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Google Throws /. Under Bus To Snag Patent

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the google-patents-meta-moderation dept.

Google 584

theodp writes "Before Danny Hillis and Bran Ferren invented Google's newly-patented system for 'Delegating Authority to Evaluate Content', Google says users looking for content evaluation websites were condemned to the likes of Amazon.com and Slashdot. From the patent: 'Many sites found on the World Wide Web allow users to evaluate content found within the site. The Slashdot Web site (www.slashdot.org) allows users to "mod" comments recently posted by other users. Based on this information obtained from the users, the system determines a numerical score for each comment ranging from 1 to 5.' The problem with sites like Slashdot, Google told the USPTO, is that 'because there is no restriction on the users that may participate, the reliability of the ratings is correspondingly diminished.' Commissioning a small number of trusted evaluators or editors would increase the reliability of the evaluations, Google notes, but wouldn't allow nearly as much content to be evaluated. Google's solution? Allow trusted evaluators to transfer a 'quantity of authority' to like-minded 'contributing authorities', who in turn designate and delegate authority to additional like-minded contributing authorities. Think Microsoft Outlook 97 Delegate Access meets Slashdot Karma Points, and you've got the general idea!"

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Google bashing thread! (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#38213840)

3... 2... 1... Go!

Meh. This is more like "We think we can improve on the best thing." I believe we actually had a thread about this here recently.

GO GOOGLE! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214066)

Someone with brains AND A VOICE finally speaks up against Slashdot's miserable organization, wait.....what.....hold on a sec:
 
Okay, so what am I missing here? Where's the article? I see a link to a patent, a link to a pointless JPEG, and some kid's anecdotal evidence (if even that) that Google hates Slashdot. C'mon, theodp [slashdot.org] . This is the Internets. If you're going to make some absurd comment, at least have the wherewithal to link to someone else's page where someone else actually came up with or cited the idea. Even if it is completely bogus. It looks to me as though you waved your hands, threw some pixie dust, and declared that Google just insulted Slashdot. Where's the beef, sir?
 
--TSP
 
  captcha: smoked

Re:GO GOOGLE! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214336)

Exactly. And LOOK! It was FILED in 2002. Back before anyone even KNEW what Google was.

Re:GO GOOGLE! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214386)

So Google is saying slashdot has a systemic problem with idiotic groupthink and it's skewed moderation?

I'm with Google on this.

Re:Google bashing thread! (5, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#38214200)

meanwhile, the headline is written so poorly that I'm impressed by that as well.

Google throw's slashdot under the bus? How about "google shows slashdot's shortfalls". Slashdot is far from infallible, and the mod system ranges from "useful" to "why the hell was this moderated poorly/positively"?

However, that isn't the nature of slashdot specifically, it's just an accurate depiction of the internet: those looking for useful things can find gems of very useful information, but there is also a lot of crap and sometimes the crap will be found much easier. This is new?

Re:Google bashing thread! (3, Informative)

CptNerd (455084) | about 2 years ago | (#38214358)

However, that isn't the nature of slashdot specifically, it's just an accurate depiction of the internet: those looking for useful things can find gems of very useful information, but there is also a lot of crap and sometimes the crap will be found much easier. This is new?

Not according to Ted Sturgeon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon's_Law/ [wikipedia.org]

Re:Google bashing thread! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214430)

uh, that matches exactly what I was saying. Some people are better at filtering the 90% out than others. Most slashdotters can filter the 90% out quite well. What's your point?

Re:Google bashing thread! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214286)

Pitiful attempt to pre-empt any bashing of the saintly Google in 3... 2... oh!

As little as I'd think of the OP if he is on Google's payroll, I'd think even less if he isn't.

Re:Google bashing thread! (5, Insightful)

yog (19073) | about 2 years ago | (#38214302)

Google has a point. Slashdot's moderation is far from perfect; people get modded down for expressing politically incorrect opinions or otherwise taking a stance opposed to that of the majority. You might call it a tyranny of the majority, in fact. I've seen quite intelligent, insightful postings modded to 0 or -1 because the person was taking an unpopular stand on an issue. On more than one occasion, I've seen factual statements dismissed by ignorant posters and moderators.

Suppressing opposing views in a discussion forum does not improve the forum or raise the level of the discussion. People strive to say things that will get them modded up, rather than say what they really believe.

The point of a discussion, or an argument, or a debate, is to allow multiple parties to express their views, and arrive at a consensus or at least understand what the opposing view is. I've often been persuaded to change my mind in these forums, although the strident nature of some of the posters is grating and counter-productive. Criticize the idea, not the person who expresses the idea.

I try to meta-moderate when I can (weird how they don't have a permanent meta-mod link on the home page, though--sometimes I have to search for it if I don't see the "Have you meta-moderated lately?" link at the top). But it often feels like bailing out a boat with a thimble.

Re:Google bashing thread! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214466)

The funny thing is we like this post and apparently agree with the premise.

But we won't change how we moderate.

