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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the button
Feb 29 2012 09:32
Steven. wrote:
including for example changing the name from enrager to libcom

The beginning of the end. cry

Picket
Feb 29 2012 10:18
Steven. wrote:
What we plan to do is trial it for a month to see if it makes the site better.

People here have opposed pretty much every suggestion for change we have ever proposed, including for example changing the name from enrager to libcom, at the time, but later have come to appreciate it. So better than voting we think is looking at the concrete results.

Vanguardism.

gypsy
Feb 29 2012 10:33
Steven. wrote:
So better than voting we think is looking at the concrete results.

Yep the dictatorship of the geekmods wink

no1
Feb 29 2012 11:30

The discussion on the up/down thing has already been very interesting and productive IMO.

Serge Forward
Feb 29 2012 11:39

If nothing else, it's highlighted the inherent conservatism of many Libcom posters grin

Serge Forward
Feb 29 2012 11:47

Knuckle under and modernise, Revol! Modernise!!!!

Serge Forward
Feb 29 2012 11:50

Actually, I thought Evie was mostly spot on and she really should post on here more often. Revol, I love most of your politics but you do need an occasional slapdown black bloc

Entdinglichung
Feb 29 2012 15:36

basically, this feature will serve as a tool of pseudo-self-empowerment for authoritarian personalities pretending to be revolutionaries wink

Kronstadt_Kid
Feb 29 2012 15:25

Where is all this talk about turning LibCom into Facebook coming from? Facebook is for stalking people, LibCom is never going to be anything like that.
Most forums I visit have a similar voting system and seem to survive just fine.

Furthermore, people seem to have got the wrong end of the stick when it comes to why there is a voting system. It is not there to mark down ideas you believe to be incorrect. It is there to mark down rude and unhelpful posts, such as, 'fucking stupid', 'bit gay mate'. On the other hand, well written posts that try to explain their ideas using a friendly and accessible style will be 'upped'.

Kronstadt_Kid
Feb 29 2012 15:49
revol68 wrote:
Kronstadt_Kid wrote:
Where is all this talk about turning LibCom into Facebook coming from? Facebook is for stalking people, LibCom is never going to be anything like that.
Most forums I visit have a similar voting system and seem to survive just fine.

Furthermore, people seem to have got the wrong end of the stick when it comes to why there is a voting system. It is not there to mark down ideas you believe to be incorrect. It is there to mark down rude and unhelpful posts, such as, 'fucking stupid', 'bit gay mate'. On the other hand, well written posts that try to explain their ideas using a friendly and accessible style will be 'upped'.

maybe in care bear land that is how they are used but it seems hopelessly naive to me.

This is why communism will never work. Other people are not as amazing and selfless as me tongue

mons
Feb 29 2012 15:57

Maybe just have a 'helpful' and an 'unhelpful' option then? It might not make that much difference, but it'd make it more explicit what the options are there for.

no.25
Feb 29 2012 16:05
revol68 wrote:
no.25 wrote:
Evie, I truly anticipate your response to Revol68.

Instead of shit stirring, why don't you make one?

Because 9th Thermidor?

no.25
Feb 29 2012 16:25

^ Lol, dude, your posts are grand.

jef costello
Feb 29 2012 17:55
Armchair Anarchist wrote:
Just don't allow people to vote both ways wall

bigot!

If anything we should be rejecting the binary and moving beyond that to pure expression.

ocelot
Feb 29 2012 18:00
Serge Forward wrote:
Actually, I thought Evie was mostly spot on and she really should post on here more often. Revol, I love most of your politics but you do need an occasional slapdown black bloc

I voted both ways on this, because I agreed with Serge's point about Evie and I disagreed with his assessment of Revols politics. Seemed fair to me.

ocelot
Feb 29 2012 18:06

I'm in favour of the experiment. It's often hard to tell whether things will work or not until you try them, at least as far as forum mechanics go.

The only potential development I could think of (without getting too Heath Robinson) would be to distinguish between tone and content. I might think there would be interesting content in a post by someone who was being a total dick, or I might appreciate the tone of someone trying to make peace in a fractious thread, even though I found the political content of their position uninspiring.

Also listening to revol wail has given me the best laughs for ages laugh out loud

Serge Forward
Feb 29 2012 18:07
ocelot wrote:
I voted both ways on this, because I agreed with Serge's point about Evie and I disagreed with his assessment of Revols politics. Seemed fair to me.

See? The new system works!

