Discourse Voting

Summary: This plugin is the result of the spec put together by @erlend_sh. It gives you the ability to vote on topics in a specified category.

:link: GitHub: GitHub - discourse/discourse-voting: Adds the ability for voting on a topic within a specified cat
:arrow_right: Install: Follow the plugin installation guide.


To enable it, edit any category, look on the settings tab for the “Allow users to vote on topics in this category” checkbox:

Once enabled, the topics in that category can be voted on with the count of votes added next to the topic title.

The vote count is also included next to the title when scrolled.

To make it easier to see vote counts from a topic list, the vote count is also added under the topic titles.

Here are the views you’ll see given different states of the user and topic:

There is also a section in the user’s profile page that displays their active votes:


A few points about the backend:

  • The number of active votes is configurable and defaults to 10.
  • If the topic is closed or archived, the votes are released to the users and can be applied to other topics but the vote count on the topic remains.
  • If a topic is re-opened or unarchived, the votes are reclaimed and applied back to the users active vote count.
  • If a topic reclaims the votes of a user and they go over their limit, they simply need to wait until topics are closed or archived to allow them to vote again.



  • Create a section for the user to see their active and archived votes.
  • Allow moderators/staff/admins to see who has voted on a topic.


In the categories where the Voting plugin is activated, Likes are automatically deactivated. Some sites may want to use both functions at the same time to like replies, see how to re-enable Likes.


Data Explorer Queries

List people who voted for a topic along with their email addresses:

-- int :topic_id

FROM discourse_voting_votes dvv
JOIN user_emails ue ON ue.user_id = dvv.user_id
WHERE topic_id = :topic_id
AND ue.primary = true
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I can’t see whether this question has been asked before, since replies are deleted after a month.

Has it been considered to add an optional feature for downvotes to the voting plugin, as well as upvotes as supported today? This is a feature that has been requested several times by our community. We are using the voting plugin for feature requests for our software, and this would give us better data to help decide whether a feature request is controversial.

It is been asked before many times but we feel pretty strongly that downvoting isn’t conducive to healthy online behaviour.

You could consider sponsoring the work to build a plugin if it’s important to you. Alternatively, some people use Discourse Reactions - Beyond Likes (the thumbs down emoji) for something similar.


It’s the same reason why Facebook Inc. also don’t include the dislike button on facebook & instagram.

If you dislike the post, skip it. move on. don’t interact. simple

This makes a lot of sense for normal posts (where I agree we definitely shouldn’t add a “negative” reaction), but maybe not so much for feature requests. If I don’t care one way or the other whether a feature request is implemented, then I’ll just skip it and move on. On the other hand, if I have a good reason to think that a feature request would be harmful, then the downvote is useful. This would also be useful for us as maintainers to have a data-driven way to assess whether a given feature is universally accepted or more likely to cause problems.

It seems to me like this would be best done as an enhancement to the existing voting plugin, or a separate plugin which complements the voting plugin. How would we go about obtaining proposals for this work?

One way to mitigate the social impact of downvoting would be to treat it like Stack Overflow does: the number displayed to most users is an aggregate, and you need a certain level of permissions to see the number of upvotes vs. downvotes.

1 Like

Generally we’d encourage discussion around concerns with a feature rather than a downvote but I accept that not all communities are alike!

Voting is an official plugin that we maintain so it isn’t likely to be added to that anytime soon.

Your best way forward is to find a freelancer who can build you something by posting in the #marketplace stating your specs and budget.


Yep, after thinking about it some more, I agree with this too.

1 Like

By the way, this question is probably going to come up again - why not split it out into a separate thread so that others can find it later?

Or maybe just don’t auto-delete replies to plugin topics where the discussion might prove useful in the future? I am still unclear on why this is the policy, and I’ve asked before with no clear response. :confused:

1 Like

The questions were not in this topic. Did you search first?

Because these plugin topics are intended to be documentation for the plugin – they are the source of truth. Having very long discussion history makes for a pretty awful experience for people coming to this topic for the first time, simply to find out how the plugin works. If you want to ask a question or start a discussion about a topic, it makes more sense to create a new linked topic, to keep that discussion separate.

This topic is about the Voting plugin – it is not a discussion topic about why we don’t offer downvoting. That should be a separate discussion. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Perhaps open a new topic about it if there is none, no point in me answering here, it will be deleted.

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Hi, and thanks for the great plugin!

I was experimenting with archiving topics when I noticed two things:

  • You can vote on open but archived topics
  • Closing → Archiving → Opening in that order causes the vote to be reclaimed while it is still archived

I’ve found a solution for the second one by unarchiving then rearchiving, or alternatively Closing → Opening → Archiving. However I wasn’t able to find one for the first one.

I apologize if the plugin wasn’t meant to be used that way :sweat_smile:, I had to re-open the posts to separate archived and closed topics.

Just dropping this here, though I don’t really mind since they’re small issues.

Keep up the great work, cheers!

Is there an easy way to make it so “0 votes” isn’t displayed in the category listing, but that indicator shown only when there is at least 1 vote? For a busy category with the “distribute votes to your top concerns” model, there will always be a lot of zeroes and that doesn’t look great.

1 Like