Suggestion: Require a reason to downvote

It seems the lobste.rs community have had great success with that.

Dessalines
mod
admin
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71Y

Lemmy instances already have the option to disable downvotes. If I had to give a reason for every downvote for every low quality comment I saw on reddit or elsewhere, I would probably just never do it.

@fruechtchen
creator
link
21Y

However, how can the person who wrote this low quality comment improve when they don’t know the reason of the downvote?

Dessalines
mod
admin
link
41Y

The purpose of downvotes is not necessarily to get the commenter to “improve”, or do anything really. By that logic, every upvote should also have a reason given, so they know what they’re doing right.

@fruechtchen
creator
link
11Y

By that logic, every upvote should also have a reason given, so they know what they’re doing right.

i disagree. My motivation of requiring a reason to downvote is to prevent or reduce bad quality posts. When one does that already, there is no point to explaining that to the person.

When one doesn’t notice their own bias for instance, explanations after being downvoted are helpful.

@AgreeableLandscape
admin
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1
edit-2
1Y

deleted by creator

@k_o_t
admin
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6
edit-2
1Y

Isn’t that what comments are basically for? You downvote someone and then reply to them why they’re wrong, no?

If you will enforce this, there’s high chance that people who would’ve otherwise downvoted a said comment, wouldn’t do so.

And what if a “bad” comment already has a reply to it that thoroughly explains why it’s wrong, shouldn’t it be an option to simply downvote the parent comment and upvote the reply comment without giving any reason?

@big
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3
edit-2
1Y

it will just incentivize more bickering and pile-ons, people being disparaged for not selecting the downvote reason the upvoters believe should have been selected. “You’re all just X-aphobic, admit it.”

When everything always boils down to approval or dismissal of the moral values espoused, anyway, that’s why vague up/down works.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boo_Hurrah_theory

@AgreeableLandscape
admin
link
31Y

I imagine a lot of edgy trolls would descend on that “reason for downvote” field like vultures.

@fruechtchen
creator
link
21Y

Basically, when a reason for a downvote is enforced, the community is more inviting.

Because that is what you’d probably do in a friendly community in real life as well. You wouldn’t probably just shake your head when one speaks, you would probably also explain the reason why you shook your head.

Serge Tarkovski
link
21Y

Haven’t found any description on how it’s organised there, can you give a brief? In my opinion, this should not be forced anyway, but rather could be an option for an instance and/or a community.

@fruechtchen
creator
link
01Y

As far as i know, it is enforced there. I think you even have to have some reputation to be able to downvote. But i think being enforced by default is enough to fix this. And people on lobste.rs said they really like that, because it encourages good feedback that you can learn upon. Just being downvoted makes you wonder what the reason is, and sometimes people don’t answer the question why they downvoted.

Because of these positive experiences, i wouldn’t make it even configurable, it should just be the default for all communities. Well, if a community really dislikes that, they can always remove this enforcement from the code. But i think the advantage is: we have good reasons to enforce that - so when this is not an option in upstream lemmy, we would enforce people to think about what the’re doing. That is: if it really is better when one doesn’t have to give a reason.

I mean: what’s the disavantage to enforce a reason? I think there are only advantages.

@oriond
link
31Y

One big disadvantage is that you loose anonymity on downvoting and people that would have downvoted something otherwise might feel shy to do so, to avoid starting a personal battle. And you get into things like “you downvoted me, now I will downvote everything you say” etc…

Please, keep it the way it is

@AgreeableLandscape
admin
link
2
edit-2
1Y

This is an great point. In general, anonymity in things like voting is a good thing as it can prevent attacks out of resentment due to being downvoted.

Serge Tarkovski
link
21Y

Well, I see your point. I even agree to some extent, and I would even like to try it, but thinking of Lemmy as a platform, I believe it should be configurable. Another personal reason is that it’s still a social experiment for me, I’d like to have this approach tested in various communities before judging on how it works. My experience is that a lot depends on the community itself, but also of course on the tools and approaches like the one you mentioning. And I don’t know the point of the right balance. I like the idea here on Lemmy.ml, it’s plain and straightforward, like “everyone is an adult” so that despite there’s no enforcement here to type your downvote reason, I still feel like there is not much hate and bullying but rather reasonable reasons. Of course, if a community grows, things may happen, that’s why I’d like to experiment.

@fruechtchen
creator
link
11Y

One could of course argue about the implementation. I think the reason musn’t be empty (because otherwise the reason doesn’t make sense), but i don’t think it makes sense to require a certain amount of characters. Well, at least, they would have to be really low.

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