Griefer Matrix 3: Griefer Revolutions

This follows on from this and this and Jim Henley’s Hugo McHugoface.

Discussion continues at File770 and elsewhere on what to do to keep griefers at bay. The current proposals are 3SV (& variants) where a longlist is published and voters get to knock off dodgy works and “Moderated Shortlist for Member Consideration” which has a panel identify stuff, provisionally remove it and then asks members to ratify it (it can also add works).

MSMC may seem overly complicated but the feelings against having a panel screen works without some sort of ratification by members is strong. Fear of a hack panel is strong.

However, going back over my list and thinking about the various things griefers can do and why, I realized I had forgotten to add a top level motivation: seeing people running around because of some relatively small effort on their part. If we account for that as a sufficient motivation then my concerns about 3SV not being sufficient increase.

But a panel is not regarded well, for two reasons:

  1. The Hugos have rested their strength on the wisdom of crowds.
  2. Concern about some sort of potentially secretive body that can rig the awards in some way.

So what is the minimum a panel could do and still make it worthwhile and a possible solution?

Admins already rule of eligibility and already have to exercise discretionary power to remove works. Eligibility is defined in terms of what works *should* be but the definitions avoid more subjective elements such as whether a work really is SF/F or not. Now consider extending the notion of eligibility to two other areas:

  1. works intended to harass or defame are ineligible.
  2. works designed to disrupt the voting process (e.g. with names deliberately constructed to be similar to other eligible works) are ineligible.

That’s it. Nothing about slates or block votes or anything else. There are lots of issues these two clauses (assuming they could be enforced) would not stop but they close any opportunity to the worst and most disruptive things griefers can do.

Does there need to be a panel to enforce these rules on eligibility? Probably but there doesn’t need to be a new set of rules to set up a panel nor do admins need new powers. They already have the power to rule on eligibility.

What about the rest of the issues? Well I’d suggest +2 (or rather +N) deals with most of the rest. So long as people have good stuff to vote for there is little to be gained (except point 7. “Finalist label-bogarting” – which is basically just sad). Again this is a power admins have used before without a special panel. Furthermore I can think it can be codified as follows:

  1. In the event of the list of finalists representing less than X% of the total number of voters in participated in the nominations, works will be added so that the revised list represents X% of voters who nominated.

Note that I haven’t mentioned slates. The rule could apply in the case of the legendary/apocryphal over-enthusiastic Doctor Who fans filling Best Dramatic Presentation (Short) with Who episodes. This rules is directly trusting the voters and trusting the wisdom of the crowds – it is just facilitating those so the magic works. It would be include slates because a slate will directly limit the number of fans represented by the set of finalists. For example imagine a slate sweeps a category with these works at these %s.

  1. Dull Dreck,  23%
  2. Dull Dreck 2, 22%
  3. Dull & Duller, 21%
  4. Dreck & Drecker, 20%
  5. Dreck & Dull, 20%

Because of the slate discipline, the slate sweeps the category but as a consequence each works represents approximately the SAME 20% of voters. Ethics aside, this is a problem. Adding more works from outside of the slate increases the number of voters represented substantially – but in a none slate year, it doesn’t!

In total that would give these remedies against various kinds of ‘attacks’.

  1. Extended eligibility checks (stops nasty works and disruptive works)
  2. Plus 2 (limits slates from sweeping, limits griefers from keeping enemy works off ballot)
  3. EPH (limits slates from sweeping, helps keep finalists proportional)
  4. No Award (stops somebody winning a Hugo by default)

It is a flexible set of tools.

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21 comments

  1. thephantom182

    I love how you guys keep turning into ever more topologically improbable shapes trying to avoid one man, one vote. Some fans are more equal than others! Because QUALITY!

    Why not just admit you want a juried list, with you being the whole jury?

    Liked by 1 person

    • camestrosfelapton

      On the contrary – it is precisely because of Vox trying to make himself more equal than others (in part because he believes the opinions of women should count less than men) that people have looked at making the voting MORE equitable. Vox prefers awards with small juries. However the notion of the Hugos as a species of juried award with a very very large jury is one I’ve discussed before.

