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theymos
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December 13, 2014, 03:58:33 AM
Last edit: April 04, 2015, 08:09:22 PM by theymos
 #1

I often see people mix up these terms, which is confusing.

This forum has something called the Trust system. It consists of two somewhat-separate components: trust ratings and trust lists. You can give people trust ratings, which are little comments about their trustworthiness. How these ratings are displayed is affected by each reader's trust list, so each reader sees different trust ratings. Trust ratings do not affect trust lists.

Your trust list is the list here. It is the list of users who you directly trust. Your trust network is everyone whose rating you see as trusted. Your trust network consists of people on your trust list plus people they trust, plus people they trust, etc., going down to a depth determined by your configured trust depth. (A depth of 0 is just the people on your trust list.)

DefaultTrust is the name of a forum account that you trust when your trust list is empty. The default trust list is this user's trust list. The default trust network is the set of users whose ratings show up as trusted when you trust only DefaultTrust and your trust depth is set to the default 2.

If you took every forum user and drew them as a circle on a huge sheet of paper, and then drew lines from each circle for every person on that user's trust list, with the lines going to the circles corresponding to the trusted users, then the resulting graph would be the global trust graph.

A chain of trust is a path within the global trust graph to you from some user which causes the user to be included in your trust network. For example, if user test123 trusts DefaultTrust directly, then there is a chain of trust from BCB to test123 like this: BCB <- BadBear <- DefaultTrust <- test123. There can be many chains of trust connecting two users.  In this case, it can be said that BCB is in test123's trust network via BadBear and DefaultTrust. You can figure out how a user got into your trust network by looking at the hierarchical trust view.

If someone is in your trust network who you want removed, there are three things you can do:
- Remove all users from your trust list who exist in chains of trust from that user to you. If you wanted to remove BCB in the example above, you could remove DefaultTrust.
- Complain to the people closest to the user in chains of trust from that user to you. If they refuse to remove the user, go up the chain. In the BCB example, you could complain to BadBear, and if he refuses, complain to DefaultTrust. (Though for issues with DefaultTrust, you should actually post to Meta.)
- Explicitly untrust the user by adding them to your trust list with their username prefixed with a ~. In the BCB example, add ~BCB to your trust list.

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December 13, 2014, 04:27:16 AM
 #2

Thank you for the clarification. The correct usage of these terms may have been rather confusing for some in the past.

This thread should help people avoid mixing up the terms.
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December 13, 2014, 05:02:52 AM
 #3

If someone is in your trust network who you want removed, there are three things you can do:
- Remove all users from your trust list who exist in chains of trust from that user to you. If you wanted to remove BCB in the example above, you could remove DefaultTrust.
- Complain to the people closest to the user in chains of trust from that user to you. If they refuse to remove the user, go up the chain. In the BCB example, you could complain to BadBear, and if he refuses, complain to DefaultTrust. (Though for issues with DefaultTrust, you should actually post to Meta.)
- Explicitly untrust the user by adding them to your trust list with their username prefixed with a ~. In the BCB example, add ~BCB to your trust list.
While these two methods would technically work, they will generally not solve the root issue causing a person to want someone to be removed from their trust network - because a person is giving incorrect/misleading trust feedback (in their eyes).

Unless you are trusted directly by default trust removing someone from your trust network (directly or indirectly) is not going to solve the issue that, by default, others will see the person's trust feedback given.

I very much agree that the trust network concept is very complex (as well as it's terminology). I would speculate that many user's understanding of "trust" stops at what color someone's trust score is (especially those who are new and/or have traded a small number of times)

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December 13, 2014, 05:08:17 AM
Last edit: December 13, 2014, 05:33:43 AM by theymos
 #4

I've been thinking about adding a feature where once you give someone a positive rating, you'll be asked if you want to add that person to your trust list, and doing so would also remove DefaultTrust from your trust list if you haven't edited it previously. I'm worried that this will just make everyone appear to have negative trust for most users, though. I'm not sure that the Trust system is powerful/correct enough to handle the errors that most people will make in choosing who to put on their trust lists. Ideally, the ratings you see should be correct as long as most of the users in your trust list are not totally evil/incompetent and at least a few really know what they're doing. Certainly this wouldn't have happened before, but maybe it would now due to the untrust feature. On the other hand, I think that there are only a few people on the forum who actually know how the Trust system works, and I'm not sure how likely they are to be widely trusted under this "auto-trust" system.

