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Eliminate Ranking System

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Forums -> Comments -> Eliminate Ranking System

Eliminate Ranking System
By:
Post # 1

Many of us agree that the reputation/ranking system on SoM was made with good intentions, but has become a widely abused political tool that does not meet its intended purpose. This is a call for the site admin to remove the ranking system, and I will list reasons below why.

A description of the ranking system and its purpose may be found in this post:

http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=402738

Reasons for removing the ranking system:


The ranking system is discriminitory and unfair.


Not all members can vote, and a fair system should be all inclusive. Would it be fair if only certain people could vote in government elections? No! That is why we had the American civil rights movement. Not all members can see their ranking and have to ask others if they have been ranked fluffy. The fact that it is not all inclusive leads to an inaccessible oligarchy of members on the site who control the rankings.

The ranking system is inaccurate and not useful.


There are a number of mature members here who know a considerable amount about magic and the occult, and still have low, none, or fluffy rankings. Many who have fluffy rankings

There are a number of members here with "knowledgeable" rankings who do little to help other members. I have seen them frequently make condescendending remarks to new members, deride other members' paths, start heated arguments in chat, and otherwise treat people with disrespect.

I have noticed factual inaccuracy, lack of citing, and even what could be considered hate speech in forum posts by high ranked members.

The very fact that fluffy rankings are not visible to normal members makes them a useless feature

The ranking system is heavily abused and contributes to bad behavior on the site.

A member who learns they have a fluffy ranking is discouraged from contributing. Similarly, those who can see fluffy rankings are discouraged from helping those who have them.

Members who learn they have a fluffy ranking now have just cause in their mind and little to lose by trolling members whom they suspect gave them that ranking.

The ranking system is often used vindictively when a low ranked member and "knowledgeable" member have a disagreement. Fluffy rankings are a form of "badge of shame" like the felt yellow badge that Nazis forced Jews to sew on their clothes prior to the holocaust.

Rankings are more often used as a political tool to reward friends for agreeing, and "fluff" those who ask tough questions or have differing points of view. They are also frequently brought up when members talk about others behind their back in coven chat.

Rankings are used as a way to discriminate against cartain paths and practices. People have different opinions about what constitutes legitimate magical practice, that does not make it okay to lump everyone under a derogatory term applied to those who make untruthful claims about being a non-existant creature or claiming success in fantasy magic.

if this post results in me getting a fluffy tag, I will wear it with honor. Personally, I would prefer this unfair system gone than have the ability to rank others myself.

What are your opinions on the ranking system? Do you feel it has been used against you unfairly? Would you rather see it changed in some way than removed?

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Re: Eliminate Ranking System
By: / Novice
Post # 2
I also think it was made with the best intentions, but it is not working.

I have seen Knowledgeable people help no one, and people without a rank at all give accurate and good advice.

Blessed Be.
Lily
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Re: Eliminate Ranking System
By: Moderator / Novice
Post # 3

I don't think Pet is going to eliminate the ranking system because one person has a complaint.

I'll respond a little to your statements:

Those who are ranked with a knowledgable tag, have been here for an extremely good amount of time, and have just been bothered with stupid questions, which lead to them not wanting to help those who don't take it seriously. We all have opinions that we've taught ourselves to be true, and we are aware that others do not think the same. Sometimes other member's paths are looked down upon because they see it as not a "real path". For example: Hellenic Wicca. I could point out a few things that I see are wrong.

Fluffy rankings are also good to use as a head's up for those who troll on the chatter, or have done something against the site. I've been pretty in pink before, and I've been here for ages!

And comparing the Jews and Nazis to ranks on the site is a little, well, overrated.

In conclusion, if you don't like the way the site works, you have the will to leave and create your own site and work out your own ranking system.

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Re: Eliminate Ranking System
By:
Post # 4

I respect your opinion and right to disagree Theia, however the facts don't support some of the claims you are making. We agree that there is controversy over which paths are real, however that does not justify a system that penalizes individuals for expressing their religious beliefs.

