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Another visible change unannounced -- GONE Answered

Another minor update appears to have been rolled out without a post to Site Updates.  In this case, it's the new "view raters" capability in the INFO box.

UPDATE 13 May 2010:  According to Staff, this "feature" is for Admins only, and was not intended for public release.  The bug has been fixed.

When it was being tested (I presume) a couple of days ago, it got the immediate attention of the K'nex community (who are, as you'd expect, inordinately preoccupied with status among their peers).  Now that it seems to be "permanent," they continue to debate their tribal concerns about the information now available.

I'd be very interested in a "view from the top" posting about this feature (which I think is actually useful and interesting for data-mining), and how Instructables authors can benefit from it.

Discussions

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canida

8 years ago

To clarify: "it has been withdrawn" = "bug has been fixed."

Sounds like people had fun while it lasted. ;)

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kelseymhcanida

Reply 8 years ago

Text edited accordingly!  Are you Instructables official spinmeister?

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canidakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

Ha!  I simply value linguistic precision.

Saying that it "has been withdrawn" suggests that we were trying something out, then removed it upon negative response.  In reality it was a (rather embarrassing) bug we hastily fixed - users made their ratings with an expectation of anonymity.  We've no intention of pulling a Facebook.

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kelseymhcanida

Reply 8 years ago

Excellent.  I think you're quite right about that (but I still wish we could get the histograms :-( ).

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RavingMadStudios

8 years ago

I'm with you and Nacho on the usefulness of distribution data, but having the names attached just makes me want to PM the one person who downrated my Gene Simmons costume to find out why they hated it so much. Everybody else who bothered to rate it gave it above average numbers, but this one guy gave it a 1. I know I'm biased, but it's better than a 1. It's never been entered in a contest, and the downrater has not posted a costume or general Halloween 'ible of any kind, so I'm totally perplexed as to what the issue could be.
I won't give in to the temptation, but having the names available could lead to a whole lot of "Dude, WTF?" PMing and retaliatory downrating, especially among the younger set. Count me as a "Keep the numbers, lose the names" vote.

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kelseymhRavingMadStudios

Reply 8 years ago

"Could lead?"  It already has.  Take a look at DJ Radio's brag about "atomic bombing" somebody's I'bles...

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DJ Radiokelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

Uhh that was just an example.  It wasn't really serious.

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kelseymhDJ Radio

Reply 8 years ago

Right.  That's why you stated is a fact, rather than as a possibility.  When you make outrageous claims, then you get to reap the consequences.

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DJ Radiokelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

I'll pass on the reaping, thanks.

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kelseymhDJ Radio

Reply 8 years ago

:-D  "said the chess player to Death."

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kelseymhDJ Radio

Reply 8 years ago

Sorry, it's an obscure reference to an Ingmar Bergman film, in which a man plays chess against Death (you know, the dude in the black hoodie with the knife on a stick).

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DJ Radiokelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

Lol.  What's the name of the film?

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kelseymhDJ Radio

Reply 8 years ago

Sweet!  Obviously, I had no idea :-D

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NachoMahmakelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

> the dude in the black hoodie
.  ROFL! Not sure why that's so funny, but it sure tickled me.

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caitlinsdadNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

 > said the dog in the fur hoodie

People do dress up their dogs in rain slickers and doggie booties and custom knit sweaters. Infringing on their right to go nekked.

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RavingMadStudioskelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

Whoops. Missed that one. Yikes.

I confess that I may not give the k'nex threads the same level of attention as other threads, so I'm not at all surprised that I missed something. I blame this on three things:
1) I have absolutely no interest in K'nex guns.
2) I have absolutely no interest in reading a million monosyllabic posts consisting entirely of teenage boys insulting each other over trigger assemblies.
3) Whenever I deviate from my strict K'nex avoidance policy, I wind up with a pounding headache.

So...yeah. I'm kind of sorry it turned out to be a bug, though.

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DJ RadioRavingMadStudios

Reply 8 years ago

1. Get an interest
2. You have a point.  Just stick with people who don't.
3. Make it not wind up with a pounding headache.

