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Published 1 year ago with 53 Comments

Voting System: Overview of Upcoming Functionality for Release 5.3

Over the past several weeks we have received a lot of really helpful feedback pertaining to the improvement of our voting functionality. We realized that due to a number of complex architectural and community factors the basic up/down voting approach is no longer the most effective way to leave accurate feedback, or for that matter help in the moderation of content.

  • Hi Everyone!

    Below we introduce upcoming improvements to the voting system as well as explain how the concept will work and what new features to expect based on these upcoming changes. The ultimate goal is to have a truly democratic and transparent form of community moderation unmatched by any other system out there.

  • Down-vote Popover:

    The updated voting concept will now trigger a popover on all content types in need of moderation when the down-vote button is pressed. We strongly believe that sticking with the common 2 button approach is the best way to retain the ease of use people are used to.

    We will initially focus on four main content items, but will expand to more as our platform grows.

    1. Snaps (both link and native content)
    2. Text Posts
    3. Comments
    4. Related Links

    Each content type will have a different set of moderation options based on the context they appear in. Below is a design concept of how the popover will look when down-voting a “text post”.

  • Upon clicking the "down-vote" arrow, a popover will appear displaying available feedback & moderation options. Each option representing an increasing level of severity that will be unlocked as members progress and get familiar with how Snapzu and its community work.

    There will be 3 tiers of feedback:

    1. Tier 1 - Opinion

      Allows members to express their disagreement with the content in question, be it a snap, text post, comment or any other type of content. Members may disagree as many times as they wish because selecting this level of feedback does not consume any moderation credits. This is strictly meant to give individuals a way to express their difference of opinion as well as help Snapzu highlight controversial content and discussions without affecting member reputation.

      Available Choices:

      1. Disagree

      Note: Disagreement votes will not count against content score, meaning content will not be listed lower due to disagreements. Instead this option is meant to show that you disagree with the content and allows us to track and sort controversial content as a result.

    2. Tier 2 - Flag (Unlocked at experience level 5)

      There are a number of low quality related issues that may be flagged in relation to the content in question. Different content types will have different flag reasons. Content that has received a specific number of flags will be tracked and recorded into an internal flagging system that will allow administrators to view statistical information generated by this functionality. In the future we also intend to track tribe related flags to give moderators a heads up to problematic, poor quality or generally bad content. Depending on the severity of the issue, certain flags will affect member reputation.

      Available Choices:

      1. Broken Link / Video / Image
      2. Re-post
      3. Misleading / Clickbaity / Sensationalized
      4. Behind Paywall
      5. Self-serving (10% rule)
      6. Poorly Written / Copypasta
      7. No NSFW Tag
      8. Wrong Tribe
    3. Tier 3 - Report (Unlocked at experience level 15)

      The report function is strictly for severe rule breaking circumstances where the most important community rules are being broken. The report function allows members to down-vote and automatically report content directly.

      Available Choices:

      1. Spam
      2. Racism
      3. Hate Speech
      4. Doxxing
      5. Harassment

      Note: In addition to the available choices, there will be information on when not to report content.

      Never flag or report content for the following reasons:

      1. The use of swear words / vulgar language
      2. Content / comments that differs from your own taste (Use I disagree!)
      3. Controversial opinions on topics like racism, abortion, religion, foreign affairs, etc
      4. Your personal relations with the user, negative or otherwise

      It is important to note that members abusing the report function by making false reports or reporting situations that in no way break the rules (like reporting unpopular opinions) may lose their ability to use “Tier 2” and “Tier 3” moderation tools. Tier 3 reports significantly affect member reputation.

  • Voting pop-over expanded to all sections:

    The ability to bring up the popover will be expanded into all sections of the Snapzu platform where voting arrows are available. This means that users will be able to bring up this popover from the following areas:

    1. Frontpage
    2. Tribe Content List
    3. Snaps & Text Posts
    4. Comment Areas (all comments)
    5. Personal Feed

    As we continue to expand on this functionality additional areas may have the option to vote. Until such time however we have limited voting to the above sections.

  • Upcoming Features:

    1. Sorting by Most Controversial

      Due to our new ability to express disagreement on all posts created on Snapzu we are now able to have a true “controversial” sorting option that shows posts and comments with a high percentage of disagreement votes which can be listed up top without being affected by other down vote reasons based on content that breaks the rules.

      The new sorting options will be available within tribes, the front page, as well as comments areas.

