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Slashdot Moderation:Phase 1.1.1

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept. 201

For the last few days, I've been doing virtually nothing except read email regarding comments, and making changes to the code to implement new ideas that people have suggested. Click the link below to read a summary of the changes.Its been really interesting so far. Some interesting comments from many people ranging from "You are the Antichrist and I hope you get a disease" to "Hey, not Bad". Here are a list of the major notes, changes, clarifications, and fixes.

  1. Moderators can't moderate their own comments.
  2. Simply creating an account does not make you a moderator.
  3. New moderators will be added and old moderators removed over time. I have ideas about this, but we'll work it out. This will eventually be automated, but right now I'm still resolving technical stuff. A lot of you have suggested great ideas (most of which Jeff and I have already discussed long ago) so just hang in there.
  4. The same moderator can't moderate the same comment twice in a row.
  5. I yanked about 15 moderators for abuses and violations.
  6. I rewrote parts of the Guidelines.
  7. I've been rewriting and cleaning up a lot of code. Lemme know if you see bugs. There will be bugs.
  8. I've decided on an absolute range from -1 to 5 for scores. I may change that later, but for now, that seems reasonable: It allows users to have an absolute minimum to browse at, It also will mean that abused comments can be promoted relatively easy.
  9. Moderation dropped over the week from 30% of comments back down to 10-20% as the bulk of moderators got over the initial excitement (presumably). This is much closer to where it should be.
  10. Moderators have been told to concentrate more on promoting good comments then demoting bad ones. I'll probably enforce that somehow someday.
  11. I'm working on better controls for customization of the comments on the fly. It might be a bit flakey, but give it a whirl.
  12. Remember that if you go to or index_F.shtml, your user preferences will not work. Start at and the system will detect if you are logged in and send you to the correct page.

Overall the feedback has been positive. Let me reiterate here that if you don't like the system, you can simply turn it off. 400 moderators is a lot, and we will have people abusing the trust that we have to place in them. If you don't want that risk, I don't blame you a bit. And if you see abuses, please let us know. We've revoked many people's access already, and we'll continue to do it.

The goal here is to allow enough filtering that the guy who wants to just read 10 good comments happy, but also allow the guy who wants to read a thousand flame infested offtopic comments while slugging out a good debate in the trenches to do just that. And hopefully everyone in between too. I think we're getting pretty damn close to making that possible.

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Looking good.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1962919)

Well, something tells me you can keep looking forward. Rob said it has "too many customizations" remember? I really think he just dosen't want all of us laughing at his sloppy, bug-ridden perl scripts. But maybe I'm on crack.

Testing Testing 1-2-3 (1)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962920)

Don't mind me. Just Testin broken crap.
Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda
Pants are Optional

Testing Part #2 (1)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962921)

yakkity schmakkity
Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda
Pants are Optional

Neato! (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962922)

Eventually the system will work like that. I'm simply testing it now with a closed group to iron the kinks out.

As for the Point Pool, I don't quite think it'll work that way, but I might implement something that would accomplish the same thing cleaner. It won't be tied to a story in any case.
Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda
Pants are Optional

I'd pay (2)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962923)

I like mine. I ain't given anyone else one ;)
Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda
Pants are Optional

customization (3)

CmdrTaco (1) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962924)

Yes I thought about it and no I won't do it. I'd rather add useful features with my CPU cycles than gee whiz ones.
Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda
Pants are Optional

Times per day (1)

CLorox (7) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962925)

I guess its a bit of a Gee-Whiz feature, but how difficult would it be to implement a counter for how many times you have loaded slashdot in:

a day
a week
a month
a year

How many minutes of your life do you spend on /. etc. (although that might be a bit harder :))

Anyways just a thought.


Sweet -- but elusive (1)

davie (191) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962928)

Am I the only one who isn't seeing the new mini-preferences/Reply To stuff in NS 4.51? I can log out and see it as an AC, but if I move off the page and return, it's gone.

Good work (2)

whoop (194) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962929)

The one suggestion I saw the most in the previous article was a way to see what a moderator has done, by moderate number 123 or so, to keep their anonymity.

Otherwise, it looks great.

Amen! (1)

Pete Bevin (291) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962931)

The new system makes /. comments readable again. Thanks, Rob! Now I have my minimum score set to +2 so that I can't even read my own articles :)

customization (1)

Caleb (319) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962932)

I know you've hinted at this in the past but I wouldn't mind being able to view an image/table free version of Slashdot. A 'Lite' theme if you will. It wouldn't help reduce CPU usage but it could help your T1 saturation woes :)

Looking good.. (1)

drwiii (434) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962933)

Slashdot sure has come a long way from when it started.

Looking forward to the new Slash code release..