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RavingMadStudiosDJ Radio

Reply 8 years ago

1. Unlikely to happen. Construction toys have never been a big draw for me, even as a kid. I do respect the ingenuity that goes into some of the more original K'nex creations, but finding the original stuff among all of the almost-but-not-quite-identical-to-something-20-other-people-already-posted stuff is a little more work than my interest level will support. I have the same reaction to LED Throwies 'ibles: "No seriously, this one is totally different and original because i used blue duct tape!"

2. Point me toward a cool project that includes a comment thread that is not dominated by bickering or random K"NEX RUUUULES!!!!11!!! posts, and I'll totally check it out.

3. See #2.

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kelseymhRavingMadStudios

Reply 8 years ago

I don't either.  I noticed the two threads in question because I use Community:all to see recent topic, and neither one was obviously K'nexish in title.  I do notice, and have even occasionally rated/featured the non-gun K'nex projects (that piano-playing robot, for example).

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kelseymhRavingMadStudios

Reply 8 years ago

I've got a few of those as well.  The two cases I checked were both people with few comments and no other stuff.  My suspicion is they're just immature boys with nothing better to do than act out their anomie in an anonymous way, where authority figures won't bother them. 

Doesn't really matter anyway, for us.  The way the rating system works, it uses the whole sitewide statistics as a baseline, such that an individual outlier or two won't affect your average.

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RavingMadStudioskelseymh

Reply 8 years ago

You're probably right about the maturity level of the hate-raters. I don't really care one way or another if the guy didn't like my costume, I'm just curious as to what it was he disliked enough to bother with a rating. Not curious enough to PM the dude, but still....

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knexguy

8 years ago

'it got the immediate attention of the K'nex community (who are, as you'd expect, inordinately preoccupied with status among their peers). '

Please don't tar us all with the same brush; while some are egotistical (well, the average age is around 10) , quite a few don't care about ratings that much.

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kelseymhknexguy

Reply 8 years ago

Any community has variation, and I'm sure some of the builders are less interested in "ratings" than others.  Nevertheless, it is true that the first two discussions of this issue were specifically within K'nex, and both revolved around retaliating against low ratings.

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Kiteman

8 years ago

Some thoughts:
  • Seeing names can be useful for members who find their projects repeatedly subjected to "vandalism" ratings (remember the hassle when we used to have negative ratings in contests?) - it means they can spot suspicious patterns.
  • Within the K'NEX community, some names are greatly respected, and it would be a big boost to a noob to be able to see that a respected K'NEXer has rated their project.
  • On a wider scale, some regulars have extra "value" (for want of a better word) attached to their names, and newer members get quite excited when they get direct attention from such a regular.
  • Those members who are not bothered by exactly *who* rated their projects would probably be more interested in a graphical version of the data (which is probably why YouTube have added those tricksie graphs of viewer numbers).
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NachoMahmaKiteman

Reply 8 years ago

> find ... projects repeatedly subjected to "vandalism" ratings
.  Isn't that Robot's job? If you suspect "vandalism," report it to Robot and let him handle it. I know he is terribly busy, but I don't see that as justification to invade the privacy of members.

> Within the K'NEX community, some names are greatly respected, and it would be a big boost ... On a wider scale, some regulars have extra "value"
.  Have them leave a comment. Just because that may not be as convenient as giving a rating is not justification ...

 
.  IMNSHO, it's nobody's business (except Robot when investigating "vandalism") how any individual voted.
.  Do you want ppl knowing how you vote in political elections? This is pretty much the same thing in my book. Secret ballot and all that.
.  I am rather surprised that, given your stance on public video cameras, you would be agreeable to such an invasion of privacy.

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Lithium RainNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

Robot doesn't have the resources to monitor all the votes and check for bad apples targeting single users. This makes it much much easier to detect and report such behavior, while still leaving all decision making power to Robot (and the fact that only the author can view it preserves some privacy). It may also encourage voting.

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NachoMahmaLithium Rain

Reply 8 years ago

> Robot doesn't have the resources to monitor all the votes and check for bad apples ...
.  I understand that Robot is very busy (hence my previous comment). So we just throw privacy out the window for the sake of convenience?
 
