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Potential Changes to the Karma System

Last posted Jul 07, 2012 at 02:40PM EDT. Added May 19, 2012 at 05:05PM EDT
79 conversations with 28 participants

We had a great discussion about this in the IRC, so I though I might post it here.
Essentially, this thread is about potential changes to the Karma system we currently have. Also, if James or the other staff members read this, you guys have done an awesome job.


Essentially, here is why we need karma:
1. Upvoting encourages good posts.
2. Downvoting discourages bad posts.

Here are the current cons of the system:
1. Users treat karma as a competition.
2. Users upvote people merely for voicing a popular opinion, and downvote them for voicing an unpopular one.


Here is what we concluded:
1. Downvoting isn’t necessary in General. General is for discussion of media, world events and politics, and downvoting people because you disagree with them is a detriment to discussion. Karma should be disabled in General.
2. A long time ago, only a person’s upvotes showed up on their profile. Negative karma wasn’t accumulative with your karma count. If we were to go back to that, then negative karma attacks on specific users wouldn’t matter anymore.


What does everyone think of this?

May 19, 2012 at 05:05PM EDT
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Sounds good man.

I kinda like the idea of a “Karma Allowance” so people will learn to ration what they have and not just dump it on whatever.

May 19, 2012 at 05:28PM EDT
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At the very least, can we fix the karma rape/inflation that has gone on already?

That is an admin’s job, let’s get their attention.

May 19, 2012 at 05:31PM EDT
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I’m not sure how to get rid of the inflation.
Unless we want to reset people’s karma, which would cause a lot of hard feelings.
People are just upvote happy. We can close voting in the General section, and that would slow it. Karma doesn’t actually mean anything, though. It’s a sign of support and appreciation, or vice versa. The only problems are when people take it too far and spam it everywhere.

May 19, 2012 at 05:35PM EDT
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MDFification wrote:

I’m not sure how to get rid of the inflation.
Unless we want to reset people’s karma, which would cause a lot of hard feelings.
People are just upvote happy. We can close voting in the General section, and that would slow it. Karma doesn’t actually mean anything, though. It’s a sign of support and appreciation, or vice versa. The only problems are when people take it too far and spam it everywhere.

From what I’ve heard, admins can revert all up and down votes by a specific account.

May 19, 2012 at 05:43PM EDT
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@StarGazer: Then people will just create alts to double their karma rations.

The true problem with karma is us. I’ve noticed that:

1.) A thread containing the word ‘karma’ will get hundreds will usually get more views and dozens more posts than most threads.
2.) You can make just about any thread a karma whoring thread by upvoting every post. People will notice everyone has +1, and will post in there as well after they themselves upvote everything. I haven’t seen it as rampant as it was, say, a year ago, but it still happens.
3.) People treat posikrama it like it’s gold. Seriously- people amass large quantities of the stuff by creating terrible karma whoring threads just so their internet c*cks can get bigger. Stuff’s getting old.
4.) People treat negakrama like it’s some sort of weapon of pseudo-retributive justice. Someone says something stupid? Let’s downvote them 20 some-odd times! Not enough? Let’s use alts too!

Really, if we were all to invest less stock into the karma system, the ‘problems’ we have with it would cease to exist. That being said, we aren’t ever going to not have some sort of problem, so I’m glad that the one of the bigger ones we have is really just an arbitrary forum-post grading points.

May 19, 2012 at 05:54PM EDT
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Do it.

May 19, 2012 at 05:58PM EDT

Well, the only person who can do this is James, our lone coder.
He probably has bigger things to deal with then our petty karma angst.

May 19, 2012 at 08:50PM EDT
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MDFification wrote:

Well, the only person who can do this is James, our lone coder.
He probably has bigger things to deal with then our petty karma angst.

Yeah…

May 19, 2012 at 09:35PM EDT
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Some one is really going out of their way just to karma bomb. I am not complaining, but it is unnecessary which is why it would be nice to implicate this system.

