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I've created a troll account named unfair_rating_alert! to deal with those few eggregious examples of unfairly rated comments throughout Kuro5hin. The goal is to tag comments with a rating below 2.00, which by any objective measure have been unfairly rated, by posting a note with the title "Unfair Raiting Alert!" and then a quick note in the body explaining my rationale. When I get a chance, hopefully daily, I'll update the diary entry for this user with a list of comments which I've tagged. Hopefully, enough eyeballs will see these comments and rate them fairly.

However, I accept that this might not work well. It's possible that the community as a whole could reject unfair_rating_alert! because of its trollish nature. Or, some users may get annoyed when their (percieved unfairly rated) comment are left behind without notice. It's also possible that a coordinated effort of some subset of Trusted Users could just go and force every posted alert down to below 1.00, making them unviewable to the general readership. This is a sociological experiement, the outcome of which is uncertain. I've let the site maintainer know that if ever he believes that the account has become disruptive to the community I'll close it immediately. For now, go to [ufa!'s comment page] for current posted alerts (this is just my comment page).

Do short comments and subject only comments always deserve a 1.00 rating?

Lately I've noticed that just about every comment which only contains a subject and no text in the body, or most comments with only a few sentences, are almost always rated down to a 1.00 regardless of their contextual sensitivity. That is, it could be on topic and relevant, yet because it's short those rating consider it of little to no value. Does this make sense? Isn't it true that sometimes a short comment is appropriate? Should a writer have to find an excess of words in order to reply and make a point without fearing a low rating score? I think that a comment like this can be perfectly justified and appropriate, and as such doesn't automatically deserve a low rating just for being short. Though subject only replies should be tagged with nt so that readers know to avoid clicking for an empty text body.

I've held off on tagging these posts with an unfair_rating_alert! until after posting a question in ufa!'s diary. Let's ask the readers and see how they respond.

To be honest I don't see how a post with nothing but the title, ie tagged with an nt tag could possibly get a rating higher than 1.

All you can realy convey with them is either an injoke or a personal opinion neither of which are very informative thus not adding much to the discussion.

-- DanielThomas (Who hopes he hasn't broken any rules with this editing)

Here is a current revision of canned text I include with each alert notice after my explanation:

Begin Canned Text:

This comment was provided by unfair_rating_alert!, a troll account created strictly to look for intelligent comments unfairly rated below 2.00. Many readers may not agree with the content of the previous post, however, this account holder believes that most fair users should find that it didn't deserve such a low rating.

The purpose of this account is strictly to discern and then publicly show bias within the rating system in order to affect change by the general readership. Therefore, this account will not post topical or editorial content, rebuttals, story submissions, rate comments, or vote on story submissions. Readers are encouraged to reconsider a rating and act according to their conscience.

While the comment to which this unfair_rating_alert! refers remains blatently unfair, Trusted Users are encouraged to rate this unfair_ratintg_alert! up above a 1.00 if found hidden. Regular users are encouraged to leave the unfair_rating_alert! unrated if at all possible, or rate it below 2.00 if found above that threshold. The natural rating for this comment should be unrated or 1.00 as it offers no substance relevant to the story or thread in which it resides. Once the unfairly rated comment, to which this article is in reply, achieves a reasonably fair rating, then Trusted Users are requested to hide this unfair_rating_alert! so as to clean up the clutter.

End Canned Text:

CategoryKuroshin CategoryCase


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