OzBargain Duplicate Rules Need Changing

2 weeks ago there was a post that due to the time it was posted or other factors only got 7 upvotes.

Just 30 minutes ago it was re-posted and this time got 22+ upvotes and had many comment chains going on with helpful advice. The last 20 poster hit the report button and within 30 seconds it was as although the deal never existed. All those comments and upvotes vanished into the ether.

So the community missed something on the first listing 2 weeks ago, and then brought it to the front page just 30 minutes ago with a flood of comments coming in.

I find it pretty disgusting that a mod would look at the report filed by that last posted and then just go "[email protected]$#", and then hit the remove button without actually looking at the individual case.

I believe that the mods should show a bit of critical thinking, rather than being literal rule interpretation robots that don't care about the community.

The original link.
https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/174305

Sadly the frontpage link with all the comments has been wiped from the internet forever.

Update 17 Feb 2015: Merge function has been added, see here

Poll Options

  • 118
    1) The system should be changed.
  • 17
    2) The system should not be changed.
  • 23
    3) Where the starburst sour snakes at?

Comments

  • -3

    They don't get paid. That might explain it.

    • +1

      Some do. Neil does, Moocher does (although he is the developer). Neil is the person who stuffed up a deal I recently posted so what does that say?

  • +1

    Someone gonna get a hurt real bad….

    • +4

      Or just have standards of quality. When you put in time to help and just get slapped in the face it's not good.

      Must be quite a Zen monk or a drone to not even feel anything from that.

  • +15

    I think some people are being too harsh on them, they sort of worked with the rule they had. They probably went to their usual response. It wasn't the best action, clearly since some people are upset, but everyone makes mistakes.

    Though that being said, I think some changes to the rule wouldn't hurt. Something like, if the upvote of said deal is greater than the original, it gets merged with the newer version, crediting the original poster. Since few weeks might actually change some deals to become more of a bargain, i.e. currency rate, and some posters don't really go back to their own posts.

    Just my 2c.

    • Those are my sentiments too although I was a bit colourful in my language in making my post. I know there's a rule, and there needs to be a rule against duplicates (else the website would be flooded with them), but that there should be a grey area where a duplicate could still remain as a listing.

      • +2

        Dupe posters just need to read the suggestion that it might be a dupe post. If they weren't so lazy they'd read it and see, then cancel or not submit what they wrongly think is a new post.

      • +2

        If the dupe post has a significant amount of votes the mods usually leave it, though there is no set amount.

        If would annoying it someone posts a dupe of your deal, and your deal gets removed because the other guy got more comments.

        Sometimes the comments are full of jokes, so the deal with more comments doesn't necessarily mean it's more helpful.

        I guess it also teaches people to look in case the deal has already been posted, there's even a warning saying that the deal might already exist.

    • +2

      Seems to be just not learning from mistakes though. All it takes is to compare the two posts and then delete the one with less info, no uploads and less comments etc. How hard is it? Takes 30 seconds at most. Five if they're experienced.

      • +3

        Probably. But the thing is, they have to look at all of these deals. I am not sure about the details, but numbers do add up. Also, if they start making decisions outside of the rules, it's going to leave a lot of rooms for arguments. Not to mention, it's going to become less fair for newbies likes me. If it is not written on somewhere, how would we know what to do on our first post?

        The rule is there. Not saying that the rule is right or correct, but even the bad rules are rules. If mods start deviating from it, what's the point of having the rules?

        Also, it probably was them doing the usual response that didn't work this time. If it worked mostly with rare exceptions, I think it is really harsh for people to tell them that they should've seen that coming.

        I think they should change the rules around, but I don't think there should be fingers pointing at people.

        Just my 2c.

        • +2

          So change the rules because they're making mistakes but let's not have accountability. ;-p I agree because they're volunteers. If they were being paid they'd focus better and make sure they're doing it right because when they make mistakes they could risk losing the reward/remuneration. As the wise saying goes around here, you get what you pay for. Pay them or pay them better and they usually make up for the worth. It's not like they'll overpay them or anything.

          It's not a charity so they ought to be rewarded for their time and effort.

