afraid of the possible spread of word, they would have moderated it as offtopic too.

My conclusion is editors are not doing an excessively bad job with their ability to select those eligable to metamoderation, moderation or moderation without limits. One of the cornerstones of democracy is the minorities' ability to voice their opinions, that just doesn't exist in the mindset of many people. So the moderation system doesn't work, if democracy and free speech are indeed goals of moderation; and it would't work without the editors either. If the moderation's actual goal is just increasing S/N, it does a respectable job at that and editors abilities indeed help.

Dr. Strangelove (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2953575)

I always kinda liked The Mouse That Roared [imdb.com] , but that may be because I was in a stage production of it during High School.

And I only got to play one role:(

Re:Comments that agree (1)

mirabilos (219607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983507)

Hey, in the aspects of the first paragraph you
are like me ;)
I dislike Linux after two years of dual boot,
too. (Only OS I never had it.)
Now my Duron-900 isn't currently working
(defective power supply) and all I have are
my Pentium-75/32M/720M notebook (OpenBSD)
and my Pentium-90/24M/6G firewall/router/server,
also running OpenBSD.
And I neither miss the power of the Duron (pine
doesn't get faster on usenet though) nor the
few times I actually use W'ndoze 2000 or my
sound card.

Meta-Mod Perhaps Brings Justice? (2)

pgpckt (312866) | more than 12 years ago | (#2940147)

You were modded down as off topic for this post [slashdot.org] . I just wanted to let you know I meta-modded that as unfair.

Let's bring the truth out!

Re:Meta-Mod Perhaps Brings Justice? (2)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2940231)

But... but... I was Offtopic. Of course, hundreds of Offtopic posts are made here every day, the only ones that get flattened by Offtopic moderations are the ones that are Offtopic and the Editors don't want to hear about... but that's another conversation. The point is, Metamod favors the majority, and I'll be surprised if your vote is in the majority. Or if you keep your metamod priveleges.

But I appreciate the support. I just want you to realize that moderating me up or supporting me through Moderation in general will probably lead to "a bad consequence for your account", as Michael would put it.

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Re:Meta-Mod Perhaps Brings Justice? (1)

$uperjay (263648) | more than 12 years ago | (#2945673)

I ran across three of The Post's replies in my M2 today, all of which were cases of the thread-bitch-slap. Since they *were* on topic (as replies to The Post) I M2'd the offtopic as unfair. Makes sense to me.

I browse with Funny at -1, Flamebait and Troll at +1. It's good stuff.

Re:Meta-Mod Perhaps Brings Justice? (1)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2947212)

You have failed to grasp Taco's will. Anything in that story not having to do with how bad Larry Ellison and Oracle are is Offtopic. Anything having to do with Slashdot is Offtopic. Offtopic posts are of the devil.

I personally don't agree with the Will of Taco, but you have to understand that in his eyes, you're being a Bad Metamoderator. "Replying to an Offtopic post does not make you Ontopic". (-;

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Re:Meta-Mod Perhaps Brings Justice? (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2953583)

Technically, you were offtopic. But, until there is a regular (once-twice per month) front page story dealing with:

  • CT, CowboyNeal, Michael, JK, etc.
  • Andover, VA, OSDN
  • /. in general


all topics on these subjects will be considered ontopic anywhere they occur. At least by me. In M2. (and if I ever get M1 again).

I'll take the bait. (3, Interesting)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 12 years ago | (#2941553)

Your discussion of the events makes a few errors. I realize this isn't a big deal, but I think you're wrong that more people are willing to moderate than post. I usually uncheck the "willing to moderate" preference, and I post occasionally. Moderating is a pain in the ass.

Anyway. CT and Hemos have absolutely not moderated people down (in this case at least) for disagreeing with them. They moderated them down for discussing something that they feel is outside the scope of the forum. VA Linux has put CT and Hemos in charge of /., so that's up to them. If you want to say something in the forums that they might disagree with, I'm sure that will be just fine if your comment has something to do with that forum.

