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I think a new form letter may be in order...

By AnsuGisalas ·
Tags: Off Topic
The "Observe restraint with negative votes":
http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/discussions/102-341598-3422858

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I don't know that will fix the issue

by Tigger_Two In reply to I think a new form letter ...

There are too many sites in which people express disagreement with a stated position by voting it down. Add to that the many people who don't give a rip about reputation.

Another site I know well allows each user to opt out of reputation if they wish. Many of our better posters choose to do this because they just prefer to not deal with it.

I get voted down as often as I get voted up, near as I can tell. Whatever.

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Yeah... but then...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to I don't know that will fi ...

The other form letters aren't exactly miracle cures either.
I wouldn't bother doing this all the time, only when a discussion is suffering from it.
When I see a post with a -1 for no reason I'll equalize it, seems people are more likely to vote down a post that already has a minus, so it helps to take out the negatives before they get rolling.

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Yours

by santeewelding In reply to Yeah... but then...

Is the method of preemptively firing into underbrush and listening for screams. Not the politest thing to do.

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Don't worry

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Yours

I have plenty of ammo :)

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Armed society

by santeewelding In reply to I think a new form letter ...

Is not always polite.

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Indeed

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Armed society

nor always well regulated.

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Realistically

by Tigger_Two In reply to Indeed

Voting isn't likely to be regulated here. Even by long time users.

That other site that I frequently mention has the ability to reverse a negative rep if the user impacted reaches out to a moderator AND we determine that something other than the posted comment was a driver (a public spat, for instance). The difference between that site and this one is that we have a whole lot of moderators, super moderators and a couple of Admin. Very different than the case here.

Voting is an anonymous thing here. There is no way to know if people actively participating on a thread are the ones voting. For all any of us know or CAN know, the people doing the voting down are primarily the spammers that many of us make a point of flagging.

If I am participating in a discussion responsibly and see something like that open letter, I might feel defensive as a result. I might be persuaded that responsible participation isn't as much fun as skewing someone else's rep.

When we have published notes like "TR will not assist with password issues" we are making a statement to an individual who has requested assistance with a password. Not at all anonymous.

Voting- which has never been tried before on this site- is going to have to go through some growing pains yet. That's just the way it is.

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Herding cats.

by seanferd In reply to I think a new form letter ...

Including anonymous auto-retarded cats.

Those who will get the idea most likely aren't being silly about voting in the first place. But there is certainly nothing wrong with bringing the problem forward, either.

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I noticed a benefit already...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Herding cats.

The form letter alerts non-doofus users to equalize the post suffering from doofus attack - it has therapeutic effects, even if the educational value may be in question.
Some users may just be following suit, thinking that's what the voting system is for, so theoretically there's a potential of educating people too... in theory, and we all know what Homer Simpson says about theory :)

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PCMag.com has been dealing with it for years

by NickNielsen In reply to I think a new form letter ...

Some of the people that used to hang out in the PCMag forums would automatically click "dislike" on anything by a particular PCMag commentator. John Dvorak was the primary target, but any of the other writers would get their fair share.

I vaguely remember some speculation a few years back that the reason PCMag remained one of the top-rated sites was they were milking those negative votes by double-counting them.

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