SIYE Time:10:00 on 25th May 2020

Wish Upon A Star... Rating
Recently we have noticed a fair amount of "trolling" on SIYE. It seems that some members of this site took upon themselves to decrease the star ratings of certain stories by rating it repeatedly with the score "1". On the other hand, some authors decided to bring their ratings up by rating their stories with "10" numerous times. Some of these were only defense against "trolling", while others simply did not like their ratings.

You are allowed to dislike a story and rate it that way, but doing it more than once per chapter is simply ridiculous and more importantly - not allowed.

To help this situation, the reviews function now shows even the 'empty' reviews and all of them are accompanied by a star rating provided by the reviewer.

This way, the authors have more feedback and they can find out why the rating on their stories suddenly dropped. It also allows them to see who is responsible so they can report such behavior.

The results of this modification are most interesting.

Additional info: the hack attempts detection script has been redesigned so all the problems some users experienced should be gone. I apologize for all the problems.

SIYE Tech Admin
melkior on 2008.01.23 - 05:07PM ()


lecook4 came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 05:14PM to say:

Most Excellent and indeed most revealing! You and Trainmon are doing a great job.

quinn came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 06:48PM to say:

Wow. Sad that this was needed, really. Thanks for dealing with this issue, it is really interesting to see!

tear_away came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 07:36PM to say:

Someone with the username the Rogue has left 36 half-star ratings for one chapter of my story. Why the hell would someone do this?

Soccer Devil22 came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 07:43PM to say:

Probally the same reason the Rogue left like a million plus 10's on my story.

melkior came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 07:43PM to say:

tear_away: because they don't like your story, because they are bored, because they are envious. Whatever is the inexcusable reason for such actions, this is why we introduced this change.

tear_away came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 07:48PM to say:

Cheers Dino, I managed to find another ten from them as well. Interesting to know that two people use that account. Oh well....

Kezzabear came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 08:32PM to say:

tear_away - I got 35 across two chapters of mine by the same user. hopefully this absurb practice will stop. Mind you I saw someone recently accidentally leave 16 identical reviews on my story so it could be in error - but on multiple stories/in more than one chapter it seems unlikely, yes! Thanks Dino!

trainmon came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 08:49PM to say:

I would like to give Dino all the credit for this, he has done a great job with the site.

Sir Ollivander came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 08:52PM to say:

Kezzabear - 16 identical reviews, yes, it's probably an accident. But those multiple 1-star ratings are not. We can see EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM and can tell the difference between an accident and a targeted story.

Belcris came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 08:52PM to say:

Actually... I never pay any attention to the stars, whether in regards to my own stories or anyone else's. I read a story based on the first chapter and if I like I keep reading and leave positive reviews. If I don't like it, I don't read it and therefore don't review or rate it. Of course I like hearing from my readers, and I'm not so thin skinned as to run crying from a negative review, but that doesn't mean I feel the need to crush someone else's work. At the end of the day, if I don't like my own story, that's all the rating I really need. I don't need 400 readers to tell me my chapter was horrible or that it was the greatest thing they've ever read. I just hope they enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

That's just my two sense worth.


lecook4 came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 08:57PM to say:

tear_away & KezzabearHopefully the immature behaviour of a select few, and it's really only about six of them, will stop now that everyone can easily see who they are. I'm sorry you both were trolled, but don't worry, you're among a good crowd. :-)

notadryeeye came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 09:28PM to say:

Wow. I have noticed like 3 or 4 of my chapters suddenly at a 1 rating. So I experimented in adding a review or two to see if something was wrong. But now that you put up those empty reviews. There is one chapter where one person but a 1 star empty rating more than 10 times.

notadryeeye came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 10:07PM to say:

Actually...I just went back and checked my reviews and chapters and it seems that two of my chapters were given a 1/2 star 23 times and the other 45 times by someone on that has commented on this board. It's not just this Rouge person. I really hope this is taken care of soon. I just can't understand the point of going around and putting that many negative emptry reviews on the board. I'll admit that when I saw my two chapters had suddenly dropped from a 5 star to a 1 star in one day...I did add 2 or three full stars to see if it would move and wasn't something wrong with the site. But most of the stories I've seen that were hit are good stories and I really can't think of any good motive for dropping ratings.

lecook4 came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 10:19PM to say:

I have to agree with Melkior that it's probably someone who is jealous or disgruntled. At the very least they are insecure. This should stop now that we can all see when they do it again and report them. What type of action is to be taken is currently under discussion. We all know who you are referring to and I was surprised to see their comment here on this board too. People can be full of surprises, can't they? As I said earlier, you're in good company though. A lot of the trolled authors have been some of the better ones. :-)

