Meta Meat is Hard to Beat: Hide Rating at DD…and the Influence of Blogs

One of the biggest differences between Docudharma and Dkos is that Dkos has aspirations of being respectable.

Thus, they allow no CT theories…..and many comments are Hide Rated. This used to be called Troll Rating, but was finally changed to reflect that Trusted Users are supposed to hide comments, not people. Hide rating is a term that they ‘stole’ from us and others to finally end the labeling and dehumanizing of our fellow human beings as Trolls, and thus ‘less than human.’ Monsters in fact.

The purpose of Hide Rating is supposed to be to remove content that is deemed by Trusted (as opposed to?) Users to be likely to offend the casual reader, those who are not TU’s. Hiding a comment does not hide it from TU’s, after all. But from the casual reader. It is a good theory….if you are trying to be respectable. If the casual reader sees offensive comments it will lower their respect for the site.

Docudharma is not trying to be respectable, lol. Our highest aspiration is to be credible. We have no pretensions to or illusions that we will influence the national political conversation. Except through a process we have come to call….ripples. (See banner)

My now years long immersive study of blogging has lead to the belief on my part that the purpose of blogs is to effect public opinion. As this diary points out…

THE HUFFINGTON POST: –Tool Of The GOP?–by KingOneEye

The Republicans share this theory.

According to one of the quotes therein, he main stream corporate media (like MoDo) now reads the blogs to get their news, or at least to pick up items…

Brian Rogers, spokesman for Sen. John McCain: HuffPo and [Talking Points Memo] really are the assignment editors for many in the Washington press corps – particularly the cables.

What the general public sees on their teevee machines has to come from somewhere. With newspapers dying, the Punditocracy are increasingly, it seems, looking to the blogs. That is a ripple. Something gets printed on a blog, the pundits repeat it, it goes out on cable. The highest echelons of the News media watch cable and that drives their stories ….and their influences their perceptions….that go out on the Networks to the GenPop. What has been written on the blogs has then rippled out to the GenPop.

So where do we come in, those of us not at the lofty heights of providing content to the FP of Huffpo, TPM, or Dkos? Bloggers read other bloggers. Bloggers get the raw news and analyze it. There analysis though, is not just based on the raw news that they read, but on the other analysis, the other blogs that they read, on the analysis of other bloggers. So bloggers essentially synthesize the news and the analysis and opinions of others, they publish, the pundits read them, the networks read them….and the public hears them.

We influence those who influence those who influence public opinion. Ripples of influence from the stone of the raw news dropped in the blogging pool.

The function of the smaller blogs like Docudharma is to provide the minority views in that synthesis. In DD case, the lefty, radical, DFH view. We amy not have direct influence, but we do have influence. So credibility is important.

Respectability however is in the eye of the beholder. The “radical” DFH view needs to be heard, but it will never really be “respectable” by main stream standards. We are here to provide the out of the mainstream view and voice. It is incumbent on us to do a credible job of providing that voice.

Which brings us back to what should be hidden here at Docudharma. The answer is….almost nothing. Hide Rating is discouraged here. We are the voice of dissent, so dissenting views should not be hidden. We are not trying to protect the casual reader from taking offense, so unless something is REALLY offensive, it should not be hidden. We do not try to hide the fact that we sometimes fight over the issues, so we don’t hide our fights.

So what should be hidden? In my opinion, nothing. If it was up to me we wouldn’t have hide ratings. But they give people a feeling of control, so people want them, and I believe a community blog should give the community what it wants.

Here are the dates on our last ten hidden comments…

Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 18:50:05 EDT

Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 18:40:41 EDT

Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 15:28:13 EDT

Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 13:54:18 EDT

Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 11:14:23 EST

Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 12:10:14 EST

Nov 14, 2008 at 01:11:49 EST

Nov 13, 2008 at 21:00:27 EST

Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 14:24:21 EST

Thu Nov 06, 2008 at 13:27:27 EST

Just about all of them have one thing in common….vicious personal insults so mean people couldn’t resist hiding them. One poster who couldn’t control himself from viciously insulting other users was eventually banned. The hide rates in his case were essentially votes to ban him. We like to let people speak, but when speech is reduced to a string of unending insults, the community speaks their disapproval vocally and through hide rates. it also takes efforts to humiliate people off the page so that person doesn’t have to look at it and have others look at it. If the poster does not respond to public and private pleas to stop the insults, they are eventually banned. By me. after consulting with the people who have contributed most to building the blog…..and are interested in that sort of thing, lol.

We emphatically do NOT have the autoban process that allows users to ban other users here. We don’t like the pack behavior it encourages.

So as you blog here, please remember that we have different standards than you might be used to elsewhere. That we have different aims…..and that we are trying to establish and maintain an entire different culture of blogging.

A culture that most importantly in the social context, is not based on having power over others. And that actively discourages any abuse of power that anyone….ESPECIALLY me….might have over another.

Again, we welcome the new folks who have fled the blogging culture of other venues, and we welcome you influence on trying to establish a different kind of culture. we hope that THAT will have ripples too.


