Thursday, February 02, 2006

Don't be so negative

It seems that OSNews is in a quest against negative numbers. After adding the comments rating feature some time ago, they decided that people should really not vote comments down. When you try it you get a page noting

Please do not use this feature to vote down comments that you merely disagree with, or even ones that contain factual errors or misinformation. Rather, use the reply feature and enlighten us all with your opinion or correct facts.

And then they warn us that

Moderations may be reviewed by site administrators, volunteer moderators, and/or osnews users now or in the future. Moderations deemed unfair may result in adjustment of your comment votes.

Finally, you have to select the reason why you are voting the comment down.

Voting a comment up is instantaneous.

The rating of a comment can vary between -5 and 5 and note that the initial rating is 1, not 0. Of course very few comments are voted down and the obvious outcome is that most comments are rated 1 or more, a very few are rated 0 and there are some obvious trolls that get rated -5. Ratings of -1 to -4 are almost non-existent.

But this number-cooking wasn't enough for the OSNews team. Now they are also removing article ratings, they are renaming them as "recommendations". What is the difference you ask? You can no longer vote an article down, you can either vote it up (recommend it) or not vote at all!

So OSNews does not have good and bad articles anymore, it only has good and regular ones. It does not have good and bad comments, it has good and better comments. A great way to increase the quality of the site!

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