Kezzabear came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 10:32PM to say:

I can't see the point to it really. Two chapters at a 2 star rating don't affect the story's overall rating on a 25 chapter story. On a oneshot however it could be very detrimental. I do look at the stars sometimes. I sometimes give a story I might otherwise have overlooked a go if the star rating is high. that's why I read Forced Maturity despite the initial misgivings I had about the title.

elaithin came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 10:54PM to say:

I'll admit - I was one of the people that was irritated enough by the trolling to go back and try to counter it. It didn't really seem to have an effect though, so I stopped it. I'd be perfectly happy to have both the trolling and my own attempts to counter it simply deleted.
Perhaps the solution is to disable the capability to just leave a rating entirely?

elaithin came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 10:59PM to say:

As an addition - is it possible the trolling wasn't done by the members indicated, but was actually a side-effect of the hacker attack?

Belcris came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 11:03PM to say:

Wow. I'm rather shocked by what I just saw. I looked at a notadryeeye's reviews and saw what you were all talking about. Wow. Suddenly I'm rather grateful for a small following as compared to some. I can see Kezzabear's point, a large story might not suffer from one or even two chapters with low ratings, but a one shot author might be crushed by something like this. In a world that already tries to stomp imagination out of us at a young age, a future Hemingway or Frost might decide never to write again after such a cold reception. Sad. :(

melkior came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 11:06PM to say:

elaithin: the trolling is not, and it could not have been the result of the hacker attacks.

Belcris came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 11:07PM to say:

Stop that... someone delete those duplicates. My browser froze up. Sorry. :(

Kezzabear came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.23 - 11:08PM to say:

elaithin - I am pretty sure the ones left on mine - on Dec 27 were after the site comments etc were disabled due to the hacker. I never noticed the trolling until now so I didn't counter it and as far as I know I've not trolled anyone although I've managed to send through multiple submissions on reviews at times. I'm not actually surprised by the one left on Normalcy actually. There was nothing agreeing or disagreeing with the act of trolling in the person's post. Anyway ... moving along ...

Soccer Devil22 came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 12:09AM to say:

I know who The Rogue is and have reported them to Sir Ollivander. Hopefully he can clear things up. ~Jeff~

xhpluva4evax came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 12:16AM to say:

this is just terrible. i mean, honestly why would people do this. we've all come to enjoy the stories that others have willingly shared with us, and this is how we repay them... i've reported both The Rogue as well as another user who shall not be named, as he has posted on this very commentboard and has hypocritically done trolling... good luck with catching these people, because they dont deserve to enjoy this website when they're the ones screwing things up.

The Rogue came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 12:21AM to say:

This is the first and will be the last post this account makes. I would like to apoligise to everyone who was affected by my brother. I'd aslo like to apoligise to my cousin who also has been affected. Sorry Jeff. Sincerely, Max.

lecook4 came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 12:49AM to say:

xhpluva4evax Don't worry, the Admin staff have ALL the names and know who's responsible for what. Just be happy that there shouldn't be any more of it. The heads will decide if any action needs to happen, but it should stop now.

GinevraMollyPotter came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 05:33AM to say:

Good thing it is.

MyGinevra came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 09:02AM to say:

I agree with belcris's first post here, that reviews and ratings aren't what should be the most important thing. That's my own opinion, and everyone's entitled to his/her own. I also think that since trolling is malicious, there should be a pretty harsh penalty, namely termination of the account. Anyone in the world can get onto this site and read the stories without registering. If you are registering an account for the purpose of doing something malicious, then you don't have a right to have an account.

I would like to make one more point, maybe slightly off-topic and preaching to the choir, but it's my observation that the ratio of hits to reviews is roughly one percent. I know that there is not a one-to-one correspondence between hits and unique readers, but if more people left reviews, then trolling wouldn't have as great an impact as it has.

MyGinevra came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 09:10AM to say:

harmoine's comment was posted while I was composing mine, and I would like to make two comments about it. One, I agree totally that if you don't like a story, then don't read it. Two, this is not the forum to criticize someone's story by name, multiple times. You could have made your point without being personal.

melkior came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 09:29AM to say:

MyGinevra: I agree about harmoine's comment. It was removed. harnoine, if you want to make a point in this discussion, do it without naming people in such way.

