(Topic ID: 292426)

Negative recommendations feature removed

By robin

50 days ago


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Topic Stats

  • 29 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 47 days ago by jbovenzi
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    13
    #1 50 days ago

    Hi Pinside! As things are settling down with the new server migration (I'm still working on the achievements feature), I'm back to working on some of the stuff I was doing before the outage.

    Today, I wanted to give you all a heads up about a feature I have removed. It's not everyday that I remove a feature but in this case it just wasn't working out and after thinking about it for a few months I made the decision to remove it.

    So let me explain.

    On Pinside we have a feedback system which allows for Pinsiders to leave feedback about a sale. When you close a for sale ad successfully, you are asked to enter the name of the Pinsider who bought your game and then they will get sent a link where feedback about the transaction can be left. I call this "ad-related feedback".

    But then folks asked me if they could also vouch for someone without a sale taking place. That's how our (unsolicited) recommendations feature came to be: a way to leave a recommendation about someone. Example: I could tell folks that, say, Pinsider Gizza is a trustworthy seller. And then people would think: "hey, Robin thinks this guy Gizza is great. I trust Robin, so then Gizza must be legit as well!" ~ that's the idea.

    But then at some point, after I got some requests for it, I added the option to also leave a "negative recommendation". Those words are a contradiction in itself, but the idea was that warnings could be placed against bad sellers. Uhm, right. I should have known this would go south, but I always like the idea of our community providing protection against bad sellers and so the feature was added at some point, a few years ago.

    This was the beginning of *a lot* of PMs hitting my inbox. Obviously, most Pinsiders were not too pleased receiving unsolicited negative feedback on their profile pages, sometimes coming from people they claim they didn't even know. Accusations of fraud, jealous competitors and whatnot. Long stories of what the other party did or didn't do. Complete copy-paste's of PM conversations that I was asked to read and then base a decision on. Heck, even some legal threats to Pinside were made. Frankly, all of these cases are way too difficult to judge from where I'm sitting. Who's right? Who's wrong? It takes a lot of time and in the end, one person will not be happy with the outcome.

    ..And so I have removed the option to leave negative recommendations. I also removed all negative recommendations that have been placed thus far. I always hate to remove content, but it was the only option.

    Just to be clear: it IS still possible to leave either positive or negative ad-related feedback (when you're invited to leave it, AFTER a sale). It's also still possible to leave a positive recommendation (unsolicited), although the subject Pinsider will get the option to remove this in case it contains details they don't want disclosed. And of course there's always the forum where you can share your stories of bad transactions

    Some may not agree with this decision and I can understand that. I would love to hear any ideas. Heck we could have an anonymous jury deciding over disputes. I dunno. Anything that doesn't involve me being the judge of failed transactions.

    #2 50 days ago

    If in doubt about a particular seller or company, a search or starting a new thread goes a long ways. Unless the seller is completely new or unknown, there is probably already something via a Google or Pinside search. I think removing the negative recommendation was a good idea for the reasons you stated.

    #3 49 days ago

    I'm still having issues with deleting messages in the mail and with finding all posts made by me. Hopefully you can find a fix for these too. Thx for all the work to get us back on again.

    #4 49 days ago
    Quoted from robin:

    Hi Pinside! As things are settling down with the new server migration (I'm still working on the achievements feature), I'm back to working on some of the stuff I was doing before the outage.
    Today, I wanted to give you all a heads up about a feature I have removed. It's not everyday that I remove a feature but in this case it just wasn't working out and after thinking about it for a few months I made the decision to remove it.
    So let me explain.
    On Pinside we have a feedback system which allows for Pinsiders to leave feedback about a sale. When you close a for sale ad successfully, you are asked to enter the name of the Pinsider who bought your game and then they will get sent a link where feedback about the transaction can be left. I call this "ad-related feedback".
    But then folks asked me if they could also vouch for someone without a sale taking place. That's how our (unsolicited) recommendations feature came to be: a way to leave a recommendation about someone. Example: I could tell folks that, say, Pinsider Gizza is a trustworthy seller. And then people would think: "hey, Robin thinks this guy Gizza is great. I trust Robin, so then Gizza must be legit as well!" ~ that's the idea.
    But then at some point, after I got some requests for it, I added the option to also leave a "negative recommendation". Those words are a contradiction in itself, but the idea was that warnings could be placed against bad sellers. Uhm, right. I should have known this would go south, but I always like the idea of our community providing protection against bad sellers and so the feature was added at some point, a few years ago.
    This was the beginning of *a lot* of PMs hitting my inbox. Obviously, most Pinsiders were not too pleased receiving unsolicited negative feedback on their profile pages, sometimes coming from people they claim they didn't even know. Accusations of fraud, jealous competitors and whatnot. Long stories of what the other party did or didn't do. Complete copy-paste's of PM conversations that I was asked to read and then base a decision on. Heck, even some legal threats to Pinside were made. Frankly, all of these cases are way too difficult to judge from where I'm sitting. Who's right? Who's wrong? It takes a lot of time and in the end, one person will not be happy with the outcome.
    ..And so I have removed the option to leave negative recommendations. I also removed all negative recommendations that have been placed thus far. I always hate to remove content, but it was the only option.
    Just to be clear: it IS still possible to leave either positive or negative ad-related feedback (when you're invited to leave it, AFTER a sale). It's also still possible to leave a positive recommendation (unsolicited), although the subject Pinsider will get the option to remove this in case it contains details they don't want disclosed. And of course there's always the forum where you can share your stories of bad transactions
    Some may not agree with this decision and I can understand that. I would love to hear any ideas. Heck we could have an anonymous jury deciding over disputes. I dunno. Anything that doesn't involve me being the judge of failed transactions.

