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Subject: Thumbs and (/as) censorship rss

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Matthew M
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Lajos wrote:


(1) Does the new system do anything else besides censoring?


The new system doesn't censor at all. Each user can decide whether or not to have a threshhold, and how sensitive to make that threshhold. Even if a post is below your threshhold, you see that a post is there and you only have to click a link to view what it says. It is entirely user controlled. Nothing is being deleted. Nothing is being kept fully out of view.

-MMM
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David
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Lajos wrote:
(2) Who, like me, will not take part in censorship and, therefore, will no give thumbsdowns and did select the 'show all' option?


Based on my experiences with this on a certain other 'geek' website, I'm really not interested in this thumb-down/up seesaw. I have already set my profile to 'show all'.
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Chris Prysock
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As I have expressed in the Moderation thread, personally I am not a fan of such a concept. I do understand the motivation behind Aldie's efforts in this area, even if I don't subscribe to the philosophy.

I respectfully disagree with Octavian as I think the net effect is a form of censorship. I agree that it is not a complete form of it, but the reality is that the majority of people on the Internet do NOT adjust their settings beyond the default behavior. Therefore most people will have the items suppressed. Yes, you certainly can see that there are posts below your threshold, but the majority of people spend neither the time nor effort to bother to click on that indicator to see what is there.

Since I have already selected the "show all" option, my biggest complaint is that it the new system has effectively highjacked the "recommendation" thumbs up feature to become a multi-purpose battleground field in which people are clicking back and forth based upon their own motivations, not necessarily based upon the intent of usage.

The "thumbs up" count used to indicate potentially high quality/interest items... Now it is some sort of popularity/opinion contest that does not help me use the site.
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Matthew M
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rogue461 wrote:
Yes, you certainly can see that there are posts below your threshold, but the majority of people spend neither the time nor effort to bother to click on that indicator to see what is there.


Upon what are you basing that, out of curiosity? There is as much reason to believe having it hidden will draw more attention and encourage everyone to read it. Some people will see that things that are hidden are things they generally don't want to read to begin with and will be happy to leave them alone in time. Others will find they want to see everything and will take the 1 calorie of effort to click the link, or set their preferences to Show All.

Quote:

The "thumbs up" count used to indicate potentially high quality/interest items... Now it is some sort of popularity/opinion contest that does not help me use the site.


If a popularity contest is sparked over something it will not likely result in a thumb count over 10 or 20. The motivation won't be there if it already seems solidly on one side or the other. If you see something with a huge thumb count it will likely still indicate potentially high quality/interest items, just as it alwyas has.

-MMM
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Matthew M
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dipdragon wrote:

Also, because of the counting mechanism, where every up and/or down is counted as 1 vote, a down counts as 2 and an up as 1.

E.g. Starting at 0, you get 1 up, which gives 1 total and +1. You then get 1 down, giving 2 total and 0. You go from 1-1 to 2-0. If you now get 1 up, you go to 3 total and +1, a difference of only +1 on the balance.


I fail to see how the down vote counts as two. You only got 2 total up votes, with a +1 balance. Counting the down vote in your total of three is misleading at best.

-MMM
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Colin Hunter
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A few questions about this
1. If the idea is to stop post with lots of thumbsdowns showing why make it public how many it has?

2. What benefits is this bringing to users?

3. What were the trade offs of the system?

4. Why are the Thumbsdown public?

5. What was wrong with the previous system?
 
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Colin Hunter
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jgerman wrote:
Free speech and censorship are not mutually exclusive. I'm not quite sure why that's so difficult to understand.


Edit: changed opposite to mutually exclusive, makes more sense


hmmm not so sure about this... This doesn't make censorship inherently bad either. I think the two however do affect each other and personally I would much rather err on the side of anti censorship (since evidently i can't call it free speach )
 
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Steve R Bullock
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I just get an uneasy feeling when I see that thumbs up/thumbs down thing going on next to my name/comments. And I am very kind, in general, when I make a comment on the Geek.

It's just a bit too... Judgemental or Big Brotherish. I have not figured out which.

I guess this comes from the "BGG not a pleasant place to be anymore" forum late last year. It must have made quite an impression on the powers that be.

 
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Matthew M
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Thumbs up still add to your total. Thumbs down do not. For example:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/18894

This geeklist has a large negative net, however if you look at his thumbs breakdown you can see that it clearly can't be calculated in.

In fact, if you click the Hot option in the geeklist module it will give you the current geeklists in order of thumbs up only - that same list which has a net in the -40s shows on the hot list as having 60+ thumbs up, which is consistant with his profile totals.

Lajos wrote:

After reading about it a bit more and getting some halve answers to my questions and after giving it some further thought, I decided I do oppose the new system. It will result in thumb wars, mob rule and punishment of controversial or deviating ideas. If I hadn't already decided not to give thumbsdowns, I would give some to the new moderating system.


You have greater ability to predict human behavior than I, sir. And I study them.

-MMM
 
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Matthew M
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Lajos wrote:

So do I. Although I rarely accept case studies as evidence, I wouldn't want to withhold you the following: The forum thread New system i only have one problem (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/145048), which was originally about title font size got loads of thumbsdowns because of the username of the original poster.


