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Author Topic: Reducing (removing) airdropped merits for those who didn't earn 1 single merit  (Read 865 times)
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December 17, 2019, 01:13:02 PM
Last edit: December 18, 2019, 10:16:19 AM by GazetaBitcoin
Merited by suchmoon (7), 1miau (2), fillippone (2), hugeblack (1), o_e_l_e_o (1), Heisenberg_Hunter (1), DdmrDdmr (1), DireWolfM14 (1)
 #1

Hello,

I thought a lot before writing this topic and how to choose my words in order to not offend anyone.

As you already know, almost 2 years ago, the new merit system was implemented.
Prior to that point, the rank-up was realized through the activities, and prior the activity system the rank-up was performed through regular posts. Due to the systems used in the past, many were just "farming" accounts, posting hundreds of useless replies / topics etc, but they managed to rank up. Even to Legendary.

The activity system reduced the farming until some point, but it wasn't as performant as the merit system.

However, after January 25th, 2018, the new merit system was applied and the rank-up is now done through quality instead of quantity / spamming / redundant posts etc.

Once the system was applied, each rank received an airdrop of merits, according to how many merit points they should have in the respective rank (Hero received 500, Senior received 250 etc.). Since then, the reputable members kept increasing their merits through their quality posts, fact which represent they deserved indeed the respective airdrop.

However, those who used to rank-up through farming the accounts earned just a few merits, or didn't earn even a single merit in almost 2 years.

I was curious to see how many users are there who received a merit airdrop but who earned 0 merits since January 25th, 2018 and I started a topic. Unfortunately, I didn't find everything I wanted. However, thank to DdmrDdmr, who performed (I think) a huge effort, I found out that about 800 Legendaries and 3500 2500 [edited after Ddmr notified me about the typo] Heroes didn't earn even 1 merit after the airdrop. He said this information is a bit inexact, but we don't need the exact numbers here. Just the amounts. And the amounts are huge. I didn't dare to ask him to check also how many Seniors, Full Members or Members are out there without 1 merit earned, but I imagine there are thousands or hundreds of thousands. Indeed, some members were and still are inactive, thus they couldn't earn merits through their posts. However, they could have received some merits for their past posts, if they had quality ones. But even without taking this aspect into consideration, even without counting the inactive members, there are still thousands who are still active and who didn't earn any merit.

Having this information, I thought about asking theymos about his opinion for this situation. To be more precise, if he has something in his mind regarding all the users who received airdropped merits but didn't earn even 1 merit since then. I also expressed him my ideas about the situation, as it follows:
- it doesn't seem right for so many ranks to just "wear" the airdropped merits, without earning any single merit by their efforts, while others work so hard for earning them
- furthermore, the number of merits is one of the first things seen by a new member, who doesn't know about the airdrop, nor about what to look at when he creates his first impression about someone (trust, references, flags etc). Seeing a big number of merits gives the idea of a reputable person. However, those who received the airdrop and didn't earn any single merit since then might trick newbies with different schemes, as the newbies would tend to trust a person with so many merits.
- as a proof of the difficulty in ranking-up, since January 25th, 2018, the maximum rank that could be obtained by a member with 0 merits is Hero (due to the possible activity points that existed since then and until today). So far (also with Ddmr's help), only 31 members reached the Hero rank. And only 44 became Seniors.
- it looks weird for a Member or for a Full Member to not earn even a single merit, but it looks very bad to see a Senior, a Hero or a Legendary without earning 1 merit. If at lower ranks is not expected to have so many quality posts, at higher ranks the expectations are higher. Nobody is forced, per se, to write quality content, nor to earn merits, but it raises heavy questions to see a Legendary who didn't earn 1 merit by his skills.

In the light of the above mentioned aspects, I asked theymos if he has something in mind about this situation and I also suggested him my ideas:
- change the badges color of the members who didn't earn 1 merit by their efforts
- highlight at the profile the airdropped merits and the merits earned through effort
- remove a percentage of the airdropped merits if the respective member doesn't earn 1 merit in a certain period of time; increase the percentage in the next period
- decay entirely the airdropped merits for those who didn't earn even 1 merit (with some exceptions though; for example, satoshi, donators, VIPs could be such exceptions).

Theymos replied telling me that he is aware of the situation and he is thinking at some possible solutions, but he doesn't consider this as a priority for the moment, due to his own perception and also due to some uncertainties he expressed in the PM. However, he also said he is prioritizing things also by taking into consideration if many people express their complaints, thus he encouraged me to post this topic. In case many people would share the ideas written here, maybe we can assist to a change in the future.

