November 27, 2002

The Slashdot Defect

Edward Felten decries an inaccurate Slashdot comment receiving a high score:

In theory, Slashdot's collective moderation process is supposed to weed out ill-informed postings by downgrading their scores; but in practice that doesn't happen as often as one would like.

The problem here is the difference between what is correct and what is popular. This aspect of the scoring system is well-known, even legendary (sigh ... there goes any of my possible newfound respectability).

The system is a vote (with editors sometimes stuffing the ballot-boxes, but that's a whole different topic, some other time ...). There's some attempt to weed-out bad voters, but above-average intelligence, much less topical expertise, is not a particular qualification. It's almost a study in partially (not fully) democratic voting-theory. That is, confident, appealing "candidates" (posts) often do reasonably well, even if they're not particularly right.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in journo | on November 27, 2002 08:41 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups

Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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