      As we are chatting anyway, what would your preferred system for a SF/F award be?

      Like

      • thephantom182

        “what would your preferred system for a SF/F award be?”

        One man, one vote. The farther one moves from this most basic of arrangements, the more opportunity there is for shenanigans. Such as excluding an entire class of voter. That is a shenanigan.

        The Puppy contention has never been that the Hugo voting system was unfair. The mechanics of the voting appear to have been scrupulously honest. On the contrary, our expectation has consistently been that when we all showed up to vote, the WorldCon Cognoscenti (aka Chorfs) would immediately move to amend the previously open voting system so as to exclude unwanted voters.

        Behold, it has come to pass as it was foreseen those not too many years ago. Mr. Damien Walter has been particularly entertaining, with his calls for simply excluding the votes of paid-up WorldCom members because “they did it wrong.”

        Because really, none of this is about making the process more fair and equitable. That’s what it has been up until now. No, this is all about changing the process to produce a desired outcome. Make it unfair and inequitable, in other words. Aka, cheating.

        Which is what we said you’d do.

        Like

      • camestrosfelapton

        I’m a bit unclear about what you are saying here. One person one vote would seem to be a change to the nomination system (one person 5 nominations) and the final voting system (one person 5 preferences). But on top of that the Pups did have two complaints about the voting systems
        1. A lesser concern about the “Australian Ballot” system used for final voting
        2. And a huge bewailing & behowling objection to people voting for No Award – despite it being a very old aspect of the voting system.
        Moreover, it is hard to see how the pups dislike of the results is not an objection to the system used UNLESS it was the Pups saying about everybody else that we were wrong fans having wrong fun. On reflection, I guess that IS what they were saying…fans were bad fans for not voting for what the Pups liked so the pups would try to ensure there was only things that the pups liked on the ballot?
        Seems odd to me Phantom – people are trying to find a positive solution rather than the No Award result that the Puppies hated.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thephantom182

        “I’m a bit unclear about what you are saying here.”

        No you’re not. This is the part where you pretend confusion.

        “…fans were bad fans for not voting for what the Pups liked so the pups would try to ensure there was only things that the pups liked on the ballot?”

        More confusion? Sad Puppies is a campaign in which people like myself who never voted before join up and vote. I nominated what I liked. You don’t seem to feel this is fair, that I get to vote for what I want, so now you’re going to gerrymander the system to make my vote not count.

        “And a huge bewailing & behowling objection to people voting for No Award…”

        Or, after having been attacked all year for “slate voting”, Puppies objected to the Noah Ward slate. All in how you frame it.

        This is all bullshit Camestros. You guys freaked out because of American political considerations, plain and simple. “Republican Barbarians” can’t be allowed to participate. Nobody with a lick of sense expected WorldCon voters to let a Puppy pick win, and they did not disappoint. Nobody expected anything other than this new rules-based lawyerish effort to boot people out.

        It’s just that now, everybody who ever cared about SF/F or the Hugo Award can see you doing it.

        Like

      • camestrosfelapton

        SO yup, you basically hated the way fans voted because for some reason (that you never will explain) your opinions count more than the majority of people who voted differently. You seem to be all in favour of ‘one man one vote’ so long as you are the one man.

        Like

      • thephantom182

        “…your opinions count more than the majority of people who voted differently.”

        Nope. Because one man, one vote. I am not the one rigging the jury, old son. I’m just a plain old WorldCon member who voted for stuff I wanted to. You’re pissed because I voted the way I want instead of the way -you- want.

        “You seem to be all in favour of ‘one man one vote’ so long as you are the one man.”

        I have no investment in what gets a Hugo award beyond what any voter has. I -am- only one man. I control one vote, the same as everybody else. You, by contrast, are very eager to change that situation.

        Like

      • camestrosfelapton

        ” You’re pissed because I voted the way I want instead of the way -you- want.”