Someone here actually suggested it before (5, Insightful)

CmdrPony (2505686) | about 2 years ago | (#38213844)

Let's face it, the slashdot moderation system has been broken for a long time. That's where the term slashthink/slashdot group think comes from. If you post a comment that general user base of slashdot likes, it will be modded up. If you post a comment, even a really insightful and interesting one that the general user base doesn't like, it will be modded down. Comments that rank up? Promote free speech, removing copyrights, getting rids of patents, point out how "suits" just don't get us geeks and so on. Comments that go immediately down? Tell informative, but bad points about the current state of Linux, dislike Google, try to be reasonable about copyrights and DRM or say that Microsoft's Visual Studio still kicks ass any other IDE out there.

I can't find the old post now because it was long time ago, but it went something like this. Every user are given some amount of moderation points, that affect the moderation as a whole. In addition to that, it affects the moderation you see favorable to the likes of you. If they are on your friend lists, their moderation carries more value. If they have moderated similarly to you, their moderation weights more to you. Of course, this should be balanced so that you don't get fully one viewed comments - if some comment is generally modded very high (and forget the -1-5 scale now), it would be displayed to you anyway. If you add to that that comments where you, or similar persons to you have commented, will be fully displayed regardless of their moderation (or some adjustation of that), it would work out really well. Of course, it needs a lot more computation power on the server side.

For me, personally? I like Reddit's comment system. It has it's faults, but it's better than Slashdot. Interesting posts are on top, and you can just scroll down for more.

Still, I browse Slashdot at -1 and read what interests me. I come here for the comments, jokes and all that. I like to see it all when the subject is interesting. No moderating system can ever beat your own judgement (even if it's wrong one).

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (5, Insightful)

u38cg (607297) | about 2 years ago | (#38213904)

And the fact is, early, pointless comments like this one get modded insightful, whereas later, superior replies do not receive the same attention.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214074)

Also most items end up at +5 or -1. That is due to popularity not necessarily a proper vetting of comments. Early on in conversations it works. But near the end you loose a lot of good info to +2. Just because there were not enough people reading it.

It is like the top 10 songs. Many stay top 10 because people look at the top 10 to listen to. So the top 10 get overrepresented.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (5, Insightful)

ZenDragon (1205104) | about 2 years ago | (#38214212)

When I get mod points, I tend to browse from the bottom. I do that generally because, when I come in to work after a long vacation I found it was always much more informative to browser the newer emails first. If I found and interesting chain, or post in this case, I would read the preceding posts.

The real question is, if this system is so broken, why do people keep coming back?

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (1, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#38214362)

Superior replies don't get modded up, the repllies that line up with that randomly chosen user's biases do. People alter their behaviour to appeal to public opinion.

If slashdot really wanted to mod up 'superior' comments then they'd have full-time trained moderators instead of handing badges to everybody with an opinion of which smartphone OS to use.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (5, Funny)

kericr (1172199) | about 2 years ago | (#38214380)

You nailed it. I mean, absolutely, positively nailed it. Android is the best OS.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (3, Informative)

gfxguy (98788) | about 2 years ago | (#38213908)

Agreed. A lot of junk at -1, but there are far too many comments modded down because of personal views rather than whether or not they add to the discussion, especially when it comes to politically oriented "discussions."

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (1)

durrr (1316311) | about 2 years ago | (#38214372)

And making some personal views more equal than other sure as hell is the solution amirite? The current system may randomly penalize and sink some good content, but it doesn't reach all of it. The second we start to delegate modpoints by centralized authorities things ALWAYS go to shit and delegating authority to likeminded friends is how corruption runs rampart and fascism takes hold.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (4, Insightful)

Dreetje (672686) | about 2 years ago | (#38213952)

Still, I browse Slashdot at -1 and read what interests me. I come here for the comments, jokes and all that. I like to see it all when the subject is interesting. No moderating system can ever beat your own judgement (even if it's wrong one).

Sure, but it takes a lot of time to go through all comments off a popular topic. I generally like websites where comments/posts are moderated. I also don't have a problem where I have to trust someone, or a group of people, to moderate for me. If I don't like it, maybe the community isn't for me? But I am always open to new experiments, I don't know reddits comment system. I don't dislike slashdot's system much, but perhaps there's better out there, I don't know, not actively searching for it either :P

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#38213976)

If you post a comment, even a really insightful and interesting one that the general user base doesn't like, it will be modded down.

More often the downmods are due to insults and strawmen arguments. you will not be downmoded for making a respectful informative response.

If you think I am wrong in this please do some searching and find examples.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 2 years ago | (#38214344)

It's pretty much completely unpredictable. I've been here long enough to know that it's a lot more complicated than that. Putting an insult in whether or not deserved will ratchet up the unpredictability greatly. But you're fooling yourself if you think the moderators around here are intelligent enough to recognize a strawman. I'd be very surprised if that deviated at all from random chance.

Also, you definitely can get downmodded for a respectful and informative response, it's happened to me fairly often over time. Usually because I'm pointing out something that the Apple fanboys don't like. Of the factions around here they seem to be the ones that are most prone to abuses of mod points. At least in my experience. Probably the second worst would be the pro-legalization libertarians that can't fathom that there might be good reasons to keep drugs banned pending further research.

