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Kudoz: trashing other people's answers and then suggesting one of your own...
Thread poster: paula13

paula13  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:39
Member (2005)
Jul 19, 2005

Here’s something that’s been bugging me for quite a while now. In my language pairs there are people who keep adding comments on other people's answers before suggesting their own. So they'll add “neutral” to all the other answers suggested, with their own explanation of why the other person is wrong (which doesn't always make sense either by the way) and then provide an answer themselves. I can understand that this might be necessary if the answer provided is totally wrong, like if the question is “how do you say "verde" in English?” and someone answers “black," then I get it. But systematically adding “neutral” to all the other answers just to promote your own seems a little wrong to me. The worse part is that I always see the exact same people doing it, so it looks like it’s a habit. Are there any rules against that? If not, am I the only one who thinks there should be? Has this come up in another forum? If so, I’d love to read what you guys think.

Paula


[Edited at 2005-07-19 20:23]


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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:39
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
neutrals and disagrees Jul 19, 2005

You might find this related forum topic of interest.
http://www.proz.com/topic/34228


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 13:39
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
My opinion Jul 19, 2005

Hello Paula,

I agree with you, I don't think it's right to disagree if the answer suggested is not blatantly wrong. But I also think prozians shouldn't be afraid to disagree, ONLY if there's a good reason. At least in my language pair, I've seen many collegues suggest answers without even reading the context/field or --even worse-- completely disregarding it. The Kudoz system is not an interactive dictionary, it is a glossary, so not only the asker is going take advantage of it but all of us.

But of course, if you see that the same person keeps doing the same without an actual reason, just to get the points, you could email the moderator of the pair.

Claudia


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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:39
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
recently discussed Jul 19, 2005

Hi Paula, I posted a thread recently on roughly the same subject:
"disagreeing vs being neutral if you have suggested another answer"

http://www.proz.com/topic/32688

However, I'm afraid there is no solution other than setting a good example and using fair-play.

I was quite amazed when I saw this happening, but it seems to be occurring a bit less recently.

Ciao, Daniela



[Edited at 2005-07-19 21:54]

[Edited at 2005-07-20 00:01]


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gad
United States
Local time: 14:39
Member
French to English
I think a "neutral" is pretty polite, actually Jul 20, 2005

It doesn't take away from the first answer, and it does give feedback. In fact, I don't particularly see what is wrong with this at all. It's better than a disagree, and it does give feedback, whether or not you agree with what the person says or find it useful at all. We're here to share information, to collaborate, so I think this is a perfectly polite way to do so. JMO.

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gad
United States
Local time: 14:39
Member
French to English
The first post mentioned comments along with a "neutral", not a "disagree" Jul 20, 2005

Caliaa wrote:

Hello Paula,

I agree with you, I don't think it's right to disagree if the answer suggested is not blatantly wrong.


I agree with you, but Paula actually didn't talk about someone disagreeing, she specifically mentioned people putting comments under "neutral" which, IMO, is rather a polite way to give feedback, without disagreeing because like you said, a "disagree" is reserved for a response that is just plain wrong, whereas "neutral" is just a comment regarding why the response might not fit in context, etc.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
One's own answer is usually enough Jul 20, 2005

The fact that you have seen other people's answers and then offered a different one of your own is usually enough. It means that you feel your answer is either better than the others, or if not better, at least another viable alternative for the asker to choose from.

Only in more extreme cases, for instance where there is a general misunderstanding of something, would it make sense to knock other people's answers.

In many cases possible errors made by others in their answers can be addressed in one's own answer without directly commenting on the others.


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paula13  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:39
Member (2005)
TOPIC STARTER
Exactly Jul 20, 2005

Henry Hinds wrote:



Only in more extreme cases, for instance where there is a general misunderstanding of something, would it make sense to knock other people's answers.

In many cases possible errors made by others in their answers can be addressed in one's own answer without directly commenting on the others.


Hi Henry,
That's exactly what I was trying to say... thanx!
Paula


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paula13  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:39
Member (2005)
TOPIC STARTER
Actually.... Jul 20, 2005

gad wrote:

Caliaa wrote:

Hello Paula,

I agree with you, I don't think it's right to disagree if the answer suggested is not blatantly wrong.


I agree with you, but Paula actually didn't talk about someone disagreeing, she specifically mentioned people putting comments under "neutral" which, IMO, is rather a polite way to give feedback, without disagreeing because like you said, a "disagree" is reserved for a response that is just plain wrong, whereas "neutral" is just a comment regarding why the response might not fit in context, etc.


Hi guys,
I totally agree with "neutral" bieng a nicer way to disagree, but actually what I'm talking about is using either neutral or disagree to put down someone else's answer only to make your own seem better. In my language pair a couple of people do that every single time they answer a question and honestly, it's getting a bit annoying. So it's not so much about neutral vs. disagree, it's more about trashing other people's answers.
Paula


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:39
German to English
Points grabbers Jul 20, 2005

paula arturo wrote:

but actually what I'm talking about is using either neutral or disagree to put down someone else's answer only to make your own seem better. In my language pair a couple of people do that every single time they answer a question and honestly, it's getting a bit annoying. So it's not so much about neutral vs. disagree, it's more about trashing other people's answers.
Paula


Yes, they are called KudoZ points grabbers, Paula. A very unpleasant lot. Some will fight tooth and nail to get those points. I must say, for someone who just joined us, you are really getting to the key issues quickly. In US politics the slogan "it's the economy, stupid!" was once very popular. The idea was to remind the candidates that what the people cared about most was the economy. My slogan for KudoZ is "it's the glossary, stupid!"



