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Author Topic: Signature Probation: Newbie-friendly alternative to Jr. Member Merit requirement  (Read 531 times)
d5000
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September 18, 2018, 10:06:00 PM
Last edit: September 20, 2018, 12:41:48 AM by d5000
Merited by mprep (1), dbshck (1)
 #1

I understand the intention behind the last change in the ranking system, making 1 Merit point mandatory to achieve Junior Member status and wear signatures. However, in my opinion, this does discriminate new honest users more than it is necessary.

So here's an alternative idea:
- Return to the previous system (Jr. Member status is based only on activity, and Newbies get at least a minimal signature space)
- But both Newbies and Jr. Members are given their signature space only "on probation". That means that if one of their posts is legitimately reported as spam and thus removed, they lose their signature space entirely until they rank up to Member (which requires 10 merits and should be much more difficult to achieve for a spammer).

This gives Newbies and Junior Members incentives to write meaningful posts without having to renounce some of the features of the forum, and without pressure to get a merit which is sometimes difficult even if the post quality is otherwise good. And the standard to award merits also hasn't to be lowered.

(Unfortunately, the thread about the new changes has already grown too much that I could read it entirely, so it's possible that this was already proposed. However, maybe it's good to discuss it in a new thread.)

Edit: This solution is meant as a long term solution to the problem. Maybe the 1 merit requirement, as a temporary measure, is a good solution. But on the long term I think it creates a hurdle for new members, and we'll likely lose good people to Facebook groups and similar communities.

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September 18, 2018, 10:21:17 PM
Merited by mprep (1), dbshck (1)
 #2

I don't see the big deal, honestly. 1 merit is so easy to come by that any decent poster will eventually get it, and they can carry on earning their monies. The only problem I see is when people have a hundred alternate newbie accounts instead of Jr members now, and they've stopped earning, and can't put bread on the table. At least it stops the spam though. Maybe, this will demotivate others from creating a hundred accounts just to earn on bounties.

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September 18, 2018, 11:09:44 PM
Merited by DarkStar_ (4), LoyceV (1), dbshck (1)
 #3

In my opinion, your suggestion will not work at all, because I felt there are a lot of newbies and Jr. Member users who do not even understand that they should totally avoid creating multiples threads to discuss a similar topic, just take a look at the meta section now, it is just full of similar threads discussing the same topic on newbie account requiring 1 merit to promote to Jr. Member rank, is there really a need for every newbies to create a new thread in the first place just to discuss a similar topic?

The issue on multiple threads created by different newbies and Jr. member users have also been a big problem on the Chinese local board, I have put in a lot of my effort and time to explain to the Chinese users who are constantly posting on the Chinese local board, they should try their best not to create any more new threads to discuss on a similar topic, and they should instead just keep the discussion going on in one thread, the result is slow, but at least I am seeing some positive changes of posting behavior from some Chinese users.

I would usually sent a new thread to the Trashcan if it is just created again to discuss on a similar topic, one example of multiple spam threads on the Chinese local board in the past would be the analysis of the bitcoin price on the trading market, many Chinese users just seems to enjoy creating multiple threads to discuss on this topic, so I would have to take actions to send those threads to the Trashcan instead of deleting tons of users one line spam posts in those threads.

- But both Newbies and Jr. Members are given their signature space only "on probation". That means that if one of their posts is legitimately reported as spam and thus removed, they lose their signature space entirely until they rank up to Member.
If the whole thread is being sent to the trashcan by a moderator, every users posts on those threads will be remove too, and I believe we will see another flood of threads on the meta section again created by newbies and Jr. Member users asking why their profile signature is gone, another hot debate will surely starts, as they will try to explain that their posts is not spam, they should not deserve to lose their signature space.

I think the newly implemented newbie restrictions & requirements system is good at the moment, and it is really not that hard for a newbie user to get just 1 merit on their account, if the newbie user is able to create 10 posts that are of good content, I believe he should be able to get at least 1 merit from other users.

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d5000
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September 18, 2018, 11:34:58 PM
 #4

OK, thank you for your replies.

@Barcode_link, I understand your point is that there are too many posts (and new threads) that do not violate forum rules but are "spammy" and trivial, and the users posting them would not be punished even under the proposed rule (report->deleted post->signature removed) because the moderators could not delete them, because there is no rule with respect to this kind of posts. Is that what you basically mean?

