Recategorizing double standards

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Yesterday I uploaded photo of train rails and wasn't sure what category that goes to so I checked leaderboard for photos of rails and found them in transportation / trains so I choose same. Image was doing well and then today I get recategorized email. Ok, if it is wrong category move it, but my problem is:

1. Moved to Travel locations?! You have subcategory railway in travel locations? Really?! So to you it is more becoming for railway to compete with Niagara falls or Big Ben than against.... hm... I don't know... maybe with Trains that drive on them? Yes I see the logic - Bravo!

2. Ok, rules are rules - how come that rules are for some and not for all? My image was moved in a day and now I decided to take a look at Trains subcategory to see if I was crazy or did I really saw rails there - these are results for just first 100 photos (not all photos in category) for last month and this month:

Last month:
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

This month:
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

If you are moving images than do a proper job and move all images - rules and descriptions have no point if you don't apply it on all users and photos.
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Matko Matković

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Posted 6 years ago

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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Hello Matko, we rely on users to report photos that are in wrong category and we act on photos when they are reported. I will ask report team to go through the photos you have reported here.
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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I have also asked for clarification on your image, I'm sorry I just realized I omitted that in my reply.
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Mark Zouroudis

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I don't see how train tracks could be Travel Locations.

Travel Locations should be all about the destination not the means of getting there. We have other another category for that and that is Transportation.

Matko placed his pic in the right Category. It should be a matter that all the train track pics in Travel Locations be moved out of there, not the other way around.
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=-]

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I feel like the report team is making so many non nonsensical mistakes lately, more so than ever.

I do wonder at times, as I am sure many have, if the report team is an actual human or a script. The later makes a bit more sense in light of all the errors categorizing images.
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Dark Reid

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Agreed - I may be wrong but why don't the team vet the daily awards and not focus elsewhere (it's like a guaranteed drug test for a medal winning athlete) - by default everything then falls into place.

Relying on reporting seems to be encouraging negativity (I hate the whole spy on your neighbours vibe)

My next point is the duelling system - since members are expected to vote only for images that are in the correct category, it implies people who report images have not voted for them. Why then do re-categorisations seem to happen when an image is trending strongly for the day? This implies many users are voting for the images and consider them to be properly categorised. Similarly, from personal experience I observe the newly re-categorised image always seems to fare badly afterwards. If the duelling system is deemed to be fair and working properly as implied by Pixoto as the heart of the system then this means that the image has been re-categorised inproperly by the team. I've yet to see a re-categorised image do better

And to the Pixoto Team: there's nothing wrong giving people the benefit of the doubt and letting the duelling system do it's job. If the image is in the wrong place it should bomb. If on the other hand it could be in one category or another and it's a judgement call, why move it at all?

Examples:

Childrens swings on a beach at sunrise. Where is it? Landscape, no, it's abstract.

A famous exterior looking upwards to the sky: Where is it? Buildings and Architecture, no, it's abstract.

A woman walking away on a path: Where is it? People, no, abstract

A tree in detail under a coloured light? Nature up close, no, abstract

More than 50% of the leading abstract images for the week alone could be put in more than one category. It's this inconsistency of re-categorisation which has annoyed me so much that i've responded to this thread having just had another upwardly trending image doing really well (by my amateur standards) pulled by the team. It's now doing relatively modestly (no surprise) implying the users who voted for it were actually wrong to do so

Category descriptions are relatively loose - sending a boiler template email telling me to read them is very annoying as a) I already have, several times and b) having decided where to put the image it's goes on to be well received by the community through the duelling system. I would suggest that if the team go to the trouble to make a decision, they should at the very least explain it, case by case

I like Pixoto, and i realise the team don't have an easy job, but please revist the category descriptions (as clearly they aren't fulfilling their role as well as you want), let the duelling system do it's job and when theres more than one possible category: Give the user the benefit of the doubt!!

