buzzy: Chowder obviously doesn't care for what he just ate (Disgusting!)
It's rare when LJ pisses me off enough that I post something publicly, but I've got something to say about Release 93. When I first heard about LJ's Social Capital, I just figured it was a popularity contest. LJ defines it as how "active and influential a user or community is". I'm not here to be influential, but I figure I'm active enough; I've been posting at least something daily for nearly a year now. I don't really care about popularity contests, because I'm not seeking popularity. With the release of r93 (this is the [livejournal.com profile] news entry, and this is the [livejournal.com profile] lj_releases entry), LJ is now using Social Capital make life easier for people who got a higher score by removing CAPTCHAs for anyone with a high score. I guess they got rid of LJ Games because they turned the entire site into a giant game. I hope I'm not the only one who hates the popularity contest thing being brought to the forefront. The magic number is 15, though they want to hide the method of calculating Social Capital because security through obscurity always works. LJ's definition of what makes you active and influential (and based on what they said with the release of r93, being "active and influential" is what you need to count as "human") includes the following:
  • How old the account is.source (My account just turned ten years old yesterday.)
  • How "active" the account is.source There's no way to tell what that means. I post daily...is that active enough?
  • How many people list you as a friend.source1 source2 (I have about 32, as far as I can tell. I might have more if everyone didn't bail.)
  • How many comments you leave in other journals and communities.source (I rarely comment in people's journals because I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing. A lot of times, someone else already said what I was going to say, and I don't want to just post comments consisting entirely of "This" or "+1".)
  • How often you log in.source (For me, this is around 5-7 times a week.)
The big thing that's missing is how many entries you've posted. If you use your LJ as a journal (which is right there in the name "LiveJournal"), you're dinged for not using it as Facebook and trying to get thousands of "friends" you know nothing about and commenting on everything.
I've been around ten years, have a permanent account on LJ, but unless I magically find more friends, I will never have the capital of a "real human" of 15. (LJ also put a rating above my Social Capital, which has me in 181,372nd place between two Russians that haven't updated their LJs for several months.) If this really was a way of telling whether you're a human or not (and not a popularity contest), the biggest test of how human you are is how long you've been around without being banned. If you've managed to be on the site for a while without being called out as a spammer, chances are you're not a spammer. I'm guessing a large chunk of what makes up this calculation is in the "How many people list you as a friend" and "How many comments you leave in other journals and communities" criteria. Since this stupid system isn't going to go away (and it will probably get used for more crap in the future), here's what everyone should do: (1) Everyone should mark as many people as they can find as mutual friends. They can hide people who aren't really friends by changing the default Friends page view to be a friends group of actual friends. Maybe a community could be set up to facilitate this. (2) Set up random comment entries (maybe in the same community) to run up everyone's comment counts. When it hits 5000 (when the CAPTCHA would kick in for the unwashed <15 masses), the entry's commenting is closed and people move to a new entry. If enough people game the system, the system will be meaningless.
There's something ironic (maybe in an Alanis Morissette way) about having a secret computer algorithm determining the chances of me not being a computer.

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buzzy: Steven Universe from the show of the same name with a big smile (Default)
Buzzy

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