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9:00 PM
@TravisJ not quite what I'm getting at.
I don't really see the utility in allowing Q downvotes beyond roomba and off frontpage range either @Catija
At that point it's not really a signal anymore
I know that wasn't your whole point, but that was one of my concerns with it.
Let's stop thinking of hypothetical well-intentioned questions for a moment, and think about the sort of blatant spam that tends to show up in this room on a regular basis.
Now... Most folks who see that are going to not be happy about seeing it
So, no such thing as noisy downvotes?
And smokey kills it within five minutes most of the time.
9:01 PM
They're gonna try to do something about the problem
Imagine we don't have smokey, or even a spam flag
what's gonna happen to these posts?
There needs to be more of an economy with question downvotes.
Well, we can observe that on small sites, spam can hang around for weeks
If mods aren't attentive and Smoke Detector doesn't generate enough attention, blatant spam can just sit there, as site regulars come across it in their browsing
And... Some of them do spam-flag it, but a lot don't realize that they can
so they downvote, and they leave comments to the effect of "this is blatant spam", and occasionally they even raise moderator flags containing "this is blatant spam"
And by the time the post gets deleted, it has all of these frustrated comments and downvotes
@TravisJ thought experiment. Please bear with me
Now, we mostly know what to do with spam. Unhandled spam isn't a huge problem. This hypothetical scenario doesn't exist.
...for spam
But now you have a question like the one that came up on meta the other day, about the kid sitting in his finals test posting a link to his assignment on SO and asking folks to hurry up & write a solution before the test ended.
Just like spam, most folks seeing this are not going to be happy.
They're going to want to do something about what they perceive as a clear problem.
If they can't find a suitable close reason, they're going to flag. If they can't find a suitable flag, they're going to comment, or downvote, or use a less suitable flag, or all of the above
Even if we for some reason removed closing and downvoting and commenting... You better believe folks would be posting angry answers.
The only way to prevent that is to go to the source: stop people from seeing things that are going to make them reflexively angry.
slash worried / concerned / terrified
Now... You see where I'm going with this, @Travis? We can discuss clever ways of restricting voting or discouraging voting or even hiding votes... But that's not the root cause, that's just treating symptoms. May still be worthwhile, but not as a fix.
Q: Users arriving at a bad Hot Network Question should be able to express their dislike

user259867The hotness score of a question is influenced by the reaction of users arriving from across the network. Since most of such users do not have 125 rep on the question's site, the feedback SE receives is one-sided: the algorithm hears those who like the question (via upvotes), and ignores those wh...

9:12 PM
Why are we flagging that?
@gnat how many questions would you have DVed on IPS if you had the ability?
what the hell Travis?
Spammy to just drop a one box out of the blue, especially when that has been linked in here so many times.
@TravisJ He's specifically responding to my message above.
It's a linked reply to me.
I missed the reply link at first.
@Shog9 That's sort of why my idea was specifically related to the downvote count that pulls it off the front page.
9:15 PM
Well, the question isn't about skin cream
@Catija again, not sure what it fixes
@Catija unfortunately, we've known for a while that a majority of people aren't looking at the front page on Stack Overflow. It's just too noisy / irrelevant.
If you post a really cringe-worthy question in [java], most of the first people to see it will find it by watching [java] or a filter that contains [java].
@Shog9 I knew it!
And chances are, there's no minimum score threshold on that filter.
... that sort of reads like "if it's not of use to SO..."
That, and the fact that if they'll feel unwelcome, they'd do it by -4
9:17 PM
is the front page of SO tailored to the user in any way?
@Catija If it's completely ineffective on SO, then it's at least mildly ineffective on Math, AU, SU... Yes, probably useful on smaller sites, but also harder to tell.
i thought it was, and to me seems to be because i mostly see things that i'm interested in anyway.
@KevinB yes
@KevinB it has the user's profile linked on top
But, weighted heavily toward new questions.
@Shog9 smaller site guy says they hardly ever make it to less than -4
Jeff Atwood on November 09, 2010

As I mentioned in The Horror of No Answer: Revival and Necromancer:

It’s fine — expected, even — for there to be a “long tail” of questions that are too obscure, too narrow, or just plain unanswerable for whatever reason. Sometimes you have to be patient; it takes the time it takes. But seeing the number of zero-answer questions grow by 50% over a 3 month period is definitely concerning.

