We may have our first troll!

Product: Narrative

https://www.narrative.org/m/Shepard/activity

Brand new member who appeared just after the owner of the BLOG niche changed his name and avatar and deleted the thread he started on the platform about the issues the community sees with his niche.

This new member (who if innocent, has my sincere apologies), bid immediately on the niche "Inside Blogging".  Coincidence - maybe.

This new member's other inaugural action: to appeal one of my niches (Nonprofit).  Coincidence - or someone's idea of petty revenge?

It is doubtful a brand new member who has literally just signed up, would even know that it is possible to appeal a niche, let alone how.

But now to the core issue here.

This new member has nominated himself to be a moderator on the Nonprofit niche.  If elected, what are the odds his only aim is to sabotage it?  Moderators would be in a good position to do that.

The plot - or should I say the Narrative - thickens.

An interesting lesson for the Tribunal members.  While 6 out of 7 of them were busy being precious in their appeal towards a member who openly mocked the community's efforts to help him fix his niche, that same member probably had zero intention of fixing the niche description - instead, he's bidding up the price and will possibly purchase another niche with a better description for the same topic... while trolling the platform elsewhere...

I hope the Tribunal learns to take the attitudes of Narrators into account when they make decisions.  Real tribunals do.  A mocking, unrepentant and malicious person gets a heavier sentence than someone who simply made a mistake.  Instead, our Tribunal ignored the evidence brought to them about this member, the platform allowed half that evidence to be deleted, and instead of punishing the perpetrator, the community members who appealed got whacked with a rep hit.  That's a resounding fail on pretty much every front.

For all our intentions of building a platform that would not be gamed by bad actors - we seem to be falling VERY far short of the mark on our first real challenge.  I hope this experience serves as a wake up call.

Otherwise I will have to agree with Denis Wallez in his recent post:

"There's no point in engaging/voting on narrative

Why did I even bother?"

https://www.narrative.org/post...t-in-engaging-voting

Original Post

Activity Stream

I'm having trolling attacks too, by brand new profiles. And I've been attacked by the owner outside too, on Medium.

Inside Blogging was the niche I suggested. I wasn't going to buy it anyway, seen the situation with niches and appeals, but this is clear unmotivated revenge.

Are we doomed to this? Where are the processes to avoid this?

Oh well, the plot thickens indeed! Wait, I need to bring popcorn

On a serious note - it's difficult to believe it's a coincidence. Especially, if @Vico Biscotti is being trolled as well. 

Well, maybe it's good that has happened now. I think it is a test for @Narrative Network Team. Trolls are on every platform and very much in every democracy IRL. Funny thing is - if that's really him in different incarnations - he decided to do that despite the Tribunal giving him another chance in spite of the outrage of several members of the community. Why? I guess some people are just being petty. Or (if what he wrote about his investment at ICO stage in one of the comments to the deleted article) he thinks he should have been treated with greater reverence than other members because of the prior investment... who knows...

 

 

Vico Biscotti posted:

I'm having trolling attacks too, by brand new profiles. And I've been attacked by the owner outside too, on Medium.

Inside Blogging was the niche I suggested. I wasn't going to buy it anyway, seen the situation with niches and appeals, but this is clear unmotivated revenge.

Are we doomed to this? Where are the processes to avoid this?

Many of the long time members have felt the Team's vision relies too heavily on the wisdom of the crowd, and has used that expression to define a very 'laissez faire' approach to the platform.  Apparently nobody can be banned.

The Community will make its own standards... etc...

While this style of 'parenting' can work with 'kids' with good dispositions, it cannot begin to cope with 'problem children', and 'problem children' exist.

Perhaps the Community will be able to rise to the occasion once community governance comes into effect and the Tribunal is made up of elected members.  Until then, the Tribunal we have may find it challenging to go against their natural impulses in problematic situations like this.

That's dangerous because these first months are when Narrative is at its most fragile, and most vulnerable to descending into a chaos of spite, greed and malice over niche definitions.  All aired in public, which will severely turn off new users.  Who wants to join a snake pit?  Only snakes.

@Gosia Rokicka represents the average user very well when she says she stays away from this sort of issue because that's better for her mental health.  And she said the entire BLOG episode disgusted her.  

I tried to alert the Community early to the need to empower some process that could clean up niches before launch, but the prevailing wisdom was that it would all sort itself out.  I think it would be dangerous to continue believing it will.  I don't think @Ethereum / John Shepard's style is rare in the online space.  Will Narrative power up its defenses, or let them rule the roost?

This is where the rubber starts to hit the road - and idealism will be faced with reality.

So far, the @Narrative Network Team has dealt with this first problem by causing zero repercussions for the bad actor, and giving rep hits to the kind of community members it should be valuing.  My guess is if this continues, trolls of all stripes and colors will be emboldened here in no time, while the more rare variety of conscientious users Narrative needs for its self-governing model to work, will divert their energies to other projects either online or off.

I'm thinking that anything that makes creating and purchasing niches difficult is serious at this point. New platforms need content as much as content creators need a well organized place to put it. That this is beta I agree needs to be flashing on the landing page, and some haste with improving the niche system prioritized. Whether the "troll" situation is real or some kind of error, still needs quick action.

Gosia Rokicka posted:

Oh well, the plot thickens indeed! Wait, I need to bring popcorn

On a serious note - it's difficult to believe it's a coincidence. Especially, if @Vico Biscotti is being trolled as well. 

Well, maybe it's good that has happened now. I think it is a test for @Narrative Network Team. Trolls are on every platform and very much in every democracy IRL. Funny thing is - if that's really him in different incarnations - he decided to do that despite the Tribunal giving him another chance in spite of the outrage of several members of the community. Why? I guess some people are just being petty. Or (if what he wrote about his investment at ICO stage in one of the comments to the deleted article) he thinks he should have been treated with greater reverence than other members because of the prior investment... who knows...

 

 

Yes - this is a necessary challenge.  I just hope the team will adapt their approach fast enough.

As for @Ethereum's reaction, it was somewhat predictable from the behavior he displayed in the community discussion.  People who think like that tend to exploit leniency - they don't appreciate it.  He didn't see their gesture as a generous opportunity, he almost certainly saw it as an offense and a sign of weakness all wrapped up in one soft bundle.  

All users who appealed the BLOG niche got a troll attack from what can only be the owner of that niche.

‘The Netherlands’ niche got appealed as well, and apparently has a zit-free beaver named Justin nominated as a moderator now.

Same guy:

https://www.narrative.org/m/nebula/activity

His activity and sign up date, and a snipe out of nowhere as soon as he signed up, on the BLOG thread that still survives

Mutliple points of correlation between his activity history since sign up, and the people who appealed Ethereum's Blog niche.

I can tell the @Narrative Network Team right now, the community is going to tire very quickly of trying to keep track of this sort of activity if they don't take serious and effective measures to deal with it.

Right now, Ethereum can start any number of accounts, and bid X0,000 NRVE on any niche he wants to sabotage.  He doesn't care if he gets a rep hit for not paying: his dummy accounts have no rep to safeguard and he doesn't care about them.

He can nominate any number of trojan accounts as moderators for the niches of people he doesn't like.

Ethereum can't be banned, and the @Narrative Network Team has not given itself the tools to deal effectively with someone like this.

Colleen Ryer posted:

I thought conduct negative prevented from bidding, nominating, etc. And new members don't have conduct positive, do they?

I don't know - all I know is that the brand new accounts he started yesterday immediately started bidding on a lot of niches.

