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1 wrenchwench  Sep 29, 2014 2:03:33pm

The premise is flawed. It is simplistic to look at up votes as ‘rewards’ and down votes as ‘punishment’. Also, I didn’t find the definition of community in there. (I did not RTWT.)

I wonder what platforms they studied … if it’s the message boards on Yahoo News, then god help them, for that place is a cesspool of aberrated humanity. Or Breitbart/Red State/Free Republic.

From the second page of the .pdf:

We investigate four online news communities:
cnn.com (general news), breitbart.com (political news),
ign.com (computer gaming), and allkpop.com (Korean entertainment), selected based on diversity and their large size.

So yeah, Breitbart. And does ‘CNN’ count as a community?

If this is true — then how do we wind up with a functional (well, more or less) place like this for conversation?

The people who write ‘worse’ comments after being down voted here will eventually be banned. And really bad comments get deleted.

Frankly, the premise that upvotes and downvotes are intended to make a better community is foolish. They create a more engaged community. It takes a lot more than that to create a better community.

2 goddamnedfrank  Sep 29, 2014 2:11:29pm

re: #1 wrenchwench

The people who write ‘worse’ comments after being down voted here will eventually be banned. And really bad comments get deleted.

Yeah, it’s rational moderation that makes an online community viable. The first blog I posted on was run by a guy with a radical dedication to freedom of speech, to the point where he flat refused to do anything unless a post was in flagrant violation of federal law. The result was the place was destroyed in the end by a single dedicated troll. Which was saying something because the community thrived there for years, and dealt with all kinds of assholes in that time. However the refusal to do any house keeping at all eventually combined with the malaise all forums experience, and combined with the lack of any press or real external visibility created a situation where one person eventually was able tot drive off the few dedicated posters the place had left.

3 3eff Jeff  Sep 29, 2014 5:15:57pm

My take-away from this study was that the folks who want to be good actors in the community are encourage by updings, and will write better posts. The bad actors are already somewhere down the sociopath line, and downdings will bolster martyrdom syndromes or just prove to the troll that he’s hitting everyone’s buttons. So, yes, the downdings encourage bad behavior on the part of people who started as bad actors.

I think Kilgore Trout on this board fit that pattern pretty well.

(And as pointed out: banning people and proper moderation is the only thing that actually works. The downdings aren’t a problem here.)

4 Charles Johnson  Sep 29, 2014 7:08:54pm

re: #1 wrenchwench

Frankly, the premise that upvotes and downvotes are intended to make a better community is foolish. They create a more engaged community. It takes a lot more than that to create a better community.

This.

5 Charles Johnson  Sep 29, 2014 7:14:48pm

What it really takes to keep an online community functioning and prevent trolls from taking over: people who take responsibility for keeping things sane, and shutting down trolls.

The rating system at LGF is more like a signal. It doesn’t solve any problems by itself, but it lets the community know when there is a problem, or when people are contributing in good faith.

I originally conceived of it as a system where I might eventually automatically hide comments that got a certain amount of downdings in a certain amount of time, but I realized it was more valuable as a kind of free-form notification system about the general health of a discussion thread.

6 Decatur Deb  Sep 29, 2014 7:15:41pm

re: #3 3eff Jeff

My take-away from this study was that the folks who want to be good actors in the community are encourage by updings, and will write better posts. The bad actors are already somewhere down the sociopath line, and downdings will bolster martyrdom syndromes or just prove to the troll that he’s hitting everyone’s buttons. So, yes, the downdings encourage bad behavior on the part of people who started as bad actors.

I think Kilgore Trout on this board fit that pattern pretty well.

(And as pointed out: banning people and proper moderation is the only thing that actually works. The downdings aren’t a problem here.)

There’s another problem in the report, possibly not in the base study. If you don’t downding because it’s conterproductive, and you don’t upding because it’s useless, then the system defaults to ‘Ignore’. That purportedly is what drives anyone off.

7 goddamnedfrank  Sep 30, 2014 12:16:42am

re: #6 Decatur Deb

There’s another problem in the report, possibly not in the base study. If you don’t downding because it’s conterproductive, and you don’t upding because it’s useless, then the system defaults to ‘Ignore’. That purportedly is what drives anyone off.

Well, one can always post their approval / disapproval in comments. The point of the up / downding I think is that it’s quick and easy. It allows a person engage without having to repeatedly type out inane short little comments, freeing up time to compose fewer, but longer, and better thought out word thingies dingies.

Also, with a karma score comes the concept of a karma ratio, which at least in some people further reinforces the overall trend towards striving for quality over quantity.

8 iceweasel  Sep 30, 2014 9:16:17am

Really interesting!…I’m still working my way through the original journal article— this though:

Interestingly, the au-
thors that receive no feedback are most likely to leave
a community.

