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Receiving Criticism Within the Wiki:

The voice of the people
Please note that I'm not talking about how the wiki itself receives criticism, but how criticism (more specifically negative criticism) is received in the general atmosphere of the site. Put simply, I don't think the site is "suppressing criticism" of itself, but I do take issue with the general attitude towards criticism of works within the site.

I've browsed TV Tropes casually for a while now, and I've noticed that for the most part, no one ever says anything bad about works, at least not in the main section of the site. I feel that this is a major blind spot in this otherwise fairly good database of knowledge. Looking further, I was able to find quotes from Fast Eddie himself that seem to address this, but in an erroneous way. To be specific:

Fast Eddie: Let me real blunt. Negative reviews suck. They suck for the work and they suck to read.

<later on the same page>Fast Eddie: A negative recommendation would be "don't read it." Useless.

Feel free to disagree, but I don't think this is true. In fact, I think it is downright intellectually dishonest to claim that all negative reviews and criticisms do not add content to the wiki. It is true that pure hate reviews do not bring anything to the table, but not all negative reviews are pure hate reviews. Not all criticism of a show or a book or a fanfiction is spiteful, even if a person straight up says "I didn't like this <whatever>."

In fact, some of the very best criticism comes from analyzing the worst aspects of a work, especially by someone who honestly doesn't like it. Why? Because they can see the things the writer and even the writer's fans have turned a blind eye to. If you get a good negative reviewer, they can tell you exactly what they didn't like and why they didn't like it. As the author of a work, you can take their reasons into account and use them however you'd like with your next work, but even as a consumer you can take the negative review's aspects into account, and maybe even learn why you like or don't like what you just read/watched.

"Don't read it" would indeed be a bad negative review. But, on the other side of the coin, wouldn't "OMFG THIS IS THE BEST, READIT READIT READIT!" be a just as bad positive review? Admit to this and you have to admit that there are different types of positive reviews, and some are more useful to the wiki than others. In that case, can't there be different types of negative reviews, as well? What about "Don't watch it, because X, Y, and Z" where the aforementioned letters are thought out, reasonable critiques, such as "the humor comes off as juvenile" or "the art is bad because the artist doesn't follow simple rules of anatomy." Then you, as the consumer of the product reading the review, can think about the things they pointed out, and decide for yourself whether or not you agree with them. Maybe your opinion won't be swayed, but at least after reading the review you'll have a better view of why you did or didn't like the work, because the negative review forces you to think about it, just as the positive review does. And thus, you learned something, and perhaps deepened your enjoyment of the work in question.

To deny the validity of negative critique on the wiki is to deny that some people just don't like certain works. And everyone doesn't like some things. Maybe you feel Lord of the Rings is too wordy, or Naruto is too juvenile, or The Grapes of Wrath is too unrelatable to modern society. If you can write thoughtfully about these things, why shouldn't you be allowed to say it? If fans of a work are going to get up in arms because you made a completely valid point, then they should be the ones to take the blinders off, not you. There's no need to be inflammatory, and maybe if you word it well people will even see your point of view.

Furthermore, I feel that the biggest sufferers from this complete lack of negativity are fan works. Fan works are completely legitimate writing practice for aspiring writers, but without critique, they don't gain anything from it. Just writing alone will not make you better at writing. You need people to look at your writings and tell you what they did and didn't like about it. Being told how awesome your fanfic was feels really good, sure, but it won't make you a better writer. I feel like a lot of people on this site really would appreciate hearing things about their writing, because we all want to improve, to be able to tell our stories better, even if those stories involve other people's characters. Negative criticism is the backbone of improvement, because if you don't even know what you need to get better at, how can you work at it?

To summarize, I think some well thought out, non-trolling negativity would be very good for this site, both for the consumers and producers of works. Just because I hate something doesn't make my opinion intrinsically more or less valid. Saying you love something without giving a reason is just as pointless as saying you hate it without a reason. For the readers, negative criticism will help them understand why they do and don't like books/shows/whatever. For the writers, negative criticism helps pinpoint weaknesses and address them to become better writers overall.