That's why I come to slashdot. I'm interested in what CT and Hemos think is interesting. It's exactly not Kuro5hin in that regard.

Re:I'll take the bait. (2)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2942583)

I realize this isn't a big deal, but I think you're wrong that more people are willing to moderate than post.

I think I'm wrong about this too. You may have noticed that I said "conservatively" when making the estimation that 6 times as many people are willing to moderate as opposed to post. Look at the equation - the less people are willing to moderate, the higher the percentage is of people who are banned. If you have the same number of people willing to moderate as post, you get 18% banned. If you have half as many people willing to moderate as post, you get 36% banned. I didn't want to make that assumption because down that road lies the conclusion that over half of Slashdot's moderators are permanently banned. In short, I was trying to make the situation look as good as it possibly could, but leave the reader to find the conclusion that it might be far, far worse. You have taken the first step in that direction...

Anyway. CT and Hemos have absolutely not moderated people down (in this case at least) for disagreeing with them. They moderated them down for discussing something that they feel is outside the scope of the forum.

I disagree. I feel that in any given day, 100's of Offtopic posts are moderated up to 5. I feel that the reason this particular Offtopic post was manually and repeatedly dropped to -1 by the Editors was that it was both Offtopic and Something They Didn't Want People To Read. If you would like me to dig up some examples of Offtopic posts moderated to 5 because Taco agrees with them, let me know. Though it shouldn't be hard, just read a few stories.

As far as "taking the bait" goes, don't worry, you're not being trolled. I actually wrote this as a serious attempt to understand the system. Constructive criticism is welcome.

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Taco isn't lying--just a bad communicator (1)

Art Tatum (6890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2945491)

I disagree. I feel that in any given day, 100's of Offtopic posts are moderated up to 5. I feel that the reason this particular Offtopic post was manually and repeatedly dropped to -1 by the Editors was that it was both Offtopic and Something They Didn't Want People To Read.

I think a better way of looking at it would be that the posts were something that, "They Didn't Want Busy-People-Who-Read-At-+x-To-Save-Time To Have To Bother With It." As you (or somebody) noted elsewhere, Slashdot is no longer about discussion--it's about making money. They make money with eyeballs (that's the majority who just read and don't post) and aren't anywhere near as interested in satisfying your need to speak as they are in satisfying people's need to read in a way that satisfies them. As an aside, it seems to me that Taco has a lot of communication problems. Moderation, for example, would probably be much better termed, "filtering-enabler" or something (man, English is a sucky language).

If I read you correctly, you seem to be of the opinion that Taco and Co. are intentionally deceiving us about their *real* goals. But I don't think so. I think that there are a couple of possible reasons why it seems this way:

  1. The FAQ is *waaaay* out of date (and, speaking from personal experience, this site once *was* a rather free discussion forum)
  2. By 'user', Taco might mean 'readers'. Another instance of his lack of communication skills?

While I'm on that topic, another example of his trouble with communicating is the tagline, "News for Nerds." There are a *lot* of people complaining when a story isn't checked for truth before posting. They get irate that Taco gets paid to not do his basic job as a journalist. They make the assumption--false but entirely reasonable--that he is even trying to *be* a journalist. This is all derived from what I've always considered to be a throwaway tagline that isn't at all intended to be taken literally. But many people don't seem to be able to read between the lines.

Re:Taco isn't lying--just a bad communicator (2)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2947183)

If I read you correctly, you seem to be of the opinion that Taco and Co. are intentionally deceiving us about their *real* goals.