I'd pay (1)

bmetz (523) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962934)

Good for you!
I wholeheartedly despise the "free email!" syndrome. It's a sure way to tell that some
marketing idiot has gotten his hands on what the developers are doing with the site.

Neato! (4)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962940)

Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

Ideas: You are probably already thinking about this, BUT

1) Anyone with a accumulated score over X should automatically become a moderator. Meta-moderators (the Slashdot Mammals) could mark certain users as being "in the penalty box" so they can't moderate no matter what. This has the advantage of cleaning up the comments (via moderation) but ALSO the advantage that we aren't being ruled from above (by either a dictator or a ruling class). I may have to change my name from "FascDot" to "DemoDot"...

2) The way to make moderators score more positives than negatives is to link the two mathematically. For instance, imagine each moderator has a "pool of points" for each story. Initially the pool is empty. If they moderate a story upwards, the pool gains points, when they moderate downwards, they lose points. Moderators with empty pools can't moderate (for a given story). If you make a minus more expensive (it costs 2 moderation pool points to lower a story by 1) you suddenly get twice as many plus mods as minus.

I'd pay (0)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962941)

are you dumb? NO ONE EVEN CONSIDERED FREE, each of them offered to pay. /me thinks you're the corporate geek.

Digging it (1)

Omegaman (703) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962942)

My impression is that it is working. I really don't have a problem "manually filtering" but this is still nice. It just makes it more manageable and more interesting. I was already competely addicted to Slashdot, now you've gone & sunk the hook deeper. Thanks guys!

I have dibs on... (1)

EricRCH (728) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962943)

purple microdot.


Not names, numbers (1)

EricRCH (728) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962944)

Moderators numbers could be displayed so that each promotion/demotion was tracked and anonymity of the moderators preserved. This would allow a user to complain about their judge on an abuse page.


A couple of thoughts... (3)

EricRCH (728) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962945)


1) It would be nice to be able to see our own posts no matter how high our threshhold value is set.

2) We may end up with a lot of people repeating each other since we can't see all of the posts. Not necesarily a bad thing but it would use /. resources.

3) A "report moderator abuse" link off all pages would be a nice feature to have. (Very odd, but now that we're moderated it _feels_ strange to say that sort of thing and wonder if a moderator will bump my score as a result of commenting on moderation... [Read any Foucalt...?])


Rules on moderators (me too!) (1)

Xamot (924) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962947)

I second that idea. I was thinking the same thing as I was reading the original post.

I am still concerned how replies are promoted and seen. I haven't seen very many cases of second level comments with a score higher than 1. And your comment deserves at least a 2.


score aging (1)

Xamot (924) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962948)

One way to overcome this would be with an aging of scores. They mean less as they get older. But this would be difficult to implement and would mean keeping all scores individually with dates on them.

Another way would be to only keep score from the past few (days/months/years). Using some reasonable amount of time. This would be much easier to implement and while you still need to keep scores with dates you don't need to keep them for an eternity.


A Serious response to a Cynical, Sarcastic resp... (1)

Xamot (924) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962949)


Besides that, it promotes the idea that moderators are better then the rest of us. This would only create a caste system where us lowly peasants have to suffer with the slashdot effect while the Oh Holy Moderators get to ride in the electronic fast lane.

Being a moderator should be about promoting good comments. Period. That's it. End of story. Something that is a serious responsibility not a social status badge.

Ok there was some sarcasm somewhere in there too. :)


Sarcasm demoted!?!? (1)

Xamot (924) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962950)

Hey dillon: you got demoted to 0 just for being sarcastic!

I thought we covered the "Sarcasm isn't evil" idea under the Userfriendly/Segfault thread. He was sarcastic, but he did have a point.

If it was demoted for redundancy, I question that redundancy should get demoted below 1. Sometimes people need to read things from different angles or viewpoints, even if the jest is the same as another post. But that is just my 2 cents.


Customization (1)

mackga (990) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962956)

The on-the-fly thingy at the top is really nice. Good work, Rob!

Priority Inversion (1)

Acy James Stapp (1005) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962957)

I think that the effective priority of a post should be the maximum of all of it's children.

That is, every post's parent's will have an equal or greater priority than the post itself.

customization (1)

PHroD (1018) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962959)

i agree with u Rob ... /. has come a LONG way and is truely impressive, and not a bloated [language-of-the-week]-filled mess like most news sites *coff* MSNBC *coff* keep up the good werk! :)

No good if moderators are all ACs (1)

root (1428) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962963)

I still want to be able to see who lowered or raised a comment's score. Yes, this means revealing the list of moderators' names, but until there's accountability among moderators, abuses will be more frequent.

Min/Max Values = Bad thing [tm] (2)

wayne (1579) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962964)

As someone else commented, it might be nice to have several "dimensions" to the score, rather than just a "good vs bad" ranking. The example they used was things like "humor", "flame bait", "quality of info", "quality of writing", etc. If you aren't in the mood for humorous stuff, but want to delve into the flame-fest, you could do that.