I've also noticed some posts will attract a huge number of mod points as the mods battle each other out. In the end there's a very definite bias towards hiding things rather than showing things and I don't think most people with mod points even bother to read the guidelines.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (5, Informative)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about 2 years ago | (#38214018)

I don't believe, that downvotes are such a big problem. There are really just three downvote options: Troll, Flamebait and Offtopic.
Using them on posts that you simply disagree with is obviously against the intention. That does not mean no one does it, but in the end the total numbers matter.
(You could argue that negative points about Linux are flamebait though... what is the difference between Troll and Flamebait anyway? ^^).

The bigger problem is, that if you come late to a discussion (and "late" is a short time with this huge userbase) there is no way your comment will recieve any views.

So even if you have something very insightful to say, unless you are one of the first posters, it will just not get read by any moderators, because it is burried below the threshold. Meanwhile posts that already are on +3 usually get votet to +5 during the day, for no other reason than their visiblity.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (1)

Fri13 (963421) | about 2 years ago | (#38214330)

what is the difference between Troll and Flamebait anyway?

I just today started to play Trine 2 game and when the trolls came on it, I just started to wonder how easily people mark other people or their posts as trolls.
And I tough that trolling is such a skilled way to actually get other people fight against each other that no one does not seem to have such skills anymore.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (2)

hedwards (940851) | about 2 years ago | (#38214378)

And yet that's what happens. By default people don't even see posts that aren't at least 1, IIRC, and I regularly see posts getting inappropriately downrepped, in fact it seems to be a lot more common than seeing posts that are inappropriately uprepped.

Given that there's a considerable number of moderators that haven't even bothered to read the guidelines, I think it's a tad optimistic to think that they care at all about the intention of the points. Also, the reason why there's only 3 types, or really 4 if you count overrated is purely a matter of power. Once something gets hidden it's likely that a lot of folks with mod points won't even see it.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (2)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#38214408)

Most people use Overrated on things they disagree with. Although it could be solved by limiting the use of Overrated to posts with score>1.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214034)

As far as I can tell Stack Exchange uses the best moderation system. I think more would contribute to gain the privilege to mod comments if /. used something similar, and moderation would be more effective.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#38214440)

Never heard of Stack Exchange before this, but a quick visit to their website it looks more like a Yahoo answers website rather than a discussion website.

From their about page.

After someone asks a question, members of the community propose answers. Others vote on those answers. Very quickly, the answers with the most votes rise to the top. You donâ(TM)t have to read through a lot of discussion to find the best answer.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (5, Insightful)

polyp2000 (444682) | about 2 years ago | (#38214048)

This is true,

But Slashdot is one of the few places I can go on the internet to find comments that are intelligent and well thought out, and where its just as fun reading the comments as the posted article.

Compare the comments on Slashdot to comments on Digg or Youtube for example.

I dont necessarily agree with Google out right. Slashdot is a much valued site for me. The site does have flaws , dont get me wrong! However its the community that makes it a worthwhile and Slashdot has that in droves!

Nick ...

  N....

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (0)

hedwards (940851) | about 2 years ago | (#38214418)

If you want informative and insightful here you pretty much have to browse at -1, otherwise you're likely to miss the most informative posts. It varies somewhat topic to topic, pretty much anything that badmouths or otherwise questions st. Jobs tends to get moderated into oblivion unless it attracts the attention of people who actually know something about the topic.

Just look at all the threads about the stupid rectangle with rounded corners. Pretty much invariably the ones defending Apple get a +1 and the rest get ignored.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (2)

bjourne (1034822) | about 2 years ago | (#38214050)

Well, it's better than nothing. Also remember that /. was the first site to employ it on a large scale (long before wikipedia and similar sites appeared) and proved it to roughly work. It is far from perfect though. My personal pet peeve is that long, well thought out posts aren't getting upmodded. Especially if they don't take a stance in a controversial issue but is ambivalent about it. Maybe because most moderators does not have the patience to read through long comments so they do not stick. One-liners which at first glance may sound insightful, but really are just pointing out the obvious have a much higher probability of getting upmodded.

A simple fix, which stackoverflow uses, is to order posts in reverse chronological order. That would greatly reduce the effect moderation has on the discussion and the need to type fast so that your post wont be placed to far down on the page.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (2)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#38214252)

Maybe because most moderators does not have the patience to read through long comments so they do not stick. One-liners which at first glance may sound insightful, but really are just pointing out the obvious have a much higher probability of getting upmodded.

It is easier to agree with a sentence than a paragraph. Also the long informative posts may be over the head of whomever is currently modding. If I feel that I cannot make a valid judgement on a topic I don't mod it, but I'll still post usually to find out more.

People complain about the moderators here as though there is a group of moderators. If you have an account in good standing you will most probably mod at some point.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (2)

MollyB (162595) | about 2 years ago | (#38214312)

A simple fix [...] is to order posts in reverse chronological order.

Actually, you can change your preference (if you are logged in) by clicking Options>Discussions and switch from "Oldest First" to "Newest First". Several other choices are available there, too.

It also gets astroturfed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214054)

Unless you consider that strengthening copyrights, protections for corporations and so forth are ALSO part of slashdot groupthink.