    Boo! Negative feedback (not) left!

    All in all, a solid choice. Leaving public negative comments on someone’s profile never goes over well, and inadvertently pinside’s forum has become a powerful place to settle disputes that have gone long past any amicable resolution.

    If anyone does their due diligence, some research on the forum should serve the same purpose as feedback really.

    #5 49 days ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    Boo! Negative feedback (not) left!
    All in all, a solid choice. Leaving public negative comments on someone’s profile never goes over well, and inadvertently pinside’s forum has become a powerful place to settle disputes that have gone long past any amicable resolution.
    If anyone does their due diligence, some research on the forum should serve the same purpose as feedback really.

    I don't think that leaving negative feedback is a bad thing. It sounds like leaving unsolicited negative feedback that doesn't have a transaction associated with it is what's happening and being abused. Sounds like a friend of a friend piling on some dude...or something like that, like what happens on Yelp when a news story comes up with a business. People never having associated with the business leave bad reviews, which Yelp has mitigated to an extent.

    13
    #6 49 days ago

    IMO this is a bad call and makes Pinside feedback no longer a source of establishing trustworthiness.

    #7 49 days ago
    Quoted from zaphX:

    IMO this is a bad call and makes Pinside feedback no longer a source of establishing trustworthiness.

    Agreed, but I understand the moderation hassles. But only-positive feedback is misleading since no other internet 'reputation' system works like that. It could be renamed 'solicited positive feedback' but I'd suggest removing the 'feedback' entirely since it's not accurate.

    #8 49 days ago

    So when somebody does something negative during a sale guess what will happen now? More threads started full of drama and negativity.

    #9 49 days ago
    Quoted from zaphX:

    IMO this is a bad call and makes Pinside feedback no longer a source of establishing trustworthiness.

    You and I rarely agree on stuff but I am 100% with you on this.

    #10 49 days ago
    Quoted from Phbooms:

    So when somebody does something negative during a sale guess what will happen now? More threads started full of drama and negativity.

    exactly

    #11 49 days ago
    Quoted from Reznnate:

    Agreed, but I understand the moderation hassles. But only-positive feedback is misleading since no other internet 'reputation' system works like that. It could be renamed 'solicited positive feedback' but I'd suggest removing the 'feedback' entirely since it's not accurate.

    I see that it is probably a hassle but they are making money on this site. We all donate money to Pinside, so we have a forum to buy and sell in a safe manner. I use the feedback a lot when buying games.

    #12 49 days ago
    Quoted from Reznnate:

    Agreed, but I understand the moderation hassles.

    I am sympathetic to that point too, it puts Robin in the role of judge/jury.

    IMO the best solution is to allow pos/neg feedback and be 100% hands off about it.
    Fake feedback will become apparent through posting patterns over time.

    #13 49 days ago
    Quoted from zaphX:

    IMO this is a bad call and makes Pinside feedback no longer a source of establishing trustworthiness.

    You should read Robin's post again, unless I'm misunderstanding it. He didn't remove negative feedback altogether, only the feature that any Joe Schmo could leave negative feedback to any Billy Bob, without a transaction behind it. Again...unless I'm misunderstanding it.

    Example, even though you or I have never conducted a transaction, I could still leave you negative feedback because I didn't like your username.

    #14 49 days ago
    Quoted from zaphX:

    I am sympathetic to that point too, it puts Robin in the role of judge/jury.
    IMO the best solution is to allow pos/neg feedback and be 100% hands off about it.
    Fake feedback will become apparent through posting patterns over time.

    Quoted from FatPanda:

    You should read Robin's post again, unless I'm misunderstanding it. He didn't remove negative feedback altogether, only the feature that any Joe Schmo could leave negative feedback to any Billy Bob, without a transaction behind it. Again...unless I'm misunderstanding it.
    Example, even though you or I have never conducted a transaction, I could still leave you negative feedback because I didn't like your username.

    He removed all prior negative feedback. He even removed the prior negative feedback that he spent the time to arbitrate.

    And besides, how much 'solicited negative feedback' would ever even exist???