          Just my 2bucks.

        • @adamren:

          Deleting a duplicate deal isn't a 'mistake' it's a rule. The second deal is always the duplicate, never the first, they are the rules. Doing what you are suggesting would be a mistake as it isn't following our rules and guidelines. If you don't agree with the rules we are happy to hear suggestions on how to change, as we have heard in this thread, but lets call things what they really are.

          It is important for us to remain consistent with the rules, purposely not following the rules would lead to justified outcries of inconsistency, favouritism and similar.

          I believe the overwhelming feeling from members is that a duplicate deal can have valuable information that can be lost. We have spoken about this before today and are aware this function would be handy (the ability to merge the comments), scotty has heard and addressed that:

          https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/176070#comment-2457052

          We would have merge the comments if we can but unfortunately that functionality has not yet been developed.

          Thanks

        • @hamza23:

          Proposed rule change:
          If the dupe has more up votes/useful comments than original post please keep it.

          That seems to be the sentiment of the OP.


          As to Neil’s suggestions below:

          If you redirect, people will still comment on the dupe if it's more popular/higher ranked unless you lock it at the same time (marking it as a dupe may help reduce confusion)

          Sticking the original to the front page or locking and redirecting will still loose the comment chain of the dupe (which is part of what the OP is outraged about).


          I am only trying to concisely define the argument by the OP. I'm not fussed on this issue.

        • -5

          @hamza23: Comprehension fail.

          The mistake is deleting the wrong one. Not deleting a dupe post.

          In context. Get it.

        • @adamren: you are the one with the comprehensive fail, smh…

  • +8

    I've always advocated some kind of merge to original function in the site software for dupes. Currently it does a redirect, but the comments are lost.

  • For the mods it's pretty much damned if we don't and damned if we do. The unpublished post was clearly a duplicate of the original post merely 2 weeks ago — exactly the same URL, the same product, the same price, and the promo did not expire in the first place.

    Therefore the duplicate should have been removed. Imagine the outcry if duplicates aren't handled in a timely fashion. The deal was reported twice 90 minutes after it got posted, and the reports were handled by the moderators in 3 minutes. We look at the duplicate reports (actually, all reports) on individual basis and certainly don't just remove content simply based on the content in the reports. I do not agree with OP's criticism here.

    We would have merge the comments if we can but unfortunately that functionality has not yet been developed.

  • +9

    i dont know why this is a issue, you are meant to check that your deal is not a duplicate post before you make a new post…
    if someone was actually searching for that product , the search function works fine and they would have found the original deal.

  • +2

    There needs to be either a merge or place duplicates in read-only mode so people can still view comments just not respond.

  • On the issue of duplicates, I see more reasons to err on the side of leniency rather than the side of harshness. Remember that leaving something might be annoying, but we never lose information.

    The way I see it is this, the original post was made 2 weeks ago.

    That's a very, very long time. Another post was made, got many upvotes and comments and seems to be a popular deal. Sure it's a duplicate, but 22+ people found it useful and there would have bound to have been many more if that deal was left up. It wasn't like the original was made only several hours prior. Most people would probably assume that a deal posted 2 weeks ago would already be expired.

    In this case, I see many benefits of not deleting the duplicate - that more people get exposure, more people know, it's an indication that the deal is still on…etc. Essentially, the purpose of OzBargain, which is to raise awareness about deals, is fulfilled.

    What's the benefit of deleting the duplicate? Just following some hard rule that doesn't really have any benefit?

    • I see more reasons to err on the side of leniency rather than the side of harshness.

      If moderating were done on based on leniency/harshness, we would have inconsistent moderating. Thus why we have discussions with the community, moderator discussions and then implement the guidelines.

      Removing duplicate threads is best practice for most Internet forums (e.g. Whirlpool). It's a guideline we've followed since 2006.

      Sure it's a duplicate, but 22+ people found it useful and there would have bound to have been many more if that deal was left up. It wasn't like the original was made only several hours prior. Most people would probably assume that a deal posted 2 weeks ago would already be expired.

