DragonKnight (User)

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"I don't care about bubbles. Seriously, I don't."

Do The Users Really Control Everything On N4G?

DragonKnight | 507d ago
User blog

It's me again, making yet another possibly controversial blog about this site. Previously I've made a blog about how the mods of this site don't take as active a role in much of what goes on on N4G as many people think and instead let us, the community, moderate the site ourselves. Now I'm here to ask and answer the question of if that is true of everything.

What I'm about to post is not a judgement of the moderating team of this site. Quite frankly, there is literally nothing they can do to change what I'm going to be talking about.

Do you all remember how there used to be a site called dealzone.com that would get instant approval to post their spam in the blog section? If you don't, I wrote a blog about that too. LOL. Anyway, I found out through some digging and a comment that the fact that dealzone.com got instant approval because of mods and Network Managers approving it was due to a deal that dealzone had with the owners of N4G, Hava Media. My blog called out this tactic as being against the very rules, and spirit, of this site. That a company can just pay for instant approval while the rest of us had to work for it was and still is completely wrong. After the blog I wrote I have yet to see a single submission from dealzone.com in the blog section ever again. I'm not taking credit for that, I'm simply laying out the timeline.

That incident brought up the fact that there are always exceptions to any rule, and that we don't actually "moderate" or control everything that comes on this site.

Well guess what folks, I have another instance of us, the community, having no control. You know when you read an article submission and you think "this is pure flamebait" and click on that little + sign next to the site's name so that you can vote it down? The object of that vote is so that we, the community that are the lifeblood of this site, aren't subjected to content we don't like because it's blatantly sensationalist, trolling, or spam. The idea is that WE get to decide what sites even have their submissions seen at all. Sounds pretty good right? Too bad it's not that cut and dry.

Turns out that Hava Media has other arrangements for some of the sites that can have articles submitted here. Ever wonder why Kotaku gets away with having their sensationalist B.S. posted on the site? Well part of it is because of the submitters and the approvers who don't care that it's garbage journalism, and the other part is because our votes don't count for jack. Sites like Kotaku, IGN, and any of the bigger gaming news sites are completely exempt from having their 3 stars downvoted to oblivion.

From a business perspective, of course anyone can understand why this is. The big sites bring in the clicks which brings in the money. But how hypocritical is it to tell us that we, the members of this site, are in control of everything that is shown on the site and yet in the same moment take away a basic, yet huge aspect of that control? We are told we have the ability to prevent unworthy content from showing up on the site. That if we so choose, we can make it invisible to us. In the Past, this power has been used to ban HipHopGamer from posting anything on this site thanks to how sensationalist and misinformed his submissions and even their titles were.

HipHopGamer is no different than Kotaku except to say that he is not as big a presence as Kotaku. HipHopGamer didn't get to have a seat in the panel that chose the 2012 VGA winners, but Kotaku had 3. Now, I'm no fan of HipHopGamer just as I'm no fan of Kotaku, but it seems to me that punishing one for being sensationalist, misleading, and causing deliberate controversy yet not punishing the other is hypocritical, contradictory, and completely wrong. Wouldn't you agree?

So really, what control do we actually have? Well, we can make submissions and approve or report them, but if a company pays Hava Media then they get instant approval. We can vote sites up or down but if they are a big site or have arrangements with Hava Media, then our votes mean absolutely nothing. Basically, what we get to do is decide if we want to submit an article from any site while the rest of the members hope that said site or submission isn't exempt from the traditional rules set forth in Site Guidelines that everyone else has to follow.

Wanna do something about it? Well I have a potential solution for you. No, it's not contacting the mods, admins, or Network Managers. They can't do anything. What you want to do is go to this site...

http://havamedia.com/Home/C...

Use the form to tell Hava Media that you don't appreciate being told that you are the lifeblood of their site only when it doesn't conflict with their business relationships. That if they are going to remove control from the members they claim to value enough to give them control in the first place, that they should create an asterisked amendment in their own rules citing the moments we do not have control. In short, ask them what purpose there is in giving us control if there are moments where that control is taken from us in favour of going against the site rules and lowering the overall quality of the site in favour of pandering to sensationalist pseudo-journalists like Kotaku.com

I'm already submitting my "feedback." Will you do the same?

