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Researchers Show How Easy It Is To Manipulate Online Opinions

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the yes-we're-all-individuals dept.

Social Networks 115

jcatcw writes "A recent study shows that a single random up-vote, randomly chosen, created a herding behavior in ratings that resulted in a 25% increase in the ratings but the negative manipulation had no effect. An intuitive explanation for this asymmetry is that we tend to go along with the positive opinions of others, but we tend to be skeptical of the negative opinions of others, and so we go in and correct what we think is an injustice. The third major result was that these effects varied by topic. So in business and society, culture, politics, we found substantial susceptibility to positive herding, whereas in general news, economics, IT, we found no such herding effects in the positive or negative direction."

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115 comments

OK (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020735)

I agree with that.

Re:OK (5, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | about 10 months ago | (#45020759)

+1

Re:OK (4, Funny)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about 10 months ago | (#45020761)

+1, begin Stampede.

Re:OK (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020787)

+1

Re:OK (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020831)

+1
 

Re:OK (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020957)

+11

Nigel.

Re:OK (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020999)

Extraordinary fine thinking here, +1!

-1 (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 10 months ago | (#45021849)

Contrarian

Re:-1 (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about 10 months ago | (#45021901)

Injustice spotted.

Re:-1 (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#45022461)

Liar!

Re:-1 (3, Insightful)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about 10 months ago | (#45022645)

Witty retort with a thinly veiled strawman.

Re:-1 (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 10 months ago | (#45023355)

Shrill cry for the H8 to end. Because #TheChildren

Re:-1 (1)

Xyrus (755017) | about 10 months ago | (#45023697)

Don Quixote post viciously attacking your strawman.

Re:OK (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 10 months ago | (#45023973)

Oh yeah? Well I don't agree with that!

*reads comments agreeing*

Well, maybe it's a little true.... for some people.

*reads more agreeing comments*

Yes! I agree 100%!!!! This = Truth!

Listening PS? (4, Insightful)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 10 months ago | (#45020755)

There you go Popular Science, a cure for what ails you.

Slashdot members knows this (4, Insightful)

themushroom (197365) | about 10 months ago | (#45020765)

Because it's easier to see a +2 comment go to +5 due to people seeing the comment than a 0 comment from an anonymous coward get any altitude at all.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021001)

You're a fucking fagosexual and you suck boypussy.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45022611)

He's a pecker-face is what he is.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 10 months ago | (#45021285)

Because it's easier to see a +2 comment go to +5 due to people seeing the comment than a 0 comment from an anonymous coward get any altitude at all.

That's only part of the equation. If you want to karma whore, you do three things; First, post early. Second, attach comments to highly rated ones (or ones you think will be). Third, don't be like me; Always go with the party line. Especially once your karma is 'excellent' because no matter how many upmods you get, it only takes one or two angry moderators to click your page, go into your history, and blow all their points on you to burn your karma out... and several people have multiple accounts here. I've run across them and had my karma croppy-flop from excellent to neutral in just a few minutes because I told an Apple fanboy their god was dead.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 10 months ago | (#45021377)

>> Apple fanboy their god was dead

Johnny Appleseed is dead? I didn't even know he was sick!

Re:Slashdot members knows this (1)

jcfandino (2196932) | about 10 months ago | (#45022025)

Died of cyanide poisoning.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 10 months ago | (#45022247)

Died of cyanide poisoning.

Repurcussions of Monsanto's GMO apple program.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 10 months ago | (#45022235)

>> Apple fanboy their god was dead

Johnny Appleseed is dead? I didn't even know he was sick!

Dutch Elm Disease
A tree fell on him
Broke a limb
I hear the operation was a success
But the patient died
Who died?

Re:Slashdot members knows this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021585)

sorry girlintraining,

I have read many of your comments. Sometimes they are great and insightful constructed logically such that even if you disagree you can understand it is genuinely constructive, earning you heaps of karma,

Sometimes you say some pretty heavily debated shit. No doubt burning your karma to the ground.

