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In Discussion Remove Post & Like Counters

Discussion in 'Website Feedback' started by Sophie_OGrady, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. With the strong opposition from the Forums team to add a rule to limit post and/or like boosting, another solution to prevent the low-quality posts that are being spammed on the forums is to remove the post and like counter from displaying publicly.

    I'm not going to provide screenshots of the posts I'm referring to because it's been done by myself and others multiple times, but if you go on the forums for more than 5 minutes I'm sure you know what sort of posts I'm referring to. Those that are posted simply to boost a number. When I want to read a discussion I don't want to spend half my time reading posts like those when I could be reading some really interesting viewpoints on the topic of the thread. It frankly has been the reason I try my best to avoid the forums nowadays as I feel a lot of it is a waste of time.

    While I know some people don't think the counter and these actions are related, the number of people I see who spam low-quality posts or get their friends to spam like them to then brag about their like/post ratio or number of likes/posts they have is ridiculous. There is a direct correlation there, else why would they be bragging about achieving a certain amount of posts as soon as they achieve it, almost if they were posting largely to just reach that milestone. So, why not just remove the counter? That way, people are only replying and liking things they actually want to, and not just doing it to see a number rise on their screen and a sense of competition.

    While I know this is not the best solution, I think if you've been apart of this discussion anytime in the past two years you're aware that the best solution, adding in rules for people who do these things, is not going to happen. Thus, I'm suggesting this as the best alternative to try and reduce the amount of low-quality, spamming posts that add nothing to this forum.

    To quote the lovely @cerns from a year ago, "It would be really nice to see the forums have quality posts again, but I do think the only way to promote that is to remove any sort of competition. Meaning no post and like stats, anywhere. I think people get too excited about the idea of getting some sort of title and forget about the fact that people don't want to read their drivel posts and would rather read quality ideas. This idea needs to be implemented because it is an extreme issue and frankly it has driven me, and many other people away from the forums."

    Note: I know this isn't going to fix the issue a lot of you have, only a post-boosting rule can. Though, since that 100% is not happening, the alternative is to do nothing. Hence, I do think this would at least help somewhat, and definitely help more if nothing changes.
    Posted Feb 13, 2020,
    Last edited Feb 14, 2020
  2. I disagree. I feel the post boost issue is only due to the failure of Forum upper staff to implement a strong anti-post boost measure. Post boosting didn't stop once the leaderboard discontinued as Forum Staff said it likely would, so I don't think it would stop if we disabled viewing the post count or like count either. The quality of posts has diminished mostly due to past players leaving the server, and the new players are mostly low leveled and with lesser skill who haven't been on the server for long. Or players who are looking for a quick and easy way to trainee. It sounds hypocritical coming from my post count, however I don't think it would fix anything.
    Posted Feb 13, 2020
  3. I'd rather them give warning points out for people that start their messages with
    and end with
    "Hope I helped!"
    Posted Feb 13, 2020
    Acerna, xEspe0n, Mitchy and 2 others like this.
  4. While I do agree a post-boosting rule is what's really needed, you know as well as I that it's not going to happen. This is an alternative to that which I know won't fix it, but I do think will help in reducing it. Nothing else is currently, so why not try this considering there is a correlation between it for a lot of players.

    While I don't agree with it being those phrases, I would also rather warning points be given out. However, like I've said this is not going to happen. Hence why I'm moving on to the next best alternative, in my opinion.
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Feb 13, 2020
  5. We shouldn't be finding small alternatives to solutions that the forums team and the community know should be implemented, and this rule change is one they have the power to fix in a snap.
    Posted Feb 13, 2020,
    Last edited Feb 13, 2020
  6. I don't think removing the like or post counter would stop the post boosting as most of it is done by kids that want trainee
    Posted Feb 13, 2020
    Mitchy and NothinButNet like this.
  7. We already removed the post leaderboard which I think was more the issue with respect to post boosting. So the competitive aspects I dont think is AS grave as it is being made out to be. I do take your point though that more enforcement needs to be established to remove or warn people for irrelevant posts. I think the lack of an enforcement mechanism is indirectly encouraging people to not put more thought into their posts.

    Every forum has a post/like counter. We should not get rid of it.
    Posted Feb 13, 2020
  8. We shouldn't, but we have to if we want anything to change regarding this. It was denied everytime it's been brought up for the past 2 years, even as recently as a week ago. This is not happening so it is at the point where we do need to look at other alternatives rathern than continuing to argue for something (post boost rule) that is unfortunately not happening.

    The leaderboard wasn't removed for this reason though. It's pretty widely accepted that the removal of this had very little impact on post boosting as people would just switch to viewing the people's profile they want to 'beat' for competition. It was definitely not a solution nor was intended to be one by anyone.