Thank you
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Susan Hogan

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And then there are people like myself, who have totally stopped even looking at categories when voting because to me, the categories and subcategories don't make any sense on a really regular basis... I don't think its fair to penalize people for having images in the wrong category when the categories make no sense anyhow...
The ironic part is that none of the subcategories in abstract ARE abstract... For the first few days here, I routinely voted against images that were clearly NOT abstract, until I realized that there were subcategories under abstract that are not abstract at all... I think there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of Pixoto's categories...
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Dark Reid

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Am still waiting on replies to my e-mail and this thread. Reporting to re-categorisation and notification took a few hours - a response to my queries in the same timeframe would be appropriate
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Matko Matković

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I am still waiting also - are rules for some or for all?

How come some images get moved same day and other reports get ignored?
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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We usuall try to react on reports in 24-48 hours (if we are backloged with reports it can take longer). If there is no action on reports that doesn't mean that report team is ignoring reports, it means that reported photo doesn't need recategorization.

Matko I didn't get feedback on your photo yet. On the other hand we have used this as opportunity to evaluate category descriptions.
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Dark Reid

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Jasenka, I appreciate the response here but I don't get how an image can be reported and moved within hours of submission but emails asking for clarification sent back straight away can be part of a backlog for 72 hours. The image being moved so quickly after submissiom implies there isn't a backlog.

I welcome the category review - here's an idea - why not get the community to participate on categories and sub-categories and descriptions. After all, they vote on the images that go in them.
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Thank you for that idea Dark, I will inform management about it :)
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Matko Matković

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Jasenka - I don't need feedback for my photo anymore, but I do need explanation how come my photo was moved so quickly and all these other photos that are reported with same problem as mine (wrong category) are still dueling and getting awards - if they are wrong category then that amount of photos is doing great damage to fairness of competition in that category and stealing awards and points from photos that deserve them.

And as Reid said if there was a backlog then some images wouldn't be moved or deleted same day they were submited but days later as ones reported in this case (still waiting).

I also welcome category review as current situation and descriptions are bad and unclear.

And happy new year 2014. to all users and staff! (hope team will do better job in 2014. :) )
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Hello Matko, Happy New Year to you too :)
I will ask about clarification on this, and reply when I get information.
Just one more thing, did you report them through "Report" button or you just linked them here?
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Matko Matković

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Some are reported with "Report" button but not all photos in this list... as most of the time report button gets ignored...
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Dark Reid

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Happy New Year to everyone.

Jasenka, I am still awaiting a reply from the team for the original clarification e-mail I sent straight after my submission was re-categorised (within hours of upload) or either of the two follow ups I sent.

Assuming that many of the image reports are duplicates for clearly wrongly categorised submissions and that your system would bundle those reports, surely there must be time to answer other e-mails including mine where the re-categorisation is more 'subjective'?

I am really keen to find out why the reporting team consider the duelling system to be broken or unreliable in such subjective cases

A response really would be both appropriate and appreciated

Thanks for your help
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Hello Dark, Happy New Your to you too :)

Can you please post here link to photos you want clarification of, and I will either try to explain, of I will ask for further clarification.

Thank you.
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Dark Reid

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Thank You Jasenka - hope the festivities were good to you last night

http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

As you will see from my e-mail's I really couldn't understand the decision and after watching the submission bomb under the recategorisation I resubmitted myself to digital art: abstract. I still think I got it right first time and the duelling under all three instances bears this out (although under it's latest iteration it's tracking at 49W:34L but scoring low due to it's early performance) - check-out the duelling history graphs and you will see my point

For completeness here's the original email i sent Mike:

'Mike

Please explain how a mirrored image of a birds heads shaping the outline of a love heart by its reflection cannot be considered to be anything but an abstract pattern?

I am totally confused

Once again, the voting reflects the image re categorisation. The abstract scored well but the (in my opinion) wrong reclassification now reflects in poor duelling and the image is scoring much worse as it is now in the wrong category

Abstract definition: photos that don't have a clearly definable subject (a virtual love heart fits this)

When I look at the abstract leaderboard for this week I see a lady walking, a statue, swings on a beach, pencils, trees, architecture, a silhouetted tree/landscape all of which have been used to create an abstract image. They are absolutely no different in principal to my submission - I used a birds head and a mirror image to create something abstract. Are you proposing to reclassify 50% of the top 20 images? Thomas Born's Shades of Colours 4 is clearly also a mirrored image of flower petals - exactly the same principal using a plant. Why not reclassify this too?

