Will I agree that Manifold's comments should be free?
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
@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 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$1, for each comment that would otherwise be "free". Still low friction, and maybe you can even withdraw that if you are so inclined...
I think the case for tying comments to payments is a volume thing @Austin. Comments require moderation. More comments require more moderation. There's probably not a whole lot of spam in the comments right now because Manifold is a relatively small website right now - but as it grows the attractiveness to spambots and trolls will grow as well. I'd posit that unless Manifold wants to maintain a large moderation team, free comments will eventually have to go away.
As a brand-new user, my priority is to cautiously use M$ 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.
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
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).
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$1 is probably enough for a first offense?
Fascinating! Free comments are already unlocking more discussion and ideas. Sounds like the natural moderation strategy for Manifold is to fine users for bad comments (in addition to Austin's idea of tipping them for good comments). As Akhil said, this model works well with free comments. Maybe the market creator or an assigned moderator can arbitrarily burn up to M$ 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.
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
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
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