Basically, the reason you flip-flop on karma, is because you flip-flop in the quality of your comments. Not because you told an apple fanboy that apple didn't invent the tablet.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45022677)

"Heavily debated"? Plain factually incorrect, more like.

My recent favourite was how she(?) misread the summary, apparently didn't know who's Cory Doctorow and so went on a long tirade how he should stop bending over for his corporate overlords and shilling for Google. That was hilarious.

Another hilarious part is how half of her completely off the mark comments still get modded up by some idiots who seem to mod solely based on length, grammar and formatting.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (1, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45021795)

"... and several people have multiple accounts here. I've run across them and had my karma croppy-flop from excellent to neutral in just a few minutes because I told an Apple fanboy their god was dead."

Haha. (Not laughing at the karma thing, because I've run into it before, more than once.)

But just think about the KIND of person who does that.

First, sock-puppetry is generally considered to be a hangin' offense in online forums like Slashdot.

Second, they are SO upset by your "non-mainstream" comment that they risk (however slightly) ostracism for signing into a sock-puppet account (Anonymous Coward counts here) to mod you down. They could not argue with you honestly, so they backstabbed you instead.

While I agree that it's a shitty thing to do to somebody, and I probably get more such than most, I have learned to take it philosophically. The occasional down-mod doesn't hurt me that much, and I can only laugh at people who are so sad and pathetic that they have to hide around corners and shoot you in the back, rather than argue with you honestly.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 10 months ago | (#45021805)

Yes the mod aspect on slashdot can be interesting to tame. I have seen sockpuppets try a few things.
1) Submit a variety of stories to give their main 'name' political and tech cover later.
"See I" like tech too, "see I" think of rights too, but then on an issue/comment they will work hard to change the political conversation.
2) Comment as a AC to see what "works": jokes, more left leaning links, right wing foundations, direct personal attacks or passive agreement with slight corrections.
3) Return to the next stories knowing with the more successful methods thanks to AC testing or having blunted a topic. The more creative sockpuppets do try hard to care for their main name but classically seem to lose it in one outburst of pure ideological rage or current speaking point/item of propaganda.
4) Submit a controversial story very early in a bland way, taking all interesting aspects out of the submission other than the gov is working on/correcting the issue (very Soviet).
5) Endless loops demanding citation needed. A very classic busy work trap.

Long term it would be fun to put a lot of the longer blocks of "sockpuppet" work into some form of linguistic analysis.
Are they really a computer person who has a story to tell on a site, wants to change the politics of a site or something much more interesting.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45021815)

Pardon me, I mis-wrote. You can't mod down from an AC account. I meant people who ARGUE with you via AC accounts because they're too ashamed to do so via their normal account), and then mod you down via sock-puppet accounts when they lose.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (1)

reikae (80981) | about 10 months ago | (#45023051)

Sounds a bit paranoid, quite honestly. I'm one of the saddest no-lifers I know and even I wouldn't waste my time on something like that. Wouldn't that also take a huge amount of accounts to pull off reliably, given that mod points are distributed randomly?

Very often when I read a post claiming that sock-puppets have modded down their parent post, the said parent is at +3 or higher.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#45022041)

Funny, I was modbombed just last week and my karma's still excellent. Oh, and we're offtopic here... oh, wait, the subjct is manipulating online opinions. I guess we're not offtopic after all.

But that's how we'll be modded just because I used the word "offtopic." Slashdot may be "news for nerds" but a few with limited reasoning abilities still get mod points. Put the word "insightful" somewhere in your post and expect a +5.

Don't people suck?

Re:Slashdot members knows this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45022509)

Or in your case, a +4.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 10 months ago | (#45023027)

Ah, and here we see the most effective way of getting karma. Post, including the phrase 'I'll probably be modded down for this' or some variant...

Re:Slashdot members knows this (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#45023093)

6) claim that you're against party line even when you're not. claim that "I'll get downmodded to oblivion for this but *bullshit argument 1* and *bullshit argument 2*.

anyhow, I'm totally unaware of people going into history and modding into oblivion. maybe your comments just suck.

