across a variety of modern up/down vote based platforms, some make it a personal mission to avoid downvoting (the only real exceptions when someone is being utterly objectionable, ie. ridiculously racist/sexist etc or blatant spamming (1)

in general, it is almost always better to have a respectful discussion than mindlessly downvoting and moving on. if two parties can meet for respectful discussion the outcome is almost always superior to the text-book divisiveness of a downvote war etc (2).

in a great many cases people usually find they don’t disagree as much as previously thought, have their mind opened to a valuable new perspective, or at worst accept to disagree respectfully. definitely a better outcome.

yes it is time consuming, but don’t we all generally want quality over quantity?

(2) the original idea of a self-moderating community through up/down votes is a good idea, yet appears to have been hijacked by the modern social-media-type weaponised web, which is being turned against humanity to divide and polarize us against eachother. and is particularly suspectible to bot manipulation.

(1) which can have eg. their own flags


Here is a perfect opportunity to speak with someone who has a guiding intent for how they want voting to work in lemmy!

Definitely voting can be a vehicle for different purposes in different platforms or subs.

Imo up vs down votes aren’t always symmetrical in practical purposes.

If someone is posting spam or irredeemable hateful garbage, it needs to be removed anyway 1

In a technical/mathematically proveable support-type thread, ofc upvoting the best or most correct answer is logical and provable, and downvoting harmful or absurd answers is logical and provable.

If the topic covers a range of (equally) valid subjective opinions, then downvoting really doens’t make sense - if someone wants to take a numeric poll or survey they can use an appropriate medium 2. For example its illogical to downvote a topic or eg. song from a music genre you personally dislike (unless the genre is hateful, see 1), since someone else’s opinion to enjoy it is valid. And you can still always upvote genres/songs/topics you DO like. So downvoting something merely because we dislike/disagree, isn’t really logical, unless it fits 2 or 1.

Imo the only remaining reason to downvote is for valid criticism, ie. something really isn’t going to work, or needs critical improvement. if so, don’t we all want to see a better world - rather than merely condemn things we don’t like? If so, it is far more valuable to provide constructive feedback so someone can learn why their idea needs more work, and then have the opporunity to improve it.

Alternatively, if they are presenting a world view we cannot agree with for moral reasons (rather than something harmless like personal taste), but they have the potential to be redeemable, then isn’t it better to try to offer them a respectful alternative view, rather than push them off into an echo chamber where they’ll only amplify their destructive views and cause further harm to society?

1 and could perhaps be better addressed by flagging than downvoting.

2 like a poll system, unless the site or sub rules are very clear that votes = polls


For example its illogical to downvote a topic or eg. song from a music genre you personally dislike

Why is that wrong to do? Votes are preference, and completely up to the person voting how they want to use it. Other people don’t have to follow anyones rules for how they vote.


Votes are preference, and completely up to the person voting how they want to use it.

That’s fair, I was going to add a note about this at the end, but thought my comment was already getting a bit long.

You’re absolutely right its ultimately entirely up to whatever method is preferred.

My statement about logical vs illogical was within the context of the ‘method’ I was proposing in the OP. (Specifcally as an effort to counter what I perceive as the hijacking of vote systems for polarization and manipulation on many larger platforms. )

There’s always tradeoffs and no doubt my proposed method has several overheads, which might even prove unmanageable at scale anyway.

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