Changes to Reactions

edited November 2016 in TypeDrawers Announcements
As you may have noticed, we have changed how we are handling reactions. In an effort to make things more fair and streamlined, we have decided to change the reactions to a simple “upvote” and “downvote” system. These “upvote” tag will work similarly to the “like” reaction. If enough people “downvote” a post, it will eventually bury it.

The moderation team will also be taking a more active role in policing off-topic comments.

We will be trying this system out for three months and re-evaluate it at that point.


  • I think the idea of voting up or down has everything to do with whether the comment ‘belongs’ to the thread – so it’s not about agreement or disagreement. Of course, if that’s how people are going to use it, then Craig’s fears will be justified.
  • I think the idea of voting up or down has everything to do with whether the comment ‘belongs’ to the thread…
    Is that intuitive? If I find something funny, I'd upvote.
  • Good point, Craig. I am with Rob’in. I hope people will not use voting as a popularity contest but as a way to keep conversations on topic.
  • @Katy Mawhood @Craig Eliason I think it will take some time. We live in a world now where we "like" and "react" to almost everything. If we can get up/down to work it should keep conversations clear and get rid of unwanted noise. 
  • It may be useful to specify what kinds of scenarios are appropriate for upvoting and downvoting. Given this is a transition to a less granular system t wouldn't hurt to be initially prescriptive about its intended use
  • So would your ideal practice be for everyone to upvote every post that is on topic? The function of monitoring topicality is distinct from the function of recording reader reactions. It is not only "noise" that gets lost if they are collapsed.
  • This is exactly why we want to give the concept a trial run. 

    In my opinion, the upvoting should be for situations such as (and not limited to) : 

    1. Answers to a question.

    2. Useful replies (I could see a lot of the info in many of the OTVar threads becoming a lot easier to parse with the use of upvotes).
  • Maybe instead of "Vote Down" and "Vote Up" the labels should be "Off-Topic" and "Like".
  • A) Disagreement can push conversation forward in positive ways. So I think people shouldn't downvote just because they disagree. 

    B,C,D) Basically the same?
  • @Katy Mawhood also, I wonder if people will voice their disagreement and explain why and have more of a conversation than simply "liking" it? Do we communicate too much and say too little by using the "like" buttons now?
  • Case in point. @Indra Kupferschmid why not explain why you don't "like" my comment instead of just down voting it?
  • I think people shouldn't downvote just because they disagree. 
    This thread suggests people do just that. :s 
    B,C,D) Basically the same?
    Off-topic isn't abusive. Trolls can hide in plain sight.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,966
    edited October 2016
    On one hand this might end up like Reddit, where insightful posts disappear because people disagree with what is said. On the other hand, I think that the regulars here are intelligent enough not to do so. 
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Is this going to mess with the chronology of threads? It might not matter for a short "please answer this question" thread, but I'd rather not miss new contributions to a long-term thread like a critique because they were upvoted away from the end of the thread. 

    Also, I'm going to miss the simple gesture of a Like or Agree to say "thanks for your contribution, I've seen it" in a clutterless way. 
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    edited October 2016
    I think that the reaction system should be straightforward, you can't expect people to use and interpenetrate something general as vote up/down as you hope they will, this thread alone show that the way you think it should be used demands clarification (both about how to use it and what is the effect of the reaction).
    The previous system was straightforward, therefore reliable, both as a communication system and a moderation aid. 
  • edited October 2016
    First off: I still feel like a newbie, and am only hazily familiar with the past battles fought here, so I can't pretend to have a very good feeling for what might be best.

    I think the previous Reaction system probably couldn't bear the weight placed on it. For one thing people interpret things like "troll" too divergently, so the specificity often ends up creating confusion and misplaced ill feeling. And I've seen some people (not many) using a blitz of flagging as retaliation, or flag from the safety of not making an actual post that others can react to... You can see that even in this thread.

    Another big thing is that, as we see on social media simply clicking on a button is so easy it makes us talk less, impoverishing the forum. Most posts contain multiple things, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been torn whether to use a flag, and which one. As others have said above, if you disagree with something in a post, explain yourself! Using Vote Down for disagreeing with part of the content of a complex post it very primitive. Related is how previously a member's Points didn't go down when Disagree was clicked. Now, is it worth having Agree/Disagree for possible use on single-thought posts? It might enrich things (and reduce misuse of Up/Down) but it might also be lazily misused on complex posts.

    So I don't think flags can replace discourse; we have to do that the old-fashioned way. Their usefulness is mostly limited to management: if a post actually harms the integrity of the discourse or is notable for helping it along.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,458
    I guess I am one of those people who was never comfortable with any flag system.  Are we all in such need to pass judgement on every post?  It feels like the gong show.  Most people here do not regularly negatively flag others' posts and are content to just state there opinion or opposition in text.  There are just a few cattle prod abusers who flag often.  Perhaps we should just do away with flags all together or else set a limit of some small number of flags per year per person?  That way, a person would have to really think about how important that flag is to them instead of pouncing on the flag button so quickly.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,936
    edited October 2016

    Another big thing is that, as we see on social media simply clicking on a button is so easy it makes us talk less, impoverishing the forum.

    I don't think the choice is between clicking a button and giving an in-depth reply, but between clicking a button and not bothering with a reaction. In the second case, removing the button impoverishes the forum.

    Meanwhile, you can still give in-depth replies.

  • All the metadata is still there if/when we change things back.
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