In this case, I would propose a new forum rule allowing moderators explicitly to remove these "spammy" posts (for example, the rule could be that "trivial answers which already were discussed at the topic" could be removed).

If the whole thread is being sent to the trashcan by a moderator, every users posts on those threads will be remove too, and I believe we will see another flood of threads on the meta section again created by newbies and Jr. Member users asking why their profile signature is gone, another hot debate will surely starts, as they will try to explain that their posts is not spam, they should not deserve to lose their signature space.

But couldn't that be solved technically? I don't know the internals of the SMF software, but I think a "report" should be possible to be registered as an action by the software, and a "post removal" separately. So all what had to be done would be to only remove the signature if the post itself was both "reported" and "deleted", and so the other users posting in these threads would not be affected at all.

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September 18, 2018, 11:47:15 PM
 #5

I think your proposal will not lead to a logical goal. Because:
1) who will monitor compliance with this rule? Moderator? No, I think it's not right to load them. Other participants can certainly complain about such reports, but it will not lead to the result
2) Smerit- this motivation for newcomers, write better messages. Just today, in one day I saw 5 big articles from beginners who are trying nice whriting.
3) Administration forum published information, about new participants over the past months registration and spam. Signature of the J.member, spread a lot of spam. And create account farms.
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September 19, 2018, 12:03:39 AM
 #6

This is bitcointalk forum creat by from Satoshi, i don't know the main purpose of him but now bitcointalk belong to some "Power Anonymous" persons - who want play some games for what call Anti-Spam and more quality forum. Have a lot of people will don't care about their rank, because they don't affect to anything. Almost of people joinned our forum because they do bounty only, some of them working at their field : trade, provide services,.. Alright, everything i want to say that, we should not care much about what the mod will do, because, the power team will change more and more for their exicting game and all follow them. "Life is not fair, get used to it" - Bill Gates.
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September 19, 2018, 12:22:45 AM
Merited by mprep (1)
 #7

I understand the intention behind the last change in the ranking system, making 1 Merit point mandatory to achieve Junior Member status and wear signatures. However, in my opinion, this does discriminate new honest users more than it is necessary.

So here's an alternative idea:
- Return to the previous system (Jr. Member status is based only on activity, and Newbies get at least a minimal signature space)
- But both Newbies and Jr. Members are given their signature space only "on probation". That means that if one of their posts is legitimately reported as spam and thus removed, they lose their signature space entirely until they rank up to Member.

This gives Newbies and Junior Members incentives to write meaningful posts without having to renounce some of the features of the forum, and without pressure to get a merit which is sometimes difficult even if the post quality is otherwise good. And the standard to award merits also hasn't to be lowered.

(Unfortunately, the thread about the new changes has already grown too much that I could read it entirely, so it's possible that this was already proposed. However, maybe it's good to discuss it in a new thread.)

If they are "on probation" just create a new account or buy a new account as getting to Member will take a lifetime for the spammers.

I don't see the big deal, honestly. 1 merit is so easy to come by that any decent poster will eventually get it, and they can carry on earning their monies. The only problem I see is when people have a hundred alternate newbie accounts instead of Jr members now, and they've stopped earning, and can't put bread on the table. At least it stops the spam though. Maybe, this will demotivate others from creating a hundred accounts just to earn on bounties.

Agreed, I think getting 1 merit is extremely easy if you try hard enough to actually say one good post.

I think your proposal will not lead to a logical goal. Because:
1) who will monitor compliance with this rule? Moderator? No, I think it's not right to load them. Other participants can certainly complain about such reports, but it will not lead to the result
2) Smerit- this motivation for newcomers, write better messages. Just today, in one day I saw 5 big articles from beginners who are trying nice whriting.
3) Administration forum published information, about new participants over the past months registration and spam. Signature of the J.member, spread a lot of spam. And create account farms.

I agree with you as well, like I said if they get "on probation" they have many accounts to fall back to and spam once again.
 
But couldn't that be solved technically? I don't know the internals of the SMF software, but I think a "report" should be possible to be registered as an action by the software, and a "post removal" separately. So all what had to be done would be to only remove the signature if the post itself was both "reported" and "deleted", and so the other users posting in these threads would not be affected at all.