Valenka  +   507d ago
I'm absolutely loving the roll you're on in terms of blogs. Submission after submission is literally spot-on in the subject of discussion. I'm looking forward to the next one!
#1 (Edited 507d ago ) | Agree(16) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   507d ago
Awww go on, you're making me blush. Lol.

Thanks for the compliment. I try to do well by my material so that people either enjoy, or can relate to, what I'm writing about. I'll do my best not to disappoint in the future.
HyperBear  +   507d ago
Good goin' @DragonKnight!!!

I've enjoyed reading your blogs about how this site has been changing lately, and I'm sure other members, including myself agree with your statements.

I hope your next blog is about how this bubble commenting system is useless and unpopular. It just ticks me off that I've been a member since 2005, longer than most of the mods on here, back as far as when this site was divided into 2 separate sites and then merged into news4gamers.com (not abbreviated like it is today). Yet for some reason I've never moved past 3 bubbles in over 5yrs and I see some people who just joined 2-5months ago and have 5 or 6 bubbles....I just find it strange and want to know why nothing is being done to improve the commenting on this site
HammadTheBeast  +   507d ago
You will get your IP ban in form of PM shortly. Thank you for your stay.

:D
Root  +   506d ago
@HyperBear

The worst is when there's certain people out there who don't deserve it.

I mean I've been here since December last year (one mod who REFUSES to believe that) but even then I've seen comment after comment about how crap things are on this site, especialy the bubble system and yet nothing has been done about it....why not, if people have been complaining way before I even joined then surley it should be a number one thing on their list of things to do around here. I just feel like they can't be arsed to be honest.

Why is it you have sites like Koktau, IGN, Eurogamer etc who don't have this silly bubble system, they just remove comments which are negative...yet thats the end of it. If people are trolling to much THEN restrict them to only three bubbles an article. If they need more mods to patrol the articles...then take on more mods, they keep going on about how they don''t get paid to do this and how they do this in their own time, how they have a life but they never seen to take more people on, more people means more time for you guys to get on with your life. Theres so many people on here I bet would do it, DragonKnight might be one....hell I would like to do it I mean I only work 9 hours a week and I'll be off college untill September so it's not like I'm doing much like other mods who probably have full time work and kids.

They just don't seen to help themselfs to be honest and I feel like they don't want to improve this website. The worst part about it is that most of the time I feel like they just make the rules up as they go along

One minute it's

"The community makes the decisions regarding the vote system"

then you could have a comment which people totaly agree with and are prasing you for and it's then

"I bubbled you down because it was trolling, just because people agree dosen't mean anything"

I mean make up your mind...if the agree ratio is 80 to 20 dislikes then I'm sorry but you would think theres more chance of those 80 people bubbling you up then 20 bubbling you down. So in the end it's clear the COMMUNITY didn't bubble me down, YOU did for personal reasons.

The first thing which should be dealt with is the bubble system...that should be ridden of, along with the disagree button since that serves no purpose.
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StraightPath  +   506d ago
thankfully big sites are allowed still to post if it wasn't for the case. Be sure that all the butt hurt fan boys will put negative vote to anything they do not like. This will become a 100% Pro sony site.
#1.2 (Edited 506d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(12) | Report | Reply
pixelsword  +   505d ago
How is it a pro-sony site when Hip-Hop Gamer's been banned, and he was the only pro-sony site out there, when Kotaku posts total bullcrap and they (or sites like tham) have been stealing articles from Tor Davis for God knows how long and they've been anti-sony and never been banned?
majiebeast  +   507d ago
Kotaku has 1 good article a month i think at this point. The rest is just hyperbole, nothing would make me happier then seeing Kotaku end up on the ban list same as Polygon. The offspring of Kotaku founded by Brian Crecente. I mean for gods sake they have McWhertor and Gies as editors both are complete shills.
#2 (Edited 507d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
solidjun5  +   507d ago
Wait...polygon is the ban list? How can one find out?
DragonKnight  +   507d ago
It's not, he's saying he wishes it was.
solidjun5  +   506d ago
Ahh. My apologies. I was excited and missed over his statement. lol
SilentNegotiator  +   507d ago
I've seen enough comments with inexplicable "well said" bubble-ups with twice (or more) as many disagrees as agrees (in large quantities, not like 3 disagrees or anything) to confidently say that the bubble system is largely manipulated by the mods.

