Malicious Voting patterns on Social sites and the LIKE button.

         Any social news site or forum administrator will tell you that malicious voting, spam, censoring by a group of forum members is a huge problem and is the cause of most of the headaches incured from administering a forum or consumer generated content site.

In most social news sites like Hacker news, Reddit, Digg, members of these sites are allowed to submit links, comments and posts and to also vote up or down any post/comments that are interesting, intellectually stimulating and are in the context of the post. Taking a site like Hacker news (of which I am an active member), an anomalous voting pattern has been noticed, i.e. once a comment/post gets downvoted by an individual, other members who view that post tend to blindly downvote that post/comment without analyzing the reason why that post/comment was downvoted in the first place (this I call the HERD INSTINCT). Also, members tend to vote on a post/comment maliciously i.e. down voting a post/comment just because the post/comment represents an opposing view to the voters world view or way of reasoning. Also, a clique of forum members can constitute a illegal cencoring group (e.g The Wikipedia Mafia) just because they want to controll the news items that are displayed on the front page of the site to their own selfish ends (gaming digg).

The solution? Remove the up and down vote button, and in its place just have a single button, the LIKE button, just like the FaceBook “like” button. HOW IT WORKS: If I see any post/comment I like, I can “LIKE” the post/comment, which is in essence upvoting that post/comment thereby increasing its tally, but if I see something I disagree with, I cant downvote it, the best I can do is to flag it as inappropriate but this doesn’t affect the score and neither is it shown so as not to influence other users into doing same. Hence the best posts/comments/articles tend to bubble up to the top based on the number of votes garnered and the bad ones tend to sink to the buttom, filtered according to the time it was posted i.e. chronologically.

In restrospect, this solution will only work to checkmate malicious voting patterns and might not stem the practice of people LIKING or upvoting comments/posts just because they want those posts/comments to bubble to the top. Any thoughts on how this can be solved? Please share.


Most programmers cant solve this.

This is the fabled Fizzbuzz problem, which is said that most programmers cant solve in longhand. Its a common question asked in programming interviews.

Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print “Fizz” instead of the number and for the multiples of five print “Buzz”. For numbers which are multiples of both three and five print “FizzBuzz”.

Please post your solution or a link to your solution in whatever language you are most comfortable in and also how long it took you to solve it. Please try not to google it first before trying to solve it


Utopian Business model for ISP’s.

Lets assume that I have just been given a state-wide license by the NCC to provide state-wide blanket WiFi access, but the problem is this, I need a game changing business model, I am not just into this for the ROI, I am also into this for the rippling effect it would have on the public.

So I have this sudden brain wave, why don’t I provide access to my WiFi network for free to anyone who wants to and generate income from advertising? Sounds crazy? Let me explain, Anyone with a WiFi enabled device would be given a user name and password for free. You fire up your browser and you are presented with an access page where you enter the user name and password given to you, and you can then browse till you drop. So how does the monetization/advertising model come into play here, ok  here goes.

You install a browser add-on which will monitor your browsing habits, it already knows your location, age, sex etc. this you would have given before being issued a username and password, it will then present to you unobtrusive relevant, targeted adverts based on your biodata and browsing patterns e.g. you are browsing a sports site and it displays an advert from a sports bar very close to you offering a mouth-watering offer which you can’t refuse.

I feel this will work especially in a place like Nigeria where people like free stuff (e.g. hacked free browsing from TelCo’s), lots of people will use this (a huge source of advertising “eyeballs”) and companies will definitely find this innovate and useful since they would  be able to provide highly targeted adverts and get higher returns on advert money spent.

Like the title “utopian”, this might or might not work, but who cares? its utopian and also hypothetical.