BakedGoods (User)

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"k guy"

The Illusion of Community-Driven Commentary: The Bubble System

BakedGoods | 1046d ago
User blog

Ah yes, the much talked about bubble system. There seems to be a serious disconnect between what the administrators feel the system accomplishes, and what it's actually doing. This post will attempt to summarize and analyze the problems surrounding the system, while attempting to provide plausible solutions.

The blog post is meant to engage the news-reading N4G'ers rather than just the forum go'ers, and to promote a meaningful discussion towards a better commentary system.

TLDR; Get rid of bubbles, it's a form of censorship. Use a simple agree/disagree where trolls/spam can be buried. Also, a possible 'exp-based' reputation system around rewarding users for good comments but not censoring different opinions.

<<What's the point of it anyway?>>

Essentially, the bubble system is an attempt to allow the community to self-moderate. That is to silence trolls, flamers and spammers meanwhile rewarding posters the community deems proper.

<<What does it really do?>>

It effectively strangles commentary through a number of ways:

a) Opinions by their nature are subjective.

Therefore not everyone will agree. Sure, this is an alternative 'agree/disagree' but we all understand how heated console wars are--how often are people hitting 'disagree' and then de-bubbling too? It's a system that builds fanboyism in itself, since the 'community' feels justified in de-bubbling when there are lots of disagrees.

b) 'Community-driven' is inaccurate.

Bubble votes are counted differently based on the person de-bubbling--the more bubbles the more power. This perpetuates *their views* while marginalizing others. If everyone had an equal say in de-bubbles less griefing would occur. Essentially, the 'community' are actually those that the community itself deems worthy. Therefore the 'community' is a self-perpetuating body made up of members who all share the same opinion.

c) Builds superficial reputation.

A posters comment is only as relevant as their bubbles. Posters are pre-judged based on bubbles, making their comments seem false before some even read them. This also communicates to other posters that whatever this commentator says is not what the community as a whole believes--hence their lack of bubbles. A better reputation system is suggested below, which unlike the current one does not vilify it's own users.

d) 'One-hitter' posts

When a user has one bubble, no conversation can be permitted. This provides incentives for users to post 'one-hitters' or rather, single posts that try to communicate one idea while attempting to pre-empt possible replies (since they themselves cannot reply). This often leads to troll-like flame posts rather than anything meaningful, because after all, why post something meaningful if you cannot even continue the conversation? Creating a new account only get you banned, so essentially, if you do not agree with the 'community' you are permanently reduced to sound bites. Sounds like censorship.

<<So far, what are the results?>>

Fanboys. Yes, the system that is meant to keep them at bay only perpetuates it. The gaming news media knows it, hell even developers know it. This site's full of 'em. Look at the news posts we've seen, tons of sensationalist fanboy titles. What comments are really being de-bubbled, even disagreed? If you take a close look, most aren't trolling, offensive or destructive--they're different points of view often being de-bubbled by fanboys. Sure some are often abrasive, but surely discussion can have tension--it's in the very nature of debate.

When opposing views are be-bubbled it simply justifies the 'community's fanboyism'--whatever side that may be. Posters who are punished for their views leave the site, or return to antagonize others--strengthening the opposing 'community fanboys' and adding to flame wars. Ultimately, the point of debate is to not only prove your own argument, but to provide others with different perspectives. The bubble system prevents that, marginalizing any intelligent conversation into carefully worded sound bites which aim to either piss off fanboys, or are too meek to add anything interesting to the conversation (ie. "cool game bro").

<<What can be done?>>

First, N4G needs to swallow it's pride. It's not the first news aggregator with a large community. Many, many other sites have similarly built communities but do it much better. Part of building a site is not only maturing the features and technology in the backend, but also maturing the community by allowing it to grow through it's own commentary (see NeoGAF).