Spenser Hemmingway came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 09:42AM to say:

I'm absolutely thrilled that this action has begun. My Challenge entry had eighteen identical slams. I don't mind if you don't like a story, but that was outright sabotage. I hate to admit it, but ratings and stars do matter in that they can attract or drive off potential readers. I know that we all appreciate the work done to correct this.

Penny Flamel came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 04:03PM to say:

I think its absolutely brilliant that we can see this information now. "Trolling" is just as malicious as flaming, only it provided anonymity for the perpetrators. I am so glad, this is no longer the case. Alwyas wondered, why my story's rating dropped from a 5 to a 2 in about 2 hours. The results have been most illuminating, and I have indulged in the pleasure of responding to these characters (in accordance with site rules of course), because as it turns out, someone returned to my story for the sole of purpose of trolling, bringing down my ratings, and just to be mean really. Reviews and ratings really do matter because readers tend to be drawn to stories with high ratings. "Trolling" is essentially, ruining someone else's hardwork. I think you guys are doing a great job, for finally addressing this many, many thanks.

Victor Aagaard came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 04:10PM to say:


annep came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 05:48PM to say:

Thanks to the admins for exposing this problem, which will hopefully fix it. It's really not fair to our hard-working authors to have someone essentially flame them. Maybe star only reviews shouldn't be allowed. That way anonymous meanness such as the site experienced this week couldn't happen again. I looked at the reviews on a couple of my favorite stories to see what this was about. I've never left any stars, only written reviews, so I was surprised to see stars attached to my reviews--well, to all reviews in fact. This is not a complaint at all, just wondering how the admins assigned stars to reviews.

Zen came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 05:55PM to say:

Ahh...yes. 'Tis most revealing...*glares at someone*

lecook4 came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 05:58PM to say:

annep The stars have always been there, they just didn't show before. They are assigned by what number rating you give a story. It's the reader that chooses the star, and now everyone will be able to see them. Not sure if that answered your question or not.

Belcris came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 06:15PM to say:

I know this will sound silly... not to mention being really time consuming... but is there a way to remove the slams without removing valid reviews? I just think that the authors harmed by this... and i was not one of them so I have no hidden agenda for this question... should finally be able to reap the rewards of their hard work.

Zen came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 06:53PM to say:

*raises hand* This is not for me, but...I was going through my friend, Mojomig's story, and this one user has left 36 half-stars for it! I was wondering why its rating dropped! *is very indignant on his behalf*

melkior came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 06:57PM to say:

Actually it won't be time consuming at all since I have already prepared a script that will do it for me. We're just waiting to set the actual parameters and then we'll remove them.

Sovran came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 07:27PM to say:

annep: If you do not select a star-rating when you review, the system defaults to a five-star rating. The admins don't have anything to do with it.

annep came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 07:50PM to say:

Sovran: Thanks for the illumination about stars.

Belcris came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 10:46PM to say:

Very cool, Melkior.

Miss Radcliffe came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 11:21PM to say:

Thanks so much to Dino, Melkior, and all of the other admins for taking this issue so seriously. I'm really glad you found a way to remove the slams without deleting the legit reviews. This will solve so many problems and unwanted stress. As for the perpetrators, I guess they really have nothing better to do than degrade other people's hard work and creativity. I really think action should be taken to remove their accounts from the site.

Miss Radcliffe came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.24 - 11:32PM to say:

Additional Note: I've just been looking through the reviews in my joint story and a few others. It's staggering to see HOW MANY different people there are doing this. I didn't even realize it was an issue until this news post.

FawkesFan came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 12:06AM to say:

Strange how it would never occur to me that someone would do this...I am not an author, just an avid reader but I know how hard the authors work on their "babies". How sad that there are people out there who think it's okay to disrespect someone's work like that. Authors only ask for an honest review and rating of their stories. This is atrocious! But now that we can all see who is doing it, it should stop it in it's tracks. These kinds of people can't deal with the harsh light of exposure. They're cowards at heart. Thanks Melkior!

harmoine came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 01:39AM to say:

I reckon that siye should remove the star ratings because in my view they are nothing but trouble. Other sites don't have star rating and if you really want to avoid the trouble and hussle than get rid of them. With regards to deleting other peoples account I think its a bit harsh. What needs to be done is the admin needs and should send these people a warning stating what they are doing and that they should stop immediatley. If they don't than there account should be terminated. My last post that I submitted it seems to me it may have upset some people and as a result they went ratting. All I did was state an honest fact. If and when the time comes that I submit my own work I want you all to know that I shall welcome ALL comments weather they are positive or FLAMES. What I do is accept everything with a pinch of salt because I strongly believe that everyone has the right to express to what they think of your work. Now that I have said that I am of to read Abraxan's work known as Refiner's Fire, Time of Destiny and all of his other pieces of work that is online. For those whom yet haven't read his work I strongly recommend that you do because they are excellent fanfiction stories.