No, because if the whole thread gets trashed, all the replies under it should get trashed too right? It wouldn't make sense for the post to be there, if the whole thread is deleted the thread wouldn't pop up in the search bars and you can't learn any information from it, cause it was deleted.
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September 19, 2018, 01:54:50 AM
 #8

I think your proposal will not lead to a logical goal. Because:
1) who will monitor compliance with this rule? Moderator? No, I think it's not right to load them. Other participants can certainly complain about such reports, but it will not lead to the result
The process would be automatic. I don't believe it to add load on moderators, because if a post is worthy to be deleted, the user having posted it also is 99% likely to be a spammer. There may be exceptions, for example people posting drunk one day. But as it's not a ban, only a signature removal, and with 10 merits you can revert it, it's not an overly harsh punishment. People would eventually "get it" that they can't post shit until they are a Member Wink

Quote
2) Smerit- this motivation for newcomers, write better messages. Just today, in one day I saw 5 big articles from beginners who are trying nice whriting.
I really hope it works. A problem I see here is that one single merit is also pretty easy to buy, or get exchanged for a "lesser bad post". In my proposal, instead, you always live in danger if you do shitposting, until you get 10 merits.
But the real reason I don't really like the requirement is the effect it could have on honest new users. Not everyone likes to write tutorials and so on. Until they know that they need a merit to rank up, they could complain not being welcome. It's a bit anti-natural for a forum to require a "merit" to rank up, and so it could be regarded as an entry barrier.

Quote
3) Administration forum published information, about new participants over the past months registration and spam. Signature of the J.member, spread a lot of spam. And create account farms.
These farmers would all lose their right to wear signatures very soon if my proposal became implemented, often before they could get paid out. The effect should be the same one than with the current rule: Nobody could get money for nothing (with the exception of off-forum campaigns like at Twitter, but these should not bother us here).

If they are "on probation" just create a new account or buy a new account as getting to Member will take a lifetime for the spammers.
That could happen, but they would have to shitpost without being discovered, until they become a Member, then they could do what they want (but would risk a ban if they break the rules several times).

Quote
No, because if the whole thread gets trashed, all the replies under it should get trashed too right? It wouldn't make sense for the post to be there, if the whole thread is deleted the thread wouldn't pop up in the search bars and you can't learn any information from it, cause it was deleted.
I think you misunderstood. We were talking about the risk to get the signature removed if a whole thread was thrashed. If the software, for a signature removal, requires that it additionally must have been reported, then that cannot happen.

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September 19, 2018, 02:32:28 AM
 #9

I don't see the big deal, honestly. 1 merit is so easy to come by that any decent poster will eventually get it, and they can carry on earning their monies. The only problem I see is when people have a hundred alternate newbie accounts instead of Jr members now, and they've stopped earning, and can't put bread on the table. At least it stops the spam though. Maybe, this will demotivate others from creating a hundred accounts just to earn on bounties.
I agree with you but there are also many members who are really active that lower their rank so suddenly it is unfair to them.
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September 19, 2018, 02:44:37 AM
 #10

I don't see the big deal, honestly. 1 merit is so easy to come by that any decent poster will eventually get it, and they can carry on earning their monies. The only problem I see is when people have a hundred alternate newbie accounts instead of Jr members now, and they've stopped earning, and can't put bread on the table. At least it stops the spam though. Maybe, this will demotivate others from creating a hundred accounts just to earn on bounties.
I agree with you but there are also many members who are really active that lower their rank so suddenly it is unfair to them.
I agree with you. There are many members who are active here for what reason?? Are they active because they want to learn or they are active because they are reporting to their bounty campaigns.

To be honest, 1 merit is not that hard to get. Even a 3rd world country shitposter can get it if he/she wants to get it. The problem is most newbie and jr. member accounts here are made for bounty campaigns and nothing more and this new system made the spam lessen even a bit.

Maybe there are some new accounts here that are researching and getting additional information. If that is the case, rank is useless to them. For me, merit is for those who want to increase their rank so that they can earn more from signature campaign. Am I right?

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September 19, 2018, 03:42:35 AM
 #11

If you guys worry because the new users or most of the users are only here for bounty, We'll you maybe right so what is the solution? remove the bounty section as easy as that. So that no more high ranks are crying because jr, members  and newbie ruined the purpose of the forum. Some people made bounty hunting as a living. They are not like you who have stable jobs or belong to rich family.
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September 19, 2018, 04:32:15 AM
 #12

I think you misunderstood. We were talking about the risk to get the signature removed if a whole thread was thrashed. If the software, for a signature removal, requires that it additionally must have been reported, then that cannot happen.

