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Michael Stuart Kelly

Thread Star Ratings

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Thread Star Ratings

I have an announcement of a small change on OL.

It isn't all that important, but just in case anyone is curious, here is an explanation.

I disabled the topic star ratings at the top of threads. It was a pain, too, because I had to figure out how to do it, then do it forum by forum. That took a couple of hours.

My reason? Hardly anyone was using these stars. A small few (about three or four people maximum in each case) sporadically rated threads. One or two people were consistently giving OL topics that did not suit their political agenda one and two stars. 

Since nobody else would rate, this led to a misleading impression for new users and general OL readers. For example, in several instances, there were long threads where most of the posts from OL members were supportive of the topic, but it had two stars. Just to mention on, there was the Fake News thread. This low rating happened because a couple of members rated it one star each and I rated it five stars to counterbalance. Yet most of the posts on that thread from most of the OL members are criticisms of the fake news media. This happened with other threads, too.

If this star rating system accurately depicted the evaluations of the majority of OL users, I would have kept it. It could have been useful, too, because if, say, 30 regulars or so rated a topic and it came out two stars, that would have meant something needed to be addressed.

But instead, it has become an irritation for me because it was signaling an incorrect impression to general OL readers, an impression that the majority of OL members thought a topic was low quality and unworthy of being on OL when the contrary was the reality.

To be fair, I believe we gave the topic star rating function plenty of time to see if it would become a thing with many users--two or three years or more. It didn't become a thing. So few members used it, I went ahead and eliminated it.

Now the misleading impression problem is solved. And there it is.

If someone disagrees with a thread and they want OL readers to know it, they will now have to argue their case on the thread rather than signal their disapproval in a manner that is highly visible, but where nobody else is signaling.

Michael

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