DragonKnight (User)

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  • 9 in CRank
  • Score: 130100
"I don't care about bubbles. Seriously, I don't."

Yet another "This site's problem is..." blog

DragonKnight | 835d ago
User blog

I've written a couple of these before, and I'm sure everyone else has written some of these before too. Since this is going to be one of those types of blogs, feel free to skip it as "more of the same" if you wish, this is just mainly for those who actually know what I'm speaking of or have experienced similar things.

This site really is broken to all hell. The bubble system is completely pathetic. I know what you're saying "he only has two bubbles so of course he'd complain" right? Wrong. I'd be saying the same thing if I was a mod with 10 bubbles because it's not only about what has happened to my bubbles, but about those others I've seen. Obvious trolls with 7 or more bubbles making blatantly flame filled posts and not getting a "Trolling" or "Immature" vote with a bubble taken. Others saying even the most vague things that someone doesn't like and labels as a personal attack instantly taking bubbles away.

If the goal of the bubble system is to control commenting content, it's outdated and doesn't work. For one thing it's far too easy to take someone's bubbles. Especially when there are people with multiple accounts giving one person a down vote or when the fanboys get together and decide someone they are calling a fanboy needs to be shut up and then give them a down vote. The mods seem to be quite inconsistent or arbitrary in their moderations of comments, but do a decent job most of the time when it comes to story submissions. I guess they spend too much time in the forum and decide to "wing it" with the main page.

The bubble system either needs to be abolished, or completely overhauled and streamlined. A suggestion is that absolutely EVERYONE (excluding mods and admin of course) get 4 bubbles and only 4 bubbles. They can't have any bubbles taken, and they can't have any added. Otherwise you'll have people who feel they can say whatever the hell they want that is an obvious troll statement or piece of FUD or whatever; going around de-bubbling anyone who calls them out for it and completely getting away with it thanks to how completely bat-sh*t broken this site is.

Another thing that's stupid is the Report option. It contains only "Offensive" or "Spam. In conjunction with the bubble system, it makes the entirety of reporting/de-bubbling redundant. Trolling is inherently immature, spamming is inherently off-topic, personal attacks are inherently offensive. However, these aren't always de-bubble offenses and again contributes to the inconsistency and arbitrary nature of the ridiculous commenting system that exists on this site.

Then there's the submission approval/disapproval system. Why is it that one individual can approve a submission more than once? You see blog submissions that are allegedly against contributor rules passing through thanks to one guy and his 4 buddies approving it 1 to 3 times each. You should only get 1 vote no matter who the hell you are. You either approve or disapprove ONCE. Isn't anyone listening to the hundreds of "how is this getting approved" comments in obvious flamebait trash articles with sensationalist titles and 10 pages to show 10 pictures? The answer is the broken approval system.

And what's with allowing someone to disapprove a submission by saying "Lame" and leaving it at that? Do 10 "Lame" votes speak for the entire community here? Of course not. A group of people (let's not forget those with multiple accounts) come in and disapprove an article they don't like with "Lame" and that's it, the article is buried regardless of if maybe another group of people did like it. If you're going to disapprove of an article, you should be obligated to give a legitimate reason or else your vote won't count. You have the "professional" submitters here in complete control of the contributions, not all members get to have a vote on submissions because they haven't been able to get 3 articles approved, and Lame is enough to have your submission disapproved.

So to summarize. The bubble system before was apparently a problem because, and this is according to an official source, it was apparently too easy to get a bubble. To fix that, they went to the other extreme and made it too easy to lose one and damn near impossible to gain one without "friends" to boost you. The reporting system is redundant, the agree/disagree system (which I didn't touch on) is completely pointless and irritating, and the approval/disapproval of submissions is broken as hell.

I expect a mod or admin to come and say "you should post this in the suggestions forum" pretty soon. To that I say that N4G's main traffic is a result of the main page filled with the articles. It should garner the most attention from site mods and admin and that's why this blog is here. If nothing I've said here will even be considered because it's not in the forum topic for suggestions, then you can add that problem to the list of problems this site has.

/rant

Emilio_Estevez  +   834d ago
It's not the system, it's the users. The internet is spiteful succubus.
LightofDarkness  +   834d ago
Then the system is not fit for its audience (the users) and must be revised. Simple as that.

