* Normal -- This is the default setting attached to every comment when you have moderation privileges. Normally, you should not need to actually select this option, but if your mouse slips and you accidentally moderate up or down a comment you didn't mean to, you can undo that mistake by choosing Normal before you hit the "Moderate" button.
* Offtopic -- A comment which has nothing to do with the story it's linked to (song lyrics, obscene ascii art, comments about another topic entirely) is Offtopic.
* Flamebait -- Flamebait refers to comments whose sole purpose is to insult and enrage. If someone is not-so-subtly picking a fight (racial insults are a dead giveaway), it's Flamebait.
* Troll -- A Troll is similar to Flamebait, but slightly more refined. This is a prank comment intended to provoke indignant (or just confused) responses. A Troll might mix up vital facts or otherwise distort reality, to make other readers react with helpful "corrections." Trolling is the online equivalent of intentionally dialing wrong numbers just to waste other people's time.
* Redundant -- Redundant posts are ones which add no new information, but instead take up space with repeating information either in the Slashdot post, the attached links, or lots of previous comments. For instance, some posters cut and paste otherwise legitimate comments in multiple places in the same discussion; the pasted versions are Redundant.
* Insightful -- An Insightful statement makes you think, puts a new spin on a given story (or aspect of a story). An analogy you hadn't thought of, or a telling counterexample, are examples of Insightful comments.
* Interesting -- If you believe a comment to be Interesting (and it's not mostly Redundant, Offtopic, or otherwise lame), it is.
* Informative -- Often comments add new information to explain the circumstances hinted at by a particular story, fill in "The Other Side" of an argument, provide specifications to a product described too vaguely elsewhere, etc. Such comments are Informative.
* Funny -- Think of Funny as being a good moderation choice if you actually think the comment is funny, not just because it seems intended to be. Not every knock-knock joke is Funny.
* Overrated -- Sometimes you'll run into a comment which for whatever reason has been moderated out of proportion -- this probably means several moderators saw it at nearly the same time, thought it was Funny, Insightful etc, and their scores added together exaggerate its relative merit. (A knock-knock joke at +5, Funny) Such a comment is Overrated. It's not knocking the original poster to say so, but it's probably better to spend your mod points on comments which are deserving of being moderated up.
* Underrated -- Likewise, some comments get smashed lower than they perhaps deserve by overzealous moderators. If you moderate a comment as Underrated, you're saying that it deserves to be read by more people than will see it at its current score. As with Overrated, if you can think of a more specific moderation reason, do so -- if a comment has already been moderated with an appropriate label though, and you just want to indicate that it deserves greater visibility, that's what Underrated is for. However, if a comment is labeled with a fitting (negative) label, choosing Underrated isn't such a great idea, because you could end up with contradictions like "+5, Flamebait."
Answered by: timothy
Last Modified: 2/17/03