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Author Topic: Just remove signatures already. As in delete, disable, gone.  (Read 44419 times)
BitUsher
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June 05, 2015, 03:17:32 PM
 #301

@BitUsher I would be interested to be a part of a new forum (and would likely help with moderation).

Also note that http://ciyam.org/open/ could be used if others were okay with using a completely new forum software platform (which forum members would be able to help develop which perhaps could hold some sort of "nerdtraction").

As I am already paying for the hosting it would require zero cost or effort from others but if an SMF forum is preferable then let's do that.


Your forum looks great. I will signup and participate soon. You definitely will be welcome to become a moderator on the new forum if I set it up.

I think there needs to be a few things to make a new forum viable however.... 1) Using SMF and making it very familiar with minimal differences and upgrades... Like mobile friendly. This helps with usability and easing the transition.

Secondly, there needs to be a baseline of content and posts because this forum has built years of great content before starting to go downhill over the last 2 years.

The plan is to have an alternative site with different incentives and rules which we can figure out together and not compete directly with this one. bitcointalk.org despite its recent problems remains the original, and one I will continue to contribute towards, and even promote as well.

Some ideas I had floating around in my head-
1) Allow bitcointalk.org users to migrate and retain their rank and usernames , but only for legit accounts that aren't trolls/shills
2) Sandbox new users in a section for a longer time period and possible make them pay a small btc fee to discourage spamming
3) Share all control and potential future profits with all contributing members where the users own and control the forum
4) have clear rules that prevent signature campaigns and spamming
5) Only focus on bitcoin, and bitcoin related alts and assets.(I.E.. BTC, namecoin(merged mined), counterparty, colored coins, future sidechains, ect...) This is to prevent the encouragement of the cycle of scam artists that infect this forum and shill accounts constantly attacking bitcoin to pump their own alt. (Some alts are fine but I want to create a bitcoin related forum for people to talk)

Since the traffic will initial be very low I will probably start of with a VPS but if the server started getting busy I would build a custom server and colo it for better security, than build a caching and load balancing  frontend server and other improvements in the future.

Are there any other things that I should consider?
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June 05, 2015, 04:12:46 PM
 #302

[snip]
1) Allow bitcointalk.org users to migrate and retain their rank and usernames , but only for legit accounts that aren't trolls/shills
[snip]
Are there any other things that I should consider?
I think that (1) is going to be problematic, deciding who is/isn't a troll/shill is a huge matter of debate and it's not clear who should make the final decision in a "user-run, user-owned" forum that you describe.  If you don't want to be the new theymos (ie, a benevolent dictator), you'll have to have some unimpeachable empirically verifiable criteria for deciding things like this.  I suspect that this slippery-slope is one of the main reasons that the current forum staff allow what they do allow---they don't see how to get in the middle of this stuff and make decisions based on criteria that are enumerable and easy to evaluate.

There's a similar slippery-slope with signature ads (your point (4)), do you disallow all signature advertizing (then people can't even promote their own personal website or service) or only paid-advertizing (then how do you tell who's getting paid and how much---it's easy to arrange things privately)?

Just my 2 satoshis.  I think your inspiration is good, but I don't see the implementation working (yet).
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June 05, 2015, 11:20:33 PM
 #303

Excellent points, I too as well share many of your concerns and have considered them over. Just like bitcoin creating the right balance and incentives may be difficult and even if the forum works fine it may fail because the "network effect" found here. I think I understand some of Theymos' motivations for allowing the signature campaigns and other behaviors to persists as taking steps to stop them will certainly lower traffic and post count considerably. This is why I don't think an alternative forum will replace this one as the high turnover, drama , and activity found here attracts many people.

I think that (1) is going to be problematic, deciding who is/isn't a troll/shill is a huge matter of debate

I don't want to create another hashtalk-like forum with censorship and arbitrary decisions being made about what posts and users to delete. Preventing many shill accounts can simply be done by :
1) Quarantining them longer in a subsection with other restrictions as well
2) Removing the incentive for shill accounts in the first place by making the forum focused completely on Bitcoin and bitcoin assets thus any account that promotes an alt can be banned
3) Possibly creating a cost in BTC to sign up to lower spam accounts(but existing users here can claim there username for free)

Sorting out old troll accounts that claim their username and rank will take a bit of initial discretion however, but at least there would be a wealth of posts here as data to investigate if needed.

"user-run, user-owned" forum that you describe.  If you don't want to be the new theymos (ie, a benevolent dictator), you'll have to have some unimpeachable empirically verifiable criteria for deciding things like this.