I note that reclassification only seems to happen when the image tracks over 550 points and trending well

Please take the trouble to reply - the last time I mailed the team I did not receive any comments back. I'm not trying to be awkward but if you will excuse the pun, some reclassification decisions seem to be 'Abstract'.

Thank you for your time'
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Dark Reid

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Followed up later with:

From
Darkened Son

To
Team Pixoto

Mike

I took the liberty of reporting some abstract images which on the same basis as my reclassification are also wrongly categorised. Approximately 50% of the top abstract images for the week.

I really think the image category definitions are too loose based on your reclassification. I also don't get the image reporting option - why not just screen any image qualifying for a daily award yourselves and not worry about anything else? By default - all images would then be correctly categorised - and all daily, weekly, monthly, yearly awards would necessarily be in the right category

My image is still bombing under the re-classification and this follows the other instances when this has happened to me

Another point is people vote on the image based on the category they think it should be in. It would do badly if it was in the wrong category originally, wouldn't it? If not, that implies the duelling concept is flawed at a conceptual level and cannot be relied upon?

Sorry for the second e-mail but I am mightily annoyed

Dark
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Dark Reid

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And then this yesterday:

Mike

My image was re-categorised within hours of submission and confirmed by an e-mail from the team (see below)

However, despite 2 e-mails from me, a forum post and reporting similar leading abstract images (albeit from Wk 1 2013 due to the bug on the site yesterday) for similar 'infringement', I have still not had a reply in a much longer timescale than it took my image to be reported, considered, moved and confirmed by a boiler templated e-mail

As a Pro member and paying customer I would like an acknowledgement and explanation along the lines of my original e-mail as to why you consider the voting system to be defective and addressing my concerns

My observation remains the same - high trending images which could potentially be in more than one category seem to be reported (tactical reporting??) - the image was best placed where it was, as bourne out by the duelling results up to that point - subsequent re-categorisation has hurt it's duelling considerably implying it was moved by you to the WRONG category

I understand moving clearly mis-categorised images (like the example in a recent forum thread - stunt planes in landscape) but where the choice is not black and white (if you will excuse another pun) you should let the duelling system decide - as it is at the very heart of the Pixoto concept

As an amateur enthusiast I like the site, it's basic principal of voting by peers and the opportunity for feedback, so thank you for that

However, as a paying customer, I expect a level of customer service measured against the speed of the original issue - in this case, wrongful re-categorisation within hours

Thank you for taking the time to respond

Dark Reid
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Hello Dark, thank you for this. I have asked for clarification and I will let you know as I get information.
Edit: I have checked this weeks Abstract category, and apart several that need recategorization (that I have reported now) in first 100 I could not see lots of photos this week that are wrongly categorized so I guess report team has done some recategorization.
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Dark Reid

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Thanks Jasenkna

Note that when I looked yesterday you had the week 1 2014 bug - so I would have been looking at week 1 2013 (I highlight this in the e-mail above)
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Hi Dark, I'm sorry about confusion I understood you were talking about this weeks images. My mistake.
About your photo it is not abstract at all (the subject is clearly identifiable) so it shouldn't be in Abstract/Patterns or in Digital Art / Abstract. Best category is DA/things, but since we do not modify subcategories you can leave it there or you can change subcategory yourself (hover over image in portfolio, click on "Edit" and when page opens on the right side there is "Sub-category" drop-down that you can change, and click on save).

Hope this helps.
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Dark Reid

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Not really Jasenka,

Please don't take offence as you have been very helpful so far. I really don't get the abstract category at all now after your explanation. And this really proves my point. You said the subject is a bird.

