Should "down-voting" be core functionality in discourse?


(Adam Davis) #1

Continuing the discussion from What is the most awesome plugin for Discourse, that does not yet exist?:

I disagree. In a subjective environment, one should be prepared to explain their disagreement further than a simple flag. If you disagree with a statement, you should be forced to reply and post it in text, or not say anything at all.

Further, there is no “upvoting” to counter with your proposed “downvote.” I suppose you could add a “dislike” to counter the “like” but forums already include enough drama without adding such a passive-aggressive feature. Why explain yourself, when you can simply tell someone you dislike their post or something about them?

Upvote and Downvote feature
Like, dislike or ambivalent
Discourse dislike Api?
(Pekka Gaiser) #2

I was about to disagree and say leave this to forum owners to decide (and make it a configurable core feature disabled by default) but you make a strong case against having it at all. If it’s a core feature, Discourse would be seen as actively endorsing it…

(Adam Davis) #3


rubs eyes

Oh, nevermind.

(Shawn Holmes) #4

Actually, I went back to that topic, and it appears (at least, how Discourse reports it) that @sam expressed that core functionality should be to browse statistics surrounding users, and not the down-voting of posts, as the quote in the OP implies.

This is another UI learned behavior in Discourse. The reply looks as though it follows the down-vote suggestion. However, clicking the “in reply to” tab expands the original thought, which shows @sam responding to the suggestion around user stats.

(Sam Saffron) #5

Yeah … UI fail on our part and quote fail on my part.

What I meant was that browsing the list of users on the site is clearly core functionality.

(Sam Saffron) #6

Hi you are putting words in my mouth :smiley:

We strayed from the whole downvoting thing at Discourse for very good reason. I feel downvoting often discourages civilized Discourse which makes it contrary to our core mission.

Supporting various vote types is something that is in core, exposing downvote functionality is not something that will be a core site setting.

Symbol for like - why is it a :heart:?
How can I add "dislike" button?
Love, Hate, Sad, Laughter
Likes vs Dislikes?
(Clay Heaton) #7

Downvoting could be interesting as part of a optional poll type. Say, if each user got two up votes and one down vote to cast.

(Sam Saffron) #8

Sure, agree, but polls is definitely going to be a plugin. We already have an unfinished poll plugin that is yearning to be finished.

(Adam Davis) #9

I hope polls become core eventually.

(Cade Roux) #10

I think it depends what votes are used for. Some things might be bad replies or bad topics - or a very active topic which is off topic and cluttering up a category or bad advice on a forum where different opinions are expressed about perhaps a gardening issue.

That is, of course, assuming that Discourse is aimed at accommodating subjective Q&A where SO is not. Just because something is subjective does not mean that it should be exempt from being evaluated and voted up or down.

I’ve yet to see how the moderator tools work to be able to nip that stuff in the bud and take it to an off-topic category (on forums where off-topic discussion is frowned upon).

(Why not?) #11

Since Discourse is open-source, and intended to replace general-purpose forum software which is used in a wide variety of contexts, exactly which posts merit downvoting, and what action (if any) would be taken against posts and posters that accumulate lots of downvotes, would depend on the moderator and community culture of a particular forum.

(Cade Roux) #12

Yup. I think a site should be able to have downvoting if it wants it, perhaps on a per category basis.

There are subjective questions which people ask and the advice there are given should be able to be evaluated positively or negatively on their own merits (note this is not a poll - to me a poll is something where one person lays out all the options and people choose one or more, possibly with weights).

On the other hand, there are forums where everything is discussion and there does not necessarily need to be any evaluation of the merit of a given reply.

(Jack Heald) #13

Down-voting = optional plug-in, not a core feature.

(Sean) #14

I was going to downvote this thread, but I can’t, so I had to reply instead. Then I realized I can’t explain why I would downvote it, which means it probably shouldn’t be downvoted. And that’s the point, right?

You’ve convinced me.

However, if you don’t add the ability to downvote, the topic of the missing downvote feature will never end. So you may have to capitulate… if you do, please make it so that downvoting can be disabled by an enlightened forum owner. :slight_smile:

(Adam Davis) #15

I suggest it be made a plugin that’s horribly difficult to install.

(Aaronosaurus) #16

You have to be careful to distinguish between “I disagree with the content of this on-topic post” and “this post is not constructive” downvotes. I can imagine users getting confused. However the later information would be much more useful than the former. We could sort and promote users who are on topic, even if they disagree with the majority.

(Cade Roux) #17

What about the “in my experience the advice in this post is not going to be useful for your particular issue” downvote when someone less experienced offers an opinion which won’t work well in the long run or something? Don’t you want people to be able to evaluate the merit of the replies in the topic?

(ZeroIron) #18

I don’t really like the binary up/down vote systems in general.

It would be nice to have maybe a small set of stances to select. You would then just select a stance toward the topic or even single posts. After a while that post or topic would have a condition applied it based on the stance it eventually becomes tagged with after enough people apply their stance.

Are there any successful or failed examples in the wild that are similar to this stance idea?

(Sam Saffron) #19

Its a pro vs con thing. I appreciate that there is a real-world legit use case for the downvote.

My concern is that more often than not makes people feel bad and encourages bad Discourse. That said, Discourse is a “rainbow” system, we are totally open to options and plugins that would solve this for people who feel they need it. For example a Q&A archetype clearly could use it.

(Aaronosaurus) #20

I’ll concede that a downvote may not be good for a community, but I’ll still argue that upvote/downvote is significantly different from the constructive/not constructive/spam continuum.

On another note @sam, do you have a process for introducing new features? Will they show up as plugins before they get rolled into the main distribution?