> preserves some privacy
.  Having "some" privacy equates to no privacy in my book. Kinda reminds me of being "a little bit" pregnant.
 
> It may also encourage voting.
.  I just don't see it. From my experience dealing with humans over the last 50+ years, I'd be willing to bet a substantial sum that lack of anonymity will discourage ratings and quite possibly cause inflation.

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Lithium RainNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

I guess I don't see where I have an expectation of privacy in my ratings. After all, previous versions of the rating system would show who gave a "+1" (and, I think, who gave a "-1"), so it's not like it's setting a precedent. Plus, it doesn't really hurt you to have your vote revealed...the worst someone can do is send you a nasty pm to be caught by the filters. ;)

There are definitely degrees of privacy, as there are degrees of, say, intimacy. If you have a bug in your house, but it only has audio capabilities, then they can't see you nekked - thusly, *some* of your privacy is preserved. ;)

Well, when people see that other people are voting, they may see it as the new thing to do, since other people they respect/just a lot of people are. I'm not sure it actually will encourage voting, but it occurred to me that it might be possible.

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NachoMahmaLithium Rain

Reply 8 years ago

> I guess I don't see where I have an expectation of privacy in my ratings.
.  Well, that tells me that we may never agree on this. I don't see where it is any different than other personal data such as my e-mail address, age, &c. I am free to post that info in public, if I want to, but I don't want just anyone being able to access it without my permission.

> so it's not like it's setting a precedent
.  While precedents are valuable guides, if we slavish stuck to them women couldn't vote, Blacks would still be in separate schools, &c. I don't think it was right to link a name with a vote back then, either.
 
> Plus, it doesn't really hurt you to have your vote revealed...the worst someone can do is send you a nasty pm to be caught by the filters. ;)
.  It wouldn't "hurt" you if I publish how you vote on elections, but we Americans just don't do things that way.

> If you have a bug in your house, but it only has audio capabilities...
.  I utterly fail to see how either one is any better (or worse) than the other.

> they may see it as the new thing to do,
.  I suppose anything may be possible, but why do you think so many voting schemes involve secret ballots? Democracies/Republics love secret ballots - despots seldom embrace them.

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Lithium RainNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

1 & 2. My point isn't that precedent is almighty, but that I question that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy for ratings any more than there is an expectation that these posts will be private - rater identities have in the past been public, and hiding them was a new thing. So I don't see any reason to expect my ratings to be hidden.

3. Politicians always wrap themselves in Old Glory/patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. ;)

On a serious note, that doesn't seem terribly relevant. Americans may do it one way. Canadians may do it another. We ain't all Americans here. Besides, I thought precedent didn't matter. :-D

4. I don't think either one is better or worse. I was saying that there are degrees/measures of privacy; it is not always a switch but a dimmer. You have some privacy in that case. You lost some but you still have some. You lost privacy of what you say; you retain privacy of what you do (if it's silent). :)

5. (Random pro-voter-showing thought) Showing faces may discourage absurdly low ratings, because it allows for much better precision in rating wars. Perhaps the Knex wars could be calmed or even mostly stopped, sorta like MAD. There's no first strike capability here! You shoot, we shoot, nobody gets off the first shot with no consequences.

The reason IRL elections with real stakes have secret ballots is because of the historical consequences of voters being revealed IRL. Online it's different. The difference being, there are no despots here, and no vigilantes. No power to abuse. No Kalishnikovs to brandish. No villages to burn. Unless Robot goes power-mad, in which case - wikiHow, anyone? :D:D

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NachoMahmaLithium Rain

Reply 8 years ago

> reasonable expectation of privacy
.  heehee I do believe that's the exact phrase I used when discussing public video cameras with Kiteman some time back.
.  While they may not have been hidden in the past, I see no reason not to admit that that was wrong and keep the names hidden in the future.
 
> Americans may do it one way. Canadians may do it another.
.  But they don't. They both (as do all civilized countries I am aware of) (and UK, too heehee) have secret ballots.
 
> Besides, I thought precedent didn't matter.
.  I'm really scratching my head trying to figure out how you got from "...precedents are valuable guides..." to that.
 
> there are degrees/measures of privacy
.  I don't see it. You either have it or you don't.
 
