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Old 2012-12-19, 22:41   Link #325
nani ni tatoemu
Join Date: Sep 2006
I usually only remember to check out the feedback forum once every few months or so, and whenever I've done so, I've almost always seen threads with complaints about the reputation system in general and the negative rep in particular. For the longest time, the answers given were always the same: read the rules about rep, don't pay too much attention to rep, report rep with rule-breaking messages, disable rep if it's really a problem for you. These threads appeared to get locked fairly quickly, which made sense given the asked-and-answered repetitiveness (it would appear that most of those threads have either been removed or moved to a mod-only subforum, because I could swear that there have been more of them than are still left in the index). The policy always appeared unwavering and not subject to reconsideration based on this periodic member input. Personally, I was pretty closely aligned with both the attitude the mods seemed to have towards rep and their suggestions to members, so that wasn't a problem for me.

Now, quite abruptly (at least it feels this way to me), the rep system is presented to us as the source of fairly fundamental festering problems on the board and something that had to be eliminated for the greater good, with no additional input solicited from members before making this decision. The description of the abuses that have been taking place certainly seems to make for a compelling argument for such a decision. What strikes me as odd, however, is the abruptness of this change in direction. Most of the abuses enumerated in this thread were (I thought) fairly obvious for a long time even to non-mods, so if the board could live with them before, what changed? Please don't misunderstand, I don't have a problem with disabling the rep, I'd simply like to better understand what caused the sudden phase shift between the two opinions. Because the thing is, as much as the mod opinions presented here feel like deeply held convictions, so did the earlier opinions in rep complaint threads.

To reiterate: I didn't have a problem with the previous policy and I don't have a problem with disabling the rep system now. It's just the abrupt about-turn that makes me quite curious. I hope I've managed to express myself without sounding like I'm making accusations, because what I'm interested in are the mechanics of the decision-making process, not passing judgement on anyone. As you can see from my post history, I haven't exactly been very active here for the past year, but I've still been reading the board quite regularly, so I think my use of the word "abrupt" above is justified. If I'm wrong about that, corrections are most welcome.
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