Malkazoid posted:
Colleen Ryer posted:

I thought conduct negative prevented from bidding, nominating, etc. And new members don't have conduct positive, do they?

I don't know - all I know is that the brand new accounts he started yesterday immediately started bidding on a lot of niches.

Ya, see there's a lot of bidding - obviously spurious - conduct dings account by account is kind of shutting door after horse is gone. A flag for new member +bid,

especially if it's a absurdly high bid.  And same for appeal, would at least help catch some of the funny stuff.

@Malkazoid, I have a very bad feeling about all this. I agree with all of your considerations.

I'm new here, but from what I see, they put in place a system which can de facto be balanced only by conflicts between users, with no tools to protect correct users. Trolls and any other kind of malevolent entities can not just run about, on Narrative. The future "blocking" feature won't solve. On Narrative, they can buy TOPICS, or sabotage them.

In the while, we're left with attacks to us and to topics we care about. We're in beta, okay, but I'm convinced that a protection system should be there already.

We are aware of all the new accounts that popped up and troll like behavior.  There are a lot of things in place to stomp out the behavior so in some way this is a good test early to see how things are working. As someone stated in one of these long threads - it is expected.  That said, we will continue to monitor and take action if needed. 

One thing you can do is rate (downvote) any troll-like comments (poor quality please unless you see an actual AUP violation in them and then select that one).  Trolls are looking for attention so don't give them any.  

Well, @Malkazoid, by creating this post, you've saved me from starting my Vote of No Confidence in the Tribunal thread...for now. But if there is not swift and effective action taken to stop this, it would not be unreasonable to demand elections for community members to take over the responsibilities of the Tribunal earlier than had been planned in order to free up Narrative staff to do the actual work described by their assorted job descriptions and let those of us who have time and energy to care about how Tribunal decisions affect the community do that...and actually get paid for our efforts in the form of the 1% network rewards members of the Tribunal are due.

Dozens of man-hours were wasted by community members trying to prevent this catastrophe, and all for naught. 

MOLLY O posted:

One thing you can do is rate (downvote) any troll-like comments (poor quality please unless you see an actual AUP violation in them and then select that one).  Trolls are looking for attention so don't give them any.  

Perhaps one of the reasons for downvoting should be "Troll-like behavior."

MrAnderson most definitely is a troll. His first action was appeal the Speculative Fiction niche, which is obviously not a bad niche, less than two hours ago. Then he went on to bid on the niche Tribalism after accusing myself and others of "tribalism" in a comment thread. Then he suggested a niche called "Yippee-ki yay, MF." This is obviously a troll.

I believe obvious trolls should be expelled from the platform. Telling them they cannot be kicked off the platform empowers them to continue their bad behavior. Furthermore, content should not be allowed to be deleted. Or, perhaps, there should be a time limit (say, 15 minutes) after which deletions are no longer possible. These are systemic issues, and if not dealt with, will only get worse.

Garden Gnome Publications posted:

I believe obvious trolls should be expelled from the platform. Telling them they cannot be kicked off the platform empowers them to continue their bad behavior. Furthermore, content should not be allowed to be deleted. Or, perhaps, there should be a time limit (say, 15 minutes) after which deletions are no longer possible. These are systemic issues, and if not dealt with, will only get worse.

Perhaps posts could be "archived" instead of "deleted" - a sort of Post Purgatory for things people want to delete but are still visible to @Narrative Network Team

I'm going to make this a suggestion, as I know how it works on reddit. (Well, not how to implement it, but what it looks like on the moderation side, if not the admin.)

Christina Gleason posted:

Well, @Malkazoid, by creating this post, you've saved me from starting my Vote of No Confidence in the Tribunal thread...for now. But if there is not swift and effective action taken to stop this, it would not be unreasonable to demand elections for community members to take over the responsibilities of the Tribunal earlier than had been planned in order to free up Narrative staff to do the actual work described by their assorted job descriptions and let those of us who have time and energy to care about how Tribunal decisions affect the community do that...and actually get paid for our efforts in the form of the 1% network rewards members of the Tribunal are due.

Dozens of man-hours were wasted by community members trying to prevent this catastrophe, and all for naught. 

Hey @Christina Gleason -

I hear you.  I'm glad if this thread stopped you from posting that.  I completely understand the feeling behind it but I don't think it would be possible to have Tribunal elections any time soon.  They would have to be based on a really robust reputation system and the current one still needs to be put through its paces quite a bit, I'm sure.

The other thought is that these problems are growing pains - I think the Tribunal is learning how to vote just as the community is learning how to vote.  

I completely agree it would be ideal for the Narrative Staff to be able to focus solely on dev and marketing.

On the human side, I also think it is too soon for the Narrative Company to allow community members to run the Tribunal.  This project is their baby more than it is ours, and it is only at the earliest stages of Beta.  It would be like asking a parent to let their kid go off to college at age 7 or 8...

My biggest concern now that the troll nonsense is squarely being handled by the Team, is something @Vico Biscotti referred to, and which has also been on my mind for a while now.

The model of community governance at this stage before the community truly starts to govern, is being hampered by an aspect of human psychology that we perhaps underestimated.

We are incredibly sensitive to fairness and hierarchies.  And in this environment where community members are supposed to evaluate each other's niches, it is messing with the part of the human psyche that feels that only people with legitimate authority should be taking it upon themselves to raise these sorts of issues.

We launched without moderation tools, much to the surprise of some - this is also compounding the issues, I think.

So we are in a bizarre vacuum of authority: the community members who care about the good functioning of the platform are easily dismissed as power-tripping users who have no place putting their nose in other user's business, and the Narrative Company is perceived as missing as an authority, via the very limited nature of the Tribunal, its recent lenient ruling in the face of a problematic user with a problematic niche description, its motto that the community governs itself and sets its own standards, its advertised refusal to ban anyone, and its lack of measures, at this stage, to deal with seriously disruptive trolling.

This stage will pass, but right now, it is a very strange place to be in, as community members who care about the good functioning of the platform in these vulnerable first weeks.

Vico Biscotti posted:

I'm having trolling attacks too, by brand new profiles. And I've been attacked by the owner outside too, on Medium.

Inside Blogging was the niche I suggested. I wasn't going to buy it anyway, seen the situation with niches and appeals, but this is clear unmotivated revenge.

Are we doomed to this? Where are the processes to avoid this?

Hi @Vico Biscotti , I see one of your posts has troll comments, and see over at medium some of the new profiles are also over there, with no content posted. I think those who appealed will also be seeing this kind of thing, here and if they're also at medium - sucks, but just a heads up 

MOLLY O posted:

We are aware of all the new accounts that popped up and troll like behavior.  There are a lot of things in place to stomp out the behavior so in some way this is a good test early to see how things are working. As someone stated in one of these long threads - it is expected.  That said, we will continue to monitor and take action if needed. 

One thing you can do is rate (downvote) any troll-like comments (poor quality please unless you see an actual AUP violation in them and then select that one).  Trolls are looking for attention so don't give them any.  

Hi @MOLLY O , this is a very good suggestion, thanks!

 

As @MOLLY O suggested, downvoting any troll-like comments for poor quality is a good idea, and I have already done it on most the posts by written by @Vico Biscotti Since  trolls usually seek to disrupt, it's best not to reply to anybody who is behaving like a troll, and to ignore them whenever possible, so as not to give them any encouragement.

It seems that the accounts that seem to display the troll-like behavior are:

 

  • Daenerys Targaryen
  • Hulk Hogan
  • John McClane
  • John Shepard
  • Justin Bieber
  • Michael Scott
  • Mike Star
  • Mr. Anderson
  • R.K.