Last edited May 19, 2012 at 10:50PM EDT
May 19, 2012 at 10:40PM EDT
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As said in a different thread:
-Karma Positive to Negative percentages should not be shown. (Only on the posts themselves where they can be used as constructive criticism.)
-Karma should not display negative amounts.
-There should be a detection system a Mod can use just in case negative bombing should occur. Revokeing Karma privalges and reverting damage if needed.

Also, a few other ideas:
-Give Mods the ability to lock Karma on threads.
-Featured Threads voteing system locks once the thread should have autolocked.
-Have Negative Karma heal. You get a +1, you lose a -1, or every day (you are active) you lose a -1. The fact you are stuck with negative Karma forever doesn’t bode well with anyone.

May 20, 2012 at 03:10AM EDT
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Katie C. wrote:

What if James gets error 37?

That is a matter of when, not if.

May 20, 2012 at 04:23AM EDT
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Disabling karma in the General?

The consequences of that action have already been figured out before, it’d help as people would be more likely to voice their own opinion without having to fear a negstorm or something like that, ALTHOUGH, there is the lessening of discouraging flaming posts; it would be slightly easier to get into flamewars.

Trust me, I understand.

Last edited May 20, 2012 at 07:21AM EDT
May 20, 2012 at 07:21AM EDT
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There’s no need to revert karma or lock karma on threads.
Just return to the old system where your karma on your profile only displays your total upvote count, rather then your net-total with upvotes and downvotes.
When we used that system, there were no karma bombings, no karma trolling, etc. Karma only mattered on the post it was applied to.

May 20, 2012 at 08:46AM EDT
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MDFification wrote:

There’s no need to revert karma or lock karma on threads.
Just return to the old system where your karma on your profile only displays your total upvote count, rather then your net-total with upvotes and downvotes.
When we used that system, there were no karma bombings, no karma trolling, etc. Karma only mattered on the post it was applied to.

I thought of this ages ago, but then I thought it may cause some people to think (for example) Thomas Nair gave good quality posts (typically, not overall) generally.

Then again, why not?

Last edited May 20, 2012 at 09:51AM EDT
May 20, 2012 at 09:50AM EDT
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量子 Meme wrote:

I thought of this ages ago, but then I thought it may cause some people to think (for example) Thomas Nair gave good quality posts (typically, not overall) generally.

Then again, why not?

Okay really guys Thomas Nair is not a bad person.
Can we please go a DAY without ripping on Thomas?
Seriously?
Next time somebody randomly attacks Thomas, I’m leaving for a week.

May 20, 2012 at 08:04PM EDT
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Colmei wrote:

Okay really guys Thomas Nair is not a bad person.
Can we please go a DAY without ripping on Thomas?
Seriously?
Next time somebody randomly attacks Thomas, I’m leaving for a week.

No, don’t do that. Please. It’s not that bad. I’ve stopped caring.

About the constant attacks, about karma, about everything really.

It just doesn’t matter. Let them have their fun. They’ll never learn anyway.

May 20, 2012 at 08:28PM EDT

Colmei wrote:

Okay really guys Thomas Nair is not a bad person.
Can we please go a DAY without ripping on Thomas?
Seriously?
Next time somebody randomly attacks Thomas, I’m leaving for a week.

I tried my best to make it not seem against him, obviously.

May 21, 2012 at 03:11AM EDT
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Maybe we could put a limit on how low a karma score a post can have. Like, it can’t go lower than -5 or something (the number needed to hide a post).

And maybe on profiles we don’t have to display the number of upvotes and downvotes, but maybe just the net total. If we display only upvotes people will think shitty posters are actually good.

May 22, 2012 at 04:02PM EDT
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Again, I am all for only showing the Net Total. The fact that the permanent record is there just doesn’t give people motivation for pulling themselves out of the negative ditch they have gotten into.

EDIT: Also, I feel that people should not be able to vote on posts more than 30 days old. It is too open for Karma Bombing in old still alive threads, etc.

Last edited May 22, 2012 at 06:01PM EDT
May 22, 2012 at 05:59PM EDT
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Seems like a good time to bring up my old thread on this (again). Everyone did a pretty good job of discussing the system and how it worked (especially Verbose), and in the end we decided that karma didn’t really matter and no one would go out of their way to abuse it.

