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Reputation scores are misleading



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I'm not even a full month past an invasive surgery. It's immediately visible to anyone who looks at my stats, and it ought to be enough that people give me a little bit of a break. And yet. I made a comment in a thread last night (my first comment in said thread), to correct a little bit of "what about the newbies" concern trolling (as a newbie, I'm qualified), and someone with a very high "reputation score" immediately jumped in and 1) lumped me in with the people they'd been heatedly arguing with for tens of posts, 2) misrepresented what I was saying, and 3) insulted my intelligence. Or at least my education level. When I clarified (angrily, because that's clearly what this person wanted from me, and I am honestly at the very end of my fuse for reasons that aren't relevant to the point I'm making), they doubled down, replying with one abusive post after another in rapid succession. It was awful.

The thread has been closed, so while I guess maybe you could still go find it, please don't. If you witnessed it, please don't reopen that line of discussion or name the other person who behaved badly; that is not the point of this post. I'm not making a one-person call-out post; I'm talking about trends. Usually it's a couple of groups of veterans and near-veterans I see squabbling amongst each other, and if you go back in the archives a year, you can see a different set of near-veterans doing pretty much the same thing, about slightly different topics. (All that necroposting someone's been doing lately has accidentally surfaced a lot of ugliness.) And that is the behavior I'd rather focus on: people coming here to fight, being willing to bully newer members in the course of those fights, and still maintaining a high reputation. It's "people," plural, and it's a real problem.

It makes reputation really misleading: we should lose reputation when we make the site more negative. And, yeah, the fact that I was provoked to the point of throwing insults back probably means I should lose a little bit of reputation for that, too.

My point is, it would be nice to see some way for the community, or the moderators, to penalize bad behavior. Because without that, reputation is incredibly misleading.

(I am, however, posting this in Rants & Raves and not Website Suggestions, because the details of how you build a fair moderation system are complicated. Done naively, it would just become another avenue for bullying and cliquishness; you can already see the ghost of that in the meangirl way some people use the "laughing" response on posts they disagree with. And I don't really expect Alex et. al. to put in that level of work, to learn how to do it fairly and then implement that. So this is just a rant. I'm angry that people get to behave badly, bully newer members, and still get little markers by their names suggesting that they are trustworthy. I'm of the opinion that removing reputation altogether would be better than what we have now, but I feel like that's not going to be a view that many share. So. Just a rant. Ignore me if you want; this isn't going anywhere, and I'm not going to pursue it now that I have it out of my system.)

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@CrankyMagpie reputation used to decrease, but then the options that would do that were removed for whatever reason. I don't pay attention to the scores, but if you look, if someone's got more posts than reputation, kinda sheds a light on their posts... if they post more than people liking the posts that they are posting... then it's clear that their posts aren't being liked for whatever reason.

Sorry someone did that to you... that's pretty uncalled for.

Edited by Matt Z

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Just now, Matt Z said:

@CrankyMagpie reputation used to decrease, but then the options that would do that were removed for whatever reason. I don't pay attention to the scores, but if you look, if someone's got more posts than reputation, kinda sheds a light on their posts... if they post more than people liking the posts that they are posting... then it's clear that their posts aren't being liked for whatever reason.

Sorry someone did that to you... that's pretty uncalled for.

If this is how we measure then I should probably leave now, my reputation score is way lower than my no of posts. Maybe Im not likeable or my posts are useless or maybe it has something to do with the way the system worked when it was still LBT.

Personally I find all the liking a bit shallow, we shouldn’t be in a competition for likes, especially as a lot of the likes are for posts that may have been amusing rather than helpful.

This should not be a popularity contest

To the OP yes things do sometimes get really annoying. Sometimes moving on and ignoring something is better than responding but that is not easy, I know it’s something I really struggle to do.

Whilst this site. may not be perfect in general I still find it a lot better than the alternatives. Some of the peeps on the other site are so sanctimonious I’m surprised they have received their sainthoods yet

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What seems negative for one reader may be helpful or positive for someone else. It is unrealistic to think someone is going to monitor each post to determine if the author was being positive or negative. My suggestion is to stay away from certain threads/people if they upset you. And, if you are going to call out others then you should develop a thicker skin or keep your negative comments to yourself. Not everyone can emotionally handle interacting with complete strangers, on the internet or in real life.