        Um, no. You and the Puppies are angry because a majority of fans voted the way THEY wanted rather than the way Brad Torgersen and Vox Day told them to. Heck they are still griping about losing despite it being an overwhelming majority of voters who voted against their wishes.
        Ever since we’ve been hearing about how No Award is terrible no good horrible bad awful and so people have been looking at ways of avoiding the stupid situation where a minority dominates the nominations so that No Award ends up being the most popular choice. No if you are cool with No Award winning then fair enough – but I really don’t get that impression from your complaints.

        Like

      • KR

        Phantom, you’ve really got me giggling here (in a place where I am supposed to be quiet), with your whole “who me? what can I do? i’m just one man” shtick. It’s the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer all over again. I love that guy!

        Like

      • thephantom182

        “Um, no. You and the Puppies are angry because a majority of fans voted the way THEY wanted rather than the way Brad Torgersen and Vox Day told them to.”

        You have a vastly inflated notion of the power wielded by these two guys. Even -I-, partisan of the Sad Puppies, didn’t vote the way somebody else told me to.

        What changed the Hugo situation is new people like me showed up to vote. This year of course, the Rabids have really hit their stride and swept a lot of categories. This does not mean Vox is some sort of powerful dude. It means he’s popular, and he’s got a convincing schtick that lots of people are buying into.

        I think he’s a nutcase and a troll, his ravings do not interest me. What does interest me is the rush that Chorfs are in to ditch their values of “tolerance” and “fair play” in favor of totalitarian strategies like banning, shunning and straight up vote destruction.

        That puts you in the moderate middle, Camestros. You’re just a rules lawyer who wants to scam the voting system to exclude puppies.

        Like

      • thephantom182

        I think your magic power is annoying people. You and your fellow Chorf partisans (like Steve Davidson, he’s a miracle of annoying, that guy) have managed to get about a thousand prickly, cranky, independent cats to all herd themselves in the same direction at the same time, united solely by the burning desire to kick your collective Chorf asses.

        That is a very singular achievement. Congrats!

        Like

  2. KR

    🙂 to CF who beat me to the “one person, one vote” substitution.

    Phantom, I’m genuinely curious and puzzled so maybe you could explain for me. I see you are in favor of one person, one vote — a genuine and laudable democratic goal. How, then, can you square that ideal with the existence of a slate, which is like handing 200-500 votes to a single person (namely devisor of said slate)? I really don’t understand how your ideal squares with your actions.

    The slate’s the thing that’s behind all of this. No slate, no complaint. Contests have had measures against stacking the vote (ie: no robo-votes, no dead person votes, no paying for votes etc). The slate’s the thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ken J.

      The Hugo Award is not an election: it does not determine any sort of power or authority. (Worldcon site selection, in contrast, is a genuine election.) It’s more of a survey to find out what the community, in its crowded wisdom, thought was the best (most loved) item of the year. Slate-coordination of the nominations is rigging the survey; that’s where the damage is, that’s what we are opposing.

      Like

    • thephantom182

      “Phantom, I’m genuinely curious and puzzled…”

      Pray excuse me if I find this doubtful.

      “…can you square that ideal with the existence of a slate, which is like handing 200-500 votes to a single person?”

      What you are calling a “slate” is 200-500 thinking, self controlled and self-motivated individuals who paid money and voted, entirely freely and within the rules. There has been no violation of the rules at all.

      Your problem is you object to those individuals being allowed to vote at all, because you don’t like them. They made the vote turn out against your wishes, so now the race is on to find a way to exclude them that doesn’t make you look unfair or rude.

      As predicted.

      Like

      • KR

        No. Please don’t tell me what I think. I know what I think and you’ve projected something else entirely on to me. It was and is a genuine question. I have been on the losing side of plenty of elections and have accepted that my opinions differ and lived with and among the results. Can you Imagine a reading community where the majority’s taste differs from yours? It might exist, you know. It is possible.