      Good points. The fast moving nature of OzBargain makes us a bit unique however are we saying it's OK to post a duplicate if 2 weeks are passed (current rule is 6 months) or if the duplicate reaches 22 votes?

      • Good points. The fast moving nature of OzBargain makes us a bit unique however are we saying it's OK to post a duplicate if 2 weeks are passed (current rule is 6 months) or if the duplicate reaches 22 votes?

        Of course all of this is up for discussion, but I think moderating should be done with reference to the aim of OzBargain, which I believe is to share information about current deals (I might be wrong, but do correct me).

        You're right, but it's not only the fast moving nature of OzBargain, it's that OzBargain and Whirlpool are two very different types of sources of information. Whirlpool is an information source - if you wanted to compare it to something, it would be an Encyclopedia, the search feature is great. OzBargain, on the other hand is more of a newspaper, not only is it fast-paced, but it needs to cater to the fact that people generally don't "search" OzBargain.

        OzBargain has to do with awareness and I feel that, in this case, at least, the deletion of a valid deal which many people had already found useful might have gone against the aim of OzBargain.

        • I think moderating should be done with reference to the aim of OzBargain

          Spot on which is why these discussions are important.

          OzBargain has to do with awareness and I feel that, in this case, at least, the deletion of a valid deal which many people had already found useful might have gone against the aim of OzBargain.

          Sure. If you have a suggestion for a duplicate guideline, we are happy to hear it.

  • Dupe rule is there for a reason. And this case was a very clear one.

    The most obvious problem here is the inability to incorporate dupe deals together (including all the comments and votes) into a single deal, but it isn't the dupe rule itself.

    I hope people can understand the difference.

    • Yeah, but I think problem can easily be amended if they change the rule about which post gets deleted. If they delete the original post if the original post is outdated, lacks information or/and the new post has more informations from other people commenting, then everyone would be happy. The deal gets more acknowledgement from people.

      The original poster should be credited for the original post.

      I don't think people are complaining that dupe rule should be completely removed, but rather, there should be discretion on which post gets deleted as the result of it.

      • It's best practice as seen on the majority of forums such as Whirlpool that the original is retained and the duplicate removed. Both deals contained the same information.

        The guidelines are there so moderators use as little opinion or discretion as possible. We want to be consistent with the rules so not matter which moderator makes the decision, it will almost always be the same.

        We already made an amendment to the duplicate guideline last year which stated that if the duplicate garnered 50 votes (e.g. autoposted on Twitter, Facebook, G+), then the duplicate will remain. So is that now 20 votes?

        • I do agree that the moderators should be given a firm guideline to reduce confusions. I've been in situations where multiple people handles delicate information, if there is nothing set in stone, it can cause confusions, I completely agree with you on that.

          That being said, I still stand on my point about how original should be removed, if it is outdated, lacks information or/and the new post has more informations from other people commenting.

          I personally don't believe that voting system is completely representative of the value of the deal and as the deals get pushed to the back, sometimes it's better to leave the duplicates. As somebody have mentioned, there is some favouritism in voting, which I really don't mind. Some people have delivered decent deals constantly and we all believe that they will deliver decent deals. That being said, because of that, voting system will not represent how good the deal is all the time. If a newbie like me, or the store rep post, people are hesistant on voting for it unless it is absolutely without a doubt fantastic deal, because of the reputation. Because of that, I believe that sometimes originals don't get the deserved attention, thus sometimes leaving the duplicate instead of original would do other people good.

          Some deals get better as time passes. I am sure that mods would update those deals, but it might be better to leave the duplicates on because of that. Currency rates do change to our favour sometimes, which makes the deals from Amazon more attractive as a result. If the original post get updated with that information, even though it became a better deal, it would still be located somewhere far behind the list. So in that case leaving the duplicate instead of original would do other people good.

          Also, you have mentioned other communities as well, but I don't think those rules are necessarily best for OzBargain. Ozbargain is a community of professionals people hunting for bargains. So wouldn't this mean, if a deal is burried underneath a lot of other deals for reasons I have mentioned and other reasons I have overlooked, wouldn't leaving the duplicates, and removing the original do us good?