And it doesn't shock me that they wouldn't take care of consistent crap like Kotaku...I'm sure they realized what a mistake it was to ban HHG when site clicks surely reduced 10%.

BUT, and this is a big stinky but (heehee, ZP), I blame Kotaku having 3 stars on Kotaku...any site that manipulates people so well with hot button topics surely knows the game well enough to have many accounts that vote EVERY Kotaku article up.
#3 (Edited 507d ago ) | Agree(12) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
BitbyDeath  +   507d ago
Hottest articles are also controlled by mods hence why articles just vanish off the top while some with very few comments get promoted to the top.

Everything is controlled users are more flags for what they think is wrong, mods get the final say in what everyone sees and doesn't see.
DragonKnight  +   507d ago
"I blame Kotaku having 3 stars on Kotaku...any site that manipulates people so well with hot button topics surely knows the game well enough to have many accounts that vote EVERY Kotaku article up."

They don't need to do that. The down votes against Kotaku vastly outweigh the upvotes but Hava Media is preventing Kotaku from being removed from sight themselves. It has nothing to do with Kotaku manipulating the system with dummy accounts, it's the owners of N4G making special arrangements for certain sites.
Outside_ofthe_Box  +   507d ago
***"it's the owners of N4G making special arrangements for certain sites."***

I figured that was the case. Merill lost 2 bubbles http://n4g.com/news/1216616... http://n4g.com/news/1216616... for pointing out that Kotaku still has 3 stars despite many down votes.

Funny thing is he was marked down for "trolling" instead of "off-topic" or "immature" which would have been far more accurate. Add on to the fact that he lost 2 bubbles, it shows that someone REALLY doesn't want people noticing this observation.
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Wintersun616  +   507d ago
"I've seen enough comments with inexplicable "well said" bubble-ups with twice (or more) as many disagrees as agrees (in large quantities, not like 3 disagrees or anything) to confidently say that the bubble system is largely manipulated by the mods."

True, and also what's up with getting that "Well said" or "Intelligent" on your comment but not receiving a bubble? Do you need more than 1 of them to actually bubble up or do the mods/admins have the power to take the earned bubble away?
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admiralvic  +   506d ago
From what I understand about the bubble system, it basically tons a bunch of +'s to get one and only a few -'s to lose them. There doesn't really seem to be any rhyme or reason as to why the system works, but a lot of people will make dummy accounts to up their count. This can be seen with people like LogicWins, who sometimes has something good to say, but typically doesn't.
DragonKnight  +   506d ago
The bubble system is more complex than just pressing an option. Each member has a "trust" ranking that only mods/admins can see. The better your comments, that is to say the more constructive or positive or generally good, the better your trust rank is. But it's also effected by good submissions, helpful behaviour, lack of restrictions, etc..

If you have a low trust rank, your bubble votes will count for pretty much nothing. This means 1 bubble trolls can try to debubble as many times as they want and nothing will happen.

New members don't have much of a trust rank either, so duplicate accounts don't really work to give someone an advantage unless they are making hundreds of them.

Conversely, if you have a higher trust rank then your bubble votes count for more. A problem many of the users here have is that they think every system in place is a simple cut and dry one of basic clicks to make anything happen. It isn't though. There's a lot of complexity behind the scenes and that's why a lot of people get confused and some go on to attack everyone.
Moncole  +   506d ago
or those people who say "looks fun" and get a well said. They didnt put any thought in their comment and get a bubble.
MEsoJD  +   506d ago
HHG was garbage and made the site almost unbearable at times.
cgoodno  +   507d ago
1. Your blog is spot on about how there are elements to which the community, mods, or admins have no control. In the end, N4G does as much as it can to be community driven, but there are still mods and the owners still want the hits.