    #15 49 days ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    You should read Robin's post again, unless I'm misunderstanding it. He didn't remove negative feedback altogether, only the feature that any Joe Schmo could leave negative feedback to any Billy Bob, without a transaction behind it. Again...unless I'm misunderstanding it.
    Example, even though you or I have never conducted a transaction, I could still leave you negative feedback because I didn't like your avatar picture.

    That's the way I read it also.

    Negative feedback can still be given but only if it involves an actual transaction.

    #16 49 days ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    That's the way I read it also.
    Negative feedback can still be given but only if it involves an actual transaction.

    It apparently must be 'solicited'.... Which will never happen.

    Most bad actors sell on CL and Facebook too. I care about person's reputation, not where the transaction took place.

    We should just remove it or rename it.

    #17 49 days ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    You should read Robin's post again, unless I'm misunderstanding it. He didn't remove negative feedback altogether, only the feature that any Joe Schmo could leave negative feedback to any Billy Bob, without a transaction behind it. Again...unless I'm misunderstanding it.
    Example, even though you or I have never conducted a transaction, I could still leave you negative feedback because I didn't like your username.

    He said he removed ALL past negative feedback.

    #18 49 days ago

    Tough situation to manage I imagine. It would be good to see it in some form though. Many of the instances (deals gone bad, seller/buyer dishonesty, etc) where negative feedback is merited, there will likely not be a final transaction in the system allowing for it.

    #19 49 days ago

    Too bad a "negative rec" could not be provided through a specific sale here on Pinside.

    For example, I go to leave negative feedback on someone. For it to go through, I'd have to provide the page for the specific machine/mod/item in question. Once that link is provided, no one else is allowed to use that link and the feedback should be sound.

    Then again, for mods where 10-1000 are being made, something else would have to be used - maybe a payment system within Pinside verifying the purchase occurred for the mod....?

    #20 49 days ago
    Quoted from woody76:

    He said he removed ALL past negative feedback.

    Only unsolicited negative "recommendations" were removed.

    This concerned 105 cases where a negative recommendation was posted on someones profile.

    #21 48 days ago
    Quoted from robin:

    Only unsolicited negative "recommendations" were removed.

    Is there such a thing as a solicited negative recommendation?

    "Hey, I just ripped you off, can you make sure and post about it on Pinside? Thanks sucker!"

    EDIT: I learned reading comprehension and see that we can still leave negative feedback when it's associated with a pinside transaction. That makes a little more sense to me, though I still feel we need a way as a community to warn each other of bad traders. I'm not sure what the best mechanism for that is though.

    #22 47 days ago
    Quoted from zaphX:

    IMO this is a bad call and makes Pinside feedback no longer a source of establishing trustworthiness.

    Agree! Presale antics shouldn’t always require a forum topic. That’s what user feedback should document.

    #23 47 days ago
    Quoted from robin:

    ..And so I have removed the option to leave negative recommendations.

    You also removed the ability to leave neutral feedback unless a sale is competed. I’m surprised more people aren’t commenting on this topic. There are many examples when questionable seller or buyer practices cause a sale to go south before a transaction is completed. We need the ability to document these questionable practices. Why should I have to dig through forum topics to spot a bad actor? Let Pinside be selected policing.
    robin , at least give the option to leave pre-sale neutral feedback (or failed sale, like in my recent attempted 9Ball purchase).

    #25 47 days ago

    ridiculous.

    #26 47 days ago

    This reminds me when ebay introduced no negative feedback on buyers. Only allowed positive fluffy feedback.
    Ive worked hard here on pinside to build a positive profile with 25 feedback.
    This just demeaned all that hard work.
    I wont bother to ask anymore after a sale.

    #27 47 days ago
    Quoted from zaphX:

    IMO this is a bad call and makes Pinside feedback no longer a source of establishing trustworthiness.

    Yep, in the future I’ll just start a <redacted> thread. It’s not a problem for me.

    #28 47 days ago

    I mean, how hard is it for a seller to have enough consideration to say “hey, I know you PM’ed me a full-price offer less than an hour after I posted it, but:

    a) It already sold (fine, no problem!)
    b) My wife said I can’t sell it (this is my absolute favorite)
    c) I’ve seen your Pinside posts and I hate you
    d) I decided to keep it.

    All of these are fine. Leaving someone hanging for more than a day, though, is not acceptable.

    #29 47 days ago

    Since I know the full story about Reznnate and his horrible purchase issue, I have a tough time with this. He placed the feedback on here to help others as a warning.

    I also understand Robin being caught in the middle on this. Like The Who once said, "It's a legal matter, baby!"

    I now feel that Pinside will get even nastier for threads than it has been in the past, and that's a tough thing to do.

    I would prefer seeing negative feedback on a large purchase such as a machine to make up my own mind. Then it's on me if I proceed with a transaction.

    Small parts? Losing $5 here and there? Sorry Charlie. Getting ripped off for a large amount when someone has screwed others, no thank you.

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