    2. Expanded Statistical Info

      The up/down vote stats will receive an additional number based on disagreements. The new stats bar will display the following visual information represented by tiny icons and a number beside it showing the amount:

      1. # of Upvotes (green arrow)
      2. # of Disagreements (gray circle)
      3. # of Down-votes (red arrow)

      Just like currently available in snaps, members will be able to click on this stat bar and a popover will appear with the breakdown of all votes placed.

    3. Personalized Member Block List

      We realize that currently the only moderation options available in the comment sections is to down-vote a comment for whatever reason even if it's just a disagreement. There is also an important reason why moderators from multiple tribes should not be able to control the conversation within any snap. Firstly, snaps can be published into multiple tribes and with the upcoming mirroring functionality even more tribes can pick up a published snap and host it within their community, giving all of these tribes the power to moderate the conversation would be like throwing a dozen cooks in the kitchen. Secondly, a lot of problems are caused by even a small number of overzealous moderators, and like many other platforms have experienced first hand this type of moderation is detrimental to our freedom of expression and ability to hold truly meaningful and engaging discussions. We don't want comments to be censored, and we don't want unpopular opinions to be buried!

      So instead, we are releasing upgraded functionality that allows any member to block another user based on a number of reasons. Blocking a user will make their content invisible within your feed, tribes and other areas. If enough members block a user, their profile will be reported and queued up for an admin to read over that person's posts history. If we determine that the user is being abusive and breaking our core community rules we may choose to temporarily global-block the user for a predetermined amount of time.

  • Down-vote Overview Popover:

    The current down-vote reason breakdown popover (currently only available in snaps) will receive an updated design and additional content. It will also become available for all new areas that support the down-vote reason popover. As we continue to expand on this functionality, we will also make this popover available in the posts management page so that every member may get a detailed breakdown for votes each piece of content has received.

  • As we start development we will continue to post updates in regards to our direction. We appreciate your feedback very much, so if you have some please be sure to comment below. Let us know what you think! Thanks everyone that contributed in the discussions, your comments have greatly helped to shape this functionality.

    Have a great weekend!

 

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Conversation 16 comments by 7 users
  • microfracture (edited 1 year ago)
    +17

    Honestly, I would really prefer that the down vote button stayed as only for spam, etc and not for disagreements. That is a real big step back in my opinion.
    Part of the reason this community is so great is that people aren't down voting everything into oblivion just because they disagree with the content.

    EDIT: I reread the post and it does seem like the down-voted person will not receive any negative consequences (loss of points, etc).
    However, I still stand by my earlier comment. There really should not be an 'I disagree' option. The rest of the options for moderation in the pop-up are perfectly fine.

    • aj0690
      +20

      I disagree with you, but the only thing I can do right now is leave the up/down votes alone (I don't want to down vote just because I disagree), however this doesn't actually let you know that I disagree. Sure I can comment, and many might do just that, but being able to publicly record disagreements is great and like DN said can open up new doors to sorting by controversial with can be a very effective way to find good discussions/arguments. Not to mention how well this new concept will teach people to only down vote for moderation purposes instead of hurting placement and reputation with disagreements.

      • microfracture (edited 1 year ago)
        +9

        Ya, I get what you are saying. I suppose I should hold off judgment until I see it in action.
        My aversion to it is mostly due to what people have had to deal with on Reddit. I really like Snapzu and don't ever want to see that happen here.

        I don't want the 'I disagree' count ever be used as a system metric for burying a snap or comment from view at some point down the line. You know?

        I would like that there is more to it then just 'I disagree' though. I would prefer that if someone disagrees with what I wrote or shared that they make a comment explaining why so I could understand, have a conversation with them about it, and maybe even change my stance on an issue.

        • aj0690
          +8

          "I don't want the 'I disagree' count ever be used as a system metric for burying a snap or comment from view at some point down the line. You know?"

          The way I imagine it is that it will be used to actually promote the more "hot/intense" discussions. Personally I think it's amazing that I can go into a post and sort by the most interesting/controversial being shown first, this way I can join a proper discussion and not something where the hivemind is just being agreeable.

      • FrootLoops
        +8

        I don't necessarily disagree with you but this could lead to less comments and therefor less conversation if you can simply click down vote to disagree and don't have to comment on it, right? Just something we should keep in mind. Is it really a good idea to implement a feature that encourages the community to comment less? Could be, i am just not sure.