Intentionally deceptive is a little strong. I believe that when Taco finds himself doing something that doesn't fit his ideals (or the ideals of his users) he just fails to mention it. After failing to mention it, he won't talk about it even when asked pointedly, and he gets belligerent if people find a way of proving that he's up to something. You're exactly right: he's a poor communicator. He can't interact with his audience. I almost never see him post comments in stories, even in the Anime & Tivo stories! It's not that he doesn't have a lot to say... he just doesn't like to. The only times he posts comments is when he's defending himself. The annoying part is he shifts into defense mode even when he's not being attacked. The worst part is that instead of fighting back, he just checks passive-aggressive anti-troll measures into the system. The idea seems to be "eventually I will have a robotic system that will keep people from disagreeing with me, and I will never have to talk to anyone".

Three defensiveness examples: subnet banning people who receive negative moderation, banning moderators who disagree with him, and refusing to mark Editor moderation as such [sourceforge.net] . When he got busted [slashdot.org] for banning people who were negatively moderated, he replied with a long, angry rant in a Slashcode comment. In the source! I won't even go into the irony of the fact that Jamie McCarthy ended up having to write the (pitifully ineffective) Censorware component that is now part of Slash. I think there's more to it than "I don't have time". Zoo wasn't a requested feature, it wasn't something that would help Slashdot make money, it was just something incredibly complicated that he wanted to do for fun - while the two year old moderation guidelines languished, and the Moderation system kept it's long standing bugs. In short, I think he's a great innovator and a poor manager. Taco is an engineer.

It's all good. It's still the only site on the Internet that won't IP ban you and delete all your comments if you link to goatse.cx. And that's got to be worth something. Right?

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Re:Taco isn't lying--just a bad communicator (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2953613)

The zoo does improve profits. Look at my other reply somewhere in this thread today.

It's not that he doesn't have a lot to say... he just doesn't like to. The only times he posts comments is when he's defending himself. The annoying part is he shifts into defense mode even when he's not being attacked. The worst part is that instead of fighting back, he just checks passive-aggressive anti-troll measures into the system. The idea seems to be "eventually I will have a robotic system that will keep people from disagreeing with me, and I will never have to talk to anyone".


Sounds like CT is the bastard love child of Bill Gates.

Re:Taco isn't lying--just a bad communicator (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2953607)

In general, they want posted whatever will generate hits. That's why so many offtopic posts get to +5, unless they contain dangerous information.

No. CT doesn't have to appease the crowd. But given the paucity of quality 'stories', it is clear that the most page views are generated by reading comments. That also describes a few other things around here.

First, the searches suck. Every time you pull up a poorly searched page, there's another ad view. Journals are here, which increases ad views. The foolishness with 20 second, 2 minute, and 'junk filter' things for submissions. If it takes three page views instead of one for me to post this reply, for example, that is 3x page views. And remember, the only real content are the discussion forums. By alienating the content providers, CT has shot himself in the foot.

CT has no idea what a 'user' is. Sure, technically, he is a 'user', with a login id and password, but he insists on obfuscating things by arguing semantics, saying that editors are no different than 'any other' user.

Finally, CT is not paid to be a journalist. JK, maybe. But CT is being paid to be an editor, a position for which he is woefully unskilled.

"All the News that's Fit to Print" It's not just a tagline. It's a mantra. A theme. A *gack* vision statement. Without that, it's just some fratboy's homepage.

Re:Taco isn't lying--just a bad communicator (1)

Art Tatum (6890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2954438)

"All the News that's Fit to Print" It's not just a tagline. It's a mantra. A theme. A *gack* vision statement.

How sure are you that it isn't just a schtick?

Without that, it's just some fratboy's homepage.

Well....

... and some more Platoon QUOTES!!@! (1)

Mighty-Troll (549627) | more than 12 years ago | (#2942642)

Taylor: I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy, we fought ourselves. The enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called "possesion of my soul." There are times since, I've felt like a child, born of those two fathers. But be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

-----------

Sergeant Barnes: Martin, get your boots on. And the next time I catch you spraying skeeter repellent on your fuckin' feet, I'm gonna court martial your nigger ass.

Junior: Well then court-martial me motherfucker! Fuck my ass, send me to fucking Long Binh! You do your fucking work! You white folks have got your last klick out of Junior!