 

They have won a lot of niches, some of them for as much as 33,334 NRVE. It will be interesting to see whether they actually pay for them.

The things I miss when I get busy lol.

Just an assumption but I assume downvotes also matter with the reputation of the user meaning a user with a 0.01 points for votes would also have the same effect on downvotes meaning it would take 14 accounts like those to equal one vote by an account like @Malkazoid.

I'm actually happy to see the trolls, I don't believe they'll have much overall impact on your accounts and its a good test to see if the system can purge out accounts doing so. Like maybe accounts less than a week old should be prevented from opening appeals or purchasing niches. To prevent weird things like this. 

ZeroDesigns posted:

The things I miss when I get busy lol.

Just an assumption but I assume downvotes also matter with the reputation of the user meaning a user with a 0.01 points for votes would also have the same effect on downvotes meaning it would take 14 accounts like those to equal one vote by an account like @Malkazoid.

I'm actually happy to see the trolls, I don't believe they'll have much overall impact on your accounts and its a good test to see if the system can purge out accounts doing so. Like maybe accounts less than a week old should be prevented from opening appeals or purchasing niches. To prevent weird things like this. 

Nice - sounds like the team will be considering measures of that sort.

They could even consider setting a rep requirement instead, or on top of a minimum account age.  So needing to be rep 15 or 20, for instance, before appeals can be made, and/or niches bid on.  That means that not only would the troll have to wait to be able to do damage with a dummy account - they would also have to put in work to grow the rep of the dummy account: rep that would be quickly destroyed by the first act of trolling the account performs...

I think a big part of the fun for trolls is the ease with which they can cause work and strife for other people: if they have to work hard to do this, it could take the wind out of the sails of most of them.

I actually don't think @Ethereum would be a troll under all circumstances - I don't think of him as primarily a troll but rather someone who couldn't get past the community being serious about there being a systemic problem with one of his niches.  That made him into a troll - hopefully just temporarily.  I think this is a good way to look at most trolls: ordinary people who are more susceptible to the 'dark side'.  If we have measures that make the 'dark side' more work, these people who are not pure trolls will probably think, if they're going to put in real work, it might as well be to create some great content or carry out rep positive actions for the benefit of their real account...

@Malkazoid, I totally agree about the Tribunal (and the team) being in "learning mode" like us. Even if the Tribunal is not a proper place for the team to be, it's good that they have the opportunity to live that role too.

I also agree on the troll thing. Maybe, in this case, it's the result of a rigid attitude toward feedback. But maybe we are also focusing too much on the "troll" issue. At the origin, there is a clear attitude to refuse feedback and cooperation, and to use the platform just for interest. We don't have just a troll problem. Some doors are BY DESIGN currently open to malevolent subjects, who can do more than trolling.

I would say that the term "owner" doesn't help. For a willing and honest subject, there's nothing to misunderstand, but for others, it's a clear message of "ownership", and by mean of just money. If anything, you should bid on a role, not on a topic (maybe "curator" or "administrator" would have been better choices?). And I would say that also buying a role makes me uncomfortable, even if this is a foundation of the Narrative system and I can understand the reasoning behind. The "owning" concept MAY be okay for publications, where similar niches could compete, but now, if you own a niche, nobody else can curate that topic. And the moderator role doesn't help. Who's willing to moderate a niche of somebody who can malevolently attack you, not just on Narrative, especially when numbers and money will grow? The niche will be just the land of new unaware users. Which are the requirements to own a niche, now? Money. I'm new, but I've still not found other significant requirements for bidding.

Christina Gleason posted:
Malkazoid posted:

Are we sure about Gage?  What pattern links him?  His account is much older.  Just don't want to make mistakes...

Oh, you're right. I'll take Gage back off the list for now.

Just an eye out given the niche suggestion he made April 13 and fairly inflaming post of same date - which doesn't show up in his profile for some odd reason. 

Christina Gleason posted:

Unfortunately, @MOLLY O's suggestion doesn't allow any recourse when troll accounts vote niche suggestions, posts, or comments down, or when they file malicious appeals, etc. 

Yes, I wish there were more ways to keep things sensible. But as far as posts and comments go, down voting is all we have to try to keep fight-mongering from becoming a money maker - and then it seems risk our own reps for using it - sigh.

Vico Biscotti posted:

@Malkazoid, I totally agree about the Tribunal (and the team) being in "learning mode" like us. Even if the Tribunal is not a proper place for the team to be, it's good that they have the opportunity to live that role too.

I also agree on the troll thing. Maybe, in this case, it's the result of a rigid attitude toward feedback. But maybe we are also focusing too much on the "troll" issue. At the origin, there is a clear attitude to refuse feedback and cooperation, and to use the platform just for interest. We don't have just a troll problem. Some doors are BY DESIGN currently open to malevolent subjects, who can do more than trolling.

I would say that the term "owner" doesn't help. For a willing and honest subject, there's nothing to misunderstand, but for others, it's a clear message of "ownership", and by mean of just money. If anything, you should bid on a role, not on a topic (maybe "curator" or "administrator" would have been better choices?). And I would say that also buying a role makes me uncomfortable, even if this is a foundation of the Narrative system and I can understand the reasoning behind. The "owning" concept MAY be okay for publications, where similar niches could compete, but now, if you own a niche, nobody else can curate that topic. And the moderator role doesn't help. Who's willing to moderate a niche of somebody who can malevolently attack you, not just on Narrative, especially when numbers and money will grow? The niche will be just the land of new unaware users. Which are the requirements to own a niche, now? Money. I'm new, but I've still not found other significant requirements for bidding.

Some interesting discussion took place before and during the Alpha, concerning what niche owners really are.  The name became much more appropriate once the community convinced the Team that niches should be able to be resold by the owner if they want to move on.  Before that, abandoned niches were auctioned by the platform and none of the proceeds went to the former owner!  It was a paradigm that broke the capital gains incentive for owners to really grow their niches: if the value you add to a niche can't then translate into a profit if you sell it ten years later, then people are much more likely to ignore niche ownership in favor of a form of investment that does provide a capital gain, or to buy a niche and not work as hard at growing it or even maintaining it.

I agree with you that the term owner can confuse some people as to what their rights are with regards to their niches.  For instance many of us have long felt that owners should be able to curate their niches at least to some degree - they currently can't at all.  I'm not arguing that owners should be able to arbitrarily reject content like publications can, but they should be able to feature content to some degree, otherwise it will be very hard for them to convince top quality content creators to come to Narrative, since they will already be prominently featured on other platforms that do curate... why go to an outlet where they have to start at the bottom rung?  (Human featuring of content has other great benefits that algorithms can't completely replace, as well.)  Established content creators have already proven themselves, at least enough to be given a temporary spotlight when they first arrive here.  You won't get Stephen King to come to a book fair to speak, if he is featured exactly the same way as first time writers are, and at the back of the brochure.  That's just life and if we want the platform to succeed, we have to model it in ways that do not fight these facts of life.

So, a long way to go before the niche paradigm becomes truly ship-shape.

But to get to your point, I don't there is a clash between ownership, and the notion that descriptions might need changing if they impact the network negatively.  In past discussions, the best example I've come up with is the notion of by laws.  You can own a piece of real estate, and still be forced by the local authorities to change aspects of it if it contravenes certain by laws designed for the common good of the community.  That doesn't make you any less of an owner.

