116

Not long ago, we gave folks that have a gold tag badge the ability to instantly mark a question as a duplicate of another. This has worked out exceptionally well in practice. While there have been some disputed closings, the process is completely transparent and community oversight has worked just as everyone expected. These abilities have allowed people very vested in their tags to just take care of them, and I wonder why we didn't try it sooner.

Preface - nothing is currently planned, I'm just hoping to get some feedback and ideas.

I want to extend the concept of badge-based privileges to the silver level, and the best opportunity to do that is to once again look at tag badges. While they aren't extraordinarily difficult to earn, silver tag badges typically indicate that you've got more than a bit of knowledge to share in the topic, have spent quite a bit of time on the site sharing it, and know the content in your tag reasonably well. In fact, let's look at the criteria:

You must have a total score of 400 in at least 80 non-community wiki answers

Giving these folks extra privileges, or advance access to standard privileges within the tags where they have these badges seems like a good idea. Initially, I thought of the tag wiki system - wouldn't it be great to show more folks that those exist by suddenly telling them that they have magical powers within them? Well, as it turns out, if you've got silver badges, you already have these abilities from rep alone.

So, silver-badge holders - what would make your time on the site more productive than it currently is if you had access to it? There are some things I'd like to avoid:

  • 'Extra weights' in current privileges. E.g. having your vote count as two instead of one. This is way too difficult to implement, and way too complicated to explain to someone new.

  • Short-circuiting of community oversight. E.g. being able to instantly approve tag synonyms where you have a silver badge in one of the tags. Mistakes here could be costly, and not surface for quite a while. Some things simply need a few keys turned in order to happen.

The real beauty of the gold badge privilege is that it sort of just turns itself on when a site needs it the most. By the time you have a dozen people with gold tag badges, you've probably got your fair share of duplicates to manage as well.

I've had a diamond next to my name since early 2011. While I'm well aware of what privileges get unlocked at what level, it's nearly impossible for me to just use the site as someone that has a few of these. While I don't see much opportunity to extend this to the bronze level, I really think we could do something at the silver level, I just wish I could put my finger on it.

How could we make keeping this place awesome easier for you in that way?

  • 14
    just one more little step further and you'll bring some power to guys like me, with bronze badges – gnat Oct 8 '14 at 10:44
  • 31
    "having your vote count as two instead of one" If that was the case, my votes on all feature requests, discussions and support question on MSE would count as two. I think that's sufficient proof that it's a bad idea. – yannis Oct 8 '14 at 10:47
  • 2
    @gnat I thought for quite a while on what we might be able to do at the bronze level, and anything I came up with, most folks can do from having rep alone. If you've got some ideas, even kind of crazy ones, I'd encourage you to post them. I'd really love to introduce folks to the concept of extra privileges coming from badges that early on - I just can't find a privilege that (1) makes sense and (2) is actually useful for something immediately. – Tim Post Oct 8 '14 at 11:06
  • 10
    Dupe-hammer to silver, and close-hammer to gold? – John Dvorak Oct 8 '14 at 11:08
  • 10
    @JanDvorak Don't think we'd do single-vote closures other than duplicate for non-mods. With the dupe, you .. well ... need to have an eligible dupe and while I think many people would use it responsibly, I really fear folks closing everything they don't like, and some people don't like stuff for some very strange reasons. "This question appears to be off topic because the text is shaped like a dinosaur" (while being humorous, that's along the lines of what I'm afraid of). – Tim Post Oct 8 '14 at 11:12
  • @TimPost I don't see single-vote closure being extended to all cases but when a question is "Can someone point out a library for doing X", do we really need to have 5 folks agreeing that it is off-topic? Same with typo questions. I'm not claiming that there are no borderline cases but borderline cases happen with all the close reasons, including duplicates, The vast majority of external resource requests and typo questions are not borderline cases. – Louis Oct 8 '14 at 13:59
  • 1
    @Louis When we ship the remaining things in the quality project, you'll see far less of that stuff altogether. It'll still come in the system, but it won't get through a much more refined review process, a lot of which is mostly automated. – Tim Post Oct 8 '14 at 15:45
  • 10
    Like it or not, difficult to implement or not, increasing close-vote weights is indeed the most logical thing to try. If it worked well for the dupe-hammer it makes sense to try something similar for silver holders. I can't imagine that explaining will be that bad. (it can't be any worse than the gazillion questions we have about the repcap/removed votes/deleted users, etc...) – Mysticial Nov 4 '14 at 23:41
  • 6
    Off-topic: What makes adding weights so difficult to implement? I can't imagine it could be that hard to change the logic to add weights? Or it is a backward compatibility problem with the way they are stored in the database? – Mysticial Nov 4 '14 at 23:56
  • As a suggestion for getting to use the site as a lower-privileged user, why not set up a sock-puppet account and see how that works? – Shokhet Nov 5 '14 at 23:18
  • 1
    Change nothing, but pop up a message that says "you'll get a gold one next" and empower them through confidence-building and bright visions of the future? – Jason C Nov 5 '14 at 23:38
  • 1
    Has any further discussion occurred on this topic? I'd be interested to see whatever y'all have come up with. :) – hichris123 Apr 16 '16 at 19:40
  • 5
    Did anything get done about this in the end? – Ian Ringrose Sep 22 '16 at 11:59
  • 2
    @IanRingrose usually such a rambling silence means "nope". – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Oct 25 '16 at 21:24
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard Not "nope", just in a mix with other stuff. If we're going to scale close votes better, then there's no real use in looking at that for silver tag badges, so it remains a "we'd love to do it if we could think of a good way" – Tim Post Oct 26 '16 at 9:48