I regularly post messages with shit, fuck etc and admittedly the messages usually have some kind of point. but the point is that no matter if even 10 people decided to go to history and just mod me down just because they don't like my attitude, my karma would still be untouched(managing excellent karma is such a joke - I haven't seen a dent in it for as long as I've had it) - and meta moderation would catch their antics anyhow if the mods were blatantly unjust(if it doesn't then well your comments sucked, tough nutters).

and really, who the fuck has time to go into history to downmod someone? it's much much more worthwhile to just forgo modding and post a flaming reply!

Re:Slashdot members knows this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023645)

and really, who the fuck has time to go into history to downmod someone? it's much much more worthwhile to just forgo modding and post a flaming reply!

I think you underestimate just how stupid people can be when they use emotional reasoning instead of logical reasoning. They aren't doing it because it will get they something, they are doing it because it makes them feel good. It's like when commentators on the television news shows laugh at something like "WIC being shutdown is not affecting me so it must not be a problem, ha ha ha ha."

Generally though, you'll get the downmod and the flaming reply.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (2)

Seumas (6865) | about 10 months ago | (#45021579)

Exactly. Most ranking or voting systems for content exist to help promote said content to the top. Therefore, one vote puts it much higher than all the other content at their default. It's like a lot of other things in life - the more exposure you have, the more opportunity you have. This is the entire reason I turn off that Slashdot feature that lets you post comments at a default of "Score: 2". That seems shitty and cheating, since there are a lot of great comments that deserve a chance to rise and a lot of shit comments are posted at an initial 2 score that don't deserve to be there.

Of course, on Slashdot it *is* a little different. We seem to be such consistent assholes that we eagerly await a chance to mod-down even more than we like to mod-up.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#45022069)

Of course, on Slashdot it *is* a little different. We seem to be such consistent assholes that we eagerly await a chance to mod-down even more than we like to mod-up.

That's one of the things I like about slashdot.

Re:Slashdot members knows this (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 10 months ago | (#45022869)

But just to be sure, maybe we should have a Slashdot poll on this issue.

Great article (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020773)

Great article, isn't it?

Re:Great article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021021)

Not that easy apparently :(

SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (-1, Offtopic)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about 10 months ago | (#45020803)

I know YOU want one of my 13 mod points. Amaze me.

Mod UP (2)

themushroom (197365) | about 10 months ago | (#45020813)

Scroll up to: http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4292745&cid=45020765

Re:Mod UP (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#45022153)

You're offtopic and redundant. Go away.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (4, Funny)

CryptDemon (1772622) | about 10 months ago | (#45020849)

Well you've commented, so now you're worthless to us all.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 10 months ago | (#45022271)

Well you've commented, so now you're worthless to us all.

You aught to run for office where your worthlessness will garner you obscene piles of taxpayer's money.

HEY MORON (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 10 months ago | (#45022631)

It's OUGHT. O U G H T . Get it right, asslicker.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about 10 months ago | (#45023431)

I have 15 mods points. I win!

Why I moderate the way I do (5, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 10 months ago | (#45020815)

When I have mod points, I look for posts that haven't been moderated at all. I figure that once a post's been modded up, there are lots of people who will mod it up further, if appropriate (or just from the herd instinct) so I save my points for posts that haven't been noticed before.

Re:Why I moderate the way I do (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021229)

Moderators shouldn't have complete freedom in choosing which comments to moderate. In each discussion, they should be given a random sampling of comments from which to choose, and not just those high enough to pass the browsing threshold. Then every comment would have an equal chance.

Re:Why I moderate the way I do (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 10 months ago | (#45021363)

When I moderate, I browse at -1 so that I can see everything, including posts that may have been unfairly modded down that far. Yes, I realize that most people who moderate don't, but I do see the occasional case where something good has been unfairly moderated because the moderator didn't agree with the post.

Re:Why I moderate the way I do (3, Informative)

liquidsin (398151) | about 10 months ago | (#45021385)

that's how the metamod [slashdot.org] works.

