Poll: Should Manifold keep daily free questions?
resolved Jun 3
Write "YES" or "NO" in the comments to cast your vote on whether Manifold should keep daily free questions. Right now, the Manifold platform provides M$100 to subsidize one market every 24 hours for users. On the one hand, this encourages the creation of more questions. On the other hand, it creates the opportunity for abuse (extracting a free M$100 every day), means users don't have skin in the game, and is another complication in the UI. This market will resolve YES if a majority of the votes are YES; NO if a majority are NO within a week of the creation of this question. (In the case of a tie, I will resolve PROB at 50%.)
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YES, but with no payouts to the market creator.
NO - there are better ways of encouraging market creation than subsidising one per day. Allowing some form of loans to encourage more betting -> more market creator fees would be one, as would refunding some liquidity once a market has enough activity. (And neither of these would allow users to get free money)
predicted YES
YES - changing my vote after some reflection. I don't actually want the regular free markets removed, I just think the incentive to farm them should be removed. There are many possible solutions there but my current favored is just to disallow market makers from betting on their own free markets.
Or to be more specific, I would recommend implementing a weekly M$100 login bonus as well as keeping the daily free markets (and disallowing market makers from betting on their own free markets).
predicted YES
(as I articulated here: https://manifold.markets/MattP/will-the-rules-of-daily-free-market)
predicted NO
@MattP I think I like this solution the best.
Dropping my NO shares as I don't think that's going to win the poll. Still answering NO personally, though. xD
YES, really remarkable impact on friction of creating a market! Some anti-cheese measures are in-order though!
YES -- I only started creating markets when the free daily markets were added. Beforehand, the M$100 hurdle seemed to expensive
NO, too many bugs in that stupid countdown code
Yes, but ban the market maker from being the first to trade.
predicted NO
@EnopoletusHarding That would achieve absolutely nothing. You could just team up with a friend and profit off each other's markets.
predicted YES
@Yev sure, but it's more friction towards doing so.
YES The personal questions and questions about fringe topics are what makes manifold interesting to me and different in a lot of ways. Wouldn't have as many without free ways to create one.
This is easy: allow daily free markets but require “personal/frivolous” markets be categorized this way, and hide them from the home screen.
Personally, without the daily free markets, I'll stop creating markets. The spam markets aren't really such a problem IMO---people intending to extract free mana simply resolve markets quickly, so they don't appear when searching. There are already plenty of platforms on which there's a scarcity of markets. In fact, "prediction markets are scarce" is the /default/ state of the world right now. The fact that on manifold, attention is scarce instead of markets, is very weird, but it's weird in a new and welcome way.
YES I find most joy on MM through creating markets and so would not want that to end. I find myself incentivized to come up with more markets to not let my “free” market go to waste. Generally I’m still bullish on MM loosely being a “Twitter for prediction markets”. As such, could you imagine if Twitter only gave you 10 free tweets until you had to earn more through other engagement? That might make Twitter less of the cesspool it is today but would severely limit its scale IMO.
NO. Instead have a section of proposed questions (for those with more ideas than capital) and anyone can come along and click “fund this idea” to make the market. Idea person resolves, investor gets fees.
YES As a new user I would never have created markets if I had to use 10% of my money to do so. I started making markets after the daily free markets were added and I really enjoy it! Now I have enough money to continue making markets even if I no longer get a free one every day.
NO -- This is just my sense as a user. When I create a market I either want to pay money for information or else I want to risk money because I think I'm right and other people are wrong. In neither case do I want to be the recipient of a subsidy.
NO I am very tired of the junk markets and the incentive to create uninteresting questions.
YES unless the replacement also substantially encourages or subsidizes market creation. I think it's important for creating questions not to always be expensive - M100 is a lot when you start with only M1000. For me personally, I have plenty of questions I want to ask and daily is a good frequency. I'm probably not a representative user. But if I had to pay M100 to create each market I would definitely create fewer. I think my questions are good questions, but it's also disappointing to see that they often don't get many bets.