Attempting to control people's behaviour on the internet is a battle you're always going to lose. The bubble system is simply too restrictive to allow for effective user commentary. Far too often do I find that I am simply unable to participate to a satisfying degree on topics of great interest -- just when the conversation was becoming interesting -- or unable to respond in an argument (entirely frustrating), which can lead to further de-bubbling.

The problem is with censorship. You have people who will say anything to get bubbles and users who will aggressively de-bubble anyone with differing opinions, which is further compounded with the "group" mentalities that one needn't search for too long to find around here.

The site enforces and encourages censorship of it's community's opinions. That's the bottom line. It's simply counter-intuitive and clearly doesn't work well, but yet I've seen the moderators/admins outright attacking anyone suggesting alternatives or pointing out the flaws with the current system, which is baffling.

It can't be that difficult to remove the functionality.
#1.1 (Edited 834d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
StraightPath   834d ago | Immature | show
consolez_FTW  +   834d ago
"Made it too easy to lose one and damn near impossible to gain one without "friends" to boost you."

"the approval/disapproval of submissions is broken as hell."

YES! these are my biggest problems with this site. Losing a bubble can be as easy as pie, but then wanting to get back said lost bubble is definitely near impossible.
Also having 5+bubble blatant trolls not get marked for trolling, but then someone who says something less worse gets the bubble taken away sucks too :/ This current bubble system doesn't seem to encourage conversation alot between users in a comment section considering we can run out a chances to talk. Needs a revision.

As for the approval/disapproval system for articles is broke too. Each contributor should only get ONE vote. thats how some crap articles make it to the front page because the submitter has "friends" that can approve up 2 or more times. Unfair for the rest of the community to me.

Agree with the mods kinda deciding to 'wing it' with the front page too. I've been on this site for a while and hardly know any of the mods. They could at least interact a bit with the front pagers a bit more. ( considering some of us aren't forum guys) also agree with the better moderation of comments..

Anyway, nicely written blog and great you pointed some pretty big flaws in N4G. Hopefully your blog gets listened to and some of these suggestions are considered.

Hope it doesn't turn out like those other "site problem" blogs where it's told to be posted in the forums and even then it still goes ignored by site management.
#2 (Edited 834d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Columbo  +   834d ago
I like how everyone says that there are 7+ bubble trolls running around flaming everyone and never get marked for trolling, yet I can only think of 2 users that have 6 or more bubbles who are not staff members.
DragonKnight  +   834d ago
Then you're not looking because you're stuck in the forums too much. I'd name names, but I'd get de-bubbled too easily again.
Emilio_Estevez  +   834d ago
Ban him! JK, but there really aren't many with extra bubbles at all. Columbo is right.
mendicant  +   834d ago
I'm with DK on this one, he's spot on.
Columbo  +   833d ago
With a comment like that, it shows how little you know about me. I'm stuck in the forums? My submission and managing history say otherwise. So instead of trying to counter a comment with facts or evidence, you instead project your personal opinion and deem it fact.

@ LostDjinn - Go for it. I just hit the erase button. Sorry, but oranges are better.
#3.1.3 (Edited 833d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report
LostDjinn  +   834d ago
I marked you for trolling Columbo.

Not because you were. Just to show everyone the system works.

How ya like them apples? :P
#3.2 (Edited 834d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
LostDjinn  +   833d ago
"Go for it. I just hit the erase button."

Behold!

The system works. ;)
coolbeans  +   834d ago
As a poster who had 6 bubbles and then 5 a day or so later, I don't think "broken" would be the right word to use; perhaps "strict" would be a better one. I personally like that because it's demanding posters be more consistant in their criticisms/comments/etc. I'd rather have a system where it an extra bubble feels like a badge itself, rather than a system where an obvious troll can make more comments just because he/she decided to make an intelligent post.

I personally think the "friend conspiracy" is BS as well. I'm not saying that action doesn't happen, but that it's innocuous to said poster's total bubble amount at the end of the day.
cgoodno  +   834d ago
***For one thing it's far too easy to take someone's bubbles.***

It's just as easy to give them.