I was really just looking to spur some discussion about this, so talk away. Be negative about this very review, if you want, as long as it's constructive. I feel that this wiki has a lot to gain from addressing this blind spot, and don't we all want to make the site as good as it can be?
TJ 4 life. Also the password is changed again.
 2 Fighteer, Tue, 7th Jun '11 9:04:42 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I'll give you the short answer to your Wall of Text above. The purpose of the wiki is not to catalogue praise or criticism. It's to catalogue tropes. The fact is that we're fans of things, so we are much more inclined to trope works that we can be complimentary, or at least appreciative of.

Criticism is fine, actually. That's why we have YMMV subpages, Reviews, and the like. What we don't like is Complaining. There is a difference.

edited 7th Jun '11 9:05:57 AM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
I believe he's complaining that we do have reviews but don't allow negative ones. Seems legitimate to me. If we're going to have reviews at all, why only allow positive reviews?

 4 blackcat, Tue, 7th Jun '11 9:42:27 AM Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Removing my response because I do not want to contribute to this discussion.

edited 7th Jun '11 9:44:14 AM by blackcat

Love extends the boundaries of what people can accept, but don't depend on it.
 5 chihuahua 0, Tue, 7th Jun '11 9:42:47 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Negative reviews are allowed. You just have to justify it.

 6 Fighteer, Tue, 7th Jun '11 9:43:29 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Since when do we not allow negative reviews? We don't allow reviews that consist of "Ten Reasons Why [X] Sucks Worse Than Goats". Critical reviews are fine.

If you think Barney & Friends is the most horrible thing ever and your review consists of ways you would prefer to dismember the purple dinosaur with common household appliances, you might as well not bother. We don't really care.

edited 7th Jun '11 9:44:42 AM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
Edit: Ninja'd.

edited 7th Jun '11 9:46:00 AM by Unknownlight

żuʍop ǝpısdn buıop noʎ ǝɹɐ ʇɐɥʍ
 8 chihuahua 0, Tue, 7th Jun '11 9:46:53 AM from Standoff, USA Relationship Status: I'm in love with my car
Writer's Welcome Wagon
Wait, what do you mean by negative. As in "WTF THIS SHOW SUXS" negative, or "I rate this one star because this protagonist is flat, the plot is inconsistant..." negative?

The voice of the people
There are a lot of websites out there that encourage that kind of discourse. Why do we need to emulate them?

Why does it have to be emulating another site? Is the fact that some other site did it first enough to make you say "nope, not allowed on here"? Why can't I want to talk about these things with the community here?

For those of you saying you allow negative reviews, can you actually post some? Even better, can you post something negative about a show/other that's generally seen in a "good" light here, like Dr. Who, or Terry Prachett? I don't think I've ever seen someone say largely negative things about the big stuff without being denounced as a troll, but hey, maybe I don't look around too much.
TJ 4 life. Also the password is changed again.
The Saint of Lost Causes
As of this post, the second entry on the "newest reviews" list is a review that says, in many more words, "Spore sucks worse than most people think it does." I'd count that as negative.

 11 Fighteer, Tue, 7th Jun '11 9:50:32 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
[up][up] We aren't going to comb the wiki for critical reviews just to disprove your point. You came in here making assertions; prove them yourself.

edited 7th Jun '11 9:50:47 AM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
Dude, Publius, did you even look at the reviews section? Like half of them are negative or at least critical of the work. And yes, lots of them are about popular works, like Macbeth and WALL•E. What are you even talking about?

edited 7th Jun '11 10:55:52 AM by troacctid

Rhymes with "Protracted."
 13 Caissas Death Angel, Tue, 7th Jun '11 10:27:23 AM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
Inception. Plenty of negative reviews there, and passionately so. But they are negative in such a way that actually critiques the work and explains why the reviewer disliked the work. What failed dramatically or didn't happen in an aesthetically pleasing way. Those sort of reviews are just fine.