 

Colleen Ryer posted:

Just an eye out given the niche suggestion he made April 13 and fairly inflaming post of same date - which doesn't show up in his profile for some odd reason. 

I noticed this as well. It's curious to me why that is. Is it a fluke in the Narrative technology, or did this user hack it in some way? 

These questions ought to be asked.

Garden Gnome Publications posted:
Colleen Ryer posted:

Just an eye out given the niche suggestion he made April 13 and fairly inflaming post of same date - which doesn't show up in his profile for some odd reason. 

I noticed this as well. It's curious to me why that is. Is it a fluke in the Narrative technology, or did this user hack it in some way? 

These questions ought to be asked.

Yes, if accounts can be hacked, better to find out now than later. And if it's a fluke, then that too. 

Malkazoid posted:
Colleen Ryer posted:

I thought conduct negative prevented from bidding, nominating, etc. And new members don't have conduct positive, do they?

I don't know - all I know is that the brand new accounts he started yesterday immediately started bidding on a lot of niches.

I also noticed accounts born yesterday that are influencing the purchase of niches. They are obviously trools and are not verified users. I reported this to the team. Those who buy niches should be at least verified users.

@Malkazoid, the fact of reselling the niche may be a balancing factor to stimulate good conduct (btw thanks for letting me/us know about those earlier discussions) but I see three main flaws.

Niches are seen as topics from users. If I write about a topic it's likely that I'll add the relevant niche to my post (and I should). The vast majority of users (especially the new ones, that will always be there) will just add niches based on relevant names (and, IN PART, descriptions). So, a bad management of a popular niche will be a good business for the owner anyway. Maybe not optimal but good, for the owner.

Also, owners are not "perfect agents", so maybe even economic interest may not apply. Owners may just want to boycott one of their niches, despite losing money, in revenge to actions from other users. And they can do it in subtle ways, not always evident. Or they may just forget about the niche because have other interests. Or they have plenty of money and just want to play and experiment.

Finally, all of these dynamics may take a long time, even months, to solve (if they can be solved). In the meanwhile, we may suffer transitional periods on fundamental topics.

Of course, I have limited knowledge and I'm not aware of the plans, but I still have bad feelings about "buying topics" and how this thing can evolve. Not to mention its relying on users to expose themselves to retaliation.

Vico Biscotti posted:

@Malkazoid, the fact of reselling the niche may be a balancing factor to stimulate good conduct (btw thanks for letting me/us know about those earlier discussions) but I see three main flaws.

Niches are seen as topics from users. If I write about a topic it's likely that I'll add the relevant niche to my post (and I should). The vast majority of users (especially the new ones, that will always be there) will just add niches based on relevant names (and, IN PART, descriptions). So, a bad management of a popular niche will be a good business for the owner anyway. Maybe not optimal but good, for the owner.

Also, owners are not "perfect agents", so maybe even economic interest may not apply. Owners may just want to boycott one of their niches, despite losing money, in revenge to actions from other users. And they can do it in subtle ways, not always evident. Or they may just forget about the niche because have other interests. Or they have plenty of money and just want to play and experiment.

Finally, all of these dynamics may take a long time, even months, to solve (if they can be solved). In the meanwhile, we may suffer transitional periods on fundamental topics.

Of course, I have limited knowledge and I'm not aware of the plans, but I still have bad feelings about "buying topics" and how this thing can evolve. Not to mention its relying on users to expose themselves to retaliation.

Visibility in the online space is inherently exposing oneself to retaliation... not much can be done to fix that although I'm sure the @Narrative Network Team will try hard to minimize the influence of bad actors as the platform develops.

Yes, there will be transitional periods!

Owners are certainly not perfect agents, online or in the physical world.  But ownership is a time honored and tested economic mechanism.  Certainly not the most questionable, revolutionary or risky aspect of Narrative in my opinion.

If there are ways to improve upon the flaws you mentioned, I think the team would be open to considering them though!  They seem to debate a lot of what is discussed on these forums, though mostly internally.  It is great to have you with us - another person willing to take the time to think about Narrative's system and post about it.  It is what made me feel the project had something special from the outset!

@Malkazoid, you're right that we are always exposed, online. It's just that here conflicts with malicious users (who will hopefully be "minimized") are inherently present and important. It's the peculiarity of Narrative, but we're here for a publishing platform. I'm just concerned that "fixing the platform" switches from being an opportunity to be a burden. Anyway, I see the team active. And I'm also glad to have met such a great community. Thanks for your words and effort. Let's see.

I think Gage is a solid "maybe," especially in light of a recent comment on this post. The comment:

Who dares vote down my Trolling niche suggestion? You think I don't have plenty of content on that? I grew up as an outcast, everywhere I went I thought differently than the most people, online and real world. When you live life like that, you get a different perspective when you know you'd be an outcast if you spoke your mind. So this post, considered trolling, is just me speaking my mind and seeing the truth without adhering to groupthink. 

I've disrupted and transformed communities, I would love to post about that, but even now the community would rather reject the content I could contribute with the Trolling niche. I could tell the stories of how Trolling has transformed from an art of disruption to just pure abuse.

That looks like an admission of guilt to me.

Vico Biscotti posted:

@Malkazoid, you're right that we are always exposed, online. It's just that here conflicts with malicious users (who will hopefully be "minimized") are inherently present and important. It's the peculiarity of Narrative, but we're here for a publishing platform. I'm just concerned that "fixing the platform" switches from being an opportunity to be a burden. Anyway, I see the team active. And I'm also glad to have met such a great community. Thanks for your words and effort. Let's see.

I hear you!

It will be a learning curve.  I'm worried too - particularly about the community governance that seems to bring out such personal reactions from people, as we've explored a little already in this thread.

A more mature version of Narrative may see a greater separation in the UI between general content, and community governance content.  Right now, like so many content platforms of the new generation like it, Narrative feels a bit like a free for all.  Once the UI organisation becomes tighter, we might see the areas in which these questions get hammered out take a more appropriate, less central place, which might alleviate the feeling you have that it is getting in the way of the opportunity.

There will also be a learning curve from the community, on how to deal with trolls.  I have not dealt with them in roughly 15 years, so I'm a bit rusty, but I'll remember soon enough why we don't feed them!  A combination between the team tweaking the system to be more resistant to disruption, and the users learning to be more ninja like and efficient in how they deal with them, will go a long way.  That's my optimism speaking   As you say, lets see how things unfold!

Meanwhile, if you can afford to buy good niches, I personally would do so.  If there are niches you would like to moderate, I would nominate myself if I were you.  There are risks but the cost is relatively small, and good niche owners and moderators will be part of the success of the platform.  Your approach is balanced and thoughtful - I personally think you are the kind of niche owner we need.

From my perspective, the niches I've bought have already been worth it in terms of experiencing this journey.  It has been mostly very enjoyable participating in everything taking shape - and seeing the Team take the project from white paper to Beta.  It is just the beginning.

Garden Gnome Publications posted:

I think Gage is a solid "maybe," especially in light of a recent comment on this post. The comment:

Who dares vote down my Trolling niche suggestion? You think I don't have plenty of content on that? I grew up as an outcast, everywhere I went I thought differently than the most people, online and real world. When you live life like that, you get a different perspective when you know you'd be an outcast if you spoke your mind. So this post, considered trolling, is just me speaking my mind and seeing the truth without adhering to groupthink. 

I've disrupted and transformed communities, I would love to post about that, but even now the community would rather reject the content I could contribute with the Trolling niche. I could tell the stories of how Trolling has transformed from an art of disruption to just pure abuse.