Over the last month, you have made a total of 9 bubble votes, DragonKnight. 6 of them negative, 3 of them positive. All of the positive ones are for 'Funny'. So, you have voted negatively twice as much as positive and your bubble votes in general are very low for an 'active' user. Yet, you can vote people up just as many ways as you can down, but you have chosen instead to focus on the negative.

If I go out two months, you voted 18 negative and 5 positive.

***Especially when there are people with multiple accounts giving one person a down vote or when the fanboys get together and decide someone they are calling a fanboy needs to be shut up and then give them a down vote.***

Complete speculation based on biased perspective. If you believe people have multiple accounts and do this, report them. 99% of the time, the people who say this are incorrect, though.

***The mods seem to be quite inconsistent or arbitrary in their moderations of comments, but do a decent job most of the time when it comes to story submissions.***

Perception is key here. As in all things managed by human hands, nothing is perfect, but our moderation is not arbitrary. We miss things out of the thousands of comments each day. We also have to decide who steps over a line and who doesn't, when there's really not definitive line drawn. And, honestly, there's no way to draw a definitive line.

***I guess they spend too much time in the forum and decide to "wing it" with the main page.***

I guess so. Now, let's wait for the forum peeps to show up and complain about our moderation and how we concentrate too much on the front pages.

***Another thing that's stupid is the Report option. It contains only "Offensive" or "Spam. In conjunction with the bubble system, it makes the entirety of reporting/de-bubbling redundant.***

Think of the report option as an escalation of how you perceive a comment. These are for the comments that contain racial slurs, massive spoilers, or are just spam. The items we all want to go away ASAP. Reporting these appropriately on our end helps us to catch and moderate these sort of things much faster than general comment moderation.

So, your perception is that it's redundant, but I can tell you that it is a tool that aids in preventing the worst types of offenses from going unanswered for too long.
#5 (Edited 834d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   834d ago
Your point about my bubble votes.

I would think you would understand the difference between giving someone a bubble, and having a bubble added. Are you going to post the bubble votes of everyone here or just mine in an attempt to undermine my point? I am not, by a long shot, the only one who thinks the system is broken. I have even seen other blogs written about it. Out of my low bubble down votes for a typical user that's been on this site as long as I have, you can clearly see that I'm not the typical person to just go and down vote constantly on a whim. But are you trying to deny that such people exist, and are you trying to avoid all the complaints easily located on the site about the bubble system?

Your point about my "biased perspective"

Biased perspective eh? Take a look at the 1 bubble accounts around. Match their comment frequency and style. Locate new accounts with the same commenting style and tell me there aren't multiple accounts with people who love to down vote. The people on this site can smell a multi-account user a mile away, and it's not a stretch to believe that someone would use many accounts to down vote say a member they have a problem with. What use is reporting someone for down bubbling using multiple accounts WHEN THE BUBBLE SYSTEM IS BROKEN? Are you going to give the bubbles back? Or are you just going to down bubble the accounts of the guilty and just give them another reason to make another account and continue?

Your point about not being able to catch everything.

I'm sorry, but that's not true. As a mod you'd of course say such things, but when you can see a 7 bubble member posting trolling remarks (and again, you can clearly see I'm NOT the only one saying this) and NOTHING happens several times over, it's not a case of "we just missed it." Like you say, nothing made by human hands is perfect, but it doesn't have to be completely broken either. I would prove my points if the methods weren't against site rules.

Your point about "winging it"

See, right there it seems to me you're saying you "wing it" in both sections. I know that's not the point you're trying to get across, but it's a point that can be arrived at. A suggestion is forum specific mods, and site specific mods.

Your point about the Report function.

What's the point though? Explain to me how Personal Attack in the bubble down list is apparently less of an offense than "Offensive" in the report list. Offensive is vague and general, Personal Attack is specific and direct. Yet someone arbitrarily decided one holds more weight than the other. And then you get instances where there is no direct personal attack, but the down vote and censoring is immediate while a truly offensive remark isn't. Is it a case of not enough mods, or the opinions of the mods making one report hold more weight than the other?