> Showing faces may discourage absurdly low ratings ...
.  I'm sure ppl can come up with all sorts of "good" reasons for doing it, but it's still an invasion of privacy in my book. If we had audio recorders in everyone's home (which doesn't seem to bother you), the police would have a much easier job - but doing that just ain't right.
 
> historical consequences of voters being revealed
.  Yeah. Like DJ Radio's "atomic bomb." I'm guessing that that is just the tip of the iceberg.

> Online it's different. ...
.  No, it's not - I still consider it to be my private information. And it's not just Robot who would have access to that info under your plan.

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Lithium RainNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

Hm. I like your way of citing better. :D


> I'm really scratching my head
I was saying you were being internally inconsistent. ;) Are precedents valuable, or are they not? If so, let's look at the one we have. If not, why are we yakking about how Us 'Mericans do it? :P Seriously, why would that be relevant at *all*? I don't think it is, anyway, but especially .not if precedents aren't very good guides. (Again, just to clarify - I'm not advocating slavish adherence to historical practice, merely pointing out that since I didn't expect this information to be hidden in the past, there's been little reason to expect it to be hidden now. I guess we just differ on what is/should be intrinsically private... :) )

> All civilized countries
I was speaking generally, not of ballots - sorry! I should have been clearer on that. I was saying that the simple fact that "America does something" has no bearing on the discussion simply by virtue of the fact that America does it. That's circular reasoning - we do it because it's civilized, and it's civilized because we do it.
 
> Doing that just ain't right
You know perfectly well I'm not advocating a police state - merely drawing an analogy. I didn't say the bug was good, I said you still had a measure of privacy in that scenario. Not that it was in any way positive. 

> Tip of the iceberg...no, it's not different
Users downrating each other ! = = people losing their jobs, being harassed or being killed. No comparison to be drawn here. It *is* different. You can't get truly, irreparably *hurt* for your ratings. Oh, yours might be rated badly in returned, and your right to privacy may, depending on your viewpoint, be violated in a sense, but nobody will come burn a cross in your yard. Nobody will threaten you at work. Nobody will hold a gun to your head. Until the "invention to stab people in the face over the internet" is invented, there's not even the potential for it. 

> Not just Robot
Robot has power, not information. I can see where you're coming from, but Robot's the only one who can do anything - and the worst he can do is ban you. Real-world votes certainly can have real-world consequences in an open ballot; public ibles ratings have extraordinarily negligible ones by comparison.

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NachoMahmaLithium Rain

Reply 8 years ago

> I was saying you were being internally inconsistent. ;) Are precedents valuable, or are they not?
.  How am I being inconsistent? Yes, precedents are valuable. No, they are not always right. One has to use some judgment.
.  The ideals/precedents/principles behind the secret ballot are still valid. Those behind discriminating against women and Blacks, not so much.
 
> I didn't expect this information to be hidden in the past, there's been little reason to expect it to be hidden now
.  A quick glance at the TOS yields nothing that would lead me to believe that Robot will give out my personal info. It actually leads me to believe that Robot is rather secretive. (TL;DR the whole thing, but read the sections that looked like they might apply). Not many new members will even know that the old rating system existed, much less how it "leaked" one's info. It might not bother you, but many of us do not like to give out any personal info on the Intertubes if it's not really necessary. I don't see how someone's prurient curiosity is more important.
 
> I guess we just differ on what is/should be intrinsically private
.  Apparently so. ;)
 
> II should have been clearer on that
.  And I should have, also. The US doesn't have an exclusive franchise on secret ballots. But since we are both Americans and most of the ppl on this site are Americans, I got a little carried away. Have you ever gotten a little carried away? It happened to me. ;)

> I didn't say the bug was good, I said you still had a measure of privacy in that scenario
.  I claim that you have lost your privacy. If someone is snooping, they are snooping - whether they can see you or not. Which other of your rights/privileges are you willing to give up "just a little bit" of?

> No comparison to be drawn here.
.  Not the way you do it! :) So anything that doesn't cause you bodily harm or financial loss is OK? No wonder you're not too worried about ppl eavesdropping.