Well, we were wrong on that. Karma does seem a bit out of hand these days, and it does seem like a problem, if a relatively minor one.

Complete dismantling of the karma system in general would cause way too much butthurt. You do realize General is for more than just discussion of news, right? Some of our biggest threads are in there, including the massive 5-part thread we know as Pony General. Why would you disable karma on such a large community? Don’t posts there, as well as in the rest of General, be subject to the same “reward good posts, punish bad posts” attitude of karma?

No, the fault with karma is that it lies entirely within the userbase, and gives us unlimited power to upvote/neg as we please. Why not give everything karma if you can? See something you don’t like? Yeah no, neg! Someone agrees with you! Yay, you get +1! It’s a simple as that. One click and you decide the fate of the all important number we know here on the forums as total karma.

Which brings us to your second argument, which I wholeheartedly support. We really don’t need to show the net positive and negative karma, a total is fine, thank you. Users change for the better, but their accumulated negative karma only adds up. Even if you get +100000, you’ll always still have that -1000 on your profile (see 404). That isn’t how it’s supposed to work. Hide the net positive and negative karma, so people can work their way to being a good user.

I also agree with StarGazer in that there should be a karma allowance, like a set amount a week. That number remained to be decided, but I’m thinking along the lines of 100 a week.

May 22, 2012 at 07:38PM EDT
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This post has been hidden due to low karma.
Click here to show this post.

Twins the Serendipitous Serval wrote:

Seems like a good time to bring up my old thread on this (again). Everyone did a pretty good job of discussing the system and how it worked (especially Verbose), and in the end we decided that karma didn’t really matter and no one would go out of their way to abuse it.

Well, we were wrong on that. Karma does seem a bit out of hand these days, and it does seem like a problem, if a relatively minor one.

Complete dismantling of the karma system in general would cause way too much butthurt. You do realize General is for more than just discussion of news, right? Some of our biggest threads are in there, including the massive 5-part thread we know as Pony General. Why would you disable karma on such a large community? Don’t posts there, as well as in the rest of General, be subject to the same “reward good posts, punish bad posts” attitude of karma?

No, the fault with karma is that it lies entirely within the userbase, and gives us unlimited power to upvote/neg as we please. Why not give everything karma if you can? See something you don’t like? Yeah no, neg! Someone agrees with you! Yay, you get +1! It’s a simple as that. One click and you decide the fate of the all important number we know here on the forums as total karma.

Which brings us to your second argument, which I wholeheartedly support. We really don’t need to show the net positive and negative karma, a total is fine, thank you. Users change for the better, but their accumulated negative karma only adds up. Even if you get +100000, you’ll always still have that -1000 on your profile (see 404). That isn’t how it’s supposed to work. Hide the net positive and negative karma, so people can work their way to being a good user.

I also agree with StarGazer in that there should be a karma allowance, like a set amount a week. That number remained to be decided, but I’m thinking along the lines of 100 a week.

“Suiseiseki Negged this post”

May 24, 2012 at 02:40PM EDT
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量子 Meme wrote:

“Suiseiseki Negged this post”

Suiseiseki was banned before this post was made, and is right now going on a KYM Hiatus because of the excessive harassment he has been getting.

Don’t be a jerk.

May 24, 2012 at 06:00PM EDT
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Natsuru Springfield wrote:

Suiseiseki was banned before this post was made, and is right now going on a KYM Hiatus because of the excessive harassment he has been getting.

Don’t be a jerk.

What am I saying that’s inconsiderate?

May 24, 2012 at 06:29PM EDT
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量子 Meme wrote:

What am I saying that’s inconsiderate?

Please don’t post content that isn’t a discussion of the topic at hand in Meme Research.

That includes speculation about who down-voted specific posts.

May 24, 2012 at 07:16PM EDT
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Chris wrote:

Please don’t post content that isn’t a discussion of the topic at hand in Meme Research.

That includes speculation about who down-voted specific posts.

Al…riiiiiight…

I agree with a rule, I just don’t get why you all got mad at me from one sentence that I failed to understand the……whatever it is that offended you, I don’t understand.