Reddit is a crucial example of how the internet can self-moderate but not censor itself. There are articles for fanboys, agnostic gamers and casuals. Commentary ranges from outright fanboys to casuals and even developers. Why can't N4G be like that too?

<<Solution>>

The bubble system is flawed. Period. No other community site uses a system which marginalizes opposing views, stifles intelligent discussion, and reduces commentary to sound bites. It needs to go.

The best method is to continue with agrees/disagrees, but instead when a comment hits a certain ratio (which the user may be able to customize) the comment is 'hidden'. Hidden does not mean gone--it will still allow others to post and continue the dialog whether it's flamebait or not. This just means the rest of the community doesn't have to be subjected to it if they don't want to be. This still allows conversation to flow meanwhile hiding unpleasant troll-like comments or flame wars. While we're at it, deeper comment nesting would be nice too.

But what about reputation? How about this:

HEATSCOREā„¢

This was a concept developed using other CMS-PHP 'points' systems as way to built reputation. This was based of early CRPG's and their 'karma' system using 'posting EXP', essentially it works like this:

Everyone starts off 'neutral'. Let's say a heatscore of 100. Whenever people 'agree' with their posts their score 'cools down', when others disagree their score gets 'hotter'. The more people agree with them, they cooler they get--that is they are labeled as people who's comments appeal to the masses. The more people disagree well, you're a 'hot' commentator. Those who straddle the line are considered neutral--neither fanboy nor crowd favourite (aka community fanboy).

The words 'hot', 'cool', 'neutral', etc. can be called anything to sound appealing. The point is, just as Fallout 3's achievement for being neutral is called 'True Mortal' neutral is where you want to be--you're not ruffling feathers, but you're also not kissing fanboy ass. The 'neutrals' become the coveted position of the community, a poster who can see both sides of the story--a position that can challenge the community to maintain. You can even add awards and 'titles' based the poster's patterns to encourage meaningful participation.

NOTE: Neutral (and other positions) is obtained through an overall ratio (not on just individual posts), that is one post may get 5:1 agrees, another 1:5 disagrees which overall is a 1:1 ratio. These positions would also have a range, that is a 0.9-1.1 agree ratio might still keep you in neutral.

This system can be a good gauge at exactly where the community lies. If most commentators are 'hot' then this place is a battleground. If everyone's 'cool' then no progressive discussion is happening--that is, everyones agreeing with everyone else--hence a 'community' of fanboys.

The important thing to note is 'heatscore' is only for reputation. It should not affect anyone's ability to post.

<<Solution: Final Note>>

I'm not pretending this suggestion is the end-all-be-all, I'm just trying to start some kind of dialog towards solving the problem. There has got to be a better way to nurture intelligent commentary than this current bubble system.

<<Moral of the story>>

Control does not solve problems. Communities solve problems. The bubble system is a flawed form of control masquerading as the 'community's voice'. It's not a voice, it's a hammer. A hammer that punishes different opinions, stifles fluid commentary, incites/creates more fanboys and reduces the beloved N4G community into a veiled fanboy-fest.

I enjoy this site and will continue to participate in it. I have deep respect for the moderators and administrators here. I sincerely hope the administrators are willing to considering alternate ways to manage the comments, especially by looking at great internet communities that do it successfully.

P.S. Yes, my N4G account has only one bubble left--but please, consider this post and judge me not by my bubbles, but my commitment and interest in this community. Thanks for reading.

RIPSKATEDESTROY  +   1046d ago
if i could i would bubble you up for this. wait... good blog though
NJShadow  +   1045d ago
Fantastic blog post bro, really.
pr0digyZA  +   1045d ago
Like the idea, always ready to try something new.
Odion  +   1045d ago
Your solutions are just as flawed as the bubble system, whats to stop the same people that debubble from hiding ones comment and giving someone a negative rating?
BakedGoods  +   1045d ago | Well said
In the current system, an eventual 'debubbling' stops all conversation and punishes the original commentator by taking away their bubbles/ability to post.