21 Answers 21

93

Following spirit, it looks natural to give them 10-20 see details below extra close votes to bang in their tag. Note how this will also boost dupehammer holders power, allowing them to do their magic 10-20 more times a day.

Another option worth considering is to allow for 10-20 extra close reviews in their tag. Primary purpose of this is promoting use of filtering in reviews (awareness of which still seems to be an issue). But this also takes into account that reviewing in familiar tag is expected to go easier.


A more nuanced breakdown and explanation of the feature (hat tip to Tim Post): 15-20 extra votes (reviews) to silver badge holders, 5 - to bronze...

...perhaps 5 at the bronze level, so people can actually do stuff right away. Then perhaps 15 more at the silver level, which becomes even more useful when you hit gold and unlock the other ability. When folks hit the bronze level, the extra votes will almost always come on the heels of unlocking another privilege just through rep, so this could be a really good way of bringing out even more enthusiasm for that achievement as well.

Worth noting how this is expected to impact smaller sites where typically gold tag badges are too rare for dupehammer to make a significant effect, but silver and bronze ones are more widespread.


A relatively minor (but still, interesting) design challenge for such a feature would be how to handle questions retagged after the vote was cast. Do we keep counting these in "tag quota" or remove from it? Personally I would be inclined to keep - first, because it looks simpler to specify and implement (other way we'd have to handle ugly corner cases, like what if tag was edited out and added back later) and second, because it looks like less prone to complaints ("hey 10 questions in my tag that I voted in the morning were later all retagged and now I am out of votes at all, that's so unfair").

Another interesting challenge would be, how to handle "daily tag limit" data and respective UI for users who have both silver and bronze badges in different tags. (Easy solution for UI would probably be to report amount of "tag close votes" used instead of anbiguous remaining amount.)

