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Reputation System FAQ

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Retired Staff
Oct 27, 2002
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Cleveland, Ohio
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What is the Reputation System?
The reputation system is very similar to the Karma system seen on other popular websites and forums (Slashdot.org, for example). Its purpose is to hopefully give users an idea of how respected, knowledgeable, helpful, gracious, etc., a person is. It is a system in which you rate your peers. It is a system that, hopefully, will make you think twice about your posts.

How do I give reputation?
There is a button in the lower left corner of each post. Click that button to display the reputation box:

After the rep box displays, choose positive or negative and always leave a comment so the person knows why you're giving them the rep.

Will the person know who left them rep?
No, not unless you tell them. You can only see the post and the comment for each rep point given, not who left it. Often though, people will leave their name in the comment so you know who it's from. However if you want to remain anonymous, you are able to do so.

How much reputation can I give out? Are there any limits?
There are quite a few limits in place to prevent minor abuse of the reputation system. Obviously there cannot be a flawless system, but these limits try to curb any intentional abuse. You must have 10 posts and 10 reputation points in order for your reputation to count on other people. Until you meet those requirements, your reputation will show up as grey dots (see below).

Everybody is limited to giving out 20 reputations per day; you cannot give the same person reputation until you have given reputation to 10 other people. This prevents friends from giving 20 reputations to the same person every day.

How do I see what reputation people have left me? How do I know how many rep points I have?
If you log into your Profile (linked from the top of every page), you'll see a list of the last 15 reputation points you received. In the upper right is your reputation score.

Someone gave me bad/good reputation and I want it removed. What can I do?
If you have a valid complaint about reputation, send a private message to any moderator with a link to the post you were given incorrect reputation. All complaints will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and changes to the reputation are not guaranteed.

What do the green, red, and grey dots mean?
A green dot indicates that you were given positive reputation. A red dot indicates that you were given negative reputation. A grey dot indicates that the user gave you reputation, but it counted neither positive or negative.

Why would a reputation point not count?
When a new user first starts out, their reputation does not count. There are a few factors that determine when their reputation should start counting. Some of those factors are the number of posts, the number of days they have been registered, and the number of reputation points that have been given to them.

In addition, even long-term members may not count if their reputation score is not at least 10.

When my reputation starts to count, do my previous grey dots start to count?
No, once a reputation value has been given (negative, positive, or neutral) the point values will never change retroactively. If you give a zero-point reputation, it will remain a zero-point reputation no matter how high or low your reputation point values become.

What are good reasons to leave positive reputation?
Reputation should be given to people who post meaningful, helpful, and thoughful posts. Any post that contributes to the thread in a positive way probably deserves positive reputation. This does not mean that you agree with what was said; the point brought up may be completely opposite to what you believe, but it may be a good point nonetheless, and worthy of a pat on the back. Giving positive reputation to someone because they are your friend and deserve to have a few more green dots next to their name isn't a good reason to give positive reputation.

What are good reasons to leave negative reputation?
Negative reputation should be given if the person is posting something that detracts from the conversation. If the post is rude, inappropriate, breaks forum rules, is not gracious, etc; these are all good reasons to give negative reputation. If you have a personal grudge with someone, it is not appropriate to give them negative reputation without reason. Giving negative reputation because you don't agree with what was said is not an appropraite use of the reputation system. People are entitled to their own opinions, and just because you don't agree doesn't mean the user was wrong or not contributing to the conversation.

Do I have to participate in the reputation system?
The reputation system is completely optional. But, by participating in discussion in our forums you are eligible to receive positive and negative reputation points from other users. You are not obligated to do so for others. However, the more people that use the system, the better and more reliable it becomes.

Any questions or comments about the system, please use this thread.
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