Some Slight Changes to the Forums

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  • Reply 61 of 142
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 325administrator
    apple ][ said:
    jSnively said:
    I went ahead and removed the post completely for you. Going forward, we will simply delete any inappropriate posts you make instead of sanitizing them. That's less work for us anyway ; )
    I have a feeling that a considerable percentage of my posts will have to be sanitized, as I have never been shy to state what I believe, and I am always willing to back up what I believe and argue in favor of my viewpoints.

    If the new direction of the site means that certain kinds of opinions will have to be 'sanitized', then I don't have a problem with that, it is up to the site owners how they wish to run their site after all.

    But it is obvious to me that a person such as myself, who is often politically incorrect, will no longer be a good fit, with the new direction.

    I wont burden anybody with having to 'sanitize' any of my posts anymore, because I wont post here anymore, and that'll be even less work for anybody involved.

    For what it's worth, I do still believe that this is the best Apple related news site, and I will still check in and read it from time to time. I just wont post anymore, because I'm just not a very 'sanitary' person, at least when it comes to my viewpoints and my words.
    You are still welcome to post here. The moderation is hitting the news threads the heaviest, because that is where we can affect the most change, and harder still where it is most public facing (fist 10 or so posts). I'm not going to go in the political threads unless someone flags something. The bog is too deep there to even begin to wade through.

    That said, should you choose to stop posting, we wish you nothing but the best and hope you find somewhere you can express yourself how you feel you need to. We'll be here should you change your mind and return, no hard feelings.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 62 of 142
    nhtnht Posts: 4,331member
    jSnively said:

    You are still welcome to post here. The moderation is hitting the news threads the heaviest, because that is where we can affect the most change, and harder still where it is most public facing (fist 10 or so posts). I'm not going to go in the political threads unless someone flags something. The bog is too deep there to even begin to wade through.

    That said, should you choose to stop posting, we wish you nothing but the best and hope you find somewhere you can express yourself how you feel you need to. We'll be here should you change your mind and return, no hard feelings.
    Forum rules and TOS are hard to find in the mobile version. At least I can't find them but maybe I overlooked something obvious.

    Cant switch to desktop mode to see if there is some link there.

    Anyway, edits by mods should be made obvious as a courtesy to the poster.  A) so they know what not to write next time and B) any potential change in meaning is visible to all.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 63 of 142
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 325administrator
    nht said:
    jSnively said:

    You are still welcome to post here. The moderation is hitting the news threads the heaviest, because that is where we can affect the most change, and harder still where it is most public facing (fist 10 or so posts). I'm not going to go in the political threads unless someone flags something. The bog is too deep there to even begin to wade through.

    That said, should you choose to stop posting, we wish you nothing but the best and hope you find somewhere you can express yourself how you feel you need to. We'll be here should you change your mind and return, no hard feelings.
    Forum rules and TOS are hard to find in the mobile version. At least I can't find them but maybe I overlooked something obvious.

    Cant switch to desktop mode to see if there is some link there.

    Anyway, edits by mods should be made obvious as a courtesy to the poster.  A) so they know what not to write next time and b) any potential change in meaning is visible to all.
    Agreed. As of yesterday there should be at link in the footer.

    I already touched on this; We don't have time to message every user individually about why their post was removed, check the posting guidelines, chances are you will be able to figure it out once you do.  That said, I'm happy to answer any PMs that come in for any specific issues.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 64 of 142
    So I find it interesting that some posters seem to have taken to using the "Funny" button as a sarcastic downvote.  Dedicated participants will always find a way.

    Oh, and an earlier posted waxed nostalgic about how rosy things were before the Dislike button... they seem to have forgotten that several mods were more overtly confrontational about calling out false flags and the like.  THAT's why we didn't need that button.

    Now, I'm not necessarily saying one type of mod style is better.  I'm just saying it has as strong an effect, for better or worse, as the tools given to us.

    (Not leaving, I still enjoy it here.  Thanks for all you guys do to keep the site afloat!)
    asdasd
  • Reply 65 of 142
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 325administrator
    So I find it interesting that some posters seem to have taken to using the "Funny" button as a sarcastic downvote.  Dedicated participants will always find a way.

    Oh, and an earlier posted waxed nostalgic about how rosy things were before the Dislike button... they seem to have forgotten that several mods were more overtly confrontational about calling out false flags and the like.  THAT's why we didn't need that button.

    Now, I'm not necessarily saying one type of mod style is better.  I'm just saying it has as strong an effect, for better or worse, as the tools given to us.

    (Not leaving, I still enjoy it here.  Thanks for all you guys do to keep the site afloat!)
    It was a fear when I added it. It may go away soon, we'll see. It was fine for the first few days.

    In reality it's just another case of a few individuals ruining it for everyone. We could ban them, but they would just pop up under alt accounts or make new ones. That's probably not a treadmill worth getting on.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 66 of 142
    nhtnht Posts: 4,331member
    jSnively said:
    It was a fear when I added it. It may go away soon, we'll see. It was fine for the first few days.

    In reality it's just another case of a few individuals ruining it for everyone. We could ban them, but they would just pop up under alt accounts or make new ones. That's probably not a treadmill worth getting on.
    I have no idea why you would bother taking away something that some folks are using that isn't hurting anyone.

    note that I've never hit funny but did use dislike to indicate that the post in question was yet another tedious reiteration of "apple sucks" by the resident trolls.  I think some of these folks would think a "funny" would be a positive thing even when used sarcastically.

    If you felt that like/dislike applied to the poster rather than the post then agree/disagree would have worked.

    Using dislike was a lot faster and less cluttering than writing the normal rebuttal.  I vaguely recall a list and we could respond by number for the usual troll posts.  Was that here or somewhere else?  It must have been ten years ago when we still got all crazy for Mac World and had a week of insanity and a gazllion post countdown thread.

    It would be something like "Steve sucks blah blah Cube blah blah iPod blah blah Too Expensive! Blah blah xMac blah blah Apple doomed!" and the answer would be like "#23, #11, #32"

    Maybe it was somewhere else but its amazing that a decade later the trolling is the same except with Tim instead of Steve.
    tallest skilwilliamlondon
  • Reply 67 of 142
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 325administrator
    nht said:
    [...]
    I have no idea why you would bother taking away something that some folks are using that isn't hurting anyone.
    For the same reasons we removed the dislike button. Contrary to popular belief, people do understand sarcasm. when their post has a bunch of funnies piled on it and it's not a funny post in any real way, it has the same exact effect as a dislike button. It does cause problems.

    nht said:
    [...]

    note that I've never hit funny but did use dislike to indicate that the post in question was yet another tedious reiteration of "apple sucks" by the resident trolls.  I think some of these folks would think a "funny" would be a positive thing even when used sarcastically.
    We're working to actually moderate more of that out. Having people hit a button that had no effect on the visibility of the posts didn't make any real difference, and it was prone to abuse. For a while we contemplated making the button have an effect on the visibility of posts, it was actually while looking into that as a solution we realized how abused it was and the problems it was causing. I sort of touched on this earlier when someone brought up the Ars style up/down system.

    nht said:
    [..]
    Using dislike was a lot faster and less cluttering than writing the normal rebuttal.  I vaguely recall a list and we could respond by number for the usual troll posts.  Was that here or somewhere else?  It must have been ten years ago when we still got all crazy for Mac World and had a week of insanity and a gazllion post countdown thread.
    The low amount of effort was one of the key properties that made it prone to abuse. Some things should have a little friction. That's why you you are prompted to put in some text when you flag a post.

    Off the top of my head, I don't believe that list exist here.

    nht said:
    [...]
    Maybe it was somewhere else but its amazing that a decade later the trolling is the same except with Tim instead of Steve.
    We do see those patterns still, yeah.

    We're deleting them where it's egregious, but we're not going to remove them when it makes sense. For example, there was a post about Apple transforming into a services company, and one of the replies was (essentially, I'm paraphrasing) that "they may want someone else at the helm because Cook is a retail guy". That's a perfectly reasonable and valid perspective on that topic, and a good point for discussion. There's no reason to remove a post like that, so long as it's not bundled with a bunch of other insanity.

    Sometimes it gets murky when it's a perfectly normal post and then suddenly the last line or two is like "But under Jobs..." etc. We try and just use our best judgement there.
    pscooter63
  • Reply 68 of 142
    nht said:
    jSnively said:
    It was a fear when I added it. It may go away soon, we'll see. It was fine for the first few days.

    In reality it's just another case of a few individuals ruining it for everyone. We could ban them, but they would just pop up under alt accounts or make new ones. That's probably not a treadmill worth getting on.
    I have no idea why you would bother taking away something that some folks are using that isn't hurting anyone.

    note that I've never hit funny but did use dislike to indicate that the post in question was yet another tedious reiteration of "apple sucks" by the resident trolls.  I think some of these folks would think a "funny" would be a positive thing even when used sarcastically.