Sergeant Barnes: O'Neil, get me that centipede.

Sergeant O'Neill: Sarge?

Sergeant Barnes: Yeah, that long hairy red and black bastard I found in the ammo creek. I'm gonna put it in this boy's crotch, see if he can walk.

Somewhere in that sequence Ministry samples "Junior" yelling "Now hold up man!" on their Land of Rape and Honey album in a song, it's repeated over and over.

That magnificent thread (0)

Inthewire (521207) | more than 12 years ago | (#2945511)

I don't know how many times I replied to the thread, but I do know it was a few.
I stumbled across it because I am getting into database work.
I was trying to get a taste of the community's collective opinion on Oracle. Instead I found the mother of all hot-button issues.
Now, I read at -1, Oldest First, Nested, No visible moderation, etc - the view that shows it all.
I don't get offended by the shit posts and I can skim, so I don't waste time on *BSD is Dead, Stephen King / Alan Thicke is dead, etc.
That thread really grabbed me, so I posted some admittedly off (Oracle) topic comments.
And was -1'd.
A few of those and I was IP banned. I wrote an email to Jamie, who told me to take my indignation and make peace with it (not in so many words).
I shut up and waited.
And kept reading the thread. And the links on kuro5hin. And the trolls' suggested reading. Etc.
It's enough to make me want to learn perl...these fucking powerdrunk people who confuse their current status with their deserved status is frightening.
I haven't finished deciding if I will stay or leave, but the little bit of respect I had for the Slashcrew has vanished.
They have the nerve to consider themselves journalists? Cheeky!

somewhat offtopic but.. (1)

nusuth (520833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2946187)

I distinctly remeber latest toll (2 days before)was about 750 moderations. Now I followed your link only to find that the thread head has been moderated 430 times. How does this happen? Are some moderation stats discarded before archiving?

Re:somewhat offtopic but.. (1)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2947204)

All moderation stats are eventually removed. You are seeing only the most recent moderations. Eventually, there will be none. However, the moderation totals were saved as AC replies to The Post.

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Re:That magnificent thread (2)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2948155)

A few of those and I was IP banned. I wrote an email to Jamie, who told me to take my indignation and make peace with it (not in so many words).

Unbeknownst to many, Jamie has a temper. It's very surprising, not unlike petting a small, white, fluffy dog, only to have it suddenly turn and sink it's teeth into you. You don't even have time to yelp, because you're just so damn shocked.

It's enough to make me want to learn perl...these fucking powerdrunk people who confuse their current status with their deserved status is frightening.

Want to learn perl to do what? Writing a script to auto-rape Slashdot is easy. Taking the time to patch the bugs in their system is very hard. Especially when there's a 1 in 10 chance they'll actually apply your patch. And especially considering you're basically doing their jobs for them, for free. Those are my problems with the idea, you probably have your own. As an Oracle programmer, writing something for MySql would probably be like trying to program blindfolded with two hands and your dick tied behind your back.

They have the nerve to consider themselves journalists? Cheeky!

The whole "journalist" thing gets played a lot around here, but honestly I don't think they've ever called themselves that. They're actually in the process of defining "New Media". Whatever respect eventually gets attributed to that phrase may have something to do with their actions down the road.

Scary, huh?

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Re:That magnificent thread (0)

Inthewire (521207) | more than 12 years ago | (#2949703)

The "basically doing their jobs for them, for free" comment caught my eye.
It's a good point.
Thank you, seriously.

A question about % of daily posters (3, Interesting)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 12 years ago | (#2952021)

From your copy/paste, Taco said that of 250,000 daily readers, only %1.2 post. Did he mean %1.2 of the daily readers posted? Or did he mean that of 250,000 daily readers, only %1.2 have ever posted? I often post several times in a day, then go a week or a month until my next few posts. I read /. almost every day, however. If only %1.2 post each day, thats fine, I want to know what percent of readers post at least once a week, or once a month. Hmm, sounds like a poll idea.