Last edited May 26, 2012 at 08:32AM EDT
May 26, 2012 at 08:29AM EDT
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Personally, I think people take kramas too seriously. I think it’s cool when I get a post with a lot of upvotes, and I consider what I might have said wrong when I get downvotes. Beyond that, I don’t think about it much.

If you ask me, instead of getting angry at the krama whroes, we should ask them to get together and help us all better manage our kramas, preferably by publishing a guide that we could call…let’s say, The Illustrated Krama Sutra?

That would be hot.

P.S. I know some people will get butthurt about me dropping jokes in Site-related, but in essence I’m not really joking. The only people who are comparing the size of their e-penis to others are those who are insecure about their possible inferiority. It’s just a number, people! It’s not going to effect your criminal record or credit rating, is it?

May 31, 2012 at 02:54AM EDT
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“It’s just a number, people!”

I’m pretty sure all of us know that, but our souls are still directly connected to this number, and seeing any downvote on our own posts makes us sad

that’s just the way it is

May 31, 2012 at 11:42AM EDT
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You know what? I will do it. I will write and illustrate the Karma Sutra.

I will even color it if Positive to Negative ratio is removed.

May 31, 2012 at 10:21PM EDT
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MDFification wrote:

New suggestion: Negs for everyone.

You have my vote!

Jun 01, 2012 at 04:05AM EDT
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I’ll leave this here. I personally agree with Moot on upvote/downvote systems.

Also, I will be completely honest here. For those using the “Karma doesn’t really matter” argument, you might as well not post in a thread that is dedicated to trying to improve the system. That kind of argument brings no contribution to the table.

Last edited Jun 01, 2012 at 04:21PM EDT
Jun 01, 2012 at 04:10PM EDT
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slightly related:

request for mods:

some ONE just went through everything on my wall and through…ALL my activities to give a neg, requesting reverting of this one user’s actions

Jun 12, 2012 at 03:49PM EDT
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Once again I’ll state my opinion about karma.
KARMA IS A BITCH….
other than that…
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chris menning once said….


1. The Karma System:

One new feature that’s very near completion is the Karma System. Each user will have a Karma rating. Karma points can be given and docked from each user, by each user. If a user hijacks a thread and a lot of other users are unhappy about it, they can dock karma from the threadjacker.

Believe me, I think the Karma system is going to introduce a whole new dynamic when it comes to the types of posts people make.

well he did say “A whole new dynamic”
Kinda went in the wrong direction….

Last edited Jun 20, 2012 at 01:10PM EDT
Jun 20, 2012 at 01:09PM EDT
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Why don’t we all just go off and live in the woods where karma cannot get us? Where do you think I’ve been for the last 3 months?!

Jun 20, 2012 at 05:46PM EDT
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This post has been hidden due to low karma.
Click here to show this post.

My advice is:

Last edited Jun 20, 2012 at 05:56PM EDT
Jun 20, 2012 at 05:56PM EDT
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^ reason why there is a negative button.
Please don’t post these kind of things in site related.
Site related is a place where the users of KYM discuss the betterment of the site.

Jun 29, 2012 at 03:01AM EDT
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I would personally argue that karma is unnecessary as a whole. If there’s one thing that seems consistent, it’s that most people post in their general nature regardless of karma, so I don’t see the necessity of it. If we really wanted to have an option to hide posts, I say that a button be programmed in that allowed you to report a post, which would notify any mods/staff to take a look at it and see if it needs moderating. But karma itself doesn’t seem to fill any real purpose.

Jun 29, 2012 at 10:38AM EDT
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Teh Brawler wrote:

I would personally argue that karma is unnecessary as a whole. If there’s one thing that seems consistent, it’s that most people post in their general nature regardless of karma, so I don’t see the necessity of it. If we really wanted to have an option to hide posts, I say that a button be programmed in that allowed you to report a post, which would notify any mods/staff to take a look at it and see if it needs moderating. But karma itself doesn’t seem to fill any real purpose.