          I am not suggesting that this should be the norm and I do see that it may lead to some store reps circumventing the post limits, but, having a rule stating that would be better since it gives mods more room for maneuvering.
          I don't mind either ways. If I post something and if people like it, I feel good because I am giving back to the community that gave me so many bargains. If not, then tough luck for me.

          I hope I didn't offend you in any ways. I personally think that site this large running this efficient is quite an achievement. I just wanted to chip in my 2c.

          Also, just in case my soul gets torned apart by my girlfriend's relatives on the day of Christmas, rendering me half dead and thus not being able to log onto OzBargain, Merry Christmas to you all.

        • @AznMitch:

          Thanks. Well said.

  • +1

    Hi guys….I am new to this and my second deal i posted disappeared after about 30 mins…i eventually found in my account details that it was a duplicate and had been removed…..It was a deal for woolworths delivery $89 for the year…I typed woolworths in the search bar and nver saw the original post……I have now checked and original post was on the 14th page when you type in woolworths…..

  • +2

    could the dupe be deleted and a link to the deleted dupe be placed on the original (possibly if the dupe has some worthwhile info contained in it?)

    • Duplicate deals are linked to the original. It should automatically redirect you to the older post.

      • +2

        I mean from the original to the duplicate

        eg. in the original deal it may say some thing like "duplicate deal posted by altomic on 24/12/14" with a link to duplicate deal

        • Right, but the link to the duplicate deal would redirect back to the original deal. Also, what purpose does it add to put that in the deal?

        • +2

          @neil: if there was something of benefit in the duplicate e.g. additional information or useful comments by other users.

        • @altomic:

          OK, that makes sense.

        • @neil: i see what I did previously. yeah.

  • +5

    If there is no merge functionality, I'd suggest the mods:

    • delete the description of the deal.
    • link the old deal in the description section.
    • freeze comments but not delete them.
    • noting in the subject: (DUPLICATE).
  • +18

    As much as I love this place I often feel there is favouritism for some posters. Like if tightarse posts something it automatically gets upvoted, yet if I posted the same thing it may get some votes but not as many.

    • +11

      I sense that too. Certain users get praised like a hero, woop de doo. It's like popular kids and unpopular kids in primary school scenario.

      • +2

        I have noticed that. However, it goes both ways. Reps struggle to get votes. I think it comes down to trust factor.

        I know Tightarse sits on his iPad for hours finding deals, formatting the post, and even calling stores. Probably the exception to the normal poster here.

        • +3

          Thanks for that neil. Too true re the iPad, and love every minute of it. Merry Christmas to you all :)

    • +5

      This is 100% true, it puts you off posting deals.

    • -5

      Yeah I noticed this awhile ago. Its probably the same people who like the Udemy and eBook deals he posts all the time to please them. He clearly must just sit on other Bargain forums waiting for something to come up, to reword and then post on Ozbargain and/or TopBargains for a financial incentive.

      • Let's keep this about duplicate rules and not unfounded accusations against members. The Talk with a Moderator forum is the best way.

      • -3

        Stop trolling shameless (how apt). Start looking for some deals of your own, rather than spending your time bagging the crap out of people that try to help others.

        • -2

          Maybe if you start posting some decent deals for a change that aren't eBook, Udemy or deals that don't work as described I will be more supportive.

          I do post deals that help others. Before I post a deal I think, would I want this deal personally and is it a good buy for the general public? Just a few words of wisdom as I don't think many people value Udemy courses that highly..

        • +2

          @ShamelessBargains:

          Not even worthy of a response.

        • @tightarse: Ok point taken. I think I went a bit overboard. Lets just end this here and agree to disagree.

        • Good to see anyone that has a different opinion then you = trolling.

          Perhaps you should look up the definition of trolling first before accusing people (and then abusing them via PM afterwards)

        • @Copie:

          Abusing? I PM'd you my exact reply to your accusation comment above as I knew the mods would remove it before you got to see it. It's now safe with you forever.

        • -1

          @tightarse:

          Uhh no. I have PM's turned off, i get a notification but do not receive them.

          So no you are not ahead at all.