2. HHG wasn't banned because of sensationalist titles or the like. He was banned for the #1 thing that sites do that get them a ban, plagiarism and use of content from another site without permission (content theft).

3. I encourage all people to submit feedback to Hava Media. It's info that will at least tell them that enough users want something better and something not as controlled by them in this manner.

---

***Hottest articles are also controlled by mods hence why articles just vanish off the top while some with very few comments get promoted to the top.***

This is not true. Only admins have this power (of which there are two, me being the one who does it on here primarily) and, even then, the ones I tend to remove from the front are those opinion pieces that get there by abusing clicks to get heat and have few comments.

***I figured that was the case. Merill lost 2 bubbles http://n4g.com/news/1216616... http://n4g.com/news/1216616... for pointing out that Kotaku still has 3 stars despite many down votes. ***

He was bubbled down for being off topic, which is a more appropriate bubble vote, but they're the same in the end as far as 'vote' power. And, it's IMPOSSIBLE to lose 2 bubbles from a single vote, mod/admin/regular users.
#4 (Edited 507d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   507d ago
Thanks for clearing up the HHG situation. Most of the members figured he was banned for his flamebait and sensationalism, but your explanation falls in line with Cat's recent blog regarding plagiarism so it makes sense.
Outside_ofthe_Box  +   507d ago
***"He was bubbled down for being off topic, which is a more appropriate bubble vote, but they're the same in the end as far as 'vote' power. And, it's IMPOSSIBLE to lose 2 bubbles from a single vote, mod/admin/regular users."***

I did recall him going from 5 to 3, I guess he must have been marked down somewhere else then I guess.

Just for clarification, so we aren't allowed to mention down voting a site in an article or else our comment will be marked as off topic?
#4.2 (Edited 507d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
cgoodno  +   507d ago
You can, but not if that's all you do. Stay on don't just comment on downvoting the site. Though, I tend to give a bubble back if one is lost for it. But, it's pretty much detracting from the topic at hand if all you do is post that. But, other mods aren't required to do as such.
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HammadTheBeast  +   507d ago
"The ones I tend to remove from the front are those that get there by abusing clicks to get heat and have few comments".

I'd put Kotaku's lying and flame bait in the same category, and it's easy to see why people out their articles up and the mods don't have them removed, despite them being duplicates a lot of the time.
cgoodno  +   507d ago
Kotaku articles aren't abusing the heat system. The community members here comment to high heaven on them. Rarely does a Kotaku article make it to the top of the page without having 30+ comments.

So, while "you" would do that, "you" would be doing that just because it's Kotaku and no other legitimate reason.

Remember, folks, hate Kotaku all you want, but they get a lot of attention. There's a reason for that, they're all about titles and content that results in attention.

Just because I can't affect their star rating doesn't mean their submissions wouldn't make the front page anyway if they were ranked like the majority of sources on this site.
Tetsujin  +   506d ago
I've gotten to the point that anything Kotaku says, I don't read the article. I have yet to read an article from Kotaku that wasn't some sort of flame bait, or trolling attempt - and I've discovered them back in 2006. There isn't anything Kotaku posted that another site hasn't published yet; and most of the time their twist is added just for those extra hits.

I swear Kotaku gets their kicks out of upsetting the playerbase, and because a lot of people still visit their site, they will continue to post garbage.
ZoyosJD  +   506d ago
Quick question...Could it be reasonable for users to set up a list of sites they want blocked from their news feed or would it be too cumbersome to even consider implementation?
cgoodno  +   506d ago
Moderators have been suggesting many features, this being one of them, to the site owners for a long time. Being able to 'blacklist' and 'whitelist' certain sites is something I would love as would many other moderators and users. We will definitely keep this in mind as the site grows.

