Ratings Bombing

I remember talking about this before, but I can’t remember where or what the outcome was. Is there any kind of ratings-bomb protection on the site? I kind of think my latest chapter was ratings bombed, but if so, our bomber’s getting creative by giving 2s and 3s rather than all 1s.

At the same time, though, there are some things about the story that I genuinely don’t like myself and just didn’t have the time/energy to deal with cuz it would’ve meant a partial rewrite, so those 2s and 3s could be perfectly genuine if the reader didn’t like those same things.

So, without giving away the algorithm (obviously), I’m wondering if outliers like that are mitigated in some way when the scores in each category are calculated.

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There are multiple protections against malicious rating (I don’t want to get into those in public).

But actually, your latest story didn’t get bad ratings which stand out as exceptionally bad.

The guy who gave you the worst average (3.0) is rating rather harshly in general - one could say he uses the full rating range. The 2s and 3s you see in your graph are all by this guy. If it’s a consolation, the worst (and best) ratings will be stripped from the calculation as soon as you have enough ratings.

The fact that the person uses the full ratings scale is actually good to hear, and I hope that person continues to do so. I find people tend to use only 4s and 5s a lot of the time, and I’m guilty of it myself a lot of the time, but I think we should be using the full scale more often. I was just curious, if it were a ratings bomb, if the outliers would be ignored or mitigated.


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Also, if the person who gave me that score happens to be reading this, I’d really love to hear some of your criticisms. I’m curious if they agree with my own, but especially if they don’t, it would be really helpful to get some constructive feedback to help me improve my writing in the future.

Yes, there are mechanisms. Also we’ve got tools to detect malign ratings and we can disable them. @PhilipK is actually an expert on that matter :slight_smile:

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I don’t think I can add much to anything that Martin said, but yeah, pretty much all this. :sweat_smile: (Also, to anyone else reading this — definitely feel comfortable reaching out if you’re ever worried someone is rating-bombing your story. It’s a shitty feeling to have to deal with, and we are always happy to look into and give some clarity on what’s actually going on. It’s no trouble at all!)

And yeah, in this case it was someone who rates… a bit ungenerously, I would say. Though not with malice. But still, those kinds of ratings can really tank a story’s overall rating, regardless of whether there’s malice or not — since most people on the site just don’t rate like that! Hence the mechanism where, once you accumulate enough ratings, the outliers get stripped out. (Aka, in this situation, the formula will end up sacrificing one perfect 5.0 score in exchange for getting rid of one lowest rating.) So the really harsh ratings do get neutralized once additional ratings accumulate.

And yeah, there are a couple of systems in place that catch and neutralize the obvious malicious ratings — and yes, better not to disclose how they work in public… But it’s something I try to keep an eye on in particular.