1. 7

the comments section has downvote flags for me-too and spam, what would you think about adding options like missing-reference or (missing-citation || missing-source || where's the proof?) ?

  1.  

  2. 6

    I don’t think this would help any of our discussions. Downvotes, even our rationalized ones which come in several flavors, are a pretty weak signal. I think it would be much better for you to simply reply to the unsubstantiated comments you are concerned about, asking politely ‘can you provide a reference for [specific claim]?’

    1. 2

      Downvotes, even our rationalized ones which come in several flavors, are a pretty weak signal.

      I agree with you 100% on the fact that downvotes are weak signal. A report and a tag would definitely work better, but perhaps is overkill?

      politely asking for references is definitely an option too, but I personally think it’s a question no one asks often enough. And on top of that downvoting has a smaller inertia.

      My (naive) hope is that even if it’s a weak signal, it will still be enough to train us commenters.

      1. 4

        I personally think it’s a question no one asks often enough.

        Be the change you wish to see in the world.

        it will still be enough to train us commenters.

        People mess up, or they post something quickly in the spur of the moment (I’m certainly guilty of this). I much prefer a comment asking for clarification rather than an anonymous downvote that doesn’t address a specific flaw in my statement.

        I really hope Lobste.rs is a community where anyone who feels they don’t understand someone’s argument can pipe up and ask for clarification. Just be reasonably polite and it usually works out.

    2. 4

      What’s wrong with incorrect?

      1. 3

        to say if something is correct or not, you have to provide some reasoning or a proof of some sort. I think it’s overall a good idea to provide sources or references for statements, especially if those are important to the discussion. I’m suggesting a tiny nudge towards a more scientific approach.

        Clearly sometimes it wont be important, or maybe the comment is giving a personal opinion. But say you see a comment like these:

        X says that Pineapple on Pizza is good

        or

        Stats says OOO programming jobs are down 10%

        Are those incorrect? Maybe. But should provide a reference