Mojomig came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 03:30AM to say:

Zen Thank you. I hadn't noticed myself until I read through all these comments. To the owner of the account who went at my story - I suggest you keep a tighter grip on your password, either that or you get a grip on yourself.

Kezzabear came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 05:39AM to say:

harmonie, I didn't see your post that was removed but if you were talking about someone's work and named the author it was the inappropriate palce to do that, fact or not. Of course everyone has the right to express what they think of your work but this is somethng that 99% of people find unethical and it s considered poor form by the admin of the site so why shouldn't it be stopped. No one is preventing anyone from giving a one star rating. I have given it before I am sure (although it is usually attached to a review) but repeating that opinion is not becasue you want to give your opinion it is to hurt the story. That's not fair.
Miss Radcliffe - I didn't know it was an issue either. When i updated my last chapter i saw that to chapters had a poor rating that wasn't there last time I looked. I was lucky I could see why otherwise I'd have been scratching my head.

Dragyn came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 10:39AM to say:

I dont necessarily think we need to remove the stars system. I myself occasionally use it when looking for a quick read, ie: with just a glance, which one of this author's works does it look like Ill enjoy the most. I miss the star like ratings on other sites for the same reason. I think removing the slams and thus making the system more honest will help tremendously.

Thanks you guys for your great work on the site. :)

Miri came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 12:53PM to say:

Sigh...I've just had a very disheartening conversation with a friend. She stayed with me for several months while she got on her feet financially and, while with me, I allowed her to use my computer and access some of my fanfic accounts so she could read same. She now has her own place and computer. While here today for a visit, the topic of the trolling on SIYE came up in the conversation. She didn't say much until I mentioned that there might be a cancelling of account for those who did this. She finally confessed that, while using my account on SIYE, she had done this. She *says* she only did it once and cannot remember precisely when ( her access to my account was from June to November) or what story it was, other than it was a multi-chaptered one. As I can't remember just using the rating option only and not doing a review as well ( If I don't like a story I simply don't review it or leave stars), I hope the false "comments" will be easy to spot. I apologise to whoever the writer involved was, both for myself and for my friend who, she says, does not currently have an account on SIYE. I've told her that it is up to her to get in touch with the admins about this. I hope she will do so. I suppose this is a lesson about not letting anyone have access to your computer, but it's tough to feel you have to look over a friend's shoulder. On a different topic, I agree with Dragyn that I hope you won't remove the stars system, especially now that they'll be more honest. I do find them a useful quick tool and due to them in part, I have found many stories I might not otherwise have read past the summaries. Finally, thank you, thank you to Dino (Melkior), Trainmon and all the people who work to make this site not only good but better.

melkior came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 01:21PM to say:

Miri: there is a big difference between posting one half-star rating to a story and doing it ten times. Your friend did it only once, on one chapter, while using your account. That is not a problem, as obviously, you're allowed to dislike a fic and rate it that way. No real trolling has been done from your account.
We do have a list of all the members who abused the star-rating function, along with the stories they targeted.

Miri came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 01:53PM to say:

Thanks Dino for letting me know about this. She couldn't remember precisely what she did, just that she's used the half-star rating more than once. As a side-note to all of this with the trolling, it reminds me of something I've thought about asking the admins about for some time: is it possible to set up a link for a member's account/bio page to check on how many reviews you've done and where? Although I thought of this primarily as a way of keeping track of any stories I've reviewed and possible author's responses ( sometimes I loose track of them ), in the current problem it might have meant I would have spotted the false review quicker. I know you've all got wa-a-ay too much on your hands right now to consider it, but as possible future added feature (if it is possible to do this ) maybe the tech staff and admins could discuss it. And if the members would like such an ability. Thanks.

melkior came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 02:01PM to say:

Account info, Alternate stats, scroll down. :)

Miri came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 02:30PM to say:

OMG Dino! LOL And here I thought I'd checked out all the "buttons" on my account profile. Gheesh, what I've been missing all this time. Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

sanidad came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 10:55PM to say:

Some of you may view this as slightly off topic...sorry about that. Please don't try to read anything more than the simplest interpretation of what I'm about to ask. Why are some users letting other people use their accounts to leave reviews? Accounts are free and quite simple to acquire. To the account borrowers: If you want to leave a review for someone, why not get your own account? Authors are putting out their work for you to see and are open to honest feedback. If you're going to leave a review, why not allow them the courtesy of knowing who you are and possibly even understanding why you did/didn't like their story? For example, if I write a story and people of all ages and backgrounds don't like it, then I've learned something. Or, if my story receives positive feedback from only one specific demographic, then I've learned something else. All feedback is potentially useful. And, as for the users allowing others to use their accounts to leave reviews.... Don't you realize that in doing so, you are letting the authors think that their opinions are your own? Doesn't that bother you? I'm not trying to be preachy (really, I'm not), but I'm having trouble understanding some of the things I've read in this Comments section. (I'll bet someone 10 Galleons at least one of my stories takes a hit or two after this comment goes up.)

Penny Flamel came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.25 - 11:11PM to say:

Harmoine: I don't think the star system is a hassle, in fact I think its a very efficient way of rating a story without having to leave a review. Although authors, as a general rule, prefer reviews, if one doesn't feel like writing a review, giving it whatever star rating you feel it deserves offers some feedback to the author. When and if you do post your own work, you'll find that deleting the accounts of such members, is in the best interests of the site. You won't accept flames, trust me, either that or you don't really know exactly what constitutes a flame. Sure constructive criticism is acceptable, and maybe even encouraged, NOT flaming. Until you have submit your own work, I suggest you refrain from talking about welcoming authors should be of attacks on their stories. On a different note, I agree with sanidad, it isn't a very good idea for members to share their accounts with others. Its not very hard to get one of your own, and you can jst as easily recommend stories to another member, without having to share an account, because doing is somewhat misleading.

Miss Radcliffe came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.26 - 12:15AM to say:

I definitely don't think the star rating feature should be deleted. Why delete a good thing because a few people decided to use it irresponsibly? We should just learn from this unfortunate experience and monitor reviews more carefully. I'm looking forward to having all of the slams deleted with melkior's script.

Spenser Hemmingway came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.26 - 10:16AM to say:

With the recent change I began wading through all my stories and their associated reviews. I came away reminded of more than a few things that I have learned as a writer over the past few years. Lessons and words of advice have really helped and encouraged me. They're a combination of scrapbook and class notes. They are always appreciated. Eric B.

Old Fart came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.26 - 02:04PM to say:

Well, I've been found out....I've tried to improve the rating of some chapters that I found were rated unfairly. With this new change where everyone can see who is slamming the stories, things will change. Please do not remove the rating system. Thank you administrators for making this attempt to point out the petty reviewers.

we9ge came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.26 - 07:30PM to say:

I guess my mother told me "if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all". Even if I hate a story or it is a grammatical mess, I wouldn't rate half a star. Sometimes a storyline is good but not well-written...leave constructive criticism! If you don't like a storyline, leave constructive criticism! I don't think the ratings are a tool to bash authors' stories. I don't review near as much as I should but I try to be helpful with criticism or praise the story or sometimes both. For a story to get a half star it would have to be an inordinate mess full of spelling and grammatical errors and not well written etc. These types of stories aren't on this site anyway so I don't understand how anyone can rate a story so low. As always, great job SIYE staff trying to uphold the high standards that you have set for this site!!!

melkior came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.26 - 08:02PM to say:

To all those who are worried, the star rating will not be removed. However, we will restrict them so you'll only be able to leave one per chapter. Multiple reviews will still be allowed.

Penny Flamel came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.27 - 12:31AM to say:

I totally agree with we9ge. I believe we've gotten into this before; it isn't fair to bash authors. If you think a story is completely horrible, tell the author in a civil manner exactly why, and if you find yourself incapable of being civil, walk away and forget you ever came across the story. If you are however going to give it a Troll, at least let it be with good reason, and not just to the attack the author. I am yet to come across a story that really deserves a T, but everyone has their own opinion I guess. Melkior's done a great job removing the slams, he should be awarded an Order Of Merlin Second Class.

kingbobrules came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.27 - 01:16PM to say:

Star ratings are a quick and easy way of commenting on a chapter without reviewing and it's good that this flaw in the system is being addressed - but I just wanted 2 point out that the backgrounds still slip back 2 the generic 1 when U read fanfics.

harmoine came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.27 - 08:27PM to say:

i to have been trouble with the back grounds and i was wondering what is causing this problem because its really anoying reading in black writing and white back ground

melkior came out of the woodwork on 2008.01.27 - 08:52PM to say:

As opposed to the colours of a book...
And as I said a couple of times now, I am aware of that problem. Some things have higher priority though, so don't hold your breath.

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