Reputation System

This page is a chapter in 'Book Faq'

Introduction to the Post Rating System

The reputation system is an important feature of Drugs-Forum.It enables members to give positive feedback to posts that are helpful, provide lots of good information, give helpful advice, or make a contribution to Drugs-forum. Negative feedback can be given to posts that break the rules or give advice that is dangerous or irresponsible. The feedback comments allow the receiving member to see ways in which they can improve their posts, and encourages members to put maximum effort into writing posts. This helps to increase and maintain the quality of the material on Drugs-Forum.

The reputation system is based on reputation points. An increase in the overall number of reputation points a member has is associated with receiving positive reputation comments, and a decrease in the overall number of reputation points is associated with receiving negative reputation comments.

Note that progressing from a Newbie to a Silver member is directly dependent on gaining more than 5 reputation points. This will cause your account to automatically be upgraded to Silver membership. Becoming a Mercury member is also automatic when a member reaches -50 reputation points or below.

The reputation system also relates to the Trophy Spectrum, which is a measure of every member's level of contribution to the forums. The trophy spectrum factors in many aspects of contribution, such as number of posts, number of reviews, number of blogs, number of file uploads and more.

Each member starts with 0 reputation points. If they have any positive number of points, they start to accumulate positive reputation. If they have a negative number of reputation points, they will display a negative reputation level.

The reputation system implemented on Drugs-Forum serves many purposes;

  • To let members know how other members value the information in their posts.
  • Be able to anonymously leave comments to members about how to improve their posts.
  • Helps staff when looking for members to upgrade.
  • Helps staff when looking for problematic members.
  • Encourages members to create better posts.
  • Shows members which posts are problematic or posts that are basically useless.
  • Used as a learning tool for staff and members alike

With the migration to the new software in January 2017, the rating system has undergone some major changes:
  • The post rating system has changed from the old "red (negative)/yellow (neutral)/green (positive)". We now have gone to a simplified "left to right" 5 star system. In other words, values range from -20 (one star) to +20 (five stars). Three stars is no longer a moderately positive rating, it is now a 0-point neutral rating. This is easier to understand once you actually play around with it a little.
  • We no longer use reputation power to determine how many points a user can give or take. All members can fully utilize the system regardless of how many points they have.
  • There has been some confusion in regards to thread ratings (stars at the top of each thread). These are different from the post rating system, and just evaluate the entire thread in general. This thread refers to ratings for individual posts.

How to Rate a Post

Here is a quick demonstration of the whole process:
(note that a a couple things have changed since this video was made, namely the location of the 'Rate' link. But the general process is still the same)



In-Depth Explanation:

To rate a post, locate the Rate button located at the bottom of each post:

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In the small screen view this can be found in the hamburger menu at the bottom left corner of a post.

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This will pop up a box that should look like this:

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Again, please note the above change in number of stars vs. point value.

Follow these guidelines:
1 star = terrible
2 stars = poor (bad, but could be worse)
3 stars = neutral
4 stars = good (good, but could possibly be improved)
5 stars = excellent (cant get better)

I know that old habits die hard, but it really should greatly simplify things in the long run. Hovering your mouse pointer over a star will show its value if you're unsure.

You will be required to provide a reason to why you approve or disapprove of the post before submitting the rating (Save button). Ratings need to provide a good evaluation of a post's content. Please note that all ratings will be reviewed by staff, and we will delete any ratings that do not adhere to this requirement.

Once you have finished and have submitted your rating, you will get a confirmation message at the top of your screen, and will be taken back to the post.

If you feel you have made a mistake, or if you wish to retract a rating you have given for any reason, you will have the option to delete it for 5 minutes after you submit. To do this, locate the "Ratings You've Given" link on the drop down menu, which can be found by hovering/clicking your user name at the top right of every page:

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*Note: I do not think this function is working yet, or at least I was not able to do it when submitting a test rating. But it will be available soon*

As mentioned, the reputation system is extremely helpful for many things, and plays a key role in determining which members deserve status upgrades, as well as those who will need to wait. It has greatly aided in increasing the maturity level and quality of posts on this site, increasing the amount of quality information and reducing the noise. The more we all participate and use this tool, the more everyone benefits.

Common reasons for reputation ratings not being approved

Reputation ratings and comments must be a constructive evaluation of post content in order to be approved during the moderation process, and therefore appear on the post. Below is a list of the most common reasons that ratings are not approved:

Agreeing/disagreeing, without explanation - See 'Needs explanation'

Conflict of opinion - Difference of opinion is not a valid grounds for post ratings. Such conflicts should be addressed through civil discussion in the thread (or if off-topic, via visitor or direct messaging) so that all points of view are fully presented to all readers.

Countering other rating - Ratings are an evaluation of the post, and should not be a reactionary response to other ratings the post has received. Members that repeatedly attempt to 'counter-rep' in this way to invalidate or overpower previous ratings may be infracted for abuse of the reputation system.

Flaming / non-constructive feedback - The rules on forum etiquette also apply to rating comments. Even negative ratings have to be framed respectfully and constructively. Bear in mind that the purpose of negative ratings is to encourage members to improve the quality of their posts rather than punish them. Abusive, antagonistic, or inflammatory comments will not be approved.

Leaving your name or very recognizable writing - The reputation system is intended to be a mechanism for providing anonymous feedback. The comment should not include anything that very obviously identifies the person that left the rating, as this inevitably leads to reputation trade and abuse. If you wish to comment on or thank a member for their post in person, then feel free to leave a visitor message on their profile page. You can also leave them a rating, but it must be anonymous and in no way linked to the personal message.