        • redalastor
          +9

          I don't necessarily disagree with you but this could lead to less comments and therefor less conversation.

          Less redundant conversation, which is good. If someone already offered a great rebuttal, the community does not need me to add "me too!".

          It also doubles as a pressure valve for the tension inherent to the conversation.

        • aj0690
          +7

          I actually think it will do the opposite. Going to re-read the post, but I feel with the new sorting function it will promote discussion instead of squelching it.

          • FrootLoops
            +4

            Really, how so? If I can simply down vote to disagree why should i be bothered to make a comment?

            • aj0690
              +10

              People can do this now. Yet discussions are still happening so I don't think a "I Disagree" option will change that.

            • FrootLoops
              +4
              @aj0690 -

              They can but they shouldn't. I still believe that even if the current down vote button is used as a "I Disagree" button not all do so and use it as it is supposed to be used. I think in the future more people who would have commented simply use the "I Disagree" button. Hopefully that will not happen, we will see.

        • FurtWigglepants
          +3

          This.

          • FurtWigglepants
            +5

            You don't really want a lot of these type comments do you?

    • baron778
      +9

      From what I read 'disagreement' down votes will not appear as down votes but instead as a new gray round icon.

    • hallucigenia
      +3

      There really should not be an 'I disagree' option.

      That was my first thought reading this. If you disagree, then make a comment and say so. Disagreement should require engaging in a dialog, which is productive, versus just hitting a button, which is not. It encourages them to explain why they disagree.

      • FurtWigglepants
        +4

        Unless they've already gotten 3 replies saying the same thing you would. It'll show severity, something that someone might like to know when they venture into the wrong tribe.

  • Triseult
    +22

    Giving a symbolic "disagree" option is really cool. I like this.

    • redalastor
      +10

      What I like best is that it prevents what happened to reddit's downvote. It used to be the exact same as Snapzu's and through lack of cultural reinforcing it become what it is now and has been for years with little hope of being fixed.

      Now, the cultural education is built into the very software so no matter how many new users we get at once, they will be taught. And the abuse may easily be curtailed by moderators.

  • aj0690
    +11

    I was wondering how the blind down voting will be fixed, this sounds like a really good approach.

  • FrootLoops
    +10

    Hi,

    sounds good to me in general but i have a question which is directly related to something i suggested.

    It is important to note that members abusing the report function by making false reports or reporting situations that in no way break the rules (like reporting unpopular opinions) may loose their ability to use “Tier 2” and “Tier 3” moderation tools. Tier 3 reports significantly effect member reputation.

    How do you plan to control / monitor this? My suggestion was transparency. Make the users who down voted visible to anyone. If they have a valid reason to down vote there should be no reason to not show it. I mean, they are down voting a public post / opinion, so their own opinion ( the down vote) should be public as well.

    An other topic.

    Any news regarding NSFW content? Right now it's dead, i would really like to see more diverse content.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    -FrootLoops

    • drunkenninja (edited 1 year ago)
      +16

      For privacy reasons will never publish or make available any votes be up / down or moderation. Doing so can lead to witch hunts, retaliations and will generally make the mood of the community much worse as a result. We will just need to accept that no system is perfect, as anonymous voting is as important to us as being anonymous on Snapzu.

      In regards to the NSFW content, we are working to allow members to toggle NSFW content ON/OFF we feel this is the best approach to solving the issue. If you have any ideas in regards to this, please PM me.

      • FrootLoops
        +8

        I read a similar reasoning for not making it public before but i don't understand it. Could you elaborate on this please?

        When you don't show it a user can harass someone and downvote anything just for fun.

        We will just need to accept that no system is perfect, as anonymous voting is as important to us as being anonymous on Snapzu.

        Anyone can see my username, the same would be true for showing the username when you voted. It's not more or less anonymous. A down vote should not be used as a disagree button in the first place so if someone only uses the down vote as it is supposed to be used there is absolutely no reason to not show the username. The big advantage is that you can see when someone abuses the system. An other advantage would be to get in touch with the user and even alter your post so he agrees with it.

        • drunkenninja
          +9

          Doing so can lead to witch hunts, retaliations and will generally make the mood of the community much worse as a result.

          For this reason alone we will not be making voting public. Members abusing moderation tools (just for fun or otherwise) will be blocked from using them if their reports are false, this will be an automated process using the 3 strike rule. Members that continue to abuse the moderation tools may even result in losing their ability completely or ultimately having their accounts removed. We track all flags and reports, our system will be able to easily put together a list of abusers that an algorithm can handle based on admin responses to the moderation requests.