On the other hand, there is the KISS priniciple.

While there are problems with having a fixed range, there are also problems with having an infinite range. Topics that are ready by lots of moderators will, with an open-ended scale, tend to have a wider range of values. So, in one story, a score of "3" might mean "one of the best comments", while in another, it might mean "above average".

While I like the idea of moderation, I think there are still a lot of kinks to be worked out.

How should moderators be picked (2)

wayne (1579) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962965)

The initial bunch of moderators were people who run /., and people they trust.

The next group were selected by how well these moderators liked the posts that people made. Everyone who had a positive total score from the first moderators became moderators.

How should future moderators be selected?

First, you don't want a strongly self-selecting group. If only pro-linux people get positive scores, then you will only have pro-linux moderators, and the cycle repeats.

Secondly, what makes a "good writer" isn't always what makes a "good moderator", any more than a "good programmer" makes a "good documentor" or a "good tester". Professors have to be teachers and researchers. They often fail at (at least) one of these.

customization.. (1)

suprax (2463) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962972)

everythings looking pretty damn good..
im happy to see the (Score:X) put next to comments that are replyed to comments. its good for just eyeing up Scores and seeing what to read, without not seeing lesser. everyday is something new exciting with slashdot lately, and i look forward to tommorrow, and the next day, and...

what about customizable stories also? mine would involve Microsoft. *g*
Scott Miga

Collaborative Filtering (1)

Chris Siegler (3170) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962976)

The idea is you make all (logged in) users moderators. Everyone can vote. Gone are all the silly rules about giving away that you are a moderator. Gone is the elitism of a handful of moderators. Best, it'll work better, because there is more data available.

In effect, you will be choosing a group of people to act as personal moderators. They are choosen by selecting people with whom you have agreed with in the past.

This isn't my idea, and it isn't new. It was tried on a system called GroupLens [] , which was integrated into newsreaders like slrn, tin, and gnus. Check out the ps paper by Miller there.

The only downside is it might tax /. too much. Not sure. But I'm even willing to help if it's needed, because I think it's a Good Thing.

Neato! (1)

Chris Siegler (3170) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962977)

Your first point is a good one, because more data is a good thing for lots of reasons. But there is still a problem. All that accumulated data is just clumped together. If there was enough data (and /. is surely capable of that), then it would be better to get the opinions of people who liked the articles I liked. In the same spirit as people who like country music aren't likely to recommend an alternative CD that I'm likely to like.

Or something like that...

read this : (1)

Chris Siegler (3170) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962978)

I think you missed a point. With collaborative filtering comments are scored based on how others who are interested in the same kind of comments I'm interested in score. The only way that anti-linux comments would get filtered out, therefore, is if I also gave them low scores.

The idea is that you get a giant amount of data about comments. But rather than just clumping them all together you find people interested in the kind of stuff you like.

YAH! (1)

Lamont (3347) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962985)

Yup. I'd pay for one. Start that poll!

Agreed - Followup scores are important (1)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962989)

My personal preference would be to have (Threaded, Sort by Score) pages sort by the highest score in each thread, then display the scores for followups next to the followup names. This would have the disadvantage that the largest threads would invariably filter to the top, but it would mean the people who want to read all the Score:4+ posts and skim everything else (which is why we're sorting by score anyway) would be able to do so most easily.

Min/Max Values = Bad thing [tm] (1)

Kenelson (4445) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962991)

I second this. I think a bottom cap should be lower than -1. That way there is a distinction between moderated down, noise, off topic and junk.

But then at the same time, I think the default threshold should be -1 for all so the -1, (AC who a moderator didn't like), should would still be displayed by default. That way it takes at least two moderators to take out an AC and 3 to take out a named poster.

This way -1 gets not great/off topic, -2 gets noise (MEEP), -3 gets raw (no matter how low the message sinks). Then you just need to have up to 7 threshhold settings, (-3 to 3). There should be no caps.


points pool (2)

bgue (4676) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962992)

Wouldn't that invite people to inflate a few posts to get points to demote others? Maybe just a hard limit for the number of positive/negative moderations that one could do would work better - easier to code, too. Just set the limit for positive higher than that for negative to encourage moderators to promote rather than demote...


Accountability (1)

Alan Shutko (5101) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962994)

Well, there _is_ accountability, just not accountability to us. Rob said that moderators can't change the score of an article twice and that he's removed some 15 for abuses, so the system has to be keeping track of things. So you should be able to email Rob if you see an abuse and have it fixed.

well, what about slashdot email adresses, then? (1)

cthonious (5222) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962995)

I would pay for one. You could put it on your resume and they would know what a slacker you were.

