Prediction markets for ACX comments



  • Prove out prediction markets in a low-stakes, real-world setting
  • Highlight high-quality contributions from commenters
  • Incentivize the audience to play a more active role in curation and spam detection


  • Prototype a standalone comment moderation system (similar to Disqus)
  • Every user who signs up is granted 100 karma
  • Instead of just upvoting/downvoting, users wager karma on the quality of a comment
    • Allowing for larger sizing
  • Q: What are users betting on?
    • Ideally: "comment quality"
    • Q: How are markets settled? Aka how is "comment quality" assessed?
      1. A moderator role provides a source of truth
        • Spam/banned comments pays out to those who bet against
        • "Comment of the week" pays out to those who bet for them
        • Moderators would not be allowed to bet on markets


  • How do you deal with vote brigading? Ideally, you prove identity somehow:
    • The more "real" a profile is, the more karma is granted. E.g. supplying a verified email + phone number + email rewards 300 karma
    • Or: an actual buy-in cost of some kind (link to a LessWrong profile with 100 karma, etc) is necessary for trading
    • Or: a paid ACX membership!
  • Comments market may have low liquidity to start:
    • Consider an Automated Market Maker-style prediction market, rather than an Centralized Order Book-style one
  • Top-level posts themselves can be predicted on as well?
    • Maybe predicting "# of views for this article", or "amount of press for this article"
  • Would quadratic voting for comments work better than a prediction market?
    • Further extension: Quadratic voting for other ACX contests (book reviews, grants)
  • Incentivizing bettors: Adding an overlay (e.g. ante in poker)

Inspirations & Research


  • Q: How could you integrate this directly into Substack?
    1. Provide a Chrome extension?
    2. Provide a hosted, mirrored copy of the ACX site?
    3. Work with Substack's team to inject an iframe?
  • Q: What is LessWrong's/EA Forum's current karma policy?
  • Q: How much mental overhead is involved in bet sizing, compared to a simple up/downvote?
  • Q: Does providing extrinsic motivation (in the form of rewards for up/downvoting) kill intrinsic motivation?
    • Guess: Probably not? Karma is already extrinsic motivation for posting on forums, today, and people continue to post anyways