> Robot has power, not information
.  C'est what? In this case, he has all the information. And I have absolutely no problem with him sharing aggregate data - just leave the individual out of it.

> Robot's the only one who can do anything - and the worst he can do is ban you.
.  It's not Robot that's the problem. It's the goofball who is going to stalk you for giving his/her work a poor rating.  If such things were "extraordinarily negligible," the harassment iBle wouldn't have been necessary.


.  Whew!

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Lithium RainNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

 > How am I being inconsistent? Yes, precedents are valuable. No, they are not always right. One has to use some judgment.

OK, picking and choosing which precedents to follow, then. :P I cite the precedent of early incarnations of the rating system; you said we shouldn't slavishly adhere to precedent...then cited the precedent of America.

> A quick glance at the TOS
Why are ratings "private info"? I'm down with categorizing things like favorites and views as private. But ratings strike me as unprivileged information - they are more like a public comment than a private message. And anyway, it wouldn't be public - the author (and Robot, of course!) would be the only one who could see. This looks like a good compromise to me. (Although it is really a moot point given the update... XD ) 

>  I got a little carried away...
*giggles* Fair enough.

>So anything that doesn't cause you bodily harm or financial loss is OK? No wonder you're not too worried about ppl eavesdropping.

-_-       -_-       -_-     -_-

Of course not. I would be mad as &^%* if I was being eavesdropped on. I NEVER meant to imply I was OK with it. I was making two points: That there are degrees of privacy (I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that...) and that there is a big difference between the US having secret ballots and ibles having secret ballots. 

The US has not always used the Australian ballot; anonymity of the vote was not a principle the Founding Fathers held dear - or at least not dear enough to enshrine in the Articles or Constitution. We did not implement it for lofty idealistic reasons; we implemented it for eminently practical ones - people could, and did, mess around with people who voted the "wrong" way. So it's hard to make an "idealistic" argument. Online, Robot can swiftly clamp down on this behavior, negating the "practicality" argument.

> Privacy...

"Privacy (from Latin privatus 'separated from the rest, deprived of something, esp. office, participation in the government', from privo 'to deprive') is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively." 

While I DO NOT CONDONE OR LIKE the idea of my house being bugged, if it is bugged with an audio-only device but I am not being filmed, by *definition* ( though OBVIOUSLY some of my privacy has been taken away) since *some* information is still hidden, I still have some privacy.

> It's the goofball who is going to stalk you
So, if something has the potential exists to anger a nut job, we shouldn't do it? Why, pray tell, do women/blacks have suffrage, then? After all, there certainly were (are?) goofballs who would stalk women and African Americans who voted (and the fact that they voted at *all* wasn't necessarily hidden).

Actually, come to think of it, when Jessy posts ibles that include her face, she sometimes gets idiots commenting. So she should hide her face, as it's *clearly* her fault! Women just shouldn't show their faces on the internet, period - it's just inviting harassment. They should know better than to do that. But since female users still post images of their projects wherein their faces show, I think instructables' responsibility is clear - make an automatic censor to block out women's faces from all posted images. I mean, when you give up privacy like that, you invite harassment. 

If people are harassed for their vote, they should report it. Report it to Robot, report it to the ppl who will help from the harassment ible, report it to the President. The possibility that someone may harass you for acting in a certain way is not a valid reason to set global policy.

>C'est what?
Oops! Bad typing - I was tired and missed that. (I meant to say that Robot had power, not JUST information, the ways users do. For want of a word... :D) You're saying that just as people may be beaten to a pulp for voting IRL, people may suffer consequences for rating on here; I'm saying that users have little retaliatory power - Robot walks softly and carries a big stick. The "extraordinarily negligible" was, as I said, by comparison - you say that many nations have secret ballots for a reason, and it does: a very good reason, namely that people can suffer *severe* consequences for their votes. A harasser on ibles is somewhat less threatening. I'm definitely NOT downplaying online harassment at all. But I am saying that given the stakes disproportionality, it's a little apples-to-monkeywrenches.