Seriously, I think a lot of people would pay for slashdot email addresses.

Of course, you would need some way to take credit cards and bill them automatically, but shouldn't be too hard?

well, what about slashdot email adresses, then? (1)

cthonious (5222) | more than 15 years ago | (#1962996)

I would gladly pay $50/year, X 25,000 slashdotters = alot of F***ing money for Rob!!!

Comments worth reading again now. (1)

twl (5820) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963000)

I had given up ploughing through hundreds of garbage posts to get to anything useful a few months ago. Suddenly, I don't have to. Thanks, Mr Malda.

"Open Source" moderation (2)

Hulver (5850) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963001)

I think this whole idea is really really good. It's definatly the best thing to happen to Slashdot. I like slashdot, but I used to hardly ever read the comments. Picking out the interesting, well thought out comments from the "You suck" comments was starting to get really boring.
Now we have the slashdot posters moderating themselves. People who have posted interesting and well thought out comments get to become moderators. The moderators raise the score on other well thought out comments. This not only raises the S/N ratio, but encourages people who just couldn't be bothered, people who just couldn't be doing with getting flamed, people who were intimidated by the loud mouthed nay sayers. Those people can just bump up their comment threshold and post away.
Bit of a shame to stick the "Open source" in the title, but it's the sort of community action that makes Linux and other open source projects tick. The comunity at large overseeing itself.

Good work Rob (and all those un-named moderators) keep up the good ideas.

Take account of responses (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963002)

I think that if a comment is very good, then replies to that comment should get a slightly higher score from 'halo effect'. Provided, of course, they are sensible and on topic.

Similarly, if someone posts a comment which is good, but not great, and then there are several very worthwhile replies to that comment, then the parent comment should get bumped up a couple of points. After all, the replies wouldn't make sense without reading the original comment too.

Re: Another world... (1)

Mark Evans (6036) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963003)

I think you'd be more likely to end up with what the "Founding Fathers" of the US referred to as the tyranny of the majority. E.g., valid anti-Linux sentiments would be moderated, guaranteed. That may happen with Rob's plan, but moderators that do that will eventually lose their priveledges.

Personally, I have little use for "pure" democracy. I prefer representative democracy, although in the US today we have worst of both worlds (poll-based, knee-jerk, sound bite democracy).

-- (1)

ToiletDuk (6366) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963004)

Eh, I've already got which is good enough for me :)

Just make it a forwarding service (1)

JerkBoB (7130) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963008)

I've been using for about three years now (*boggle* or is it four??), and it works well for me. They give me three email aliases plus http forwarding and spam filtering for $15/yr.

I'd pay $15-$20 for an address, even if it were only one alias and no other fancy stuff. Just to be cool. hehe. loser.

This is going to save /. (2)

D-Fly (7665) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963009)

I am to some extent echoing other comments here, but I just want to throw in my own support to the limited collaborative filtering model y'all have introduced.

I hate to say it, but I was on the verge of abandoning what has probably been my favorite site because I have grown so tired of all the nonsense comments of late.

Like most people here, I want every reader to be able to say something, but sometimes I only want to be able to read the relatively intelligent responses. At other times, I like to wade into a good flame war. The new system will allow either type of user to utilize the site.

I actually haven't seen much in the way of results from the system yet, though. I suspect you probably ought to get the percentages up so something like a third of articles are moderated on a given thread.

By the way, I love seeing a good site like /. evolve.

BUG: Comments with scores bellow 0 not showing (0)

Pac (9516) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963016)

I am using threshold -1. I can not see any comment bellow 0 in any story. Bug?

Actually, all noise vanished (1)

Pac (9516) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963017)

First post, meept etc. Most articles have nothing bellow 0. Some have a -1 (yes, I see -1). But I do not believe all noise has moved away afraid of the moderators.

It may have been caused by changing the system in the middle of the day (ie, moderators moderated post bellow -1 and now the system uses -1 as the negative limit). But then again it may not.

Show users accumulated average score? (1)

beegle (9689) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963019)

While I kind of like the idea of average scores, there's a downside: people mature.

Way back when, when I first discovered usenet, I was rather lacking in clues, and I'm sure that I'd be terribly embarassed at what dejanews could find. We were all newbies once.

As slashdot becomes one of the old, established places of the net, some of the "First Post!" losers may become productive, insightful posters, and it'd be a shame if they could never escape their past idiocy.

picking moderators (3)

Some guy named Chris (9720) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963021)

I think anybody who actively seeks to be a moderator should be immediately and irrevocably disqualified.

Same goes for Presidential candidates, but that's off topic.

Just seems to me that seeking such a thing demonstrates a significant character flaw; the lust for power.