If I were the only one complaining about it then sure, your points would be irrefutably valid. But "perception" is what reality is, and reality is greater than one mind. Simply by looking, you can see that many have "perceived" the system to be broken. To cast aside what I say as merely biased perspective is to admit you're ignoring those who have the same problems in favor of the system. Is that what you're doing?
cgoodno  +   834d ago
***I would think you would understand the difference between giving someone a bubble, and having a bubble added.***

Yes. And, giving positive votes increases chances of gaining a bubble and giving negative votes increases chances of losing a bubble. Giving a negative vote has the exact same weight as giving a positive vote.

***Are you going to post the bubble votes of everyone here or just mine in an attempt to undermine my point?***

I provided an example you would understand. No one is undermining anything.

***Out of my low bubble down votes for a typical user that's been on this site as long as I have, you can clearly see that I'm not the typical person to just go and down vote constantly on a whim.***

Nor are you a person to up vote, which would carry the exact same weight as a down vote made by you.

***But are you trying to deny that such people exist, and are you trying to avoid all the complaints easily located on the site about the bubble system?***

No, people do try to abuse the system. That's why we have various counter measures to such things. Some people who abuse the system have a lower voting power, meaning it could take them 100 votes to affect a person's bubbles or they could be powerless to do as such even.

I believe I also proved, which was one of my main points in posting your votes for the last month, that we can see how you vote on and on whom you are voting. We can also see who is voting on you.

***Take a look at the 1 bubble accounts around. Match their comment frequency and style. Locate new accounts with the same commenting style and tell me there aren't multiple accounts with people who love to down vote.***

You just described half of my job here. Now, considering that I can see all of this info and you can't, who might have a better perspective on the situation?

Now, no issue if you don't believe me or trust me, but that would be entirely different than a 'broken' system. That would be your distrust of the current moderators.

***The people on this site can smell a multi-account user a mile away***

They think they can.

***What use is reporting someone for down bubbling using multiple accounts WHEN THE BUBBLE SYSTEM IS BROKEN?***

Because we can investigate this and see if it's true. It's what we are supposed to do.

Look, what you're talking about isn't the bubble system itself, it's the abuse of the system, which will happen with whatever system is in place. No matter what system is put in place, it's going to be abused. That's where mods come in. There has to be a human element to investigate and see who is abusing and who isn't.

***Are you going to give the bubbles back?***

It's on a case-by-case basis.

***when you can see a 7 bubble member posting trolling remarks***

PM me all of these 7+ bubble members and I will look into it. Currently, you're just saying this and I can't think off the top of my head a single person with 7+ bubbles who runs around trolling this site.

***Explain to me how Personal Attack in the bubble down list is apparently less of an offense than "Offensive" in the report list.***

They're not lesser. One flags it so we can see it easier and faster in order to facilitate moderation.

***Offensive is vague and general***

And it has to be. We can't make a bubble vote for each offensive possibility (racism, vulgar language, porn video, porn images, etc.).
#5.1.1 (Edited 834d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(2) | Report
cgoodno  +   834d ago
***Yet someone arbitrarily decided one holds more weight than the other.***

One doesn't hold more weight than the other. You are misinformed on this. At least not from the perspective of you reporting them.

When we mark something as offensive or spam, these are comments that don't belong on this site and we want hidden because of their content. These comments are reported by users, but flagged by moderators.

Bubble votes, for the most part, are reported by and flagged by users. We can also flag them as well.

***Is it a case of not enough mods, or the opinions of the mods making one report hold more weight than the other?***

It could just be that the mod at that time is reading the article or is moderating another comment that is offensive in the same submission comment thread. There are a lot of answers here. That's akin to asking why a speeding ticket is being taken care of over a murder case. There are many factors to it.

***If I were the only one complaining about it then sure, your points would be irrefutably valid. But "perception" is what reality is, and reality is greater than one mind.***

Perception is not reality. Perception is one's interpretation. That doesn't make it 'true' or 'valid'.

***Simply by looking, you can see that many have "perceived" the system to be broken.***

Many also "perceived" that Obama was not born in the U.S.

***To cast aside what I say as merely biased perspective is to admit you're ignoring those who have the same problems in favor of the system.***

If I was casting it aside, I wouldn't have thought to even reply. I am telling you, though, that a lot of what you have here is based on perception, not on fact. I know this because you don't have access to the data that would allow you to make factual claims.

