Comment 56791

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 18, 2011 at 08:49:21

I stand by my assertion that the voting system is merely a consensus meter.

Here's the problem with the "consensus meter" theory. Everyone on the internet has free right to open an account here and vote in whatever way they want. If consensus is that a comment is a derailment of the discussion, filled with non-facts, or is offensive, then so be it.

The fact that it IS a consensus meter means it's working as designed. Unfortunately for those who lie or post abusive comments, their lying, abusive colleagues generally don't care enough to register and vote said comments up.

Of course, some comments get voted down incorrectly, and others voted up incorrectly but there is absolutely no way to achieve perfection. Even if you had a human checking every single comment, it would be even worse since anyone who got downvoted would say that the moderator was biased.

I think the voting should stay with a simple renaming of the two buttons: |Offensive/Offtopic| and |Great Post!| Then you are encouraging good posts and moving peoples' minds away from the up and down being used as "Agree/Disagree" buttons.

Further refinement could be to have a few buttons. Offensive|Offtopic|Thoughtful|Funny - then each user could set thresholds for each.

Another option would be to give weight to users votes in some sort of proportion to their voting history. So new users can't just join and vote. ANd people who historically vote based on opinion have less weight. How you'd do that though is an algorithm beyond my morning mind.

I am a firm believer in allowing anonymous comments - it is a way to draw people into the discussion who otherwise may not have bothered. Look at how many people recently started as anonymous commentors and eventually registered. More participants is always a good thing, whether I agree with their opinions or not.

In the end I think that threading is the best solution. It should probably replace fading. Once the threshold is met, the root of that thread gets collapsed to just a title, and can be opened and read and replied to, but these digressions won't take over the discussion. It is also less "in your face" to silently collapse a thread than to announce "THIS COMMENT SUCKS SO IT's HIDDEN ;-)

This is how it works at slashdot and other hugely successful discussion areas and the discussion never devolves into complaints about the voting system there.

BTW while we are begging for features, I'd like a preview post feature so that I can check up on my markdown before committing. I would also like to be returned to the page I was looking at when I log in rather than my profile. I would also like a one click log out button rather than going to my profile, clicking log out then having to click again

Thanks :-)

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