Show users accumulated average score? (1)

Duke of URL (10219) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963023)

I suppose a system could be set up to allow the user to nuke their average score and start over fresh every now and then, or give them a one time option of "reprieve" or "pardon" of past sins from Governor CmdrTaco.
Who knows. Maybe it could work. Then again most of my ideas hardly ever work. ha.

OR we could.... (1)

Duke of URL (10219) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963024)

Another option would be that after a certain amount of time EVERYONE's average scores go back to zero or what ever the starting point is. We could have the start over points on soltices or something, spring, summer, fall, winter.

Remember! Pants first, then shoes!

Show users accumulated average score? (2)

Duke of URL (10219) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963025)

Has anyone considered posting the users average score that their posts have earned in the past along with their current reply's score? It may be alot of extra work, but I'd be very curious to see some people's overall scores. I would be more inclined to pay attention -and read more carefully those who have higher average scores overall. It may be an unwanted, unnecessary feature in some people's eyes though.
I would second the idea that was submitted earlier about paying for Slashdot email addresses. It would be a great way to help offset the cost of running Slashdot.
Keep up the great work Team Slashdot. Its been informative to read, and even more enjoyable since the customization features have become available.

customization (1)

Laxitive (10360) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963026)

Ok, this is half-farcical, half-serious.

With all the new customization features going on in slashdot, has anyone thought of...


customized colors
customized page layouts based on XML layout files stored on the server
customized icons

take it with a grain of salt, but give it a good munching


I'd pay (1)

EmilEifrem (11066) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963033)

Yea, I would pay for a /. e-mail address. looks nice, but looks even better. :)

Moderation: so far so good (1)

smileyy (11535) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963034)

Or perhaps where threads are sorted by median score, or some sort of average score, with higher weights given to comments higher in the hierarchy.

Number of times moderated? (1)

Cadaver (12501) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963037)

Perhaps CmdrTaco should add a "number of times moderated" field to comments.

Rules on moderators (2)

YeOldeGnurd (14524) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963039)

I'm sorry if this issue has already been raised. I hope that moderators are required to set their filter at 0 or -1. If the moderators do not look at any AC or slammed messages, then those messages have no means of coming back and getting promoted. A moderator set at 2, for example, would only be able to second the positive opinions of other moderators.

Bravery, Kindness, Clarity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity

Well, it's better (1)

Your own stupidity (14554) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963040)

I still have reservations about being able to lower scores; "first posts" are unlikely to have increased scores. However, having a lower limit of -1 seems like it should stop the would-be censors. I would still prefer a lower limit of zero so that you would see everything by default. And all posts should start at zero, regardless of whether or not you are anonymous. The upper limit is not so important but I can see the technical reasons for it being there.

Nuked messages (1)

Your own stupidity (14554) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963041)

Apparently it is possible for someone (probably Rob) to nuke messages completely. When I posted the preceeding, there was "First Post" message. Now gone, and I'm running at a threshold of -1. This particular message was no great loss, but obviously if "First Post" messages can be nuked, so can others. This would seem to be an "undocumented feature". This seems to be inconsistent with the described moderation features, so it seems reasonable to infer that only a very few people have it.

Expiring minds want to know.

A bad Idea! (IMHO) (1)

BiGGO (15018) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963044)

I dont like this idea at all.
moderators will choose only subjects they like.
I'd rather see moderators removing stories that were sended twice, or dead links, or hoaxes.
Moderators should not be allowed to post on the main page.

moderators need a number,
so when a moderator abuses his power to demote good messages that he doesnt agree with,
he will cease to be a moderator.


Min/Max Values = Bad thing [tm] (4)

BiGGO (15018) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963046)

This is generally a bad idea.

Minimum value is bad because:
I would like a destinction between Flamebait and Offtopic versus "First", "Meept", and
"This message is intended to suck moderation points"

Maximum values are bad too:
There must be many levels of messages.
this will help the "10 best comments" on the HOF page.
Even the rating will lose, I'd like a better 5-pointer to go before the other 5-pointers.


Min/Max Values = Bad thing / trn!! (1)

The Cunctator (15267) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963047)

I second this opinion.
But seriously, Rob may as well just HTMLize
trn and avoid maddening feature-creep.

Rules on moderators (2)

The Cunctator (15267) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963048)

A slightly more refined suggestion would be to not allow moderators to moderate posts when their filter is set. There definitely should be a "no filter" setting that people can use and moderators must use when moderating.

If moderators want to use the filter, they shouldn't being moderating posts at that time.

Will the comments evolve, I wonder? (3)

BlackHawk (15529) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963049)

A thought I had regarding this whole scoring issue.

If a poster wanted to make sure that her/his posts were visible to the majority of /.'ers, then it would be in their best interests to make the posts relevant and insightful, actually have content, even. I wonder if we're going to see the caliber of postings and posters increase. A sort of electronic evolution of sorts.

