Red dots

Red dots have been used more and more for simple disagreement. I have yet to find a good reason to give a red dot. If there is no reason to give them, why do we have them? I am not saying that we should get rid of all dots. Just the red dots. It is my opinion that they are promoting conflict among those of CD. If we were to keep the green dots and get rid of the red. We could still say “that was a great post” and not say “that was a lousy post”. I know that similar topics have arised in the past, but I think now is the time to rethink it given the increase in conflicts.

My only advice…ignore the dots. They are just that, dots, dots to relate to an irrelevant number that means nothing in your everyday life. If someone doesn’t like your post and gives you a red dot, send them a PM back and talk to them about it.

Yes there have been many discussions on the subject of reputation on these forums and really all you can get out of them is “They’re just dots”

“They’re just dots.”

And green dots are often used for simple agreement. I can think of reasons to give reds, but I usually don’t because it’s obvious that the “offenders” have already gotten plenty.

If you have a simple agreement or disagreement, there are some other ways to communicate it. Neutral rep, for instance. Or PMs.

Or you could just ignore the rep system altogether.

Edit: I’m with Joe on why I’d give any negative rep. I never have given any, though. In at least a couple of cases, I’ve been glad of it later. Typically, everyone else beats me to it, and I figure enough is enough.

They are just dots.

That being said, the only times I will negative rep is when

  1. I am particularly frustrated with a spambot
  2. Someone posts something, not just a opinion I disagree with, or a simple incorrect fact, but something blatantly disrespectful, like a personal attack, and then posts again refusing to apologise. Take this thread for example. I only negative repped after the second post. In general, I also only do this when multiple posts have appeared suggesting that I am far from alone in my impression that the post is hugely disrespectful.

I’ve both recieved and given positive reps for anything from a simple joke to a long thought-out analysis of something, even if we disagree on the matter, such as mentor-student build.

I haven’t yet recieved any negative rep here (then again, I’ve only been actively posting here for about a year and a half). I got one on another forum for posting in a word association game thread, with the message “forumgames sux.” The truth is, many people are just too quick in pushing that “add to reputation” button. Sometimes I wish that CDs software would tell us this before, rather than after adding reputation.

wait what dots…?

I think it was Andy who said “they’re just dots” (Someone please correct me, if I’m wrong).

It’s true. If you get one for a petty reason, shrug it off, chalk it up to the person being a jerk, and move on.

Just as there are good reasons to give positive reputation, there are good reasons to give bad reputation. Go reverse sort members by reputation. It’s immediately going to show you people who are either trouble makers, or cannot communicate their thoughts without resorting to personal attacks and inappropriate discussion.

It’s a relatively useless metric anyways. I don’t choose who’s posts to read based on the reputation they have.

I know many whom have only a small amount of reputation. These people are often ones we should all look up to, and take note whenever they post; even though they don’t post as frequently as some, their insight is unparalleled.

I know there’s some users who have massive amounts of reputation who’s posts I glance at, or don’t read at all.

My point is that the number of dots doesn’t matter. What it comes down to is that if you write well thought out posts that avoid personal attacks and denigrating others, people will take notice, even if you have very few. If you post inane drivel, people will take notice as well, and ignore you.

It is not just that one’s views may contradict those of the thread at hand, it is more often how those ideas are presented.

I’ve only received negative reputation once*. Seriously.

And I’ve disagreed with a lot of people.

If you find yourself often receiving the red dots of doom, then start a series of private messages with the people who sent them your way. See what it was that made them decide that.

Sometimes (and I know I’ve been guilty of this once), people make mistakes and may overreact to a message. They may be in a hurry or having a bad day, and read through the thread quickly and may miss a critical part of a post, a part which lacking from the original post can me it take an entirely different attitude.

If they end up not having a valid reason, or stating that they just disagree with your ideas, then report it to the moderators as an abuse of the reputation system.

A society without contrasting ideas will never move forward; however those contrasting ideas must be based on fact, must be rational/logical, and must be presented in a respectful manner. As long as all posts adhere to those guidelines, there should never be a need for negative reputation.

*And it ended up being something which the other user thought I was wrong about a particular aspect of shop safety. I really didn’t care, as I knew that my advice was 100% in line with that of all OSHA and industry-approved safety guidelines, but it was one area where I thought that FIRST had gone way overboard in their quest for “safety”. But that’s another topic for another day…

You have no visibility whatsoever into how others are using the reputation system.

ugh are we talking about this again?!?..