    If you felt that like/dislike applied to the poster rather than the post then agree/disagree would have worked.

    Using dislike was a lot faster and less cluttering than writing the normal rebuttal.  I vaguely recall a list and we could respond by number for the usual troll posts.  Was that here or somewhere else?  It must have been ten years ago when we still got all crazy for Mac World and had a week of insanity and a gazllion post countdown thread.

    It would be something like "Steve sucks blah blah Cube blah blah iPod blah blah Too Expensive! Blah blah xMac blah blah Apple doomed!" and the answer would be like "#23, #11, #32"

    Maybe it was somewhere else but its amazing that a decade later the trolling is the same except with Tim instead of Steve.
    Is this the thread to which you referred?

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/152839/rules-of-the-troll-wip/
    tallest skil
  • Reply 69 of 142
    nhtnht Posts: 4,331member
    nht said:

    Using dislike was a lot faster and less cluttering than writing the normal rebuttal.  I vaguely recall a list and we could respond by number for the usual troll posts.  Was that here or somewhere else?  It must have been ten years ago when we still got all crazy for Mac World and had a week of insanity and a gazllion post countdown thread.

    It would be something like "Steve sucks blah blah Cube blah blah iPod blah blah Too Expensive! Blah blah xMac blah blah Apple doomed!" and the answer would be like "#23, #11, #32"

    Maybe it was somewhere else but its amazing that a decade later the trolling is the same except with Tim instead of Steve.
    Is this the thread to which you referred?

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/discussion/152839/rules-of-the-troll-wip/
    That's more recent than I remembered but yes, something like that.  I remember someone making a website too.  

    TS, Mel or Ireland would remember if it existed.
  • Reply 70 of 142
    nht said:
    That's more recent than I remembered but yes, something like that.  I remember someone making a website too. TS, Mel or Ireland would remember if it existed.
    I remember one of the longtime shills here made a website exclusively to shit on me, but I don’t think we ever had one for forum trolls in general. Some of the tactics are the same as those used in COINTELPRO, but... well, the similarity is probably more than incidental but this isn’t the place to discuss it.
  • Reply 71 of 142
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,825member
    Hello, I just joined today, but am having a bit of an issue with the notification system. Any chance there could be a bit more flexibility (or that I'm doing something wrong)? If I tell it to notify me of new comments on posts I participate in, it sends and email for each response. Most forums I've used in the past send an email on the first response, then no more until the post is visited again. Is that possible? I like to be notified when there is new activity, but not dozens of emails. :)
  • Reply 72 of 142
    cgWerks said:
    I like to be notified when there is new activity, but not dozens of emails. :)
    You can fix that by hitting the gear on the top right of the page, choosing Edit Profile, and then choosing Notification Settings from the options at the top.
  • Reply 73 of 142
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,825member
    cgWerks said:
    I like to be notified when there is new activity, but not dozens of emails. :)
    You can fix that by hitting the gear on the top right of the page, choosing Edit Profile, and then choosing Notification Settings from the options at the top.
    Thanks, but the only pertinent setting I see seems to be, "Notify me when people comment on discussions I've participated in." and it's an all or nothing. Either you don't get notifications of new activity on the post, or you get an email each time the post gets a new comment.
  • Reply 74 of 142
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 325administrator
    Sorry for letting this thread drop a bit, been out of town for the holidays.
    cgWerks said:
    cgWerks said:
    I like to be notified when there is new activity, but not dozens of emails. :)
    You can fix that by hitting the gear on the top right of the page, choosing Edit Profile, and then choosing Notification Settings from the options at the top.
    Thanks, but the only pertinent setting I see seems to be, "Notify me when people comment on discussions I've participated in." and it's an all or nothing. Either you don't get notifications of new activity on the post, or you get an email each time the post gets a new comment.
    We can look into it. Not sure what the ETA on something like that would be since it would require us to go in pretty deep and change some forum code.