Of course two other ways of getting posted up are:

1) say you're going to get modded down
2) whine about slashdot groupthink

I Respectfully Disagree with You (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#38214056)

Let's face it, the slashdot moderation system has been broken for a long time. That's where the term slashthink/slashdot group think comes from. If you post a comment that general user base of slashdot likes, it will be modded up. If you post a comment, even a really insightful and interesting one that the general user base doesn't like, it will be modded down. Comments that rank up? Promote free speech, removing copyrights, getting rids of patents, point out how "suits" just don't get us geeks and so on. Comments that go immediately down? Tell informative, but bad points about the current state of Linux, dislike Google, try to be reasonable about copyrights and DRM or say that Microsoft's Visual Studio still kicks ass any other IDE out there.

There's a difference between being "unpopular" and "wrong." I disagree with you and find that well written -- though unpopular -- posts will be moderated highly. I, myself, have participated in receiving such moderation. You can make valid points about the current state of Linux (without having to be apologetic) as long as you know what you are talking about. Here's one of my own posts where I rip on Google's tax evasion [slashdot.org] and it's moderated +4. That's just a quick one, if you need more, I'd be happy to spend some time to provide you counter examples do your claims. As a developer, however, I must say that your Visual Studio statement is completely without merit and will always be modded down. I come to Slashdot not because I'm afraid of debate but because I thirst for it. The most valuable comments are those that put me in my place.

I can't find the old post now because it was long time ago, but it went something like this. Every user are given some amount of moderation points, that affect the moderation as a whole. In addition to that, it affects the moderation you see favorable to the likes of you. If they are on your friend lists, their moderation carries more value. If they have moderated similarly to you, their moderation weights more to you. Of course, this should be balanced so that you don't get fully one viewed comments - if some comment is generally modded very high (and forget the -1-5 scale now), it would be displayed to you anyway. If you add to that that comments where you, or similar persons to you have commented, will be fully displayed regardless of their moderation (or some adjustation of that), it would work out really well. Of course, it needs a lot more computation power on the server side.

That sounds like a really sheltered solution. All I can think about as a comparison is people who live in -- and I'm not picking on them specifically -- a Mormon community only holding their immediate relatives as valid sources of comments. This can be said for any number of things, however, but this proposed "lensing" of Slashdot would just allow people to turtle into their sheltered bubbles. Eventually any contradictory points that I might have been exposed to are safely locked away and I am never challenged. What a horrible, repressed, unenlightened, biased, polarized existence! The website will be a therapist -- telling you only what you want to hear. Disagree with something? Delete the offending friend.

For me, personally? I like Reddit's comment system. It has it's faults, but it's better than Slashdot. Interesting posts are on top, and you can just scroll down for more.

Then go back to Reddit. Why are you here? Go back there where you can delete or modify what you just said when someone wants to engage in a debate with you! Never have I been so exasperated as with my brief foray on Reddit. Valid counterpoint? Deletes his post. Now what?

No moderating system can ever beat your own judgement (even if it's wrong one).

I think you're hung up on wrong/right versus unpopular/popular opinion. It's not so black and white and there is a blur there but I feel that Slashdot 1) presents a decent mix of stories and 2) the subsequent moderation gives you a good idea of what is popular and generally correct/informed.

Re:I Respectfully Disagree with You (3, Insightful)

yog (19073) | about 2 years ago | (#38214424)

eldavojohn #38214056 As of 10:15am EST:
    40% Insightful
    40% Interesting
    20% Troll

This is a great example of the stupidity of moderators. Some misguided soul(s) consider the above to be a "troll" posting. I don't agree with everything eldavojohn said, but I'm not going to down-mod him and effectively remove his comment from the discussion for thousands of readers. That's ridiculous; he has a right to express his opinion.

Now if he had said, "duh, yer a fag" or something similar, then that would earn a flamebait/troll/overrated/offtopic from me and (I hope) most intelligent moderators. Stupid grade school insults are off topic and contribute nothing to the discussion.

Re:I Respectfully Disagree with You (1, Offtopic)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 2 years ago | (#38214438)

As a developer, however, I must say that your Visual Studio statement is completely without merit and will always be modded down.

As a VIM user, I find Eclipse to be only slightly more annoying than it is useful. I have similar sentiments about Netbeans, Monodevelop, Kdevelop, and all the other FOSS IDEs. Visual Studio, on the other hand, is an absolute gem (if bloated). I would love to know what IDE you use that Visual Studio does not (in the GP's words) kick it's ass. Seriously, I need a new IDE. I code mostly in Java, C#, and PHP but I'd like to know about good IDEs for any language.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (2)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 2 years ago | (#38214126)

If you post a comment that general user base of slashdot likes, it will be modded up. If you post a comment, even a really insightful and interesting one that the general user base doesn't like, it will be modded down.

Google's solution? Allow trusted evaluators to transfer a 'quantity of authority' to like-minded 'contributing authorities', who in turn designate and delegate authority to additional like-minded contributing authorities.

It sounds like Slashdot has randomly created groupthink, but with this new and improved patent from Google, you'll have designed groupthink. This is better why?

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (1)

Eil (82413) | about 2 years ago | (#38214148)

Let's face it, the slashdot moderation system has been broken for a long time.

How can you know that, having a 2.5M uid?

Slashdot's moderation system, although hardly perfect, is still about a thousand times better than the trollfests that pass for commentary systems on 99% of the websites that allow visitor contributions.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (0, Troll)

CmdrPony (2505686) | about 2 years ago | (#38214208)

Let's face it, the slashdot moderation system has been broken for a long time.