To that end, I think that it would be helpful if the score of an individual's posts would display on their user page. Just a short blurb in the already-displayed list of past messages. For those who wanted to work on see what other readers of /. thought of their posts (albeit the moderators only), that woudl help them see if their posts were highly thought of or not.

A possible benefit: a poster who might not feel that his/her posts had anything of value to the community (and there are several, I'm sure) might discover that they actually do have something relevant to say. It might encourage them to contribute more.

On the other hand, prolific posters who discovered that their comments' scores were consistently low might want to pursue an understanding of why. That could lead to improvement of their posts, to the betterment of the community. The fact that there are hundreds of moderators reduces the likelihood that a single poster will consistently be given false feedback.

This system might just produce better writers all 'round.

Please don't ! (1)

Atreide (16473) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963055)

if you give a voting pool that refreshes when people vote upward, they will vote upward for many replies, just to have votes (human nature is greedy).

however the voting pool by itself is a fine idea, but give a number of votes that is dependant on the overall number of messages in the story, that way :
1) moderators are not short of votes (since more messages means more points)
2) moderators will not vote upward just to get more votes

Besides I think bad to reduce votes when you vote downward. Cops' wages are not reduced when they arrest bad people, so do not reduce moderators votes when they moderate bad articles.

Another world... (1)

Atreide (16473) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963056)

if you give every registered account (no more moderators) only a few votes per story (% of the number of messages ? only a small number per day ? ... )
People will not increase by one , but by tenth of points. Meanning 10 people must vote upward for the message to win one rank.

that way you are sure :
1) AC will not unbalance the whole system
2) what can be done by one can be undone by many, so that the overall score stands for not the judgement of a few, but the judgement of many
3) you have a really democratic behaviour
4) you are sure there is no abuse, and therefore noone to be penalised

Some test to do : here is how (1)

Atreide (16473) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963057)

please some moderator reduce the score of my test msg : -1score

and you reader try to read filter it ;-)

-1score (1)

Atreide (16473) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963058)

should be filtered...

read this : (1)

Atreide (16473) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963059)

read the "Neato!" thread & what I proposed & what Mark Evans replied

His point is not totally false, the question is what dictature/tyrany do we want ?

more user friendliness : (2)

Atreide (16473) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963061)

1) after replying to a msg, is it necessary to display the msg ? It's too late to change it, and I personnally never read it

2) therefore I propose that while sending a reply I may choose between displaying the resulting message, or returning to the message I replied to, or to the top of the story, or even to
that way you can even reduce the load of the server since I do not have to do Back()

3) another thing... but I forgot it... ;-(

4) Ahh ! yes ! even when I filter messages, Is it possible to know how many replies exist in the whole thread ? If I filter score 3 or more & I know there are 100+ score 2 and 500+ score 1 messages in the thread, I may be interested in looking what is inside (but I also want the possibility not to load the whole page, but only the thread at the given temporary score). I mean I filter score 3 messages & I see there are 100+ score 2 messages. Then I click on the button "view thread closer" & I load a new page with only these messages which are one score lower than the current filtering (that is score 2+ messages). Note this does not change my default filtering for other pages...

Was that clear ?

Chat?? (1)

jeremyphillips (17237) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963062)

I know this is crap that you can get on every other site out there, but what would be the possibility of real-time chat? I know this would take more cpu/bandwidth, but as lame as it is, I've spent way to much time sitting around reading chat messages going by in a chat room... I'm not a very vocal person and don't speak my mind much... But I do like to just sit there an eve's drop, etc... I would like to think that having threaded discussions would promote better responses, as people would have to think before they write, but sometimes it really doesn't seem to make a difference. I also know that it's easy to get into a flame war in live-chat, as this they don't have the time to think before they write or to cool off... But that's part of the net, dealing with all the other wacko's and a-holes out there and enjoying yourself.... With /.'s traffic and people in every timezone you can think of (and some of us geeks who just never sleep...) I think it'd be rockin 24/7.... Something to consider for the future....


Another Idea! (1)

Tardigrade (17769) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963065)

400 is probably a good enough sampling for story moderation to work, but I thought that was what rob and the other story posters were already doing. If the majority of moderators are partial to computing, let's say, physics articles might not get the positive votes to be posted to slashdot. The place for rejected stories sounds good;

What about making the slashdot site more of a portal, ala, with tabs to a physicsdot, biodot; or, more generally, a sciencedot, computersdot, editorialsdot, etc...?

Why does this have score 2? (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963066)

Why does this (and the comment that follows) have a score of two? Did some moderator do this? Did Cmdrtaco increase the score of this response to test some feature? Does CmdrTaco automatically have a score of two?

