Will I agree that Manifold's comments should be free?
May 23
M$818 bet
As part of reworking comments, @IanPhilips just rolled out an excellent change, showing a comment box on every question. This greatly increases discoverability of comments; we're already seeing lots of usage (I feel like I've posted at least 2 additional counterfactual comments, already) However, in this process we also untethered each comment from being attached to a bet. I'm somewhat skeptical of this - ideologically, I think that such actions like market creation and commenting should cost mana, to reflect the negative externality of attention costs. Will I change my mind by the market close time (May 22)? See our thoughts on https://www.notion.so/manifoldmarkets/Comments-46d9337debd3425281303b3d509b9e86

Antani bought M$15 of YES2 days ago

It should cost mana, but it's too good for engagement that you will be strongly tempted to keep it.

Scott Lawrence bought M$27 of YES2 days ago

@Sinclair Chen gives a good compromise. Keep commenting free, but the default UI can de-emphasize comments by people who haven't placed a bet. This is just a small change on top of the current practice of showing the most recent bet, or the user's net position. (I imagine that when bets are officially public next month, even more detailed information will be visible, preventing anyone from trying the sorts of tricks Matt went for below.) There's a negative externality of attention costs, but there's a positive externality of sharing more detailed information than YES/NO. When does the positive outweigh the negative? It's hard to decide. Default to "when person has made a bet", but then allow the user to deem their attention less valuable if desired. eharding also has a good point about rugpulls and commenting on markets made by dishonorable actors.

tcheasdfjkl bought M$15 of NO3 days ago

I'm finding free comments kind of annoying. having comments come with a bet as metadata is useful for seeing quickly what the commenter's stance is & how strong it is. and I do think the mana cost works as a tax on bullshit.

Austin is betting YES at 70% 3 days ago

@tcheasdfjkl Haha that was my original intention, but I think you're one of the few who holds this belief; most people just go "yay free comments" I think I'd anything, the most likely change is that we'll end up making you pay into the liquidity pool, eg M$1, for each comment that would otherwise be "free". Still low friction, and maybe you can even withdraw that if you are so inclined...

Enopoletus Harding 3 days ago

You shouldn't bet on rugpulls, but you should comment on them.

Matt P is betting NO at 78% 4 days ago

I think the case for tying comments to payments is a volume thing @Austin. Comments require moderation. More comments require more moderation. There's probably not a whole lot of spam in the comments right now because Manifold is a relatively small website right now - but as it grows the attractiveness to spambots and trolls will grow as well. I'd posit that unless Manifold wants to maintain a large moderation team, free comments will eventually have to go away.

Austin bought M$50 of YES16 days ago

Thank you for the datapoint, Gavriel! Focusing on new user expectations is super important, and you've moved me by about 10% haha. Would be curious if anyone out there wants to steelman the case for tying comments to payments...

Gavriel K bought M$10 of YES16 days ago

As a brand-new user, my priority is to cautiously use M$ to try to build up a larger reserve that I can use to make more interesting bets and test myself across longer amounts of time. I wouldn’t bother to comment if commenting used up M$. This can go either way for your opinion—maybe you want only users who already have a great track record to comment, but maybe not. I vote not; a higher hurdle to engage with a community you’ve just joined makes that community less attractive. (Counterpoint: I could just not be representative of new users. Maybe most other people aren’t thinking about it this way.) I like the idea of keeping comments free and then fining bad comments/tipping good ones.

Sinclair Chen 21 days ago

I think comments can be an attention cost - see the inane arguments in PredictIt's comment sections. But, I think we should just allow free comments and incent people to give good comments via tipping, upvotes, allowing people to filter/sort comments by bet size. Or maybe, a char limit of 40 + 10 * bet size

Matt P bought M$10 of NO21 days ago

Ah nuts. Lost $3 on that last comment stunt. Fees somewhere, I guess. Still don't really understand how that works or where/when the fees are coming out.

Matt P bought M$100 of YES21 days ago

Commenting doesn't cost mana if you can just sell your shares immediately after you comment, yeah?

