Should scores be hidden by default?

Lemmy implements a scoring system allowing people to upvote or downvote posts. You know that since you are using Lemmy :)

Score can be used to increase or lower visibility of posts, in particular when using some sorting algorithms (active, hot, top).

This can be used to increase the visibility of good quality posts, and lower that of low quality or irrelevant posts.

Yet, from what I observe, the tool is mostly used for communities to self-administer filter bubble. Some communities seem to behave like a hive mind, massively upvoting or downvoting until either the dissident is assimilated in a very Borg way, or excommunicated.

Also, scores seem to be used often to convey cheap moral judgement, without having the need to expose oneself to criticism by providing arguments to sustain their opinion.

Overall, I think scores are more toxic than useful, and I would be in favor of hiding them by default, so that new comers are not put out by them.

What is your opinion about this? What are the advantages of having the score visible by default?

Just a clarification: the question is not “should scores exist or not?”. If people find value in scores, good for them. I’m not one to dictate other people preferences. :)

@ColorIsh@feddit.it
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This is because downvotes are not used as they were meant. Reddit’s system was supposed to work like this:

  • You see something that you like/agree on -> you upvote
  • You see something you don’t agree on -> Don’t vote
  • You see something harmful for the community/that breaks the rules/is toxic/you got the point -> you down vote

This system wasn’t understood by the users and so it became the mess we know today

Mad
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this is a pretty interesting system. if this was the intended usage, Reddit did an absolutely terrible UX job, because any sane person would assume that downvotes are of equivalent value to upvotes, are the opposite of upvotes, and that if you are not upvoting you should probably downvote. if lemmy would like to encourage this type of usage, it should make that evident in its ux by putting downvotes in a menu, making the icon more scary/violent, or forcing you to confirm them. i would personally prefer the second idea, but it would also be the hardest to implement as you’d need to spend a lot of time designing a good symbol, whereas the others are just a very simple ui tweak.

I think downvote is just “disagree” and intended like that. Also what up and downvote means is different in every community, like in a community like “terrible memes” upvote would mean yes, it’s a terrible meme.

Mad
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i think upvote in any community means “good and relevant post”. because both good and relevant are subjective, they’re different for each community, but the same voting style can still be used in each

as for your first point, idk 🤷‍♂️ that’s why i said “if that was the intended usage” and “if lemmy wants the same”. my preferred way of using votes would be that downvote is indeed the opposite of upvote, but both should only be used in cases of stronger conviction. like if you REALLY like a post, upvote it, and vice versa. this would be conveyed in the ui by putting the options for both in a menu and making them triple arrows, so you don’t vote willy nilly, and are not tempted to vote on everything. this makes it so mostly only developed opinions influence post rating, and for most posts you can clear a part of your mind and just focus on the content.

@X_Cli
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deleted by creator

yeah you’re right. editing

No, I think scores are good.

I believe that every lemmy server can handle it however they want though, I think beehaw has downvotes turned off.

@X_Cli
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I did not know that there are such options in Lemmy admin interface. That’s very good! Thank you for the information

Edit: According to the admin documentation, one can indeed disable downvotes but I don’t think one can hide scores for all users by default.

I checked and you are correct about beehaw. Thank you for the pointer. I’ll probably subscribe to their communities :)

Adda
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I believe this could make a nice issue for the Lemmy project: Allowing to completely hide voting from the user interface as an instance default option (with option in user settings to turn it back on for themselves).

@MerchantsOfMisery
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I prefer it. It dissuades people from being mislead that a person’s comment/opinion has a 100% approval rate. In an election, it would make little sense to exclude how many votes were cast against a winning candidate, as that is useful information in understanding how divided their beliefs are. One could argue that this can be observed through written disagreements expressed through replies, but more users express their opinions using the upvoted/downvote system than replying.

I think scores and seeing downvotes makes people less likely to feel that if they disagree with an opinion, they’re alone in doing so.

There’s been a number of threads I’ve replied to on Lemmy as a result of this. I see a highly upvoted comment I disagree with and wonder “is it just me, or…?” and then I see that several people have downvoted the comment, which just confirms I’m not the only one who disagrees. I then proceeded to reply and it sparked a richer discussion.

That said, I almost never downvote because in many ways I find it to be a weird form of silencing people.

Tryp
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Not sure if you’re aware or not but you can disable scores in your personal profile settings.

@X_Cli
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Yes, I knew about that and I find this an excellent feature! This is the reason why I’m asking about the “by default” behavior and not about “disabling score for everyone”. I like that this is optional. I’m asking the community their thoughts about having scores hidden by default ;)

Amicese
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Yep. I don’t like voting systems; it’s the same issue I have with Reddit. (Linus even complained about the liking model.)

PeerTube doesn’t have a voting system for comments; but the comments are still good quality. It is the same situation for email.

voting systems is what makes lemmy and reddit possible… Like what are you doing here if you don’t like voting systems…

@X_Cli
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Maybe they just like link aggregators and the classification by communities? I don’t use score-based sorting algorithms, precisely because I do not like how people vote on Lemmy.

Adda
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I would say this is a completely fair and valid point of view. It definitely has its uses. As I said earlier, it could make a nice issue, if you feel like proposing it.

Alternatively, one could make a custom CSS or custom filter for uBlock Origin, for example, to hide the score from your page.

Transparency is better. Attempts to obfuscate it allow for USA government style troll farms that exist on Reddit (see Eglin Air Force Base), where they project everything onto a Russian or Chinese or North Korean troll farm.

whou
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sure, this would work with Lemmy since that aren’t that many posts, so even if there’s something low quality it doesn’t override the amount of good content

but how would posts filtering work when a community or even Lemmy itself becomes big enough so that there’s more low quality posts then those that would normally stand out more?

I would personally hate it, since it would be hard to see actual good and interesting posts I’d actually like seeing.

just sort any big subreddit by new and you see it’s difficult too find any interesting content right away

maybe the solution would be highlight posts with more comments? though it would work, it would obfuscate interesting posts that don’t need or get as many discussion in the content and it would highlight controversial posts

@stopit
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Do i have a score? How do I see? You made me curious

@Fisch
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It’s about the score on each post/comment

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