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

libcom
Feb 26 2012 18:50

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Caiman del Barrio
Feb 27 2012 15:01

I'm unsure of this cos there have been times where Libcom has been needed to be told it's full of it and this seems like it could be an easy tool for intimidating people into not doign that. You do kinda need people to say unpopular thigns at times.

On the other hand, I accept that it's here to stay, so I'm just gonna vote down on the annoying people on here.

Steven.
Feb 27 2012 17:48

For people who are criticising this, I have already mentioned but a major motivator for us doing this is the recent "macho posting on libcom" thread, and feedback we have received from female comrades in particular who feel that for whatever reason the atmosphere here discourages their input.

As us admins cannot read every comment immediately, nor respond to every reported post immediately, this measure should hopefully enable us to automatically flag up offensive or discriminatory comments immediately to let casual readers know that certain types of views are not reflective of this website or its users as a whole. And so should hopefully make it more welcoming.

Now, if it becomes clear that it is not having this effect, then we can withdraw it, but it is worth trying first. So we will be trying it out for a period of time to see what effect it has. We appreciate that some people may not like it, but we feel that we have to give it a go and assess how it actually works in practice.

Chilli Sauce
Feb 27 2012 17:56

How do I bookmark an article?

Steven.
Feb 27 2012 18:10

Click the word "bookmark" under it. It adds it to your list of bookmarked articles in your account

Spikymike
Feb 27 2012 18:26

And prizes for the most popular?

Will be a boon to those who want to easily categorise certain views as 'the libcom line'

Armchair Anarchist
Feb 27 2012 18:59
Steven. wrote:
For people who are criticising this, I have already mentioned but a major motivator for us doing this is the recent "macho posting on libcom" thread, and feedback we have received from female comrades in particular who feel that for whatever reason the atmosphere here discourages their input.

As us admins cannot read every comment immediately, nor respond to every reported post immediately, this measure should hopefully enable us to automatically flag up offensive or discriminatory comments immediately to let casual readers know that certain types of views are not reflective of this website or its users as a whole. And so should hopefully make it more welcoming.

Now, if it becomes clear that it is not having this effect, then we can withdraw it, but it is worth trying first. So we will be trying it out for a period of time to see what effect it has. We appreciate that some people may not like it, but we feel that we have to give it a go and assess how it actually works in practice.

Fair enough, but it at least needs to be working before it's piloted, otherwise how do you tell if it was actually useful...?

no1
Feb 27 2012 19:17
Armchair Anarchist wrote:
Fair enough, but it at least needs to be working before it's piloted, otherwise how do you tell if it was actually useful...?

Seems to be working perfectly fine, no? You click once and your 'vote' is registered, if you click a second time it's removed. If you click both up and down, that could express that you have strong mixed feelings.

Steven.
Feb 27 2012 19:24

Armchair, the way this module works does allow you to both wrote something up and down, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work. We plan to have a look at how much the feature gets used, and what kind of up/down ratios posts get so we can work out thresholds for potentially automatically reporting/hiding or promoting popular comments, etc

Choccy
Feb 27 2012 19:45

I'm just marking everything down at the minute.

Chilli Sauce
Feb 27 2012 22:01
Steven. wrote:
Click the word "bookmark" under it. It adds it to your list of bookmarked articles in your account

Ha! 4 and half years on libcom and I never noticed that before embarrassed

plasmatelly
Feb 27 2012 22:30

dislike

Choccy
Feb 27 2012 22:33

Pretty much. I could just about tolerate 'like', though again, i don't really see the point beyond a shallow gesture.

plasmatelly
Feb 27 2012 22:46

I just like reading the stuff people post; it's worked so far.

radicalgraffiti
Feb 27 2012 23:32

like is a fucking stupid idea, what do you do when some one posts something usefull/interesting about something shit happening?

and not have an option for people for people who disagree? yes lets just pretend everyone gets along and doest have an opinion if they aren't posting.

Red Marriott
Feb 27 2012 23:58

Fwiw, the only usage I've observed of this kind of thing is on revleft, where you can be named under someone's post as 'thanking' them for it - and where the various politico factions/cliques tended to kind of smugly bloc vote 'thanks' for each others' posts; which puts another angle on debates. Maybe that was mainly the maoists though, as I have only argued at length on there with those poor deluded souls.

