1. murasaki_sama
    Offline

    murasaki_sama Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    In the depths of my own mind.

    Can we Reinstate Negative Rep points?

    Discussion in 'Support & Feedback' started by murasaki_sama, Mar 19, 2013.

    I know that they can be abused, and used for spiteful or petty reasons. However, I have noticed a lot of posts around the forum, especially in the Writing Problem category and sub-forums, that are not only unhelpful, they are insensitive and degrading.

    Rather than ignore a problem they find insignificant, these posters (and I will not give names) make a reply - one that attempts to reduce the OPs problem or difficulty to nothing more than the whining of a child. Additionally, the posts tend to imply insult, not only disregarding the OPs problem, but implying that the OP is making it up, or worse! This creates an unwelcome atmosphere on the forum, and nearly drove me to quit in my first day or two. I do not know how many other users might be inclined to leave after receiving such negative replies.

    I feel that the only way to protect users, especially new users, from such offensive and unhelpful members, is to use negative rep. Either the user accumulates a lot of negative rep, and therefore is ignored, or the user begins to get negative Rep from other members, realizes what he or she is doing, and then tries to provide more constructive, considerate feedback - or just learn not to comment if they don't think the problem is worthy of consideration.

    And by the way, I am not talking about comments that say "oh, your story needs a lot of work" or "do it this way I came up with, instead of the way you wanted to do it in the first place!" I am talking about comments that basically say "you are being stupid. get over it. move on." Telling someone to just "get over it" is one of the most insensitive things a person can say! People, especially new members, reach out to this community for help - and we let people slap them and say "Stop feeling. Get over. Your problem doesn't matter, its not important, you shouldn't feel this pain/confusion/anger." How can we expect people to stay?

    With such a small, tight nit community as this one, negative Rep can be used to create hard feelings. I understand that. But a small community like this needs to look out for people who are creating an unwelcoming environment for new users. Obviously, in order for negative rep to be reinstated, certain conditions would have to be altered to make it less open for abuse.

    Perhaps a person can only give negative rep ONCE a week? Or perhaps one can only negative rep a person once every three times? (So they have to give two positive reps before they can negative rep again?) And one cannot negative rep the same person again until one has either positive repped 4 people or negative repped one other person?

    But I do believe that the option to give negative rep should exist - so that comments like the ones referred to above can receive feedback that does not start a flame war in the forum, nor a heated argument in PMs. If there is some other way to tell a person they are being a bit insensitive, I would love to hear it.
     
  2. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    There's a report post button right next to the reputation button that lets you report insulting or degrading posts. I feel like that's a better way of doing things. The thing with rep is that people don't have to leave their names when giving it, so it can be given anonymously. You can see how this would be a problem if people could hand out negative rep.
     
  3. murasaki_sama
    Offline

    murasaki_sama Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    In the depths of my own mind.
    Actually, no, I don't. The anonymity allows a person to be candid in their observations, without causing a conflict with the other person. The point is to avoid flame wars or arguments between members. I want to be able to tell a person to maybe reconsider what they are saying, but I don't want to start an argument.

    Additionally, I do not want to report a post. I don't want to get people in trouble just because they say something a bit insensitive. That seems a bit reactionary to me, especially considering how many such comments I have run across. Negative rep would allow users to tell each other "hey, there is something not cool about your post, don't do that man" without instigating feuds or getting anyone a warning or ban.
     
  4. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    We had negative rep in the past, but I believe it was taken away because it was being abused. So that's one thing to consider (of course, not all members are going to abuse it). Also, I feel there needs to be a general consensus on what constitutes an insensitive post. Otherwise, there are going to be a lot of misinterpretations and misunderstandings.
     
  5. Phoenix Hikari
    Offline

    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    6
    I am with you in this. Having noticed and received some very bad comments/replays, it just made me think of not posting any of my questions/writings on the forums and seriously considered leaving. I think people need to become more sensitive to others' emotions and work, otherwise the forums will be left empty but of those who create problems.
    I think being able to send anonymous warnings/thoughts to those members would serve as a good tool in minimizing the angry temper that seem to threaten the forums.
    That or the mods should do something about those members.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    My 2 cents:

    If you don't like my comments and can't say so in the thread, I don't want to know. If I'm rude, by all means report me. I believe people reading my posts are capable of judging for themselves. I am capable of judging theirs.

    A general comment in the thread like, 'x' is not a useful critique message, is effective if you think the rude person doesn't see their comments the way others see them. Or, better yet, a supportive rebuttal is always a nice thing to post when called for.