That looks like an admission of guilt to me.

Well his actions will tell the story quite clearly.  If he resubmits the Trolling niche with a better definition, and then submits his content to it once it is up and running, without causing disruptions to the platform, then all good.  If not...

I'll suspend judgement.  We don't have to wait long to find out.

I saw the fake accounts two days ago as well. All signed up right after the BLOG niche owner post was deleted. Their first actions were bidding on Inside Blogging and Game Art. That, and reject every suggestion we made. To further verify the theory, I tried to up-bid him, and he easily went above 10K, eventually turned out to be 33K. Why would new member suddenly jump in with this high bid?

Then he kept bidding and bidding, until he ran out of slots and created new accounts. It basically shows the flow how someone can tamper with bidding, and then just dump the user after he wins the bid. 

It's good to know Narrative team are following the matter. IMO, there are many ways to address such issues. Ofcourse all need further study, but here are some ideas:

  • New members can't vote on niches until they reach certain reputation
  • New members can't go above certain low price in bidding, so they can't tamper a lot.
  • There needs to be penalties harsher than stripping away ability to comment, vote and bid temporarily. There should be rules such as losing Niche ownership if proven to be consecutively trolling others, and sabotaging the community on purpose. This needs further thinking and tightening, so it's only used in extreme cases. For example if many users report someone, tribunal community must look into the reports and decide.
  • No rewards for low reputation.

 

Also, to keep evidence, I suggest that reported posts/comments are deleted from frontend, but always kept in archive for the tribunal community to refer to.

Another thing I noticed since we're discussing the troll here is, despite me writing actual content, and being very supportive and respectful of others, I see my Quality Analysis score is 40, while the troll who have harassed many users is 38, just 2 points below me in Quality. A good case to look at and review how things are calculated.

Malkazoid posted:
Vico Biscotti posted:

@Malkazoid, you're right that we are always exposed, online. It's just that here conflicts with malicious users (who will hopefully be "minimized") are inherently present and important. It's the peculiarity of Narrative, but we're here for a publishing platform. I'm just concerned that "fixing the platform" switches from being an opportunity to be a burden. Anyway, I see the team active. And I'm also glad to have met such a great community. Thanks for your words and effort. Let's see.

I hear you!

It will be a learning curve.  I'm worried too - particularly about the community governance that seems to bring out such personal reactions from people, as we've explored a little already in this thread.

A more mature version of Narrative may see a greater separation in the UI between general content, and community governance content.  Right now, like so many content platforms of the new generation like it, Narrative feels a bit like a free for all.  Once the UI organisation becomes tighter, we might see the areas in which these questions get hammered out take a more appropriate, less central place, which might alleviate the feeling you have that it is getting in the way of the opportunity.

There will also be a learning curve from the community, on how to deal with trolls.  I have not dealt with them in roughly 15 years, so I'm a bit rusty, but I'll remember soon enough why we don't feed them!  A combination between the team tweaking the system to be more resistant to disruption, and the users learning to be more ninja like and efficient in how they deal with them, will go a long way.  That's my optimism speaking   As you say, lets see how things unfold!

Meanwhile, if you can afford to buy good niches, I personally would do so.  If there are niches you would like to moderate, I would nominate myself if I were you.  There are risks but the cost is relatively small, and good niche owners and moderators will be part of the success of the platform.  Your approach is balanced and thoughtful - I personally think you are the kind of niche owner we need.

From my perspective, the niches I've bought have already been worth it in terms of experiencing this journey.  It has been mostly very enjoyable participating in everything taking shape - and seeing the Team take the project from white paper to Beta.  It is just the beginning.

Always like and appreciate your positive attitude and rational way of handling these issues. Right now though, I would advise against bidding with a troll on the loose, as you might be paying a lot more than you should. 

 

Vico Biscotti posted:

@Malkazoid, I have a very bad feeling about all this. I agree with all of your considerations.

I'm new here, but from what I see, they put in place a system which can de facto be balanced only by conflicts between users, with no tools to protect correct users. Trolls and any other kind of malevolent entities can not just run about, on Narrative. The future "blocking" feature won't solve. On Narrative, they can buy TOPICS, or sabotage them.

In the while, we're left with attacks to us and to topics we care about. We're in beta, okay, but I'm convinced that a protection system should be there already.

Hi @Vico Biscotti You mention a "future blocking feature". I haven't been able to find out more about it. If you could tell me where the info is or explain, would much appreciate it. i was going to suggest a way for members to block obnoxious comments from their posts, but it might already be in the works? Thanks!

Colleen Ryer posted:
Vico Biscotti posted:

@Malkazoid, I have a very bad feeling about all this. I agree with all of your considerations.

I'm new here, but from what I see, they put in place a system which can de facto be balanced only by conflicts between users, with no tools to protect correct users. Trolls and any other kind of malevolent entities can not just run about, on Narrative. The future "blocking" feature won't solve. On Narrative, they can buy TOPICS, or sabotage them.

In the while, we're left with attacks to us and to topics we care about. We're in beta, okay, but I'm convinced that a protection system should be there already.

Hi @Vico Biscotti You mention a "future blocking feature". I haven't been able to find out more about it. If you could tell me where the info is or explain, would much appreciate it. i was going to suggest a way for members to block obnoxious comments from their posts, but it might already be in the works? Thanks!

@Colleen Ryer, it's not there, at the moment. I remember Brian mentioning it as a future feature (in the deleted post, unfortunately). Maybe I'm mistaken, anyway I guess it's very likely to be a future feature.

@Malkazoid, I get and appreciate what you say. Maybe I'll nominee myself as moderator to a few niches - good advice -, but for now, I don't want to own niches. I was searching for a platform and, after a few days here, I find a blatant cheater allowed to stroll around and a niche system which I don't trust. The community is great, but there are things that should obviously have been there before the beta. IMO, this is not a beta. And I'm stepping back to a "test user" myself.

Latest news, @Christina Gleason - active, honest, certified member, and certainly with better quality metrics than a newly created fake account - has been penalized for not having paid a niche which cost raised, and is now blocked.

A nonsense situation. Maybe in a year, things will be different but from a new user perspective, this is not an inviting panorama.

Vico Biscotti posted:

@Malkazoid, I get and appreciate what you say. Maybe I'll nominee myself as moderator to a few niches - good advice -, but for now, I don't want to own niches. I was searching for a platform and, after a few days here, I find a blatant cheater allowed to stroll around and a niche system which I don't trust. The community is great, but there are things that should obviously have been there before the beta. IMO, this is not a beta. And I'm stepping back to a "test user" myself.

Latest news, @Christina Gleason - active, honest, certified member, and certainly with better quality metrics than a newly created fake account - has been penalized for not having paid a niche which cost raised, and is now blocked.

A nonsense situation. Maybe in a year, things will be different but from a new user perspective, this is not an inviting panorama.

Oh no! @Christina Gleason is a valuable member, has been active from day one, and contributes positive and quality content. Being banned from posting even comments for simple one failed payment on a niche no one else was bidding on is harsh. I can understand now bidding, but she should still post and comment.

The problem with the system is it's very automated, and it's obviously not very well fine tuned yet.

Luckily the ban will be lifted in few hours. 

Happy to report that I'm no longer "conduct negative," but I believe that state is in dire need of renaming, as it has nothing to do with my conduct, and everything to do with the fact that Narrative raised the price after I agreed to buy the niche to the point where I couldn't afford it.