Ah, I see what you mean but I don't think it will be implemented to be honest, It will probably take too much work if both conditions need to be met. :/

I don't see the big deal, honestly. 1 merit is so easy to come by that any decent poster will eventually get it, and they can carry on earning their monies. The only problem I see is when people have a hundred alternate newbie accounts instead of Jr members now, and they've stopped earning, and can't put bread on the table. At least it stops the spam though. Maybe, this will demotivate others from creating a hundred accounts just to earn on bounties.
I agree with you but there are also many members who are really active that lower their rank so suddenly it is unfair to them.
I agree with you. There are many members who are active here for what reason?? Are they active because they want to learn or they are active because they are reporting to their bounty campaigns.

To be honest, 1 merit is not that hard to get. Even a 3rd world country shitposter can get it if he/she wants to get it. The problem is most newbie and jr. member accounts here are made for bounty campaigns and nothing more and this new system made the spam lessen even a bit.

Maybe there are some new accounts here that are researching and getting additional information. If that is the case, rank is useless to them. For me, merit is for those who want to increase their rank so that they can earn more from signature campaign. Am I right?


You are right, because the higher rank you are, the more you are getting paid over time. Which gives a incentive to people to actually talk on the forum. ( most people ) Even before merit was introduced, people probably just kept spamming threads to level up their accounts to get into higher pay-rates on signature campaigns.

If you guys worry because the new users or most of the users are only here for bounty, We'll you maybe right so what is the solution? remove the bounty section as easy as that. So that no more high ranks are crying because jr, members  and newbie ruined the purpose of the forum. Some people made bounty hunting as a living. They are not like you who have stable jobs or belong to rich family.

If you delete the bounty section on the forum, then there wouldn't be that many icos advertising their ICO, but I see your point too.
To be honest, I would like to see the bounties section be deleted as well if any of these things don't work.
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September 19, 2018, 05:02:32 AM
 #13

I understand the intention behind the last change in the ranking system, making 1 Merit point mandatory to achieve Junior Member status and wear signatures. However, in my opinion, this does discriminate new honest users more than it is necessary.

So here's an alternative idea:
- Return to the previous system (Jr. Member status is based only on activity, and Newbies get at least a minimal signature space)
- But both Newbies and Jr. Members are given their signature space only "on probation". That means that if one of their posts is legitimately reported as spam and thus removed, they lose their signature space entirely until they rank up to Member.

This gives Newbies and Junior Members incentives to write meaningful posts without having to renounce some of the features of the forum, and without pressure to get a merit which is sometimes difficult even if the post quality is otherwise good. And the standard to award merits also hasn't to be lowered.

(Unfortunately, the thread about the new changes has already grown too much that I could read it entirely, so it's possible that this was already proposed. However, maybe it's good to discuss it in a new thread.)

There are good points to this suggestion like giving chances to Newbies & Jr. Members for them to give good contribution in this community at the same time give themselves chance to earn thru Signature campaign. The probation rule will serve as an important and serious law to be followed by newbies who wanted to remain beneficial to their privilege. Much better than immediate demotion of ranks because they still have a chance to change the way they interact with this community, in this case, they will insert more effort and try not to waste their privilege.

Quote
2) Smerit- this motivation for newcomers, write better messages. Just today, in one day I saw 5 big articles from beginners who are trying nice whriting.

Great to hear this, so people learned to practice writing a quality article but the problem is the merit system, of course, has disadvantages because it somewhat unfair for others who wrote informative high quality posts but not notice by someone of course some mentality of members here are not generous even if they saw some good article still not rewarding merit the reason some newbies or members thought that posting quality still useless due to no one appreciate the work.

Hopefully, there's a system that automatically checks quality contents and gives rewards to those deserving users to make it fair because it's really hard to rely on other members to reward us merits because most humans have crab mentality who don't want someone to be on top.
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September 19, 2018, 02:37:13 PM
 #14



If you delete the bounty section on the forum, then there wouldn't be that many icos advertising their ICO, but I see your point too.
To be honest, I would like to see the bounties section be deleted as well if any of these things don't work.


Many forum out there not only bitcointalk. They can advertise at icoforums and Altcoinstalks. Sometimes the other upper ranks are OA. Judging a shit post is a subjective. Maybe its a shit posts for you but it is a quality post to other. So Don't Discriminate lower ranks.
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September 19, 2018, 04:20:39 PM
 #15

I understand the intention behind the last change in the ranking system, making 1 Merit point mandatory to achieve Junior Member status and wear signatures. However, in my opinion, this does discriminate new honest users more than it is necessary.