I'd been watching that very thread since it started. You may (or may not) be interested to know that, at first just the off topic posts got negative scores and the thread's score itself was untouched. When it became clear that the thread as a whole had shifted directions, only then did the score for the thread start dipping.

I find that to be a rather appropriate use of the system. The thread wasn't offering what the title advertised, thus the recommendation to avoid to those who care about the thumb totals.

-MMM
 
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Scott Alden
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Lajos,

I understand your concerns, and I think it is the sign of the times that you have stated more negatives of the system than the positives.

I can easily visualize the complete opposite situation where users are responsibly doling out thumbs as needed. If it happens to come down to "thumb wars" and vigilantism then I have grossly overestimated the civility of this board gaming community.
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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If it comes down to thumb wars I'll eat my hat.

It's not like euro gamers will travel in bands thumbsdowning ameritrash threads to spite them. Now if a LOT of people thumbs down another "ameritrash is so poorly defined" thread... well... maybe a lot of people are just sick of those kinds of threads, neh?
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Alexius Exfalso
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Some observations:

Threads that have taken a downwards-thumbing are still visible, and actually draw attention to themselves. That is hardly censorship. On the contrary, the system seems to invite an audience in the much the way a car smash does...

Posts that have taken a downwards-thumbing may have imploded, but are still actually present and easily opened. Folk have the option to open them or not. Whether the majority prefer that option remains to be seen.

Incidentally, I believe the 'collapse posts' function is itself now optional; if it offends, it can be disabled and the whole thread is there to be seen in all its technicolor glory.

Again, the collapsed posts don't conceal; they invite ... they tease and tempt you to open them up to see what on earth could have been so grotesque as to merit 43 thumbs-down...

One positive thing, for sure; the thumbs-down device allows folk to express how they feel about a post/thread/list they consider rum without the need to actually post 'This sucks'. That ought to cut down some of the static in some discussions.

Is that censorship? No. You can still post 'This sucks' if you want. It is just a touch redundant.

Will there be thumbing sprees? Yep, but it remains to be seen how significant they will be, and how many people literally have so little trace of a life that they will do it on a regular basis.

I'm genuinely interested in how this plays out in practice; it deserves the chance to prove itself one way or the other.

 
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James Davis
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meowsqueak wrote:
Lajos wrote:
(2) Who, like me, will not take part in censorship and, therefore, will no give thumbsdowns and did select the 'show all' option?


Based on my experiences with this on a certain other 'geek' website, I'm really not interested in this thumb-down/up seesaw. I have already set my profile to 'show all'.


me too.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Osama Bin Davis wrote:
me too.

Likewise, but unfortunately I am still dragged into this silly game because other people play it. In my case, it is sobering to see that being somewhat sarcastic (which I often am) is already sufficient cause for some people to mod me down. Well gee, excuse me for being human and subject to moods.
 
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As far as I can remember, I stopped giving "thumb's down" before they were removed the first-time 'round. If I do not like some content, I will either interact in the discussion and express my opinion or I will ignore it. I can ignore much as long as it such things are not stuck in my face where I cannot help but notice. It will take me some time to start ignoring the "microtrash"--forgive me while I borrow from the phrase "Ameritrash," or however it is spelled--but eventually I will also learn how to tune-out those annoying Meeple wanabees. goo
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Lajos wrote:


(2) Who, like me, will not take part in censorship and, therefore, will no give thumbsdowns and did select the 'show all' option?


I won´t ever give a "thumb down" and I have already set the "show all" option.

I don´t like the new system because it mainly encourages people to act in thumb-wars or simply down-voting all content they don´t like. Since it is very natural in human kind that people are more active in "downvoting" than in "upvoting" this will often result in threads and content looking more badly than it actually is.

And you all know that out there are many so named "trolls" that LOVE such voting systems to just violate such communities like ours. They join not to be active members but to simply click everywhere on down-votings etc.

And beside this the new voting system also encourages some people to downvote content like images just to promote the own content or that one that they like. Simply: Vote thumbs up for a picture you like and a thumbs down for a picture you don´t like and so you got "double weight"...

And the bad thing is, that however "cool" and "smart" a community may be - to make the system not work it really only need some small part of the community...

I liked the original "thumbs-up-only"-system so much because it was very fair - content I did not like I could ignore or I could discuss about it. Content I liked got a small "shoulder-knock" by a thumbs up. A more friendly way of living with each other

I´m sorry, but I won´t ever give any thumb down and I will show all content to me because I want to decide which is abusive to me and what not. If the community really wants that system, well, I will live with it, but I won´t participate.

Just my 2cents
 
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Aldie wrote:
Lajos,

I understand your concerns, and I think it is the sign of the times that you have stated more negatives of the system than the positives.

I can easily visualize the complete opposite situation where users are responsibly doling out thumbs as needed. If it happens to come down to "thumb wars" and vigilantism then I have grossly overestimated the civility of this board gaming community.