Regardless, somebody is responsible for annoying me, and that person shall PAY!

A Cynical, Sarcastic Response to An Idea! (2)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963067)

Wow! This article about something Estra Special for the moderators has been moderated up to the top of the list!!! Clearly, the moderators thought this would be of interest to us all!!! Not a selfish bone in their bodies, those moderators!!!

Nuked messages (1)

MikeTurk (18201) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963068)

I agree. I saw it too. I replied to it; the text was (roughly):

"How useful of you. Anyway, I like the new dropdowns at the top of the page. Excellent work."

The first sentence was directed at the first poster. The second was to Rob.


well, what about slashdot email adresses, then? (1)

regs (18775) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963072)

Absolutely. May I suggest it as a poll topic... i.e. how much would you be willing to pay for a email address?

An Idea! hmmm... (1)

Bendeco (20118) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963076)

This seems unneccesary to me given that we can already filter stories by topic. Moderators are only needed for posts since they can't be pigeonholed as easily as the stories. At least that's how I see it.

Take account of responses (1)

Bendeco (20118) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963077)

I agree that I'd like to read the threaded responses to lower-scoring posts, but to up the score of parent posts doesn't seem quite right. Maybe posts threading to higher scoring posts should be visible regardless of score. Of course, this would most probably let a lot of crap leak though. That's a real pickle...

Sweet (1)

kmj9907 (20499) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963078)

The new at-your-fingertips preference modifiers look cool. Thought I'd let'cha know. Now I just have to try them.



kmj9907 (20499) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963079)

sorry for SHOUTING.

That might help prevent people (like me) from posting pointless/stupid comments (sorta like this one) for want of /. status. I say it is definately something worth implementing.

Rob, you gave us an inch. Now we taking our mile.


Give each thread an average rating (2)

Mr Bill (21249) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963080)

It would be ideal if a thread could have it's own rating. This could just be an average of all of the ratings in the thread.

Let's say you get a comment that is rated at 1 with a couple of great replies that are rated at 4 each, you would get a thread rating of 1+4+4/3 == 3. I'd be more likely to read that thread, and it should be near the top of the sort...

On another note, these new features are great and all, but at what point in time is /. going to run out of CPU cycles and the site starts slowing down. I like all of the features so far, but I don't like having to wait for them... I think it's important to keep this in perspective...

- Cees

Show users accumulated average score? (1)

splog (21459) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963082)

One problem with filtering the posts by score is
that, as - if I'm reading the article
correctly - only 20-30 percent of the posts are moderated, many good posts will be missed by somebody who sets their preference to 2 (say). If the average score of a users post is to be kept track of, however, perhaps this should effect the
default score in some way.
One simple way to do this is to round the average to the nearest integer and use this value as the default (or take the leading digit of the average to avoid promotion of an average score of 1.51 to a default score of 2).

Sweet - but doesn't really work (1)

sundae (21532) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963083)

I have problem with this new layout -- when I click on a message's subject in index mode, the message doesn't show. Instead, it jumps to the next page of comments...

But sure, this thing is sweet when it works. =)

Moderation: so far so good (1)

Bruce Hollebone (22155) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963088)

Colour would be an excellent visual hint for seeing an article's score. For example, keep the headers neutral comments (0-1) gray, as now.
Down-graded comments (-1) have black headers with dark gray text. Up-graded comments could be a single colour, say /. green, or a progression of colours: yellow->orange->red.

Coloured headers would make it easy to quickly scan through a flat- or nested-mode comment listing and pick out the significant comments.

Kind Regards,
Kind Regards,

Min/Max Values = Bad thing [tm] (1)

Emilio (22274) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963089)

There must be many levels of messages. this will help the "10 best comments" on the HOF page. Even the rating will lose, I'd like a better 5-pointer to go before the other 5-pointers.

You have a point but remember that getting a 5 point comment should be very rare. It's not likely that there would be more than just one or two five point comments per article. In order for a comment to rise to the level of 5 points, it must be moderated up at least 4 times.

You also have a point about the negatives. I would like to see the scale go down as far as -2 in order to differentiate between bad and offensive comments.

Just make it a forwarding service (1)

dieMSdie (24109) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963096)

No need to set up pop accounts, anyway... aliases to

Just for the prestige, of course!

Now, how much would you pay? And Rob could throw in a free set of Ginsu knives...

Neato! (2)

dieMSdie (24109) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963097)

I like it Rob. I think -5 to 5 might be a better range, e.g. let the moderators moderate the "first post!" and "meept!" posts down to -5 with no penalty. Gives you a nice range to play with there.

I've noticed that when I see a +2, +3, etc, that it's usually a good post, so a large part of those 400+ moderators seem to be doing a good job.

