New feature: Vote comments up/down

New feature: Vote comments up/down

As part of our ongoing redesign we've added a new feature: the ability for logged-in users to vote comments up and down.

At the moment, all this does is display the number of up and down votes under the comment. This follows feedback from users that many people lurk but don't post. This means people often find a post useful or informative, but don't have a quick and easy way to show their appreciation. In this sense, an 'up' is analogous to a Facebook 'like'. Ups will also help admins spot useful links or additional info to edit into news articles, as we'll be making more effort to convert breaking news threads in the forums into news articles for the newswire.

On the other hand, people may find a comment unhelpful or rude, without it necessarily meriting being reported for breaching the site rules, and this gives a quick way for people to express that without getting into an argument about it (as ups/downs are anonymous).

For now we want to try this out and see how people use it and see how well it works. In the future, it will make various things possible, though we haven't decided what to do with it yet. We would be able to create blocks of 'most popular comments' as well as most recent e.g. in the side bar of forums or blogs. This would help stop valuable contributions disappearing so quickly.

We might also be able to auto-collapse posts that receive X number of down votes with a link to display them (a bit like YouTube does), or even to auto-unpublish such posts. We'd need to set the thresholds right for this to be useful though and to prevent abuse. We could also potentially do things like colour code comments according to which have been most/least popular and things like that too.

Posted By

Feb 26 2012 18:50


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jef costello
Feb 26 2012 19:29

I don't think marking likes/dislikes is a problem, but I'd rather have them in the order they were posted, at least as an option.

Chilli Sauce
Feb 26 2012 19:33

Yeah, this isn't like reddit where the most popular comments will appear first in the thread, is it? It's just about gauging their popularity right?

Joseph Kay
Feb 26 2012 19:35

No, all this does is display the number of up and down votes under the comment. It doesn't change the order.

Edit: testing if this messes with the votes

Feb 26 2012 19:40

i like that it has up and down displayed separately, rather than trying to add the two up like some sites do.

are ups/downs preserved if a comment is edited?

Joseph Kay
Feb 26 2012 19:49

Good question. I just edited my comment above and it didn't affect the ups/downs, so looks like it's ok.

Feb 26 2012 19:56

you can vote a comment up AND down if you want, weird...

Feb 26 2012 19:56

Don't call it 'up/down' then. Have it as 'likes' or 'useful' or summat.

Joseph Kay
Feb 26 2012 20:17

in the new theme, we might be able to replace the words with icons of thumbs up/thumbs down or something. Basically if the concept works and people make use of it we can tweak it later, and then maybe add further functionality.

Serge Forward
Feb 26 2012 20:23

I've just voted everybody down twisted black bloc twisted black bloc

Now I'll see if I can vote me up groucho

Edit: yes I can!

Edit again: not that I'm competitive or anyfink

Feb 26 2012 21:31

Can vote twice, that ok? (edit: can't any more. could have been that by the time i clicked 'upped (1)' on someone's post, 2 other people voted up?)

Are votes anonymous (to end users at least)?

Rob Ray
Feb 26 2012 21:11

I#m ambivalent and have thus voted both ways.

Feb 26 2012 21:20

I have voted everyone DOWN

Feb 26 2012 22:55

Yeah, I think this function will be useful for casual browsers to be able to distinguish between the type of thing the site supports and that which it doesn't. For example, some people have complained about sexism on the site, and when asked examples of this they have pointed out threads which were started by newbies who were then heavily slagged off or even banned by regular users and administrators. This up/down voting should enable casual readers to be able to see what kind of comment/behaviour is really part of the ethos of the site and what is not.

So please do use the votes to indicate which posts you agree with and which you did not. And also of course please do respond to comments you agree/disagree with to let us know what you think and why.

Feb 26 2012 23:06

why can't you vote up or down the original post in a thread?

Feb 26 2012 23:09

I can already see the shitstorms.

Feb 26 2012 23:30
Railyon wrote:
I can already see the shitstorms.

PS. Fuck you Serge, I just voted you down!!! tongue

Love you really!

Feb 26 2012 23:39

Just don't turn libcom into Facebook please.

Juan Conatz
Feb 26 2012 23:49

Might be an interesting feature. The only worry I have is that it might encourage sniping or the type of ganging up "bullying" sort of competitive culture of many areas of the internet. Although this is a much better type of feedback (the up or downs) for constructive conversation than telling someone they are "fucking stupid", haha.

Feb 26 2012 23:56
888 wrote:
why can't you vote up or down the original post in a thread?

yeah, TBH I think this would be good. It would at least give an indicator of how much we agree with whatever article was posted. Although we wouldn't want people who had contributed content they had put time and effort into having people casually vote it down if they disagreed with some of it. That might discourage people from posting content again, so maybe we should steer clear of it. Although maybe we should at least try it first to see what happens

Joseph Kay
Feb 27 2012 00:03

You can bookmark original posts, which is pretty much a 'like' button already. I think it's better people discuss why they don't like a post rather than just clicking a 'dislike' button though, so i think it makes sense to treat nodes (original posts) and comments differently.

Feb 27 2012 00:07

Dear god this is fucking stupid.

Serge Forward
Feb 27 2012 00:20
wojtek wrote:
PS. Fuck you Serge, I just voted you down!!! tongue

I've got the most 'down' votes now, which means you all walked into my trap and I win!!!

I even voted you up for voting me down wall

Feb 27 2012 00:23

Please do not do this! Why on earth do you want to take Libcom down some kind of populist road?

Feb 27 2012 00:23

This makes me want to go through all the old discussions to vote different comments up and down…

Serge Forward
Feb 27 2012 00:31

Actually we've got something similar to this on the AF internal forums. The main difference there though is, you can actually see who voted you up or down... and so, if you're a grudgebearer, you can batter them next time you see them at a national meeting black bloc

Feb 27 2012 01:01
KriegPhilosophy wrote:
Dear god this is fucking stupid.
Downed (4)

It's already working.

jef costello
Feb 27 2012 03:18

I haven't tired reloading the page but if I click the up/down button again it undoes my vote.

Feb 27 2012 04:20

I don't know if I entirely approve yet. I worry it might dissuade people from joining discussions by giving them a too-easy option of 'upping' or 'downing' rather than coming up with a response. Just a thought.

Armchair Anarchist
Feb 27 2012 08:35

It looks crap, it doesn't work (you can vote both ways on same post), it adds additional 'noise' to posts. Please get rid of it.

Feb 27 2012 09:05

Expect more comments like that after the redesign. Then in a year's time ask them what it used to look like...