***Is that what you're doing?***

What I am doing is trying to let you know that while you may still have your opinion, it doesn't make a lot of what you are "perceiving" to be true.
#5.1.2 (Edited 834d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(2) | Report
maniacmayhem  +   832d ago
@cgoodno

I think Dragaonkinght has proven that the bubble system is broken and it's because of people like him.

He spends more time bubbling down people than bubbling up. I think this just might be the majority of the members on this site and probably myself included.

The internet as sad as it seems is a place to mainly b*tch, cry and spew venom anonymously and with little consequence. People look for this and react to this more than a "well said" or "intelligent" comment. People on here have some serious grudges and for them to hold your bubbles in their hands is not fair.

For example there's a member on here named Gamingdroid he has 5 or 6 bubbles and in my opinion likes to game on 360. He's usually on the 360 articles, well one particular 360 article a lot of members came in to slam the 360 for whatever reason. He posts comments defending the 360 and all hell broke loose. He was instantly replied with insults and name calling. But what was interesting was the fact that some members said they were going to bubble him down just on principle.

I had to laugh at that. Now I don't know if it worked but with this mentality on here it sure is hard for a person to get a bubble up when it seems the majority are only looking to bubble down.

The reason I also say majority is because i mainly see 3 to 1 bubble only members on n4g. like I stated below if a bubble is going to be popped you should at least get a pm from a mod who popped it and explained why. I know I had a couple of comments marked "trolling" because I was defending my console of choice in my console of choice related article. I never understood why but never challenged it because the definition of trolling seems to change everyday.
cgoodno  +   832d ago
***I think Dragaonkinght has proven that the bubble system is broken and it's because of people like him.***

And you somehow think that this negativity would translate to a 'fixed' system elsewhere?

The only way to do this would be to give everyone a flat number of comments per article or leave it completely open. But, this is disliked considering how many spammers there are and how many comments everyone who doesn't truly contribute can say in a short period of time.

As I said above, no system is perfect. But, that doesn't mean imperfection is equal to being broken. The bubble system follows the adherence that N4G has kept, and that is that the community decides on the news and on the quality of each other's comments.

Gamingdroid does like his 360, but he also has a lot of bubbles because he provides intelligent responses to support his likes and dislikes. He doesn't just troll or provide one-line comments that don't have much merit.

Prior to becoming a mod, I was kind of the opposite of Gamingdroid in that I like my PS3 over my 360 and I didn't just throw out poor comments. In fact, you could say that I like to write a lot. But, with that and the sway of the community, I was able to get up to 9 bubbles before being asked to be a moderator.

If the system were truly broken, everyone would be at 1 bubble by now. I will admit that it isn't perfect, though no system will ever be perfect.
theonlylolking  +   834d ago
This one blog long ago had a great ideao for changing the bubble system.

I think the bubbles should be based on agrees and disagrees.
There could be a agree to disagree ratio that determines how many bubbles you have. People are less likely to bubble up than to bubble down but peeps have no problem pressing agree and disagree.

Your ratio and the amount of disagrees and agrees you have should be visible by all users. There also should be a "your top agreed comments" and "your top disagreed comments". Then you will see what you should and shouldn't say.
Crazay  +   834d ago
Awww.....Muffin
Would you like a hug?

=P
gamingdroid  +   834d ago
I would like a hug from your avatar! :D
Crazay  +   834d ago
You and me both friend. LoL

=D
Hyperbomb69  +   834d ago
you're right, this entire site is retarded with the stupid bubble system.
Communist China has more free speech than the rest of us.
I see so many trolls with more bubbles than others, and if you say what you think you get labeled as trolling, the whole thing is stupid, no wonder people make multiple accounts.
maniacmayhem  +   833d ago
Everyone should start out with 4 or 5 bubbles.
if you're marked for anything that de-bubbles you, you should be at least contacted by the mod who took it away and explained why.

You should also be given a chance to explain yourself. Of course there are exceptions, especially for the one who flat out go into articles to cause trouble.

A problem I have is the whole "troll" definition. It changes constantly and its applied to everything and to anyone with a different opinion.

I also think the bubbles should be reset after every new year. Its not fair to keep people at a set number forever.

To think people will give praise and bubble-ups more than negatives and bubble-downs obviously doesn't know the internet very well. forums and comment sites are made for the majority and specifically for people to b*tch, moan and cry about stuff.

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