Here is where I discuss downvoting at Threadless


Recently a bunch of people told me I should resubmit my super cats design to, well...the super cats contest. Made sense. I made several changes that people seemed to really enjoy, and for a while this seemed to be confirmed in the contest. The design hovered between 2nd and 5th highest score for most of the first week in voting, then all of a sudden took a huge plunge of about 20 places over night, and continued to plunge as hundreds of votes came in rather quickly. Now, looking at the scores, voter numbers, 5's and 1's given, I feel like it's pretty clear people were downvoting en masse.


Sure, one could argue that maybe the new color scheme and tee is just so horrible that more than double the number of voters (with less total votes) thought it deserved a 1. Or maybe people were so tired of seeing it, having voted on it in january that it just deserved to do significantly worse. But I am going with the downvoters theory, the variance is way too high. Oh well, time to resume my threadless break.

Watch this
ISABOA
ISABOA profile pic Alumni

I am one of those folks who truly beleives threadless powers that be have some sort of bahind the scenes insight - analytics of some kind - that allow them to call bullshit on this sort of thing.

But even if not, who cares! downvoting is a plight that effects everyone. it is the locust that kills all the crops - the sinking sea that lowers all boats. NBD

StevenLefcourt

The way you put it makes it sound like even more of a big deal than I originally thought. Lol.

ISABOA
ISABOA profile pic Alumni

haha

actually i get what you are saying. not dark horse downvoting but actually co-ordinated group douchbaggery. lets just murder them.

ISABOA
ISABOA profile pic Alumni

did you notice a design that shot up in the ranks dramatically at the same time as yours sunk?

I would say that bastard would be target 1

we could hunt him down via social media and take a crap on his lawn. it's not a perfect plan.... Buuuuuuuut thats what I like about it

StevenLefcourt

Nah, I didn't initially dwell on it too much. Now just looking at the numbers it just sucks. I get doing art for art's sake, and I get that it affects other people (which makes it worse, not better in my opinion), but Threadless used to be an amazing competition where getting better as an artist had a positive effect on how well your work would do in said competition. Now it feels like there's no "competition" just a bunch of factors that don't encourage me to submit again.

StevenLefcourt

It all might sound a bit overly dramatic, but really, I'm just disappointed and burnt out.

ISABOA
ISABOA profile pic Alumni

i hear ya steven. I get sentimental about days gone past too.

I will join you in disappointment.

StevenLefcourt

ha, thanks, let us cry glorious rivers

Theo86
Theo86 profile pic Alumni

pretty much the same thing happened to me but for the black and white challenge, people encouraged me to resubmit this.

so I did and this is the end result:

people seem to down score more during challenges, I gave yours a big $5 btw.

Iawoken1

Pardon me, but are you saying that the voting is either rigged or somehow no longer about artistic merit? I have always assumed that in anything you do you face a headwind from established groups, but I had also thought that a good design would still have a mostly fair chance.

Iawoken1

Awesome owl, btw...

ISABOA
ISABOA profile pic Alumni

pardon: so basically in the challanges what happens is there are neck and neck races with the leaderboards (BTW leaderboards are a terrible idea TERRIBLE) and people will use social medias and their throngs of mindless mushhead friends to swoop in and help by casting high votes for one design and crap votes for everyone else. its not too complicated. And artistic merit only goes so far when you are talking about 13 year old girls

Iawoken1

I guess that explains the huge abundance of "cuteness" among submitted designs. I'll just have to build up a throng of mushhead followers.. I know many more mushheads than smart people.

melmike
melmike profile pic Alumni

It's hard not to get emotionally involved when its your artwork that's being effected, but if you look at the situation objectively, here's what we know:

Despite the prevalence of down voting, really good designs are still being picked week after week. They may not be your designs, but they are someone's. Obviously, really good designs aren't being printed too, but it would be an error to assume that the reason for this is down voting. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that down voting has no effect on who is and isn't chosen for printing. We know it's highly competitive and that they can't print everything, so we really shouldn't be surprised when even our best efforts are overlooked.