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  1. Photobucket

  2. A: Scrabble and d-Kos.

  3. in the last year, but even when I was more a regular participant, even when Armando was a regular participant, there were very few hidden comments all things considered. I don’t think I ever gave one unless in jest. More and more I use ratings as a way to say hello to people without disrupting the flow of conversation. They become more superfluous the longer you blog with the same people, I think.

    I came here originally somewhat in flight of the primaries that never seemed to end and find myself returning in curiosity to find many of my favorites newly transplanted from DK.

    It is good of this place to provide the fertile ground …must be all that pony poop!… for people to come to. I wish this site every success in creating more ripples for the left of center perspective. I know I’ve become more radicalized than ever and will seek safe harbors here more often, if I’m still welcome.  

  4. And in that, without dissent as a possible pre-requisite approval is rendered moot.

    I use the recommend features to voice my approval and appreciation for the news or POV the author has provided.

    I view tips and ponies and rec like digital karma.

    Hide rates are the opposite. A way to utterly disapprove something mere words can not imply. It is to be used sparingly and when appropriate.

    Legitimacy, in the end, is applying the same rules to others the standard you would apply to yourself.

  5. gawd sometimes I really wonder about myself.

    I didnt know that Hide Rated comments could not be seen by non TU people at dk. I never quite understood the whole thing anyway.

    I think what happened was… I joined there about a year ago, beginning of summer, and then just barely lurked all summer (I go to Sleep Mode). When I got active (after school started back up) in the Fall, I magically had TU. So that kind of explains it I guess.

    Anyway, I welcome the tone here and felt right at home as soon as I got here. I barely ever even hit the “Wrong” button, anywhere, least of all here.)

    Thanks, buhd.

  6. I call folks with the power to hide here Encrusted Users.

  7. dKos (and, no, I am not bashing dKos) is when you get long strings of comments saying,

    “Hey!  Unfair HR!”

    “Uprated to offset HR.”

    “Look what this guy uprated!”

    “Please remove that HR immediately!”

    And so forth.

    It’s fucking childish, is what it is.


    Unlike me!


    • Alma on May 24, 2009 at 22:02

    The first day I joined, Buhdy asked us to hide rate his comment so we could see what happened and the other time I was also asked to do it by the poster.

    • Robyn on May 24, 2009 at 22:02

    …but I rarely do.  I HRed someone at DK who was dissing soldiers in a Memorial Day diary a couple of days ago.  I thought that was unnecessary.

    And I have HRed here, when stu attacked my ex-wife.

  8. This statement:

    A culture that most importantly in the social context, is not based on having power over others. And that actively discourages any abuse of power that anyone….ESPECIALLY me….might have over another.

    puts me in mind of the story I heard that sold me on the Zapatistas as somebody I can support.  The story goes something like this:

    The Zapatistas were assisting peasants in a Chiapas village in setting up their own community council.  One of the matters the council was debating was whether firearms should be permitted or banned.  While respecting the right of the council to make the final decision, the Zapatistas argued in favor of keeping firearms.  To make their point, they submitted to the council a list of entities that they might need to be armed to defend themselves against.  It was quite a long list, running from the Mexican Army, the federal and state police, the paramilitaries of the big landowners, narco-traffickers and other criminal gangs, armed radical groups, and others.  Buried in the middle of the list of entities that the village might need to shoot at in self-defense was listed the EZLN:  the Zapatistas themselves.  I figured that any group that understands, and publicly admits, that it could become the problem that the people might need to defend themselves against with firearms is a group that’s made the first big step not to becoming that problem.

  9. I’ve changed my first click of the day from DKos to DD.

    A while back someone made a comment, not to me, that got HR’d and I objected. I saw an opportunity to enlighten.

    When I objected and counter-rec’d I was blasted because the rules stated that Republican talking points were to be HR’d and this user had or could determine what Republican talking points were.

    It bothered me as much as the banning of Democratic talking point comments on right wing sites.  I’d always thought that those who take up talking points that are based on false information were likely targets of the truth.

    Apparently, that opinion is not shared by Markos. Now, I don’t waste too much time on this because some people really don’t respond at all well to a truth that is different than they want to believe.  They will resist mightily and will give it little chance to sink in. But some people do respond and you never know that if you assume right from the start that because of their uninformed opinion they have no right to be heard.

    Great post, buhdy.

  10. … a truly remarkable piece of writing:

    We influence those who influence those who influence public opinion. Ripples of influence from the stone of the raw news dropped in the blogging pool.

    Well said.

  11. and have NEVER hide rated a comment, even the worst.

    Prefer to let them stand for the world to see and judge the author accordingly.

    Then again, I hardly ever recommend either.  I think the whole concept of trusted users is idiotic and way too easy to attain.  It becomes a popularity game.

    I have better things to do than play ratings games.