Incidentally, I had to vote you down for sitting on the fence. You either have 100% uncritical support for Serge Forward Thought or you're nothing but an imperialist lackey and running dog who gets voted DOWN black bloc

Choccy
Feb 29 2012 18:46

If Revol has been banned for calling out this shit and an admin got a wee bit butthurt cos he was mean to them that's seriously embarrassing. Fuckin state of this place sometimes.

Admin: revol was temp banned for going on a rant about macho posting on an unrelated thread, ignoring two requests not to derail and flaming with it.

gypsy
Feb 29 2012 18:56
Choccy wrote:
If Revol has been banned for calling out this shit and an admin got a wee bit butthurt cos he was mean to them that's seriously embarrassing. Fuckin state of this place sometimes.

Admin: revol was temp banned for going on a rant about macho posting on an unrelated thread, ignoring two requests not to derail and flaming with it.

snipfool
Feb 29 2012 18:57

this thread is now worse than the meme thread.

Railyon
Feb 29 2012 18:58
Kronstadt_Kid wrote:
Most forums I visit have a similar voting system and seem to survive just fine.

And most forums I had been visiting were a fucking shithole because of rep and voting systems and had frequent shitstorms over it, frequent as in at least once a month were kids were crying themselves a river over it.

To be fair, right now I see the voting system put to good use in discussions, but who knows how long it'll stay that way. I'd still want a public poll over this...

Kronstadt_Kid wrote:
Furthermore, people seem to have got the wrong end of the stick when it comes to why there is a voting system. It is not there to mark down ideas you believe to be incorrect. It is there to mark down rude and unhelpful posts, such as, 'fucking stupid', 'bit gay mate'. On the other hand, well written posts that try to explain their ideas using a friendly and accessible style will be 'upped'.

You have much to learn, young padawan. black bloc

jef costello
Feb 29 2012 19:00

Is that why he's banned. That's pathetic.

no1
Feb 29 2012 19:09
jef costello wrote:
Is that why he's banned. That's pathetic.

why? I didn't see the posts myself, but temp banning for flaming after warnings is perfectly justified.

Railyon
Feb 29 2012 19:17
no1 wrote:
but temp banning for flaming after warnings is perfectly justified.

Strikes me as reactionary though.

Choccy
Feb 29 2012 19:17
jef costello wrote:
Is that why he's banned. That's pathetic.

Aye cretinous. I stand corrected that it was referring to a different thread, but looking at that thread... I'll take it there.

snipfool
Feb 29 2012 19:28

don't ban revol's account! just ban him from posting. he can communicate with us via ups and downs.

Serge Forward
Feb 29 2012 19:36

Admin edit - off topic

Oenomaus
Feb 29 2012 20:30
Steven wrote:
What we plan to do is trial it for a month to see if it makes the site better.

People here have opposed pretty much every suggestion for change we have ever proposed, including for example changing the name from enrager to libcom, at the time, but later have come to appreciate it. So better than voting we think is looking at the concrete results.

Steven, I certainly think you should try the up/down votes for a month. I’m all in favor of trying it out. It is, after all, through trial and error that you can find the best results. I am by no means conservative about trying it – if there’s anything workable and constructive libcom can do to improve the site or to make female comrades feel more welcomed, then I’m all for it. I am simply critical of the up/down votes because I have yet to see any good or convincing argument that it would discourage macho posting or bullying very much. Instead, others have argued, to my mind, rightly that it is simplistic, banal, superficial, and akin to a competitive popularity contest and Facebook. Look already at the results and you’ll see that most people vote “down” not based on whether a comment is offensive or discriminatory, but on whether they don’t “like” it or don’t “agree” with it. This is not to say that to some extent it may be put to good use, but it seems like you could overall achieve a better, more workable effect through other means and without this feature.

So I’m not opposed to trying it. However, after you try it for a month, the admins alone may not still be able to get the best idea of whether it works effectively in practice or not, so I think it would be in the interest of users as well to have a public poll to indicate whether they actually think it should be withdrawn, and not just the admins. Couldn’t the people here have at least some say in it? It seems like a generalization to say that “people here have opposed pretty much every suggestion for change we have ever proposed… but have later come to appreciate it.” I personally think libcom has made many new changes for the better and that make it a distinct website, but that does not mean every change will necessarily be helpful or workable. The criticisms here made of the up/down votes, again, seem to be legitimate ones.

Choccy
Feb 29 2012 19:35

'admin: quit flaming Serge, you have been warned'

Serge Forward
Feb 29 2012 19:38

Admin edit - off topic