    nht said:
    That's more recent than I remembered but yes, something like that.  I remember someone making a website too. TS, Mel or Ireland would remember if it existed.
    I remember one of the longtime shills here made a website exclusively to shit on me, but I don’t think we ever had one for forum trolls in general. Some of the tactics are the same as those used in COINTELPRO, but... well, the similarity is probably more than incidental but this isn’t the place to discuss it.
    Before my time, I suppose. Like I said though, we do see the same patterns (apple is dead, job/cook/ etc. sucks) and we're looking to curb some of that behavior. With enough time and moderation hopefully people will get the idea and not post as much of that junk. 
  • Reply 75 of 142
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,825member
    jSnively said:
    We can look into it. Not sure what the ETA on something like that would be since it would require us to go in pretty deep and change some forum code.
    Thanks. I'm not sure if this is in-house code or not, but I've never seen a forum that didn't work that way... so hopefully it's just some setting. :)
  • Reply 76 of 142
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 325administrator
    Funny is gone.

    It became the new dislike, and wasn't important enough to be worthwhile. I thought about just reducing to simply 'like', but looking around it seems the informative button is being used well and holds some value, so I have no problem leaving that in.

    Happy new Year everyone.
    asdasdAppleInsiderboopthesnoot
  • Reply 77 of 142
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,518member
    nht said:
    jSnively said:
    It was a fear when I added it. It may go away soon, we'll see. It was fine for the first few days.

    In reality it's just another case of a few individuals ruining it for everyone. We could ban them, but they would just pop up under alt accounts or make new ones. That's probably not a treadmill worth getting on.
    I have no idea why you would bother taking away something that some folks are using that isn't hurting anyone.

    note that I've never hit funny but did use dislike to indicate that the post in question was yet another tedious reiteration of "apple sucks" by the resident trolls.  I think some of these folks would think a "funny" would be a positive thing even when used sarcastically.

    If you felt that like/dislike applied to the poster rather than the post then agree/disagree would have worked.

    Using dislike was a lot faster and less cluttering than writing the normal rebuttal.  I vaguely recall a list and we could respond by number for the usual troll posts.  Was that here or somewhere else?  It must have been ten years ago when we still got all crazy for Mac World and had a week of insanity and a gazllion post countdown thread.

    It would be something like "Steve sucks blah blah Cube blah blah iPod blah blah Too Expensive! Blah blah xMac blah blah Apple doomed!" and the answer would be like "#23, #11, #32"

    Maybe it was somewhere else but its amazing that a decade later the trolling is the same except with Tim instead of Steve.
    I have to agree with you. The dislike button was a good way of sorting through the irrelevant and ever-increasing 'Tim Cook is the anti-christ' posts that have now started filling every discussion from posters who create an account just to state how much he is ruining Apple. Fine, but do we have to hear it so many times in every single discussion? 

    AI says that the dislike button is being abused, and obviously most of the people being disliked would agree with them. Me personally, I think that if you're the kind of person who worries whether they're liked or disliked on a blog, then I think something is seriously wrong elsewhere in your life.

    It's pretty clear that the reason AI removed the dislike button is because people would use it instead of posting a comment, and that doesn't help with the site stickiness stats. What would be better if people replied to every single troll post with a rebuttal. Unfortunately, people don't have time for that, so the likely affect is that as the site fills up with more of the MacRumors type of poster, folk will stop posting rebuttals, and start responding with one line insults of their own. The forums will generally degrade in quality, but will fill with more of the anti-apple crowd who certainly spend a lot more time posting that genuine Apple users, and that will certainly help with the ads. I think that Macrumors discovered the same thing, which is why the site is geared towards attracting people who hate Apple with a passion. That's fair enough; there are other, better choices for Apple discussion, so I simply stopped going to MacRumors.

    But other sites have voting buttons and they seem to work very well. I keep going back to Ars Technica as the benchmark for quality, informative discussions, but I was curious why that seems to work there, but not here. I think there are two reasons:

    Ars Technica is interested more in the quality of the discussion rather than the number of posts each discussion attracts. They don't care if unpopular posts vanish, because they're usually unpopular for a very good reason. But how do they ensure they get good posts in the first place? That's point number two.

    Good quality articles attract good quality discussions; it's that simple. They print the facts that are well researched and backup up with evidence. They are knowledgeable and often contain nuggets that you won't find anywhere else. And because they're such good writers, they don't need to drop in phrases and articles that are designed to encourage a bun fight. 

    AI recently posted an article that referred to ex-employees of Apple as 'refugees'. What the hell was that?

    They also posted an article that described an 8% lead by Android as 'eclipsing' Apple. Eight percent is not being 'eclipsed' in anyone's book. Was that just poor writing, or designed to bring the Android fans out?

    DED's articles, while honest and written from the hip, are designed to bring the fighters out. 

    Which brings me to another point, before I forget.  If AI moderators disagree with something inside a post, then they should replace the whole post with the word 'deleted' and a short explanation why. That's what other sites do. They should not just wipe it without saying it's been deleted, because sometimes people return to their posts to check for responses. More importantly, they should not be attempting to sanitise posts by changing them. English is a subtle and beautiful language, and no one here has the skill to capture all its nuances when other people are writing it. If you don't like post, just replace it with deleted

    I'm seeing a lot of attempts here to make people contribute more to the forums, and they've missed the best trick of all: write better articles. Concentrate less on churning them out as fast as you can, and concentrate more on articles that provoke thought.
  • Reply 78 of 142
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,518member
    And I've just notice something else.

    If you have a like button, and no dislike button, then all that happens is that the trolls will get together and like each other. If you removed the dislike then you really should get rid of all the buttons.

    As I've said, whether you're liked or disliked on a blog probably doesn't matter to normal people, so the only value it has is to help people sort through irrelevant posts.
    edited January 2017 williamlondonpscooter63
  • Reply 79 of 142
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 325administrator
    Rayz2016 said:
    [...]
    I'm seeing a lot of attempts here to make people contribute more to the forums, and they've missed the best trick of all: write better articles. Concentrate less on churning them out as fast as you can, and concentrate more on articles that provoke thought.
    We almost never take into account the discussion a post is going to generate before we make it, and we certainly don't cherry-pick phrases/words to stoke some sort of fire. If we write about something it's because we think the readers are probably interested in it. We've been doing this a very long time, and we have a over a decade of metrics to look at -- we have a decent what people are interested in reading. On top of that we have our intuition and individual topics of interest.

    Maybe we should pay more attention to the response it will generate, we could probably work on that. However, we also don't want to fall into the trap of catering to a minority user base. I cannot count the amount of times I have to delete "why is this news" posts on some of our most popular (metric-wise) articles. We have to be able to serve two audiences. People love to bring up sites like theloop or daringfireball, but the reality is that if we did the numbers those sites do, we would be dead in a year.

    We want to put some more attention on our forums, which, frankly, have been basically neglected for way too long. We're no longer going to tolerate the same amount of crap we have in the past. And we're not going to let this turn into MacRumors, we'll be more active moderating than that. I've said it a thousand times before in this thread, and I will say it again; We want this place to be better, that's why we're making changes.

    Rayz2016 said:
    As I've said, whether you're liked or disliked on a blog probably doesn't matter to normal people, so the only value it has is to help people sort through irrelevant posts.
    This is a fundamentally incorrect assumption. We have plenty of input from "normal" users to the contrary as well.

    Rayz2016 said:
    If you have a like button, and no dislike button, then all that happens is that the trolls will get together and like each other. If you removed the dislike then you really should get rid of all the buttons.
    We have enough interaction via the like button that that demographic gets lost in the current. They're much more destructive in a funny/dislike context because there's less noise to get lost in. They're welcome to like each others posts all they want.

    Rayz2016 said:

    Which brings me to another point, before I forget.  If AI moderators disagree with something inside a post, then they should replace the whole post with the word 'deleted' and a short explanation why. That's what other sites do. They should not just wipe it without saying it's been deleted, because sometimes people return to their posts to check for responses. More importantly, they should not be attempting to sanitise posts by changing them. English is a subtle and beautiful language, and no one here has the skill to capture all its nuances when other people are writing it. If you don't like post, just replace it with deleted

    We're not interested in keeping around a bunch of 'deleted' posts around. It's of very little value to the people reading the site. If anyone is confused about why something is deleted, feel free to PM one of the moderators, or consult the rules. We have relaxed on sanitizing posts; originally it seemed like the better idea to help ease with the transition because it was a clear hint toward the behavior we expected. Turns out it wasn't worth it.
    edited January 2017 AppleInsider
  • Reply 80 of 142
    jSnively said:
    Funny is gone.

    It became the new dislike, and wasn't important enough to be worthwhile. I thought about just reducing to simply 'like', but looking around it seems the informative button is being used well and holds some value, so I have no problem leaving that in.

    Happy new Year everyone.
    Happy New Year.

    BTW, removing Funny because people use it as "Dislike" won't change things most likely, Informative will simply become the new Dislike.
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