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Poll: Should you be able to upvote more than once?
7 points by shawn 49 days ago | 21 comments
(With the understanding that if you abuse the privilege, you'll lose voting rights.)
Yes
5 points
No
9 points
Maybe
7 points



New page: /votes

https://www.laarc.io/votes

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I see nickpsecurity followed by piles of hidden. Does it only show a user their own votes with others hidden?

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2 points by shawn 48 days ago

Correct. I was also thinking of putting in an option for people to unhide themselves, if they want to.

Do people want their votes to stay private? It could be useful to know when certain members think something is upvote worthy.

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That's interesting. There will be people who are fine with every vote being visible. That could be profile setting with private being the default. I speculate that many people might want specific votes to be visible. That's more interesting from a UX perspective.

We could have a public vote button, checkbox, etc on any of the content here. Might clutter things. Alternatively, we can make it show up on the side of something a person votes for. "showmyvote" is one of shortest, clearest wordings off top of my head. If they click it, the system shows their vote in the public record. It might immediately transform to "hidemyvote" so they can reverse it but docs somewhere should point out it might have been saved by someone.

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Yeah, I'm ok with public votes.

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The votes currently give an idea of how popular something is to the community. Also, how many people might have been helped by it. So, it is a gauge of both interest and potential impact. That's how I was looking at Lobsters' votes, too, when I submitted content that might benefit builders.

A multiple vote, on the other hand, highly depends on individuals and groups' biases. The signal above can immediately be drowned out in noise. If different sub-groups exist with different biases, the combination of individual and subgroup behavior make the extra votes essentially random. In a community with interesting content, that kind of voting is essentially the original number that's meaningful plus an optional, random number representing popularity to unknown party(s) that combines with it to make a less, meaningful result. So, I oppose it given the former has usable value.

The only proven value such arbitrary-vote systems have is when you want to intentionally create a false sense of value to make people, individuals and sub-groups, feel good. You could use it with, say, a publishing platform. Give them free hosting for articles and comments. Show the inflated number of upvotes at the top as a click-bait signal. If extra aggressive, add a huge popup that tries to get more people to sign up or use a mobile app to be plugged into these games all day long. As its popularity increases, you would mostly see whatever is hyped or angers people the most at any given time float to the top. Same things corporate media and clickbait, online media focus on. Things a high-signal forum probably should try to avoid. There could be potential for a business here, though. ;)

EDIT: I noticed a multi-vote on the poll. Thought about upvoting No a few times but I'd rather see what people think. Then, I remember it's a multivote where I can't really know that without inside data or extra work using your vote feed if it helps with this. Illustrates the problem I describe quite nicely.

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3 points by shawn 48 days ago

Yeah, it looks like the community is leaning towards no. It was an interesting idea but it might not work unless everyone can see who voted for what.

Another idea is to just let everyone see all the votes. But I'm not sure how people would feel about that, and there are obvious tradeoffs.

I'll leave multivote enabled and the poll open for a day or so, to give our EU friends some time to weigh in.

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Yeah, see all the votes can make things more political. It becomes more about the people than the content. This already happens to a degree since we can see people's names. It just adds an extra layer of it.

Yeah, we'll see what EU says. :)

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2 points by shawn 48 days ago

more about the people than the content

Hmm, good point. On the other hand, have any sites tried it? You can see who likes what on twitter, but I wonder how much effect that's had on twitter's community dynamics.

EDIT: One important evolutionary step in forums like these is to hide comment scores to prevent pile-ons and "me too" type comments. Laarc isn't big enough yet for that to matter, but according to the traffic chart that seems to be changing quickly.

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"One important evolutionary step in forums like these is to hide comment scores to prevent pile-ons and "me too" type comments. "

Yup. A big problem that needs more research to deal with.

" On the other hand, have any sites tried it?"

I used to see the problem you just described happen on Facebook when people look to see who's backing who and what. It starts getting personal than simply being about the content. Interesting you brought up Twitter as a multi-vote site. It's so high-noise and full of herd behavior that we're on Laarc instead. ;)

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On polls, or on comments/posts? (I was able to vote yes more than once.)

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Everything. We enabled multivote for now, so that everyone can get a feel of what it would be like.

The community is small enough that it could make sense at this stage. But 400 people show up each day now, so it's a big responsibility.

If someone feels that something is so good that it deserves more than one vote, it might make sense to let them. Potentially even your own submissions.

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2 points by f5711 47 days ago

I could only see this being functional if it had very limited scope. Such as being able to upvote the same thing once every 24hours or some other time scale.

That being said comment engagement alone should provide the same kind of metric, rankings wise, only with a slightly different input.

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2 points by akkartik 49 days ago

Turns out I rely a lot on the presence of the arrows to remember what I've already upvoted. So you're likely to have people who visit more often contributing more upvotes.

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2 points by shawn 49 days ago

Me too. And I found the lack of uparrows annoying at first.

On the other hand, this gives the community more power to control rankings in general. If you feel like a submission deserves more time on the front page, you can make it so.

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2 points by akkartik 49 days ago

Maybe a daily budget?

Also, hubski has an interesting model where activity very slowly charges a 'badge'. A badge is like a super upvote, kinda like reddit gold.

https://hubski.com/faq

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Could we have some sort of quadratic voting scheme where we get a set number of vote points per day and we spend these vote points on upvoting articles with quadratically increasing costs?

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Define 'abuse'.

Does multivote on a poll ever make sense?

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Abuse is pretty much anything that annoys active members of the community.

(I was going to say "longstanding members," but that's not a good distinction. It's important to let people show up and become involved in the community right away.)

In this case, abuse might look something like this: Someone shows up, realizes they can upvote infinitely, submits their own site, then upvotes it 50 times.

But even that isn't necessarily abuse. All new submissions already go to the front page. The score is just a reflection of how interesting the community thinks a story is. So if you think a story is extremely interesting, maybe it warrants a lot of upvotes.

This model might break for controversial stories. People tend to upvote those out of a sense of duty rather than curiosity. But those can be dealt with on a case by case basis.

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2 points by akkartik 49 days ago

To elaborate on what I was hinting at: the moment you introduce a word like 'abuse', you need concrete policies for detecting it and concrete penalties. Otherwise you risk turning into a site that has some amount of arbitrariness and turns away some people. (Sound familiar? ^_^)

Abuse management is a hard problem. The far easier alternative is to design your features up front to be impossible to abuse, or failing that to permit extremely clear definitions for 'abuse'. So the fact that multivote has you worrying about abuse is likely the single largest drawback against it.

One idea: HN doesn't penalize sockpuppet votes, but tries to detect and discount them. In similar vein, allow people to upvote as many times as they want, but discount successive upvotes so that the fifth upvote is say an order of magnitude less powerful than the second upvote.

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2 points by shawn 49 days ago

https://www.laarc.io/votes might be one way to watch for problems. It's also a nice way to keep a pulse on the site.

To elaborate on what I was hinting at: the moment you introduce a word like 'abuse', you need concrete policies for detecting it and concrete penalties. Otherwise you risk turning into a site that has some amount of arbitrariness and turns away some people. (Sound familiar? ^_^)

True, but people seem to like curation. Especially when they themselves get to do the curating.

One interesting thing about laarc is that there hasn't been any abusive behavior whatsoever. This will certainly change, but when? The community has been so amazing that it might be ok just to trust people to be good. If people show up and start spamming, it'd be pretty obvious.

You're right that there should be clear procedures for handling situations like that. If a restriction is placed on a user's account, I'll make sure they know why it happened and how to resolve it. But it's in a spirit of cooperation, not judgement.

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