Whether this gets implemented or not is entirely up to the site owners. But, if I had my way, it would be in now. Would be an awesome feature.
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BlackBusterCritic  +   506d ago
Lol. HHG says he was banned because of racism. XD Guess the whole plagiarism thing wasn't taught in his schools.
dedicatedtogamers  +   506d ago
Great blog once again. I'm not sure how much control users have over this site, but like cgoodno said, it would be great if individual users could blacklist sites so that they don't show up in their news feeds.

A few years ago the comment section on N4G had two parts. One was just the normal comment area, and the other was the "fanboy exile" area that you had to specifically click to see. Perhaps the site admins could implement something similar for websites.
Cat  +   506d ago | Well said
To clarify, there is no arrangement between HAVAmedia or any of its employees with Kotaku or any other site for rating. Simply, Kotaku achieved a very high star rating when the rating system debuted, and it has not yet changed as a result of member votes.

Why the rating has not changed is likely because a) it takes many votes to alter a rating b) because of the trust rank of those members casting the votes c) who is voting (if the same 5 members are clicking "yay" or "nay" the system detects it and the votes weigh less)

As cgoodno mentioned above, HHG was banned for plagiarism.

We welcome feedback, I'm only sorry that this blog was based on a poorly worded and erroneous comment. There are enough true things that members and staff think need updating, changing and attention on N4G. :)
#6 (Edited 506d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(7) | Report | Reply
DragonKnight  +   506d ago
You have to admit that it's fishy that Kotaku could have an overwhelming mass of negative votes and it still hasn't taken effect. Regardless of trust ranks, if the number of people voting them down is large enough it should still count for something. Even one star deduction to say the least.

And I may have used the wrong word when I said arrangement. I don't necessarily mean Hava Media contacted Kotaku and said "hey, how's about we make it so you can never be blocked from sight on N4G" and Kotaku agreed. I meant that, for whatever reason they have, Hava Media wants Kotaku always present all the time.

I also find it hard to believe, though I suppose that it's not impossible, that Kotaku achieving a high rating at the start means that nothing can change now when enough other sites seem to have lost or gained stars. Maybe this means there is a problem with the star rating system that needs to be looked at, I don't know, but even disregarding the comment which you stated is erroneous and poorly worded, there is a clear problem when many members can vote a site down and nothing happens at all. It's one thing when then trust rank of a few members doesn't lower another members bubbles, it's another when a site that is blatantly sensationalist, that publishes unfounded rumours and then blames their "source" when people get upset, and is basically an all-round terrible "journalist" site that lowers the quality of this one continues to enjoy the privilege of not having the members voices count when they vote them down.

And finally, taking all that you said to be completely true, it still seems that there is nothing you can do and Hava Media still needs to fix it.
Cat  +   504d ago
"disregarding the comment which you stated is erroneous"

If we disregard the comment I'm alluding to, accepting that it is erroneous, then we must also recognize that the blog above is incredibly fallacious.

In fact I said it was surprising, but based on all the information I have, it's legitimate.

"Hava Media wants Kotaku always present all the time."

No, that's not the case for any site - except N4G. ;) The goal has been and remains to be a user driven site for gamers.

"but if a company pays Hava Media then they get instant approval. "

This is incorrect to the point of being libelous.

Unfortunately, battling misinformation is a time killer around here and I don't want to invest any more on this particular bit of it. As I mentioned above, there are too many valid things in need of attention. On the upside, you care enough about the site and the user experience to blog about it. :)

Everyone, please continue to give all the feedback you can muster. I certainly prefer it delivered with civility and a dash of good humor, but in truth we take it all, vitriolic bits included. I hope that when we finally debut the next update you recognize the changes you've requested, from the dissolution of bubbles to other, as yet top-secret-ish bits. :)
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coolbeans  +   504d ago
". . .from the dissolution of bubbles to other. . ."

Ahhh shucks...I thought I would be the only contributor to know this secret until it happened. :(

Anyway, thanks for going out of your way to clarify this, Cat.
Septic  +   504d ago
Oi did you just give yourself a well said bubble lol?

Cheeky
Cat  +   504d ago
Haha, no, though it would be ;)

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