In the new system if a comment is 'buried' by fanboys, the conversation can still continue in the buried thread (see: Reddit). The original poster moves closer to earning a 'hot' (arguably a fanboy) reputation instead of being de-bubbled and thus marginalized.

EDIT: Aaand my bubbles are gone. Thanks to everyone showing interest in this blog. I'm definitely interested in reading other suggestions/opinions.

@Odion:

Posts incorrectly labelled as trolling cannot be continued form what I've seen. There also seems to be enough checks and balances to prevent spoilers outside of the bubble system. I'm not sure that's an issue. Spamming can easily be downvoted/flag just like they are now/other sites do.

The costs seem to definitely outweigh the benefits, considering almost every other large gaming community has abandoned the bubble-styled approach.
#4.1 (Edited 1045d ago ) | Agree(10) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Odion  +   1045d ago
Comments can already be hidden and still comment on but no one is going to, your just switching the ability to comment without restriction.

It also opens up the website to a whole new host of problems, people who want to spam, put up spoilers or otherwise cause havoc would have a much easier time.
cgoodno  +   1044d ago
***In the new system if a comment is 'buried' by fanboys, the conversation can still continue in the buried thread (see: Reddit).***

Man, before I became a moderator here, you can bet I was so looking for that type of system. I mean, nothing tells me that a site is dedicated to "constructive debate" like a system that encourages hiding the opinions of those from the other side of the coin.

In all honestly, no system is perfect and if we went with your option we'd get someone posting a blog on how to change it from what you propose to something more like the bubble voting system. Why? Because people are adversely affected no matter what system is implemented.

To address your core points, though:

***Get rid of bubbles, it's a form of censorship.***

Being on N4G pretty much guarantees you're going to be censored. It's not a public place.

Having said that, how is hiding the opinions of others by voting them down in your proposed plan not a form of censorship?

***Use a simple agree/disagree where trolls/spam can be buried.***

And perfectly fine opinions that differ from the majority in the topic at hand.

***Also, a possible 'exp-based' reputation system around rewarding users for good comments but not censoring different opinions.***

So, pat the back of people who support the majority/accepted opinion(s)... kind of like how the bubble system works as it is... /confused

***Bubble votes are counted differently based on the person de-bubbling--the more bubbles the more power.***

This is not necessarily true. A person with 9 bubbles could have the same voting power as a person with 1 bubble.

***If everyone had an equal say in de-bubbles less griefing would occur.***

I'm not sure that is correct. If a person who is known for trolling and down voting those to help them lose bubbles has the same power as everyone else, wouldn't that increase griefing?

You see, you seem to think that all people have the same voting power based on bubbles alone, but this isn't true. Those who abuse the system are detected and affected in a manner to ensure they don't adversely affect others unfairly in an attempt to grief them.

***There also seems to be enough checks and balances to prevent spoilers outside of the bubble system. I'm not sure that's an issue. ***

Imagine waking up one morning to someone who has spammed the same spoiler/troll filled comment as many times as they want while there were no mods around to handle it to their hearts desire and without any bubble limitation. Each comment has the same reply, or one very similar to avoid being detected as "the same response already made", and it, for all intents and purposes, ruins the article at hand because of the unlimited ability to comment and get it away with it until a moderator is available to handle it.
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JL  +   1043d ago
You're missing a very key element in analyzing the bubble system here. That element is the TrustRank. This is something that only us staff members can see and control.

I wrote out a huge long reply, but the browser messed up, so I'm going to give you the abridged version: Basically, if you have a known history of trolling, you'll get a low TrustRank. Prove a history of intelligent/rational commenting/contribution to the site and you'll get a higher TrustRank. This affects how much weight your actions carry.

By way of example, one "Trusted" member's bubble-up can outweigh like 10 non-trusted/"fanboy" members' votes. This provides a balance of sorts and decreases the effectiveness of these fanboys that just go around de-bubbling any opinion that differs from theirs while bubbling up any "trolling" comment that they like.