I don't have the time to scan through all the noise to read the good stuff, so I am very thankful that you are doing this - WITHOUT censoring anyone. :)

Good Balance (1)

twoflower (24166) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963098)

It seems that some people don't like the idea that anonymous coward postings by default are penalized compared to postings by logged in users. I think that this is a fair tradeoff; anyone who wants to wade through the cruft can set their preferences accordingly. On the other hand, someone who comes to /. for the first time and uses the default settings gets a somewhat better impression of the comments sections of articles. First impressions count.

An Idea! (5)

ClarkBar (24397) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963099)

All hail to king Taco!

He has out done him self again!!

I have one Idea:

Someone mentioned a moderation of postings. good idea, but I have an expansion. As a reward for the moderators help why not create an area that the moderators can rate stories before they are sent to Rob? This would make sure that the post is on topic with the slashdot community, and at the same time, decrease Robs workload. Where is the reward? Moderators get first crack at the stories. They can hit the sites before the slashdot effect. There should be a time limit though as to how long a story can be left in the moderator "area". This way the rest of the slashdot community will still be able to see it. And possibly a place for rejected stories and reasons for rejections.

One other thing:
Why do moderators need a number? so you can complain? Not.

ClarkBar :)

You're missing an option! (0)

maw (25860) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963100)

There is an option to see highest scored posts first, one for newest posts first, and one for oldest posts first.

You forgot the option to see the lowest scores first!!

DOH! :)

Suggested features (1)

jperret (27461) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963104)

I really love the 'nested' mode. The one thing that always slows me down (and bores me) when reading comments is the huge delay everytime the entire page has to be loaded (ie, whenever I click on a link). This delay makes the "threaded" mode completely unusable, for example.

Here are a few suggestions to improve the user experience :
- split the comments into several pages
- I usually find posts which contain an URL very useful, regardless of the contents of the post proper. Why not have, for each story, a repository of the suggested URLs that is easily accessible ? Most of the time I care more for supplemental information than for a bunch of opinions.

picking moderators (1)

fixe (28769) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963108)

i may not understand how moderators are chosen but it seems to me as if it is somewhat random. what if someone does not want to be a moderator? perhaps there should be an option in the preferences to specify whether one wants to be possibly chosen as a moderator. I for one do not want that responsibility.

just a thought

Sweet -- but elusive (1)

Ertman (29767) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963109)

I just used the mini-prefs to change from Threaded to Nested mode and , the mini-prefs panel vanished. Oops.

Sweet -- but elusive (1)

Ertman (29767) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963110)

Went to the prefs screen, set it back to Threaded from Nested, and the mini-prefs panel is back again.

Another bug... when posting a reply, the 'preview' button doesn't work anymore. Instead of displaying a preview of my reply, it displays a copy of the article I am replying to.

Bug with 'Preview' button when posting... (1)

Ertman (29767) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963111)

The 'Preview' button on the 'Post Comment' pages no longer gives you a Preview of your comments. It either shows the post you are replying to, or nothing at all if it is a top-level post (like this one.)

Moderation: so far so good (1)

Ertman (29767) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963112)

> A suggestion I have: put the score of the follow-ups
> next to their links in the threaded mode. That way it's
> easier to tell if there is a decent follow-up to an article.

Less than an hour after this suggestion was made, it is already implemented and rolled out for use. Rob, you rock!

Moderation: so far so good (3)

Ertman (29767) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963114)

In the last few days, /. is starting to remind me of how it was a year ago. With articles sorted by score, I can actually pull out a few good responses from the hundreds of not so good ones.

A suggestion I have: put the score of the follow-ups next to their links in the threaded mode. That way it's easier to tell if there is a decent follow-up to an article.

The biggest problem I see right now is that sorting by score only sorts on the top article in a thread. There could be a +5 response to a 0 article, but I won't see it if my threshold is set to +1, and I view things threaded. Perhaps a 0 article with a +5 follow-up could be given a higher priority than a 0 article with no follow-ups? Maybe show all of the +5 articles first, then the ones with +5 follow-ups, then the +4 articles, etc?

Keep up the great work Rob!

More customization ideas... (3)

Ertman (29767) | more than 15 years ago | (#1963115)

What I would love to see is a way to 'filter out' the articles I have already read. Maybe each time I click on a link, a small update is added to my cookie, and the next time I connect to that article, all of the follow-ups I already clicked on dissapear.

Or a simpler system, where the last time I clicked on a link for any given article, the time is recorded, and the next time I visit that article, I can hit a button that will hide all of the replies older than the time that is recorded for me. Of course, with that method, articles that I haven't read, but are old, would get hidden as well.

That way I could read a few of the articles, go away, come back later and finish off the ones I haven't read yet.

Much like a USENET newsreader, there needs to be someway to tag the articles I have seen already as 'read', so I don't have to wade through them again.

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