        A slate, on the other hand, is a bully action, no different than those who want to fix elections by eliminating, diluting or otherwise preventing people from voting: like fixing electronic voting machines, or requiring ID and then making it hard to get that ID, or robocalls that direct likely opponent voters to incorrect voting stations on the day of the elections etc etc. There is no spirit of fair play among a slate. So yes, something can be within the rules and yet against the spirit of the rules.

        Or perhaps you can clarify all this for me if have again I misrepresented what I think?

        PS — We can all agree, though, that Chuck Tingle is a straight-up hard (inter)national treasure. Thanks very much for shining a light on that dude.

        Like

      • KR

        I wonder what the statistical odds are that 200-500 “thinking, self controlled and self-motivated individuals” would somehow create the exact same list of 5 nominations in multiple categories amid a vast field of choices without a slate to use as guidance (or, as I would instead say, direction)?

        Are you really trying to make that claim? That slating is somehow fair and not intended to magnify a single person/viewpoint’s vote to the detriment of others? It seems like a pretty fine ethical line to try to walk, like Bill Clinton smoking “but not inhaling.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • camestrosfelapton

        I’m still struck about how all those indiviudals thought The Dark Between The Stars was good enough to deserve a Hugo but ZERO of them thought its sequel was good enough to be even considered for the Sad Puppy 4 reading list.

        I couldn’t see the appeal of the first book myself, but perhaps The Phantom can explain what was so great about the first book and why the second was so, so awful that not even one person on the SP4 site recommended it.

        Like

      • thephantom182

        KR said: “Can you Imagine a reading community where the majority’s taste differs from yours?”

        Sure. But usually things like that don’t claim to represent me. WorldCon does. “The World Science Fiction Society administers and presents the Hugo Awards, the oldest and most noteworthy award for science fiction.” If something is the most noteworthy award in my favorite genre, and if what’s on the shelves tend to follow along with what gets awards, then I’m forced to express an opinion if I want anything to read.

        “A slate, on the other hand, is a bully action, no different than those who want to fix elections by eliminating, diluting or otherwise preventing people from voting: like fixing electronic voting machines, or requiring ID and then making it hard to get that ID…”

        A slate is a voluntary association that people chose to have. In electoral politics it is called a party, or a faction. Fixing elections is stealing or destroying other people’s vote by force or fraud. In electoral politics that is called a -crime-, people go to jail for that.

        “Are you really trying to make that claim? That slating is somehow fair and not intended to magnify a single person/viewpoint’s vote to the detriment of others?”

        Slates are a legitimate and legal tactic that factions use to defeat other factions. WorldCon used to have one faction. Now there’s three. Chorf faction response so far has been outrage, shunning, smearing and calling for bans on puppy voting. All things that destroy the credibility and legitimacy of WorldCon and the Hugo Awards.

        Camestros Felpatron said: “I couldn’t see the appeal of the first book myself, but perhaps The Phantom can explain what was so great about the first book and why the second was so, so awful that not even one person on the SP4 site recommended it.”

        Why would I be able to explain that? Can you explain how a turd like “The World Turned Upside Down” got nominated last year? We all know how it won, it was the only non-puppy nom. Slates for thee but not for me, eh?

        Like

    • KR

      The Hugo Awards are not elections and the contenders are not political parties or corporate entities vying to exercise sovereign power. It’s a category error. They are more like competitions for the Mr Universe, or Miss America, or Dancing with the Stars, or the cover of People Magazine’s Sexiest Space Raptor of the Year issue. They might be voted on, but in the end it is still subjective — just a popularity contest. Sure, they might deem something America’s Funniest Home Video at the end of the night … but that doesn’t actually mean it is the funniest video in all of America. Not everyone will see themselves represented in the winner.

      I belong to a professional organization that hands out awards yearly in a variety of categories. I don’t always agree with the results even though I pay my membership fee, vote my informed opinion, and am implicated by membership in the organization when they issue the lists of winners to the public. Meh, that’s how voluntary associations work.

      You’ve got it backwards still. The slate IS the fraud. It’s not the reaction to the fraud. It IS the conscious gaming of the system to thwart individual voters by directing (willing) accomplices to join in.

      Like

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