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Old 11-23-2017, 10:49 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
It's up to writers whether or not to accept anonymous comments - you can turn them off if you want. Writers can also delete any comment they choose. The site provides these options already.

Posting on a forum is irrelevant - the percentage of readers who post in forums is tiny compared to the huge mass of silent readers. Besides, most of us who post on forums are opinionated ass-hats, so why does our comment have any more merit than someone who doesn't want to play in the forums? It doesn't.

Posting a story is also irrelevant. Plenty of readers (I'd suggest the vast majority) don't write - why is a writer's comment more worthy than a reader's comment? It's not.

This comes up regularly on AH and the answers are always the same - the voting system is predominantly a reader reaction tool, not a writer reaction tool, writers can control the responses they receive, the system is not ideal but it's not going to change any time soon, trolls exist, the delete button exists.
Agree with all of this.

Something we have to remember as authors is this site is not for us. It's for the readers. It makes no sense to ask the owner of this site to do anything whatsoever that inhibits the ability of a reader to offer feedback in whatever form he or she wants. If there's even a small risk that it will drive readers away or make them read fewer stories, it's a bad deal from the site's perspective. Troll activity is alive and well, and has been for a long time, and it doesn't stop the flow of stories coming from authors. So why stop it?

If you don't like anonymous comments, you can block them. If you don't like troll votes, you can develop a thick skin and wait for the sweeps to take care of them. I don't mean to sound callous, but that's the truth.
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:51 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by HisArpy View Post
I actually believe a lot of the troll comments and 1-bombs would disappear IF the ability to make anonymous comments was removed AND/OR voters could only rate a story if they have a track record of a posting more than once on the forum over at least a 2 week period OR have submitted at least 1 story that has been published.
Sure. But that doesn't actually fix your problem, because you also eliminate an awful lot of legitimate votes from bona fide anons who just don't like the privacy implications of registering with a porn site, or can't be bothered doing so. Already, even an exceptionally good story is lucky to get one in fifty readers bothering to vote; the harder you make it, the fewer will do it. Even just restricting voting to logged-in members would massively reduce votes.

And eliminating legitimate votes is a big problem because it makes trolls more powerful and gives them more incentive to troll, while simultaneously making it harder to identify troll votes. Let's talk numbers:

Suppose you've written an excellent story, and the legitimate voters are giving it an average of 4.8. But some arsehole decides to bomb it out of the "H" zone with 1s. The magic ratio is 1:11 - that is, for every eleven legitimate votes, the troll needs to drop one "1" to pull the average below 4.5.

If you have 100 legit votes on your story, that arsehole needs to vote on it nine times. (Or nine separate arseholes each need to vote on it once.)

If you get rid of all those good-faith anons, so there are only ten legit votes left on your story, that troll only needs to vote on it once. And since he now does a lot more damage with each vote, he might well start bombing *more* - he can now take you down below 4 with less effort than it previously took to get you down to 4.5.

But we're not done yet. When one arsehole votes nine times on a story, it's usually going to be possible to identify that as a pattern of suspicious voting, which then makes it possible to clean up at least some of that damage via automated sweeps.

However, if that arsehole only has to vote once to trash your story, there is no form of analysis that can reliably tell the difference between a malicious 1 and a reader who genuinely disliked your story and is using the "1" for its intended purpose.

So this measure makes it EASIER for trolls to trash your story and harder to catch them or clean up the damage. Maybe not a good idea?

(And I'm not convinced that being a forum regular or an author makes voters any less likely to bomb others; a lot of the contest drama here has been between people who are both of the above, accusing one another of gaming the system.)
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:43 AM   #28
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Votes and comments, be they with visible user names or anon are irrelevant to "TROLL votes/comments".

You want to get rid of the drive by's? Get rid of the ability to do it. Right now, the trolls control and abuse the system and the system cannot keep up. This site is NOT for the trolls, but for the legitimate readership and participants. Why are we pandering to the trolls and letting them abuse us?

Could it be that the trolls aren't really a bunch of anon nobody's but are instead some of US who abuse everyone in secret but snuggle up to their victims in public? And they are the ones who support the system which allows them to do so? I have no clue, nor can anyone find out.