Vico Biscotti posted:

@Malkazoid, I get and appreciate what you say. Maybe I'll nominee myself as moderator to a few niches - good advice -, but for now, I don't want to own niches. I was searching for a platform and, after a few days here, I find a blatant cheater allowed to stroll around and a niche system which I don't trust. The community is great, but there are things that should obviously have been there before the beta. IMO, this is not a beta. And I'm stepping back to a "test user" myself.

Latest news, @Christina Gleason - active, honest, certified member, and certainly with better quality metrics than a newly created fake account - has been penalized for not having paid a niche which cost raised, and is now blocked.

A nonsense situation. Maybe in a year, things will be different but from a new user perspective, this is not an inviting panorama.

Only blocked from bidding on niches for 12 hours. She wasn't blocked  from using the rest of Narrative. She can still comment and post content, is my understanding.. I am not defending the situation. Just making sure that everyone understands that she wasn't completely put out to pasture. 

Emily Barnett posted:
Vico Biscotti posted:

@Malkazoid, I get and appreciate what you say. Maybe I'll nominee myself as moderator to a few niches - good advice -, but for now, I don't want to own niches. I was searching for a platform and, after a few days here, I find a blatant cheater allowed to stroll around and a niche system which I don't trust. The community is great, but there are things that should obviously have been there before the beta. IMO, this is not a beta. And I'm stepping back to a "test user" myself.

Latest news, @Christina Gleason - active, honest, certified member, and certainly with better quality metrics than a newly created fake account - has been penalized for not having paid a niche which cost raised, and is now blocked.

A nonsense situation. Maybe in a year, things will be different but from a new user perspective, this is not an inviting panorama.

Only blocked from bidding on niches for 12 hours. She wasn't blocked  from using the rest of Narrative. She can still comment and post content, is my understanding.. I am not defending the situation. Just making sure that everyone understands that she wasn't completely put out to pasture. 

Incorrect. I could do nothing on the Beta. The only reason I could post here was because they require separate logins.

Hey so, curious what the sense is with Gage.  I was the first to say lets not rush to judgement about him, but I think he's outed himself in great detail through his boasts on the niche approval page for Trolling...

Trolling is a legitimate topic and it's the niche I wanted to contribute to the most. I have years of experience and I was looking for a platform to make posts to. Should I go to medium instead? You don't want to hear my stories about what I've done? I am the guy behind Stargate World's destruction, I created a fake beta client that exceeded 50,000 downloads, I built a clone of SGworld's website, put on a similar domain and created a fake beta client in adobe flash that I compiled to a .exe, it was a never-ending installation animation. They shut down their forums for a week, they warned everyone about my harmless flash beta client.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vng4VZpc8oU

I am the guy that did Youtube.com/mortalonlinebeta, I have a hundred stories to tell about trolling.

This is me, it's what I do in my free time because it's fun to disrupt the status quo. You think I haven't created blockchain applications? You think I didn't launch one of the most renown ICOs in blockchain history? You reject Trolling, you're pushing me to Medium where I will get 1500 claps in a day and my friends at product hunt will post on their newsletter.

Narrative is where I was going to dump all my dark secrets

 

If someone considers themselves a troll, is proud of it and boasts about it... is it ok for us to consider him one?

Christina Gleason posted:
Emily Barnett posted:
Vico Biscotti posted:

@Malkazoid, I get and appreciate what you say. Maybe I'll nominee myself as moderator to a few niches - good advice -, but for now, I don't want to own niches. I was searching for a platform and, after a few days here, I find a blatant cheater allowed to stroll around and a niche system which I don't trust. The community is great, but there are things that should obviously have been there before the beta. IMO, this is not a beta. And I'm stepping back to a "test user" myself.

Latest news, @Christina Gleason - active, honest, certified member, and certainly with better quality metrics than a newly created fake account - has been penalized for not having paid a niche which cost raised, and is now blocked.

A nonsense situation. Maybe in a year, things will be different but from a new user perspective, this is not an inviting panorama.

Only blocked from bidding on niches for 12 hours. She wasn't blocked  from using the rest of Narrative. She can still comment and post content, is my understanding.. I am not defending the situation. Just making sure that everyone understands that she wasn't completely put out to pasture. 

Incorrect. I could do nothing on the Beta. The only reason I could post here was because they require separate logins.

ok, I stand corrected. Well that is super crappy.

Malkazoid posted:

Hey so, curious what the sense is with Gage.  I was the first to say lets not rush to judgement about him, but I think he's outed himself in great detail through his boasts on the niche approval page for Trolling...

Trolling is a legitimate topic and it's the niche I wanted to contribute to the most. I have years of experience and I was looking for a platform to make posts to. Should I go to medium instead? You don't want to hear my stories about what I've done? I am the guy behind Stargate World's destruction, I created a fake beta client that exceeded 50,000 downloads, I built a clone of SGworld's website, put on a similar domain and created a fake beta client in adobe flash that I compiled to a .exe, it was a never-ending installation animation. They shut down their forums for a week, they warned everyone about my harmless flash beta client.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vng4VZpc8oU

I am the guy that did Youtube.com/mortalonlinebeta, I have a hundred stories to tell about trolling.

This is me, it's what I do in my free time because it's fun to disrupt the status quo. You think I haven't created blockchain applications? You think I didn't launch one of the most renown ICOs in blockchain history? You reject Trolling, you're pushing me to Medium where I will get 1500 claps in a day and my friends at product hunt will post on their newsletter.

Narrative is where I was going to dump all my dark secrets

 

If someone considers themselves a troll, is proud of it and boasts about it... is it ok for us to consider him one?

I've had the sense that Gage was up to know good since the very first post. If I remember correctly, our known troll was one of the earliest comments and most congratulatory on his post. I wouldn't be surprised to find him to be a part of the troll cabal. 

It's about behavior patterns. I think our troll signed up for early alpha and waited. I think the intent was to be a bad actor all along. He's either a competitor insurgent or he just likes to be disruptive because it's fun. Whether Gage is or isn't a troll is really immaterial. He says he is. We should take the threat seriously.

Garden Gnome Publications posted:

I've had the sense that Gage was up to know good since the very first post. If I remember correctly, our known troll was one of the earliest comments and most congratulatory on his post. I wouldn't be surprised to find him to be a part of the troll cabal. 

It's about behavior patterns. I think our troll signed up for early alpha and waited. I think the intent was to be a bad actor all along. He's either a competitor insurgent or he just likes to be disruptive because it's fun. Whether Gage is or isn't a troll is really immaterial. He says he is. We should take the threat seriously.

Thanks @Garden Gnome Publications.

He has a fan who wishes to not believe he's a troll, and refuses to even look at the evidence... so while interfacing with that person, I was somewhat gaslit... enough to ask folks if I'm imagining things.

While we're on his topic, it seems the consensus is that there is nothing wrong with having a Trolling niche if it makes clear in some way that it is not a place to troll, but rather to discuss trolling, share stories about it, etc...  Is there any sense in proposing the niche with a good description like that?  It would help anyone who might be confused realise we weren't against the topic itself.  Gage and the other troll accounts have tried to complain in bad faith that they are being censored.  And they've convinced at least one person, unfortunately.

A fan??? @Malkazoid you are too much. My respect for you is completely gone. Now you need to go after me, because I disagree with you? You will be very hard pressed to turn me into a troll. 

I have no idea about this person. I made a comment on his post, that wasn't about spitting on him. That does not not make me a fan. far from. But go ahead, spread a rumor that I am a troll fan. Turn people against me. That is such a constructive way to spend time on Narrative. 