Here's where the real problem lies: people are FAR more likely to do de-bubbling than they are to bubble someone up. And those that do bubble up are typically the "fanboys" bubbling up other trolling comments (as mentioned above), which has no effect due to their low Trust.

People just seem much more inclined to punish those they deem are bad, rather than reward those they find are good/valuable members. People complain about "I see people losing bubbles all the time, but I never see anybody gain bubbles". That's because y'all are only bubbling people down and rarely bubble people up.

We'll take you for example, BakedGoods. In the past 90 days you have bubbled down 20 comments. On the flipside, you've only bubbled up 5 comments. There's two problems with this. First, that's a clear indicator of why it's so easy to get bubbled down here and not bubbled up: that unbalanced ratio there (and this is the norm amongst most members). Secondly, 90 days and only 25 votes? That's less than 1 vote every three days. The system is hardly going to vote if there's that little involvement in using it (especially when it is used it's in an unbalanced manner as such).

And looking at the history of some of the others commenting here, there are plenty that have an even more unbalanced ratio of de-bubbles to bubble-ups. Hell, there are several here that I can look at and you have to go back a month to see the last time they actuall bubbled up/down a comment.

So, the problem isn't the system. It's the community's unwillingness to properly use the system to it's fullest. All the mechanisms are there to make it an effective and properly balanced system, just the community doesn't use it as such. They only like to use the "punishment" side of it and not the "reward" side of it. So, the system isn't broken. The community is. Thus, no matter what system you implement, it will experience similar problems due to the broken community.

The best course of action is for members to start actually using the system properly. This means actually taking the time to bubble up those that present intelligent/rational comments rather than just getting trigger happy to bubble-down those that you feel are merely fanboys/trolls.
BakedGoods  +   1043d ago
@ _JL_
Thanks for the informative post.

I'm no so sure that 'the community is broken' is any kind of justification. If a control system like bubbles is not being used properly I think it's a cop-out to blame the community. It also makes me question how moderators/administration view their own readership.

It is important to ask why the system isn't being used properly:

Is it because of ignorance? Do people not understand it? Or is it because people *do* understand it, and feel it's only purpose is to punish others? If so, why give such a community the power to punish others in the first place? That doesn't make any sense.

TrustRank is interesting, but it doesn't really solve the problem. Someone can still post something meaningful and lose their voice because a high 'TrustRank'ed voter does not agree with them. While they may have earned a high TrustRank, that does not prevent them from de-bubbling a perfectly acceptable post--so unless moderators judge every debubbling individually, you cannot protect people from that.

The problem *is* the system, because it aims to control the community. It's that element of control that causes problems, whether it's because the community does not use it properly or because when used properly it *still* punishes different view points it doesn't matter. Given your response it sounds like the issue is N4G believes a successful community is one with such pervasive control mechanisms to keep it's people in check at the expense of other's freedom to commentate.

Simply 'telling everyone' to use bubbles properly doesn't work. Just like 'telling everyone' not to troll does little. I'm not sure your suggestion is a progressive enough solution to a problem that many other sites have already effectively addressed.

EDIT: I'd urge you to continue the conversation on the forums, since the bubble system will prevent me from continuing this dialog if need be.

http://forums.n4g.com/tm.as...
#4.1.4 (Edited 1043d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report
EskiJoe  +   1043d ago
@_JL_
Talking from a personal perspective, I rarely touch the +/- bubble vote... The reason being, that I was under the impression, it ultimately depended upon an admin deciding to follow the suggestions of votes to either bubble someone up or down.