How can you know that, having a 2.5M uid?

Slashdot's moderation system, although hardly perfect, is still about a thousand times better than the trollfests that pass for commentary systems on 99% of the websites that allow visitor contributions.

I have an six digit UID, but along the way I just got bored of trying to fix my karma because some asses went raging and modded down all my comments, resulting in me posting at -1. Easier to just make new account.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214480)

In other words, Trolling.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214334)

It's simple. This is not their first account. The previous ones were rated so low that the "low karma" filter basically made them a "0 rated" post on many screens so they created a new ID and continued their spewing. The sad part is that they keep coming back for more getting more upset that the community doesn't agree with their opinion.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214446)

I don't have a UID and I've been reading /. for 7+ years. Do know, you don't need a UID to frequent this site. So, the UID is NOT an indicator in participation... QED.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (2)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | about 2 years ago | (#38214156)

> If you post a comment that general user base of slashdot likes, it will be modded up. If you post a comment, even a really insightful and interesting one that the general user base doesn't like, it will be modded down.

So you are proposing change in moderating system, that will cause more comments that I don't like to appear on slashdot? Wtf is wrong with you? I go here because I like comments here.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (0)

CmdrPony (2505686) | about 2 years ago | (#38214242)

Reading comprehension. I stated how it is currently, not how it should be.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (4, Interesting)

Fri13 (963421) | about 2 years ago | (#38214204)

I like the slashdot modding idea, that random group of registered people are given a 15 points what they can spend to comments as they like. One point per comment and you have less biased system than giving a permanent group of people to mod. As everyone mod things judging the comment with their knowledge, was it insightful or then just "WOU!" effect without ever thinking it before what comment said.

There is always a biased opinions about topics and only real way to avoid is to give random people to vote.
We know already even among scientists that they can not agree with everything, they have personal bias toward some people and against someone.
The only real way to actually get the real information to come up is to write, read and actually discuss about the subject.
But people have started to be very lazy and they don't like to spend more than 10 seconds to read someones comment. Such people don't actually care others person opinions or conclusions how such person build that opinion, important thing for them is that person who wrote, is she/he with them or against them.

One thing what I always miss is newsgroups modding. And I actually mean the whole newsgroup system.
Every reader could give points to specific writers by their own taste. So when the person writes, the whole discussion root is going to be modded based those.
This way reader could set +5 to person A and -5 to person B, so the root where these two would be discussing, would be ranked as 0. If there is person C who reader has ranked as +15 and wrote a message, the root gets +15 points.

And the newsgroup threading was just awesome. I miss that from every HTML/Javascript/PHP forums today. As all the trolling, unrelated posts etc, got own branch (root) and they could be left outside (closed) by reader if wanted and focus only to the main topic.
But with those forums what just slaps new messages after each other, it just cause fights and blaming in the end.

That is one nice thing what Slashdot have maintained at least some manner, but still missing the clarity of newsgroups tree system.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214206)

I mod down people I hate.... like ma****me. They don't know what they're talking about...

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (3, Interesting)

javakah (932230) | about 2 years ago | (#38214214)

I find that with Slashdot, the key to getting a high score really has everything to do with posting shortly after a submission is out. Wait until there are more than a handful of comments and your score will likely to be pretty low. This also happens on Reddit, but it doesn't seem like quite to the extent of Slashdot.

Reddit on the other hand tends to suffer more from being more of an echo chamber. On Slashdot, you can more often voice a dissenting opinion and still get modded up, opening up more discussion. On Reddit, you just get downvoted and then ignored. What is really needed is two separate controls: one for giving points for a good, well reasoned or stated (non-troll) post and another for whether you agree with the post or not.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | about 2 years ago | (#38214296)

You know what else I've noticed? Every time a poster says "Mod me troll, but..." or "I expect to get modded down for this, but..." they always get modded +5 in[sightful|formative|teresting].

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (2)

Imbrondir (2367812) | about 2 years ago | (#38214314)

Well written unpopular opinions often gets modded up in my reading experience, especially when written as a rant. I'm not convinced the group think is such a big problem as you're describing. IMHO Slashdot has still the best moderation system, and is the sole reason that I bother to come here.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (5, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#38214346)

Let's face it, the slashdot moderation system has been broken for a long time.

Can you point to a site with a better system? Google is flat out incorrect (from TFS, didn't read TFA). It assumes that anybody and their brother can moderate, but that just isn't the case.

Now, metamoderation is a different story entirely. The old metamods worked. You moderated moderations as "fair" or "unfair", and if you got too many "unfairs" you got fewer or no mod points. I'm not sure how (or even if) the new system works.

If you post a comment, even a really insightful and interesting one that the general user base doesn't like, it will be modded down.

Links needed. Downmodding a comment you disagree with is an abuse of mod points. I don't know how many times I've undone moderations to respond to some facist corporate whore.

Comments that rank up? Promote free speech, removing copyrights, getting rids of patents, point out how "suits" just don't get us geeks and so on.

Anyone against free speech is a troll. There are a lot of comments wanting to do away with copyright, but I can't remember any that were highly modded. How the suits don't get it? Well DUH, I'd mod that one redundant, unless there was additional commentary that needed to be seen (IMO).