And I don't buy the "anon comments are some of the best..." thing. Without anonymity, some may choose to not comment or vote, but that in no way diminishes those whose votes/comments are tagged with their user name. And, eventually the anon group would either go along or get along.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:01 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by keirakeenorg View Post
It seems I have made an enemy.
Every time I post a new story some helpful individual votes it 1 star, it takes a while for genuine readers to influence the rating. (9 - 5 star ratings to drag it back to 4.5)
This is clearly malicious, if he/she hated the Novella so much why read it at all?
What shall I do, is there a mechanism for negating this behavior?
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That is so juvenile for people to do that - cowards throwing darts from the shadows. If that person is stalking you and your threads, I hope the chicken-shit pussy reads this.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:31 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by keirakeenorg View Post
What shall I do, is there a mechanism for negating this behavior?
Keira
Just had a thought to discourage some of the pettiest behaviour: I reckon it's always worth adding a short preamble to specify what themes the story may contain.
I usually mention it's in UK English - without this, I get comments and down-voted from people who think I'm making spelling/grammatical mistakes, plus it gives them a chance to back out.

I note that you post in N&Ns - perhaps edit in an introduction to your stories? Although they sit in that category, they may be better off elsewhere, or adding some clarification about how long the chapters will be, how many there will be, etc?
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:56 AM   #31
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I think those who zap my stories don't care much whatever I might put in a forward note. I avoid using them because most of them come across as defensive or needy.
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:05 PM   #32
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An uncomfortable truth, though, is that illegitimate 5 votes happen as well. Philosophically, thereís no difference between a 1 vote designed by a troll or a bot to decrease a storyís rating and a 5 vote designed by a sympathetic fan to increase it in order to ďfight the trolls.Ē In neither case does the number of stars correspond to the storyís actual quality; both those types of votes reflect motivations other than literary merit.

To be fair, sweeps should get rid of undeserved overvotes as well as undeserved undervotes. Iím not sure whether they do or not. I donít want a troll downvoting me, but frankly I donít really want my fansí sympathy votes either.

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Old 11-24-2017, 12:21 PM   #33
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Old 11-24-2017, 12:37 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by KindofHere View Post
Here's a troll/asshole that floats around Lit. This is an email I got.

Comments:

I didn't read it because I don't read long stories. Three pages is usually my limit. However, you seem to be the only one I can think of that actually warns people of the length on this site. Now, my default rating when opening a story is 3. Not good, but not bad. Average. I gave you a 4 just because of the foresight to provide a warning. Why not a 5? I give this very, very sparingly. Superlatives should be used only in the most extreme cases.



What the fuck, right? Why vote if you didn't read it? Why give a 4 when it will only lower my rating given I have over a 4 average.

This is like someone denting your car door and saying with a smile on their face, 'At least I didn't scratch the paint.'
I have had several comments and feedback like that, but usually with a 3 or lower vote. Reasons - too long, too short, didn't like the category (so why read it?), or objected to a few words...

It's just a troll trying to irritate authors.
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It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

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Old 11-24-2017, 01:18 PM   #35
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^ Wow ok, that's pretty douchy. And they also seem to be completely oblivious about having done anything wrong. Kinda scary.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:31 PM   #36
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^ Wow ok, that's pretty douchy. And they also seem to be completely oblivious about having done anything wrong. Kinda scary.
Some people new to Literotica can have a reasonable assumption that a star rating of 1 to 5 has equal weight for each vote. They can think that a 3 is a vote for a reasonable story; a 4 for a good one; and a 5 should be used rarely for an exceptional one. If H was set at 3.00 they would be right. But because H is at 4.50, any vote below 4 has an unreasonable impact on that story's rating.

The comments I referred to above are from people who know exactly what they are doing to a story's rating.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:33 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Voboy View Post

To be fair, sweeps should get rid of undeserved overvotes as well as undeserved undervotes. Iím not sure whether they do or not. I donít want a troll downvoting me, but frankly I donít really want my fansí sympathy votes either.
To be fair to the Web site, though, it's very difficult to discern what is a legitimate vote and what is an illegitimate vote.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:51 PM   #38
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Some people new to Literotica can have a reasonable assumption that a star rating of 1 to 5 has equal weight for each vote. They can think that a 3 is a vote for a reasonable story; a 4 for a good one; and a 5 should be used rarely for an exceptional one.
Oh, I totally get that. I was referring to the fact that they think it's normal and ethical to rate a completely unread story.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:58 PM   #39
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Oh, I totally get that. I was referring to the fact that they think it's normal and ethical to rate a completely unread story.
I know. I have had comments such as "I didn't read it. I voted 1".
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Old 11-24-2017, 04:44 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Voboy View Post
To be fair, sweeps should get rid of undeserved overvotes as well as undeserved undervotes. Iím not sure whether they do or not. I donít want a troll downvoting me, but frankly I donít really want my fansí sympathy votes either.
Yes, they do. I've occasionally seen sweeps take off a '5' or two from my stories, and I've seen sweeps take hundreds of '5's off a bunch of stories that had some very suspicious voting going on.
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Old 11-24-2017, 04:48 PM   #41
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To be fair to the Web site, though, it's very difficult to discern what is a legitimate vote and what is an illegitimate vote.
Agreed. But assuming all 1 votes are illegitimate is like assuming all 5 votes are, and vice-versa. Not sure whether thereís a fix thatíll please everyone, though I doubt it.
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Old 11-24-2017, 04:48 PM   #42
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Yes, they do. I've occasionally seen sweeps take off a '5' or two from my stories, and I've seen sweeps take hundreds of '5's off a bunch of stories that had some very suspicious voting going on.
Good.