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December 13, 2014, 05:29:27 AM
 #5

I've been thinking about adding a feature where once you give someone a positive rating, you'll be asked if you want to add that person to your trust list, and doing so would also remove DefaultTrust from your trust list if you haven't edited it previously. I'm worried that this will just make everyone appear to have negative trust for most users, though. I'm not sure that the Trust system is powerful/correct enough to handle the errors that most people will make. (Certainly it wouldn't have been able to handle it before, but maybe it'd be OK now with the untrust feature.)
I don't think it would be an appropriate action the majority of the time to add someone to your trust list after a trade. Trust feedback is something that you give because the person is trustworthy (or is not trustworthy in cases of negative trust). Having someone on your trust list on the other hand should be a reflection on their judgment on trusting (as in actual trust, not anything to do with the trust system) others.

This is especially true when you risk nothing as part of a trade. Why would you trust their judgment when you risk nothing? 

I think such a system could also be easily manipulated (more so then the current system) as someone could seek to specifically trade with people who are part of a lot of other users' trust networks with the hope of their feedback would later have a larger impact on what other people can see. It would also make it difficult to be able to tell who is a scammer because most scams result in only one or two people on default trust giving negative trust to a scammer, and this is sufficient under the current system because it gets an account tagged with a "trust with extreme caution" warning, while the above would cause the need for many more people to need to give such feedback - including those that are more hesitant to give negative feedback out of fear that doing so may view it as 'flamming' and could turn off potential trading partners.

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December 13, 2014, 05:38:55 AM
Last edit: December 13, 2014, 05:49:10 AM by theymos
 #6

I don't think it would be an appropriate action the majority of the time to add someone to your trust list after a trade.

Right. After rating someone, I'm thinking that you'd get a prompt something like:

Quote
Rating entered. Optionally, if you also trust this person generally, you think they are a good judge of character, and you are prepared to blindly trust people who they trust, then you can also mark them as Trusted in your trust list. This will affect the trust ratings and scores you see across the entire forum, positively if you choose wisely, negatively otherwise. Yes, add this person to my trust list.

I'd hope that most users would read/understand this to an acceptable degree and therefore be able to create a halfway-decent trust list, though maybe not. Another possibility is that most people would only add people to their trust lists who themselves have hardly anyone on their trust lists, which would create a bad trust network for everyone.

I can't really predict what would happen. I do find the current situation somewhat undesirable, though: I didn't create this really fancy Trust system so that everyone would just use DefaultTrust.

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December 13, 2014, 06:13:10 AM
 #7

This might work well for more experienced traders who are consistently active here. They can probably keep a somewhat up to date trust list.

The problem lies in the newer people, especially the ones who have only made a few trades and are not very active. They could spend some time on here, notice that some people are very trustworthy and should generally be trusted. They encounter people like Vod who probably have 1,000 negative trust ratings from untrusted people, so they understand that untrusted reports may not be accurate.  They then make a few trades with people who are trustworthy, and have a small trust network.

They now see that most people have neutral trust, have gotten used to that but still recognize some people who were previously trustworthy (and often times still are). When someone goes from being trustworthy to a scammer they will not be notified.

A prime example of this is TF aka $username - it is my understanding that he used to be one of the most trusted members on this forum, now however he is not. He does not seem to be someone who is interested in scamming small amounts on individual trades so this may not be a good example.

A better example would be zolace who (I believe) had "green" trust (when someone used the default settings for their trust network). It eventually came out that he scammed someone and it is probably safe to assume he would scam someone again if he had the chance. You may think that he is still trustworthy and he could potentially repeatedly scam others who have a small trust network.

A somewhat of an example of the opposite is Candystripes who was somewhat active of a trader (with likely some fake feedback). It was not until maybe a few months before he was 'proven' to be a scammer that he should not be trusted (and his ratings should be excluded). Someone who traded with him previously could potentially be relying on trust feedback given by a scammer (extortionist in this case). Additionally BadBear later gave negative trust to his (probable) alts which would likely have no effect on his alt's ability to trade with others.

I would propose some kind of system that has a bigger default trust list, people on default trust to have bigger trust lists (with one exception), which would result in a much bigger default trust network. Once  the default trust network is sufficiently large, the way trust ratings are calculated can be changed so that each trust report is given less weight to avoid issues when someone on the default trust network gives "unfair" negative trust, and to make it more difficult to manipulate one's trust rating to make themselves appear more trustworthy then they are

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December 13, 2014, 03:59:17 PM
 #8

I've been thinking about adding a feature where once you give someone a positive rating, you'll be asked if you want to add that person to your trust list, and doing so would also remove DefaultTrust from your trust list if you haven't edited it previously. I'm worried that this will just make everyone appear to have negative trust for most users, though. I'm not sure that the Trust system is powerful/correct enough to handle the errors that most people will make in choosing who to put on their trust lists. Ideally, the ratings you see should be correct as long as most of the users in your trust list are not totally evil/incompetent and at least a few really know what they're doing. Certainly this wouldn't have happened before, but maybe it would now due to the untrust feature. On the other hand, I think that there are only a few people on the forum who actually know how the Trust system works, and I'm not sure how likely they are to be widely trusted under this "auto-trust" system.

