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Comments: 16
Ideas: 1
Rating: 3.1667
Condition: Normal
ID: 6405


August 7, 2011, 4:19 am

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Cheka Man

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Law of the Hammer


In time long past the Citadel was new and innocent. As the years went on much was added to include the ability to vote and comment. Ever since then there has been prosperous periods where the votes and comments were just a tool and the Horde was happy. But subtle battles raged, sides were taken and votes were interpreted as acts of aggression. Much dread and drama followed these battles and authors were lost. So was birthed the Law of the Hammer.

Besides obvious spam, admins at the Citadel rarely, if ever, delete anything off these pages. We value our freedom and respect one another a great deal. None of that has changed, however, there is a need to be brutal with a certain type of comment.

The Law of the Hammer authorizes the destruction, with extreme prejudice, any comment or discussion that aims or hints at critiquing another person's voting practice.
Discussion should directly pertain to the Submission that is being commented on. At no time should the discussion malform into abstract discussions about the why's and how's about somebody's votes.
Why have the Law of the Hammer?
We have lost many authors to the unanswerable arguments that spin around, "Why did you vote low on my submission?" type questions. These arguments are painful to watch because there is no final answer...ever! There is no way to definitively put why you vote a way into words that are accurate. We all vote different, we won't get it and you won't be able to articulate it. All it does is drive deeper discussions that stab at each other's responses till all that is left is a bloody mess.
In most cases we won't understand another's voting practices because:
a) You will never maintain an outwardly consistent voting record. There will always be votes that are outside your norm because they way you feel. You can't explain every vote you make. Voting is emotional and very loosely based on some internal rules each of us have. It is gut. You will never be able to define your gut voting and Authors will never be able to understand it.
b) Even if these internal rules are explained, they only make fodder when you decide not to vote by them. This may upset those that read your 'rules' and gives them ammo to argue even more if they feel slighted.
c) After a disagreement, any vote cast by anybody involved in the disagreement will be accused of voting high or low in spite/retaliation/anger/etc.
d) The final result is rarely the amiable ending of the argument with two people agreeing to disagree. Most times it ends with one Author taking their crayons and going home. That really sucks for the site! We have lost AWESOME people to these kind of arguments.
e) The entire site gets sucked into these dramas. Some takes sides while most could give two pips about the discussion because it is futile and we understand points a) thru d).
f) there are probably many more but you get my point.
I would rather piss somebody off about deleting a comment that they thought was OK than getting sucked into another maelstrom of voting critiques. In the past I have just let them run their course but every time the outcome has been disastrous. I can no longer stand by and let that happen. Thus, the Law of the Hammer has been birthed.
Expectations for Authors and Commenters
When you submit the piece as a Normal submission you are releasing it into the wild. Honest voting and comments will commence. These comments and votes are outside your control. I expect the authors to take these votes and comments and roll with them. They are personal viewpoints from each person that are in reaction to your fully released submission. You did your work and submitted it, deal with the result of that. If you want advice on how to make it better then you should have put it into Advice Requested or In Work. Those are the places to ask for assistance, NOT seeing a low vote and asking that voter why he/she didn't like your submission. If they offered advice, awesome, have a conversation about that advice and brainstorm away. If they voted and said, "It was OK" then let it go. You don't need to ask what you need to do to make them happy. If they had more thoughts they wanted to share they would have written them.
Authors, you have the ability to give 5xp per comment to those that give good feedback. Use it, reward those who write good comments, see if it improves the overall responses. You should be able to vote all you want on comments on your submissions without losing any votes. So vote for the ones you like for free!
Commenters, you are not obligated to give any opinions about anything. But, since you are Authors as well, you know how appreciated solid comments are on your own stuff. Hook an Authour up!
How will it be implemented?
Question: Which of these two seem to fit this rule?
Example 1
"dude, you like totally vote low on stuff, why are you hatin on peoples subs man?"
Example 2
"I notice you didn't really like this sub, how come? Is there something about it that you feel needs improving?"
Answer: Both will be eliminated with extreme prejudice. They both open up the opinion about how you rate/comment on submissions and gets into questioning the motivation behind them. There will NOT be a good answer coming out of these question. See all the above for the reason why this is bad.
For now, I have added a "Report" button that can be utilized to show us Spam, innappropriate comments and those that violate the Law of the Hammer. They will be flagged and you will get a notification about the comment being reported. The Admins will review, discuss and deal with these as they come up. If there is any issue with any removal you can expect somebody will PM you with the reasoning. Otherwise you can PM me and we can discuss it. In some cases the Admins will delete only portions of the comments. 
When in doubt, you can blame me for any changes, updates, deletions.  I will bow and apologize for the inconvenience but it is being done for the greater good. Those that have seen will understand. Those that haven't need to trust us.
What is the Law of the Hammer NOT about?
This is not to stifle conversation about improving submissions. Most comments will have a critique about what they liked or disliked about the submission. Discuss and brainstorm all day about the details. In most cases these discussions will be initiated by the commenter so go for it. Reply, state your side and reason away...but, there should be no questioning by the Author on motivations behind votes or the lack of much comment.
There is a VERY small amount of comments that will fall into the realm of the Law of the Hammer. You shouldn't even worry about it, just be aware of it.