Part of this is our fault for not adapting the homepage to the massive amount of question activity that Stack Overflow now enjoys. We’re working on it, but it will take some time to figure out the right approach. …

@KevinB That's not completely current, but close enough ^
19 mins ago, by Aaron Hall
There needs to be more of an economy with question downvotes.
@AaronHall I'll export upvotes if you import bounties
9:22 PM
Stack Overflow needs to hire an economist, I think.
@Shog9 If the root cause involves users posting questions which cause angry / worried / concerned / terrified responses then isn't that several causes? One for each response? If someone is absolutely terrified of the ramifications of a post, versus simply concerned that it may at some point with many other posts similar cause a regression of quality, versus worried that we will all be taken advantage of for answering code requests, etc. Then aren't those different problems?
Different reactions, I guess
@AaronHall only if there's a possibility to acquire reputation actions that fructify as the users get successful
@TravisJ Unless one of those categories prompts a reaction of "I'm going to quickly edit this post so future readers won't have this viscerally negative response to it", not really
Arguably, downvoting is the least problematic response in these cases, since it's anonymous and there's no way to distinguish between someone motivated by knee-jerk anger vs. a calm collected evaluation of merit.
9:25 PM
Oh, while I'm posting blog posts, this one is relevant:
David Robinson on March 09, 2017

Yesterday we were amused to see this post on Reddit’s sysadmin forum:

Our architecture lead Nick Craver looked into this and gave a great answer, including that about 29% of the previous day’s Stack Overflow traffic was to the home page.

From his perspective as a system administrator, that’s exactly the right analysis. Nick’s team has to ensure the site renders reliably and quickly, so counting the number of requests make sense. However, as a data scientist I’m more interested in how users view the site, and the vast majority of our traffic comes from automated traffic, including search engines and scrapers. …

Note that this just measures visits, not visits that lead to anything specific (viewing questions, answering, downvoting, commenting). But reasonable for scale
So, moving to a different route then. If users are guaranteed to "want to do something about what they perceive as a clear problem", and I only mention this because of the recent topicality which is kind of what prompted all of this, what can be done to ensure that users don't respond by simply eviscerating the user creating the perceived problem? Isn't that one of the recent concerns?
... related... @Shog9 there was some discussion of the propriety of dving and deleting blatantly off topic questions here on MSE... thoughts?
you could... give them some action to take
@Catija I try to delete as quickly as possible
What happened to down vote and move on?
9:28 PM
I don't think it does anyone any favors to keep them around for discussion or downvoting. Someone is in very much the wrong place, and generally the questions aren't very good even if they were in the right place.
@Shog9 That seems to be the general practice. Apparently it's not a common reaction on the network.
Once in a very great while, someone will post a well-written question on meta and I'll leave a comment to the effect of, "try [site]" before deleting.
Right, but you can unilaterally delete them... for us mere mortals, we have to DV and close.
but we can't just give a fast track to deletion to regular users, that'd surely be mis-used?
And your comments stay in their inbox after they're deleted.
9:30 PM
@Catija yep.
@KevinB There have been some people recommending having actual mods for MSE.
But I doubt they'd ever do that.
@KevinB that is the risk I would worry about too, someone going on some sort of a broadly interpreted cleanse of what they perceived as low quality and removing dozens of old posts. Perhaps if it was scoped only to questions asked in the first 5 minutes at -2.
(-2 or worse)
or pushed to a queue capable of dealing with
(no idea if one exists currently, i don't do reviews)
Alternately, 50K rep goal :P
There isn't really in that regards.
or 30k rep?
9:33 PM
There's no delete queue, no.
Well, the LQP queue is sort of a delete queue.
Delete questions that are at -4 or lower and less than 15 minutes old. 50k rep? 30k? somewhere in there
i meant, like triage, only with another option for this specific type of question
I don't really know anything about triage.
It involves bandages and bedside manner.
9:36 PM
ok, I gotta run, but I seriously think we need to reconsider the rep economy around questions.
@Catija it would take a lot of effort to estimate that reliably. Once upon a time I made similar effort and estimated how many answers I would DV in HNQ (on a different site though). Result was more than 50% (of about 200 answers)...
Q: Answers quality in hot questions

gnatFor few recent months, I've got a habit of downvoting answers which quality doesn't look OK to me. These probably can be generally described as low effort and/or these lacking relevance to question asked. Opinionated slogans, claims that are not backed up by appropriate references or by ...

