Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby DamianaRaven » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:25 pm

Yoss wrote:
Fun With Mr. Fudge wrote:They don't like providing a built in audience for commenters to swoop in and get attention.


That's definitely something they should have thought about before putting a comment section on their site. The way they've treated their commenting community (not to mention any hapless bastard who innocently wanders into the hateful cesspool that is PWoT) is beyond unprofessional. It's childish, entitled, and worst of all, hypocritical. David Wong has repeatedly referred to the comment section as a "cancer," so where does anyone get off charging money to participate?

I wish they'd just make up their damn minds - either the comment section is an important and valuable part of their website, or it's fucking NOT and should be eliminated. Trying to have it both ways like this is just childish and will result in some MAJOR financial losses.

I don't know why they haven't considered trying to use an Ad-block detector. Of course, there's a subtle art to using one of those professionally. If you've fixed it so everyone on your site is allowing ads, then you CANNOT keep greedily cramming loud, obnoxious malware onto every square inch, the way you did to make up for all the people who were blocking them. Traffic will just leave and never come back because frankly, it's been a LONG TIME since the content on that site was worth the full ad load it presents. However, most of the sites where I've seen this tactic tend to keep their ads tasteful and discreet, which they can afford to do when EVERY SINGLE READER is seeing them... if they don't get greedy.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby Fun With Mr. Fudge » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:57 pm

Yoss wrote:
Fun With Mr. Fudge wrote:To make it extra clear, I think some comments are insightful and/or hilarious, but I seriously doubt Cracked's management fears that articles are being outshined by people commenting on them. Whether it's based on ego or actuality, I suspect that the staff is confident enough in its talent and appreciative enough of the effort that goes into writing and (sometimes heavily) editing a Cracked article to not worry too much that they're being upstaged by people who have not put nearly that same effort into a comment.


I largely agree with your original post, but based on something I read in their forums that's not so clearly the case. I wish I could find it, but I'm either searching the wrong things or that thread got put down the memory hole. There is definitely resentment at what they see as coattail riding. They don't like providing a built in audience for commenters to swoop in and get attention.


I don't believe that's accurate. I've seen and even participated in some of those discussions. I've seen the question asked about whether coattail-riding is a concern, and from what I recall, the general answer was no. Wong has written at length about the fact that feedback from commenters tends not to be useful in terms of how they're expressed and what posters often argue. And I've seen others suggest that some commenters tend to seek attention/upvotes rather than giving useful feedback, making them overall unuseful for a writer to pay attention to. I've also seen the argument that commenters might have an inflated sense of the value of their feedback (e.g. "If I think it, it must be true"). But I don't recall ever seeing a Cracked employee or regular contributor claim that they were bothered by commenters swooping in for attention unless it was in the form of being nasty.

I also remember one writer pointing out in a PWoT thread that the comments wouldn't even exist without the article, so it would be weird to be upset by people posting jokes or seeking attention in other non-offensive ways. If you want specific examples, I'll try digging through the forums, but even if you consider the things Cracked management has explicitly criticized commenters for, it never amounted to "I don't like these guys getting attention." It was always about the threats, the trolling, and the like.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby DamianaRaven » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:18 am

Fun With Mr. Fudge wrote:It was always about the threats, the trolling, and the like.


Then why not just get rid of the comments? Given what everyone at Cracked seems to think, the site will go on just fine without them... and they're probably right.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby 52xMax » Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:32 am

DamianaRaven wrote:Then why not just get rid of the comments? Given what everyone at Cracked seems to think, the site will go on just fine without them... and they're probably right.


Much in the same way that a sinking ship is just fine after getting rid of its lifeboats.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby sunglasses » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:07 pm

DamianaRaven wrote:
Fun With Mr. Fudge wrote:It was always about the threats, the trolling, and the like.


Then why not just get rid of the comments? Given what everyone at Cracked seems to think, the site will go on just fine without them... and they're probably right.


Again, they can't. Literally.

Parent company requires them.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby LunarTeaHouse » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:08 am

This might not be the right place for this, but have you guys noticed that you can't delete your Cracked account? I thought this was weird, so decided to do some research. I came upon http://forums.cracked.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=12365 this thread, where it looks like David Wong is actually being pretty rude to a poor girl who was asking about how to delete it citing an issue with her employer.

Am I crazy or does it feel wong? (heh) I mean, there could be all manner of reasons for wanting to delete a cracked account, from being harassed by another user, or disliking your old username, or being ashamed of comments you made 10 years ago that are still there, or just wanting to leave the site in general.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby DamianaRaven » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:23 am

My feelings on the subject are mixed. People should ABSOLUTELY have every right to end, cancel, and completely disable any account or "membership" they might have to ANY organization, be it website or brick-and-mortar. It gets a little trickier when they want to delete every trace of that account's activity and existence. When you post something on Cracked's website, it becomes their content to use forever or delete as they see fit. The Cracked.com website is their property, however "virtual" it may be. You couldn't make someone cut down a tree on their property because you regret having etched your initials into it with Sally The Slut all those years ago, so this probably falls under that same kind of exception.