So here's an alternative idea:
- Return to the previous system (Jr. Member status is based only on activity, and Newbies get at least a minimal signature space)
- But both Newbies and Jr. Members are given their signature space only "on probation". That means that if one of their posts is legitimately reported as spam and thus removed, they lose their signature space entirely until they rank up to Member.

This gives Newbies and Junior Members incentives to write meaningful posts without having to renounce some of the features of the forum, and without pressure to get a merit which is sometimes difficult even if the post quality is otherwise good. And the standard to award merits also hasn't to be lowered.

(Unfortunately, the thread about the new changes has already grown too much that I could read it entirely, so it's possible that this was already proposed. However, maybe it's good to discuss it in a new thread.)
I also have two ideas for them to rank and signature, this is my post:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5031029.msg45834918#msg45834918
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September 19, 2018, 04:47:30 PM
Merited by bones261 (1)
 #16

this does discriminate new honest users more than it is necessary.

No, it doesn't.

A user needs 30 activity points, which is 42 days of posting (since activity points are added after every 2 weeks. So 14+14=28 but the requirement is 30 so the user needs to wait for 14 more days to reach it, so 28+14=42) and 1 Merit to rank up to Jr. member. So, if a user, who is so honest that he hasn't even heard about the bounties and stuff and has joined the forum to only learn about cryptocurrencies and their ecosystems and all, and take part in serious discussions without his involvement in anything that happens in Bounties (Altcoins) section, he should probably be able to make at least a few posts that would show his abilities and that he is honest to the forum and its cause. If he does that, he won't face any discrimination and will simply keep growing up without any hurdles. But, if a user who joins the forum, with the only intention to hunt tokens and earn money for doing nothing else than being a crap, he doesn't deserve to rank up and keep doing that.

Besides, it is not a really big deal to not wear a signature for only a month or so if you know that you have the ability to earn a Merit and rank up after that. Honest users would/should understand the reason behind this restriction, and don't feel discriminated.
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September 19, 2018, 08:15:52 PM
Merited by bones261 (1)
 #17

@Alone055: I think it does add a hurdle to participate.

When I join a new forum, social network group or other online community, I often first like to look around, then I begin to ask some questions, and only after some months or so I'll be able to write something on topic which is worthy to receive a Merit. With Bitcointalk rules, I would be a Newbie until then. And many users (even in this thread I see one) use signatures not for advertisements but for some short sentence, their Bitcoin address, their personal website etc.

You could say now: OK, then newbies should get Merits for every single meaningful question or contribution they post. But I have some reservations against that.
- First, I think we would need much more Merit sources if this should become a new "standard", because it's really easy to post "something meaningful".
- Second, after posting one single meaningful post, you can continue to spam. You can even "out-source" the "meaningful post" to get that single merit (e.g. pay a person which is more familiar with Bitcoin to start a thread for you, that should not cost more than 0.001 BTC or a couple of dollars).
- Third, even veteran Bitcointalk users sometimes get tricked by "copy-and-paste-bots" and merit their posts, because no one will want to check every single good-looking post for plagiarism before meriting it. The single-merit-required policy does incentive this kind of spam.

All these problems would be solved by the "Signature on Probation" proposal. Grin

I'm not totally against the Jr. Member merit requirement as I think it can be a temporary measure to combat spam, but I think it erects a new barrier to participate, and Bitcointalk isn't the only Bitcoin community out there - Facebook groups etc. are rapidly gaining "market share". Bitcointalk should market itself as an open community. So for the long term I would prefer a solution like the one I presented in this thread, where honest Newbies could use most of the full forum feature set - unless they abuse it.

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September 19, 2018, 08:58:04 PM
Merited by bones261 (1)
 #18

...
You could say now: OK, then newbies should get Merits for every single meaningful question or contribution they post. But I have some reservations against that.
- First, I think we would need much more Merit sources if this should become a new "standard", because it's really easy to post "something meaningful".
- Second, after posting one single meaningful post, you can continue to spam. You can even "out-source" the "meaningful post" to get that single merit (e.g. pay a person which is more familiar with Bitcoin to start a thread for you, that should not cost more than 0.001 BTC or a couple of dollars).
...
There are now more merit sources than before, so it should help newbies.
Also, theymos wrote to the merit sources (you can check it in a topic about it, I can't find it now), that they should not be too strict with newbies, newbies should only post 'good' or 'average' posts to get a merit and there's no need to post 'excellent' or 'meaningful' posts...
So sooner or later (I hope sooner) we'll see some improvement in the forum...
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September 19, 2018, 09:34:35 PM
Last edit: September 19, 2018, 10:34:46 PM by cryptovigi
 #19

...
both Newbies and Jr. Members are given their signature space only "on probation". That means that if one of their posts is legitimately reported as spam and thus removed, they lose their signature space entirely until they rank up to Member.
...