So in the end, it really is up to the admins preferences... But I might be wrong?!
MidnytRain  +   1045d ago
I'm sorry, bro, but it's hard to take someone who has ten bubbles seriously on this matter, you've got absolutely nothing to afflict you or worry about. On the subject of the Heatscore, the neutral thing would be nigh impossible to attain. What are the chances anyone will consistently get agrees and disagrees in a fairly even ratio? On this site, you usually get a bunch of agrees for "telling off" another user or disagrees for LITERALLY NO REASON.

I think the best thing to do as a first step would be to chuck the agree/disagree system altogether. That way, users would have to actually reply and discuss rather that mash a button on anyone who doesn't see things their way.

Great blog, bro, but like I said to Odion, the mods have no will to change anything because they permanently have ten bubbles.
#4.2 (Edited 1045d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
Odion  +   1045d ago
I don't make the rules I just enforce them lol, I am a cop you need to shake your fist at the government.
cgoodno  +   1044d ago
***I'm sorry, bro, but it's hard to take someone who has ten bubbles seriously on this matter, you've got absolutely nothing to afflict you or worry about.***

How many bubbles would we need to deduct from our current amount in order to be taken seriously?

***like I said to Odion, the mods have no will to change anything because they permanently have ten bubbles.***

The mods have every will to make the system work as best as possible, understanding that there are those out there who deserve to have one bubble and claim they don't and there are those out there who have one bubble and don't deserve to have it solely because their opinion differs from others.

The mods are not sitting on some throne, ignoring the plight of others merely because they find themselves to be better. Our task is to operate as the enforcers of what is designated as the rules of N4G and the spirit of the community.
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Kon  +   1045d ago
Bubble system sucks, period. If you have a different opinion than the masses, they will de-bubble you even if you're not a troll.
MidnytRain  +   1045d ago
I can see you tried to counteract that with a new avatar. ROFL!
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SilentNegotiator  +   1045d ago
(The following is for demonstrative purposes) That's because you're a bumbling doo-doo head, Kon!

One problem with allowing people to get as low as one bubble is that they can't defend themselves. Which I think is totally unfair.
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Megaton  +   1045d ago
I agree that the bubble system has to go. I usually know when I'm gonna lose one and I don't have a problem with it. I know I should when I post the things that I think will get me in trouble. The problem is, lately I see more and more things from other users flagged as trolling when they are not.

I look around and see people with a history of very intelligent posts that are now down to 2 - 3 bubbles. Whether it's the community or staff causing this, something's not right. Somehow I doubt it's the community. We seem to have very little power in the current system. Most threads go seemingly un-moderated when it comes to bubbles, and then one thread will pop up where many users have been de-bubbled, sometimes falsely. This leads me to believe that the best way to gain/lose bubbles is to appease or annoy the staff. The community's opinion doesn't seem to matter anymore. Or least not as much as it used to. I had 10 bubbles for about a year on the old system. I currently have 2, and I've never gone higher than 5 on the new system. My posting habits haven't changed, so what has?

There's also the discrepancy between losing and gaining. As I said in another user's blog about the system, troll once and you'll lose it, add 100 good posts after that and you still probably won't get it back. It's extremely easy to lose them and almost impossible to gain. Once you reach 1 there's essentially no reason to try to gain them back. I already find myself feeling that way at 2. There are a couple of 1-bubblers around here who have been posting very intelligent posts for many months, earning numerous "well said" marks, yet they seem to be eternally stuck at 1 bubble.

I support the idea of just sticking to an agree/disagree, fade in/fade out post system that most sites have. If you really have to continue to stifle your users in a system like that, give all users a post limit of 5 or something.

To Odion's point about spoilers; these people often make spoilers out of their user names because they know they can't be deleted, even if you delete their post. It seems rather trivial to hold back a new system for the sake of spoilers if people can make them permanently stuck in a thread right now by putting one in their ID. That's something that needs to be changed regardless of the bubble system.
JL  +   1043d ago
See my reply to BakedGoods above for further details on my thoughts on this issue. But, I just want to point out one thing, we CAN change members names to erase spoilers from their names.

