It has become clear that people are unclear on appropriate use of Hide Ratings.
The site FAQ is no longer linked on the frontpage (well, at the top of the page...it's still at the bottom) because it is a mess, obsolete, and needs to be redone. Who should redo it? Well, kos had said that the FAQ is a community project in wiki form not maintained by the admins, so anyone can update it. He has not said that someone has been tasked with redoing the FAQ (which still remains online for your perusal).
This diary is a first step towards drafting a partial FAQ on comment ratings that can be incorporated into a larger DK4 FAQ. This may become obsolete when Daily Kos adopts the planned Community Moderation scheme, but should still be adaptable to guidelines for flagging questionable posts in that system. This is mainly taken from old FAQs and diaries/comments by kos.
What are comment ratings? Who can rate comments?
Users have an option to vote to recommend, beginning one week after registration. Additionally, "trusted users" have the ability to vote to hide comments. They can give up to five hide ratings per day. The ability to rate comments can be taken away due to misbehavior, either temporarily or permanently.
Why are trusted users limited to five hide ratings per day?
Unlimited hide ratings were tried and didn't work, according to kos.
Why can hide ratings no longer be recycled?
The ability to take back a hide rating so that you can use it on someone else was removed because an audit revealed "the VAST majority were used for nefarious purposes".
What is a troll rating? What is a donut? What is a 4?
Hide ratings were previously referred to as troll ratings, a term still used by some. A "donut", or a "zero", is another name for a hide rating. A "4" is another term for a recommend. A former ratings system used to allow users to rate comments on a scale from 0 to 4.
How can you tell if a comment has been rated? How can you tell who has rated a comment?
Next to the title of a comment are two numbers in parentheses. (7+/2-) would indicate that seven people have recommended the comment and 2 people have hide-rated it. Clicking on the numbers will show who has rated the comment. Clicking on it again will hide the names.
What effect do ratings have?
Having your comments recommended increases your mojo. Recommending comments also affects the recommender's mojo.
"If a comment has been hide-rated by two users and recommended by none, then that comment (and all replies to it) are automatically hidden. If a comment has been recommended at least once, then Hides must be applied to the ratio of 3x+1 (where x is the number of recommends) in order to hide that comment (again, all replies to the comment will also be hidden). Hidden comments and their responses can only be seen by Trusted Users."
If a commenter receives hide-ratings on a sufficient number of comments, that triggers an autoban. The autoban formula is not publicly know, but kos has said that you need to receive a lot of HRs in a lot of different comments. Piling on hide ratings does not trigger the autoban faster. No amount of uprating will protect someone who has a history of being HRed.
What if I want to see hidden comments?
Trusted users can change their settings so that they can view hidden comments. To do this, go to your profile and select "edit profile". One of your options will be "Display hidden comments?" The drop-down menu will have options of yes, no, or show until I hide rate. In their "Welcome Back" box, trusted users can also click on "Hidden" to see a list of hidden comments.
What are acceptable reasons for HRing a comment?
According to Hunter, "You're saying that the comment is so bad -- so disruptive or damaging to the community -- that it isn't worth even a debate, but should be deleted from the discussion as being simply inflammatory, simply off-topic, or simply a lie."
Posting a "first" comment, in which a commenter in a new thread in other internet forums tries to post a message along the lines of "first" in the first comment.
Diary pimping, the practice of encouraging people to read an unrelated diary. Diary pimping is permitted when relevant to the diary the comment is posted in. It is also permitted in open threads.
Threats or calls for violence. "Threatening to beat up or kill someone, or suggesting that people should kill themselves, or saying that poison should be put in somebody's crème brûlée, or making similar remarks, even as a joke, is prohibited and can lead to banning. This does not mean that all forms of cartoon violence, literary references, metaphors and the like are barred." Direct calls to violence are not permitted.
Outing Revealing the real identity or other personal information of a registered user who has not him- or herself made that identity known at Daily Kos or otherwise given permission for such information to be publicly revealed will result in summary banning. Among other things, such revelations include, but are not limited to, phone numbers, addresses, including email addresses not publicly available at Daily Kos, places of employment or clients, gender, sexual orientation, and the identities of other family members. Asking hostile outing questions such as: Do you work at such and such a place? when research has shown this to be true or likely to be true is a form of outing and will be dealt with as such.
Personal attacks on other users
Supporting conspiracy theories and other debunked talking points.
Advocating for third parties
What are some unacceptable reasons for recc'ing or HRing a comment?
Hide-rating someone who disagrees with your own opinion in a civil fashion.
Hide-rating other, acceptable comments by someone who has made an unacceptable comments
Hide-rating for idiocy.
Adult language is not in and of itself HRable (although it is banned from diary titles).
What other questions (and answers) should be included? Are there other reasons that should be listed under acceptable or unacceptable uses of HRs? Which reasons need to be expanded? (I'm going to say that a "What is racism?" is a question large enough for its own document, to be linked to from a comment ratings FAQ.) Can you provide links to examples that can be used as cases to illustrate some of these points?
You can treat everything before the list of reasons to HR as potential language to be included in a FAQ. The rest are raw lists of items to be incorporated.
I see several paths this can go. Either kos ignores this effort and it potentially becomes the de facto standard adhered to by many users. Or kos embraces it, in whole or in part with modifications he wishes to add, and it becomes the de jure standard. Or kos repudiates it, and we are left with the sure knowledge that there is no clear standard or else he promulgates a standard of his own devising. I see any of these outcomes as preferable to the status quo.
My plan is to use the comments in this diary (and perhaps future ones) to determine what else needs to go into a FAQ. My preference is to only include items supported by links to diaries or comments from people with authority, such as kos or Meteor Blades, making this sort of a compilation of Daily Kos common law. Despite having been around for a while, I have generally been absent from metawars so am unfamiliar with the body of MB's rulings. At some point, I will put a complete first draft up on dKosopedia. Then, it will become a community document which all are able to edit. Although I will probably keep an eye on it and do some work to maintain it, I will relinquish any notion of "ownership". Indeed, the best-case scenario in my mind is one where I can walk away from it whenever I want because several other people are committed to maintaining it.