Tell informative, but bad points about the current state of Linux, dislike Google, try to be reasonable about copyrights and DRM or say that Microsoft's Visual Studio still kicks ass any other IDE out there.

OK, now that's just rank bullshit. I've posted comments pointing out things I don't like about Linux (I'm a fan, but nothing's perfect), and these comments are generally modded up. Now, "Linux SuXOrs" is going to be modded lamebait or troll, and rightly so. I've responded to "get rid of copyright" posts with a response that doing away with it is not the thing to do, but that copyright does need reform, and these comments have never been modded down and many times are highly modded. And, be reasonable about DRM? DRM is a rights stripping abomination that cannot accomplish what it intends to and harms the paying customer. You're damned right pro-DRM is downmodded, pro-DRM is simply a shill or a troll or an incredibly ignorant, non-tech savvy remark.

Every user are given some amount of moderation points

Incorrect.

If they are on your friend lists, their moderation carries more value.

Only if that's what you specify in your preferences. I don't.

If they have moderated similarly to you, their moderation weights more to you.

I don't think I understand that sentence.

Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214364)

notice how he's +4, not +5

Let the Group-Think Flow! (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#38213868)

Allow trusted evaluators to transfer a 'quantity of authority' to like-minded 'contributing authorities', who in turn designate and delegate authority to additional like-minded contributing authorities.

Um, isn't this exactly what would promote the problem of politically active users donating time to keep adverse stories repressed [slashdot.org] ?

Quality can be controlled to some extent but biases are much harder to determine ...

Re:Let the Group-Think Flow! (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | about 2 years ago | (#38214112)

True.
If we had this on Slashdot, users would only need to identify active users with a clear agenda and could then form factions behind them.

Imagine one Apple fanboy and one Apple hater going into a moderation-war feuled by their respective "factions" mod points.
It would be intersting to observe which topics make it it the top, but would hardly improve the quality of news...

Re:Let the Group-Think Flow! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214262)

Steve Jobs was the guy who said that 64K was enough but the story has been told as Bill Gates saying so since after it happened. Is this an example of bias, groupthink, or a lack of quality?

There is no perfect moderation system so everyone must be aware of imperfections and where and why they occur.

Uh... (5, Informative)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#38213910)

doesn't the meta-moderation system essentially do what Google is talking about - I always assumed that if your mods got marked as appropriate in metamod, your chances of modding again improved, and vice-versa.

Re:Uh... (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | about 2 years ago | (#38214032)

You're still trusting random users to metamoderate properly as well. I think it helps keep the system fairer, but still not fair. Instead of moderating directly, meta-mods can choose whether or not to nullify a moderation according to their whim.

Re:Uh... (2)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#38214060)

Think of metamoderators as randomly selected members of a jury.

Re:Uh... (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#38214396)

Is meta-moderation random? I get top-of-page invitations to metamod, so assume that that's part of the formula, too - the higher your mods are meta-modded, the more likely you are to be able to both mod and meta-mod. The effect is users with "good" ratings get to do more of each, which overwhelms the randomness of giving most/all users an occasional chance.

Patent-able?! (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | about 2 years ago | (#38213918)

Seriously? So many patents these days are "we took idea X and added Y, so now we have a patent on X with Y." Where X and Y were both existing concepts. (As poster says, think /. karma + outlook delegates). I have no problem with Google developing their own software implementation, and I have no problem with google receiving protection for that IP Itself, the software. That should be protected. But that Google or anybody else can just go "FIRST!" and grab a monopoly for the foreseeable future... Uggh.

Web of trust / monkeysphere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38213928)

Are they planning to implement a web of trust like in OpenPGP and what monkeysphere is trying to do?

I agree with Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38213954)

I actually agree, the way comments are moderated is very poor overall on /.

Re:I agree with Google (2)

fotoguzzi (230256) | about 2 years ago | (#38213982)

Mod parent down. (If only I had mod points.) Wait!

Umm, prior art in closed systems? (2)

KreAture (105311) | about 2 years ago | (#38213970)

I believe this delegation is a direct copy of how trusted access on pirate-networks work.
Can you simply patent a method invented by someone else for illicit and clandestant activities?

Re:Umm, prior art in closed systems? (3, Informative)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 2 years ago | (#38214250)

No, not if it is publicly known. Prior art is prior art. It may get overlooked, misrepresented or just flat out ignored. Assuming your knowledge of pirate-networks comes from some public source, it is prior art.

But note my caveats: "publicly known" and "public source." If the method (illicit or not) is kept private and not available to the public, it is a trade secret. Not prior art.

Here's a quick test: to learn of a method, do you have to go through a security check first? If you can't learn of it anywhere on earth without passing through security (electronic or physical), it's probably not public.

PageRank for Reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38213974)

Isn't this just the same PageRank algorithm applied to a different domain?

moderation system = intellectual peer pressure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38213986)

kinda nice when the weak-minded don't have an easy way to tell what the popular/unpopular thought is on a particular subject.

moderation systems within a community are great in theory, except humans aren't logical creatures. a logically valid yet unpopular comment and its author can easily be marginalized within such a system, to the detriment of the overall intellectual value of the discussion

Re:moderation system = intellectual peer pressure (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 2 years ago | (#38214290)

Unfortunately humans are not logical creatures even when they are intelligent.