I read and participate on here as a form of entertainment and to receive education but I certainly don't feel any need to have someone hold my hand and protect me.

Edited by MIZ60

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14 hours ago, elcee said:

If this is how we measure then I should probably leave now, my reputation score is way lower than my no of posts. Maybe Im not likeable or my posts are useless or maybe it has something to do with the way the system worked when it was still LBT.

Personally I find all the liking a bit shallow, we shouldn’t be in a competition for likes, especially as a lot of the likes are for posts that may have been amusing rather than helpful.

This should not be a popularity contest

To the OP yes things do sometimes get really annoying. Sometimes moving on and ignoring something is better than responding but that is not easy, I know it’s something I really struggle to do.

Whilst this site. may not be perfect in general I still find it a lot better than the alternatives. Some of the peeps on the other site are so sanctimonious I’m surprised they have received their sainthoods yet

It's clearly just something to look out for when folks are being dicks, not a "everyone with less reputation than posts" situation... I was not calling *ANYONE* out for anything...

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18 hours ago, CrankyMagpie said:

My point is, it would be nice to see some way for the community, or the moderators, to penalize bad behavior. Because without that, reputation is incredibly misleading.

This reputation stuff is misleading anyway. Look at what people are pressing the like button for - a lot of the time it's the most trivial stuff that has no real value for the community.

However, while in general I definitely agree with your post I feel that there is not much one can do about this. If posts are getting really insulting there is the possibility of reporting it (some boards show so-called "warning points" of users on their profile then).

Best thing still seems to use the ignore function.

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Sometimes the " like" is for " I see nothing here to disagree with" and that's just the way the mop flops.

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The way I read them- " like" , Good answer- worth a trophy" Wow you made a triumph" this is so funny,it makes me laugh" A hug to sustain you on your journey" Oh my, this,is confusing" and lastly" Oh this is just the way life is, can't fight it, just try,it power through" at,least that's how, I READ THEM!

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I asked this question in website assistance a while back. Liking original content or responses (all activities I believe) increases scores that can directly increases rewards points to the BP Store.

I make it a point to like everything (relevant) to pay forward the points to everyone. I even made a post about it forever ago.

But yes to the heart of the rant: This site can be a mixed bag, but doesn't have to stay that way. Before I became super active, I called out bullying and some disagreed it was occurring. (I will leave it up to everyone to decide what they personally think) so I decided instead of leaving (like I wanted) I would try to make a haven in some spaces. Fun threads, extra positivity when possible, etc... Some balance.

I will not engage in most debates these days because it's a fruitless task for me and I really just want everyone to be successful.

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20 hours ago, Matt Z said:

It's clearly just something to look out for when folks are being dicks, not a "everyone with less reputation than posts" situation... I was not calling *ANYONE* out for anything...

I know you weren't :)

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I cannot emphasize enough that brushing it off is the way to go online. There is no upside to getting into spats, there's no upside in "defending your reputation", and there's almost always someone out there who thinks that rudeness is something they should be congratulating themselves for because it's actually plain speaking. Those people exhaust me. Just shrug them off. Literally, don't engage with them.

Talk about what you like and if someone starts needling you, just don't take them up on it. Address the point generally rather than to the person who's attacking you, reassert your view and then move the conversation along. You are not going to argue them into seeing the light, so don't bother. Just state your position and if they rip it to shreds, fine, that's their opinion. It does not damage you.

Talk about the stuff that interests you with the people who either share that interest or meaningfully engage you. Don't engage or address the people who show up to shout or swagger. You aren't required to respond to people who talk to you, especially if they're being dicks. When they don't get attention they'll go away. Even easier than the same situation in real life, because they can't get in your face here.

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No matter where we go in life there will always be negativity and suffering. Doesn't mean we have to feed into it, because when we do, it gets worse. Instead let the positivity shine through. Don't co-sign someone else's bs. Some people are more opiniated than others and some enjoy letting others take control. It's just the ebb and flow of the world we live.

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