  • 2
    Sounds really good. While not too much of a rise in immediate power, it gives users inclined on reviewing a little more ability to do so (on large enough sites, of course). – Christian Rau Oct 8 '14 at 11:27
  • 11
    Not a bad idea at all. Earn this with silver, and it carries into your gold abilities. This definitely reinforces the 'tools to take care of your tags' spirit. – Tim Post Oct 8 '14 at 11:32
  • 3
    @TimPost by the way, regarding "bronze level" feature, you can think of simply giving badge holders 1 (that's one - just one) extra vote / review - borrowing Shog's excellent idea, to encourage "just in time learning" – gnat Oct 8 '14 at 11:37
  • 1
    @gnat I'd really like to lead into these that way at the bronze level, but is one extra vote going to mean anything to folks? That's like pinning a picture of a ribbon on someone, congratulating them, and explaining that we can't yet trust you with the pin on the back of the real ribbon just yet. Maybe 5 instead? I'm not sure that's much different. I could also be completely understating and undervaluing the significance. – Tim Post Oct 8 '14 at 11:41
  • @TimPost that's a good question. I thought of 1 extra vote as a way to tell people that feature exists and they can unlock it if they work hard in the tag - purely educational. But if you prefer also giving them some real power, 5 would be indeed better (and it will probably make active regulars at smaller sites love you:) – gnat Oct 8 '14 at 11:45
  • 7
    @gnat I'm thinking perhaps 5 at the bronze level, so people can actually do stuff right away. Then perhaps 15 more at the silver level, which becomes even more useful when you hit gold and unlock the other ability. When folks hit the bronze level, the extra votes will almost always come on the heels of unlocking another privilege just through rep, so this could be a really good way of bringing out even more enthusiasm for that achievement as well. I'm going to consider this some more, good idea, and thank you! – Tim Post Oct 8 '14 at 11:52
  • 15
    That's a nice idea, but only makes sense on a few sites. @TimPost On how many sites do people run out of close votes on a non-exceptional basis? – Gilles Oct 8 '14 at 16:06
  • 2
    @Gilles I don't envisage this as a cure against running out of close votes, more as headroom to those active in the tag. Also worth noting that if one works in CV queue, they can easily get short on votes outside of the tag. As an example, at SO, I drop from 50 to 10-15 CVs in about 5 minutes after my usual roll at the queue, at Programmers I regularly drop from 24 to 1/2 or 1/3 of that after rolling through queue – gnat Oct 8 '14 at 16:10
  • 1
    ”Worth noting how this is expected to impact smaller sites where typically gold tag badges are too rare for dupehammer to make a significant effect, but silver and bronze ones are more widespread.” – On the other hand, on smaller sites have no need for dupehammers. – Wrzlprmft Oct 8 '14 at 16:52
  • 11
    @Wrzlprmft Smaller sites do have a use for dupehammers. Smaller sites have fewer questions but also fewer close voters. – Gilles Oct 8 '14 at 17:16
  • 1
    @Gilles When we finish with the quality project and roll out some additional queues, those extra votes would definitely not go to waste, even on most of our small sites. There are some that simply don't ever see more than 5 questions per day, but those sites tend to cling to every single question that they get because they're quite limited. – Tim Post Oct 9 '14 at 3:53
  • 5
    I'm a regular on Role-playing Games, a small site that gets a decent number of questions each day (20-30 most days?), but the number that gets closed each day is a very small number. Our situation is exactly as Gilles describes: this wouldn't have much use for us, but the dupehammer has been used effectively (if infrequently). I understand the utility of this idea, yet given it won't help me take care of my silver tags, I think it should be coupled with something else that makes sense on smaller sites like this one. (Silver tag badge holders on big sites that need it get to enjoy both features.) – doppelgreener Oct 9 '14 at 23:28
  • 2
    Did anything get done about this in the end? – Ian Ringrose Sep 22 '16 at 11:58
  • 1
    @TimPost any update on getting something this implemented? – TylerH Feb 7 '18 at 15:06
  • 1
    @TylerH It's probably the only sane route to give a little extra weight at the silver level. We're in the process of untangling a lot of stuff around the moderation tools in general as we do channels / enterprise stuff; this is on my list of things to implement once all of that gets sorted out, and we establish a clear barrier in the code path of what's good for public vs what's actually needed for private instances and channels. Then we have to think about public channels, eventually. Short answer: haven't forgotten, it's just complicated. – Tim Post Feb 7 '18 at 16:38
54
+100

I don't need to be given more opportunities to take the garbage out (e.g. more votes) but I would sure like to feel like I'm not working in vain.

In the queues, give priority to the the votes or flags cast by people who have silver badges (or higher) in one of the tags of the post. For instance, let's say I'm filtering close votes to only see those in and there are 10 questions with votes from people who do not have a badge in the topic and 2 from people with gold or silver badges in , these 2 should be prioritized over the 10 until the 2 are out of the queue. Of course, the more votes from silver and gold badge holders, the more the question would be prioritized relative to other questions.

42

Well, as it turns out, if you've got silver badges, you already have these abilities from rep alone.

On Stack Overflow:

  • 5018 users have at least one silver tag badge
  • 3120 of these have less than 20k reputation
  • 1193 less than 10k
  • 10 less than 5k
  • 4 less than 4k

More than half the silver tag badge holders don't have the 20k privilege of editing tag wikis without supervision (which includes improving tag wiki suggested edits — on sites where I have between 5k and 20k rep, I'm often frustrated by seeing ok-but-improvable suggested edits that I can't improve). We should at least give them that privilege.

I'd like to extend that privilege to related lower-volume tags, but I have no idea how to define related here.

I don't think the other 10k/15k/20k privileges make much sense on a tag basis. Deletion might, but I'm wary of making it available to users who might have deep technical knowledge but not necessarily much experience of moderation.