And another thing. I have no problem with you Megaton, so don't take it personally when I call you out here. But I think that maybe if I continue to drive the point home, then people might start realizing and making adjustments so that the system can work as it's intended.

On your point about not being able to gain bubbles but easily losing them, you can refer to my reply above to BakedGoods for more detail, but I want to point something out here too.

Now, this isn't just you, but it's a good opportunity to point out that people don't use the system in a proper balance. They're more inclined to bubble down than they are to bubble up.

For example, in the past month, you've bubbled down 30 comments. On the flipside, you've only bubbled up 4 comments. Hardly balanced right? And considering this is the norm amongst users around here, surely you can understand why it is so hard to gain bubbles as opposed to losing them, right? And surely, in light of this, you can see that the problem isn't necessarily the system but the way members use the system? So, just imagine how well it would work if people actually started "rewarding"(bubbling up) as much as they actually "punish" (bubble down).
Megaton  +   1043d ago
That's news to me about user names. Maybe news to other staff as well, since I've never seen it utilized. During the last big outbreak of main site spoilers (Heavy Rain), the names were left unchanged as far as I saw. In some of the threads I was following at the time, they were still there as created hours after the posts had been deleted.

That's certainly a fair point about community and something I'm well aware of concerning my own bubble habits. Part of it is (for me, anyway) the options given for a green bubble. I think I used to give a lot more when there were no options, just +/-. I look at an average post from a person who should probably have more bubbles and I don't think "well said". I look at a crappy post and more than likely it falls under "immature" or "trolling".

The agree/disagree system gets plenty of use, which is why I think that should be more of a focus. Having posts fade in or out based on agrees and disagrees like other sites seems like a much more practical system to me.

Sometimes you just wanna make a joke and you'll lose a bubble for it now that we don't have an Open Zone anymore. The whole thing works more as a method to stifle conversation than an effective process of community moderation. I just don't think we should be able to lose our ability to post based on such a subjective system.
rob6021  +   1045d ago
There are people on this site that would harass others if they are given the opportunity to speak multiple times. Perhaps losing bubbles could be restricted to more extreme measures.

I see the use in moderation, so I would suggest having another system that filters out low-quality posters, but is entirely optional instead of mandatory.
Parapraxis  +   1045d ago
I always felt I was a pretty fair commenter, and usually try to be light-hearted, helpful, thoughtful and simply enjoy the news. I honestly don't understand who/how I only have 2 bubbles.
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batterystrength  +   1045d ago
Well, I like the idea of an "auto-hide" function once the comment hits a lot of disagrees. It would allow for the conversation to go on.

The bubble system is flawed in this sense that it doesn't promote mature conversations. It penalises certain opinions. Heck, I'm a Sony fanboy to the bone, yet I always try to be as tolerant as I can be in my comments. But I can't express freely when I post my opinion on cretain things, I always have to think twice if I won't offend someone.

Some might say that's the point, but I have to disagree with that. You are supposed to give your opinion on an article, but you are not allowed to say your opinion. If others don't like it you'll get silenced.
In the comment section you don't read opinions, you read what the commentor thought the other members would like to read. In a sense, what we have now is an "auto-censor" system.
Raven_Nomad  +   1045d ago
This site is not for anyone who thinks freely. It's mostly Sony fans who bubble down and disagree with everything not relating to Sony.

I've been banned before for calling someone a fangirl, yet people who have cursed at me and called me much worse got no punishment at all.

There should be no bubbles at all, there should be legit moderators like every other normal gaming site.

You pretty much got the criminals running the asylum in this place.
Gotta wear your $ony name tag or risk the wrath,

Honestly I have a couple other accounts, two I just made as an experiment to see if I could get bubbled up just for sucking the $ony teet and it worked like a charm.

"Yay $ony!" "Uncharted rules!" "Vita isn't a ridiculous name at all" ect..... You get bubbled up fast in those types of threads.