Re:Why I moderate the way I do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45022655)

Metamod kind of works like that, but it's a chore to go there and then to read comments about articles you aren't interested in.

Re:Why I moderate the way I do (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45022031)

To see this interesting, possibly good idea being modded into oblivion feels rather sad. It is worth reading. Everyone has a voice. There is no magical process in which getting an anonymous slashdot account will make you more intelligent, insightful, interesting, or in any way more worthy of a voice.

Re:Why I moderate the way I do (1)

Inda (580031) | about 10 months ago | (#45023443)

I've done similar in the past, but these days tend to let my mod points fade away.

I've said before, if I start modding comments early in the life of the thread, I can heavily influence the discussion path. Up-mod an interesting post, up-mod the argumentative reply, even up-mod a troll-ist AC and watch the fallout.

This was not possible in the early days. Bad mods were corrected and some of the group-think didn't exist.

Posts going all the way up to 10 mod points, and the default viewing level being +4, would solve this kind of manipulation.

obvious (4, Interesting)

MondoGordo (2277808) | about 10 months ago | (#45020833)

People are more easily swayed by opinions in subjective areas, culture, politics, business than in objective ones, news, IT, science. How obvious can a study be?

Re:obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020857)

Since when is science objective? Fat cat climate scientists riding high on the tax payer grants don't do a damn thing objective!

Re:obvious (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020915)

Since the dawn of time. If it isn't objective, it isn't science.

Re:obvious (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 10 months ago | (#45021543)

You mean, since the dawn of science. I don't think the folks prior to the Greeks had any idea of logic or objectivity just yet. At least not formal ones.

Re:obvious (1)

PPH (736903) | about 10 months ago | (#45021031)

Which is why the issue is framed as a social responsibility, cultural one rather than a scientific one. According to the AGW promoters, the science is done. Now its an issue of doing the morally right or responsible thing. Its easier to make converts. Keeping the focus on the science messes with the recruiting drive.

Re:obvious (3, Funny)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#45021135)

Since when is science objective? Fat cat climate scientists riding high on the tax payer grants don't do a damn thing objective!

You have confused "idiots who can't grasp the math and instead accept Limbaugh's drivel as gospel" with "scientists". Easy mistake, apparently, since the majority of Americans make the same one.

Re:obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021691)

Yeah, all those rich pimp climate scientists in their multi-million dollar mansions! One time I saw a gang of them roaming around in a Bugatti; they purposely wrecked that car into a Hummer dealership/oil refinery, went next door, and bought a brand new Ferrari with garbage bags full of cash, surely for the sole reason of doing the same thing over again.

Re:obvious (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 10 months ago | (#45022855)

Forgive me if its not the best link (at work, no youtube) but Yes Minister [youtube.com] way back when knew about this issue too...

[Sir Humphrey demonstrates how public surveys can reach opposite conclusions]

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think there is lack of discipline and vigorous training in our Comprehensive Schools?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think young people welcome some structure and leadership in their lives?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do they respond to a challenge?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Might you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?

Bernard Woolley: Er, I might be.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes or no?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Of course, after all you've said you can't say no to that. On the other hand, the surveys can reach opposite conclusions.

[survey two]

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Are you unhappy about the growth of armaments?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think there's a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Do you think it's wrong to force people to take arms against their will?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Would you oppose the reintroduction of conscription?

Bernard Woolley: Yes.

[does a double-take]

Sir Humphrey Appleby: There you are, Bernard. The perfectly balanced sample.

ethical prostheses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020843)

the herd effect can be seen in social change such as the mainstream acceptance of gay marriage, etc. bots and personality augmentation deployed in social networks can have a postive effect for shifts in ethics. it would be interesting to see the outlay used to shift GOP voters against AGW, ACA, etc.

Re:ethical prostheses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021065)

It would be interesting to see the outlay needed to turn progressives into fascists. It's probably just as easy.