On a side note, I take heart that I haven't seen a single one of these designs with 90% 5s and crazy high scores of > 4.25 has ever printed.

The only thing this crap seems to effect are scores, and from what I can tell, Threadless will at least consider printing anything above 2.5.

At the end of the day, you shouldn't let a silly little number drive or hinder your desire to make new art.

StevenLefcourt

You'd be surprised how much it does seem to affect the system. In fact almost all of the designs that bring in 10,000,000 new voters and get tons of 5's have been printed (and one won a $20,000 bestee). Threadless sees these as being rightly popular, and I imagine a lot of the votes do translate to sales. While threadless may have voter fraud prevention tools, I feel often times they may never even see low voted designs. Also, as much as It should be comforting to know they print stuff that is much lower than a 3 or 4, in the past 6 years I have had 2 prints: a 4.0 and a 3.98.

KatieKatCW

I vote on 5 on this one! I really thought you were going to have 4.5 or 4 at least...

ChrisDB

Awesome design Steve. You too Theo. I think the contests that are where most of the downvoting occurs..I think if the folks at Threadless want a truer representation of how the designs rank, they should discount all 1's and 5's across the board. I believe this would give the best indication of where a design's true merit lies.

StevenLefcourt

Yeah, themed comps with extra prizes seem to bring out the worst in others.

biotwist
biotwist profile pic Alumni

maybe you just got lucky the first time with your higher score. i havent been able to careabout my scores since the new site switched over. threadless will either email me or they wont

melmike
melmike profile pic Alumni
StevenLefcourt said:

You'd be surprised how much it does seem to affect the system. In fact almost all of the designs that bring in 10,000,000 new voters and get tons of 5's have been printed (and one won a $20,000 bestee). Threadless sees these as being rightly popular, and I imagine a lot of the votes do translate to sales. While threadless may have voter fraud prevention tools, I feel often times they may never even see low voted designs. Also, as much as It should be comforting to know they print stuff that is much lower than a 3 or 4, in the past 6 years I have had 2 prints: a 4.0 and a 3.98.

As I'm relatively new to the forums and submitting, I'm happy to be proven wrong on this, but do you have any examples of what you're referring to?

quick-brown-fox
quick-brown-fox profile pic Alumni

Dude, it was most certainly down voted. I don't know if you saw this thread, but I'm pretty sure I found the shit that was doing it. I don't know if the thread dudes did anything with the guy, but my supercats design was doing pretty well and something killed it.

lindseycarr
lindseycarr profile pic Alumni

I'm fairly randomly on Threadless and hadn't heard of downvoting before, what exactly is it? Is it asking a bunch of friends to sign up and downvote other designs or similar. The numbers do look suspicious Steven, and I love the design.

taz-pie

if it is legitimate downvoting the body has a way to shut that down.

murkelei

I had just the same happening(at least I hope so, otherwise people just thought my sub was horrible). I could follow my supercat sub climbing up in popularity, only to have it overnight dropped several pages... if it was the user that qbf thinks it is, he even commented on the sub... I was really sad that it closed with an under three score..

Tonteau
Tonteau profile pic Alumni

The way I see it, if someone has to downvote, their designs must be so shite they'll never get printed anyway.

The $20k bestee winner was actually a good design. Clearly the popularity helped, but that dinosaur with a monocle got loads of 5s and was never printed cos it was rubbish.

v_calahan
v_calahan profile pic Alumni

Might be other rodents still around though, these network downvoting (hey pals vote me, but kill these subs!) thing doesn't look like true novelty, just sadly getting more common. I think Isaboa has a point concerning leaderboards… Good way to point out designs to the hater mobs…

quick-brown-fox said:

Dude, it was most certainly down voted. I don't know if you saw this thread, but I'm pretty sure I found the shit that was doing it. I don't know if the thread dudes did anything with the guy, but my supercats design was doing pretty well and something killed it.

quick-brown-fox
quick-brown-fox profile pic Alumni

I too would be happy if the leaderboards took a walk. I voted more when design submissions were included in the blogs. I could see when my friends had subbed stuff, see stuff from newbies which were bringing in massive amounts of comments and filter stuff when I just wanted to see what people were blogging about. This is the thing I miss the most from the previous incarnation of the website.