Alternatively, you could implement a two-tier system as seen on some other forums - one exclusively for trade, and the other for reputation (examples: 1, 2, 3)
The reputation system will be based on individual post ratings by fellow forum members (examples: 1, 2). This would also 'reward' quality posters through the accumulation of votes/ratings, and create a deterrent against low quality, misleading or trollish posts.

This implementation would eliminate existing ambiguities between trading and suspicious behavior and discard with the need for a default list. If necessary, you could also assign bonus voting/rating powers to admins and global mods when they deal with escalated cases.


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December 13, 2014, 05:49:23 PM
 #9

I've been thinking about adding a feature where once you give someone a positive rating, you'll be asked if you want to add that person to your trust list, and doing so would also remove DefaultTrust from your trust list if you haven't edited it previously. I'm worried that this will just make everyone appear to have negative trust for most users, though. I'm not sure that the Trust system is powerful/correct enough to handle the errors that most people will make in choosing who to put on their trust lists. Ideally, the ratings you see should be correct as long as most of the users in your trust list are not totally evil/incompetent and at least a few really know what they're doing. Certainly this wouldn't have happened before, but maybe it would now due to the untrust feature. On the other hand, I think that there are only a few people on the forum who actually know how the Trust system works, and I'm not sure how likely they are to be widely trusted under this "auto-trust" system.

it's a very good idea to expand the numbers/membership of default trust, the larger it is, the more robust it will be.  a larger group will be more effective at taking action on scams... a small default trust group can not keep an eye on everything that goes on on the forum as it relates to rooting out scams.
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December 13, 2014, 05:52:05 PM
 #10

I've been thinking about adding a feature where once you give someone a positive rating, you'll be asked if you want to add that person to your trust list, and doing so would also remove DefaultTrust from your trust list if you haven't edited it previously. I'm worried that this will just make everyone appear to have negative trust for most users, though. I'm not sure that the Trust system is powerful/correct enough to handle the errors that most people will make in choosing who to put on their trust lists. Ideally, the ratings you see should be correct as long as most of the users in your trust list are not totally evil/incompetent and at least a few really know what they're doing. Certainly this wouldn't have happened before, but maybe it would now due to the untrust feature. On the other hand, I think that there are only a few people on the forum who actually know how the Trust system works, and I'm not sure how likely they are to be widely trusted under this "auto-trust" system.

it's a very good idea to expand the numbers/membership of default trust, the larger it is, the more robust it will be.  a larger group will be more effective at taking action on scams... a small default trust group can not keep an eye on everything that goes on on the forum as it relates to rooting out scams.

Not if they have little to no credibility or little to no traceable trading on these forums.

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December 13, 2014, 06:16:46 PM
 #11

I've been thinking about adding a feature where once you give someone a positive rating, you'll be asked if you want to add that person to your trust list, and doing so would also remove DefaultTrust from your trust list if you haven't edited it previously. I'm worried that this will just make everyone appear to have negative trust for most users, though. I'm not sure that the Trust system is powerful/correct enough to handle the errors that most people will make in choosing who to put on their trust lists. Ideally, the ratings you see should be correct as long as most of the users in your trust list are not totally evil/incompetent and at least a few really know what they're doing. Certainly this wouldn't have happened before, but maybe it would now due to the untrust feature. On the other hand, I think that there are only a few people on the forum who actually know how the Trust system works, and I'm not sure how likely they are to be widely trusted under this "auto-trust" system.

it's a very good idea to expand the numbers/membership of default trust, the larger it is, the more robust it will be.  a larger group will be more effective at taking action on scams... a small default trust group can not keep an eye on everything that goes on on the forum as it relates to rooting out scams.