Brain dump summary (4, Interesting)

steelfood (895457) | about 10 months ago | (#45020845)

Is it just me, or has there recently been a rash of poorly-edited summaries that have been nothing more than a brain dump of the submitter? Like dupes, it used to happen occasionally, but now it's at least once or twice a day.

That aside, a story about the psychology of online feedback on Slashdot. What could possibly go wrong...

Re:Brain dump summary (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020861)

Speaking of dupes: http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/08/09/1326218/why-you-shouldnt-trust-internet-comments

Re:Brain dump summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021119)

Is it just me, or has there recently been a rash of poorly-edited summaries that have been nothing more than a brain dump of the submitter? Like dupes, it used to happen occasionally, but now it's at least once or twice a day.

Dupes used to happen occasionally? Your userid is too high to remember that, unless you were lurking AC... And it has also been over a decade since summaries were edited well.

blew all my mod points on spurious modding so anon ;)...

Re:Brain dump summary (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#45022105)

Is it just me, or has there recently been a rash of poorly-edited summaries that have been nothing more than a brain dump of the submitter?

Uh, RECENTLY??? You just now noticed?

Like dupes, it used to happen occasionally, but now it's at least once or twice a day.

You just went through rehab, didn't you? It's always been like that. You just didn't notice.

Re:Brain dump summary (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 10 months ago | (#45022961)

This one *is* a dupe.

Not the same in real life (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020869)

From my experience, in real life the opposite happens. People find it easier to tell their peers _not_ to go to a certain shop/restaurant/buy product rather than say "yes, definitely go buy this".

Desire for metadata explained. (1)

Atypical Geek (1466627) | about 10 months ago | (#45020879)

From the fine article:

And what we found was that you could really measure influence very well online, and you could tell who was influential and who wasn’t influential...

If you are looking to nudge or control popular opinion, knowing who is at the center of a sphere of influence makes the job a lot easier.

Re:Desire for metadata explained. (1)

PPH (736903) | about 10 months ago | (#45020961)

Link analysis. Marketing people have been looking for opinion leaders since before the Interwebs. And people who knew that they were such leaders capitalized on this influence as well.

I'll disprove this theory (0, Redundant)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 10 months ago | (#45020955)

Nobody will give this post a +1, and therefore it won't be at +5 in two hours.

Re:I'll disprove this theory (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 10 months ago | (#45021007)

Nobody will give this post a +1, and therefore it won't be at +5 in two hours.

Hangon, let me give you a hand... I disagree with this man! There, you'll hit at least +4 now -- and disprove the theory. If there's one thing I've learned on slashdot, it's that everyone I disagree with gets atleast a +1 bump based simply on unmitigated fanboy hatred of my wonton slaughter of their sacred cows. It's sortof like reverse psychology as applied to nerds.

Re:I'll disprove this theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021143)

Good job making a paranoid fool of yourself.

Re:I'll disprove this theory (1)

TimHunter (174406) | about 10 months ago | (#45021413)

wonton slaughter

That's the name of my next band.

Re:I'll disprove this theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021587)

That sounds like all you can eat happy hour at wonton noodles shop?

Re:I'll disprove this theory (0)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 10 months ago | (#45021517)

I disagree with girlintraining, just on principle. That will get me modded up.

This post has no useful content, so it will be modded down.

It is, however, very informative as to what kind of useless content it has, so it will be modded up.

None of this has anything to do with the hivemind effect the article's discussing, so I will be modded down.

The writing style, however, illustrates an indecisive caricature which some mod may find funny, so it will be modded up.

That's three up mods and only two down for an otherwise uninteresting post, so it will be considered overrated, and modded down.

I predict this post will be forgotten quickly and accomplish nothing... much like our Congress!

Political joke... it'll be modded up.

Re:I'll disprove this theory (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 10 months ago | (#45022119)

I disagree with girlintraining, just on principle. That will get me modded up.

This post has no useful content, so it will be modded down.

It is, however, very informative as to what kind of useless content it has, so it will be modded up.

None of this has anything to do with the hivemind effect the article's discussing, so I will be modded down.