As having unsupervised edition privilege on one tag is not much, and about half the users concerned would have that privilege anyway, this should be combined with some other ability.

  • Why are the results not sortable? Usually when I click a tab in the results table, it gets sorted.... – nicael Oct 8 '14 at 16:27
  • @nicael If I've speed-read the JS correctly (which may well not be the case), it's because there are at least 500 results. – Gilles Oct 8 '14 at 17:14
  • 1
    The tag system already has some idea what tags are related to each other; I'm unsure whether or not that could work for tag wiki privileges, but I think it would for synonyms. But something to do with tag wikis is surely the way to go here. – Josh Caswell Oct 8 '14 at 19:00
  • 5
    I thought about this initially, but I fear a lot of really bad tag wiki edits being approved and folks being not very happy about it. Still, they could only do it on tags where they had the badge which implies a broader sense of ownership ("Our cheese! You shall not move it in that way."). The other thing this lets them do is immediately go back and revert bad edits. The more I think about it, the more I like it. – Tim Post Oct 9 '14 at 4:09
  • 2
    After looking at all of the privileges a silver badge might not have, I agree. Approving and editing the tag wiki they have a badge for makes a ton of sense. – RubberDuck Nov 6 '14 at 1:14
  • 1
    Even so, these privileges would help active bountiers and people active on per site metas. – Shokhet Nov 12 '14 at 6:27
24
+500

What about, in the spirit of the dupehammer, allow silver badge holders to have a binding reject vote on suggested edits in their tags?

17

I think it would be confusing for a lot of people to have silver dupe hammers which were worth 2, 3, or 4 votes instead of 1 or 5. I have no problem allowing silver badge holders to close a duplicate with one swing of the hammer. However, if the team doesn't want to try that, I suggest giving gold badgers a rec and unclear hammer.

So if a gold badger votes to close a question as unclear what you're asking or recommend or find a book, tool, software library, tutorial or other off-site resource, then the question should be hammered close.

Why give gold badgers a hammer for unclear what you're asking?

Because if a gold badge holder in a tag doesn't know what the heck the questioner is asking then is anyone else going to really be able to produce a good answer to the unclear question? So these questions should be closed as soon as possible, and reopened once improved to an acceptable level.

Why give gold badgers a hammer for tool/recommendation questions?

Because they attract spam, link only answers, low quality answers, not even to mention it's off-topic to ask such a question. So these questions should be closed as soon as possible, and reopened if the questioner can remove the offending remarks and create an acceptable question.

  • 7
    The recommendation closehammer you're suggesting only applies to certain sites. Others like Role-playing Games embrace them; they either just work naturally in that context or the site's found a way to help them work. Also, the gold badge suggestion was initially suggested as having extra close vote weight, and shog9 suggested it should just be 1 vote = close for reasons that are pretty sound to me. However, I feel OK with giving silver badge users a dupehammer and gold badge users an unclear hammer. – doppelgreener Oct 9 '14 at 23:39
  • 4
    Yes, yes, yes for silver badge holders to use the dupehammer. – Scimonster Nov 23 '14 at 10:29
16

Just an idea, not sure if it's practical or not:

Silver Badges: For duplicates, a vote counts as 4, which means another vote is required to support the decision, this will minimize the wrong closing for duplicates.

Gold Badges: In addition to the duplicate closing, the Broad Questions closing as well. This is easily spotted by experts in tags.

14

I originally suggested this here, but it's related to this too.

Give people with tag badges some extra votes in their tags. Presumably, we look mostly at stuff there, but also venture outside once in a while. Say, a bronze badge earns an extra 5 votes, silver 10, and gold 20.

14

Let silver tag badge holders vote to delete negatively-scored answers in their tags.

Give them that 20K privilege early, in other words. It's very possible to get a silver tag badge a good long while before hitting 20K. For holders with 20K or more, give them a few extra delete votes in their tags.

It would still require consensus to remove an answer (both from the need for several votes and the negative post score requirement), and answers can be undeleted without too much of a hassle, since 10K+ users will see any abuse. This would also help non-answers be removed more quickly.

12

We get a lot of posts that are just obvious crap, but it takes too long to deal with them, certainly on the smaller sites. Therefore, I propose two things for silver (and by extension, gold badge holders):

  1. Their close votes should not count against their total for the day if the question has a score of -3 or below (preferably computed retroactively, e.g. the CV would be refunded if the score drops) in their tag.
    • This would encourage more downvoting of terrible questions, which many people don't bother to do.
  2. Silver badge holders with at least 10k rep should be able to use their delete votes on questions in their tag with no time threshold.