It's the "LOL INCEPTION IS RETARDED" rubbish we want to leave elsewhere, as there's plenty of Wretched Hives on the net and we're proud to have more class than that.

edited 7th Jun '11 10:28:41 AM by CaissasDeathAngel

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 14 Willbyr, Tue, 7th Jun '11 10:48:42 AM from North Little Rock, AR Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Anime-ted
NCIS has a bunch of negative reviews. I've written several for various Evangelion fanfics that can be accessed through that page. To reiterate: Eddie may not like them, but tropers aren't discouraged from writing negative reviews as long as they're substantive and address specific problems the reviewer sees in the work. We can flag reviews for the mods to zap if they're nothing but Complaining.

edited 7th Jun '11 10:51:13 AM by Willbyr

 15 captainbrass 2, Tue, 7th Jun '11 10:55:02 AM from the United Kingdom
NCIS has a critical review that I wrote, and I haven't had a bolt of lightning hurled at me from F.E.'s throne on Mount Olympus yet.
"Well, it's a lifestyle"
Nor will you. The reviews are for opinions. Benighted as some might be. This thread OP is based on a misunderstanding.
Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty
The wiki's intolerance of criticism of works in the Main namespace is quite justified. The only problem is that we aren't intolerant enough of gushing (but even then, official policy is against gushing).
Currently taking a break from the site. See my user page for more information.
 18 Deboss, Tue, 7th Jun '11 10:21:59 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
We're against gushing, but not everyone has the skill to write without doing either. My view was that if you're going to err, err on the side of gushing rather than bashing.
To reiterate: Eddie may not like them, but tropers aren't discouraged...

Exactly how is it possible for Eddie to say they suck, and yet for them to not be discouraged at the same time? If he says that negative reviews suck to read and a negative recommendation is just "don't read" and useless, we're plainly being discouraged from posting negative reviews, and they seem to fall in the category of a whole host of things that we're not actually allowed to do but which Eddie hasn't gotten around to deleting... yet.

When Eddie says "this doesn't belong on the wiki", since Eddie's judgment always rules, doesn't that mean that those things don't belong on the Wiki, by definition?

Even better, can you post something negative about a show/other that's generally seen in a "good" light here, like Dr. Who, or Terry Prachett? I don't think I've ever seen someone say largely negative things about the big stuff without being denounced as a troll, but hey, maybe I don't look around too much.

Actually, I did post a negative review of Dr. Who. Unfortunately Doctor Who is now listed under "Series", and when it was moved to "Series" the reviews weren't moved with it, with the result that you can only see them by manually editing the URL. I suspect a lot of series lost reviews because of this problem.

Edit: moved them myself—the code that was used for restoring reviews when the database was messed up is still there so this is possible.

edited 8th Jun '11 10:40:19 PM by arromdee

 21 Rocket Dude, Wed, 8th Jun '11 11:49:08 PM from AZ, United States
This hat doesn't fit!
^^Thing is, to quote Ross Scott:

Ah, people can complain, as long as it's civil.

When it comes to negative reviews, similar logic applies: It's fine as long as it's thought-out and not just bashing.
Tumblr | "Hipsters: the most dangerous gang in the US." - Pacific Mackerel
someone
I've browsed TV Tropes casually for a while now, and I've noticed that for the most part, no one ever says anything bad about works, at least not in the main section of the site.
If by "main section" you meant the majority of wiki articles then yeah. The main section isn't for criticism or opinions, just objective tropes. I think.
something
 23 Deboss, Sun, 12th Jun '11 11:18:34 AM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
That's correct. We shouldn't really have as many "how the work was received" paragraphs as we do, but that's a relic from ages past.
someone
[up]So, stuff like that bit on the My-PRiNCESS* page that goes
Highly recommended, though there is disagreement among fans as to the effectiveness of part of the climax.
...should be removed?

edited 13th Jun '11 3:00:10 AM by ThatHuman

something
 25 Fighteer, Mon, 13th Jun '11 6:11:59 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Yes, remove those things.
Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
Total posts: 54
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