And if someone who is smart but biased dislikes a particular comment, his intelligence isn't going to actually improve anything.

How is this throwing /. under the bus? (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#38213996)

I can't see Google trying to assert a patent claim against a site that they cited as prior art for continuing to use its groupthink enforcement system. You'd have to be a patent troll of Intellectual Venturian proportions to even contemplate anything so Quixotic.

Re:How is this throwing /. under the bus? (5, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | about 2 years ago | (#38214102)

In case you hadn't noticed, this place has been invaded by a succession of increasingly dumber editors, which are probably rejects from Boingboing.

Google didn't throw anything under the bus, they just pointed out what we /.ers have known for 15 years. They're not patenting Slashcode, they're patenting "weighted moderation" or something along those lines, where each user has a certain numeric authority assigned to them, which affects how strongly their opinion is weighted in the scoring process. Still, boo urns on Google for patenting such a trivial algorithm, but I'm pretty sure they repealed "Do no evil" a long-ass motherfucking time ago.

Re:How is this throwing /. under the bus? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | about 2 years ago | (#38214240)

Google didn't throw anything under the bus, they just pointed out what we /.ers have known for 15 years.

Yes, but the Slashdot editors and coders and everyone working for/on slashdot think that their comment system is the best, and any criticism of it is throwing them under the bus. ... and I suppose it might be, but sometimes things/persons deserve to be thrown under the bus.

Nazism for one deserves to be thrown under the bus. As well as Godwin's Law.

Re:How is this throwing /. under the bus? (2)

Megaweapon (25185) | about 2 years ago | (#38214474)

In case you hadn't noticed, this place has been invaded by a succession of increasingly dumber editors, which are probably rejects from Boingboing.

You know Slashdot is going downhill when they're posting articles from the Daily Mail.

\hell, adding the "Politics" section for the 2004 elections was bad enough

Re:How is this throwing /. under the bus? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#38214456)

I can't see Google trying to assert a patent claim against a site that they cited as prior art for continuing to use its groupthink enforcement system. You'd have to be a patent troll of Intellectual Venturian proportions to even contemplate anything so Quixotic.

Respectfully, you may be confused about the term "prior art"... Prior art means any publication or product in the relevant industry - i.e. art - that is prior. Period. RFC 793 (TCP) is prior art for STCP. Slashdot is prior art for Google's system. Microsoft DOS is prior art for BeOS.

What you're thinking is "anticipatory prior art": a single piece of prior art that discloses each and every element of the claim. In this case, Google is saying that Slashdot represents the prior state of the art, before their improvement. Slashdot doesn't anticipate Google's invention, but it's certainly a piece of relevant art that was available prior to the invention.

/. threw itself under the bus (5, Interesting)

Ice Station Zebra (18124) | about 2 years ago | (#38214024)

Oh so long ago when it sold itself for $$$ to whoever that company was. The bus has been running it over ever since.

Who trusts the trusteds? (5, Interesting)

mattie_p (2512046) | about 2 years ago | (#38214040)

So who trusts the "trusted evaluators" in the first place? This could easily be abused into more of a group-think than slashdot, if indeed /. is guilty of group-think. I'm thinking more like a personal blog, where moderators must approve all comments. If the mod doesn't like it, the comment doesn't exist for the general public. Do we trust google to moderate our content for us? I mean, I guess we (as a corporate whole) already do, based on their share of the search market, but seriously. How far should we let this go?

Oh no they didn't (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214042)

*shakes head from side to side* OH NO THEY DIDN'T!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb9LJI7YrtU

Prior art, scientific journals and Nobel Prize (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 2 years ago | (#38214058)

Prior art - thousands of peer reviewed journals. Nothing new in that.

The Nobel Prize nominations must be hard to overturn. Only prior winners and a few others may nominate.

Slashdot users have prior art ... (4, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | about 2 years ago | (#38214068)

Users have been known to delegate authority to moderate by either selling their accounts or giving the password to another user. There are also a few troll accounts that are "groupware".

Re:Slashdot users have prior art ... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#38214374)

selma, is that you?

Why is this patentable? (4, Interesting)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 2 years ago | (#38214086)

Two questions:

.
1 - Why is this patentable?

2 - Doesn't /.'s meta-mod system help to correct the issue raised?

Re:Why is this patentable? (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#38214488)

Two questions:

. 1 - Why is this patentable?

Why not? It's a new and useful improvement of an existing process. See 35 USC 101: "Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title."

I disagree (5, Insightful)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#38214098)

I think the /. community mods accurately, the good out weighs the bad, and I have had more than one of my comments modded out of existence, and frankly some of my comments deserved to be (we all have bad days) but the thing to keep in mind here is we, we being the members of /., aren't modding for the outside World we mod for the community here on /. so it works well even with the trolls and hopeless pontificates.

No changes needed in my view.

but google is a darling (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#38214100)

it can never do wrong. forever and ever. the slashdot bias has been cast. everything it does that is questionable must be rationalized away. it's not like google's actions should be evaluated impartially on these forums, right?

(now comes the posts defending google against all claims of impropriety. no! not our darling google!)