Thanks; I didnít know.
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Old 11-24-2017, 04:51 PM   #43
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And I don't buy the "anon comments are some of the best..." thing. Without anonymity, some may choose to not comment or vote, but that in no way diminishes those whose votes/comments are tagged with their user name. And, eventually the anon group would either go along or get along.
With only two stories posted and no comments able to be seen (are you no longer allowing comments from anons, because I can't see any comments at all - even though the system says you have seven on one story, none on the other), my observation is you can't speak for other authors.

You're right, an anon comment may have no more merit than an account comment, but people intelligently comment as anon for many reasons: eg:
they're not registered with a Lit account,
they are registered but usually they only read here, so don't bother logging on,
they're a fellow writer who wants to leave a favourable comment but doesn't want the conspiracy theorists to say, "oh look, a cabal. I bet they're gaming contests",
any number of reasons.

The point is, most writers who participate in the forums are in favour of retaining anon comments because they are a rare and usually highly appreciated source of feedback, the controls to deal with trolls are in place already, and most writers use them with whatever "keep/delete" criteria they choose.

This debate goes around regularly on AH, usually started by new writers trying to figure out how it all works, and what the dynamics are.

The other category of writers on the "let's ban anons" merry-go-round seem to be those bemoaning the high number of negative anon comments they've received and automatically deeming them trollsters; and perhaps, just perhaps, they actually do need to lift their game as a writer... just an observation mind.

Based on HisArpy's account age, he's the former, unless he's an old hand coming back with an Alt (and that's a whole 'nother thing).

I am a little curious as to why I can't read the comments the system says he's got - is this a system glitch, I wonder, or an artefact left over from someone who has received comments and later changes the settings for that story? Don't know. I've seen it a few times, and just assumed it's someone changing their mind and the system suppressing previous comments - anybody else seen this?
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Old 11-24-2017, 05:07 PM   #44
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To be fair to the Web site, though, it's very difficult to discern what is a legitimate vote and what is an illegitimate vote.
It's impossible. Not unlike discerning what is a Favorite and what is simply a bookmark. Both features appear to be designed for readers of the site which writers misinterpret as ego balm.

If I Favorite a story it is nearly always to bookmark something to check later. If I Favorite an author, it's usually because I enjoyed something they read and want to check their other stories later.

I clear them all out periodically after they've served their purpose. No doubt that caused considerable trauma when Laurel posted a small broken heart when it occurred. She has since spared us by not letting us see the obvious reader betrayal.

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Old 11-24-2017, 06:01 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by electricblue66 View Post
...You're right, an anon comment may have no more merit than an account comment, but people intelligently comment as anon for many reasons: eg:
they're not registered with a Lit account,
they are registered but usually they only read here, so don't bother logging on,
they're a fellow writer who wants to leave a favourable comment but doesn't want the conspiracy theorists to say, "oh look, a cabal. I bet they're gaming contests",
any number of reasons.


The point is, most writers who participate in the forums are in favour of retaining anon comments because they are a rare and usually highly appreciated source of feedback, the controls to deal with trolls are in place already, and most writers use them with whatever "keep/delete" criteria they choose.
...
The other category of writers on the "let's ban anons" merry-go-round seem to be those bemoaning the high number of negative anon comments they've received and automatically deeming them trollsters; and perhaps, just perhaps, they actually do need to lift their game as a writer... just an observation mind. ...
I do quite often leave constructive Anon comments on stories - partly because I'm not in the mood for dialogue, partly because I don't want to be involved in revenge trolling. Life's too short.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:29 PM   #46
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I was a reader for many years without being registered. Iím no more knowledgeable a commenter now than I would have been then, even though I didnít comment then because I didnít know I could do it anonymously.

