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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Arbeiten
Mar 1 2012 03:15

I think Evie smashed revol for being a poster that is the worst culprit of so called macho posting (calling people fucktards and cunts rather than making a substantive point) and i have personally really enjoyed watching him try (and fail) to disassociate himself from that position grin . keep calm and carry on

no.25
Mar 1 2012 03:44

Lol, contradictory as it may seem, ^ that. Evie, welcome to Libcom.

Ed
Mar 1 2012 12:45

In revol's defence, he has been a lot better recently.. if you look through his tracker he's responded to a lot discussions in a constructive way and I think a lot of the stick he gets today is by reputation rather than how he behaves now.. the forum culture on libcom can be unnecessarily adversarial, but its not just revol, its all of you argumentative bastards.. wink And I think sometimes its easier to blame loud individuals than to look at ourselves..

That said, with this thread revol was back to his classic style (and funnily enough, when people post like that, the thread turns into a car crash - goddamn fascist admins that don't want people to post like that!). And in spilling it over to another unrelated discussion, when there already was a live discussion about the same issue, he was obviously going to be edited. To then follow that up with flaming and continuing the earlier derailing with MORE DERAILING was then obviously going to result in a temporary ban. It's obvious because its in our posting guidelines. I don't see what's pathetic or cretinous about it..

This feature is somethting we're trying out to help the forum culture. It might not work and then we'll chuck it.. as much as some people don't like it, I don't get why it got this kind of aggro reaction.. and the fact that it did proves to me that something has to be done about the culture on these boards..

Arbeiten
Mar 1 2012 13:03

sorry to rev. I thought i was bantering. Obviously didn't translate too well.

In all seriousness, I think it should just be trialled before people get all up in arms 'oh the alienation of social relations in contemporary capitalism is being made ten times worse if libcom adds an up/down tool' (the irony of this considering this is an internet website where most of us have not met face to face should, of course, be ignored).

One tentative positive I think it has is that there is confirmation that people are having their posts read (yes I know, i am a Pavlovian dog). Often people write very long posts and I know from my own experience, it can sometimes feel like your shouting into an empty well, especially when there are no replies to the posts (maybe it is just my posts that are boring?).

RedEd
Mar 2 2012 15:46

Bordiga wouldn't put up with this bourgeois democratic bullshit.

(seriously, I think it's a horrible groupthink-ish idea, but can't be arsed to vote all the above comments up or down accordingly)

Choccy
Mar 2 2012 18:12

I actually think a lot of people now use Revol's past as a justification for not bothering with him sometimes. I've been the first to call him out when he has criticised 'forum culture' in the past given he's cited as a the single reaosn many people left, but his style never bnothered me, and we had some blazing rows on here and in person, which many regular forum users can attest to. Fuckin hell, we had rows on libcom from different rooms in the same house!

communal_pie
Mar 3 2012 06:25
revol68 wrote:
communal_pie wrote:
I think you should have to justify your up's and down's with small comments and none of them should be anonymous, then it would make sense.

or an even more radical idea would be that instead of forcing your thoughts into a binary in order for it to be quantified, you could just say what you think of the comment.

pretty mindblowing, eh?

The main problem for me is just that long threads tend to get difficult to read when everyone starts replying to one post, I think having an up/down feature with small comments attached (ideally limited in word count to avoid too much reading) is a decent way of avoiding this and staying focused on the OP. It also gives a chance to give more positive criticism directed straight at a reply without derailing the thread, which would be nice imo.

jef costello
Mar 3 2012 09:37
Arbeiten wrote:
One tentative positive I think it has is that there is confirmation that people are having their posts read (yes I know, i am a Pavlovian dog). Often people write very long posts and I know from my own experience, it can sometimes feel like your shouting into an empty well, especially when there are no replies to the posts (maybe it is just my posts that are boring?).

I know the feeling, it's about the only advantage I can see to this system.

plasmatelly
Mar 3 2012 10:37

How's this experiment working? Is it too soon to say if it's a success - and how long is it planned to run for. I must say it's put me off visiting LibCom - though that make one or two people happy!

Cooked
Mar 3 2012 13:04

Oversensitive the lot of you!

Those buttons are soo easily ignored. I've not even looked at them or read the scores since they were introduced.

I mentioned on some other thread that the re design is likely to cause a whine-storm but judging from the responses to this minimal change it's gonna get a lot worse and it's not a good i sign of what personalities frequent this site.