@gnat Yeah. I have the same concerns about answers on IPS... but that would be more complex to change since they come with a penalty... so even if we lowered the dv rep requirement, user's would run out of votes eventually.
I don't mind users who use their votes, even if they don't otherwise participate in the site.
and i think removing either of those (rep cost, and the fact that you could lose the privilege) wouldn't be good
Yeah, the other option is to lower the rep requirement to 100 but stop charging for DVs on answers... but that seems like a very scary change from the rest of the network... and it'd be unlikely users would be aware they had the option and likely not try.
I think our issue right now is more focused on comments. ... we... delete a lot of them.
it costing something, and being losable, makes you think twice about using it. but that kinda gets lost once you gain a few hundred rep i guess
9:49 PM
10:04 PM
@Catija that would be somewhat similar to community wiki which has ended rather poorly. Yes, hardly a good option
@gnat I don't see how CW would be analogous, though? They seem pretty different to me.
10:16 PM
@Catija stop charging for DVs on answers was one of the main points of CW
That's not how I ever interpreted it...
The main point of CW was to encourage the community to work together to write good answers... on some sites they're useful. They've been used for answering huge, broad, canonical, or FAQ-type questions and encourage people to edit them to improve them. You could have achieved the same without getting rid of the cost of downvoting.
so I was just about to go to the airport to welcome my sister just getting home from France, but my other sister just called saying that their plane was rerouted, and they landed two hours ago. so long for the surprise, and damn you weather.
... lol, I'm so unwelcoming
Weird... why wait two hours to let you know?
I will be sure to ask for details :)
note: two hours is the time I evaluate, taking into account that getting out of an airport takes forever.
@Catija working together on good answers is naturally followed by letting freely vote down bad answers (free editing under 2k rep was probably slightly more important feature of CW but free DVs were at the core too)
10:22 PM
If they were, I never knew it. :P Until you mentioned it just now, I had no clue that it was free to DV them.
... on the other hand, I can give this factorio game a bit more love.
Which is sort of my point for changing the limit/removing the cost... if people don't know that is the case... it doesn't do much good.
It's honestly very hard to suss out what the intended point of CW was. It originally worked rather differently from how it works now, and has always been kind of a weird fit. If I had to guess, I'd say it was probably a nod to the intended "wiki" dimension of the system as a whole - "this is how you can eliminate voting and reputation and ownership and go full-on wiki-mode". But in practice it's always been a little weird.
@gnat It's not just that downvotes are free, all associated reputation is removed.
@Shog9 The only utility I have found for it recently is that no one seems to assume ulterior motives aside from trying to help if you post an answer as a CW.
Do you like the way they've been used on, say Cooking? I particularly appreciate the cooking terms post.
10:27 PM
@Shog9 the worst part was when you could still choose to make questions CW when asking. CW for answers I can understand to some extent, CW for questions never made any sense, and we actually expected users to make a choice when asking there.
And here on MSE they're used for the FAQs.
@TravisJ Really? Every time I see one (particularly on MSE) I tend to assume one of two things, depending on the user/answer 1. they're new and don't know what a CW is, so they just ticked the box... or 2. they know that there's something wrong with their answer and they're avoiding the rep penalty. It doesn't happen often either way but... :/
@Catija It is rare. Of thousands of answers, maybe a handful are CW.
i have no idea why 4 of my answers are CW
They used to be more prevalent when 20? edits would trigger an automatic conversion.
i'm guessing i just didn't want rep for them?
10:32 PM
Maybe there were more than 20 edits?
Maybe the whole question got CW'd and it took your answer with it?
Maybe batman.
8, and 3 for first two i looked at
and none of the questions are CW
Going with batman.
@Catija that dates back to the very, very early days of Stack Overflow, when the MSE FAQ lived under the [sofaq] tag on Stack Overflow itself. CW ensured two things: that the FAQ could be updated easily (relatively few people had full edit rights) and that no one got unreal reputation for writing documentation for the system itself.
Also keep in mind that suggested edits didn't exist when CW was created
looking at the history, i turned it into a CW 3 years later.
that was last year, why would i have done that
10:36 PM
@Shog9 But, even now it's a good thing... the last part... particularly so many years later, the FAQ posts get updated all the time... usually not by the person who actually wrote them, so it doesn't make sense to continuously give them credit for something they started long ago...
(not entirely accurate, since that FAQ itself was compiled from a bunch of questions about Stack Overflow on Stack Overflow... But close enough)
Though, the FAQs are becoming more and more the actual documentation for the site, over even the help pages to a degree.
@Catija oh yeah, it's a good system
@Catija There was a request yesterday to turn the help pages into Q&A's
I don't even know how that'd work... They're the same across the network (mostly)...
10:46 PM
It didn't go over very well
I've heard requests to make them editable... or to add a section that is editable so that if there's site specific content, mods can add it.
ugh morning.
The original goal with the Help Center project was to have consistent, easy-to-find documentation that'd be accessible to more people than the (increasingly dense) MSE FAQs. Of course, that overlooks the fact that a lot of the folks writing them were the same people who made those MSE FAQs so damn dense to begin with...
That... doesn't sound like what a Saturday morning should sound like...
(at work till 8, and have a 2 hour trip home to look forward to)
10:49 PM
Ooof... now that's a commute.
Happy hour? :D
oh it would be shorter but this place is in the middle of nowhere
and there's one bus out.... and I can only take it about half the time
How else do you manage?
the routes's a figure 8 shape with my workplace in the middle
Well its a job?
No, you said you can only take the bus half the time... what do you do the other half.
basically the bus stops at the stop outside work twice in its route
one time it dosen't go to the train station (for a lomg while), the other it does
so the bus won't stop or they'd go "no no no (other place)"
then I need to wait longer
10:52 PM
How far is it to the train? Could you bike or something like that?
quite a bit
and there's no proper sidewalk here
the place is designed not to be walked to
Ah. :(
@Shog9 Sounds like you need some better writers ;)
hey, I can be concise. It just takes me ages
writing is iterative?
@Shog9 I'm sure... some of the longest emails you've sent me are the ones where you don't have any time to write... :/
11:01 PM
of course. First draft is just typing speed. At a steady 80wpm, you can crank out 2K words in a half hour and have time for coffee.
Editing, OTOH...
11:49 PM
@Shog9 Thankfully I didn't write the Help Center

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