While I think it's unfair to criticize or impinge upon peoples interest in sensational story telling and controversial flame-fests. I don't think
it's asking so much for the site owners to consider creating a third filtering mechanism to help identify posts from historically in-depth authors.
A month or so back I proposed a way to do this, but sadly it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. I'll
here with the hope that SO reads it
(Per Dr Love I'm reposting from this thread
Front page - Top stories, hot topics, and BEST RATED?
Awhile back MarrsAttax put together a thread
, jokingly, pointing out how to accrue
massive ATS points and keep the post at the top of the ATS front-page (ie/ say something unintelligent - the less research the better so
people have to point out your ignorance; state your case as fact - enraging skeptics; use video - text is boring; make a near-term outrageous /
apocalyptic future prediction; be controversial - libeling a minority group is good
). Though humorous, the underlying point of MarrsAttax's
critique was never addressed.
I ask in earnest. Shouldn't we all
be concerned about sensational stories pushing posts with real merit off the front page?
Yes, people prefer entertainment to in-depth research. Yes, people are easily goaded in to flame wars. And, yes, conspiracy theorists are
prone to sensational story telling. Since we all succumb to these human failings why not add a third filtering mechanism? Currently
ATS filters on two concepts.
- "Flags" (other posters find the thread important / fun / interesting / insightful) which translates to "top stories"
- "post volume" (other posters have strong opinions or are trying to solve / debate some element of the thread) which equals "hot
I propose another filter "best rated."
If ATS added a concept like respect points
or, perhaps, based respect points
off the number of people that have declared the
thread-author as a friend (coupled with the Log of applause?), these respect points
could be added to (flags + Floor[Log(replies+1)]) to create
a composite score for the thread. This composite score would then translate to the "best rated" filter. Meaning a threads "best rated" value could
depreciate if a person removed respect points. I feel comments should be somewhat insignificant in the tabulation because usually in popular threads
they boil down to "me too," "disagree," "you're stupid," "where's the pictures," etc.
So, for example, let's say a person comes to the site, creates a new account (respect=0), and authors a thread titled, "PHYSICAL PROOF gods of
the Pantheon exist! BEHOLD ZEUS'S LIGHTNING ROD!
" It accumulates 50 flags and 40 replies. An older member (respect = 55), who's hugely endeared
by the community, posts a topic titled "University of Arizona study concludes quantum manifestations provably explain all UAPs", it gets 10 flags
and 10 posts.
The new user would have a total composite score of 54 (0+50+Log[40+1]) and the old user would rate 67 (55+10+Log[10+1]).
Now I'm not suggesting that all of the older-users threads get a base 55 advantage. I'd say the base 55 should activate after about 5-10 user flags.
At that point there's evidence people have a genuine interest in the thread; or scale the base points in at a rate of (CEILING[.10*respect points])
per flag up to a max of 10 flags.
One of the reasons I like the concept of "respect points" is it encourages people to behave. If someone removes a respect point it affects all of
the persons posts. Somewhat similar to real life. For instance, say you hood-wink 50 billion dollars in an epic ponzi scheme and
get caught with your hand in the cookie jar
. No matter how respectable your past deeds it casts
doubt on everything you've ever done.
I'd also argue that people should have the option to unflag or vote down a post for finer granularity all the way back to 0 (rather than penalizing
all posts the person's ever submitted), but enough people here have already voiced that complaint.
That's my two pence anyways!
[edit on 12-6-2009 by Xtraeme]