But this seems a pretty banal form of offered 'participation'. As for 'defining the ethos of the site' that would depend - like most democratic procedures - on how many users/lurkers/casual visitors bother to 'exercise their right to vote', and how often, so wouldn't necessarily be very 'representative' at all. And if the ethos can't be seen from the actual content of users' posts - or from using the site by engaging in debate - then it surely won't be divined from this. In the context of an ongoing debate it implies the spectators' scoring of approval/disapproval, winners/losers etc. And how about giving the 'democratic' option for users not to be scored/voted on?! Reducing the expression of opinion and approval to mouse clicks introduces a competitive and majoritarian angle that seems a bit pointless.

Red Marriott
Feb 28 2012 00:14
revol wrote:
I was about to up vote this comment until the irony dawned on me. wink

The Pavlovian admins are conditioning us already. Woof.

Choccy
Feb 28 2012 00:22

of course it's me fucking around, the whole thing's stupid so DOWN they all get including you, even though i agree with you

Arbeiten
Feb 28 2012 00:26

i downed sooooo much on this!

snipfool
Feb 28 2012 00:43

i think revol68 et al make some serious points.

i'd still welcome non-anonymous likes/ups though.

Tarwater
Feb 28 2012 01:11

I liked that this was being experimented with, I hate posting and there are some insulting, meaningless posts that don't even deserve a polite response. Don't let me get in the way of all the constant posters saying that no one would like this, though...

Railyon
Feb 28 2012 01:33
revol68 wrote:
see already you can see votes down and yet no argument offered as to why, now there's a good chance it's choccy fucking about but can you not see how this kind of thing leads to ill feeling and most likely create a more aggressive/defensive mood on the boards?

like I said earlier I'm not happy about up and down voting in general but am especially opposed to down voting. afterall it's one thing to quickly click a "like" button, it's kinda the lazy version of "good post" or "I seconded" but down voting means you are disagreeing and so you should make your case why and you certainly shouldn't be able to do it anonymously.

FULL COMMUNISM AGREEMENT

Tarwater
Feb 28 2012 01:50

Cause x like you are all talk, x. This is exactly what I was talking about, I like to read discussion with a point that goes somewhere. Not have some x try to score a point off me.

admin: no flaming - and the flaming here was particularly ironic considering the point trying to be made…

Tarwater
Feb 28 2012 02:55
Quote:
You hate posting? The what are you doing on a forum?

A bulletin board designed to encourage those who don't like discussion, hilarious.

Here's a perfect example. There are many people who post on messageboards that don't seem to have any interest in what other people say, that don't even read the whole thread before they put their two cents in. Most of your (way too many) insights on this this thread, Revol, have been speaking for people like me who don't like to post and making light of it I have been reading your commentary for years and it's one of the reason I don't like to ever give my opinion on anything. Your style of discussion is disgusting and I hate it, most peoples manners on the internet are something they would never have the gall to replicate in everyday life. If everyone posted like Devrim, who is always unfailingly polite, then it would be.different. Until then, I appreciate being able to tick off that I don't like your style or the slander and empty rhetoric that it stands upon without having you try to play it off like a joke or turn it around on me.

What does "fair" have to do with anything?

wojtek
Feb 28 2012 09:26

As others have said, I think this voting comments up/down system is a tad lazy and discourages people from articulating what they think, I know it's dissuaded me from doing so just now on a different thread.

gypsy
Feb 28 2012 10:07

I have decided that I hate the new quasi facebook feature.

Jason Cortez
Feb 28 2012 10:17

why cant we have a system that allows us to administer low level electric shocks to people who post stuff we don't like?

gypsy
Feb 28 2012 10:43
Jason Cortez wrote:
why cant we have a system that allows us to administer low level electric shocks to people who post stuff we don't like?

Low level electric shocks FTW!

gypsy
Feb 28 2012 10:52

Instead of this voting daftness. I suggest that when someone quotes your posts, you are notified by a pm/alert. This will keep debates going along nicely. Don't know how hard this would be to implement as my programming knowledge is non existent.

gypsy
Feb 28 2012 11:00

hopefully its achievable.

soc
Feb 28 2012 11:04

I know that you're working on a new site design, so perhaps my request will be resolved during that process. The comment options (reply/report/up/down/quote) are a bit confusing, especially with the up/down voting I could miss and hit for the comment above the actual comment I'd like to vote for. Can you make the comment option bit visually more linked to the comment it self? Some basic coloring in the css like tab would do the trick.