The writing style, however, illustrates an indecisive caricature which some mod may find funny, so it will be modded up.

That's three up mods and only two down for an otherwise uninteresting post, so it will be considered overrated, and modded down.

I predict this post will be forgotten quickly and accomplish nothing... much like our Congress!

Political joke... it'll be modded up.

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect! Luckily, I've spent the last decade building up a resistance to Slashdot ramblings....

(Princess Bride reference yet again... what will happen?)

Re:I'll disprove this theory (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#45022139)

I predict this post will be forgotten quickly and accomplish nothing

This guy has balls of crystal, I tell you!

Re:I'll disprove this theory (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#45022125)

There, you'll hit at least +4 now -- and disprove the theory. If there's one thing I've learned on slashdot, it's that everyone I disagree with gets atleast a +1 bump based simply on unmitigated fanboy hatred of my wonton slaughter of their sacred cows.

Lady, take it from me... don't post drunk.

Re:I'll disprove this theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021469)

I agree, that is if someone else agrees more or perhaps I don't agree to agree unless disagree is agreed in general or not.

Seen this abused on R****t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45020965)

Can't say the other site's name here, but I've seen people purposely remove their default self-upvote in order to gain sympathy upvotes.

Re:Seen this abused on Reddit (1)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#45021167)

Can't say the other site's name here

Since when does Slashdot disallow the name "Reddit"?

Or did you mean that as some sort of meta-humor? I guess I don't get it, then.

Re:Seen this abused on Reddit (0)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#45022175)

I'd like to see it and 4chan banned from my beloved nerd site (and yes, I'll be modded down for dissing the 4can and reddit trolls who have mod points).

Debate on the internet = waste of time. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021005)

If you think otherwise, I challenge you to prove how anything which is
even remotely productive comes from online debate.

Microsoft and SCO are Good! (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 10 months ago | (#45021121)

just testing the theory...

Re:Microsoft and SCO are Good! (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45021987)

Now that you mentioned it, I do remember when SCO was helping poor orphans and stuff

Re:Microsoft and SCO are Good! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 10 months ago | (#45022023)

You mean Ballmer?

Re:Microsoft and SCO are Good! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45022045)

Just testing the theory......

Herding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021319)

You think?

This explains the marijuana movement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021601)

It's the weirdest thing to watch how people who want legalized marijuana behave. They sweep negative health risks under the carpet, and celebrate the most minor, most obscure health benefits even when the sample size is literally one person, or when the reports talk about _potential_ applications that don't even exist yet.

They'll discuss how it can cure depression when most depressives are in a vicious cycle of worsening their state from self medicating with marijuana, or induce creativity when brain scans show a marked decline of activity while high. The soundbites are great, but science doesn't back any of it up. So they attack science, and we know that never ends well.

I think people are in love with the "happy" idea of getting high and feeling good, and it's too much of a bummer to consider all the damage they're doing to themselves. Drug advocates won't even use the "A"-word (addiction!) at all, and insist that it's a harmless drug that can do no wrong. Meanwhile the research continues and the not-so-happy results keep coming. Science can be a bummer, but it is brutally honest.

I think people desperately want to pretend there's a perfect substance that makes you feel good and can't hurt you. Wouldn't that be great? But it doesn't exist, and it certainly isn't marijuana. Like I said, a bummer.

Re:This explains the marijuana movement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021739)

Haha, I like how you have zero links to further any point you made, while a cursory googling provides legions of evidence that empirically and emphatically go against every single point you mentioned.

Just like how deniers try to claim the scientific ground, while exposing their own ignorance as soon as any actual science is brought up. Of course they aren't meant to instigate any actual debate, but to provide a cover of credibility to discredited and/or unsound ideas, just as TFA mentioned. Good troll!

Re:This explains the marijuana movement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45022369)

"I like how you have zero links to further any point you made, while a cursory googling provides legions of evidence that empirically and emphatically go against every single point you mentioned."

Then let's do a cursory google search, shall we?