    Like I said, this has been denied for the past 2 years and has been continuously said is not going to happen even after at least 20 discussions on it over those two years. With that in mind to not be a solution, what else is? The best I can think of is this, however, I'm open to other alternatives if you can suggest something else.
    OP OP
    OP OP Posted Feb 13, 2020
  9. Wanderer and Alex were touting it as a "resolution" however. Though they didn't say it directly they worded it in a way that seemed like it was
    Posted Feb 13, 2020
  10. Hello Ms. OGrady,

    The post boosting rule is one of the biggest examples of inaction and stubbornness from the staff team. I don't understand why the forums team has to take such a stubborn stance on letting the forums be completely free of any restriction on post boosting, but for some reason, despite so much convincing and opinionated feedback on this, it has not changed. I thought Jarvis was the problem, but I see that maybe it's just one of those things that isn't admin-specific, but more-so team specific (not hating on Shane he's an amazing dude). With that said, I don't think there's truly ever been some real blanket, official, and universal explanation to why the post boosting rule is not a thing.

    I equate this to a classic liberalism (otherwise noted as Liberalism with a capital L). A Liberal believes in the fact that the needs and wants to both the people and the factory (or any two opposite sides for that matter) balance each other out. Thus, there is no need for the government to ever step in since society is regulated based on the interests of the factory owners, workers, and consumers itself. The same thing to an extent applies on Mineplex with the post boosting rule, except it's a flawed concept of the aforementioned. Mineplex has taken a Liberal approach to the post boosting rule. They have decided not the regulate it. The flaw with Mineplex's "Liberalism" is the fact that there's no way for us, the community, to regulate this. They've staunchly removed dislikes, thereby stopping us from regulating these post boosters and they don't allow harassment which would easily be the go-to punishment if one of these 5 year old post boosters on the forums reported it (after feeling oh so attacked). So you see the problems with letting the forums be this Liberal environment, except there's no way for the people with common sense like us to collectively communicate to these post boosters that they need to stop. In a perfect Liberal world on the forums, there would be the dislike button and the harassment rule couldn't be applied for people calling out post boosters. Thus, letting these people consistently know that they're posts are low-quality and need to stop. But no, Mineplex can't even do that. Instead, it's a world where Mineplex encourages this kind of useless, spammy post boosting.

    I can't understand the rationale of Mineplex's management team. It will never make sense to me why they do things like this. Do they care that much about the numbers and graphs regarding activity and posts that they are willing to sacrifice the forums' equality? Something that was so integral on the old forums?

    So I feel like this is going on a big rant here but here's the point I've been trying to make.

    No matter what you do, remove the leaderboards, remove likes, remove posts, remove any stats-related thing. It's not going to fix the problem. And this is blatantly obvious in the way LT removed the post leaderboard in an attempt to band-aid the post-boosting rule. As I predicted, the post boosting didn't stop. In fact, I think there's been an increase, in general. This goes to show that it doesn't matter what you do to stop them. Unless you take the root of the problem and rip it out of the ground, cutting off branches won't do anything. That's why, after all of this text, I am going to disagree with this idea. Just because some people post boost doesn't mean everyone's post count should be removed. Even if it theoretically would fix the post-boosting problem, we know from past experiences that it won't. Maybe the better solution would be to make the forums team understand why the rule (or lack thereof) is a problem in itself and get it fixed (/implemented). There has to be some middle ground we can agree on.

    I am tired of seeing myself and so many others reiterate the same points over and over and over again to no avail. The forums team keeps deflecting our statements with badly-thought-out reasoning and it gets more annoying that every piece of progressive feedback we give is deflected off of the team. As some point, we can't keep typing all these ridiculously long paragraphs. The forums team just has to listen, and that's the end of it.


    Posted Feb 13, 2020
  11. Really torn on this one. I feel both sides to this issue (this one specifically, not necessarily post-boosting) have very valid points to make.

    One of the foremost criticisms I've made of the forums is band-aid "solutions" being applied to something that requires stitches, aka post-boosting; they don't really care about post-boosting so much as they care about appeasing people on the surface. This is most evident with the removal of the post leaderboard which we knew was gonna be touted as the solution when it dang well was not- case and point, post-boosting still exists today in arguably the same numbers as before. With that criticism in mind, is this solution not exactly the same? Is there a guarantee this will work to reduce post-boosting when everything else that isn't a rule has failed? I feel in this respect, we're almost backpedaling and suggesting the same type of measure that we criticize. Additionally, one could say we're the side making the concession here, that we're giving up on the the more important solution- a rule change- and opting to focus on something we know will be less effective. There's dignity to be had in arguing for the unlikely but true solution to a problem.

    There's also the side of practicality, which supports removing the post counter (like counter could be bad for other, non-post boosting reasons, so I won't touch on that). We know they're not going to change. We know they don't care about this problem. The practical solution would be to do something in between, and that might take the form of removing the counters. It's definitely a concession, but odds are that it will at least decrease post-boosting; like you said, it won't solve it outright, but perhaps it's better than nothing.

    In my mind, it comes down to practicality vs. principles... that is, unless you count practicality as a principle to begin with, in which case they're the same thing. And like I said, both sides here have good reasoning.