- Issue of note: I understand perfectly the fact that there are members who wrote quality topics prior the merit system, who became inactive and who didn't receive any merit for their past posts (this is pure bad luck, as past posts tend to get merits though - for example, look at Satoshi's posts). None of the above refer to such reputable members. The problem is just about those who take advantage of what they received and who don't offer anything back to the forum (and all they could offer back is just quality writing).

That being said, what do you all think?

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December 17, 2019, 02:05:49 PM
Last edit: December 17, 2019, 03:04:24 PM by o_e_l_e_o
Merited by fillippone (1)
 #2

This has been discussed periodically in the past, and I generally agree with your views.

At the very least, I would like to easily be able to differentiate between airdropped and earned merits. Changing the text under everyone's avatar to something like "Merit: xxx/yyy" or "Merit: yyy (xxx)" where yyy is total merit and xxx is earned merit would be a good first step.

In terms of decaying merit, I think the idea has some merit (heh), but I'm also not sure I'm comfortable with stripping older members of their ranks. It seems a bit too much like ex post facto to me, punishing them for not earning enough merit in the past when merit didn't even exist. I think some sort of compromise would be best - decay airdropped merit over time, allow users to keep their ranks, but also introduce some new requirement to keep their signature privileges, such as earning at least 10% of the merit usually required to reach that rank.

- remove a percentage of the airdropped merits if the respective member doesn't earn 1 merit in a certain period of time; increase the percentage in the next period
- decay entirely the airdropped merits for those who didn't earn even 1 merit (with some exceptions though; for example, satoshi, donators, VIPs could be such exceptions).
If we are going to decay airdropped merit, it should decay for everyone in a uniform fashion. Decaying at different rates for different people will just add more confusion to the system, not less.



To everyone: Please don't engage TOAA and derail yet another thread. Everyone in the world is acutely aware of his opinions on the merit system at this point. It does not need discussed further.

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December 17, 2019, 02:37:25 PM
 #3

Hi o_e_l_e_o, about what you quoted from OP, I didn't mean to apply both things (to remove a percentage of merits [to some] and to remove completely [to others]; it is an "or" between the two options). That's why it wouldn't be  a non-uniform decay, but an uniform one. At least that was what I thought (maybe I didn't explain clear my ideas).

Off topic, about TOAA, as a matter of fact and only by chance, I read many things about him here, while I was reading various threads. However, he never appeared in my topics before. But I understood clearly what he is doing. After all, although it seems hard, he managed to have a -18 trust in just 8 months of being here, which is impressive, in a way. Even if I wouldn't have seen his previous posts here, I wouldn't challenge someone with such a reputation. It's obvious he got it all wrong or he tries to derail the thread, that's why I didn't write anything after his reply. However, thank you very much for warning me Smiley I was fortunate though to read myself about him and thus to be able to have a clear idea (determined only by my thoughts and not being influenced by someone else) about him.

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December 17, 2019, 03:08:17 PM
 #4

I appreciate you didn't mean both those suggestions at once, but I was talking about all forum users, not just those who hadn't earned merit. I don't think we should be decaying airdropped merit (either completely or as a percentage) for users who haven't earned a single merit, while leaving the airdropped merit intact for those who had earned some merit. It would just lead to even more confusion.

If we are going to decay airdropped merit, I would propose we should decay it uniformly for everyone, regardless of how much (if any) earned merit they have.

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December 17, 2019, 03:20:17 PM
 #5

Oh I understand you now. It seems that you understood my point, but it was I who didn't understand you Smiley

Well, this is an interesting idea as well, and, after all, this is the purpose of this topic:

- to see if others agree / disagree with the merits "worn" inside the forum by those who received the airdrop but didn't offer any quality afterwards (as they didn't receive any single merit), or even before the airdrop;
- to share ideas of how to proceed;
- in case many people here agree with the OP, to see about how many (and viceversa, of course).

And thus, theymos would have a more clear idea about members' thoughts and he may (or may not) take an action about this delicate subject.

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December 17, 2019, 03:25:58 PM
Merited by DireWolfM14 (1)
 #6

- it doesn't seem right for so many ranks to just "wear" the airdropped merits, without earning any single merit by their efforts, while others work so hard for earning them
OK, so this is what this all boils down to I guess.  And as Leo said, this has been discussed before and I'm not sure Theymos wants to do anything about it.  It isn't uncommon in other things in life for people to get grandfathered into certain positions, and whether they did or didn't, it would seem unfair to either side depending on the case. 

I don't happen to think members who haven't earned even one merit should be stripped of their rank.  That would be a kick in the pants to a lot of inactive members who were otherwise very constructive members of the forum and who probably would have earned at least one merit since the system started.  Just because there are hundreds of such members, it doesn't mean they're all shitposters IMO.  Some of them certainly might be, but I just don't think those airdropped merits need to be taken away from everyone if they haven't earned any more merits.  Obviously if Theymos thought everyone should start over again, he wouldn't have airdropped any merits.

