Option to reset likes on edit

There was an incident this weekend in one of the communities I work with. A heavily-liked post was edited to contain some pretty offensive viewpoints.

The users who had liked the previous version of the post in turn received abuse for ‘supporting such terrible statements’.

Likes and re-shares are one of the reasons platforms such as Twitter said an edit button would be inappropriate. I don’t want them to go for the nuclear option to disable likes wholesale, and instead wanted to ask- has any consideration been given to resetting likes on a post when it’s changed?

Not an answer to what you’re asking, but that’s part of the rationale of why there’s an edit time limit.

Not a great situation community-wise. Both the editor and those abusing the unfortunate likers may need a time out.

Absolutely, but knowing how this particularly community puts a lot of value in likes I wouldn’t be against the idea of resetting that value upon edit.

It would force users to decide if the edit is really worth it, and close the door on this kind of abuse vector.

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You already have a vector: delete the post after it is flagged.

A radical edit that changes the meaning so dramatically is in extremely bad faith and deletion would be the very first thing I would recommend.


Maybe timestamping likes could solve this problem? I don’t know if this information is currently even stired in the database, but if it is, it could be made available to users, perhaps next to the username that appears on mouse over the avatar of the user who liked the post.

Or wait, we don’t even need that much information. It would suffice to store which revision of the post was liked (and as long as it is the current revision, that information would also be hidden).

I have no idea how difficult this is to implement, but I’d like to say that this would be useful also in less extreme cases that the one in the OP. I do remember returning to a post I originally liked and noticing that it had been edited - not a lot, but sufficiently to make me withdraw my like. If users could have seen that it was the original version on the post that I liked, I would not have withdrawn it. Most importantly, though, it was only by chance that I noticed the change.

Another possibility might be to allow users to receive notifications on edits for posts that they have liked. But that sounds like a bigger project…