Needs explanation - Comments must be explained in order to provide constructive feedback. For example, simply saying 'good post' does not provide any information to inform the poster and other readers. It's important to explain why the post was good, or particular aspects of it that you found useful/interesting.

Not an evaluation of post content - Ratings must directly evaluate what's written in the post.

Rating comment is a reply to the post rather than an evaluation of its content - Such comments would be better framed in the form of a post in order to further the discussion.

Thanking, without explanation - See 'Needs explanation'

Unintelligible/unreadable comment - Comments must be clearly written and understandable. The occasional typo is acceptable provided the message is still interpretable, but totally garbled or unreadable comments will not be approved.

Viewing Your Reputation

To view ratings you have received, go to your profile page and locate the "Received Ratings" tab. Donating members can see other members received ratings as well as their own:

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You can see your, or any other member's, total points on each of their posts.

Post Rating System Rules

There are several rules that apply directly to leaving positive, negative, or neutral ratings. Ratings will appear at the bottom of a post, and are viewable by everyone. Moderators will delete reputation left on a post if it does not adhere to our guidelines.
  • Post Ratings need to be anonymous. This is to prevent trade, which is not allowed. You cannot leave names, hints, or other information in the rep comment.
  • Comments must explain why the rating is being left. You should not leave comments that just say 'lol', 'I agree', or 'thanks', as these will be deleted by staff.
  • Do not complain about ratings in a thread or post... This will likely earn you more negative points. From your profile, you can review the ratings you received, and if you disagree with rating, you can report it using the link below each one.
  • Countering existing ratings is not allowed. If you disagree with a rating that another member has received, please do not leave an opposing one in an attempt to balance it out. This is abuse of the system. Instead, use the report function and we will look into it.
  • Be mindful of the amount of points you are giving or taking. In other words, if you give 20 points for a so-so quality post, or conversely take 20 for a relatively minor issue, this will likely be edited by staff.
  • Leaving ratings can not be based on opinion or a conflict of opinion. Before leaving the comment, consider if it could be posted in the thread to promote further discussion.
  • Ratings must be of the purpose to evaluate the quality of a post. Consider if it should be in a post instead.
  • Flaming is not allowed in rating comments just like it is not allowed in the forum.
Repeated abuse of this system is grounds for permanent banning. Leaving your name in the comment is seen as abuse.

So, What Should I Be Rating?

Here are some examples of valid reasons to leave both positive and negative ratings:

Positive Ratings
  • Good question
  • Supportive Post
  • Good advice
  • Good news article
  • Forum-related contributions
  • Highly informative post
  • Good experience report
  • Good TEK
Negative Ratings (in an approximate order of severity)
  • Using SWIM*
  • Posting in the wrong forum*
  • Post is badly formatted and difficult to read* (See Post Formatting section in the Forum posting tips wiki article)
  • Indescriptive thread title*
  • Not using the search engine* (reposting well-covered topic)
  • Off topic post*
  • Useless one liners/posts which add nothing
  • Not explaining statements
  • Using abbreviations/slang
  • Posting in all caps
  • Cross posting (posting the same thing in multiple forums)
  • Linking to other drug related discussion boards
  • Incrimination relating to drug production or cultivation
  • Drug price discussion
  • Unnecessary harshness towards newbie
  • Discussion of suppliers/Source discussion
  • Planning of illegal activity
  • Dangerous advice/Intentional misinformation
  • Inflammatory post
  • Personal Attacks
  • Requesting, offering or trading sources for illegal substances
  • Unnecessary flaming of a newbie
  • Requesting or offering illegal substances
  • Spamming
*Neutral Ratings should be left if this is a member's first post

Note that giving negative rep to a newbie does not bring them closer to being able to edit their posts and correct their mistakes.

For example:
  • A Newbie with just a couple posts should receive a warning for something like self incrimination or off topic posting.
  • A Palladium or Gold member should receive a larger deduction of reputation for self incrimination or off topic posting.

Rating VS Posting VS Profile Message

Bearing in mind the above information, it should be pretty clear what should be posted in a post and what should be posted as rating, and what should be posted in a visitor message.
This section is to clarify any further questions.

Post: Every thread has a certain topic, and all posts in that thread should be on topic. All posts should contain additional information, conflict of opinion, clarification, discussion, etc that is relevant. Any comments that are asking for clarification or adding input should also be put in a post.

Rating: Every rep comment should evaluate the content of a post. This means that thanking for information, expressing gratitude for a good post, and complimenting on a good post should be in a rep comment. Also, rep comments should be notifying of dangerous information, or incorrect information, so long as the information is incorrect for sure. It is good to add a post explaining why the other post in incorrect in detail.

Profile message: If there is something you appreciate in a post, because it's funny, humorous, interesting, friendly, or other, please continue this conversation through profile messages. You can go to the users profile and post a Message referring to a post, and take advantage of the social networking aspect of profiles on drugs forum.

What if I Disagree With a Post Rating I Received?

If you receive a post rating that you disagree with or believe is not valid, you can report it from your list of received ratings:

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Simply click on the Report link below each one, and explain why you feel the post rating is unjust. Once the report is sent, it will be reviewed by staff. Note that this can take time, so please be patient... We will get back to you eventually. You will receive an alert of the final decision.

Anyway, thanks for reading. If you are unclear about something, or have any questions please do not hesitate to ask!

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