Creating a completely decentralized forum would indeed be difficult and has been dreamed about and discussed over the years. I would essentially like to find some old "hero/legendary" accounts that wish to share some of the responsibility and privileges of controlling the forum(existing moderators here can do both if wanted too) where we use multisig to control the assets of the forum and a fair percentage of BTC to share in any rewards earned from adverts and new signups with all the users fairly. This will have to be balanced correctly as we don't want to turn the forum into one big signature campaign so users would be rewarded but not based upon post count or total accounts.

There's a similar slippery-slope with signature ads (your point (4)), do you disallow all signature advertizing (then people can't even promote their own personal website or service) or only paid-advertizing (then how do you tell who's getting paid and how much---it's easy to arrange things privately)?

There is no way to be prevent custom and private signature campaigns. What can be done is prevent public promotion of such campaigns and have a policy of only allow signatures that referenced the users personal project or if they were working for such company directly. This may get a bit tricky and I haven't decided to remove sigs altogether or simply have a policy of no sigs for simply a set of categories of signatures not allowed. It may be better to leave of signatures altogether though.

I am under no presumption that I will be able to stop all trolls, spammers and shills... The objective is just to make it much more costly for that behavior to exist than here ... I expect 2 consequences , much lower activity on the forum and higher quality posts.
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June 06, 2015, 01:01:36 PM
 #304

The problem is the incentive for unknowledgeable people to post as much useless drivel and inane nonsense as they can to increase their post count (and therefore their income).
One of the issues - as already mentioned - is that sometimes it's not easily classified as useless drivel or inane nonsense.

But based on analysis of a few users who I saw posting repeatedly in threads I follow, it is rather obvious that they post for signature sake.

One example: the entire week before joining a particular signature campaign: 0-7 posts per day, median of 2.  On the day of joining: 67 posts.  The next day: 19 posts.  total post count for 16 days following that registration: 227 posts.  After that? A whole bunch of days with zero of few posts.  This is, sadly, fairly indicative for most people who are very active with signature campaigns.  You can quite literally grab a user's post history, plot a graph of number of posts per day, point to peaks and suggest that this is where they signed up for a campaign, and more often than not you'd be right.

From reading some actual posts, it's also sad to see how well aware they were of having to play by the rules, that signature campaign managers supposedly check all the posts to make sure it's not spammy ... and thus knowing that they can't just post "lol", and have to at least write something that seems like it might make sense in the thread, even if it adds nothing.

Literally, one of those posts reads:
Quote
Going to improve the quality of my posts now that so many people are being banned for spamming
This is sad.  The quality of one's posts shouldn't be for fear of getting banned.

Nor should the reason for posting be in order to participate in a signature campaign.  From a campaign manager:
Quote
You were on pending because your post history is not very good [referring to low number of posts].
Of course it's advertising, so they want you to post as much as possible, yet at the same time they want you to not be spamming for fear of themselves being shut down.  These two goals are already at odds with each other.

Moreover, many of them understand that higher level members - say, legendary - may get higher payout.. so not only are they posting in order to get more payout, they're also working to get into a position to get a higher payout.
At the same time, that 'legendary' status can land them other perks (forum and offers), so they're getting rewarded left right and center for this behavior.

I'm using the signature blocking script, and that at least blocks or lessens the eyesore - unfortunately this doesn't help against the collateral damage.  Ignoring users altogether is another approach, but there are sadly good people making good posts also filling out their signature campaign requirements that would be caught in that net.

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June 06, 2015, 01:06:50 PM
 #305

Having been a forum member before ad-sig campaigns even existed I find it hard to actually believe that "any serious forum members" actually *need to do that* (they managed to post before those even existed without a problem so why do they suddenly "have to be paid" to post now?).

With CIYAM anyone can create 100% generated C++ web applications in literally minutes.

GPG Public Key | 1ciyam3htJit1feGa26p2wQ4aw6KFTejU
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June 09, 2015, 11:40:00 AM
 #306

I'm using the signature blocking script, and that at least blocks or lessens the eyesore - unfortunately this doesn't help against the collateral damage.  Ignoring users altogether is another approach, but there are sadly good people making good posts also filling out their signature campaign requirements that would be caught in that net.

Well, are my posts such a poor quality that I have to sign up for a signature campaign?  Have you, TheRealSteve, ever tipped anybody for a great post?  I don't tip and I have never been tipped on bitcoin talk.  However, I have been tipped on zapchain and I have also tipped another on zapchain.  I feel less generous around Satoshi pinching people. 

FOSS projects are often thankless jobs.  On the other hand, we can post and add to the forum instead of adding to software projects that people never give a dime for.  I just need to post another 7990 times this month and I will have a decent income.


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TheRealSteve
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June 09, 2015, 12:17:07 PM
 #307

Have you, TheRealSteve, ever tipped anybody for a great post?
Several times - both here and on reddit - but I generally don't go out of my way to mention it.  I don't think the source of a tip should really matter when you're just trying to support a person's project or are thankful for the information they provided.  GekkoScience's project, for example, has received several tips (from myself and others), and certainly not all were claimed - and I think that's grand.

I have never been tipped on bitcoin talk.
Neither have I (BTC0.025 today is a partial refund, for the curious) - but then, I don't expect people to do so either.  I post here because I want to post, not because I'm hoping to get some sort of monetary reward for doing so.  I put addresses in some of my more involved posts because I do know that sometimes people will ask "where can I send you some BTC in thanks?" and it's good to have that information there and in the account profile information - but if there's no tips, that's not going to stop me from posting.

Let me go off on a slight tangent with this; 'tipping' on BitcoinTalk isn't really made easy.  There's no tipping bot, there's no on-screen QR code bits and pieces for those with mobile wallets; at best you can put up a linked address and hope the user's browser will handle things from there, or rely on users manually copy/pasting.  If a more convenient 'tipping' mechanism were to be introduced, I think it would be used more often.  But that's for other Meta threads.

I also don't think it would displace signature campaigns.  After all, I would continue to only tip for good/great posts... while a signature campaign pays out effectively no matter what the content is (at the campaign manager's discretion).

FOSS projects are often thankless jobs.  On the other hand, we can post and add to the forum instead of adding to software projects that people never give a dime for.
Which I think is absolutely fine.  I don't mind signature campaigns at all when they're just used by people as a source of a little extra income as essentially a side effect of their existing posting habits.  What I dislike is how signature campaigns actively drive posting habits - and generally not in a good way - and moreover the side effects that is having on threads, others' signatures, and other users' inclination to participate depending on whether or not they have a shot at a signature campaign in the first place.

I just need to post another 7990 times this month and I will have a decent income.
Tongue-in-cheek aside, I don't think anybody is really seeing this as sort of a day job level of income.  But when you have people like philip announcing that they made BTC5 in about a year just for posting, I can certainly see greedy little eyes thinking that they wouldn't mind a slice of that pie.  The main difference being that philip doesn't post for sig campaign sake, while the ones with greedy little eyes.. well, they're one of the reasons this thread exists Smiley

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June 10, 2015, 03:02:44 AM
 #308

The forum is nearing the lowest point content-wise I have seen. Click on just about any thread and it is mindless replies and bumps from people with big signature ads pushing something. There is nothing here, no content, no dialog. It is certainly not the place for cryptographers and programmers and entrepreneurs to exchange information about Bitcoin. If you are lucky, you will find someone completely out of their depth asking a stupid question answered a hundred times, someone that then cannot understand the answer.

There is no reason or need for a signature. Limiting the BBcode to higher-activity members helped the look of the forum, but just creates a market for old accounts to do the spamming.

What is needed is to deincentivize this crap posting by completely removing the signature. End the signature campaigns and the pay for obnoxious scam sites. People are profiting from posting nonsense and making this forum useless, and this is seemingly the only way to make it stop.

Then we have the activity/post count chasers, which you can see from dozens of "why isn't my activity going up" posts. There's another number that can just be removed from posts. Take away that incentive to post junk also.

That would be a very foolish idea.

Signature campaigns are now the easiest and quickest way to earn bitcoin, and that will incentivize the new users to keep using bitcoin.

If you want a dedicated forum for expert talk, then create a new forum, but this is not one for it. This forum is for new members to learn about bitcoin, and existing members to do business with bitcoin.

If you dont like making money with bitcoin, then you should be the one to leave. Otherwise, just create a dedicated forum for cryptographers, programmers and such.

This is not a specialist/dedicated forum for expert, this is for average persons Smiley

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June 10, 2015, 03:15:01 AM
 #309

Signature campaigns are now the easiest and quickest way to earn bitcoin

But also one of the most annoying for people who don't think of everything as a monetization opportunity.

If you want a dedicated forum for expert talk, then create a new forum, but this is not one for it. This forum is for new members to learn about bitcoin, and existing members to do business with bitcoin.

How can people learn about Bitcoin if there a thousands of useless posts made only to fulfill a quota?

If you dont like making money with bitcoin, then you should be the one to leave.

There are better and more ethical ways to make money than spamming.

This is not a specialist/dedicated forum for expert, this is for average persons

Average persons shouldn't have to deal with this spamming shit.

An economy based on endless growth is unsustainable.
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June 10, 2015, 04:47:37 AM
 #310

But also one of the most annoying for people who don't think of everything as a monetization opportunity.
Well we have to make sacrifices for the sake of attracting greedy people Smiley

I`m sure it's not that horrible, we need to find a balance between content & money.

So far we dont have posts like :  "asdsdgewoiesf" , so it's still tolerable.


How can people learn about Bitcoin if there a thousands of useless posts made only to fulfill a quota?
If they want to learn there are thousands of more summed up videos and tutorial websites on the internet.

This forum is mainly for discussions about already learned stuff. Sure everyone can open up a thread if he got a question but there isnt a full training course on this forum, you learn bit by bit.



There are better and more ethical ways to make money than spamming.
Maybe later on there are, but some people are just gifted with quick fingers and good vocabulary, why dont you think that can be monetized too?

As for ethics,well that is subjective, some people do like it, some dont.







Average persons shouldn't have to deal with this spamming shit.

The average people dont care, neither do i, but for some reason there are a few control-freaks here that want to set policy for everyone without asking them first. The OP is an example of it.

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June 10, 2015, 05:10:38 AM
 #311

But also one of the most annoying for people who don't think of everything as a monetization opportunity.

Well we have to make sacrifices for the sake of attracting greedy people

I`m sure it's not that horrible, we need to find a balance between content & money.

So far we dont have posts like :  "asdsdgewoiesf" , so it's still tolerable.

Sacrifices, like lowering the quality of the forum overall? That seems counterproductive to me.


How can people learn about Bitcoin if there a thousands of useless posts made only to fulfill a quota?
If they want to learn there are thousands of more summed up videos and tutorial websites on the internet.

This forum is mainly for discussions about already learned stuff. Sure everyone can open up a thread if he got a question but there isnt a full training course on this forum, you learn bit by bit.

You're contradicting yourself:

This forum is for new members to learn about bitcoin [...]

There are better and more ethical ways to make money than spamming.
Maybe later on there are, but some people are just gifted with quick fingers and good vocabulary, why dont you think that can be monetized too?

As for ethics,well that is subjective, some people do like it, some dont.

Good vocabulary? Have you seriously seen the quality of signature campaign posts?

Average persons shouldn't have to deal with this spamming shit.

The average people dont care, neither do i, but for some reason there are a few control-freaks here that want to set policy for everyone without asking them first. The OP is an example of it.

The average people don't care about issues that affect them every day, but that doesn't mean we should just let them stay in miserable conditions just because they “don't care”.

For example, people don't care about environmental issues. Does that mean the few people that care should continue polluting as it there was no tomorrow?

An economy based on endless growth is unsustainable.
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June 11, 2015, 07:35:52 PM
 #312

Check this out. It has made all the difference, and I actually enjoy this forum and find it useful again.  It has nearly eliminated the garbage.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=973843.0

+1

After adding a few people to my ignore list, and disabling all sigs, the forum is so much better!

Sigs are pointless. Just turn them off in your account settings. In fact, sigs should be off by default. If someone wants to turn them back on, that's fine by me.

Buy & Hold
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July 04, 2015, 01:01:00 PM
 #313

well i hope they don't remove this one because this is the only one i got to earn money online
i have tried many things like captcha typing, humanatic, referral, PTC and PPT

but i haven't earned any dollars but instead i just wasted time

the signature campaign is really a big opportunity and a very good sideline
because the benefit of it is really helpful to people like me who only earn $8 a day by working as government employee in my country

so please don't request the moderators to ban it
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July 04, 2015, 01:56:32 PM
 #314

Hey, I don't mind the money-earning aspect of it.  If somebody feels that the best way for them to get a few Satoshis on the side, more power to them.  While I think it's a bit of a selfish argument - "don't ban signature campaigns because me me me" - the flip side can be argued to be just as selfish - "ban them because *I* don't like seeing them".  That's why I just use that script to get 'm off my screen.