Bury Brigade Patented (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214116)

So, Google is legitimizing and patenting the bury brigade.

w00t!

So all they did make an incidental criticism? (5, Insightful)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 2 years ago | (#38214128)

I think Slashdot eds are being a little too sensitive. They didn't sue Slashdot or harm it, they simply claimed in a patent that they devised a better system. While I think software patents are dumb, I don't think creating a different system and saying why you think it's better is much of a problem.

Re:So all they did make an incidental criticism? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214160)

An incidental criticism that every comment and moderator seems to be agreeing with. Editors are getting touchy.

One other thing (5, Insightful)

koan (80826) | about 2 years ago | (#38214182)

The minute /. starts to "Allow trusted evaluators to transfer a 'quantity of authority' to like-minded 'contributing authorities', who in turn designate and delegate authority to additional like-minded contributing authorities." because that is too much like the current system of media control and politics, or in other words go with the flow or fuck off.

Again, leave it alone it has worked just dandy all these years.

Oh, crap, they figured us out. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214210)

It was only a matter of time...

Anyone Who Thinks (1)

Digital G (16017) | about 2 years ago | (#38214218)

Anyone who thinks that an an Unknown Lamer and not the Slashdot overlords submitted this story, then placed it on the front page, is a lamer.

Google may have a point (1, Funny)

jayhawk88 (160512) | about 2 years ago | (#38214254)

I mean, I haven't had mod points here in like, forever.

google having fun proving flawed patent system? (1)

mamas (468872) | about 2 years ago | (#38214256)

Wait, is google just making fun of the patent system, showing how it is flawed?

More likely they're just adding something innovative like forum moderators to google groups+ or something or the sort, though...

I don't see the problem with their outlook on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214292)

It sounds spot on target to me.
 
I just wonder if this is going to speed up the end of treating Google like they're gods around here. While it's not as bad as before, there was a time when someone at Google would fart and it would get modded up by some fanboi. Now Google is getting real. Their innovations are old hat and they need to start pulling their business together. This is doubtlessly part of the reason that Slashdot has turned on them a bit but this just might be a mark of a faster decline. We need that to happen.

This is REALLY old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214306)

Administration of IIRC, online game servers like America's Army... come on Google, what? you forget about not being evil or something? pft

Whuffie? (2)

Migraineman (632203) | about 2 years ago | (#38214318)

Did they come up with a catchy name for this Delegated Content Evaluation Authority? Might I suggest "whuffie?" [wikipedia.org]

(Yes, I was reading Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom last night ....)

I don't get it. (1)

residieu (577863) | about 2 years ago | (#38214322)

Where's the bus? Google says Slashdot's mod system has flaws. It does. They're proposing something else that they think will fix those flaws. Until we see it in action, I can't say whether it actually does address those flaws.

So. (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 2 years ago | (#38214342)

Such a think is patentable ? my my.

Slashdot should be an insider source (1)

hessian (467078) | about 2 years ago | (#38214354)

As an insider source, Slashdot gets to inject ideas into the mainstream of computer evolution, but by staying invisible, does not become a target in itself.

This is not an advocacy of hipster elitism, which likes to hide the good stuff away for insiders. It's a way of saying that Slashdot has influenced all parts of this industry, and rarely gets credit, which allows it to continue in its role as influence.

Like Open Source software, open source "ideas" spread more quickly than ideas which are owned or defended by moneyed interests.

The patent is missing a line. (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 2 years ago | (#38214356)

The delegate authority must authorize the delegation of authority delegations so each authority delegation has authorized delegation of authority so it can then be delegated to each contributing authority delegatory delegation. I hereby delegate this contribution to the authority delegating the authority to Google such to authorize Google to form a delegatory system of authority delegation as long as it delegates said authority to other delegating authorities like Slashdot.

All animals are equal, just some are more equal (1)

StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) | about 2 years ago | (#38214376)

Flashback to George Orwell.

Here is the problem. Either you believe in the law of large numbers and equality and democracy that says that everyone is involved or your have select inner groups with the authority. Give them more power and lo and behold some special interest group will find its way in and leverage that power for their own agenda, then get entrenched and build more walls to protect their positions. We have seen it with governments and political parties. That is why we have elections, to clean the slate and reset that group on a regular basis.

Google posits that you get better scoring. I would claim that they are confusing consistant scoring with better scoring.

huh? (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#38214434)

What they are describing IS slashdot. When you mod someone up or down, you are adding/removing from their chance to get mod points. You are delegating authority to them.

G N A A Declares Victory over Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38214454)

Wednesday November 30, 2011

Nick Price (GNAP), Mountain View, CA

"Slashdot has failed," said, Google CEO and founder, Larry Page as he wiped his brow with a $100 bill which he pulled out of the glove compartment of his Lamborghini LP550-2.

Among the reasons for its failure, page listed: the amount of duplicate articles posted, "group think" always being moderated insightful and the difficulty of getting a first post.

"The market has spoken and they don't need third string editors like Soulskill filtering information for them. The idea of a newsletter E&N site for technical news is very dated. RSS technologies such as Google Reader have made these sites obsolete," Page said.

On this announcement, Slashdot's parent company, GeekNet (GKNT), closed down 10% at $3.21.

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