    Anonymous negative comments seem petty. A PM is another option.
     
  7. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    This is a bad idea. There's a reason we removed it. Plus, what is deemed 'insulting' is all relative. We are supposed to be writers. Writers that will get 100 rejection letters. Growing a thicker skin is a great thing to learn.

    Cheers.

    ~ J. J.
     
  8. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    You could always add rude members to your ignore list. That way, their posts won't show up for you, and I'm pretty sure they won't be able to PM you either.
     
  9. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Yeah, I'd say if it's a big enough problem to give a negative rep point, it's big enough to report. The ignore button works well, also.
     
  10. murasaki_sama
    Offline

    murasaki_sama Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    192
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    In the depths of my own mind.
    Do you know how the system was being abused? Exactly? It is hard to offer solutions to the possibility of future abuse without knowing exactly what the abuse consisted of.

    Also, I don't think a consensus is necessary - if one person finds a post insensitive, they should be able to say so. If we had to rely on majority vote to decide if a specific comment or type of comment was insensitive, we wouldn't be able to get very far in correcting the problem; we would just be creating a second problem.


    JJ - rejection letters, negative feedback (aka "you need to do a lot of work on this, it doesn't make sense") is a very different thing from telling people that their feelings are insignificant, their problems are petty, and that they should just move on or stop trying to draw attention to themselves. Telling people to grow a thick skin is blaming the victim of negative, insulting, degrading comments. It is comments like yours that inspired this thread in the first place.

    Telling people to "get over it" "not take it so personally" "not be so emotional" all of that is insulting and demeaning. It tells people their emotions and feelings are insignificant, unimportant, unreasonable, and unworthy. How can we tell our members, especially our new members, something like that?
     
  11. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I think the mods actually DO do something about those members. They can give the members infractions and send a warning PM. I've received those in the past. If a member persists in antisocial forum behavior (however the mods define that, but it's probably pretty reasonable), the offending member gets banned. The rest of us don't see this happening because it's kept between the mods and the offending member, but it DOES happen.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    There's a continuum from tough love to unhelpful rudeness, as well there are writers who are offended by comments at different points along that continuum.

    A forum brings out the mean in some people. It's a bizarre phenomena that occurs when the face to face is removed from an interaction. The thing about negative feedback is there's no evidence it's effective in changing a person. Just as you see a mean post, how do you think the person getting anonymous negative feedback feels? Is the point to give hurt feelings back?

    Whatever you hope to accomplish, there's likely a better way to do it than to be mean back.
     
  13. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    Sorry, I don't. This happened a long time ago. It might have been a few members just constantly handing out negative rep to people, but I can't say for sure. Maybe one of the mods can give an explanation.
     
  14. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I see a big problem with negative rep points. Different people take the same comment different ways. I could make a comment that I think is inoffensive, and I believe most others would find inoffensive, but somebody sensitive might think I was deliberately being mean. I don't know, especially with new members, how they will take a given comment. This is especially true with our younger members - we have a lot of teenagers around here. We also have a lot of members who don't put their ages in their profiles, and don't tell us where they're from or any biographical information whatsoever, so I often have no clue who I'm talking to.

    The first time I received an infraction I was honestly shocked. I examined my offending post and could not find anything about it that I felt crossed the line. Sure, I was blunt, but I wanted to make a point very clearly, and I thought it was relevant to the discussion. I wasn't trying to offend, and I'm not a mean person. I never even found out who (if anybody) had reported my post. I PMed a mod asking what, exactly, was wrong with my post, but I never got an answer, so I let the matter drop and resolved to try to be gentler in the future.

    My point is that some members might be tempted to hand out negative rep to someone for a specific post that most other members think is just fine. Someone might find themselves accumulating negative rep and have no idea why, or who they're offending.
     
  15. JJ_Maxx
    Offline

    JJ_Maxx Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,339
    Likes Received:
    501
    This is not a democracy. This is a dictatorship, and you are not required to come to this site. Nobody 'owes' you anything. The forum has rules about flaming, insulting or just being an ass. If you feel that someone has broken the rules, use the report feature and a mod will give them infractions or even ban them.

    And I don't think anyone would say the advice of 'growing a thicker skin' is negative. It's my opinion, and you can't legislate ones you don't agree with.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    Reporting a post takes the "personal" issues out of the equation and puts it before an objective 'judge'. I don't see a problem with that system.
     