I’m sorry if this doesn’t sound sympathetic, but it seems like a few people on this forum need to get a thicker set of skin and not take everything so serious (like this comment for example). These are words on a computer screen, please stop giving the text on this screen such incredible power over how you feel. If red dots or someone disagreeing with your ideas is the worst thing that happened today…consider yourself lucky.

I really like the rep system. Yeah, they’re just dots… but not only is it cool to have a way to congratulate someone on making a really meaningful post, but it was really kind of fun as a newbie on CD to see that others thought I was making meaningful posts and watch that little rep bar grow. Heck, it is still fun!

So I think there is a strong argument in favour of “green dots”. Yeah, they are just dots, but what they represent in the way of a model to recognize community contributions is, I think, significant.

As for the red dots, the fact that they are so rarely used says a lot about the CD community. This is a pretty positive place. Yes, we could probably get by without them… and sure, they are probably used inappropriately sometimes… but there are times when they do serve a purpose and allow a small symbolic protest against rude, obnoxious, or repeatedly incorrect posts.

I think the system actually works pretty well… not perfectly, but pretty well… and do glance at a poster’s rep bar. Since we lack the many unconcious signals that we get in face to face communication it is just one more indicator that can help us sort out who is posting and how we can best reply to their post.

Yeah, they are just dots… but I don’t know too many people who’ve got a big green line of them who got there by accident!


They are just dots. They might not feel too great but if they really are for a petty reason, don’t even bother.

I agree with stephen. Sticks and stones, my friend.


EDIT: Don’t get me wrong, they are quite useful but don’t give them too much power over you.

Red dots keep our less proud moments in check.

The way I’ve seen them used (and sparingly used them in return) is as a tactful way to privately tell someone not that they’re wrong, but that they’re being inappropriately unprofessional about what they’re saying.

I don’t even know how they really work, nor did I know they exsisted until I accidentally clicked on the user cp button. It was a pleasant surprise. The only red dot I’ve gotten was from a disgruntled teammate for personal reasons.
They aren’t really bad. They’re like weapons; depending on whose using them, they are useful and protective. Alas, many tend to misuse them, the same as the red dots.

My .02


To answer the question,
If I were to give negative rep, I would only give it when someone is being incredibly rude. Putting down a team, talking negatively about one’s appearance in a thread, and calling other people names. It’s the type of thing where I think they are being offensive and could possibly hurt the feelings of another FIRSTer. And this of course is not common at all in CD forums and thats why it’s not really a big deal for me.

Something to understand is that everyone has their own opinions and if they differ from yours, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wrong.

As for negative rep given to me, I’ve only gotten it once from someone I gave negative rep to for being rude to multiple teams. The comment that came with his negative rep was rude as well, go figure.

You agitating my dots?

JVN doesn’t agitate the dots.

I knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy’s cousin, who knew this other guy that agitated the dots. Yeah… You do NOT agitate the dots.


Personally, I have never given out negative rep, but like some others I have come pretty close in a few circumstances. To me, it just doesn’t seem like that useful of a tool; many of the posters on CD are intelligent people who will take constructive criticism if it is provided. It also seems to me that someone is more likely to take advice as constructive criticism and follow the advice if it is offered neutrally, instead of being accompanied by negative rep, which is part of the reason why I use neutral rep to convey a message that otherwise would have been accompanied by a red dot.

The other major reason why I don’t give negative rep is a matter of scale. Many posts that are, in my opinion, candidates for negative rep come from newer users with smallish rep totals; my rep power is high enough that if I gave a newer user negative rep, it would represent a significant portion of their overall total. Wiping out 10% of someone’s rep for a single mistake is not particularly high on my list of things to do, and is, in my opinion, disproportionate to what they actually did. Personally, I would like a feature that would let you choose to give someone just a single negative rep point instead of blasting someone’s rep total, but I might be the only one.

On the other hand, I think the green dots are a very good feature to have. They give new members a positive incentive to make polite, helpful posts, which is always a good thing.

I like the green-dot system very much. It definitely helps people new to CD feel more comfortable posting. It’s a little nudge; a way-to-go-chap-your-post-adds-flavor-to-the-mix. It’s nice to get feedback that your thoughts can be insightful.

The negative rep points have their pros and cons. One of the bigger pros I see is that it lets the people of CD inform others when they might be a tad out of line, and should maybe reconsider their actions. However, a PM could do the job just as well, I suppose. The red dots should definitely be used sparingly, as I believe they are.

Anywho. From a [relatively] new user…all you Chief Delphi-ans: Keep on, Keepin’ On!! :slight_smile: