Read an Interview with Matthew, the owner of CathInfo

Author Topic: About up/downvoting  (Read 1110 times)

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Offline Jaynek

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About up/downvoting
« on: May 11, 2018, 05:09:24 AM »
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  • A new member is asking a question about up/downvoting in the intro thread, but I wonder if this should have a thread of its own.

    I know I will never ever down-vote anybody, no matter the opinion, manner, aspect... and wondered what is the use of such a system; the point might have been to ?  
    I don't want to speak for Matthew, but my understanding of his comments on this is that it's main purpose is to reduce the amount of work he does in moderating the forum.  As most of us know, he is a very busy man with far more responsibilities than running this forum.

    The theory is that people who post in an unacceptable way (for example, unorthodox or grossly uncharitable posts) will receive many downvotes.  This may lead that member to reflect on his posting habits or, at least, discourage others from such negative behaviour. Similarly, those who write helpful and informative posts will receive upvotes, encouraging such behaviour in them and in others.  Also, if Matthew receives a complaint about a poster here, by looking at his reputation score, Matthew can get a sense of the general behaviour of that poster without having to spend as much time reading through posting history. 

    In practice, people also use up/downvotes to express agreement and disagreement.  For example, a large proportion of my upvotes come from people who agree with me saying the earth is globe-shaped, while an even larger proportion of the downvotes come from those who believe the earth is flat.  These sorts of votes are probably less helpful to Matthew, although they give him a sense of how well people fit in with the general views of the forum.

    There also seem to be cases in which people use downvotes to express personal animosity. Even these give an indication of the members ability to get along with others, but personally I consider it an abuse of the system.  Matthew has built some features into the system to compensate for such things.  For example, there are limits on how much an individual member can downvote (or even upvote) another.  

    I think there are other members like yourself who are reluctant to downvote, but I don't think you should be if you use it responsibly, to promote the common good of the forum.  The main drawback I see to the system is the possibility that it could foster the sin of human respect, i.e. being more concerned with how people see you than with what God wants.  But it's hard to say how much of a risk that really is and it needs to be weighed against the system's usefulness to Matthew.
    Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before you, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is

    Offline Incredulous

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    Re: About up/downvoting
    « Reply #1 on: May 11, 2018, 06:06:50 AM »
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  • BTW, Matthew does moderate the up/down voting.

    He doesn't like cliques of buddy-buds forming on the forum.

    My favorite down vote, is the ones on neo-SSPX topics, where the down voter has no comment.

    The meaning is... they can't articulate a logical argument against you, so all they do, is snipe you with a down vote.

    Yeah, the silent neo-SSPX "down votes" are my favorite :jester:
    "Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi


    Offline Jaynek

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    Re: About up/downvoting
    « Reply #2 on: May 11, 2018, 06:11:47 AM »
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  • BTW, Matthew does moderate the up/down voting.

    He doesn't like cliques of buddy-buds forming on the forum.
    Good point.  It seems fairly clear that he is aware of ways the voting can be abused and compensates or adjusts for them.
    Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before you, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is

    Offline Jaynek

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    Re: About up/downvoting
    « Reply #3 on: May 11, 2018, 07:42:27 AM »
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  • If one does not like what I or someone else has to say, that's fine, do the downvote thing; I do. The problem is that some people have admitted that they just troll the different threads that they know have posters that aren't R&R and give downvotes for that reason alone. That normally wouldn't matter, but if the forum gets moderated by downvotes, then that's unfair.
    Having said that, I have only seen Matthew actually mention this fact in the banning of someone once, very recently, in the almost two years I've been on here.
    I have been a member for around seven years and don't think I have ever seen him ban a person based on down votes.  Even in this recent case, it was more a matter of mentioning the down votes as supporting evidence, rather than the reason.  The votes reflected that the person just didn't belong here.  I don't think that anyone could disagree with that.

    I would be very surprised if Matthew were ever fooled by someone gaming the system. 
    Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before you, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: About up/downvoting
    « Reply #4 on: May 11, 2018, 08:03:15 AM »
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  • Yes, I think that there should be some kind of limit, and not just a percentage of votes for any particular individual, to downthumb someone.  I've had a handful of people following me around on different threads downvoting every post, even if it's something completely uncontroversial or even banal or trivial.  I know who they are too, since I'll make a post, get a downvote 30 seconds later, and then I'll look to see who's online.  So for many of them it's just a personal vendetta thing and half the time has nothing to do with the content of any given post.