  17. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I agree with this. I hope, though, that even this doesn't get abused, because our mods work for free and this is a huge forum - lots to keep track of.

    I think I've only ever reported one post, and all it said was "Go f*** yourself" (or something like that). I think we can all agree that that is in no way constructive or helpful to anyone, and is not an acceptable contribution to a discussion. I felt that had to be flagged for what it is.
     
  18. slamdunk
    Offline

    slamdunk Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    8
    murasaki_sama maybe I find your suggestion here a bit offensive due to some sort of democratic belief I have. Do you think that I should be able to down vote you and this should lead to some sort of suspension/warning for you? Just for the record, I don't get offended by your post but it’s still important to note that many things that you view as inoffensive are probably still offensive to someone. People are so different, I don't think there is too much to ask for having at least one more (a moderator) agreeing that something did “cross a line”.

    I don't support rudeness but at the same time there is probably a person who is sensitive about anything that you or I write and just having one person dislike something is a weak reason for termination. Most sites that have the negative rep thing or a "thumb down" future see this get used when people disagree as a sort of slap below the belt (I can't win this debate but maybe if I give negative reputation that will ban this person or remove the post). It’s used as a silent function on people with a different view or on persons you don't like basically. I don't think a person should receive silent "bad rep" while doing nothing that breaks any rules, if someone is "crossing the line" report them (for a valid reason and let a third party "judge" decide).

    Also I think direct communication can solve a lot of problems. If someone get offended why not state so? Maybe it wasn't their intention to offend and maybe that can help them improve. Why the need to stab them in the back when maybe all they wanted was to be helpfull as they spent half an hour reading and reviewing your or someone elses writings?

    Abusing voting systems are usually done by one person creating alter egos and handeling diffrent accounts (so they can down vote you not one time but maybe give you 50 bad votes or more so it looks like a lot of people reacts on your posts and disslikes you). Its a really hard thing to deal with and its one of the main issues with such "downvoting" systems, is usually abusable.
     
  19. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yes. I was a moderator at the time, and I saw exactly how it was misused. It was being used to take anonymous pot shots at other members out of sheer spite.

    I can just about guarantee that negative rep won't be coming back. If it's not a matter you find worth reporting (and attaching your name to!), maybe you should simply let it go. Maybe what seems unhelpful to you is quite revealing to the person a comment is directed to.

    Negative rep is a coward's delight.
     
  20. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Slamdunk makes a good point. Frequently on sites that have the 'thumbs up/thumbs down' type of evaluation or some other way to indicate that a person does not like a post, the negative input is not because the opinion was expressed was rude, invalid, or irrelevant, but rather because the person simply disagreed with the substance of the opinion expressed, even though it may be valid.

    I'm not certain which particular threads the OP was referencing. Although I've occasionally seen replies that I think are not particularly helpful or relevant, I usually don't think much of them. Overall, I think this site is pretty good.
     
  21. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    If you have a problem with a member please report the post. We mods do deal with trouble making users, if what they do merits action. Just because you might not see it does not mean that nothing happens. Please report it, it's better for absolutely everyone that way.
     
  22. Pheonix
    Offline

    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,716
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    The Windy City
    It seems to me that Negative Rep would be a far more effective trolling tool than anything else. I mean, If I ever see someone being an ass on the forum, and it's bad enough to warrant saying something, I'll report them. To me, there's a clear distinction between whats acceptable and what isn't. Some people are just sarcastic douche hats and need to be disciplined.

    Those same people (sarcastic douche hats) who make unkind, nasty comments, are the ones who would be most likely to use negative rep I think.

    And, not to sound uncaring, but I agree with JJ. Dealing with difficult people and negative feedback can help aspiring writers build up a thicker skin.
     
  23. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    aside from reporting major infractions, if you don't like something/someone you can simply ignore it/them... it's not necessary or beneficial in any way for you to register that dislike publicly... to do so anonymously via giving a negative rep is indeed cowardly, spiteful, and an assortment of other things i could list if i'd a mind to...
     
  24. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The bigger issue I see are not so much postings that are mean or nasty, but rather that are not only completely irrelevant, but are narcissistic. But the couple of folks relatively recently who were guilty of this got themselves banned, so I think the current system is working. And for those folks who were engaging in this behavior, they wouldn't have cared at all about receiving negative rep. They would have either taken it as a badge of honor or attributed it to people who were somehow 'out to get them' due to opinions they had expressed (irrespective of whether the person giving the rep actually agreed with the opinion expressed).
     
  25. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    amen to that, liz!
     

Share This Page