housekeeping

Go Ahead, Grade Your Fellow Commenters

Those little “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” icons next to each comment?

They’re there for you to toss a jock nod to a comment you particularly like, or give a toilet slushie someone being stupid. Not only will it let fellow readers know which comments are worth reading while skimming a thread, it’ll help Queerty in the coming weeks as we elevate higher-rated comments while shoving bottom feeders where they belong: the bottom.

You’ll still be able to flag comments for review if they’re abusive, because we don’t want those anywhere.

More features en route, but let’s start with this one.

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29 Comments

  • Hyhybt

    Everywhere I’ve seen thumbs, rep points, or some such taken at all seriously it’s ended badly. I can only imagine that it would be even worse on a system that doesn’t require registration and where anyone can post under any name just by filling in the box differently.

    But hopefully this time will be better.

  • Alexandre

    will we get notified when someone “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” our comments or do we have to check back?
    Because I probably won’t check again to see what people think of what I said. If people agree or disagree with what I said, I kinda like getting the email with the response- no matter what it says.

  • fredo777

    in my opinion, only registered members should be allowed to post comments and/or rate other members’ comments. it would help you cut down on trolls + spammers, too.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    I don’t like this. Life is filled with enough popularity contests. Your readers and commentators shouldn’t be subject to anonymous judgement.

  • B

    What will happen is that people with an agenda will base their “ratings” not on the quality of a comment, but on whether the comment fits their beliefs. What you’ll end up with is an “echo chamber” in which readers see only what most readers believe.

  • B

    … submitted the last one too fast – what I intended to add/say is that you’ll end up with comments in tune with a what people trying to push a particular agenda want to see (they will be by far the most active “raters”).

    At a minimum, you should either discount or independently evaluate ratings from people who either rate posts a lot or who rate particular individuals a lot. If a “rater” is abusing the system, that person’s ratings should be discounted.

    If you don’t do that, your site will become pretty much useless for anything other than pictures of “hot guys”.

  • fredo777

    @B: even if this rating thing is somewhat skewed, i doubt it would have much impact on the site as a whole. i don’t think most people would come here just for the post ratings.

  • jeffree

    Why are some people’s comments suddenly YELLOW? Please explain:
    Thank you!

  • B

    No. 7 · fredo777 : “@B: even if this rating thing is somewhat skewed, i doubt it would have much impact on the site as a whole. i don’t think most people would come here just for the post ratings.” … but they would come here for the comments (QUEERTY articles often have misleading headings and skip important details that comments fill in). If interesting comments get pushed to the side because a few people don’t like the facts, you end up with a less interesting site.

    If we just got rid of people who sometimes post homophobic rants, that would be a benefit, but I suspect useful comments could be lost or at least would be a lot harder to find.

  • B

    There’s an interesting example in the article about the Polish politician who was just killed in a plane crash. One commenter had his comment hidden because 7 or 8 users didn’t like it while 1 commented favorably. All he really said was that it was that it was bad form to make disparaging remarks about someone who had just been killed. One might suspect that the people who didn’t like it were (in part) the people making those disparaging remarks, so we have an example of how the ratings can result in the proverbial “race to the bottom”.

    The algorithm QUEERTY is using isn’t handling this very well. It’s not even waiting long enough to get a statistically meaningful sample size, biased as that sample may be.

  • manchew

    ugh i’d expect no less from bottom feeding queerty….the hwole business of hiding low scoring comments is DUMB IMMATURE fucking lame, but not surprising,

    i mean you actually post blind items. c’mon that means you know your demographic is vain gay guy, figures.

  • eagledancer

    I agree with those who think this is a really bad idea that won’t serve its suggested purpose. As someone who has had to endure a quick course recently on internet marketing and search engine optimizations, I can’t help but wonder if this is just another technique to increase “clicks” by increasing controversy and complaints…

  • Z.L.

    You will ‘elevate’ higher rated comments? As in, shuffle comments around? I hope not; that could be confusing when someone is trying to follow a conversation (or argument) that happened in comments.

    But anyway, popularity contests, Queerty? Usually a very bad idea. Internet drama, let me show you it.

  • declanto

    This discourages honest participation by biasing who gets posted where. Unfortunately in a healthy biosphere, there is a legitimate use for bottom-feeders. They allow us a glimse of the daily poop as we slide down the bannister of life.

  • fredo777

    @B: To be fair, I don’t really read most of the comments on heavily-commented articles within the site, anyway. I subscribe + read the replies in my e-mails. I’m not sure how many others are the same. My only concern with “more useful” comments being moved up to the top is that it potentially makes replies to your comments more difficult to find in chronological order.

  • SSCHIEFRSHA

    This might actually lessen the number of comments you get on your headlines. I mean why reply a wayward reader if I can simply thumbs down the fool?

  • Hyhybt

    @fredo777: Which is also the only way you’ll see the post that belongs between 10 and 11; while a complaint about the site posting blind items doesn’t really belong in this thread, I’m skeptical about it drawing enough complaints to get removed.

  • jason

    What I like about queerty is the free-for-all aspect. It truly allows for some politically incorrect commentary which is ultimately good for our community. I think it would be a mistake to start applying ratings or restrictions on reasoned and reasonable opinion no matter how distatseful.

