FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions

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A mini-tutorial on how to use netivist (power point)




1. Can people see what I vote in debates or the petitions I sign?

No, your vote is completely secret, as well the petitions you have signed. Netivist follows the common norms of democratic participation, thus, although other users can read your comments in the forums they cannot see what you voted for. In petitions we certify the number of users signing petitions but do not reveal their identities or emails. So don’t censor yourself and feel free to vote and sign petitions following your principles and ideas!


2. What are netivist points (XP) for? How do I get netivist points (XP)?

Netivist points (XP) let you find out who are the most influential users in a debate. You will be able to filter and order comments in forums according to the points and levels of the authors of the comments. To have more visibility and influence you can gradually accumulate XP through your interactions in netivist. Netivist points (also referred as netivist experience points or XP) help you to increase your user level (see 3) and allow you to compare users’ engagement and influence in netivist.

There are several ways in which you can get netivist points, the most common are:

  • a. Voting: When you vote in a debate you get 1 XP
  • b. Writing intelligent comments: When a comment you wrote in a discussion forum receives a “like” from another user you get 1 XP.
  • c. Sharing: When you share netivist content through email or social media (such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Reddit, etc.) you get 1 XP point for each person you attract to netivist (some limitations apply).
  • d. Trophies: When you obtain certain trophies in netivist (see 4) you may get some extra XP. Usually, the more difficult the trophy the more XP you get.
  • e. Endorsing campaigns and petitions: When you sign a petition you get 1 XP
  • f. Initiating campaigns and petitions: When you create or initiate a petition or campaign you get XP when people sign the campaign. The number of XP you receive depends on how successful the campaign is (i.e. how many people endorse it).

In sum the more you vote, comment, share and engage in online campaigns the more XP you will get and the faster you will level up.


3. How do I level up in netivist and what are the levels for?

You level up by accumulating netivist points (XP). For instance when you reach 25 XP you automatically pass from Level 1 to Level 2. When you accumulate 75 XP you attain Level 3, with 150 points you get to Level 4, and so forth.
Beware that leveling up becomes increasingly difficult. So although it is very easy to level up at the beginning reaching higher levels will be more challenging. Engagement, expertise and capacity to mobilize others is the secret to become a “top influential netivist”.

Leveling up gives many advantages, for instance:

  • a. Visibility: comments in forums can be sorted and filtered according to the level of the user that wrote them. The higher the level you have the most likely is that your comments will be read and taken seriously by other users. Remember if they “like” your comments you will get more XP.
  • b. Prestige: users with more XP and therefore higher level appear higher in the rankings of most influential netivists.
  • c. When you level up you can “like” more comments of other users (and therefore grant them XP for their contributions to debates).  Level 1 users can “like” only 3 comments per day in each debate but that number increases gradually (4 likes per debate/day with Level 2, 5 likes per debate/day with Level 3 and so forth).
  • d. The higher the level the more comments you can write in a particular debate per day (10 comments/day with Level 1, 20 with level 2, 30 with level 3, etc.).
  • e. Higher levels allow you to create more petitions and campaigns.
  • f. When you reach certain levels you can create groups (in which you will be able to create your own debates and polls).


4. What are the trophies? How do I get trophies in netivist?

Trophies are rewards granted to netivist users for their achievements. There different classes of trophies: basic, bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Basic trophies are very easy to obtain, platinum the most difficult to get and will usually require months of participation in netivist.
There are hundreds of different trophies you can collect in netivist.  Discovering them can be fun. There are trophies rewarding popular comments (receiving likes), number of people you mobilize (invite to debates), your rankings as an user, the XP you obtain within some periods of time, engagement in petitions and campaigns, fair-play (many comments without moderation), etc.

You can receive specific trophies for your accomplishments in each of the 5 channels (Politics, Entertainment, LifeStyle, Consumers and Sports) and categories within these channels (e.g. Environment, International Affairs, Music, Video games, Food, Tennis, etc.).

On your profile page you can see the trophies you have won. Trophies often reward you with extra XP helping you to level up even faster. So go and try to get as many trophies as possible!

