Karma, conversations, and untrusted idiots

(Lowell Heddings) #1

The one thing that I really really wish we have would be some type of karma feature… basically, there needs to be some way to mark people as “can’t string a sentence together” or “constant trolling” or “microsoft hater”. Conversely, there should be a way to mark somebody as “excessively helpful” or “lover of knowledge” or “idea factory”.

In real life, if you want to have a better conversation, you just don’t allow jackasses to join in your conversation. You walk away, stand over on the side, or go somewhere else. You might have a public “discussion” that is watchable over YouTube or TV by thousands of people, but the people allowed to discuss are picked for their knowledge (sometimes). It seems like there should be an analog for that in the digital world, and especially on Discourse.

Perhaps if we had the ability to open a topic and then limit the replies to just people who aren’t idiots (a particular user level, for instance), we could have better conversation. The other people who weren’t invited would have to petition to be involved. I think there are other discussion systems that work this way, and I’m not saying that every topic would be like that. Just saying having that feature sometimes would be useful.

Or maybe having a “best of” view for every topic, that can be turned on optionally by users (as a default view), that filters out all of the trolls and idiots. Dunno if that would work well though, because the topic would be hard to read with missing posts. Better to prevent the dumb posts first.

I have nothing actionable on this topic, just my random thoughts.

(Bill Ayakatubby) #2

It seems that this is already on the roadmap:

(Lowell Heddings) #3

The best of view already works, I was thinking that it could be a default to enable… but, being able to prevent stupid posts on certain topics in the first place would be more interesting.

I just had the thought this morning, so I figured I’d throw it out there to see if it got anybody else thinking.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

What he is proposing is a bit different, that all topics start in a Best Of mode and you must do something exceptional to get your post unhidden – either be a fairly high trust level to start, or write a post of a certain length, or what have you.

The tone of the request is weird. If you have jackasses regularly showing up for conversations on your site, the solution is simple: either retrain the jackasses, or get rid of them if that’s not possible.

That said:

  • Topics that only allow certain groups or users to post, but everyone can read. This is what I call the “roundtable discussion”. It is definitely on the roadmap.

  • We have considered something like Combining trust system and pre-moderation as well but it’s much trickier. That’s fairly analogous to this hypothetical “start in Best Of mode” model.


I think that there is a good point in this converations. I wonder if there is any plan to show some kind of karma or metric related about how engaged is a user with your community. It is in my opinion escencial, like showing the avatar, the name and time of the message in a thread like this.

For a new member of a community, is not easy to identify how engaged with the community is a user, and maybe that would help to differentiate a jackass from most valuable members.

(Matthieu) #6

I have same issues with a guy both non-open-source-hater and kind of idiot. I just want to kick it out but it is not a “civilized” way.

So for the moment it appear 2 kinds of non-desirable post.

1- Troll

For the troll, it would be maybe useful to just add a flag category ?

o Off-Topic
This post is radically off-topic in the current conversation, and should probably be moved to a different topic. If this is a topic, perhaps it does not belong here.
o Inappropriate
This post contains content that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or a violation of our community guidelines.
o Spam
This post is an advertisement. It is not useful or relevant to the current conversation, but promotional in nature.   
o Troll
 Trolling is a non constructive way to contribute to a community

Application example: https://forum.poppy-project.org/t/on-the-road-to-the-damnation/50

2- Topic where only one guy is replying to its own post.

There is no reason a guy could post 5 times in a row while being trust level 0 and on its first day. Something should avoid that and ask to append its old post. I did not find parameter to tune that in the admin.
Here a great example: https://forum.poppy-project.org/t/intelligent-adaptive-curiosity-for-poppy/

(Jeff Atwood) #7

All these posts are the same person. I’m not seeing the huge problem though. He is a little goofy / crazy but I don’t see him violating anything in https://forum.poppy-project.org/faq

On point #2, new users are allowed to “screw up” their own own topics by posting a lot in them. They can’t do that to other people’s topics.

Also note that new users are rate limited in topics and posts, this user did not post enough to hit those limits.

(also, your forum is a little out of date – I would update to latest if you can.)

(Matthieu) #8

I changed some parameter to reduce the range of activity of new user. However we experienced some difficulties with this user. As he spent his days on the forum screw up its own post, he went really fast to “basic user”.
He got some flag (3) and it seems that it has not decreased its trust level. Also I did not see parameter about trust level and flag. So does flag change something about the ranking ?

(Jeff Atwood) #9

There is no substitute for actually talking to your users. He is not doing anything I would consider outside the range of the guidelines in the /faq. If you don’t like this user’s behavior, talk to him via private message. If his behavior does not improve, suspend him.

This is your community, and you set the rules – they just need to be communicated to the users.

And some users, even if they mean well, are genuinely wacky and may not belong.

(Matthieu) #10

I did

I’m just curious about the ranking engine :smiley:

(Neil Lalonde) #11

Trust level won’t drop back to 0 from flagging, or for any other reason. The higher trust levels (3 and higher) can be lost, but lower ones cannot.

(Sapioit) #12

What about being able to give a “trust rating” to other people, and have the average show up next to your name, on the comments? I mean, it would let you have people who’s oppinions would matter more, because they’re trusted by more.

Ideally, that would lead to the users with the highers Trust Rating being the ones best prepared in a subject. Realisticly, there’s the risk of lots of unprepared people having a say in one’s Trust rating. To fix that, why not take into account not only the trust rating given, but also the trust rating of the person giving it?

So a ranking from a 5star (max?) would have more power over a 3star (default?) than a few 0star rankings from a 4star.

(F. Randall Farmer) #13

Bad idea.