Problem:

  • Attractive commentary is insightful and pithy, but forums do not accumulate pith. Forums bloat with redundant observations, misread remarks, and misunderstanding replies unless the community aggressively cull those comments.
  • Having your comment dismissed is unwelcoming and hurtful. Even if we know that downvotes shouldn't be hurtful, they are.

Inspiration:

This thread.

Proposal:

Dismiss comment button

Bob writes a comment that doesn't carry its weight. Alice, a LW reader, can choose to up-vote, down-vote, or Dismiss Bob's comment. Dismiss advises the community that a commentent may not be worth reading, but does not notify the comment's author (Bob).

  • Anyone who Dismissed Bob's comment would see it as folded (or even removed)
  • Bob would not see his commment as folded.
  • Anyone else who didn't dismiss Bob's comment might or might not see it folded, depending on their ("Don't show me comments with a score less than x") preferences.:
    • For the purposes of Karma folding, Alice's dissmiss would count as if it were -1 karma. If Bob's comment had a karma score of 1 and was Dismissed once, users who fold comments with scores of 0 would see Bob's comment as folded.
    • If Bob's comment were for Alice's article, Alice's Dismiss would count as if it were -3 karma for the purposes of comment folding. This allows article authors quickly nip off-topic commentary.
    • If Bob dissmissed his own comment, it would also count as if it were -3 karma.
  • The total number of times Bob's comment was Dismissed would be invisible to all users. If he really wanted to, Bob could set up a puppet account, vary the ("Don't show me comments with a score less than x") field until his comment was folded, and from that infer the number of dismisses on that comment. If Bob does that, I don't particularly care if his feelings are hurt.

Upvoted for a good analysis of the problem, but I think the proposed solution would make the forum worse, not better - it makes the system more complex (more buttons, more states a comment can be in), and more prone to abuses (dismissing as censorship), and drama and complaints about people abusing the feature even if they are not.

3Lumifer7yThat, in effect, sets up a parallel karma system. There is the normal karma, visible and both up- and downvotable. And then there is the karma of dismissal which is unseen and can only go down but never can go up. Besides that, the system implies personal "hide-this" flags for all comments. The Dismiss button, then, does two things simultaneously: sets the hide-this flag for the comment and decreases the comment's dismissal karma.
3drethelin7ynegative karma that doesn't discourage the poster from making further similar comments is almost pointless.

Open thread, August 12-18, 2013

by David_Gerard 1 min read12th Aug 2013125 comments

4


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.