          • FrootLoops
            +8

            Hey /u/drunkenninja ,

            what do you mean by witch hunt? I mean, obviously i know what it means but i cannot imagine such a scenario if you use the voting system as intended.

            How will you decide if someone abuses the system? For example. If someone down votes my post all the time with different reasons. I cannot imagine an automated system that can really handle something like that. Especially because i tried implementing something like this before (and gave up after a while because it did not work).

            It is absolutely frustrating when you invested a lot of time in your snaps and 1 minute later see "down voted because copy pasta". It would help me immensely if i could see who down voted me and get in touch with them. Maybe making it public only to OP would be a solution?

            Well, in the end i still don't understand why someone should have the right to stay invisible when downvoting but he can see my username when i post something. It's absolutely the same. But it's unfair how it is implemented right now because it only protects the down voter but not OP.

            -FrootLoops

            • drunkenninja
              +8

              When flags & reports are processed via a queue, administrators can accept or deny them. These decisions are tracked via an algorithm that will put together trends based on users that abuse the moderation tools. Once a user starts trending due to administrators rejecting their reports, a system will track and remove moderation rights of certain users, a three strike rule will ultimately ban abusive accounts for life and can even lead to a termination. It's also good to note that members below level 15 cannot use the report function, and until you are level 10 you cannot use the moderation tools at all. I believe members with high enough profiles will not want to risk having their accounts deleted due to abuse. Either way, I wont reveal the details further as we don't want anyone to try and exploit this approach. I hope this answers your question /u/frootloops.

            • FrootLoops (edited 1 year ago)
              +5
              @drunkenninja -

              ok, so it's a semi automatic system, that makes more sense now. But that would mean all down votes for specifc reasons have to moderated actively, right?

              Any more comments to my other questions / suggestions? If you don't want to answer them now that's ok, i am just making sure you didn't overlooked them.

              1. Witchhunt example, i really don't get it?

              2. Only public to OP?

              3. Difference between OP and down voter protection?

              Thanks

            • drunkenninja (edited 1 year ago)
              +7
              @FrootLoops -

              \/
              1. Not all profiles are anonymous, we don't force people to make anonymous profiles. Making any votes public can cause privacy problems, we don't want to encourage nor enable this sort of activity.
              2. Nope, we are sticking with 100% anonymous.
              3. Not sure I fully understand this question. Can you elaborate?

            • SevenTales
              +4
              @drunkenninja -

              I think what /u/FrootLoops means to say is that while the downvoter is anonymous, the commenter isn't. The protection scale is different for one who voices his opinion through commenting, and one who voices his opinion through voting, which creates inequality.

            • FrootLoops (edited 1 year ago)
              +4
              @drunkenninja -

              Well, I think after reading your answer to 2) there is no point in discussing this further. If it's set in stone there is no point in it.

            • drunkenninja (edited 1 year ago)
              +4
              @FrootLoops -

              Well, I think after reading your answer to 2) there is no point in discussing this further. If it's set in stone there is no point in it.

              This is how the system works now, so the new functionality is focused on improving other areas but not changing our stance on making votes public.

            • drunkenninja
              +4
              @SevenTales -

              Both options remain a choice, no one is forcing anyone to do anything. Comments can be about anything and cannot be seen as irrefutable evidence of a vote and thus even if a comment is made, the vote remains anonymous.

  • SevenTales
    +10

    Hmmm. Let's see if I can make everything clearer to myself, and then have an opinion.
    So now you legitimize a disagree button, but quarantine the votes to another category. If there is to be a disagree button, which I still think shouldn't exist, it's probably the best system you could implement to make everyone happy. It has the nifty side effect of showing truly controversial comments, which I like, but I still think we are trying to put in numbers what shouldn't have to be. A good conversation or debate needs more than yes and noes. I would think that the best course of action for someone who disagree with me would be to actually comment and disagree with me, telling me why they do so. Having a disagree button pre-empts that very discussion, by giving an easy way out for the one who disagrees. A no, and move on.

    If we are, as a community, to emphasize quality over quantity, which I think is the right way to go, a disagree system is not the preferred way about this I should think. Actually giving comments weight in the system would be a really nice way of doing things. You can add a disagree to this comment by commenting and selecting the -1 option before posting would be, in my opinion, a nice way of doing things. Comments could have an obligatory weight (selectable just before post comment, a +1 and -1), and larger and deeper discussions would naturally rise to the top. Which I'm still thinking should be the way we want to go as a community.