Not if they have little to no credibility or little to no traceable trading on these forums.
no.  by that logic, if the Pope joined the forum you'd say that he has no credibility.

it's more effective to give people the chance to be a good responsible member of the forum by expanding the trust list than not.
it's easier to deal with a few who can end up abusing their responsibility then to let scammers flourish because the oversight is non existent.
trading is not exclusively needed for credibility.  criminals trade too.  many members of the forum are personally known to one another .  I don't need to "trade" with someone to trust them if I know them or if I see their actions on forums over time.

if someone is abusing their responsibility, let me know.  until then, live and let live.
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December 13, 2014, 06:17:02 PM
 #12

I've been thinking about adding a feature where once you give someone a positive rating, you'll be asked if you want to add that person to your trust list, and doing so would also remove DefaultTrust from your trust list if you haven't edited it previously. I'm worried that this will just make everyone appear to have negative trust for most users, though. I'm not sure that the Trust system is powerful/correct enough to handle the errors that most people will make in choosing who to put on their trust lists. Ideally, the ratings you see should be correct as long as most of the users in your trust list are not totally evil/incompetent and at least a few really know what they're doing. Certainly this wouldn't have happened before, but maybe it would now due to the untrust feature. On the other hand, I think that there are only a few people on the forum who actually know how the Trust system works, and I'm not sure how likely they are to be widely trusted under this "auto-trust" system.

it's a very good idea to expand the numbers/membership of default trust, the larger it is, the more robust it will be.  a larger group will be more effective at taking action on scams... a small default trust group can not keep an eye on everything that goes on on the forum as it relates to rooting out scams.

Not if they have little to no credibility or little to no traceable trading on these forums.

IMHO : It is not really necessary to have trades on this forum, they may be trusted in any other places. So person in DefaultTrust list believe that he/she will do what is right/necessary if he/she is added to the list.

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December 13, 2014, 06:57:20 PM
 #13

I've been thinking about adding a feature where once you give someone a positive rating, you'll be asked if you want to add that person to your trust list, and doing so would also remove DefaultTrust from your trust list if you haven't edited it previously. I'm worried that this will just make everyone appear to have negative trust for most users, though. I'm not sure that the Trust system is powerful/correct enough to handle the errors that most people will make in choosing who to put on their trust lists. Ideally, the ratings you see should be correct as long as most of the users in your trust list are not totally evil/incompetent and at least a few really know what they're doing. Certainly this wouldn't have happened before, but maybe it would now due to the untrust feature. On the other hand, I think that there are only a few people on the forum who actually know how the Trust system works, and I'm not sure how likely they are to be widely trusted under this "auto-trust" system.

it's a very good idea to expand the numbers/membership of default trust, the larger it is, the more robust it will be.  a larger group will be more effective at taking action on scams... a small default trust group can not keep an eye on everything that goes on on the forum as it relates to rooting out scams.

Not if they have little to no credibility or little to no traceable trading on these forums.

IMHO : It is not really necessary to have trades on this forum, they may be trusted in any other places. So person in DefaultTrust list believe that he/she will do what is right/necessary if he/she is added to the list.

   ~~MZ~~
They don't need to have actual trades, but they need to show some level of trustworthiness. The person putting someone on their trust list should have a good reason to believe they will make accurate reports only when appropriate.

Being on default trust list is very powerful, even if this power is revoked, the power can still do serious damage up to the point the power is revoked.

The whole point of having default trust and default trust list is to have a trust network that can be relied on by people who do not otherwise know who is safe to trade with.

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December 13, 2014, 08:49:35 PM
 #14

@theymos Thank you for the explanation. If I want to add people in my trust list, but do not want to leave any feedback on them, then how do I do so ?

On the contrary, if I leave a +ve feedback on someone, does he gets into my trust list automatically, or I need to add them in the list exclusively ?

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December 13, 2014, 08:56:24 PM
 #15

Go to your trust settings and add their username to your trust list (it is the box that most likely only has DefaultTrust listed) and click update.

Giving positive feedback does not automatically add someone to your trust list.

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December 13, 2014, 09:08:20 PM
 #16

@theymos Thank you for the explanation. If I want to add people in my trust list, but do not want to leave any feedback on them, then how do I do so ?

On the contrary, if I leave a +ve feedback on someone, does he gets into my trust list automatically, or I need to add them in the list exclusively ?

Go to your trust settings and add their username to your trust list (it is the box that most likely only has DefaultTrust listed) and click update.

Giving positive feedback does not automatically add someone to your trust list.

Remember, by default the trust depth will be 2. So, if you add anybody to your trust list, the people-1 who are trusted by the person you add and people-2 trusted by people-1 will also be added to your trust list. So, just check every username who are in the trust list of the person you trust [1]. If you find anybody that seems suspicious, copy-paste their name in your trust list and add 'tilde (~)' as prefix.

On the contrary, if I leave a +ve feedback on someone, does he gets into my trust list automatically, or I need to add them in the list exclusively ?

This was theymos' suggestion, it hasn't been implemented yet. Smiley

[1] You can see the people in another person's trust list by switching the view to 'Hierarchical view' .

   ~~MZ~~

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