Additional Ideas (1)

When something is hammered, send valadaar's words og wisdom to The author of The sub Being hammered

2011-08-07 06:36 AM » Link: [6405#78766|text]
Curiosity moves me to inquire: Which words of wisdom are those?

2011-08-07 09:22 AM » Link: [6405#78768|text]
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Comments ( 16 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Pieh
August 7, 2011, 11:23

This article is scary. The name, the tone. The message, intent and application aren't, but damn. Reading this gave me a sense of impending doom, fear of the Hammer's retribution. I'm curious though, with articles such as Silv's and Mourn's and a few others about how to vote and act here, will we be allowed to discuss voting practices when the subject is so blatantly brought up or are those types of submissions now discouraged?

In any case, I'm not sure if this is a neccesary implementation. Only because it sounds harsh compared to how lax the Citadel has always been. Just remember what old Unlce Ben said, with great power comes great responsibility. 

August 7, 2011, 15:19

I won't say it isn't heavy handed or harsh. The fact remains that I know of a small chunk of great authors that have left or took an extremely long break because of the outcome of these type discussions.

As mentioned, the hope is that there won't be much need for it. Your tangible fear :) of the message is warning enough that most will comprehend. It is more of an acknowledgement of what has happened in the past and what will not happen in the future. This also now serves as a tool to link to in order to dissuade any of these types of discussions. As far as those articles, I am still undecided and much will depend on the Strolenati. Emotion in these things are the enemy, not necessarily the topic. However, many are unable to separate the two and that is the danger in these types of topics.

Bottom Line: It will be up to the Strolenati to determine if the Hammer is required. If the Hammer becomes necessary to maintain peace and tranquility, this rule serves as the justification.

August 7, 2011, 17:40

((The fact remains that I know of a small chunk of great authors that have left or took an extremely long break because of the outcome of these type discussions.))

I happen to be one of them. Strolen was kind enough to flag me down, thinking (accurately) that I'd be interested in seeing this. It's an overdue article, and may deter some people from the childish BS that has driven authors - myself included - away. I still don't see myself participating further on this site, having been thoroughly soured, but this is a good step.

August 7, 2011, 15:13

I approve.

August 8, 2011, 19:43

A request for clarification: is the commentor him/herself allowed to mention why they voted they way they did, as long as it is voluntary?  If I give a low score to something that needs obvious improvement, I may be tempted to include a statement like "I normally vote a 3 or less on something with this many grammatical errors" -- in addition to any suggestions I might have to improve the submission itself.  It's OK with me if that is now a Hammer Offense, but I would like to know in advance.

August 9, 2011, 0:57
Commenters can volunteer whatever information they want when it directly relates in some way to the submission they are commenting on. This is really aimed more at the Author responses that start questioning the commenter's way of doing things. Although voting low for grammar is a bit taboo so that might be a bad example anyway. ;)
August 9, 2011, 11:22
It probably is, but don't question my methods, man! (I kid, I kid)
Voted Agar
August 12, 2011, 3:09

FYI: I did indeed take a long break from Strolens at one point, so long I am reading my own subs and it seems a different voice wrote them than my own, however, it was not due to any voting and/or arguments. I started a family and was busy. Now I'm struggling to keep my house and busy, but strangely less busy than I was before. I may not pick back up my former level of activity, and am unsure of my voice, but I am back, and glad to be here.

Voted Cheka Man
August 16, 2011, 13:20

Every site needs a Banhammer and I trust you not to smite me-I don't make such comments about my subs,I hope.

Voted axlerowes
February 29, 2012, 8:47

Strolen, am sure these aren't fun things to post and that people must look to you full fill a role that you didn't ask for or imagine when you started this site.  Thanks, seriously, for stepping up and asking for a higher standard of the site that carries your name. I

Voted Kassy
April 9, 2012, 11:15

Whilst the idea itself isn't bad. It is still open to abuse. Effectively giving someone the "I'm going to low-vote your submission just because I can and I won't have to explain myself" card.

In the words of Queen Victoria "I am not amused"

April 9, 2012, 11:16
It also allows those few with grudges against others, to use this law to commit low vote retaliations on their foes subs without fear of persecution.
October 13, 2012, 6:29
Something of an irony here. I was poking my head in, mulling over whether to start activity here again, when I read a comment from - ironically - one of the editors complaining above, about me low-voting two of his subs ... and who, backed by the timestamps, promptly went and low-voted two of my top ones. One of those was a 5 before the low-voting started (that editor not being the only one who decided on retaliatory voting) and now is at 4.2.

Sorry. I've just had confirmed to me why I left in the first place, and at this point, I'd just as soon take all my contributions down. If we are at the mercy here of any egotistic crybaby with a grudge, there are many places where we can present our works for public consumption without the galling nonsense.
Voted valadaar
May 8, 2013, 22:59
Only voted

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