predicted NO
@jack there's a balance at work here between question supply and question demand, and how those interact with the mana supply. What you're describing is a situation (which I agree is the case) where question supply is much higher than question demand, so fewer of your questions are being bet on. This is a problem worth solving. The question is how? I'm going to make the case that removing daily free markets in favor of adding some daily/weekly login bonus would do this - get more of your questions answered. Here we go. It seems reasonable to say that question demand (aka, how many questions the bettors in the market collectively want to bet on) is positively correlated with mana supply. If you have a bunch of spare mana lying around, you'll be more interested in dropping bets on questions you otherwise wouldn't bother with. Here's the rub - question supply (henceforth Qsupply) is, of course, *also* correlated with mana supply. In a situation in which we have too much Qsupply and not enough Qdemand, and both are correlated with M$supply, what do we do to address the imbalance? Well, we have to look at how M$supply is currently being provided to answer that question. Currently, mana is injected into the system primarily by the daily free markets, which (unless a user is exploiting them for income, which is not something a typical user will realize they can do) means M$supply is going disproportionately towards raising Qsupply. The only users actually getting regular injections of mana are those who disproportionately use that mana to make questions rather than betting, with a few exceptions (aka the people who use the daily questions for mana income and go and bet on markets, who are few and far between). Now, we *do* need a steady stream of M$supply flowing into the system to keep it going - we don't want things to stagnate. But I'll ask you this... does that steady stream of M$supply really need to be provided in such a way that it only increases Qsupply? What if we could weigh our M$supply more towards increasing Qdemand, instead of almost exclusively increasing Qsupply? Well, we can. Just remove the daily free markets and implement a daily (or weekly) M$ login bonus instead. If you do this, the users who have a lot of good questions (like you) will use that login bonus to make good questions. The users who don't have a lot of good questions will instead use that login bonus to make bets. Everybody wins, we've addressed the supply/demand imbalance. TL;DR - I agree there are too many questions and too few bets. First rule of subsidies is that you get more of what you pay for, whether that's a good thing or not. Manifold can address this by stopping paying just for questions and paying for participation (whether question or bet) instead.
Probably should've framed this the other way around since ostensibly the point of a prediction market is to get answers. That's probably more intuitive. Flipping the frame, "answer demand" (aka questions) is currently subsidized while "answer supply" (aka bets) is not. Therefore the current system is actively making it more difficult to pay for good answers to questions.
predicted YES
@MattP I think you're roughly right about the problems (relatively more markets than bettors) but I'm not sold on the solution (stop subsidizing markets). I think something like "start subsidizing bettors" is the right way to go, and that these aren't exclusive - right now, we want more of both!
predicted NO
@Austin True - and I think bringing loans back is also a good idea. It would subsidize betting without adding too much inflation. I'm curious how you feel about UBI as a concept. Our current discussion reminds me of arguments between technocratic folks who want carefully tailored poverty programs whose knobs can be tweaked just so, vs free market folks who think trying to predict specific needs and address each one individually is futile, and that one should just give poor people money. I'm arguing that if you want more activity on the site in general, just subsidize activity broadly speaking. (and yes, I'm aware the UBI discussion is an imperfect analogy - we're really just talking about two goods here, questions and answers, so there's a decent chance you can make the top-down approach work... I'll still argue for the "free market" approach though. INVISIBLE HAND!)
@MattP Good points. We talked about this on Discord, but summarizing some points here: I agree that we should think about two separate questions a) how much M$ to give participants overall, and b) what proportion of that to give to traders vs creators. I agree that giving it all to the creators seems bad, and we should give a large fraction to traders. And I agree that a login bonus could be good way to do this. On the other hand, I think there's an important reason you might want to subsidize market creation: creating market is an expense (you expect to lose m100, unless you take some of that back via self-betting), whereas when you trade on a market you generally expect it to be profitable. So subsidizing the liquidity provisioning of a market helps reduce this disincentive against market creation. Exactly how much you want to incentivize vs disincentive market creation is a tradeoff of course, but I think more markets is probably a good thing, especially if we improve the general mechanisms to increase the visibility of markets that people think are good/interesting and decrease the visibility of markets that people think are bad. Also, abusing the free daily markets can be mitigated directly without removing free daily markets entirely. This also goes back to my other suggestion that creating a market shouldn't necessarily require providing substantial liquidity to a market - I feel like we should increase the separation between the two, by incentivizing liquidity providers more (there are various possibilities that have been discussed) and lowering the expense for market creation.
predicted NO
@jack doing my part to correct the imbalance. https://manifold.markets/MattP/i-will-resolve-this-question-yes-2350bfd5658b