Austin is betting NO at 64% 24 days ago

I'm going to say "no" for the purpose of this question. (also because I think we should reveal positions anyways lol)

Ian is betting YES at 64% 24 days ago

Is revealing my position a cost?

JiSK bought M$10 of NOa month ago

I made a thoughtless comment I would like to delete, and probably would not have made it if I had to attach it to a bet.

Ian a month ago

Maybe useful is stack overflow's system: you can get downvotes on 'bad' questions (in this case comments) and lose rep. If someone comes in and is the ONLY person to downvote a question, the question asker and that person both lose rep (in this case, the commenter would lose their comment stake, and the downvoter would pay to downvote). However, if someone else follows suit and downvotes the question again, the two downvoters either get their rep back or actually gain rep/a moderator badge (their downvote cost would be refunded or they could even get the commenters stake).

Isaac Clayton bought M$1 of NOa month ago

Making comments cost money means there's some skin in the game. Honestly I think the price to comment should be higher, not lower. Maybe calculated as some function of number of shares or percent of market volume.

Akhil Wable is betting YES at 62% a month ago

One advantage to limiting it to the creator/admin is avoiding a retribution/reciprocity cycle. Two people can avoid each others questions, and it's transparent. You wouldn't want someone following and burning another persons comments everywhere; especially anonymously, but even otherwise. Also M$1 is probably enough for a first offense?

Austin is betting NO at 62% a month ago

Lol this reminds me of staking in crypto! Maybe if you really hate a comment and are not the creator of the market, you can just burn your own M$ to also burn the commenter's

James Grugett bought M$5 of YESa month ago

Fascinating! Free comments are already unlocking more discussion and ideas. Sounds like the natural moderation strategy for Manifold is to fine users for bad comments (in addition to Austin's idea of tipping them for good comments). As Akhil said, this model works well with free comments. Maybe the market creator or an assigned moderator can arbitrarily burn up to M$ 10 of your balance per comment you made? It's equivalent to a loan that you are forced to pay back once your comment is decided to be bad.

Akhil Wable is betting YES at 60% a month ago

> Therefore making comments would require some balance/margin for the person making the comment Even better would be to loan the margin. That way it will have absolutely no impact on a majority of the users.

Akhil Wable is betting YES at 60% a month ago

A half-baked idea: - Market Creators should be able to deduct some amount from people with low quality comments. Only market creator, because the creators authority on the market is already established and understood. - Therefore making comments would require some balance/margin for the person making the comment - Put a time limit or time decay so that the margin isn't tied up forever - Don't need to call much attention to this mechanism since a vast majority of people won't be affected

Akhil Wable is betting YES at 60% a month ago

Thanks @Austin. I agree that avoiding a popularity contest is essential to a healthy community; Though "Not letting a small percentage of bad actors ruin it for everyone" would be a good driving principle; but is understandably hard to build. Some way to tax lower quality stuff rather than relying on making it harder to do in general. Essentially, want to avoid something like a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licence_Raj

Austin bought M$9 of NOa month ago

I definitely agree that's the case today, for all but a handful of comments. But in the long run you end up with Twitter or Reddit or something - optimized for engagement, not truth. Maybe I'm thinking too far out but I'm worried that switching over from free to paid in the future gets harder once the expectation has been set? But even as I say it, it doesn't sound super true; Akhil, you've definitely updated my views a bit. (also, exploring the idea more: we should maybe pay M$ to represent the positive externality, eg by letting people tip for them. I'd tip for yours!) https://manifoldmarkets.notion.site/Comment-Tips-3a3873ed48f54790ac193d96e2403e1d

Akhil Wable bought M$40 of YESa month ago

Comments currently have net positive externality. Conversation and information is good for users and the platform.

Adam bought M$8 of NOa month ago

Free Comments and its consequences have been a disaster for the Manifold Marketplace!

Ian a month ago

made it public now!

David Glidden a month ago

@Austin Notion link is private?