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December 17, 2019, 03:42:17 PM
 #7

I don't happen to think members who haven't earned even one merit should be stripped of their rank.  That would be a kick in the pants to a lot of inactive members who were otherwise very constructive members of the forum and who probably would have earned at least one merit since the system started.  Just because there are hundreds of such members, it doesn't mean they're all shitposters IMO.

You are perfectly right about these members, this is why I wrote at the end an issue of note:
- Issue of note: I understand perfectly the fact that there are members who wrote quality topics prior the merit system, who became inactive and who didn't receive any merit for their past posts (this is pure bad luck, as past posts tend to get merits though - for example, look at Satoshi's posts). None of the above refer to such reputable members. The problem is just about those who take advantage of what they received and who don't offer anything back to the forum (and all they could offer back is just quality writing).

I agree that separating the "farmers" from those who brought quality in the past but became inactive would mean an almost impossible work, unfortunately, as there are thousands.

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December 17, 2019, 03:48:18 PM
Merited by DireWolfM14 (1)
 #8

This is a pretty sensitive topic, and normally once one achieves something (i.e. rank), taking it away is like a whack in the noble parts, followed by a stampede over the ego area just above.

Removing airdropped merits and/or decaying them for all profiles would likely do more bad than good. Many profiles would be de-ranked in any scenario, even more so in the second one (decaying merits), extending over to native Merit System born accounts too (i.e. Jr. Members with 1 Merit or Members with 10 earned Merits could be re-ranked.)

Ranks will have many different stories behind how they were obtained. Some are long time forum and Bitcoin contributors, others are posters that had an easy path merely by posting little more than "good project", and newer ranks have likely has to put quite a sum of effort into their posts, and so on.

A rank really has relative value, and what is more appreciated is the person behind that account. Eventually, we all build a persona, which is above the rank for those who know one, although rank is the facial value one sees on a profile as a newcomer.

Personally, I would go with a simple double entry for the merits, displaying total and earned.

Note: The amount of Heroes that have not earned a single is around 2,5K (the OP states 3,5K). See numbers in PMs to verify this assertion.

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December 17, 2019, 03:54:47 PM
 #9

@OP, good discussion, but I'm going to agree with The Pharmasist and partially with the Troll Formerly Known as Cryptohunter.  Merit is a funny animal, in many cases I believe they are distributed among folks that are friendly with one another.  That's not to say that those posts don't deserve merit, but it can be subject to biases that develop in any community.  On the other hand I believe most merit sources are clever enough to avoid these biases, and I've witnessed one of the more prolific sources give merit to posts of people with whom she often disagrees.  I've even seen her giving merit to a post and then go on to dismantle the post with her argument.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though I agree the system is working, I don't think it's perfect.  I started here after implementation of the merit system and during that time I've seen the quality of posts going up, while the quantity of shitposts go down.  So it's been a net positive for the forum.

To retroactively punish those benefited from the system before the change would be wrong, in my opinion.  They may not have earned a single merit, but that could be due to a lack of activity since the change.  Or it could be due to the type of activity; they might be mostly active in the altcoin sections, or gambling sections, where merit distribution is notoriously low.  I'm not concerned about all the airdropped merit, and it sounds like Theymos doesn't think of it as a priority either.  He may choose to revise the structure when migrating the Epoch Talk forum, but for now, I don't think it's something that needs any modification.

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December 17, 2019, 04:08:03 PM
 #10


Note: The amount of Heroes that have not earned a single is around 2,5K (the OP states 3,5K). See numbers in PMs to verify this assertion.


You are right Ddmr, sorry for the typo. But it's not about precise numbers, it is about speaking of thousands. Those numbers reflected only two ranks, just to have a little idea. But I am sure the numbers of all the other lower ranks are way, way bigger. And the numbers go bigger as the rank goes lower (eg. 800 Legendaries, 2500 Heroes, [maybe] 5000 Seniors and so on).

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December 17, 2019, 04:45:30 PM
Merited by fillippone (2)
 #11

It's unnecessary and would create more than problem than it resolves.

If the main goal is to stop signature campaign spammer, then i have another idea such as :
1. Signature limitation based on your merit amount, not your rank
2. Signature only enabled for those who earned x amount of merit within y last month

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December 17, 2019, 05:06:45 PM
 #12


To retroactively punish those benefited from the system before the change would be wrong, in my opinion.

Hello DireWolfM14, I respect your opinion and thank you for sharing it.
But it's not about "punishing" someone. It's just about debating if any action would he necessary. Action doesn't necessarily mean punishment. Let's take, for example, Ddmr's sugestion.