Goldendust
taz-pie said:

if it is legitimate downvoting the body has a way to shut that down.

I love you Taz

Goldendust

But really, I wonder how many regular voters threadless has left, and whether their decline is messing things up at all.

I feel like they'd be the ones that really give direction to what gets printed - they see a majority of the designs and give an honest opinion that threadless can rely on to filter things with. But if noob voters are the vast majority, what happens? I'm just musing but it's interesting to think about.

Manupix
quick-brown-fox said:

I voted more when design submissions were included in the blogs. I could see when my friends had subbed stuff, see stuff from newbies which were bringing in massive amounts of comments and filter stuff when I just wanted to see what people were blogging about. This is the thing I miss the most from the previous incarnation of the website.

This.

heykimby said:

But really, I wonder how many regular voters threadless has left, and whether their decline is messing things up at all.

I feel like they'd be the ones that really give direction to what gets printed - they see a majority of the designs and give an honest opinion that threadless can rely on to filter things with. But if noob voters are the vast majority, what happens? I'm just musing but it's interesting to think about.

This, too. I gave up batch scoring months ago and won't pick it up unless the process is seriously sped up.

taz-pie
heykimby said:
taz-pie said:

if it is legitimate downvoting the body has a way to shut that down.

I love you Taz

i was wondering if anyone gets jokes ;)

digsy
digsy profile pic Alumni

If the scores don't matter and Threadless just pick what they want to print, what's the point of voting at all? Doesn't that just undermine the entire principle of the site.

And, while those who use downvoting to push their own crap to the top of the pile might never get printed, that doesn't necessarily mean the good stuff that got buried is getting the fair recognition it would have. The bad might not get printed, but the good might still get missed.

Akaka
Akaka profile pic Alumni

And, while those who use downvoting to push their own crap to the top of the pile might never get printed, that doesn't necessarily mean the good stuff that got buried is getting the fair recognition it would have. The bad might not get printed, but the good might still get missed.

This is exactly what I've been thinking...

Also, I don't think they're necessarily going to do another 20 000$ Bestee type thing, at least not one based on votes, after the controversy. That was kind of crazy. I'd rather have someone make a huge buck by making a tee that sells like crazy - so I guess I'm a fan of the new royalty system.

melmike
melmike profile pic Alumni

Seems like the consensus is removing the leaderboards would seriously hinder downvoting attacks. Agreed?

TheInfamousBaka
TheInfamousBaka profile pic Alumni

I have to say that I use the leaderboards quite a bit myself to see where my designs stand among the others or to hypothetically vote on the good stuff that's at the top, though that's becoming less and less so.

It's so hard to go through and vote anymore, so I do think that the people that are voting are those that are specifically there to vote on your design or newb voters that have designs up for scoring. Voting is slow and clunky and the quality that is being accepted has really taken a turn for the worse.

Akaka
Akaka profile pic Alumni

I use the leaderboard a lot, waiting the whole 7 days for your score with no leaderboard was torture sometimes - especially if you don't get many comments... but removing it might help with the downvoting. :/

melmike
melmike profile pic Alumni

I hear what you're saying, just finished voting all the "Oxymoron" designs. Took forever, and I use the parentheses because maybe 1 in 10 were actually oxymorons, and most of them were either hideously ugly or half-concepts... so many 1s...

v_calahan
v_calahan profile pic Alumni
digsy said:

If the scores don't matter and Threadless just pick what they want to print, what's the point of voting at all? Doesn't that just undermine the entire principle of the site.

