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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Points system creates censorship

    Dear All,

    This thread is to express my feeling that the points system creates a form of self-censorship.

    The points system is designed with noble aims in mind - the aim that by encouraging posts that appeal to the majority of users and discouraging posts which don't appeal we will create a better system. I agree that to some extent this works, but I don't think it's applicable to a general forum.

    The places where I think this works quite well is in the security forums, where most discussions are largely technical, and to some extent at least, there is a "right answer" to the questions. This is ok, because a stupid question or incorrect answer attracts negs, and a sensible question or correct answer attracts positives.

    The place where it works the least well is in the highly political forums, such as "Cosmos" and general chit-chat, where the topic is often political and sometimes philisophical.

    There have been several posts I've seen (none of which I seem to be able to find now, perhaps because they've been negged) which have been expressing valid views, but attracted a large number of negative points.

    This is not because these posts were in any way inferior, or defective, just because they expressed an opinion that wasn't popular amongst the majority of AO users, whom I assume to be largely American conservatives and hence likely to neg any thread which questions any policy of the United States government (for instance)

    This creates a regime where any post which offends this bland majority quickly gets negged, and as a result either gets pushed down, or commits suicide, resulting in valid opinions getting missed out on by other users. Additionally, the poster gets a lot of negs which can result in them getting banned, or at least disrespected by other AO users.

    The result is, if you have any opinions that you believe will attract negs, don't post on AO. It's as simple as that. I haven't personally posted any particularly controversial threads, therefore I don't know what sort of topic it requires to attract this unwanted attention. I assume that a sufficiently strong opinion that conflicts with a lot of people will cause a new user to be banned instantly, thus completely muffling any valid opinion they may have.

    Happy posting


  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    I agree with you ... I posted somthing my second day on here and i got negged to he** and back just because someone the prior day posted a very similiar thread...oh well, i'll get over it, but i see your point..

  3. #3
    Some Assembly Required ShagDevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New Jersey
    Hey, I just got here and I figure it should only be about 2 weeks before I reach 2 bazillion negative points. What can I say? I have a tendency to start boring topics. I wonder, if AntiOnline Bad Topic Addict exists. IF so, I'll be the first to let you know what's it like.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    I also see your point but must say that IMO, the points system is a good one. You will always have those that neg on the basis of disagreeing opinions but I feel that is not the majority. The intent is and always will be to disagree with someone and not neg them. There is no perfect world, you will have people that are unfair by negging someone with a differing opinion but you will also find that there are many on AO that will post rather than neg. I am not saying the AP system is 100 % fair but it is the individuals that make it that way.

    As a community if we strive to change that, then we have succeeded as a community. I don't think anyone expects everyone to agree with their opinion but that doesn't mean opinions shouldn't be stated.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Yes it can be intimidating, but that's no reason not to post what's on your mind....as long as it is relevant to the thread. Points are just that, points. My friends (online or not) don't care how many dots I get when I'm visiting AO, they're mostly concerned whether I'm gonna buy them beer Bas***ds! J/k.

    If someone's gonna worry about "negs", (looking at my dots u're probably saying "WTF is he talking about?" ), then they dont believe in what they wanted to post strongly enough. DONT let APs stop you.
    \"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.\" -- Dom Helder Camara

  6. #6
    Ninja Code Monkey
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Washington State
    erm...one of the reasons he created the point system is self sensorship. He WANTS people to get negged/banned and threads to die for unpopular views, etc so that it will relieve the amount of administrative work he'd have to do.

    This doesn't mean you can't have unpopular views....you can have them and express them. But you may want to re-think how you go about expressing them. If you have questions on topics that get most people flamed, or that you have been flamed for then you need to think about how to ask that question so it doesn't get you in trouble....

    An example would be bypassing security on your windows 2000 machine (as in you want to know how it would be done).

    Do NOT ask : How would I hack a windows 2k box?

    A better way to phrase would be : I have a windows 2k box...what are some of the ways that people might attack it? (write what you get down and go to google)

    It's all about the intent that people see behind your words....phrase things wrong and you'd better be wearing your flame proof underoos.
    "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." - Erasmus
    "There is no programming language, no matter how structured, that will prevent programmers from writing bad programs." - L. Flon
    "Mischief my ass, you are an unethical moron." - chsh
    Blog of X

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    I think the system is kinda cool though. Just think if there were someone always posting extremely stupid subjects, there wouldnt be a way to get rid of them.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    I agree with some of your points, Slarty. There is a big difference in the liberty of expressions between the members/addicts/seniors and the newbies/jr. Even if we don't really care, it's easy to understand that some things can't be said by all the members. I have personnaly been negged some times as a newbie on some subjects where I commited the error to say what I thought. And, it's strange, more "older" on AO you are (with more APs) and less neggs you receive to share your opinion (which strangely has not changed since your newbies times!).
    In my opinion, the APs are not designed for the cosmos forum. But, as usual, even if we complain,if we wouldn't have the APs we would be complaining about all the silly lamers who were here.
    Life is boring. Play NetHack... --more--

  9. #9
    Senior Member problemchild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    You have to take the bad with the good. There will always be people who will use the system to punish unpopular opinions, and consequently, there will always be those who are afraid to speak..... just like real life. AO is a mirror of the society we live in, and just as society has mechanisms for ostracizing those who stray too far outside the norm, AO has a pretty good method of policing itself to keep the kiddies out.

    It's a mixed bag, but so is life.
    Do what you want with the girl, but leave me alone!

  10. #10
    i guess problemchild is right. We have to live with it, but i myself have seen newbies getting negged like hell and get ultimately banned, it's sad, but then it keeps a check on people also

    and Mahakaal, if we dont let AP's stop us, we get banned

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