I will be over on Beta making positive posts, and trying to be supportive of people's niches.

Emily Barnett posted:

A fan??? @Malkazoid you are too much. My respect for you is completely gone. Now you need to go after me, because I disagree with you? You will be very hard pressed to turn me into a troll. 

I have no idea about this person. I made a comment on his post, that wasn't about spitting on him. That does not not make me a fan. far from. But go ahead, spread a rumor that I am a troll fan. Turn people against me. That is such a constructive way to spend time on Narrative. 

I will be over on Beta making positive posts, and trying to be supportive of people's niches.

I didn't name you, but if you want people to know, that's fine with me.

The fan comment comes from the fact that without having ever engaged with him before, as soon as you found his thread that attacked me and other people who take the community governance to heart, you responded with the longest comment you've ever posted on the Beta, full of sympathy for him, and with zero questioning of his motives, despite everyone else starting to clue in to something being off about him.  People are allowed to draw inferences from that fact.  When you subsequently point blank refused to even look at the evidence that he's a troll, you have to expect people are going to conclude you're quite fond of him... for whatever reason.  You know what I think that reason is, so no need to rehash it.

Good night.  It must be late even in the US.  It was 3am here when you private messaged me swollen with outrage.  Now it is almost 6am and I'm well and truly done with this.

Seems like CRYPTOMOCHO is another new troll account based on a similar unfounded appeal made to the tribunal, and his next victim is Denis Wallez.

While I don't necessarily think that troll comment and Denis' reply to it are bad or non constructive, I thought I'd better report it here before it sparks conversation in all the wrong directions.

I had to go back and look at the comment. I didn't think he was talking about you @Emily Barnett, but now that I've read the comment, it doesn't come across like a "fan" to me. It sounded entirely reasonable and rational.

When I first read Gage's post, it sent up a red flag to me, for a few reasons. First, there's no profile pic. Secondly, The account has no other posts that I can find, before or after. Thirdly, this one nugget of irrational thought slipped into an otherwise pretty good post:

People with high point value tend not to actually contribute value, so stop affording them so much authority and respect. Their posts would have zero claps on Medium. Yet look at how well junk content flourishes

While none of these in and of themselves spell "troll," it is suspicious that someone leads, just days after launch, with a criticism rather than attempt to add some value to a platform. I'd say that about any platform. Other than that one comment, I found myself agreeing with the post overall. So I was faced with a dilemma. Do I upvote it or downvote it? I did neither. Instead, I left a somewhat snarky comment designed to draw something of a response. Funny, but that comment is the only comment I've seen on Narrative with a high-quality star next to it.

 

At any rate, this happens at about the same time as our known troll ramping up his activity, even going so far as to comment on Gage's post. And Gage responding to what we all are sure is a fake account. None of this connects Gage to the troll, inherently, but I were a troll and I wanted to throw people off my scent, I'd do just that.

When I step back and read Gage's comments as if they were anyone else's and not a possible troll's, most of them make good sense. I agree with some and don't agree with others. But they don't come across as troll-ish behavior. It did come across as a bit suspicious, to me, that Gage complimented Emily on her posts claiming hers are the only quality on the platform (especially after complimenting mine previously), but that doesn't take away from the value that Emily's comment had. I particularly like the following comment by Gage:

@Guest over and over you talk about activity level, as if that dictates authority, validity, and value on the platform; that however, is not the case.

I happen to agree with that comment. Activity does not translate into authority. As someone who specializes in writing authority content, I know this for a fact. Spammers tend to focus on quantity while true authorities focus on quality. And Narrative does currently have a quality issue, but I'd say that's not because we have poor content creators. I'd say it's because it's a new platform and there is still plenty of room to grow. There are plenty of good writers here, content creators, who could be taught to improve their content. And I think this is the gist of Gage's post. He's calling for Narrators to quit upvoting low-quality content. The message is certainly apt. But there are other ways to encourage better quality content and to raise the bar for content creators. It's still a bit early in the game to implement some of those, but niche owners can play a part in that.

Then there's the Trolling niche suggestion. It's clear this Gage character is smart and crafty. He admits to being a troll. The fact that he is shouldn't be questioned. I'll take him at his word. What I'm not sure about is whether or not he's connected to the cabal of trolls that lead back to the parent. It's possible, but when you admit to this:

You don't want to hear my stories about what I've done? I am the guy behind Stargate World's destruction, I created a fake beta client that exceeded 50,000 downloads, I built a clone of SGworld's website, put on a similar domain and created a fake beta client in adobe flash that I compiled to a .exe, it was a never-ending installation animation. They shut down their forums for a week, they warned everyone about my harmless flash beta client.  

I think it's pretty obvious what he's up to here. But the problem isn't the niche suggestion. It's actually a pretty good suggestion. And it's too bad. I'd actually like to vote for it. With only one hour left before voting closes, I'd consider changing my vote if I thought it would make a difference in the outcome. I think, as a community, we need to put more thought into how we approach situations like this. It's not going to get better and I'm not counting on the Narrative staff to fix it. We need to develop our own positive and forward-looking solutions.

I'm with @Garden Gnome Publications as far as this issue is concerned... Wise words, Allen. 

And with the Trolling niche... Well, I think it's a pretty good suggestion and although the description should be better, it's not entirely crap. We upvoted niches with far worse descriptions.

But I didn't vote on this one. When voting started I was banned for 24 hrs from the platform for the same reason as @Christina Gleason (I guess my longer sentence was caused by the fact my overall rep is lower than hers). Now I would have upvoted it but with half an hour left to go, I can see the niche will be rejected. And if I vote "up" I'll get a reputation hit. I did it in the past - voted according to my views against the popular view (either way) - and the only thing I came out with was a rep hit.

It looks like a good way of earning rep points - wait until the last couple of hours, vote with the majority regardless of your views and when the voting finishes, your rep goes a bit higher. By no means, I'm suggesting anyone did it in this case - but in general, one could build a reputation this way, right? I'm a bit disappointed with this system. I do tactical voting in two countries all the time. I wanted to believe a brand new online democracy will be free from the obvious pitfalls of real-life democratic systems. In some aspects, it is. But not in case of niche up/down voting and its relation to the reputation of the voters.

Just a side note

Good in depth commentary @Garden Gnome Publications and @Gosia Rokicka.

Just one thing that needs pointing out regarding @Garden Gnome Publications' comments: Gage's observation that activity does not correlate with authority was a classic strawman argument.  Nobody ever claimed it did.

Some people remarked on the fact that Gage had done nothing constructive in his 5 months on the platform, IMO not because that reduced his authority, but because it reflects on the strangeness of his demeaning of those who have been active and constructive.

Gage based his comment on a perception that higher rep individuals, explicitly including me and explicitly excluding only Emily, behave as if they have authority.  Actually these people behave as if they are Narrators: it is part of the spec to engage in discussion over niche approvals, suggest improvements of all sorts, file appeals, etc...

This is part of the cunning of an individual who is obviously and admittedly an experienced troll - he knows how to level accusations that sound like they make sense, but actually have no demonstrated link to his targets.

Regarding Gage's compliment to Emily - although he said she was the only person creating proper content, he does not follow her.  He followed only one Narrator at the time of his posting: Nick.  Not following any of the high rep individuals he was accusing is also suspicious.  How do you judge what they have and have not brought in terms of content if you have no means of seeing all their content?  People's profiles only show content they published to their journals.  I personally have only published 10 of my 18 content pieces to my personal journal.