Re:A question about % of daily posters (2)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2953241)

I don't know. I know that /. META statistics are carefully hoarded, and used as weapons - fired at us in anger when they are attempting to prove a point, and hoarded at all other times.

I don't know what the actual "moderator participation level" is, nor do I know if 1.2% is a daily figure, nor do I know the frequency of posting breakdown. All are great questions, I suggest that you submit it as an "Ask Slashdot" once a day.

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

Now this gets interesting! (1)

TrollMan 5000 (454685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2955627)

This account has just completed the trek from the undercap of -25 karma to the positive numbers. As soon as I crawled out of negative karma hell, the Metamod Green Light turned on.

However, my original 50 karma account, which is older than this one, and never saw karma less than -1 (newbie factor) cannot metamod.

Oh well. I'll treasure this account, since it's the only one I own with metamod capabilities.

Alan Thicke. ALIVE (1)

Mighty-Troll (549627) | more than 12 years ago | (#2960172)

I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy, we fought ourselves. The enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called "possesion of my soul." There are times since, I've felt like a child, born of those two fathers. But be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

Another Slashdot Editor Conspiricy? (2)

pgpckt (312866) | more than 12 years ago | (#2969929)


As I noted in my journal [slashdot.org] , as I am sure countless others have, there is a forbidden post [slashdot.org] , which at the time I made reference to it, had the following moderation totals: Offtopic=378, Flamebait=4, Troll=27, Redundant=5, Insightful=98, Interesting=206, Informative=49, Funny=12, Overrated=12, Underrated=63, Total=854.

Now for some reason, the moderation totals are as follows: Offtopic=74, Flamebait=1, Redundant=2, Insightful=20, Interesting=33, Informative=11, Funny=3, Overrated=1, Underrated=13, Total=158

Wow! What happened to 694 of those moderations? They apparently have ceased to exist! Now the slashdot editors have seen fit to remove the proof of the moderation conspiricy! The post is too old to moderate anymore (I have mod access today and can't touch it), so their goal complete, the slashdot editors, have changed history, Orwellian style. [k-1.com]

Sorry, No Black Helicopter (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972793)

Moderations, like IP and netblock addresses, comments in recycling discussions, and write access on stories are purged from the database after two weeks. So it is written (in code), so shall it be.

Re:Sorry, No Black Helicopter (1)

mirabilos (219607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983453)

D'oh, and I thought...
400 at my time.

Should make a 900-1100 moderations en total,
assuming new M1's were coming when older are
starting to be removed?

Re:Another Slashdot Editor Conspiricy? (2)

sllort (442574) | more than 12 years ago | (#2977590)

I'm rarely one to turn down a good conspiracy theory. Sadly, what you are referring to is a Slashcode feature. All moderations are wiped from the system at nearly the same interval that stories are archived. So any comment older than about 4 weeks gets no Moderations. You're just seeing them phase out at the rate they phased in.

History erasure, sure, but it's Universal and intended to keep the Moderation system scalable.

--
You're Reading Managed Agreement [slashdot.org]

chalk one more up (2)

Mdog (25508) | more than 12 years ago | (#2972410)

Sorry if there is a better place to post this, but I lost moderation for moding up the infamous post...but my karma's never been higher :)

Revolution! :)

Mike

Re:chalk one more up (1)

mirabilos (219607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2983598)

;) I'm now getting next to 25 by sense-ful
posting, e.g. in the RMS-vs-deIcaza threads.
And post early, then you're seen by the Mods.

Totally simple solution (1)

eples (239989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2995561)


Don't allow non-editors to mod down.
Remove the +5 limit on positive mods.

Reasoning:
If 35 people mod up because a post is an intelligent and insightful nugget - let it be +35!
For the few moderators that want to waste their points on modding up trolls or "funny" posts, let them.

Results:
Nuggets still float to the top. No censorsip.
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