And, while those who use downvoting to push their own crap to the top of the pile might never get printed, that doesn't necessarily mean the good stuff that got buried is getting the fair recognition it would have. The bad might not get printed, but the good might still get missed.

Score is a parameter that certainly helps staff, yet I'm confident that as any of us, they also make a difference between a good score for a sneakin' poopish design and a well deserved good score for a truly sweet design. My guess being that scoring is also a way to get people involved, even though it has flaws. Plus my little finger tells me they review designs and pinpoint what they like regardless of score, end of the line? most prints are well deserved. After all Threadless needs to sell those designs.

P0ckets
P0ckets profile pic Alumni

They used to say they would review the 300 or so highest scoring designs every... month? week? I can't remember - and choose what they liked from there. I'm not sure if that's still the case, or if it was ever actually a rule that was followed.

I can't honestly look at any of the printed designs I've seen and say that they didn't deserve to be printed. Like Melmike said, Threadless know how to pick good designs - even if some great designs do get overlooked just as a result of the volume of great work still being submitted here.

If it's the case that downvoting pushes genuinely great designs so far down that they aren't even in the running for consideration, then that sucks and could do with addressing. I do really appreciate the leaderboards for introducing me to some great art - although maybe they are contributing to downvoting. I did like Frikkinawesome's suggestion (different thread) to reintroduce randomising in the voting system (i.e. you vote for something, then a random design from within that category comes next - rather than a fixed order).

StevenLefcourt
Tonteau said:

The way I see it, if someone has to downvote, their designs must be so shite they'll never get printed anyway.

The $20k bestee winner was actually a good design. Clearly the popularity helped, but that dinosaur with a monocle got loads of 5s and was never printed cos it was rubbish.

I wish that were the case, but good/decent artists aren't above these methods. Designs that might have a chance seem to benefit from these tactics, not just horrible ones. I agree the bestee winner was good, but im just not sure it deserved to win, and we can't ever be sure now. Thats the sad part of all this. When the good stuff wins because of voting imbalances it takes away any legitimacy the artist might have deserved anyway.

Also, Hi Tont!

StevenLefcourt
melmike said:

Seems like the consensus is removing the leaderboards would seriously hinder downvoting attacks. Agreed?

It took place long before they existed, I think it was just easier for us not to notice. Also, we didn't have access to any of the voter/scoring numbers at the end either, which made it even harder for us to notice. As the process has become more transparent, I don't think it makes manipulation more prevalent, just more noticeable.

StevenLefcourt
taz-pie said:
heykimby said:
taz-pie said:

if it is legitimate downvoting the body has a way to shut that down.

I love you Taz

i was wondering if anyone gets jokes ;)

Just checking in to say I got jokes.

jasonwright

I am new here, but not to art. Ive been selling my own originals and prints direct from my site and always get a very positive response from my collectors. At this point I have only had two designs go through, that is, finish the 7 day voting period. And, as far as the commenting active community it has been very, very positive. Now judging from the commenting consensus plus my own responses I get from multiple sites that I'm on including my own (please don't think this is a brag, I know there are top notch artists here I cant touch) site, I know this down voting is happening. How sleazy, especially in such a positive and artistic community. The way I am looking at it is that by going through these "challenges" that is exactly what is happening. I am being challenged. It it forcing me to work a little harder on my images because its not all rainbows and complements and such things that exist within my own site/community of collectors. So, in the end what we all end up with, even if is not printed here, is a better design on our part that we can put out to our own people. Down-voting by some artists "minions"? Gross! Would you all feel so nasty if you sent your people on such a mission? I, myself, cant even vote below a four on someones work (i think Ive only voted one 4 out of 400+votes) because of the very nature of art in my perception. Most things I see that I think is not that good (which really only means it looks like no time/heart was spent on it at all) I just skip over. Id much rather talk to the author of that image and offer advice. Because we've all been down that beginners road. Don't take these bad scores to heart folks! And purposeful down-voters, poo poo on your shoe shoe!

No account?
Join Us