        • -3

          @Copie:

          Uhh no. I have PM's turned off

          Ye, ok… keep up the great work.

          http://files.ozbargain.com.au/upload/27551/27503/capture.jpg

        • @tightarse:

          And? clearly comprehension is a feature set that is beyond you. Just because a link is there, doesnt mean it will actually send, or i recieve it.

    • +2

      You did realize that "unknown user" who actually post a epic deal/comment sometimes got downvoted too right?
      I think ozBargain someway become like Youtube now, exactly same like what you just said "favouritism"

    • That applies to a lot of things in life. You wouldn't be so quick to jump on a bargain if it was from an unfamiliar poster, just like you're more likely to be careful when purchasing something from an unfamiliar store.

      • So if the store was offering the deal was Myer/COTD/JB Hifi etc. , you're more likely to trust the user who posted it, rather than the store itself?

        If "popular user who has 1000 post counts" and "user who has 10 deal post counts" posted the same deal from same store, "popular user who has 1000 post counts" deal is a better and more trusted bargain than "user who has 10 deal post counts".

        Your statement really only applies to first time newbies (who could be sockpuppets) and REPs.

        • I never said anything about stores effecting the poster. I said: "You wouldn't be so quick to jump on a bargain if it was from an unfamiliar poster, just like you're more likely to be careful when purchasing something from an unfamiliar store." I forgot this was OzBargain so I'll explain; it won't matter if a user posts a deal from JB HiFi or some unknown store, if they're an unfamiliar user they're likely to be overlooked more than a familiar user, a familiar user is likely to be more trusted over time because people will eventually understand how they work, i.e. Tightarse probably wouldn't post a deal from a dodgy store or something like that. Now in a similar situation void of OzBargain, when you are shopping around for things say in a shopping centre and you're wandering around looking for say a Laptop, you're more likely to pick a shop you're familiar with over 1 you're not or at least a shop that's familiar among many others over 1 that's not. In a similar way, store reps will be overlooked more than normal users at times, for obvious reasons.

        • @wolf503: Actually this coincides with some of the behavioural economics concept and how people tend to rely on the sources that they've known for a long time (that have been a great source), even if they know that those don't apply to the situation. Just saying.

  • OK, looking at the comments here, how about a couple of suggestions that may alleviate a duplicate situation such as this.

    • If the duplicate has lots of useful comments, more information in description, copy that into the original deal.
    • If the duplicate is on the front page, sticky the original deal to the front page to replicate a front page deal.

    How does that sound?

    • +1

      That sounds reasonable for me :)

    • dont give in to peer pressure!
      why not just have a place in the forum where all dupe deals go to die so people can still view the comments there , and maybe link the dupe deal in the original deal ?

      • but those things take time to develop whereas implementing those rules just take some communication/group meeting.

        In ideal situation, it would be better to merge, which they said was not available yet. So I think that probably is the best solution that doesn't cost much.

      • why not just have a place in the forum where all dupe deals go to die

        The problem with that is that it doesn't redirect to the original deal. So you'll have deals where most of the comments are dupe, dupe, dupe, repeated over and over again instead of redirecting you to the original where the content would be more useful. Every new deal that is posted gets posted to the RSS feed as well as Twitter so it would be a bit confusing to send users to these pages.

      • It's not peer pressure. Sheesh.

        It's community consensus. If you think mods are you peers then you got a lot to learn.

    • On a merge:

      Freeze the dupe so that it cannot be viewed or commented on.

      Positive votes are added to the original.

      A selection of comments is appended to the original. Obviously you don't want to reparent comments that say dupe!

      A selection from the description if it contains useful clarification is appended to the original.

      Since all the votes of the dupe went to the original, the dupe loses any front page status. The original may gain front page status because of the votes.

      A redirect is created for anybody who happens to have the dupe's URL.

    • They sound like a great ideas Neil.

      • Glad to hear. I will discuss with other mods and post back here.

    • +1

      If the duplicate is on the front page…

      Hi neil. As you're no doubt aware, the speed at which a dupe makes it to the front page usually depends on the speed at which the mods action the reports. They may not see the reports for ages (especially on early morning deals). What happens then if you have 2 or 3 originals sticky'd to the front page, as well as 2 or 3 dupes? That's a third of your front page gone on the same deals. There has to be a better way.