As I was scrolling down this thread reading all the ideas people came up with, I was developing quite a close suggestion to this one. I really like the idea of a report button, this way only truly rule-breaking or nasty posts would be hidden instead of those just voicing negative opinion.
No matter how many times the phrase “karma doesn’t matter” is repeated, it isn’t going to make the blatant red and green numbers on our profiles go away. And if anyone complains about karma being gone that would just show that they were one of the users who focused on it too much. While I too enjoy coming back to a post to see it boosted with upvotes, There really doesn’t need to be an upping mechanism, if people think a post is funny or they agree with it or something they can contribute to the thread or tell that person directly.
The fact that so many people use karma as a way to determine the quality of people’s posting habits is just overall negative.
I mean, and not to attack the fandom in any way, I’m a part of it myself, but posting in Pony General can rack you up a solid 5-8 karma per post as long as you have a picture of a pony on it, posting anything even remotely negative about MLP even outside the General will likely gather you instant negs. I find this to be extremely unfair to those who do not enjoy the fandom as they can get posts hidden and their “rep” as it has been called before dented for even politely expressing unhappiness with it.
If we were to implement the report system, people could express their opinions on anything without the fear of negs and a hide as long as they follow the rules, and discussions wouldn’t end with someone folding due to the opposition gaining a multitude of karma on their posts.

Jun 29, 2012 at 01:18PM EDT
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We did’t have karma to deal with back in my day


Lets talk about why Karma was implemented in the first place.
The KYM forums were originally Karma less, and Mod less.
Almost no regulating of who joined.
Karma in fact was more of an experiment they never turned off.
Back then thread jacking, and derailment was very common back then.
The admins did what they thought was the best idea at the time.
Even then the user base also even had these discussions about karma like we are doing now.

Actually at first people cautiously gave karma, and legitimately negative voted a post that was deserving of it.
As people left, and people joined the dynamic of karma also changed.
People were more lax to give or take karma.
BTW it didn’t show you your karma until after 3-5 months after they implemented the Karma system.

By this time the average user has left since the beginning of Karma. Naturally the views of older users, and newer users clashed.

Anyway I was just a troll back then. My karma was around -500…
Just got it into the positives this year… at 1097 now.

Overall the site is better than before, but we do have our own problems now that the older site did’t have.

I did like it when they separated the Forum into its four separate parts.
Added Mods…A mod-less forum was not smart, also leaving it up to karma to mod the forums wasn’t smart either.

I currently dislike a few things, but they aren’t really harmful to the site, just some minor things.

Different generation
Different problem.

Jun 29, 2012 at 05:28PM EDT
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Yeah.

Karma has its faults and values.

The thing I dislike about it is that it’s becoming a contest to gain the most amount of karma, and that’s not the point of it.

What i would change is this, and I’m sure this has been asked similarly before:

You would start off with, say, 250 points of positive karma, and unlimited amounts of negative karma TO USE. When you upvote a post, you lose one karma, and give it to the person you upvoted. That will then go to your total amount of karma. When you get to zero, you can’t upvote anymore until you get positive karma. This will make people stop abusing the feature.

Please tell me faults to this idea, because I am open to criticism.

Jul 01, 2012 at 07:47AM EDT

@Nikolaki
That would be almost impossible for some people to up vote after their allowance is up.
As soon as they run out, they are gonna get like no more than 10 karma a week to use if they’re lucky enough.


I still cautiously give karma from back in the day, that is also why my net karma given is less than 200.

I only give karma when it is deserving, and if it already has enough positive karma I will leave it alone.
When Karma is taken away it REALLY needs to be deserving of that, but recently it seems I take away more karma than give.

If people only switched back to this style of KarmaNomics then our problems wouldn’t be as bad as it is now.

KarmaNomics has nice ring to it.

Last edited Jul 01, 2012 at 11:38AM EDT
Jul 01, 2012 at 11:26AM EDT
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The system Nikolai suggests would cause one giant Hoarding Situation. People would open up new accounts just to boost up their allowance and nobody would give Karma. Ever.

Maybe if you lost your Positive Karma when you Gave Negative Karma might work. It would at least solve Karma Bombing.
--

But these ideas are sounding progressively more silly. Hiding the Positive to Negative Percentages would fix the majority of the problem which is your permanent Karma Record, and will keep Trolls from intentionally attempting to raise that red little percentage.