    Offline Jaynek

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    Re: About up/downvoting
    « Reply #5 on: May 11, 2018, 08:21:12 AM »
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  • Yes, I think that there should be some kind of limit, and not just a percentage of votes for any particular individual, to downthumb someone.  I've had a handful of people following me around on different threads downvoting every post, even if it's something completely uncontroversial or even banal or trivial.  I know who they are too, since I'll make a post, get a downvote 30 seconds later, and then I'll look to see who's online.  So for many of them it's just a personal vendetta thing and half the time has nothing to do with the content of any given post.
    Considering that you still have an almost 4:1 ration of up to down, it does not seem likely to have any effect on you other than possibly to annoy you a bit. 

    But I do agree that it is annoying to see people abuse the system.  It would be nice if there were some tweaks that could prevent it, but sometimes tweaking creates more problems than it solves.
    Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before you, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: About up/downvoting
    « Reply #6 on: May 11, 2018, 10:42:55 AM »
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  • Yes I use it as one "signal" of quality for a given poster.

    No, I'm not a dumb computer program that could be fooled into banning a high quality member because a few people got together and gave him a bunch of downvotes. Please give me more credit than that.

    It is a signal or factor in determining quality and suitability for this forum -- nothing more. In the end, I make a personal judgment call which is pretty spot on. I suppose I technically make mistakes since I'm human and all, but I don't make that many of them, not very often, and nothing egregious :)

    It's not all for the poster-end. It's also for the POST end of things. When a post has 12 upvotes it's always pretty good -- I dare anyone to find an exception to this rule. Yes, there's a certain amount of "noise level" (4 posts and under could just be a freak occurrence, a clique, etc.) but when a post has 12 downvotes and a few upvotes, it's always garbage (any exceptions? I dare you to produce them!)

    Oh, and a post having 10 upvotes and 10 downvotes is obviously highly controversial. You can't draw any other conclusions about such a post. Same with "12 upvotes, 8 downvotes". No clear winner there. But because of the high participation, you can conclude it's a controversial and interesting subject for many.

    I will just add this: more participation in the voting system would be a good thing. Otherwise you allow the highly vocal, strong emotion types on the forum to dictate WHO and WHAT is good around here. Why let them get away with that? Everyone has an equal right to vote.

    If you see a great post with 0 -2 upvotes, BEGIN TO FIX THAT by giving it an upvote!
    Ditto for crappy posts. If it only has less than 3 downvotes, and it deserves to be downvoted, please begin the rectification process by downvoting that post.

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    Offline Matthew

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    Re: About up/downvoting
    « Reply #7 on: May 11, 2018, 10:52:19 AM »
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  • PS 

    Anyone with a brain knows that even smart people will get downvotes, if they get involved in just about ANY serious discussions on here. That's the nature of the beast. Everyone should know, for example, that people are more likely to give downvotes than upvotes. That's human nature. Your enemies are more motivated to downvote you, than people who agree with you are likely to upvote you.

    Our Lord had enemies. If He were posting on a message board, the Pharisees would conspire to downvote Him every chance they got -- and get enough of themselves together so they wouldn't hit the 17% downvote-per-person limit -- they could keep downvoting Him as much as they pleased.

    But that's true for EVERYONE in EVERY TOPIC so it's completely fair.  Looking at upvotes/downvotes is still apples-to-apples for everyone, and as long as the moderator is wise enough to know that about human nature, he won't draw any stupid conclusions from the data.
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    Offline Jaynek

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    Re: About up/downvoting
    « Reply #8 on: May 11, 2018, 11:12:47 AM »
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  • If you see a great post with 0 -2 upvotes, BEGIN TO FIX THAT by giving it an upvote!
    Ditto for crappy posts. If it only has less than 3 downvotes, and it deserves to be downvoted, please begin the rectification process by downvoting that post.
    I do that automatically.  I'm more likely to vote (either way) if a post has votes on it that I disagree with.

    Sometimes I see posts (or think to myself) along the lines of "Why would anybody up/downvote that?"  It can be frustrating to see a downvote especially and not have any idea what it was for.  Usually, it is easy enough to tell from what people are writing what problems a post has, but sometimes it leaves you:
    :confused:
    Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before you, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is

     

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