    The Idea of moderating through the downvote I can get behind. I like it. It's simple, and effective, and breaks the downvote as disagree button mentality that so many users dread.

  • Xeno
    +7

    Very cool, though I still think changing the visualization of the downvote button would work (though now it makes more sense with a disagreement option), I'm glad you guys are taking our feedback into account and implementing a system as heavy as this.

  • massani
    +7

    CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY! Thanks for considering the popover! This exceeded my expectations, and more.

  • Cobbydaler
    +7

    Great job and well thought out. Looking forward to seeing the new functionality.

  • [Deleted Profile]

    [This comment was removed]

  • redalastor
    +6

    That's going to help with some issues I have with reddit reporting. Namely every report being « sexualizing minors » no matter the reason why it's reported.

    It's missing an option for « breaking tribal rules ».

    Can you add a moderation of « ignore that user's reports in the future »? No need to tell me who the user is though. There's some rare but extremely trigger happy users that report large swaths of content and it's really annoying.

    Also, can you automatically prevent reporting to tribes a user has been banned from. Revenge reporting is a pain on reddit.

    Otherwise, it's pretty good. I like the disagree option as a downvote sink for people who absolutely need to click it.

    • drunkenninja
      +4

      Can you add a moderation of « ignore that user's reports in the future »? No need to tell me who the user is though. There's some rare but extremely trigger happy users that report large swaths of content and it's really annoying.

      Yes, members that abuse the moderation system will have their moderation tools suspended.

      Also, can you automatically prevent reporting to tribes a user has been banned from. Revenge reporting is a pain on reddit.

      This is impossible to do because content is posted in multiple tribes. We will however effectively enforce our rules when it comes to moderation tools and remove that ability should it be abused.

      • redalastor (edited 1 year ago)
        +3

        Actually, some of these may be misunderstandings. We can't really communicate back to the reporter. Could you tell them that their reports have been declined?

        • drunkenninja
          +3

          I'm not sure what you mean exactly. Can you elaborate?

          • redalastor
            +5

            Someone reports something as violating tribal rules. It actually doesn't and likely comes from a misunderstanding of the rules. You can't tell the reporter so they continue reporting which is a pain in the butt.

            • FrootLoops
              +5

              That's one advantage i mentioned. I want to be able to get in touch with the down voters.

            • redalastor (edited 1 year ago)
              +4
              @FrootLoops -

              Most forum software trying to do what snapzu does offer three responses to reports:

              Confirm : The report is good and is or will be acted upon. The user reported about will be penalized (in karma or otherwise)

              Reject : The report is wrong, spurious, or otherwise should not have been made. The reporter will be penalized.

              Ignore : The report is in a gray area. No one will be penalized.

              Ignore is good for those cases of "We should have a rule about that but we currently don't so I can't punish that person for it.".

  • Fooferhill (edited 1 year ago)
    +6

    Thanks to Snapzu admins for taking on board all the feedback and developing the site with this in mind. I too disagree about the option for down votes to have a form of disagreement-I prefer this to be expressed as a comment. Such commentary is an attractive feature of Snapzu as it in invites respectful debate. That said, we'll see how it works and I am sure the admins will review the impact of this change over time.
    Another suggestion that I would find helpful is to be able to see Tribe rules on mobile devices. I am almost exclusively on a mobile device so don't see the rules often enough. I try to check them on a desktop but would find it helpful to be able to easily see them often to be sure I am aware of them

  • AdelleChattre
    +6

    This is phenomenal. Team Snapzu, you’ll get a lot of feedback about aspects of this. Whatever else is said here, thanks for advancing the state of the art, again. Best of luck.

  • ckshenn
    +5

    Nice work! Looking forward to this.

  • jcscher
    +5

    I like this,congrats on the update. One step at a time we are moving forward. The "disagree" option is good,but I would rather just not vote on something I disagree with. The no one should see how you voted is what makes snapzu special.

  • pseudopsynic
    +5

    This is just another example of why I love Snapzu. The admins are great!

    I'm excited to see this functionality implemented. Keep up the good work guys!

  • Gozzin
    +1

    This is excellent...Your going to give similar websites a run for heir money.

  • lgramlich
    0

    Where do I send my DMCA notice, to stop your users from stealing and publishing my work?

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