Mention anything positive about Kinect or the 360 and see how fast you lose bubbles.....SMDH.
Megaton  +   1045d ago
Nonsense. People get lit up the most in 360 threads for not agreeing with/praising whatever the thread is about. Just a few days ago I saw a bunch of posts deleted for trolling simply for questioning a title that said "Gears of War 3's Graphics Have Just Raised the Bar". Even this comment, quoted word-for-word; "raise the bar for xbox 360, i guess" was deleted as trolling. It wasn't some obnoxious quip aimed at the heart of 360 owners. It was a level-headed remark based on nothing but truth (unless you believe 360 graphics topple both PS3 and PC), and someone decided it was trolling instead.

There's a hyper-sensitivity shown in 360 articles that is absolutely not present in the PS3 section.

Oh and you wanna talk about ridiculous bans? I got a 3-day for saying "I'm sick of these bots" in a thread where someone was spamming Heavy Rain spoilers.
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MidnytRain  +   1045d ago
That's hilarious!
darkpower  +   1045d ago
I've gotten unfairly attacked by both sides, so it's bad on both sides on an equal front, with neither side being better or worse than the other.

The problem is that people are not able to understand what objective and subjective is, nor do they care. They would rather stop you from giving your opinion on anything if you do anything to challenge their beliefs. There's no such thing as being open-minded here.

I thing MS can't get their own identity and does too much of stealing exclusives and other ideas because they struggle to make their own identity. I get attacked constantly and my bubbles taken away.

Then, this year, I am not completely "rah-rah Sony" about the hacking issue. Hell, I wasn't even saying I wanted Sony to be hacked, but I DID think that Sony was being too stubborn and too inclusive in who they targeted in that saga. I get attacked and get called an "anti-Sony troll" who never took Sony's side on anything (talk to ultimolu if you think that).

Basically put, if you call out one side, the called out will attack you. If you go neutral (or usually side with Nintendo, which gets NO love here), then BOTH sides will get you. There has to be SOMETHING that can deter this behavior.

However, as long as the admins are able to completely ignore that there even IS a problem, it'll never be changed.
artsaber  +   1044d ago
Whelp, I pretty much lost all mine because I stated my personal dislike for Kinect when it was new
A gaming device which I own. I mean, if you can PROVE you own a device, you should be allowed to have your opinion of it. You shouldn't be de-bubbled, with no chance of gaining more bubbles no matter how many agrees or well said votes you get. I've been at one bubble forever... in the previous system I had 6 or 7 bubbles.

What is funny, if I say the same things today about Kinect, most people would agree. I don't hate the product, but if it is new, has flaws, and you point them out - prepare for de-bubbling. Comments were being marked as trolls for no reason at all, etc.

I don't care much, the truth will still remain, even with just one chance to comment. Great post on this subject by the way.

Once you get de-bubbled, you NEVER regain them. People who stand to tell the coldest truths can likely be in a 1 bubble status.
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blackburn10  +   1045d ago
No surprise to see you saying this Raven seeing that you troll Sony articles constantly causing trouble and starting arguments. I love people who troll and purposely cause problems and then complain because everyone can see right through you. You are wrong though it applies to the whole site. No one can say anything negative about anything without your bubbles being taken away. Even pointing out facts like RROD or Kinect's lack of games or the 3DS not being a very good system gets you long lectures, troll accusations, long PM letters and the basic fanboy rant.