But aside from seeing them directly, the impact should be clear on posting habits:

( If anybody wants to raise a hand about quantity being irrelevant if the quality is there: you're right - go ahead, read the posts, make up your own mind on that, as that's highly subjective. )

And potential other side effects:
What do I mean is, buy a Sr+ Member account and enroll in Signature campaigns.
That way you are sure that your investment will pay back and make you profit.
how much does a sr. account cost and where can i buy it?

I very much wish that this wasn't completely endemic among signature campaigns, that signature campaigns would be used by people as a reward for quality content that they were already posting anyway or even provided incentive to provide better content - i.e. the payment being the means to an end.  Instead the accumulation of the rewards is largely seen as the end, and posting, account buying, etc. is the means to that end.  That, unfortunately, is something a script can't fix.

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July 05, 2015, 04:56:35 PM
 #315

One recent development from the dadice people is a chance to earn a reward for reporting spam/low quality posts from their participants.  They've got a form set up here

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12aDTSEdbxwoVSofxj8RdmwPyr8Mf-h6rO2I_VNURkzc/viewform?c=0&w=1

and if someone is causing a problem in a thread by spamming/posting insignificant stuff/disrupting then they want to know and they suggest that they may pay rewards for the report.  I know I wish that other campaigns had this, the coinomat one seems especially pernicious these days---I see lots of low-quality stuff posted with coinomat sponsorship.

Anyway, I think it's related here because it turns the incentive back the other way, allowing people to make money by reporting and cleaning up excessive/useless posting.  If more advertizing campaigns were doing this kind of thing, I think we wouldn't have this many pages on the "delete signatures already" thread.
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July 06, 2015, 07:26:14 AM
 #316

I personally go out of my way to avoid any company or site that advertises by spamming the forum's as well as ignoring anyone with a paid  signature
If everyone did the same it would be up to the advertiser to police their own spamming campaign
And the forum may be rid of the blight that weighs it down currently....
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July 06, 2015, 01:37:13 PM
 #317

Are you guys blind or what? It's just this easy. If you are disturbed by signatures do this, if not then why complain? Let others be free to earn some money Smiley


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July 06, 2015, 02:24:00 PM
 #318

Are you guys blind or what? It's just this easy. If you are disturbed by signatures do this, if not then why complain? Let others be free to earn some money Smiley
You might be; or at the very least you didn't bother to read this thread.  That checkbox has been pointed out several times, the reasons why people may not want to use that checkbox have also been discussed, and hiding (campaign) signatures alone does nothing with regard to the other side effects also discussed before, as recent as 3 posts above yours.

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July 06, 2015, 02:24:35 PM
 #319

Are you guys blind or what? It's just this easy. If you are disturbed by signatures do this, if not then why complain? Let others be free to earn some money Smiley

No, we aren't blind.  But doing what you suggest would be a HORRIBLE idea.  Right now, the only way I know who is likely to be wasting my time with useless drivel and terrible advice is by looking at their signature.  If they have an ad, then I know to immediately ignore anything they say.  If they don't have an ad, then I know that they aren't being paid for posting nonsense so there's a reasonable chance that they have something worthwhile to say.

If I mark the checkbox that you are suggesting, then how am I going to know who to ignore?

In case you haven't figured it out yet, the problem isn't "seeing the ads".  The problem is that sig ad campaigns create a financial incentive to create multiple accounts and spam the forum with as much useless nonsense as possible in order in increase the revenue of the participant.  This makes it very difficult to find any intelligent conversation in the forum since the noise of the spam drowns out the signal of the intelligent conversation.

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July 06, 2015, 06:21:21 PM
 #320

Right now, the only way I know who is likely to be wasting my time with useless drivel and terrible advice is by looking at their signature.  If they have an ad, then I know to immediately ignore anything they say.  If they don't have an ad, then I know that they aren't being paid for posting nonsense so there's a reasonable chance that they have something worthwhile to say.

In that case, thank you for dismissing everything I've ever said as nonsense without taking the time to read it and decide on merit.   Roll Eyes

Perhaps if you think in such absolute terms, it's your opinion that's not worth paying any attention to?  That would be a shame since I normally find your posts quite reasonable.  Good thing I'm not as quick to jump to snap judgements.   Wink

Just because some people spam the boards to get paid, doesn't mean we all do.  I'd be making all the posts I've made, regardless of whether they were paid or not.  If I have nothing worthwhile to contribute, I'll keep it shut.  If you're incapable of seeing that not everything is black and white, while posting about what should be dismissed without consideration based on nothing more than a signature, I'd say that's going to damage your credibility more in the long run than any advertisement would. 

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