Doxxing Part 2
Doxxing Part 2
Furthermore, users should at all times possess the ability to remove information about themselves they introduced to Voat from Voat. users may change their mind, situations might change, more information in addition to original information might emerge that make the users less comfortable with the information's continued presence, etc, so at any point a user should be able to remove such information by citing the Doxx Rule.
Finally, clarification about what identities are affected should be made. If someone posts the publicly available address of a politician or celebrity who has nothing to do with Voat on Voat, should that user be banned and should that information be removed? If the identity of a murder victim is posted, should it be removed? The answer is probably "no", because in order for a website like Voat to be able to aggregate and discuss content, it needs to be able to discuss people, and that is going to involve names. Should names be acceptable, but addresses not, regardless of public availability? That might be reasonable, just to avoid overlap with the Illegal category where threats might be made (usually the only reason addresses are mentioned). At any rate this too needs to be discussed.
Finally Voat needs to determine how it is going to handle Vote Manipulation. Obviously it is a complex issue, but what we learned from recent events is that any rule that must be enforced without its details being publicly available is going to cause problems. The apparent problem with vote manipulation is that, if exact definitions are set, users will be able to change their behaviour in order to avoid being detected while still producing the results they desire. But I've been thinking about this, and frankly, if users have to adapt their behaviour to avoid breaking a rule, then either that new behaviour still breaks the rule or it doesn't. At some point the adaptation should no longer be considered a violation, and that is where the boundaries should be set and publicly stated. That way everyone can know the conditions and everyone can follow them without wondering if they are breaking a rule or not.
Obviously the intention of punishing vote manipulation is to allow voting on this website to be organic and not...manipulative. So questions we have to ask:
Is downvoting (or upvoting) every post within someone's history manipulation? How probable is it that someone might "organically" stumble upon all (or many) of a user's comments, and downvote (or upvote) them in their "natural environment"? Right now comments older than 7 days cannot be downvoted. The problem is, even if that were changed to 1 day, it would still be possible for a user to check another user's history every day and downvote all of the new comments, effectively downvoting their every comment in what is clearly inorganic. But this same thing could theoretically happen naturally if users frequent the same subverses. Let us say a user loves X, and another user hates X. Let us say the second user is only interested in commenting about X. User 1 and User 2 are therefore both likely to scroll through the comments of threads pertaining to X; User 1 sees all (or most of) User 2's anti-X comments, and downvotes them. How is any algorithm going to be able to distinguish from that and going through someone's history? One is organic, the other is not, but both results are the same. The only suggestion I can give is to have as a requirement the visiting of a comment history before considering apparent "brigading" as manipulation. That way users know to not user comment histories as ways of deciding what to vote on; let users know they can vote on what they find in the wild, but not what they find via histories. That why the Rule is stated and users can follow it.
Other issues like the use of alt accounts are less ambiguous; the trouble is identifying the accounts as alts.
Another issue is pinging users into threads, which in most situations is innocuous, but can be used in order to get "friends" to downvote threads one does not like, while simultaneously earning the pinger upvotes on comments made within said thread. Are votes that follow user pings to be considered manipulation? This is something that should be discussed, and stated if so.
Voat has a small number of sitewide rules in place, but there is certainly some refinement necessary, especially if those who may be exploiting the lack of refinement to justify intolerable behaviour are to be justly dealt with.
/u/zyklon_b won't mind the use of his comments as examples, for all here is satire.