Do we really need the "looks wrong" option
I never give down votes, and I don't use "looks wrong" I don't understand where it would be appropriate to do so. If someone tries to translate something, and someone else knows it is wrong, he or she has the option to correct it and share or not share credit.
Those edits have been very helpful to me.
What is the purpose of down votes? Translating is not easy, and open to opinion, but I do sometimes misinterpret the spanish or someone who has a much more elegant way of expressing something in English edits what I have done. Occasionally someone does make it worse, but I figure they are just trying, like I am.
I think there are a few reasons:
1) it sends information to Duolingo about the quality of the document's translation (I think).
2) it gives feedback, albeit not very helpful without a comment, to the translator
3) it is a way to rate the quality of a translator, which will then be reflected by their tier
All it tells them is the combined sum of who got something badly wrong plus who got something slightly wrong that irritated someone or that someone new found something tiny with which to find fault plus who hates whom or who has a blanket objection to anyone tinkering with their text (in both cases among those who've been using translation longer). Which doesn't strike me as statistically useful without any breakdown.
This discussion gives a good break-down of what the down-vote should do, and why it can't do what it's supposed to do. Thanks, both of you.
I think the 'looks wrong' needs to be kept for a number of reasons that have already been stated by KalEngle but I would like to see it have only a 0 or 1 point penalty. I think that 5 points is excessive.
It has a one point penalty now because they changed the way you advance tiers. Unless you don't have that yet and they're just testing it on some users.
If you click on the question mark next to "Progress towards next tier" there should be an explanation like this if you have the new system: You advance to the next tier once you have at least 100 upvotes and at least 90% of your votes are positive.
That would be great if "Looks wrong" is -1 instead of -5. That 5 vote penalty under the old system was quite discouraging. I know there were sentences I didn't bother editing, because I could only improve part of the sentence, but the remainder of the sentence could very well Look Wrong to somebody.
It must have changed very recently to one vote. That's new. It used to still be five and 90% had to be positive. I hope this doesn't make people more willing to shell out downvotes.
Well, I'm not 100% sure. If you'd like to experiment, one of us could click "looks wrong" for one of our translations (depending on who's a higher tier) and see what happens, and then take away the downvote (or change to upvote :) )
It looks fine to me. I don't see (x5) mentioned anywhere, so it must have changed.
It was still -5 a couple of days ago - I've seen nothing to the contrary.
Have you checked it recently? When I see it, I see this:
There's no mention of downvotes being worth more than upvotes, which has me believe that the percentages are more important now.
Well, as I say, it was -5 a couple of days ago but I couldn't tell you whether that screen made any mention of the value of downvotes on that day.
Like most people, I only use the "Looks Wrong" button when something is grossly incorrect (Google translate/Duobot paste, words that are wrong, severely broken translation). If there are just a few mistakes, just edit the translation.
When someone uploads a number of articles, then proceeds to translate all of them by pasting Google/Duobot translations without changing as much as a single character, then the downvote button suddenly seems to make sense. Other than that, I'd rather edit.
I think that you might be describing "abuse". There was a time, early on, when trolls or children (that is: malicious or innocent mess-makers) were making a horrible mess of Immersion, posting gibberish so egregious and pervasive that it made correction unrewarding. I was ready to walk away from Immersion but the "report abuse" button was added, and I have used it for that purpose.
I've had a number of negative votes. In most cases the "Looks Wrong" button was used as a tie-breaker in edit wars.
For example, I changed a sentence that said "here are three words: two words" to "here are two words: two words" - not a literal translation, in other words. I reverted more than once, and people got frustrated with me.
Once, I did my homework and found that terminology in English was surprisingly different from Spanish, in an unlikely way. I linked to my sources and reverted, but it didn't help to ease the frustration I caused.
I've been marked down by mistake and then marked up by the same person (evidently), but the down-vote stuck (which I hope is fixed).
I think that that the down-vote concept is very valuable, and should continue, but it needs to be reversible and there needs to be justification attached -- perhaps on my stream, "community says: your translation of http://duolingo.com/link has been marked "wrong" because: You are ugly and I don't like you. And, "faldas" is not Spanish for "zits". Where "community" is the name of "anonymous" unless you check the "reveal my identity" option.