Our younger site members may not get the reference, but our older ones surely will ..... me, I sit somewhere in the middle and cannot really remember Sally Field's oscar winning speech where she made that cringeworthy comment, but have heard about it often enough, and know enough of who she is to chuckle ....
However, its a perfect segue into a blog about the biggest change on the site that some users will notice ... the replacement of the Red/Green dot system for a "like" system.
The Red/Green dots certainly caused comments when we introduced them, and I am not telling tales out of school when I said that most of the moderators had grave concerns over introducing them in the first place. However, we implemented it because some (myself included) thought it would be good, users could vote up the good posts and express concerns over the dodgy or negative ones ... and those same users would be adult enough to use it properly .... but not so.
In the end, some users used it the way it was intended, and we thank you for that. However, some abused it to take the piss, and yet more abused it to partake in cyber-bullying by saving up all their red dots for one or two users ... so much so that we had to create a new user category specifically so we could prevent the serial abusers from applying any dots at all.
Thats not the spirit of what we intended, and its one of those areas where poison can creep into the site so we decided - with the new version of the software - to swich to the new "Like" system which only has positive vibes ......
Users can "like" pretty much as many posts as they want (think I set it to 100 per day, but that can be increased if we want), and everyone will be able to see who liked a post, but it is not possible to "dislike" a post (and I doubt we would implement that if it ever became an option). This is more in the style of what was intended .... vote up the good stuff and show appreciation for those users making a positive contribution to the site rather than picking on users because they are younger, smaller or - in your humble opinion - less intelligent - than you.
As we are retiring the red/green dot system, it seems only fair to retire two legacy parts of that system that still exist.
1. We have already removed the permissions group for the "serial abusers" which prevented them from issuing any dots and they can now issue "likes" to their heart's content like anyone else .....
2. Negative reputation points ... Many users acquired a fair total of negative reputation points over the last two years of the dot system. I am investigating ways to reset these back to zero. I hope to reset all negative reputation back to zero and leave positive reputation untouched, but if thatproves too difficult, the we will just reset everything back to zero and start everyone from scratch.