Silver badge holders know what's truly garbage in their tag. Let's help them to deal with it more effectively.

9

Let silver-badge holders have the dupehammer.

There are a couple of cross-network benefits:

  1. It works on smaller sites where not many people have a gold badge
  2. It works in smaller tags where not many people have a gold badge

On the larger sites only, this would make a huge difference in helping keep the site "clean".

The risk is that a sliver badge holder closes something erroneously. However, there are still gold badge holders able to re-open (and close again!) if necessary. For those tags where there are no gold badge holders then the person with the silver badge is already the authority on the subject.

If there are genuine disputes then the community and moderators are both still able to re-open in the usual manner.

As a silver badge holder may not be trusted as much as a gold badge holder and on smaller sites and in smaller tags there are less questions you could restrict the number of dupe-hammer votes to floor(close votes / 2) (or similar). I don't think it's necessary...

8

Make close votes by silver badge holders take a lot longer to time out, and to be shown in the close review queue more often.

6

I would suggest allowing silver badge holders to convert answers in their tags to comments. They have demonstrated a very good understanding of their topic, so they should be able to tell which answers answer the question, and which "answers" contain useful information, but don't answer the question, and are better off as comments.

  • 2
    Are there any restrictions on which answers can be commentated? Like, length, code... – Scimonster Nov 13 '14 at 19:43
  • 1
    In my suggestion, or in current reality? ....in the second, AFAICT, mods can do anything; in my suggestion, I would say that silver badgers should be the same, so long as they're kind enough to edit the comment so that it looks nice first (eg, no Markdown that works in answers but not in comments etc). – Shokhet Nov 13 '14 at 19:46
5

(The following would be useful for active bountiers and active meta users, and will help moderation, of course)

Users having a silver tag badge can be given close powers and editing privileges regardless of their reputation. This would be very fair because silver tag badge is awarded for 400 points and 80 answers, which means that this user could earn 4k rep for answers in this tag.

  • 3
    4k rep gives both closevoting and editing already. – Scimonster Nov 11 '14 at 21:18
  • @Sci Read my last sentence :) – nicael Nov 11 '14 at 21:28
  • 3
    +1. I hadn't considered active bountiers, that's a great point. – Shokhet Nov 12 '14 at 6:13
  • @Shokhet Note also active per site meta users: if they don't have much rep on main site, having a silver badge will help them moderate there. – nicael Nov 12 '14 at 6:20
  • 1
    Yeah, I saw that also -- it's a great idea, but I don't know how useful it is on per site metas, because (at least in the per site metas that I'm on), there isn't all that much activity, nor are there many silver badge holders. – Shokhet Nov 12 '14 at 6:24
  • 1
    Also access to the review review queue filter for the given tag, even if they don't have enough rep to access the queue. – Ian Ringrose Dec 12 '14 at 13:12
  • @Ian Yep, would be good. – nicael Dec 12 '14 at 13:58
4

Possibly having silver badge on some tag should allow close-voting on the question initially having the tag multiple times (if the question gets reopened)?

4

I really liked the direction you took with the dupehammer idea. It was a brilliant interpretation of a rather broad original idea.

In my opinion it helped to solve an existing problem, and as a result there was a good niche established.

To now step back and also include silver tag badge users in this process is a little harder to see in my opinion. I looked around for a decent amount of time at different types of privileges, features, modifications, etc. which could be granted to silver (and above) tag badge holders but couldn't find much that they probably do not already have.

In all honesty, most users who have a silver badge in one tag probably have a large amount of reputation from other tags as well. 400 votes in a single badge is 4000 reputation, and as pointed out by some numbers from @Gilles 60% of these users have 20k rep already.

It is possible that granting any privilege "early" to these users will not even have much of an impact since they already have access to it.

For example, it could be nice to view deleted posts in the tag you hold a silver badge for. On the other hand, so many of these users already have this ability, it may not be that much of a bonus.

When examining the list of users with silver badges, it does seem there are still not that many of them. For example, in the most popular tag in the entire exchange, Java, there are 833 silver tag badge holders. There are only 284 gold tag badge holders. Does extending the hammer to include those ~800 make sense? I am not sure (perhaps @Shog9 knows more - his analysis is stellar).