Self medicating with marijuana worsens depression
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071023183937.htm

Using marijuana reduces motivation
http://news.menshealth.com/new-study-smoking-pot-can-make-you-lazy/2013/07/08/

I've done my part. Now where's your "legions of evidence that empirically and emphatically go against every single point you mentioned"?

"Just like how deniers try to claim the scientific ground, while exposing their own ignorance as soon as any actual science is brought up"

But you haven't brought up any science. I didn't want to make this a tit-for-tat linkfest either, but we can go there if you really want.

"but to provide a cover of credibility to discredited and/or unsound ideas, just as TFA mentioned

You know what provides a cover of credibility to discredited and/or unsound ideas? Drug advocacy groups like NORML that use research from retired, discredited, "quack" doctors who can't get any of their research published in peer-reviewed journals.

"Good troll!"

Thanks for the personal attack, I didn't expect you to defend your point legitimately or counter any of mine.

Ask yourself, if marijuana is really so health and good for you, why do drug advocates have to lie about what it does to you? What purpose does that serve? And is it acceptable to mislead the public in order to legalize a drug? I think it's the wrong approach.

DUPE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45021847)

The same MIT study written up by a different mag was posted here a couple months ago. [slashdot.org]

But it's well worth reading again because this is one of the best-conceived, statistically rigorous, and thoroughly researched studies of the decade, period.

Re:DUPE (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 10 months ago | (#45022127)

The same MIT study written up by a different mag was posted here a couple months ago. [slashdot.org]

But it's well worth reading again because this is one of the best-conceived, statistically rigorous, and thoroughly researched studies of the decade, period.

I don't think that worked...

This is why most people are idiots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023101)

... and shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Evidence for this is seen all over the internet, where said 'idiots' go onto online forums and then try to silence anybody who doesn't go along with the 'party line', rather than DEBATING them to prove them wrong.
They can't prove them wrong, because they are too stupid to even understand why they believe what they claim to believe in.

Sound familiar, Slashdotters?

Psychologists neglect Logical parts of Human mind. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023195)

There are opposites and then there are negatives. Those two terms are not synonymous. One must consider the perspective and context of it as well.

It really sucks how psychology degrees don't require even the most basic mathematical understanding. When in fact every statement made is simply variables, functions, processes that can be easily quantified and compared/contrasted statistically among inductive and deductive reasoning. Example: mathematical word problems.

There are 2 things people have trouble grasping that is Zero and Infinity. One leads to retardation the other towards cotardation. Problems with altruism and asceticism arise due to rational errors.

Re:Psychologists neglect Logical parts of Human mi (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 10 months ago | (#45023363)

It seems "cotardation" [google.com] isn't a word. A pity, because it would make a goshdigettydarn fine one.

That's BS. One single vote cant do anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45023497)

A single vote won't accomplish anything on any site with substance. Places with a low signal to noise ratio like say Youtube comments so very easily show a herding mentality, but NEWS FLASH. Those places are precisely for that kind of mentality. The entire ACT of voting someone's post up or down is a popularity contest ( literally ). I still think straight forward comment boards ( the original way the internet god intended them with all their blemishes and spamming) are the best way to see real honest user opinions, and community. Fark.com and Slashdot seems to be one of the last vestiges of that

This is interesting. (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | about 10 months ago | (#45023821)

I was describing my own approach to Metacritic to someone the other day, particularly in regards to videogame reviews.

User reviews tend to be 70% fawning praise, and "Professional" reviews more like 80% fawning praise with little or no comment to any title's drawbacks. I've found the only way I can extract any useful information from Metacritic regarding whether I will actually like the game is:

1: Ignore all professiona/critic reviews.
2: Ignore all positive and neutral user reviews.
3: Read only the negative user reviews and then:
    a: Ignore all the illiterate or retarded reviews.
    b: Focus on the specific complaints of the few remaining reviews and decide whether or not those particular issues matter to me.

Otherwise, if I just read the positive reviews, it's a +1 Like This sea of "Best Game Ever".

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