As stated, fluffy ranks are not a good heads up for others to the presence trolls because only a few priviledged members are able to see them.

Also, telling people to leave the site instead of voice their opinion is the type of elitist behavior Iam trying to discourage by proposing this change.

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Re: Eliminate Ranking System
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 5

The "ranking" system is and has been clearly stated several times as a reputation system. If everyone would be allowed to vote, we'd have popularity contests left and right and the site would get even worse than it is perceived now. To a certain extent, it is unfair. But what truly is fair? Because the alternative you suggest about voting would create more problems than it would fix.

Also, as of this posting, you don't have a rank. Rankings aren't used unfairly as often as people might think. Are they used unfairly? Yes, but that is the exception, not the rule. Most people I've seen trying to doop the system in their favor end up permanently fluffed (with some permanently fluffed for no public reason).

At the end of the day, it's a colored banner on a website that isn't the focal point of our lives. Yes, I agree that people could handle dealing with others better, but this is a symptom, not the cause of the problems (and I speak as someone who has been here since before the reputation system).

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Re: Eliminate Ranking System
By:
Post # 6

Eissy, you are right about the possibility of an open voting system leading to popularity contests, however that is not too different than what we have right now; this is why I propose it's removal. One possible good alternative would be to let members permanently opt out of the system so that the individual cannot rank or be ranked. however, after talking to a number of respectable individuals who have been "fluffed" and "permafluffed," complete removal of the ranking system seems like the best way to move forward.

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Re: Eliminate Ranking System
By:
Post # 7
Merry Meet,

I agree the ranking system is flawed but it does help. Sure, not everyone is ranked, and some should be higher or lower than rank deemed, but it does help for some new members to know who to ask advice from. I wouldn't give the power to rank to everyone, as we have seen in the spells section giving everyone the ability doesn't end well, yet perhaps letting Novice rank and up vote might help things. The people who can vote on rank seem to be the busiest members on the site, so it might help them out a bit. If you ask me though, ignore the rank and focus on your own thing, it doesn't effect you outside of a colourful bar on your profile.

Blessed Be.
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Re: Eliminate Ranking System
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 8

Honestly, we don't have the power to change it as the only person who can is the admin who has to code the website, Petrarca. The best we could do without changing the system is to change how we treat the system. Your profile picture is the symbol of people coming together to change things, so let's do that with the people, not with the system.

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Re: Eliminate Ranking System
By:
Post # 9

Tadashi, you brought up an important point about new members turning to individuals with high rankings for advice. On the surface this may seem like a good idea, but what this really means is that those who are new are exposed to a narrower range of viewpoints and are led to believe in "truths" being promulgated by those who have benefitted from a flawed system.

I am not concerned about my own rank, in fact I hope this post earns me a fluffy rank to prove my point.

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Re: Eliminate Ranking System
By:
Post # 10

I think you are way(add in a couple of "a"s to this word) too salty about this. It is just a coloured bar on your profile and next to your username. Don't let it bother you too much.

I also doubt those ranked Knowledgable and above would rank another "Fluffy" just because they disagreed with them. I think most do not even bother to utilize it all that much , I think.

I personally benefited from the system. It directed me to people who helped properly answer my queries on certain topics. A combination of their biography and what they practice and their ranking helped me discern who I can ask questions from. An example would be that it helped me find a knowledgable Kemetic Practioner that gave me information on how to pronounce a few God Names of Egyptian Dieties. I would have much more trouble looking for aide otherwise.

I see nothing too bad with it. It gives new members a good idea on who to approach when they have questions. I think it is fine as it is.

______________________________________________________________________

[Slightly off topic , but only very slightly]

If I would ask something changed , I would ask the rules on expletives and word extensions to be changed. This is way too restrictive on people's ability to express themselves. Lengthened words can be used for emphasis and a occassional expletive , when used in a sentence that does not bash or insult another member seems perfectly fine to me.

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