It could be good solution but not for such a big society. For me it sounds more like tons of work for admins - how many newbies and jr. there are? Tens of thousands maybe hundrets of thousands - so think about amount of complaints for admins:
"Admin Why did I loose my signature?",
"Somebody reported me of spam which I didn't - please admin check it up!",
"Who reported me? Why? Admin help!",
"I want my signature back!!!" etc.
To be fair for all users they should be checked. How many of them could be in one month? Few thousands - rather couple dozens of thousands so how many full time admins we need to work only on it?

That's why i think there's need to have a simple, automated and undoubtful solution! Easy rules same for everyone. It's only way to carry it out.


I don't see the big deal, honestly. 1 merit is so easy to come by that any decent poster will eventually get it, and they can carry on earning their monies. The only problem I see is when people have a hundred alternate newbie accounts instead of Jr members now, and they've stopped earning, and can't put bread on the table. At least it stops the spam though. Maybe, this will demotivate others from creating a hundred accounts just to earn on bounties.

Totally agreed!!!

I also think the main issue of tons of spam are not single bounty accounts but MULTIPLE bounty accounts. I find using multiple account as cheating which is hard to prove but I’m pretty sure that 20%-40% of accounts are fake/multiple.…

Let's look the situation:
Setting an account on BTT is really simple the only thing we need is email. You can set 50 email accounts and then 50 BTT accunts in less than hour. Firstly there are many bounty campagines which aprove Newbies. But let's focus on signatures there is need to be Jr. Member at least. After new regulation - 1 merit Jr Accont situation changed but only a little bit. So how much time is really needed  to get 50 merit if you are averege inteligent person two weeks? Let's say it's not as easy so maybe a month? Probably for some post you could be given more than one merit so you have free sMerits which can be transfered to your other accounts - it's prohibited? Sure but who will check if you give back only one sMerit for averege  post to your other account? So after not more than 42 days (time needed to gain 30 points of activity) you are the owner of multiple Jr member account ;-). Now I only need to multiply my signature/tweeter/facebook bounty and...
Let’s go… Let the spam begins!!!

Suming up this new regulation is good but in few weeks from now situation will come back more or less to the beginning.
That's why I think that beside this merit revolution very good idea would be upgrading a verification policy by adding telephone number verification. Let's say Jr Member upgrade needs to verificate telephone number. Many sites already done it exchanges, steemit etc. It's much less comfortable for cheaters to buy 10 or 50 simcards than set up 50 emails... Of course it’s also not such a big deal to do that, but it would harden cheating and spamming much more than the 1 merit need.



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d5000
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September 19, 2018, 11:19:46 PM
Last edit: September 20, 2018, 12:36:00 AM by d5000
 #20

There are now more merit sources than before, so it should help newbies.
Yep, I know Wink But the new sources get only a few (e.g. 10) sMerits each 30 days. That's totally ok, but it wouldn't help much for a continuous influx of "honest" new users. Bitcointalk is one of the biggest forums of the world (if we take out Facebook and Twitter which are, technically, also "forums").

Quote
Also, theymos wrote to the merit sources (you can check it in a topic about it, I can't find it now), that they should not be too strict with newbies, newbies should only post 'good' or 'average' posts to get a merit and there's no need to post 'excellent' or 'meaningful' posts...
So sooner or later (I hope sooner) we'll see some improvement in the forum...
But that's exactly the point. If we lower the standard for merits, it will be so easy to get that merit that it's basically no hurdle. Those that don't know English can outsource this task or play "trial and error" with a (not too trivial) copy-and-paste bot, and then spam for years if they do it the right way.

I fully support the merit requirement - as a temporary measure - and I hope it really helps reducing spam (and the numbers are not based on simple variations over time). But for the long-term I would like another strategy. What I like about a probation period is that it is at the same time more open (newbies get many features from the beginning) but at the same time the threat of a punishment for spam is longer and the incentive for copy-and-paste bots is lower.

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