      • I'll have to do some stats but I reckon we get around 200-300 duplicate deals a month. I'd say maybe 1 or 2 a week reach the front page before we can act on it. So it's not going to be a usual situation. As a matter of policy, we tend not to sticky more than 1 deal at a time. Never, never sticky 3 deals at a time as you say that would take up most of the front page.

        Anyway, let me pull some stats.

        • +1

          Merry Christmas !
          Mike Godwin

  • +1

    I would say there needs to be a way to either re-direct a duplicated post from the front page to the original or allow duplicate posts to be merged somehow, so that the original can still thrive, especially if it's a good deal because that's what we come here for.

  • Agree. Maybe Keep the popular dupe on the front page on that date with the new popular title, then when people click on the dupe, they can read the new posters post, but comments are closed and it reproduces the original post and original comments. Big up voting means that that many people missed the original deal

  • The votes so far: 61 yes change it, 10 'wah don't rock the boat my status quo icecream might topple' and 14 'meh!'

    Numbers don't lie.

    Enough said.

  • +2

    How about something similar to non-deal posts?
    When someone posts a non-deal, it's moved to the forums with the original link included in the text body.
    Perhaps when a dupe is detected, it can be moved to the forums with a link to the original deal.

    This preserves both comment/discussion thread.

    I also support temporary (deal/forum/comment) posting and voting bans for those who post dupes. =D

    • Exactly what I was going to suggest!
      …And I would think its easy for the mods to introduce.

      Thanks mods, it's a (mostly) thankless task but you do it well

    • I like this

  • +1

    Such a simple matter that has brought so many to attention. I'm sure you guys will work something out, cheerio!

  • -1

    wiped from the internet forever.

    Irony? Ever heard of "The web never forgets", if not then I suggest google your way out

  • Yep good to see my post gets deleted to protect the endangered species (certain members)

    Its because of members like him that i dont even bother posting bargains when i come across them, its a complete waste of my time as he will repost the bargain a few days afterwards for upvote farming and to be on the front page.

    Only need to see this
    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/146741

    To see why.

    • +1

      Only need to see this

      It's a deal with 60+ up votes.

      What is it I am supposed to see ?

      • Looks like Copie got into an argument with TA in the comments section?

  • Please do not turn this discussion about duplicates into criticisms against members which have nothing to do with the topic at hand. If you have an issue please use the Talk with a Moderator forum.

  • +1

    Duplicates

    Don't post duplicates (deals that are already on the site). Please search OzBargain before posting.

    Exceptions:

    The original deal is older than one month, and was expired or sold out between then and now.
    The original deal is active but older than 6 months.
    The duplicate gains an excessive amount of positive votes (50+) and reaches the front page.
    The original deal is a list of multiple items and the item is not contained in the title of the original deal. Related forum discussion.

    So if a post is a duplicate, the quicker it is reported and deleted the better. (Simples)

    I don't get how there is some other game going on - Playing for Sheep Stations ?

  • Apologies if it's been said but: how about just chucking all of the comments from a duplicate back into the original along with any helpful advice the OP has in his post (with a little footnote mentioning whose it is)?

    • So, can a mod tell me why that idea couldn't work?

      • Sorry for the delay, this was discussed and would be a decent temporary solution, all be it a little messy. However scotty is quite confident he can develop an 'auto merge' function to move the comments from the duplicate deal into the original deal in some capacity, so we will hold off until this developed. The loss of comments / valuable information appeared to be the main issue here which needed addressing, although these situations are quite rare.

  • +1

    I think the best course of action is to just stick to the current rules for now and wait until the merging functionality is added/developed. It should be technically possible to automatically merge votes and comments right?

  • Why can't you just set up a filter sort of thing where if it finds duplicate links it doesn't let you create a post or a mod has to approve it?

    • Links are'nt duplicated. eg. Someone post an Amazon app sale as the deal(which could be like 20 apps), then another person will post just one of those apps as a deal.