Jul 01, 2012 at 12:39PM EDT
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Natsuru wrote:

Maybe if you lost your Positive Karma when you Gave Negative Karma might work.

A lot of karma bombings in the past later turned out to be from duplicate accounts. So it wouldn’t stop anything.


Teh Brawler wrote:

I would personally argue that karma is unnecessary as a whole. If there’s one thing that seems consistent, it’s that most people post in their general nature regardless of karma, so I don’t see the necessity of it.

Incorrect. A lot of people have changed their general nature of posting because of karma. When a person receives negative karma, it shows that people either hate or disagree with your post. This then makes you wonder what the reason for that was. This is often shown as numerous times people post “Why did I get negged?”. This shows they are aware of their post getting negative karma and they’d like to know the reason. As people answer them, they learn where the fault lies and will change their behavior in the future. In other words: Change how they post in their general nature if I had to take it to your post.

Karma is a learning factor. By getting positive and negative people become aware of which posts they made are received well by the community and which posts are disliked. They then change their posts and behavior to avoid getting negative karma in the future and receive more positive.


Teh Brawler wrote:

I say that a button be programmed in that allowed you to report a post, which would notify any mods/staff to take a look at it and see if it needs moderating.

Besides that this will flood my mail box (which I’m not in a mood for), reasons for reporting vary a lot. We’d get a lot of pointless reports every time someone posts a pony. Plus certain NSFW related threads which the mods allow would also receive a shitload of reports. Negative karma handed out is shown, reports aren’t. So people are more likely to click it as they’ll stay anonymous to the masses.


But let’s look at the facts now people. Why are you all suddenly so bothered by the karma system? It was already there when I started here, you don’t hear me complain.

From what I noticed most people aren’t bothered by the system in general. Most of you just hate that your profile shows the seperate numbers for the positive and negative karma you gained. And it’s that second red number that a lot of you hate.

Face it. You people don’t hate karma. You people hate negative karma. If the profiles only showed the total number like they did at first, I doubt we would have this discussion.

And being bothered because your profile shows the negative numbers as well. I’m sorry, but that’s being butthurt over something super unimportant. If you received negative karma, surely their must be a reason for it. As I said before, karma is a learning factor. Negative karma learns users to change their behavior to fit more into the community. And if you can’t face this fact and prefer to hide it, then your huge ego is just stopping you from learning from mistakes you made in the past. Stop being so goddamn cocky people.

Jul 01, 2012 at 03:03PM EDT
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^agreed. It’s all about how you view it at it’s current form.

hauling ass to get from negative 500 into the positives was fucking hard, I did in a month too. notice how I didn’t really talk about changing it in this entire thread?
Jul 01, 2012 at 03:32PM EDT
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RandomMan posted:

Karma is a learning factor. By getting positive and negative people become aware of which posts they made are received well by the community and which posts are disliked. They then change their posts and behavior to avoid getting negative karma in the future and receive more positive.

What about the people who simply dislike something popular (use your imagination) and never will like it, but get negative karma because of their expressed dislike?

Jul 01, 2012 at 05:05PM EDT

American Tanker, Hell on Tracks wrote:

RandomMan posted:

Karma is a learning factor. By getting positive and negative people become aware of which posts they made are received well by the community and which posts are disliked. They then change their posts and behavior to avoid getting negative karma in the future and receive more positive.

What about the people who simply dislike something popular (use your imagination) and never will like it, but get negative karma because of their expressed dislike?

If you want to fit in a community, you have to be willing to do some effort yourself as well. It’s ok to have opinions, but how they’re received is based on how you word it. Enough people here agree with you, but you simply feel the need to constantly mention it. And it’s exactly that constant forcing of ones opinion or likes/dislikes that gets annoying. Like with ANN’s toilet paper related posts, people got annoyed by those because he posted it so often. As he noticed that, he stopped posting them. Which shows that he has learned from that experience. See your hatred of the obvious as this forum’s “Arrow to the Knee” joke. Because it’s shown so often, you simply start to dislike it. If you aren’t able to see that, you’re just ignorant.

Last edited Jul 01, 2012 at 05:25PM EDT
Jul 01, 2012 at 05:21PM EDT
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