[Edited at 2005-07-20 05:15]


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xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 20:39
French to English
+ ...
Curious.... Jul 20, 2005

I am not sure I understand this question. What do you mean by "trashing"? I ask because I have been known to see a question and the answers so far given and to realise they are all on the wrong track. No, I'm not a genius but sometimes these things happen. In such a case, I would make a "neutral" comment explaining that there has been a misunderstanding. Would you describe that as trashing?
Quite recently, there was a case in point and I started by giving my answer. However, the question had begun in a different time zone and there were several answers, all based on a totally wrong interpretation of the context. Each had several "agrees". I was a little afraid that the asker would automatically "go with the flow". So I added a note briefly explaining the misunderstanding in my answer. But still more "agrees" came in for the others. Getting desperate, I put a "neutral" to the wrong answers and, in the first case, explained briefly why. Now maybe you would class that as trashing or trying to force asker's hand but what was I supposed to do?
Fortunately a few other people took up the refrain and light began to dawn.
It can work both ways because the other day I joined in a series of answers which were all completely beside the point and got carried along on the flow myself. It was only when answerer 12 came along and got it right that I realised that I had been following like a sheep and trying to find the best turn of phrase without really looking at the question. But I am sure the points will go to a wrong answer, which is not the problem. The problem is that someone will give in a mistranlsation and that cannot be acceptable!
So how to you convince people, pray?


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paula13  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:39
Member (2005)
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Kim Jul 20, 2005

[quote]Kim Metzger wrote:

paula arturo wrote:


Yes, they are called KudoZ points grabbers, Paula. A very unpleasant lot. Some will fight tooth and nail to get those points. I must say, for someone who just joined us, you are really getting to the key issues quickly. In US politics the slogan "it's the economy, stupid!" was once very popular. The idea was to remind the candidates that what the people cared about most was the economy. My slogan for KudoZ is "it's the glossary, stupid!"



[Edited at 2005-07-20 05:15]


Hi Kim,
I can't beleive there's even a name for them! I have to say I'm amazed at what people will do for a couple more kudoz points on their profiles, as if!
When I first started actively participating in proz (about 2 months ago) I thought Kudoz were a fun way of helping each other out. I usually answer questions when I'm tired of translating, but sometimes I get so frustrated at how people act to get points or how the treat eacher that it makes me not want to participate. What worries me the most, as you said Kim is that it's not about the points at all and some people just don't seem to get it.


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:39
German to English
It's the Glossary, stupid! Jul 20, 2005

Hi again, Paula. There are conscientious peer-graders like CMJ_Trans and many more who use "neutrals" and "disagrees" for their intended purpose: a quality control system, and they really do understand that KudoZ is about helping askers get the right translation and entering the right translation in the glossaries for future use. They're not in it for the points. I know you've read the thread about "disagreeing."

http://www.proz.com/topic/34228?start=15

So, we have to be careful not to confuse those folks with the obvious points grabbers who actually do use the peer-grading system as a trump card in the game they play strictly for points.


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teju  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree with Henry Jul 20, 2005

Henry Hinds wrote:

The fact that you have seen other people's answers and then offered a different one of your own is usually enough. It means that you feel your answer is either better than the others, or if not better, at least another viable alternative for the asker to choose from.

Only in more extreme cases, for instance where there is a general misunderstanding of something, would it make sense to knock other people's answers.

In many cases possible errors made by others in their answers can be addressed in one's own answer without directly commenting on the others.


Hi Paula,
I totally agree with Henry. I participate in the same language pairs as you, and I know what you are talking about. I think the behavior of people tells a lot more about who they are than they realize. Apart from giving away neutrals to all others, there are other "not so nice" trends, like when someone changes an answer slightly instead of giving his colleague an agree (this has been talked about in the forum before).
One of my very first experiences in ProZ involved a question from a legal document, a verb. I was first to answer, but later on, someone took my suggested answer and translated the whole sentence for the asker, and that was the answer chosen.
Adding a note to your answer, explaining why you think you are on the right track, offering references or links, it's the best way to go. I think after you've participated in our language pairs for a while, you'll see who's who.
And then there are others who are such a pleasure, and lucky for us, they are the majority. Welcome Paula.
Saludos,
teju


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:39
German to English
+ ...
Other side of the coin: passive/aggressive? Jul 20, 2005

Interesting discussion, Paula. I am not denying that there are those who abuse the system.

However, on the occasions that I/someone give(s) a neutral or disagree, I can't tell you how many times I have seen (or personally experienced!) a response along the lines: "Well smartypants, if you know so much better, why don't you suggest an answer yourself?"

In fact, I often feel *compelled* to make an alternative suggestion when I disagree with others! I mean, isn't it kind of passive-aggressive to shoot others down and not take the risk yourself of "entering the arena"? Maybe it has to do with the order of actions: I will typically give a neutral or disagree first, after which a potentially better solution dawns on me. I just want to acknowledge the fact that there may be an alternative interpretation to such actions.


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