    Nor do I think it’s good to ban homophobes. For heaven’s sakes, it is far better to have a homophobe reveal himself than have him hiding and plotting.

    As for my position, as I’ve said before, I don’t belong to the collective. I’m an independent thinker. I am not afraid to criticize women, men, gays, straights, homophobes, blacks or whites. I think everyone is fair game on the positions they hold. I loathe this notion that someone’s identity suddenly bestows upon them a layer of insulation which ordains them immune to criticism.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down — whatever.

    BUT, allowing the “Thumbs” to censor comments is a bad and limiting idea. Sure there are regular post from trolling homophobic bigots; but the best way to know your enemy is to know your enemy. Hiding homophobic bigoted rants removes the LGBT community from the reality of the bigotry we are attempting to win over.

    Also, within the LGBT there is always much debate on all sorts of topics. And there are plenty of times of nearly rabid back-and-forths. Just check the comments on articles involving Anderson Cooper: there are us valiant supports of his right to self-determination on his “gayness” status VS those equally determined wrong-headed fascists who instruct AC and all of us how to live our own lives! OKAY WAIT JUST A SECOND, I WAS JUST HAVING A LITTLE FUN THERE, so substitute in: …. VS equally
    valiant detractors who rightly believe that if every LGBT came out honestly, the whole community would gain.

    Now, lets debate whether HRC, the longtime standard bearer for promoting LGBT rights is relevant in today’s LGBT struggles! Or, Maggot Gallagher: shoot the bitch OR tar-and-feather her?

  • Hyhybt

    @Z.L.: Apparently as in paint them yellow, though a semi-random arrangement of comments would tend to force everyone to comment only on the articles rather than answering other comments. I don’t see that as a good thing, but some sites might.

  • David in Houston

    I don’t mind the thumbs up, thumb down thing. It works well on Digg and the Chronicle. I don’t think the comments need to be colored though (it’s distracting); and the comments should never be hidden if they get a bunch of thumbs down. Everyone’s comment should be treated equally.

  • AndrewW

    Queerty and Bilerico are two sites that encourage the sharing of ideas. If you disagree with Pam Spalding (Pam’s House Blend) or John Aravosis (AmeriBlog) they simply block your comments.

    The free exchange of ideas and opinions is very helpful for our community.

  • Chtown Kev

    I have to agree with Jason at least once and I guess this is it.

    I too like the free-for-all aspect of Queerty.

    Rating comments usually leads to too much of a “pack menatlity.”

    And really, it’s a lazy substistute for a substansive response to a commenter (whether you agree or disagress with him or her).

  • El Brucio

    Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I like the idea of rating comments.

    Sometimes I’ll see someone post something I really agree with, or disagree with, and would like to be able to communicate this without having to write a comment myself.

    Why wouldn’t I want to write a comment myself?

    Sometimes I’m sleepy and desperately need a coffee. Sometimes I’m in a hurry and have to rush out the door. Sometimes I see a flame war brewing and don’t want to put more fuel on the fire.

    However, I don’t like the idea of comments being hidden if they get too many negative hits. Popular or not, you shouldn’t hide other people’s opinions.

  • terrwill

    More importantly how bout correcting the registration program where persons can not register your name and begin posting under it??? One of the more notorious scumbags who has posted on these threads has lifted my name and begun posting under it…….Numerous requests to Hasileb and co. for assistance has resulted in zero replies…..Nice to see how much they value their customers….(which we actually are……)

  • Cam

    The Main problem I see, is when we get some sort of story like about the Prom in Mississippi, or Adam Lambert, and you either get a bunch of Angry Evangelicals coming in here, or a bunch of some celebs fans bombing the site who will hit the thumbs down on anything said.

  • B

    No. 14 · fredo777 wrote, “@B: To be fair, I don’t really read most of the comments on heavily-commented articles within the site, anyway.”

    … That’s perfectly reasonable as a personal decision. The problem in the example I gave of a comment being hidden, however, was that QUEERTY decided to hide it after a total of only 10 or so comments one way or the other. Others apparently looked at the comment as the rating is now 11 in favor and 15 against, but QUEERTY is still hiding it (I imagine the decision to hide it is not updated when more comments come in). When it was hidden, the numbers were 1 in favor and 7 or so against.

    With ratings coming in at random, the chances of a legitimate comment being misclassified is high if the decision is made after seeing only 8 or so ratings, about 3 percent of the time, when the split for reader opinion (all readers) is 50/50, you will see 1 favorable and 7 unfavorable ratings. If people with an ax to grind comment faster, the earlier numbers will be skewed even further.

    For the article I checked, there were 27 comments and 2 comments were hidden. One shouldn’t have been. The other should have (it was obscenity laced), but the decision for that one was made based on 5 ratings in total – from a statistical standpoint an absurdly small sample size.

    Either the threshold for hiding or specially treating a comment needs to be significantly higher, or someone at QUEERTY should review a decision (practical if hiding a comment rarely occurs), using the ratings merely to trigger a review.

  • zenflo

    The yellow and pink highlighting is making me more INSANE than I need to be, and, with results from the last precinct just in, a convincing 24 of the 29 voices in my head are politely asking you to stop.

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