Gage knew exactly what he was doing, and he was nice and subtle about it.  First name no names.  Then explicitly compliment the recently alienated Narrator, while explicitly accusing those who sought to discuss a better niche description with her.  Never once criticising the Tribunal itself which ruled against her niche... why criticise them: they won't quarrel!  Never once criticising the underlying paradigm of Narrative which RELIES on high rep individuals influencing the platform.

As @Garden Gnome Publications said, taken in isolation, all the details about Gage amount to little, except for his bragging about destroying online communities in the past (which BTW is all anyone should need to hear).  But as a whole, the picture is crystal clear he was there to start a fight and munch the popcorn as it unfolded.  Sadly, we probably reinforced his superiority complex by falling for it.  I do hope we do better next time.

And we need to start giving some serious thought to the paradigm-based issues of community governance.  I believe Emily when she says some people think high rep users are throwing their weight around.  We've seen two users, herself included, take things extremely personally when a niche description has been questioned.  When they're doing the questioning and campaigning, it feels like civic duty - when their niche is being questioned, to some people, it feels like meddling.  This is a problem inherent to the core functioning of Narrative... so the sooner we stop feeling sore about perceived slights against our beloved niches, the better. 

We have s systemic issue to examine, which is deeply rooted in human psychology.  People don't like their neighbours having opinions that can have consequences, about things they view as their sovereign property, with no accepted spill over into questions of communal interest.  And yet Narrative asks neighbours to be the only entities looking into these matters and defines it as part of the democratic self governance of the platform.

This brings us back to the pre-Beta discussion of how to fix niche descriptions that pose real problems.  Emily argued strongly that friendly discussions with niche owners would do the trick - then went on to be the first person to prove that probably won't work a lot of the time.  Others argued a specific task force empowered by the company but beholden to the community and the Tribunal of course, would be better suited.  I can only speak for myself, but my support for the second solution partly stemmed from an intuition that we would run into problems with neighbours talking to neighbours.  

Very good and thoughtful commentary @Malkazoid. I agree with this:

Some people remarked on the fact that Gage had done nothing constructive in his 5 months on the platform, IMO not because that reduced his authority, but because it reflects on the strangeness of his demeaning of those who have been active and constructive.

Trolls can be very clever, and this one surely is. I did notice his follows and thought it strange, as well. Whatever his motivation, it can be snuffed by not interacting with him.

Yes, all, the post is spin doctor - condemns all the content on the platform as junk, attacks any involved members, invokes authoritarian insistence we all do as he says. And all coming from a ghost - never seen before or since in the content stream. But he makes money off of this head game. On a monetized platform trolling isn't for attention. It's for financial gain. And it makes it really hard to tell debate from scam. I see his post is at the top of the discover feed today - when all it's worth is down votes.

Garden Gnome Publications posted:

Very good and thoughtful commentary @Malkazoid. I agree with this:

Some people remarked on the fact that Gage had done nothing constructive in his 5 months on the platform, IMO not because that reduced his authority, but because it reflects on the strangeness of his demeaning of those who have been active and constructive.

Trolls can be very clever, and this one surely is. I did notice his follows and thought it strange, as well. Whatever his motivation, it can be snuffed by not interacting with him.

Too late!

I just responded to him again, and I'm having a change of heart.  Partly because your example of snark was contagious, and I wanted to give Gage a small taste of the absurdity of his game.

But mostly, I'm now thinking it might actually be beneficial to feed the trolls at this juncture.  Why?  Because human nature makes people tend to feed them.  It is why they exist.

The Narrative Team, I think, is relying too heavily on the community to be saints and not engage with trolls, for their system to work and I don't think that's a viable way forwards because it flies against human nature and what we've seen everywhere else online.  Trolls always find people to interact with... that's why trolling works.  

So unless we have a plan for transforming human nature and making Narrative the one place where people ignore trolls religiously, I think it is better we realise the flawed nature of that 'plan' early.  As in NOW.

Lets see what happens to a troll's reputation when people feed him the way they most certainly usually will.  This is Beta.  Now is the time to figure this stuff out.

There's a reason bars have bouncers and kick out patrons who come in to start fights: picking a fight is dead easy and usually works.  We need to wise up to this fact.

Slaz posted:

Seems like CRYPTOMOCHO is another new troll account based on a similar unfounded appeal made to the tribunal, and his next victim is Denis Wallez.

While I don't necessarily think that troll comment and Denis' reply to it are bad or non constructive, I thought I'd better report it here before it sparks conversation in all the wrong directions.

One more, iffy looking -  Satoshi Nakamoto - account opened  on 13th, won 10 niches on 16th appointed self as nominator to 3, (all belonging to @Malkazoid, i think.  Reported Travel to the Tribunal ... Interesting story behind the name, tho.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satoshi_Nakamoto

There's also a niche by the same name, bought quite a while back.

Yes, @Colleen Ryer, I already noticed, because his first bid was on Medium, a niche I suggested, right after the appeal on BLOG. It's clearly Ethereum.

Honestly, I'm keeping a list, but I didn't publish intentionally. Another name that maybe has not been mentioned is John Wayne.

Vico Biscotti posted:

Yes, @Colleen Ryer, I already noticed, because his first bid was on Medium, a niche I suggested, right after the appeal on BLOG. It's clearly Ethereum.

Honestly, I'm keeping a list, but I didn't publish intentionally. Another name that maybe has not been mentioned is John Wayne.

Yes, I just learned about John Wayne by way of seeing that the Tribunal had voted to keep one of my niches Approved, after John Wayne had made a malicious appeal.

Vico Biscotti posted:

Yes, @Colleen Ryer, I already noticed, because his first bid was on Medium, a niche I suggested, right after the appeal on BLOG. It's clearly Ethereum.

Honestly, I'm keeping a list, but I didn't publish intentionally. Another name that maybe has not been mentioned is John Wayne.

Thanks @ChristinaGleason, there's so many - glad someone's keeping track!

Colleen Ryer posted:
Vico Biscotti posted:

Yes, @Colleen Ryer, I already noticed, because his first bid was on Medium, a niche I suggested, right after the appeal on BLOG. It's clearly Ethereum.

Honestly, I'm keeping a list, but I didn't publish intentionally. Another name that maybe has not been mentioned is John Wayne.

Thanks @ChristinaGleason, there's so many - glad someone's keeping track!

Oops, Sorry  @Vico Biscotti - Thanks for keeping track!

Christina Gleason posted:
Vico Biscotti posted:

Yes, @Colleen Ryer, I already noticed, because his first bid was on Medium, a niche I suggested, right after the appeal on BLOG. It's clearly Ethereum.

Honestly, I'm keeping a list, but I didn't publish intentionally. Another name that maybe has not been mentioned is John Wayne.

Yes, I just learned about John Wayne by way of seeing that the Tribunal had voted to keep one of my niches Approved, after John Wayne had made a malicious appeal.

Vico Biscotti posted:

Yes, @Colleen Ryer, I already noticed, because his first bid was on Medium, a niche I suggested, right after the appeal on BLOG. It's clearly Ethereum.

Honestly, I'm keeping a list, but I didn't publish intentionally. Another name that maybe has not been mentioned is John Wayne.

John Wayne is definitely one of them. Add Mr Pikachu as well, although I suspect some of these accounts are abandoned already.

@Slaz, I didn't notice Mr Pikachu, thanks. First action as a new account, an appeal to Business with "Description is boring". And considering that "boring" has already been used by one of Ethereum trolls, I wouldn't have doubts about the connection.

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