It isn't. If I'd wanted to take a birds head I would have (there are several submissions I have put into 'Animals - Birds since I joined like that)

The image is VERY clearly the shape of a heart made by taking a birds neck and head and merging it besides it's mirror image. (Abstract, pattern). The birds head is a device used to create the shape. I could have used a snake, an elephants trunk etc - it's just a prop to achieve the effect I wanted

By the same logic you just applied you would reclassify most of the images under typography under their respective components : e.g. flowers. Why is that any different? Are flowers the focus of the picture or is it the shape they are supposed to create? QED I believe.

No one from the team has answered my other question on voting.I saw Abstact, the majority voting followed my submission and obviously
someone(s) reported me and the team moved it. Why - the majority of the community seemed to agree with me by voting favourably. However, the re-categorisation was utterly subjective (again proving my point) as you have suggested that the final category (DA) I subsequently moved the image to im the end is OK rather than the one the team moved it to. Thus the category definitions are too blurred to be effective if more than one is ok.

I dread to think of the chaos I could generate by posting a photo of a garden spade, wrapped in the coils of a green snake, held by a naked old man, on a beach, at sunset beside a hotel (it would be a cool picture ;) - so categorise that if you can, hehe)

No one from the team has yet tried to explain why when an image is posted to a category and the community votes heavily for it why their votes are considered wrong? Community voting is the heart of the site. Clear violations I get, subjective decisions I don't

If you could explain to me why a heart shape made of birds heads is just a picture of a bird, when at the same time a picture of flowers in the shape of a letter is clearly a letter and not a flower that would really help

Then I need help to understand why the voting of the community on one hand is considered the measure of an image, and at other times to be ignored as unsound?

Thanks for coming back on this (sorry it's another long one) but I haven't yet had an answer to the questions I raised in my e-mails

Dark
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Mark Zouroudis

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Hi Dark, don't take people voting for a pic to mean that they think it's in the right category. I think most people here don't even look to see which category they are voting on. They just vote for what they think is the best pic. This pic

http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

at this time is leading the Nature Up Close category for 2nd Jan It is clearly a pic that belongs in Animals - Insects and Spiders. It has a win/loss record of 30/18. You can't deduce from that that the majority of people think it's in the right category.
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Joyce Andersen

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I don't know about how others vote, but I really do look at the category. if it is in the wrong category I DO NOT VOTE for it. I will just skip the duel... tired of mis- categorized photos getting ratings and screwing the competition.
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Dark Reid

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Thanks Mark

I do agree with you that people don't check categories sometimes, also that some use different media when they vote (an image can look quite good on a mobile but pretty awful on a full screen, hence different outcomes). On an iPhone you may not even see the category depending on how the phone is orientated.

By the way, the image example you gave has been moved now ;)

What i'm trying to get at is voting in general. You either take an optimistic view that people vote correctly for the better image, or you take a more pessimistic view that the voting is unreliable (it can't be both simultaneously conceptually).

Jasenka's comment is the other piece. We are all creative and see the world uniquely. Where I see a plant in sharp focus as the subject with a Bee adding context, the Team see a Bee with a flower adding context.

Where one person sees train tracks as transportation, the team see Travel destinations.

Probably there's merit to both and reporting should be for the clearest of mis-categorisations, not for judgement calls.

I practised a martial art (another form of art) for a little while. Competition always brought out frustration wherever subjective judgement was applied (point system by judges). This did not apply for full contact knockdown tournaments as the element of subjectivity was removed. That was what attracted me to Pixoto, as it is a series of knockdown duels facilitated by a fairly solid algorithm to pick the next bout (preventing consistent mismatching). If this cannot be counted on then Pixoto is flawed at it's core. I don't believe that.

I think category and subcategory descriptions need to be clarified. Interpretational margin calls need to be left to the duelling. Otherwise when does a bee on a flower start to be a flower with a bee? How big does the bee have to be, where in the picture, how sharp the focus?

I mentioned in this thread, that I think
the community could help more to review the main categories, subcategories and definitions.

I'd certainly like to see a few more main categories including an open photo category for the best and boldest submissions.

However, it's not my site, I'm just an enthusiast and I have to apprecatiate the good work the team do everyday. But like all of us I do have an opinion

Thank you

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