In fact, back then, I had no idea this forum existed, no clue how the voting worked, and no inkling any of the writers ever had any contact with each other. The idea of registering merely to read stories gobsmacked me when I started writing here, and to be honest it still does in a way.

I tend to view my former self as the norm. So I always assume all of my readers are as clueless as I used to be, even though I know many arenít. But itís a useful way, I think, to maintain perspective on all this voting and rating and commenting stuff.

I certainly had my favorite authors when I was unregistered; I just remembered their names and searched for them every time I visited. Seemed to work, but I now realize thereís no way my allegiance to them benefited them.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:09 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by rjordan View Post
It's impossible. Not unlike discerning what is a Favorite and what is simply a bookmark. Both features appear to be designed for readers of the site which writers misinterpret as ego balm.

If I Favorite a story it is nearly always to bookmark something to check later. If I Favorite an author, it's usually because I enjoyed something they read and want to check their other stories later.

I clear them all out periodically after they've served their purpose. No doubt that caused considerable trauma when Laurel posted a small broken heart when it occurred. She has since spared us by not letting us see the obvious reader betrayal.

rj
*laugh* You did this to one of mine in the past, and I remember seeing the little broken heart icon and wondering, "What did I do that made the story so terrible after he said he liked it?"

I've since figured out that plenty of people use the Favorites tool to bookmark potential reads, and frequently do mass adds and removals as they work through their backlog. Made me feel better once I realized it was really nothing personal.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:11 PM   #48
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:58 PM   #49
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Not only is the site set up for the reader rather than the writer there are also legitimate differences of opinion about how to rate. If you accept the Lit guidance on story ratings then a 3 star vote means the reader liked the story and wants the writer to continue posting stories while a 5 star is for the best of the best. In the real world of critics (books, movies, or restaurants) a four out of five star rating would be considered very acceptable and then some .

Of course we know that there are a number of readers (and many writers too) who say they will only read a story with a rating of 4.50, 4.70, or higher. That is their right the same way some will rate a story with a 1 star if its too long, too short, they dislike the genre (even though they are reading it), a name of a character is the same as their ex, or any reason whatsoever. I don't find many of these type of reasons reasonable to me but the world isn't and never has been fair so why should the rating system be any better.

If one is totally opposed to the rating system I believe there is a way to opt out but I don't think unrated stories will get the same number of eyeballs in the long run as rated ones. Your choice.
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:34 AM   #50
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The Literary Review in the UK has recently announced its shortlist for the 2017 Bad Sex Award. If it wasn't plagiarism, it'd be interesting to paste some on here and see how they got on with the star rating. My guess is pretty badly, but check it out if you want to see how the real pros cock it up.

I've been on here for a couple of years now. I'm really pleased that my stories generally get an H and that I get a few, but often glowing comments - anon or otherwise. I've drawn most encouragement from the people who have chosen to follow me for whatever reason; makes me feel that whatever happens there's a group of a hundred or so who are looking forward to what I'm doing.

The absolute icing on the cake for me is not the scores or the comments but those readers - probably eight or nine - who took the trouble to send me emails. They are considered comments, usually set out exactly what they think I'm doing right and often have given useful suggestions of where I could go with characters. I've sent a couple myself to writers who have particularly impressed me.

What I really can't get a handle on is the amount of reads. Most of my stories are read by a thousand or so people immediately they're published and then start ticking over. Some keep picking up readers quickly and go over ten thousand; others just keep adding a few hundred a week for ages. I am writing two longish series and have no idea why one episode 'hits' and another not.

There is, of course, a formula if you really want a mega score and total approbation from the trolling masses. Write a Loving Wives tale where an spoiled, ungrateful housewife leaves her long-suffering husband and adult children for a better model (younger or richer, you choose). She quickly gets her comeuppance - husband keeps assets out of her hands, children cut her off completely, new lover robs, cheats and leaves her. For a 4.9+ score with over 20 favourable comments she has to die, cold and alone, from a very slow and painful terminal illness whilst the husband is enjoying a Caribbean honeymoon with the much younger blonde fox who helped him through his travails. Sure fire winner every time.

Incest also seems to have lots of fans. I made a friend on here recently. She writes one-page romps through the family bedrooms - five or six sex acts in every possible combination of close family members. They're straight and to the point. She gets thousands of immediate reads, loads of comments and tens of 'favourites'. I admire her style and focus and she's tons more popular than I am, but it's just not a genre I could write in.

I guess what I'm saying is that there's plenty of encouragement out there. We just have to keep casting our pearls.
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