The bottom line is that nobody should have any right to compel you to keep being a member of their little "club," but they're not really obligated to delete all of your posts and "cover your tracks" for you merely because (for random example) you don't want your new boss to someday stumble across your drunkenly racist rant from when Obama got elected. Irresponsible posting has MAJOR consequences, and no website is under any obligation to help you evade those consequences.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby sunglasses » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:09 pm

We also don't allow accounts to be deleted.

It's pretty standard.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby LunarTeaHouse » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:50 pm

sunglasses wrote:We also don't allow accounts to be deleted.

It's pretty standard.


Well, I've never had an account on a website I couldn't delete. This and Cracked are my only forum sites though, so maybe that has something to do with it. *shrugs*

Nevermind. Carry on.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby DamianaRaven » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:49 pm

Here on this site, I'm sure the admins would disable your user name if you asked them to do so. They won't "delete your whole account," but you ALWAYS have the option of editing posts that you regret.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby Yoss » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:03 pm

Fun With Mr. Fudge wrote:I don't believe that's accurate. I've seen and even participated in some of those discussions. I've seen the question asked about whether coattail-riding is a concern, and from what I recall, the general answer was no. Wong has written at length about the fact that feedback from commenters tends not to be useful in terms of how they're expressed and what posters often argue. And I've seen others suggest that some commenters tend to seek attention/upvotes rather than giving useful feedback, making them overall unuseful for a writer to pay attention to. I've also seen the argument that commenters might have an inflated sense of the value of their feedback (e.g. "If I think it, it must be true"). But I don't recall ever seeing a Cracked employee or regular contributor claim that they were bothered by commenters swooping in for attention unless it was in the form of being nasty.

I also remember one writer pointing out in a PWoT thread that the comments wouldn't even exist without the article, so it would be weird to be upset by people posting jokes or seeking attention in other non-offensive ways. If you want specific examples, I'll try digging through the forums, but even if you consider the things Cracked management has explicitly criticized commenters for, it never amounted to "I don't like these guys getting attention." It was always about the threats, the trolling, and the like.


I agree that the anti-commenter party line has always been first and foremost due to the creepy types that make threats, trolling, and the opinion that all critique from the comment section should be disregarded. I wish I could find it, but I do recall the coattail riding also being mentioned in that they thought it unfair that they'd put forth the time, effort, and expense to build an audience only to have it serve as a ready made platform for someone to get attention from their thousands of viewers. I don't think they mind the jokes so much as the critics. Since they consider all commenter critiques invalid, it definitely bothers them to have some nobody come in and get voted to the top with a critical comment.

It's understandable though, and I'd feel the same way in their shoes. I don't suppose it matters much either way, it just sucks dealing with the fallout. Not that I'm completely innocent either. I'm not above leaving snarky comments if I feel like the writer has misrepresented something. I've been part of so many other online communities that fell apart or gradually faded away. It just seems worse to know that one of them is being actively dismantled for spite and profit.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby Marcuse » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:14 pm

I'd definitely agree that people were concerned about, and rightly so, the level of insults, threats and just plain rudeness in the comment sections. Particularly so when that was directed at the author, primarily because it discourages people from writing in the first place, which is their lifeblood (okay, it's ads, but without content there's nothing to piggyback ads on). This came in the form of hating comments for driving away contributors, and hating commenters for a portmanteau of threats, racism/sexism, harsh and negative criticism and personal attacks on the author. I'm on board with some of that myself, being no fan of attacking people who take the pretty scary step of putting something they created out there.

Thing is, a properly curated comment section with the backing of management would have had a strong impetus to keep those comments to a minimum. I don't think a hurtful comment would have such a sting if it was followed by several people calling them out for being shitty, and downvoting it into oblivion. I think a clever policy would have been to engage commenters in criticism in a constructive way, and edge out the attacks and negativity by tying responsibility on the part of commenters with a degree of autonomy. Basically, with the level of engagement and loyalty to Cracked I used to see, it should have been reasonably simple to get the commenting community on side and make them work to limit the things the site didn't want to see. I know people within the community were up for that.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby thedogknows » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:17 pm

Marcuse wrote:I don't think a hurtful comment would have such a sting if it was followed by several people calling them out for being shitty, and downvoting it into oblivion.


I think this definitely demonstrates the biggest flaw with monetizing voting. I just read an article on Cracked (5 Everyday Things That Have Awesome Secrets (Nobody Notices)) and I never remember the comments section seeming as caustic as it did for that article, mostly because the comments calling the author a retard, etc don't have any down votes.

Also, Ericho had the top voted comment which is probably the weirdest thing of all.
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby sunglasses » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:32 pm

thedogknows wrote:Also, Ericho had the top voted comment which is probably the weirdest thing of all.


Holy shit!
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Re: Cracked now requires a subscription to vote on comments

Postby DamianaRaven » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:49 pm

Who is Ericho? I don't see their comment on the story mentioned.
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