I’ve always suspected this, in my time running my own blog and my (later) time commenting and observing here— I always thought that ‘no attention at all’, for a new poster, drives them off faster than either upvoting or downvoting does. If you put yourself out there to make a comment at all, you want some kind of response, and just like with little kids, they consider negative attention to always be better than no attention at all.

9 iceweasel  Sep 30, 2014 9:20:52am

re: #5 Charles Johnson

I realized it was more valuable as a kind of free-form notification system about the general health of a discussion thread.

It also does signal community pleasure or displeasure, and in that way it also functions to signal the mores (and health) of the community.

Some comments on LGF in 2004 would get 100 downdings today, and some (the famous Anne France one about Palin in 2008) would get 100 updings today.
Just my opinion— I want to thank you, again, for taking the time to moderate this community and keep us troll free. It must be so much work— I and many others appreciate it. Thank you

10 Interesting Times  Sep 30, 2014 9:22:26am

re: #8 iceweasel

I always thought that ‘no attention at all’, for a new poster, drives them off faster than either upvoting or downvoting does. If you put yourself out there to make a comment at all, you want some kind of response, and just like with little kids, they consider negative attention to always be better than no attention at all.

…but how do the infamous “dead-thread heros” factor into this equation? To me, that kind of thing seems to result from a “Ha-ha, I got the last word, therefore I’m right and you’re wrong” type of mindset. So, I’m thinking it probably is a good idea to leave a mocking, dismissive response if you want to defeat that type of troll.

I’m also reluctant to advocate ignoring as an automatic response because, unfortunately, silence is still interpreted as consent :/ (i.e. a failure to rebut or downding an odious position implies agreement or acquiescence…to say nothing of letting lies just sit there unaddressed)

11 iceweasel  Sep 30, 2014 9:31:15am

re: #10 Interesting Times

…but how do the infamous “dead-thread heros” factor into this equation? To me, that kind of thing seems to result from a “Ha-ha, I got the last word, therefore I’m right and you’re wrong” type of mindset. So, I’m thinking it probably is a good idea to leave a mocking, dismissive response if you want to defeat that type of troll.

I’m also reluctant to advocate ignoring as an automatic response because, unfortunately, silence is still interpreted as consent :/ (i.e. a failure to rebut or downding an odious position implies agreement or acquiescence…to say nothing of letting lies just sit there unaddressed)

I absolutely agree with everything you’ve written— I guess the further point I wanted to make is that ignoring them is not an option if ypou’re the site moderator, as opposed to a commenter.

I also find, in my own experience, that mocking them rather than ignoring them gets them to totally drop the mask, expose themselves as abusive misogynists—and then CJ bans them.

I’ve tried ignoring here— as with Bagua— and it just doesn’t work as well as mocking them, which basically forces them to reveal themselves.

On balance my own experience leads me to think that as a commenter, the best strategy to deal with a troll is to alternate mockery with ignoring them— it makes them totally lose their shit.

As a site moderator, you need a whole other strategy and it involves taking responsibility—as Charles said.
JMO, YMMV, etc. etc.

12 iceweasel  Sep 30, 2014 9:40:02am

re: #10 Interesting Times

…but how do the infamous “dead-thread heros” factor into this equation? To me, that kind of thing seems to result from a “Ha-ha, I got the last word, therefore I’m right and you’re wrong” type of mindset. So, I’m thinking it probably is a good idea to leave a mocking, dismissive response if you want to defeat that type of troll.

The dead threads are jammed with broken heros on a last chance powerdrive! :)

I think you’re right— they want ‘the last word’, which is why so very many of the banned from here weep and cry for— literally—YEARS on a stalker blog. They just can’t get over not having that ‘last word’. I’ve spent some time reading them over the years and they really are a collection of damaged people— probably sociopaths— who use the internet as a outlet for their frustration.

It’s just so weird. I used to have a blog— where I talked about gender issues, and I picked up a couple of stalkers. I still have this interest in understanding the psychology behind it, because the mindset is just so foriegn to me— what kind of person does these things? And it lasted for about 3 years.
That was right before I joined LGF, and one of the reasons I stay, and continue to recommend it to others, especially women, is that Charles does so much work keeping the place healthy.

13 Backwoods_Sleuth  Sep 30, 2014 10:00:11am

re: #10 Interesting Times

I often wonder how many of those dead thread trolls do it to get screenshots to “prove” that a blog tolerates or tacitly approves of such crap.

14 iceweasel  Oct 1, 2014 6:30:32am

re: #13 Backwoods_Sleuth

I often wonder how many of those dead thread trolls do it to get screenshots to “prove” that a blog tolerates or tacitly approves of such crap.

Many do it, in my opinion. It’s kind of a sport here for the stalkers, and they gain points (in their sad little world) anytime they sneak through Charles’ filtering system.


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