    Not that personal, borderline anecdotal "evidence" is worth considering in the grander scheme of the issue, but I've always been the type of person that likes to see my post count go up. I know it's an arbitrary number. I know it's something that promotes post-boosting. But I feel for every post I make, the effort is reciprocated by that +1 in my post count, and over time, I can see the effort I've put into the forums. For forums-savvy people, it's similar to accumulating thousands of wins in your favorite game. Does it serve a purpose past the achievement kit requirements? No, not really. But it's self-evident that you continue to do what you enjoy. Unfortunately, people have taken that drive to lengths that require them to push out low-quality, useless messages every day. I know, I'm preaching to the choir here. All said, I haven't formulated an opinion on this idea really- kind of unnecessary to write a post then, eh?- but if there is truly no possible future where the post-boosting rule is amended according to our feedback, then I'd be open to removing the counters and see it as a sort of necessary... evil? That seems overly harsh, but you get the point. Nice thread.
    Posted Feb 14, 2020
    SpitefulNick likes this.
  12. I don't really know how much this will help. It's not really about the competition, if it was about the competition the post boosting leaderboard removal would have a greater effect. Removing the counts would have a negligible effect on the forums, and a rule would be better because it would actively discourage it.

    Most of the reason people post boost is that they want to look good and helpful, and want to do that on every thread so that they can get Trainee. While some post boosters actually care about post count, I think that the majority actually just wants to get Trainee.

    Like @ClassN said, I also like seeing my post count go up, just like a competitive player might like seeing their wins go up, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't hack just to see the win count go up, I know players would hate me. Similarly, I would not post boost. It's annoying.

    TLDR; The idea wouldn't help that much
    Posted Feb 14, 2020
  13. Although I agree that there is an issue on the forums, I do not think that it is something than can be fixed by staff/development action. I'll address the reasons why I think so in a point-by-point manner, trying to remain as unbiased as possible.

    Post/link counters are likely not the primary reason for low-quality posts. Minecraft minigame servers are, primarily, played by younger players. These players do not always know how to word their thoughts into long, complex essays regarding their reasons for liking or disliking any idea, but their opinion is still important. Statements such as "+1" or "I agree" let them feel accomplished and part of this online community.

    It would be insanely difficult to tell who is just a kid voicing their opinion or is someone wanting to post/like boost. Generally, reading a discussion without wasting time reading these posts is fairly simple: if you only see one or two lines of text, perhaps with a "Hi" and a "Thanks" at the end, don't read the rest of that post.

    I do agree that this issue does exist on the forums, but once again, it would be difficult to determine what to do. Many people are friends because of similar ideas about topics, what they think should change, and so on. Friends liking each others' posts doesn't necessarily means that they are boosting each other. It may just mean that they believe the idea is good and want to contribute without cluttering threads with "+1" or "Yes!" posts.

    Simply removing these stats would not contribute greatly to increases in post quality. There would still be many kids, that don't particularly care about their post or like counter, commenting without elaboration in order to express their opinions. Removing these may help deter some of the actual post boosters, but they likely make up too small of a percentage of bad posts for it to make any noticeable difference in forum browsing.

    People thinking about becoming Trainee is very likely a reason for low quality post boosting. However, the recruitment team likely looks at the quality of recent posts, not just the number.

    The Spam rule does have a catch-all for users that do this on many threads in a short period of time, and I have seen people get punished for doing so once reported.

    Post boosters tend to post on many threads in a short time, and could be reported under Spam for doing so.

    As Sven says, the lack of punishment for many post boosters is likely the issue. Reporting more of them under "Spam" (when they respond to many threads at once) could help.

    As above states, Mineplex does regulate post boosting when it reaches the point of spam.

    People will always find a way to do something that is not intended. For example, I recently saw a thread suggesting that liking a comment would require putting a reason. Many people would write meaningless statements. The reason that many people who like posts do not do that already is because there is no mechanism in place that would force them to.

    Many people who actually contribute to the forums may like looking at their counters. Like ClassN, I view my post count as a number that represents how much I have tried to be a part of the community, and view my like count as a number that represents how my ideas may have inspired changes.

    In summary, changes made in an attempt to reduce post-boosting would not be effective. Many of the common meaningless posts may just be a way for kids to express their opinion. The Spam rule has a catch-all that can be used to report most blatant post-boosters. Adding in a way to force feedback upon liking would simply result in people putting meaningless feedback. Although the forums having a cleaner look without these posts would be nice, it is important to consider that, if a change is made, it should still allow everyone to voice their opinions to be a part of this community.
    Posted Feb 14, 2020,
    Last edited Feb 14, 2020
    ClassN likes this.
  14. I honestly think it's more of Mineplex's culture than any like counter that promotes post boosting. These newer, younger players see that other players are posting a lot of non-helpful, blindly optimistic posts that essentially just repeat others or amount to reasoning such as "cool" or " I agree" and then sometimes they go on to get trainee (not to say that every trainee has done this, but I've noticed quite a few this last year especially). And of course, they too want to join staff- or at least receive recognition from staff, so they mimic the actions of the users before them.

    I honestly would rather see a dislike button that more or less "peer pressures" against those types of posts than likes to be removed for everyone. It doesn't even have to be dislike if they care so much about harassment, just make it say something respectful, but purposeful like "disagree".
    Posted Feb 14, 2020

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