5. What happens if I sign a petition or campaign? What are they for?

Petitions are signed anonymously (nobody knows whether you have signed). When you sign a petition or a campaign you simply express endorsement to an idea in order to influence decisions by policy-makers, companies or creators. A petition is not legally binding and therefore it is only an informal way to show that netivist users want something to be done. Netivist checks that petitions are not offensive or harmful so there is nothing to fear about signing petitions hosted in netivist.

Moreover unlike other petitions sites, netivist will not give your email or contact details to anyone (not even to the organization or people that have created the petition you sign).

We are an independent platform. Although it enables other organizations and individuals to initiate petitions and campaigns, netivist does not officially endorse any particular petition hosted. Petitions and campaigns promoting opposite or competing ideas may coexist in netivist.


6. How much does it cost to propose a campaign or petition in netivist?

Nothing, it is completely free. Netivist wants to help people to coordinate and have their voices heard.  Charging people for creating a campaign goes against basic democratic principles. We hope to get funded by spontaneous and completely voluntary donations.


7. Can I share the content of netivist through social media or other online platforms (such as personal pages, blogs, etc.)?

Of course, you can repost netivist content. The whole idea of netivist is to help citizens to have their voice heard and thus influence decisions. We even reward with XP our netivist for sharing content and invite people to join our debates.

Netivist operates with a Creative Commons license. You can copy and share our content as far as you don’t do it for commercial purposes and you acknowledge that it comes from netivist.

When you share the debates and petitions you are contributing to their visibility and impact. So please keep on sharing!


8. What happens to those that do not respect the norms of discussion in debates?

Netivist’s success and impact depends entirely on the contributions of its users. If we want to influence decision-makers the deliberations in netivist forums should be as constructive and informed as possible. 
Users who use abusive or threatening language in the forums harm the overall level of debate. The netivist team will remove all comments considered abusive and will sanction those who repeatedly violate the norms of use of netivist. Sometimes XP will be subtracted (and users downgraded to lower levels) in other cases the author may see her/his account cancelled. 
If you find an abusive comment do not hesitate to report it to the netivist team (via the “report” button in the debate forums).
Please help us make netivist a really interesting and constructive forum for debate and public deliberation.


9. What do netivist polls and campaigns serve for?

They serve to measure opinions and enthusiasm about policies, products, services, cultural and artistic expressions. By engaging in the polls and campaigns you contribute to a better understanding of the society we live in. 
Netivist tries to capture the people’s views and passion around many issues and aims at becoming a reference point for decision-makers. By engaging in netivist polls, debates and petitions you contribute to shape political, socio-cultural and business decisions. The more users participate in our polls and campaigns the greater the potential impact of netivist’s deliberations in our world.


10. What are rankings for and how are netivist users rankings calculated?

Rankings allow you to compare the level of influence or activism of different users. This is a good opportunity to contact people that are opinion leaders in areas or issues you care about. 
In netivist there are many different rankings. There is a global ranking for top scorers based on the XP obtained by each user (see 2). Other rankings are specific to thematic areas such as the rankings for each of the channels (top scorers in Politics, Entertainment, LifeStyle, Consumers and Sports). You can also sort users according to their engagement (number of votes in polls and petitions signed), expertise (likes received in their comments) and capacity to mobilize others (number of users invited to participate in netivist debates). In the future we will also create regional and country-level rankings.


11. Who creates netivist debates?

Netivist debates are created by our editorial team which includes social scientists and experts in different disciplines. Neutrality is a core principle for netivist. Netivist aims at unveiling public opinion not at inducing or promoting some particular ideas. This is the fundamental reason for having an editorial team controlling the content instead of allowing each netivist to create her/his own debates.
Once you reach a certain level in netivist you gain the capacity to propose debates to the editorial team. Suitable debates will be published and if they are very successful you may even be rewarded with extra XP and trophies.
If you have created a group in netivist you can start your own internal debates (see 3).

You can find more information in the terms and conditions and privacy policies of netivist. If you have further queries feel free to contact us (userqueries{at}netivist.org).

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Tags: FAQ