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Lumifer comments on LessWrong Is Not about Forum Software, LessWrong Is about Posts (Or: How to Immanentize the LW 2.0 Eschaton in 2.5 Easy Steps!) - Less Wrong Discussion

10 Post author: enye-word 15 July 2017 09:35PM

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Comment author: Viliam 15 July 2017 11:01:40PM 6 points [-]

Your advice is essentially "call back the old celebrities".

A big problem of LW 1.0, before the downvotes were banned, was the infamous sockpuppet master using his fake accounts to downvote whoever he didn't like. I suspect he drove off a few potential "new celebrities". Either by downvoting them directly; or because they realize they don't really want to publish on a website where one idiot can single-handedly censor their content.

I am not saying that those people were on the level of Eliezer, Yvain, or Gwern, just that, given chance, perhaps a small fraction of them could enter the pantheon.

If LW 2.0 will be able to prevent similar personal vendettas, and if there will be a way to make higher-quality content available for a longer time (as opposed to now having all Discussion content scrolling off the first page at the same speed), I hope we will gradually get some high-quality content back.

Comment author: Lumifer 16 July 2017 10:49:39PM 3 points [-]

A big problem of LW 1.0, before the downvotes were banned, was the infamous sockpuppet master

I disagree that it was a big problem. Eugine was a garden-variety malcontent/troll, any internet community with open registration has to deal with people like that.

I would probably say that the big problem was the inability (and I mean cultural, not technical) of LW to deal with Eugine.

Comment author: Viliam 17 July 2017 02:35:17PM 5 points [-]

Well, it was both. With better culture, solving the technical problems would be easier and faster. With better tools, moderators would be able to solve some problems single-handedly.

For example, if there would be a one-click functionality to "ban this user and revert all votes made by him", removing the sockpuppets and their effect would take less time than creating them. To detect the sockpuppets, it would be helpful to have a tool "show me all users that have zero comments, and yet somehow have karma high enough to downvote, and are actually using it to downvote".

But of course, with better culture, these problems would take orders of magnitude less time to solve. Instead we got a near-mode example of how one barbarian can single-handedly tear down the supposed central hub of aspiring rationalists worldwide. Which provides an important reality check on something, I guess.

Comment author: Lumifer 17 July 2017 03:23:57PM 0 points [-]

Well, it was both.

I guess. The problem was technical because appropriate tools would have made dealing with it much easier, I agree. But that's the less interesting part. The more interesting part is that the lack of these tools exposed LW to some stress and it was the reaction to stress that was more important.

Which provides an important reality check on something, I guess.

The word you might be looking at is "resilience". Or maybe even "competence" :-/

Comment author: ChristianKl 17 July 2017 11:21:12AM 0 points [-]

Most forum software has better tools to catch banned people who reregister.

Comment author: Lumifer 17 July 2017 03:24:46PM 0 points [-]

Not those possessing the minimal technical skills to mask their IP.

Comment author: ChristianKl 17 July 2017 03:41:45PM 0 points [-]

In an environment where most new users don't mask their IP, going through the effort of masking your IP is a sign that's something is fishy.

Comment author: Lumifer 17 July 2017 03:49:50PM 1 point [-]

How would the forum know whether I'm masking my IP or not?

Comment author: ChristianKl 17 July 2017 09:42:39PM 0 points [-]

If you for example Google the IP of an Tor exit note you can usually learn that it's a Tor exit node.