If you're talking about Ddmr's suggestion of a double entry, I don't like that idea either.  Obviously it's not up to me, but I don't like the idea of any indicator denoting earned vs. airdropped merit.  A badge would be the worst, as it would start to look like a yellow Star of David armband, in my opinion.  It's not hard to look through someone's history, or look up their profile on LoyceV's or Vod's websites.  If you care to know who's earned what and who hasn't, take a moment, made a small effort to find out.

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December 17, 2019, 05:43:19 PM
 #13

This would be a terrific idea to remove all the airdropped merit from people who didn't earn any merit yet. When Satoshi Nakamoto will look at his account, how will he feel- hellllll, I am a newbie Cheesy Just kidding. But there are numerous number of people as you mentioned who aren't active anymore, it would hurt a lot to them; they will create chaos around. I would prefer sticky with as it is now.

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December 17, 2019, 06:09:13 PM
 #14

There is no doubt the merit system is more in favor of old members. Now they are benefiting because they knew the forum earlier.  I expect this to be finally changed (I don't think it happens in near future). I don't think 5 years later, some users have a special privilege only because they registered earlier. Theymos will decide. All airdropped merits may be removed in a second, they might be decayed over a year or there will be a complicated formula.

Anyway, now thanks to signature campaign managers, there isn't a big problem. A legendary member who hasn't earn any merit is not qualified for participating in a good signature campaign while there are users with member and full member ranks that are participating in good campaigns.  There are many legendary members that are wasting their time in altcoin bounties without any income. Now having an account with a higher rank doesn't increase your chance of participating in campaigns.

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December 17, 2019, 07:26:03 PM
Merited by EFS (1)
 #15

The problem with the merit system is that it is subjective. It is given freely by those who have sMerits to give, for whatever reason, or for no reason at all. It is "human controlled". There is no objective method of giving out merits, the closest would be some sort of AI that parses posts to check for quality and grammar according to certain rules. That will eventually be exploited and abused as well.

The forum changes or adds a new system, but you can't just retroactively remove some things as that's going to break a lot of stuff or have unknown consequences, which I'm sure the forum admins do not want to deal with.

A forum is a forum, but with plenty of metrics involved, it becomes a race to "level" up just like any other massively multiplayer online .. forum. Smiley

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December 17, 2019, 07:31:18 PM
 #16

Signature limitation based on your merit amount, not your rank
It would be possible to combine this idea with merit decay. Remove all the airdropped merit, let everyone who was grandfathered in to a rank keep their rank, but remove signature privileges from ranks and instead link it to earned merit.

When Satoshi Nakamoto will look at his account, how will he feel- hellllll, I am a newbie
Satoshi is the 8th highest merit earner on the forum, with 2145 earned merit.

There are many legendary members that are wasting their time in altcoin bounties without any income.
The issue is not their income; I couldn't care less if these altcoins all turn out to be worthless (and most do). The issue is the spam they create in pursuit of said income.


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December 17, 2019, 07:39:00 PM
 #17

Can you imagine the amount of merit selling will happen once theymos will drop a bomb for something like this? Once the news will come flying that there is another change in the merit system for the ones who haven't earned a single merit I can only imagine the same thing that has happened when theymos required 1 merit for newbies to rank up, suddenly a lot of newbies are insanely getting a lot of merits. Of course the only ones who will be affected here are the ones who aren't buying merits or who don't have any alt accounts to send them back merits either way it will really just affect a few persons here.

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hosseinimr93
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December 17, 2019, 07:52:42 PM
 #18

There are many legendary members that are wasting their time in altcoin bounties without any income.
The issue is not their income; I couldn't care less if these altcoins all turn out to be worthless (and most do). The issue is the spam they create in pursuit of said income.
Yes, But the lower their income is, the less they spam.
If there is no income and there is no benefit in spamming, they will leave the forum. They are here only to join campaigns, spam and earn money.

Can you imagine the amount of merit selling will happen once theymos will drop a bomb for something like this?
If Theymos decides to make changes, I don't think he announces anything before that.

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December 17, 2019, 08:26:49 PM
 #19

Can you imagine the amount of merit selling will happen once theymos will drop a bomb for something like this? Once the news will come flying that there is another change in the merit system for the ones who haven't earned a single merit
Of course, he wouldn't have to announce the move before making changes  Grin
That announcement would definitely cause a lot of panic and merit selling among account farmers prior to the changes

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December 17, 2019, 08:34:48 PM
 #20

I have mixed thoughts about it. Probably most of us agree that users who didn't got even single merit in almost 2 years don't deserve their rank. But before Merit system has been released, they ranked up in legitimate way and it would be little unfair to de-rank them. Offcourse, newer members will say that's unfair thst they have to work hard to reach high rank, while someone reached it just by spamming. But these older users have advantage because they came here earlier. It's similar like to complain that early Bitcoin adopter bought it at $0.3, while you had to buy it at $6600.




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