I thought of this scenario the the other day while reading Perl?. Suppose you've made a bonehead post recently. You show up in worst nodes of the day with a -1 or so. Even worse, you show up a couple of times. Embarassing right? So what you do is troll as anonymous monk. Post a really bad/dense/ inflammatory post. That won't raise the rep on your bad post, but it might just be enough to knock you out of the 'worst nodes' list. It might also help you avoid collateral damage from those who scan the 'worst nodes' section and bandwagon on the downvotes. It will definitely siphon off votes that might have been used to -- you.

That's only speculation (and a cynical one at that) on my part, but....

Does this really happen? If it it a big deal? If it is, is there any way to prevent it?
Either might be something to be watch for when voting.

Note: I personally tend to stay away from 'worst nodes'. I mean, if I want to see bad code and stupid comments, I could just stay in my home node all the time. ;)

~monk d4vis

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
RE: Crazy like a troll?
by Albannach (Monsignor) on Oct 26, 2000 at 20:34 UTC
    I *like* reading Worst Nodes as a mix of learning from the mistakes of others and cheap laughs, but I think it's an abuse of voting to simply -- everything you see in that list, just as it is silly to ++ everything in Best Nodes.

    More importantly, do people really get that upset if they are listed in Worst? The Exp system is a good (though certainly not ideal) system to quickly estimate the utility of individual posts, but it ain't a game, and there are no prizes folks! This will only continue to work if people use their votes honestly and wisely (e.g. there is no need to use all your votes each day etc.). I know this is all old news to most of you, but I've figured it out after my few weeks here and think that the purpose of voting and Exp should be pretty clear to all before they get to vote in the first place.

    On the other hand, I'm new here and may have misinterpreted the whole thing - fire away!

    Now here's a semi-related thought: could the SuperSearch optionally sort by Exp (without reporting the actual values) to extract more value from the Exp system?

RE: Crazy like a troll?
by Fastolfe (Vicar) on Oct 26, 2000 at 20:15 UTC
    Perhaps troll posts like this should simply be deleted.

    Update: Why is this node being consistently down-voted? Are people reading it without context? I am trying to say that perhaps instead of allowing posts that are known trolls to persist and rack up negative reputation, the post itself should simply be deleted, thus preventing the problem that was being described. What is so bad about that concept? If you disagree, let's hear why.

      Actually, Fastolfe, you're right. If Perl? had been deleted after being declared a known troll post, which would have been after the first reply by the same(?) Anonymous Monk, more downvotes (votes in general) would have been conserved for praising good posts or actually downvoting bad but otherwise non-troll posts.

      But, OTOH, this makes vroom's life more complex since he would have to be vigilant to the threat of trolling posts. (vroom in this context may or may not consist of multiple editors with vroom-like power to remove trolling posts.) It is the whole argument of the /. v trolls issue or the possibility of crying homework. I'm for removing trolled nodes, but beyond something as blatant as Perl?, who decides to pull the plug?

      ALL HAIL BRAK!!!

RE: Crazy like a troll?
by AgentM (Curate) on Oct 26, 2000 at 21:41 UTC
    Is there a way to prevent trolls? Not really. Trolls are not necessarily always made by the anonymous monk, since anyone can make a dud user. Is it a big deal? Not really. i think a multitude of great questions are posed at, and a little wit once and again never killed anyone. i can imagine that it could very easily escalate into a pollution problem- quite possibly unpreventable and unfilterable. just take the trolls with a grain of salt and ignore them. And remember, wasting -- on an anonymous or dud monk is just a waste of your own vote where it may be more fitting elsewhere.
    AgentM Systems nor Nasca Enterprises nor Bone::Easy nor Macperl is responsible for the comments made by AgentM. Remember, you can build any logical system with NOR.
      Why might your vote be more fitting elsewhere? You're not voting -- on the anon or the dud monk, you're voting -- on the post. Reputation is supposed to be a way to gauge the value of a post.

      Also, there are rumours that posts which sink too low will be removed, so --ing such posts could actually be a suitable way to remove garbage.

      Update: in reply to AgentM's reply: There is a way to let Vroom know something should be deleted. It's the 'consider node' option in the approval nodelet. It just doesn't appear to be completely functional yet.

        True, but voting on a post that will be erased is not too effective either. There should be some other way to alert vroom of trolls which are inherently different than bad posts in the manner that trolls should be erased while a low rep post might bring up a misconception that everyone should be reading about. In that case, I would keep the misconception and scrap the troll even though they may have the same -- rep. Well, the trolls have so far few and far between trolls, so I'm not too worried, but I see it as a potentially serious problem (since it's just really easy...)

        Update:I still have to disagree with you kudra. There really needs to be some better mechanism for dud posts. I'd rather help someone and ++ some worthy node. If you are also following the discussion above, you'll note that some other guys agree with me. I feel that -- some dud is probably going to take from a ++ or -- where it's really deserved. I guess I'm sayign that trolls are not really valid nodes, especially since they are soon to be deleted.

        AgentM Systems nor Nasca Enterprises nor Bone::Easy nor Macperl is responsible for the comments made by AgentM. Remember, you can build any logical system with NOR.