As for other extensions, I guess I cannot think of any. I like some of the proposals here, such as the increased voting totals for review which seems helpful, but overall (and hoping not to jinx anything) things seem to be running kind of smooth at the moment.

  • As a potentially useful Thing To Consider, 39 of the last 60 recipients of the [java] silver badge on Stack Overflow are currently under 10K rep. – Ben N Jun 19 '16 at 1:58
3

Another idea: Silver Badge holders should have the ability to vote to delete / convert to comment "Not an Answer" flags. It would work similar to close votes - with 3 "Not an answer" votes, these users would handle the flag and take the appropriate action on the answer. (I originally wrote 5 votes, but then I realized that silver tag badges are rare enough that it might be really difficult to get 5 votes).

There could also be a review queue for these answers - the only ones that would show up in your particular queue would be ones for which you have a silver badge in that tag.

2

If a silver badge holders casts a close vote, make “community” also cast the same vote.

  • Is this about duplicates only, since this feature doesn't even exist for gold tag badge holders now. Should they have it too? And should they have even more weight? – Patrick Hofman Jun 18 '16 at 21:41
  • @PatrickHofman, A gold badge holder gets a "casting vote" on duplicates so can close the question without ANY other votes being needed. – Ian Ringrose Jun 18 '16 at 21:47
  • 4
    So it is about duplicates only? – Patrick Hofman Jun 19 '16 at 7:19
1

My suggestion is more general.

I sometimes see a post protected by a moderator that frustrates me. I don't know much about the post protection system, but I don't think it's voted on atm.

I simply propose that users with a silver badge can vote to protect or remove protection on posts with tags that they are knowledgeable about. This would take more burden away from the moderators, and introduce a more democratic procedure to the protection system. Additionally, silver badge holders should be some of the best users to decide whether a post needs to be protected or not.

  • 2
    locked? or closed? – nhahtdh Nov 5 '14 at 9:42
  • @nhahtdh lock and unlock. – Dom Nov 6 '14 at 8:52
  • There is generally no harm in locking post. It only prevents users with less than 10 rep to answer, and it is quite easy to ask a mod to unlock a post once the crowd has died down. What you are talking about sounds like closing, which will prevent new answer from being added at all. – nhahtdh Nov 6 '14 at 9:03
  • 5
    @nhahtdh: You're thinking of protecting, not locking. 15k+ users can already protect questions. Locking prevents all voting, commenting, and answering, and therefore is extremely rare to use. – mmyers Nov 6 '14 at 16:39
  • @mmyers: Ah, I forgot about the locking feature. Didn't come across much recently since most locked posts are old post and most old off-topic questions are usually deleted instead of locked. – nhahtdh Nov 6 '14 at 16:48
  • Tbh fellas, it's just an idea for providing some responsibility to silver badge holders. It's not a huge proposal with lots to think about. The locking power is currently reserved for very few, this would just give it to a few more people for very specific purposes. Essentially, "you know enough about this tag to gain a silver badge - you probably know enough to decide a question is getting too much poor traffic" and needs to be locked, or unlocked, when it's been locked too early/unnecessarily. Moderators don't need final say when they have a team of people helping to make decisions. – Dom Nov 6 '14 at 22:22
  • 2
    I think this is an interesting idea, but I think silver is a little too low for a privilege like locking. IMO, locking questions is a major event -- no voting, commenting, or editing. If this was implemented, I see a whole lot of mods running around unlocking questions that have been locked by recent silver badge receivers. – Shokhet Nov 12 '14 at 6:20
  • Do you mean locking, totally preventing any change, or protecting, which only stops newbies from posting? – Scimonster Nov 13 '14 at 19:45
  • I meant protecting, thanks for clarifying everybody. – Dom Jan 2 '15 at 0:29
1

I want to extend the concept of badge-based privileges to the silver level, and the best opportunity to do that is to once again look at tag badges.

...

So, silver-badge holders - what would make your time on the site more productive than it currently is if you had access to it? There are some things I'd like to avoid:

  • 'Extra weights' in current privileges. E.g. having your vote count as two instead of one. This is way too difficult to implement, and way too complicated to explain to someone new.

  • Short-circuiting of community oversight. E.g. being able to instantly approve tag synonyms where you have a silver badge in one of the tags. Mistakes here could be costly, and not surface for quite a while. Some things simply need a few keys turned in order to happen.

The Silver Tag Badge could appear next to the buttons in the Review Queue, it wouldn't do anything except Reviewers could easily click on it and determine if they feel knowledgeable about the subject (whether they possess such a badge or not).

This would hint the Reviewer that a silver tag badged user was one of the persons whom contributed to the question or answer entering the queue. It would allow the Badge to have more weight but not remove humans from the decision making process.

This wouldn't be "way too complicated" either, click it for more information or ignore it. If it was deemed necessary a snackbar (formally called toast) message could explain the changes.

Example:

Review Queue

I've had a diamond next to my name since early 2011. While I'm well aware of what privileges get unlocked at what level, it's nearly impossible for me to just use the site as someone that has a few of these. While I don't see much opportunity to extend this to the bronze level, I really think we could do something at the silver level, I just wish I could put my finger on it.

As shown above, if Mjölnir owners could turn the hammer off they could cast non-hammer-votes, and just use the site as a lower reputation user (to solicit more opinions).

The gold, silver, and bronze badges could be displayed in the Moderator Tools next to each flagged post, that would assist people without interdisciplinary expertise to decide if they should visit the post and cast a deciding vote. They would be clickable for more information and serve to indicate the confidence of the flag. There are no "new users" involved and snackbars could be handed out as explained above.

Example:

Moderator Tools

I believe that proposal addresses all your concerns.

-1
+500

I have a different suggestion - (to) Allow silver and gold badge holders to downvote answers on questions with the tag without the -1 reputation penalty. Since silver and gold badge holders scores enough to sufficiently prove their knowledge, they should be trusted to be sane enough to cast downvotes correctly in those fields.

  • 29
    Don't their high rep also mean they won't even feel the single rep penalty? – John Dvorak Oct 9 '14 at 9:31
  • 11
    Also, some high-reps would surely love to use this and start voting strategically... – John Dvorak Oct 9 '14 at 9:45
  • 4
    @JanDvorak I agree that the users may not be vastly helped by the penalty removed, however users with the badge are likelier to be more knowledgeable in the fields than other users. By having the penalty removal implemented this adds a small encouragement to voting in a field they are knowledgeable in. – Unihedron Oct 9 '14 at 9:46
  • 8
    High reputation shows participation, not knowledge. The people who participate the most are the least likely to play fair. – John Dvorak Oct 9 '14 at 9:47
  • 3
    The correlation should become even more obvious if I formulate it in the opposite direction: The people who are the least likely to play fair are going to have the most reputation already. – John Dvorak Oct 9 '14 at 9:48
  • 6
    @JanDvorak I lost you there, tag scores represent the overall score on content (answers) by the users. The reputation removal which comes with the silver badge would be encouraging further votes on the specific field, not general downvoting. Though I think your stance on potential users not playing fair is spot on, it's just hard to have a perfect system. – Unihedron Oct 9 '14 at 9:51
-2

I'd like to add a point of caution here: as with many privileges, it's important to make sure you don't give people access to them too early.

A silver tag badge is easier to gain than you might think, and doesn't necessarily require a wide knowledge of the subject area. There's at least one case of a user having >400 (as of the time of writing, 574) net upvotes and >80 (as of the time of writing, 91) non-community-wiki answers on a single question. As such, any tags placed on that question will automatically give the user in question the corresponding silver tag badge (assuming that the tag itself is eligible for tag badges). I don't think answers to a single question, impressive though they are (they got those 574 upvotes for a reason), can demonstrate much about the knowledge of the tag more generally (the user will probably be an expert in one of the tags in question, but the others might well be incidental).

I'm finding it hard to think of a privilege which is cosmetic enough that it could safely be awarded in this sort of situation. (Of course, we could treat this similarly to brand new users who got moderation tools as a consequence of claiming a bounty, but those users tend not to be able to use the tools correctly either; I know that I ended up misusing moderation tools quite a bit early on due to gaining the reputation for them before I really understood how the site worked.)

  • Gotta admit, when I saw the example, I just thought "Code Golf be crazy, news at 11". 80 answers by one user on one question? Pretty much anywhere else on the network that would be completely absurd and a lot of the answers would just get merged together/deleted/whatever. Moreover, finding one single weird edge case that probably would give suboptimal results (for 5 tags at a time... involving some fairly blatant editing/bumping...) isn't really a good counter-argument against a large-scale mod tool feature. Analyses of trends would be much more useful. – Nathan Tuggy Oct 7 '18 at 4:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .