Down Vote Abuse - Upcoming Fix

Greetings everyone,

Today we had a user join Snapzu and place almost 300 down votes (all random, no specific targets) in approximately 15-20 minutes. This was clearly an attack on our community, however our system detected it and suspended the user before it got out of hand.

This cannot (and will not) happen again as we will be implementing a down vote limitation for all accounts (new and old), something that we've been meaning to implement but never had a reason to do so until now. Experience (XP) levels will be used to determine how many down votes each member can place in a given day.

The down voting limits will be as follows:

  • (New) Accounts levels 1-9: 5 total down votes per day
  • Accounts levels 10-19: 10 total down votes per day
  • Accounts levels 20-29: 15 total down votes per day
  • Accounts levels 30-34: 20 total down votes per day
  • Accounts levels 35-39: 25 total down votes per day
  • Accounts levels 40-44: 30 total down votes per day
  • Accounts levels 45-49: 50 total down votes per day
  • Accounts level 50: 100 total down votes per day

All accounts will, of course, have unlimited up votes, as normal. For those affected, we apologize for any issues in regarding the loss of any of your reputation score due to this event, as we cannot reverse the down votes. We hope you understand.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please use the comments area below and we will get back to you when we can. Thanks for your time.

8 years ago by teamsnapzu with 34 comments

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Conversation 21 comments by 11 users
  • AvocadoAtLaw (edited 8 years ago)

    Don't know how I feel about these rules. I think, accounts from 1-10 should not be able to downvote, just to make sure they establish themselves within the community and thus less likely to troll or spam. From that point on everyone should get the same amount of downvotes. Otherwise you are effectively making classes and separating them. Levels no longer become a fun game but social divisions. If a new user came in and downvoted 100 posts in a day that would be spamming and wrong but if a level 50 user downvotes 100 posts a day is fine? What of users that don't post/comment often but are loyal members of the website? Is their voice not as important as the rest?

    But that's just me.

    I appreciate the hardwork you do TeamSnapzu! Keep it up.

    • drunkenninja

      I don't really see it as creating classes, but instead mitigating risk by unlocking more access to powerful function as you progress. Lemme ask you... Would you risk joining a down vote brigade at level 50 just so that you can cause some short term damage, then be caught by the system and banned and deleted? I mean, it took me over 2 years of constant activity to reach this position (more if i had poor reputation), I wouldn't risk it even if I did have access to those 100 down votes. But as a level 50, I would definitely down vote multiple content to make sure that the community I'm so dedicated to remains clear of spam, trolls and poor content.

      Anyway, just like the many other unlocks that work in the same manner, I feel that level based down vote credits are the way to go.

    • 90boss (edited 8 years ago)

      If you were talking about up votes then I would totally agree. But down votes are basically only intended for spammers and the occasional troll so I don't mind giving more to the more established users that have devoted their time and effort to reach whatever level there at. And this is coming from newb that just joined a few days ago.

      • AvocadoAtLaw

        I just don't think levels are an effective way of giving people power. At the very least I would say that reputation should be used instead, that way the most engaging/active members of the community get this privilege , this way downvoting rights can not be obtained by posting a CNN article every half an hour in an obscure tribe and thus abusing the system. Maybe give users with different tiers of reputation more downvotes or weight the downvotes differently depending on your reputation.

        • drunkenninja (edited 8 years ago)

          Reputation technically is being used even when it doesn't seem like it is. Earning XP is heavily dependent on how good your REP score is, the better it is the quicker you earn XP for basically anything you do on snapzu. If my reputation score is 49.5% I am earning XP half as quickly as someone with a reputation score of 99%. This means that if my rep remains at the 50% mark, it would take me twice as long to reach 50 as someone with 99%. Having said that, to earn a reputation of 99% it currently takes about 3 months of being a really active/contributing member not to mention it is more volatile, compared to the 2+ years it takes to reach level 50, you can see why level based down votes tend to be the better and more vested option.

          • aj0690

            This does make sense.

        • 90boss

          How does this reputation work exactly?

          • AvocadoAtLaw

            It is my understanding that reputation score is calculated using an algorithm that keeps track of up and down votes on content and comments that you post. So is basically a calculator that averages as out the upvotes/downvotes that you receive daily and adds it to your overall reputation.

            • TNY

              There is limited pool of votes so if you reach the limit older votes will be removed to make room for new votes.

            • messi

              Don't forget that all members start with 65%. So to keep around that you essentially would need 2 up votes for every 1 down vote.

        • TNY

          Very interesting observation, plus it gives the reputation function more meaning. I like it.

          • Gozzin

            As do I...And if the person acts like a troll (as this one did),they get treated as a troll.

    • kigurame

      Honestly at 5 downvotes at 1-10 i really don't think there would be any damage. As for classes yes maybe. But the problem with classes is that they are so ingrained in human behavior we create them ourselves unknowingly even in online fora. Even the fact of having a fun "game" with levels creates social divisions having these levels of won't make it any worse. More or less think of it as the junior / senior / elder separation. One tends to respect elders more because of their long experience in life. This is the same in a virtual community the higher levels have been here longer and worked with and for this community longer thus deserve more respect.

      • canuck

        Spot on about respecting the elders idea. Levels give you a quick indication of who exactly you are talking to. Just like a persons image would in real life (in this case, wrinkles, grey hair)

        • kigurame (edited 8 years ago)

          Thank you :-) people generally get really upset when i mention that it's human nature to create hierarchy. We live in this world where it is preached that everybody is equal and i honestly think that is a wonderful thing and many many decades from now we might even get somewhat close to that. However currently this premise is highly unpractical the world needs a hierarchy to function and the same goes for these online communities.

    • bogdan

      I can definitely see where you're coming from, but I think I can help you think of it in a different way.

      I view this as a restriction upon the downvote system, and not the enhancement of the upper class . Downvotes have a really big power, and I feel like this power should not be readily available to anyone.

      While I don't know if limiting the number is a good idea, I do think that new users need to be deterred from going on a rampage and messing everything up.

      • AvocadoAtLaw (edited 8 years ago)

        Then shouldn't the community decide who gets to exercise the downvote power? If its simply done by levels the community does not decide, simple activity in the site, even low quality activity would give them the right, as it get them levels. If it was done by reputation the community would have some say.

    • Crator

      If someone; even a long time member starting rapidly downvoting everything would the system not catch that?

      • drunkenninja

        It did catch that, but not quick enough. This update will patch that up.

  • bradd

    I seldom down vote so I'm totally ok with this if it takes care of abuse. Don't you dare touch my up votes though.

  • Moderator

    Oh, wow. I received 14 of those downvotes.

    Thanks for the quick action.

  • Chubros

    I noticed these. That post we had earlier may have had something to do with it but probably not.

    • rawlings

      Timing is spot on. Who knows, maybe someone wanted some attention and got it.

  • Cheesemangeur

    It's very reassuring to see that you've got this under control, and already implemented a new system to stop this from happening again. Thanks for informing us as well.

    It looks like a good idea to restrict the number of downvotes per level, and should stop abuse or "downvote brigades" somewhat.

  • Crator

    This is a good way to start fixing things. This should cripple the trolls and spammers from brigadeing very easily. Glad to see your on the case!

    • caelreth

      Agreed. Even if it isn't the permanent solution (I kind of agree with the above conversation re: using rep more as the arbiter of downvote power), at least this should provide a window for discussion about the permanent fix.

  • Kysol

    Have it so that if a senior member down votes something that you have down voted, that down vote doesn't count to your daily total. Down votes are meant for us to help peer moderate, if someone posts 20 bad articles a day (and by bad I mean, they need to be removed), then newer users can only help stop by down voting a handful of the posts.

    TL;DR: Lv40~45+ accounts should be able to restock down votes of younger members if they down vote as well.

    • txjuit

      I personally really disagree with this idea. It encourages the same kind of popularity voting that takes place on reddit. If Unidan (before his fall) disagreed with something in a comment, the post he replied to would instantly be downvoted to a ridiculous degree, even on matters of opinion. There were/are many other users with the same influence, I just don't know them offhand. If users had limited amounts of negative votes to give, they would have to personally disagree, not just vote down on a whim because everyone else is doing it. I think that this in turn promotes more independent thinking.

      As for the solution to your example, gladsdotter is on point, send a PM or report it somehow outside of the voting system.

  • Winter

    I agree with this! Only a few downvotes can completely ruin a user's reputation, and I'm glad you are setting up a system to stop that from happening.

  • VoyagerXyX

    Thanks for all the hard work Snapzu! You have quite the site here! I agree with many others (as a Level 5 myself) I really think level 1 - 10 should not have the ability to down vote at all. That's just an opinion of course!