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What I've Learned: Why Any Kind of Rating System is a Bad Idea

museOct 23, 2018, 6:41:41 AM

Just kidding! I still think one particular kind of rating system is an excellent idea! But there are important differences between rating systems. It's very difficult to find carefully reasoned discussion on this topic, as the top blogs on this topic tend to be either too personal, focused on criticizing people who suggest ideas, or they are too difficult to understand.

As an example take the following screenshot from one of the top blogs on Minds on this topic:

Ugh! Who would write such meaningless pretentious drivel as this? Not only is it hard to understand, but the writing does not even sound good! Who wrote this? Well, probably not Australian, because despite the arrogance the author at least possesses a decent vocabulary. Whoever it is, I would like to suggest to all my subscribers that this is exactly the kind of toxic user we should attempt to avoid on Minds, and if you come across this user, it would probably be in your interest to unsubscribe and block him!

But what sort of reputation system would I personally support? It would have the following characteristics.

Person to Person, otherwise known as Peer to Peer. This means that there will be no central server responsible for saying who has a higher reputation, any reputations that you give to other users apply only to yourself. And therefore, this is less a "rating" system as a "filter" system. More than likely you like to see some of your subscribers more than others. It should be made as easy as possible to give preference to your favorite users over your less favorite users to see their content first

Private. Presently, on Minds any person can see your subscriber list, they can see who you subscribe to, and who subscribes to you, this means that your subscriptions lists are Public. In a private system these details would be hidden by default, with the ability to reveal this information to selected users, you can also choose to reveal to other users your Preferences of other users, that is, the list of users that you would recommend to others.

In this system, the only way your preferences or ratings of other users would affect others is indirectly, through them asking you personally, or checking your profile to see what information you have chosen to reveal to others. This functionality gives the ability to form strong sub-cultures through whitelisting, rather than blacklisting. This means that instead of blocking spammers, you just favor non-spammers. This approach of whitelisting, instead of blacklisting, can actually eliminate spam completely.

Actually, I can't see why any user would oppose this system, so long as they understood it sufficiently.