You like everyone here pretends that you are better then eveyone else here but strange enough they can always catch you in some bias fanboy rant instead of a civilised conversation. The bubble system is flawed. Sometimes it works for people like you Raven_Nomad who constantly troll and get what they deserve but I lost a whole bubble because I said I didn't like IGN's reviews and was sited for trolling. So dislike for a site is trolling now? Really?
#11 (Edited 1045d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
blackburn10  +   1045d ago
@ Raven_Nomad also I noticed you didn't make an account and go the Nintendo or 360 side. It works the same way. Say yay GeoW 3 or 3DS or Kinect is the greatest and most innovative system and you get a million agrees. Say GeoW 3 looks exactly the same and is nothing new or 3DS isn't doing so hot and you get instant troll status.
theonlylolking  +   1045d ago
" What comments are really being de-bubbled, even disagreed? If you take a close look, most aren't trolling, offensive or destructive--they're different points of view often being de-bubbled by fanboys. Sure some are often abrasive, but surely discussion can have tension--it's in the very nature of debate."

That is how I lost my bubbles. I do not troll but I WILL say my opinion which is probably why my bubbles get eaten up even though I still get a ton of agrees for what I got marked trolling for.

I think your solution will work way better than the current system. Sadly, the peeps who run this site dont do anything meaningful.
BubbleSniper   1045d ago | Immature | show
INehalemEXI  +   1045d ago
Man i had 10 bubs , went down to 5 one day....bubs ain't spreading like they used to.
bigbomber  +   1045d ago
cool piece good work.
#15 (Edited 1045d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Nicaragua  +   1044d ago
really good article and i totally agree
Hicken  +   1044d ago
I think it's a bigger problem that the site is stifling conversation, instead of the fanboy/trolling issue. I don't believe those will ever leave, as there will always be people who fervently proclaim their favorite system/game to be the best ever.

But it's difficult to give a meaningful back and forth about any particular subject when you've only got three bubbles; what if, based on another comment in the same thread, you find you have something else to say, but you've used your measly comments up on responding to something someone said in response to your original post? Currently, it doesn't matter.

I haven't been on this site long- not as a poster- but I definitely agree something's gotta change.

I'm of half a mind to just give everyone who even bothered to comment a "well-said," just for being involved. Wouldn't change anything, though, and might instead get me banned or something.
cgoodno  +   1044d ago
***I'm of half a mind to just give everyone who even bothered to comment a "well-said," just for being involved. Wouldn't change anything, though, and might instead get me banned or something.***

You'd be surprised how much it would change things if people actually voted people up for making rational comments. As it is, the reason bubbles are lost so much more than ever gained is because people rarely bubble vote up, but love to bubble vote down.

And there's no need to ban people for voting how they feel, as long as they aren't attempting to abuse the system for personal gain or to grief others.
Pillville  +   1044d ago
The bubble +/- categories are dumb.

+ "Interesting - Well said - Intelligent - Funny - Helpful"
How about these instead:

> Informative (gave facts that were useful on the topic at hand)

> Funny (made a funny joke)

> Well Said (gave an opinion that was well formed and thought out)

- "Personal attack - Bad language - Immature - Off topic - Trolling"
How about these instead:
> Immature (covers bad language, personal attacks, racism, etc...)

> Misinformation (gave information that was false. Whether intentionally or unintentionally)

> Off Topic (Made a comment that had nothing to do with the topic at hand)

> Trolling (Made a biased comment for the sole purpose of starting an argument, could possibly be rolled into the Immature category)
#18 (Edited 1044d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Cat  +   1034d ago
Thanks for all the honest feedback in here, guys! While we don't discuss the development pipeline, what you all think helps shape where the site goes!
Human Analog  +   1030d ago
I totally agree with getting rid of the bubble system. I don't post often. Only because most the time it is just arguing back and forth. But once in a while I have a few thing to say or add. I had 6 bubbles at one time, but they all went away in one thread. It was the famous GT5 vs Forza fanboy crap that happened around the time GT5 was released. I was simply stating opinions, and trying to have an adult conversation about the two, and thier differences, and thier similarities. Next thing I know I am down to 3 bubbles. Not for anything but disagreeing, and having an opinion that differed from the ones who thought since they yelled louder they were right. Since then I have really ben a bit disgusted in the community. Why can't we all just have a great time debating, and being respectful?

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