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Re: Voting on messages: a way to resolve the mailing list problems


On Sat, 20 Dec 2008, Jurij Smakov wrote:
> and so on. The way I would like to see this idea developing is that it 
> starts as an unofficial project, with very simple rules (like, "you 
> can vote once for each message ID"), which simply collects the data 
> and makes it publicly available in some way. Interested parties and 
> individuals can then use the data to provide their own metrics (and 
> try to convince others that their way of calculating the mailing list 
> "karma" is the right one). Eventually, we should be able to settle on 
> one authoritative way of calculating it, which can become "official", 
> and used to develop procedures for warning the offensive posters that 
> their behaviour is considered disruptive, for example.
> I believe that at this point Nick Rusnov, John Goerzen and myself have 
> expressed interest in working on the first stage of the project. If 
> you have any ideas or comments - please share, we would also welcome 
> your contribution if you decide to help out with it.

I agree it's worth trying (I also came to a similar proposal several times
when I tried to imagine how to give feedback to people who are starting to
cause troubles with their behaviour on lists). I'm not at all convinced
that it will work or be useful, but I really don't have a better idea.
Depending on your implementation choices, I might be able to help a bit.
Keep me in the loop.

Various remarks:
- making data available doesn't mean that people will regularly follow
  them, there must be a mechanism to inform the contributor when a threshold
  has been reached so that they are informed that many people found their
  messages objectionable
- classifying in good/bad is not enough, we need to be able to express
  what we find incorrect (personal attacks, too many replies that repeat
  the same thing, improper vocabulary, …)
- having such a mechanism not only helps posters to be aware that their
  messages are causing troubles, it also helps newcomers to better
  identify the problematic contributors and they might avoid starting an
  argument with them.
- later on, depending on how it works, the listmasters might want to hook
  up some filters on this data so that someome who repeats himself too
  much is blocked during 24h to post in the same list (for example)
- mutt macros can be written to make it handy for us to quickly
  give feedback

On Sat, 20 Dec 2008, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> Now, I like your mechanism way more than moderation, because yours is
> self-regulating. Still, a problem I spotted with the shadow list also
> affects your mechanism, namely: context loss. What if a very
> bad/unpolite/rude/useless message gets scored down (which is quite
> probable) whether a nice/constructive/ polite response to it gets
> scored up (which is as probable)? People only following the "good"
> messages will experience context loss receiving a reply to a message
> they are missing.

The goal is not (necessarily to) filter the messages that we want to see
or not, the goal is to give feedback to contributors so that they know if
their messages were in line or not with what people expect on the list.
The hope is that contributors will try to avoid doing the same mistake
once that many people pointed it out explicitely.

> In a sense, it seems to me that the mechanism work properly only if we
> switch in mass to it.

Not sure, but it's surely more representative if many people use it.

Raphaël Hertzog

Le best-seller français mis à jour pour Debian Etch :

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