TL;DR, I guess we agree to disagree on some of these things, since at the heart of our difference lie privacy definitions and expectations. Either which way, though, it's a fascinating conversation! :) :)

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NachoMahmaLithium Rain

Reply 8 years ago

> OK, picking and choosing which precedents to follow, then.
.  Exactly! Precedents shows us what those who came before believed. Most of the time they are right (collective wisdom). Sometimes they ain't. If a precedent is good/right/moral, I pick. If not, I reject.

> Why are ratings "private info"? ... But ratings strike me as unprivileged information - they are more like a public comment than a private message.
.  And that appears to be the crux of our disagreement. I do not consider them to be public.

> And anyway, it wouldn't be public - the author (and Robot, of course!) would be the only one who could see.
.  Just because the info is not available to all the public does not mean that the info is not public.

> This looks like a good compromise to me.
.  How do you compromise privacy? You either have it or you don't.

> (Although it is really a moot point given the update... XD )
.  Well, yeah. But why ruin the fun. :)

> (I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that...)
.  I guess so. Nuthin' worse than a hard-headed woman. <snicker>

> and that there is a big difference between the US having secret ballots and ibles having secret ballots.
.  More agree to disagree stuff, I suppose. ;)

> and thereby reveal themselves selectively."
.  I don't think the author(s) of that (or any other) definition had in mind for Robot (or anyone else other than the affected individual) to make that selection.

> So, if something has the potential exists to anger a nut job, we shouldn't do it?
.  Not at all! Let's not do it because it's wrong to invade ppls' privacy.
.  That was to (hopefully) remind you that, in many cases, online is IRL.

> when Jessy posts ibles that include her face...
.  Since I'm quite sure that Jessy fully understands the ramifications of an attractive young woman posting personal info on the 'Net, yes, she would have to take some responsibility for her actions (contributory negligence). That doesn't mean that it's right for someone to harass her, just that we have to take some responsibility for our actions when we knowingly put ourselves in harm's way. Drivers should always operate their vehicle so they they can avoid objects in the road, but if I decide to stand in the middle of the road, I share responsibility when I get hit.
.  Judging by the other comments in this topic, at least a few ppl feel that they should be able to expect a certain level of privacy unless they knowingly post that info in a public place. Now whether or not ratings are a public place appears to be a sticking point (at least between you and I). ;)  I say nae.

> The possibility that someone may harass you for acting in a certain way is not a valid reason to set global policy.
.  We agree on something! :)  But privacy issues are.
.  Just to play Devil's Advocate, the possibility that someone (other than you) will shoot me is very small, but we still have laws against it.
 
 
.  Believe it or not, I think I'm out of things to say about this. It looks like we have both made our points (in excruciating detail). If you want to reply to this, I'll let you have the last word (unless you say something truly outrageous heehee).

> Either which way, though, it's a fascinating conversation! :) :)
.  Yes, indeedy-do. :)  Thanks.

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KitemanNachoMahma

Reply 8 years ago

I don't see how one person knowing my opinion of their work is an invasion of my privacy, when I don't have to express that opinion at all.  It is wholly different to a ballot for a political representative.

Regarding vandalism, if your projects are consistently poorly-rated, that could just mean that nobody likes your work.  If, though, you notice that a (small) group are consistently rating you lower than most people, that is cause for action.

However, that information may not need names to spot - if the rating-spread is shown graphically (see my final bullet-point above), then odd lumps in the curve would also indicate unfair ratings.

Regarding K'NEX, that's just the way that particular group work - they like having numbers to wave at each other.  I wasn't recommending, I was observing.


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lemonieKiteman

Reply 8 years ago

I see the political aspect to this. Being able to take issue with "voters" is un-democratic. Esp. if you think of K'NEX, there's potential for some kind-of disharmony there....

L

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NachoMahmaKiteman

Reply 8 years ago

> ... when I don't have to express that opinion at all.  It is wholly different to a ballot for a political representative.
.  Neither are you required to vote (at least here in the US). The only difference I see is that voting is MUCH more important than rating. They both deserve privacy.
 
> Regarding K'NEX, ...  I wasn't recommending, I was observing.
.  Ah. I agree with your observation, but don't think it has any bearing on the matter.

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fungus amungus

8 years ago

That was a bug that should be gone now. It's an admin feature that is especially handy during contests to see who is going around trying to rate down the competition.