I´m sorry Aldie, but:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/145127

There ARE thumb-wars and there will always be some with such a system (it´s just in the human kind as I posted above...), especially on content that draws a line between two factions. And that content does not have to be "abusive". It really is enough that some people for example hate "Eurogames" and others love them...

I´m a great fan of BGG and the community and especially of the hard work that you have with that site, but the new thumb system... I suppose that won´t work that "civil" you perhaps would like to have
 
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Steve R Bullock
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The Ford Motor Company was really enthusiastic about the EDSAL when it first came out. But after lots of money and effort went into the car it was realized it was just not what the public wanted, so they changed gears and quit making it.

I hope all the BGG Admin. will just sit back and consider that, although the T-up/T-down icons look very nice, and it is a neat way to "mildly enforce civil conversations" (my words), it appears intrusive and detrimental to the casual chatting here on this site that makes it so interesting at times.

I have already begun to see a whitewashing of the forums where chatters feel obligated to write only "feel good" and "politically correct", or zero comments, which really cuts into the creativity and spontaneity of a discussion. After all, how fun is a conversation when your parents, a cop, a teacher, or an airport inspector is standing next to you and a few friends having a good time?

Like some BGGers, I, too will NEVER use a thumbs down. If I don't like something I will just go read a different thread. I wish other people were mature enough to do that instead of playing these little games (!) with thumbs.

What next? Well, I believe it is never good to hang around anywhere you are not welcome, and if the enviornment continues to squeeze out intelligent, witty, sometimes a bit coarse, chatter, then the only thing to do is to spend less time there or leave.

I am sure that the thought "don't let the door hit your ass" is the general attitude, because so far all I have seen is a very defensive position on the new up/down icons by the administration (hey, upper management is always right- I work for a living, too).

When you cannot, will not, see why an idea might not be such a good idea, and are not able to say "OK, we gave it a try but it didn't work out too well", then the next step you are taking is a form of authoritarian rule.

Or running a car dealership only selling EDSALS.
shake

Disclaimer: These are all personal opinions, refering to BGG sometimes, Ford Motor Company occasionally, and work hierarchy existant in 99% of ALL work enviornment.


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Alexius Exfalso
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Quote:
When you cannot, will not, see why an idea might not be such a good idea, and are not able to say "OK, we gave it a try but it didn't work out too well", then the next step you are taking is a form of authoritarian rule.


But the system has only been up for a day or so.

Let's see how it pans out.
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Steve R Bullock
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Some new rules make changes happen VERY FAST. For good or bad.
 
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Evan Stegman
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volnon wrote:
...
I have already begun to see a whitewashing of the forums where chatters feel obligated to write only "feel good" and "politically correct", or zero comments, which really cuts into the creativity and spontaneity of a discussion.
...

Really? Please point out where this is happening.

I don't understand why it would.

It's not like getting thumbs down means the post is deleted. It just means it won't show up on the front page and some people won't see it.

People won't write thing unless EVERYONE gets to sees they wrote? Sounds like an ego thing not a censorship thing.
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Steve R Bullock
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Pick a forum. Any forum. Read it. See how the atmosphere appears clean and calm. Which is nice. Just the way mum would want it.

I don't mind nice- it just becomes so boring after a time, and a little shaking of the cage occasionally is so interesting. One that goes on for 2 or 3 pages.

Everyone sees everything you write hear anyway,thumbs UP or DOWN (until it disappears like magic).

[b][b]If expressing opinions and ideas is ego..... GUILTY!

surprise
 
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Rob Leveille
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I find it odd that BGG gives us religious/anti-religious microbadges so that we may identify (voluntarily of course) our beliefs. But now, of course, I could get a 'thumbs down' on my posts merely for using such microbadges (for the Right are always 'right').

Maybe a better system would been to allow people to flag MPAA ratings on their lists/forums etc. That way, you know what you are getting into and can choose whether you wish to be exposed to the content.

If I want to post a list called 'Games That Atheists Love', and there are many others on the 'Geek that would enjoy that list, I would like to be able to 'flag' it somehow so that the 'faithful' can just avoid it, instead of posting hateful diatribes about how I'm going to burn in hell for eternity alongside Hitler and Saddam because I'm offensive.

There has been some awesome content deleted from this site because of percieved offenses and slights. I understand, Aldie, that this is your business, your livelihood. Potential sponsors could be put-off by certain content. I also understnad that the country you live in is getting increasingly intolerant of freethought and free speech, and the laws are already in place to act on seditious behaviour. Is there a way to have a 'mature content' section? I'm not talking porn, but a place for the less easily offended to have full and open discourse on this hobby that we all love so much?

Thumbs down to the thumbs down.


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Maarten D. de Jong
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At the moment of writing, this thread is at -2. And that is exactly what is wrong with this system.

Does this thread violate forum guidelines? No.
Does this thread insult anyone? No.
Does this thread contain derogatory language? No.
Does this thread contain adult content? No.

All this thread contains is opinions of a small number of people who think this system is a bad idea because it is far too easy to confuse rules-breaking content with content you don't agree with. The example is already in this thread itself, literally. If not agreeing with a decision or a remark is already sufficient cause for being modded down, what is next?

Will those kind individuals who modded this thread down please tell me why they modded it down?
 
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