  12. Sounds sensible. Now how about taking it for a test ride? I got a great idea for an I/P essay (off the beaten track, honest. Still controversial, of course – though looks peachy to me) – if it can pass a 3 hour limit without a single HR, I’ll believe that we have achieved cyber heaven on earth. Even if the deluge comes after 3 hours – it’d still be a badge of honor, attesting to the total resiliency and self control of the DD crowd. If not, oh well, no worse off than we ever thought we were (yes, 3 hours – in figurative sense, is the maximum self control I ever demonstrated, so can’t expect more of others, can I?). Alas, I also see it be one of the 3 ‘forbidden” topics. Seeing what happens on DK, it don’t surprise me one bit. OTOH, maybe you want to check just how sturdy the commitment to diversity is (meta mind over body blows, etc?).

  13. was when nocatz posted an anti-pony party, and we all went around troll rating each others’ really bad jokes.

    That was fun.

    • jamess on May 25, 2009 at 02:33

    I like the take on the ripples in the blogosphere:

    We influence those who influence those who influence public opinion. Ripples of influence from the stone of the raw news dropped in the blogging pool.

    excellent analogy, and working M.O. too.

    I’ve been looking at this Journalism site

    to help me improve my reporting and analysis skills:

    They have a wealth of info about the art and practice of journalism.

    Today I stumbled upon their study, “The State of the News Media — 2009 Report”

    It makes for some interesting reading,

    and perhaps some “strategery” too, lol.

    Thanks again for the helpful “welcome wagons”.

    This place is cool.

  14. Great post bu-duh-eeee

    That is the reason I came here. I got tired of the whole power thing, the personal attacks, narrowing of the debate to what was acceptable and pack mentality. I like the adult level debate and not jr high level meme

    I came here to debate ideas, to interact with other people about ideas. HERE, is where the dissenters roam. HERE is where the real people live.

    I use tips, like above, to let the poster know I dropped by and liked what they had to say or added to the on going conversation.

    My REC’s are more precious. If someone put a lot of thought and work into a post I’ll rec them for the effort and message.

    I’ve only hidden one poster, ever at the dK and it was for a whole string of personal attacks.

    • dmc on May 25, 2009 at 13:26

    Now, what’s up with the “Wrong!” rating? What’s the etiquette there?

  15. is that on dKos, as well as some of its lesser satellites, is that insults by a “popular” poster are uprated (Good one, lol, you took that poster down, heh!) while a poster that is not “in” the clique gets hide-rated for making a response equal in measurement on the insulty scale. (Can you believe that person said that horrible thing to our friend?)

    I had to ban a poster I liked, because he could not refrain from personal attack.

    The whole process isn’t easy budhy, and yours is as good as I’ve seen.

  16. It’s made me reluctant to return to Orangeville, even to read (and I have enjoyed many of the diaries there).

    Had my words misconstrued to imply that I felt the murder of Emmett Till would have been justified if he had indeed whistled at a white woman(!!!). How could anyone think that, based on what I said (added a detail to the story, saying the “whistling” thing was a revolting invention by the lynch mob). The reason I added the detail was to underscore how horrible it was — a killing that lives with me and makes me cry every time I think of it and all the other lives lost to murderous hatred.

    Trying to clarify my comment (it takes a special kind of mind to interpret my words as implying it would have been OK to kill this child), I was pounced on some more and told to “calm down.” I think it should be fairly obvious that people posting on a “progressive” site are pro-human rights and anti-racism and are emotionally invested in the bloody struggle for civil rights. I know I am. Why the needless purity attacks?

    It was a place I considered my online home for a while, but the ugliness of the commenting is beyond what I can deal with.

    Thanks for letting me share this. I didn’t even see those replies until recently, and they were painful to me.

  17. To reach the credibility and respect that FSZ has.

  18. I always feel I can speak my mind here and I don’t think I’ve ever hidden a comment here.

    Maybe it’s a big city/sleepy suburb thing.

    DKOS is like walking in downtown New York or San Franisco. It’s pleasant for the most part, but your guard is up. You look around, take in your surroundings and sometimes you run into people looking for trouble or you find trouble.

    Here, not so much. More like walking through the park, and yeah you do see someone ranting and raving, but you just don’t care that much, heh.

    Oh, some personal triva: I’ve made over 20,000 comments on DKOS and none of them are hidden!

    Cheers all.

  19. I was a new user here after years at DK, just followed one of Buhdy’s posts here and saw some familiar “names”, so I signed up.

    It was perhaps my 3rd or 4th post on the third or fourth day I was able to post that got either “wronged” or “hidden”, I don’t remember . . . because I opined that there was no way the (now former) president was going to get impeached no matter how many people want it to be so. (myself included).

    The rating came from the diary author, a ‘pissed off’ guy I had been reading for years prior to coming here. Mind you, I had never received less than a 4, or a troll rate, or a hydrate anywhere else in several years of active posting.

    Almost caused me to take my ball and go away mad, but I’ve got thicker skin than that.

  20. in the sense that if I like something, I recommend it.  If I like what someone said, I rec or give ponies, whatever.

    I want the person to know that I agree or like what they said.  But if I had the opportunity to HR someone, it would have to be something either very hateful or plain abusive to get HR’d.  

    I was very surprised to see stuff HR’d for just disagreeing.  Very childish, IMO.

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