The count to ten thing you tell children should apply in these cases. Calm down and just wait till you can actually offer a proper opinion, which in this case will be months. There's no cost involved for users of this site and the least you could expect is that people are able to see that the proposal has it's up's and down's (hehe)

The admins running this site deserve some slack (more actually) and you should hold your petty criticisms back for a couple of months. Face it they are petty and going on about it tends to be draining for the people doing the work. Show some respect* for fucks sake.

*I tend not to use that word, but really, show some fucking respect, shut up, and stop acting like children.

plasmatelly
Mar 3 2012 13:20

cooked - you're don't work as a senior manager by any chance? wink

Cooked
Mar 3 2012 13:33
plasmatelly wrote:
cooked - you're don't work as a senior manager by any chance? ;)

haha, I actually deleted a line about this nonsense making me feel sympathy with managers trying to implement change.

I deleted it because it would have been hyperbole and a lie smile

I do have less experienced people helping me out on the job atm... maybe I'm on the path to manager thought!!! I need to change jobs to a place where I'm the new guy... funnily enough I'm going to make a call for a new job after submitting this post. No joke.

Serge Forward
Mar 3 2012 14:28
Cooked wrote:
Oversensitive the lot of you! ... Those buttons are soo easily ignored... whine-storm...

Nailed it.

Cooked wrote:
The admins running this site deserve some slack...

But now you've just gone too far black bloc

Steven.
Mar 3 2012 18:49

Cooked, thanks for your comments. Don't worry though, we did anticipate this kind of reaction. Whenever we improve the site we always get loads of complaints (but our traffic keeps increasing).

In terms of this change, we agreed to trial it for a month and so far it's too early to make an assessment. Although we do note people's criticisms here so far. We have a couple of modifications in mind taking on-board people's comments, but we will still run this trial for the whole month to try and get proper data on how it is used, how many ups/downs posts can get, whether it is being used the way we hoped, etc.

Arbeiten
Mar 3 2012 18:55

plasma, for someone that no longer uses the site, you were pretty quick to response to cooked wink

bulmer
Mar 6 2012 04:08

One thing I've seen since this feature was installed, is that someone seems to go around just voting everyone down for the sake of it. For example on this post, every comment has been marked down for basically no reason.

I think that ups and downs need to be modified otherwise you're going to end up getting reactionaries (an-caps, fascists,rightists, whatever) coming to the site just to vote things down.

Do you have to login to use this feature? If not, then I think that just be the minimum change. I'd also think again about the anonymity of the feature.

Oenomaus
Mar 6 2012 05:06
bulmer wrote:
One thing I've seen since this feature was installed, is that someone seems to go around just voting everyone down for the sake of it. For example on this post, every comment has been marked down for basically no reason.

I don't think it's just that thread. On many threads I've seen, people just vote down either for the sake of it or because they don't "like" it (which, last time I checked, were not intended purposes for voting down). As I said six days ago:

Oenomaus wrote:
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.

It seems pretty obvious that this is the case, and that people also continue to vote down just to vote down. Of course, this isn't true for every single thread, but on many of them it is.

bulmer wrote:
Do you have to login to use this feature? If not, then I think that just be the minimum change. I'd also think again about the anonymity of the feature.

Yes, you have to login to use the feature, but I really don't see what difference it makes. The same is true even if votes were no longer anonymous, I think.

Again, I'm very open to trying this feature, and I think it still seems to early to make the best judgement of it. However, I know I don't appreciate the very authoritarian attitude of some people here who have the preconceived assumption that the feature is "improving" site and those who criticize it are just "complaining." It may well be improving the site, but I say more time (and a public poll) needs to be given.

Steven.
Mar 6 2012 12:11

For the record, I wasn't referring to introducing this change as improving the site. This is a trial, to see if it makes things better or not. My point was related to changes we have made which have actually improved the site, which still everyone on feedback threads complained about at the time.

Joseph Kay
Mar 6 2012 12:20

It does look like someone is voting everything down.
We are able to check who it is but we want to see what happens if somebody decides to try to abuse the system. So as it's a trial we're seeing what happens for now; to see if it self-regulates, because e.g. other users may vote up comments which they think have been unfairly voted down; or if people just ignore -1s because they're ubiquitous; or if admin action is required to prevent abuse by warning/banning individuals.

gypsy
Mar 7 2012 09:34
Oenomaus wrote:
but I say more time (and a public poll) needs to be given.

Agreed.

gypsy
Mar 7 2012 09:44
Joseph Kay wrote:
It does look like someone is voting everything down.
We are able to check who it is but we want to see what happens if somebody decides to try to abuse the system. So as it's a trial we're seeing what happens for now; to see if it self-regulates, because e.g. other users may vote up comments which they think have been unfairly voted down; or if people just ignore -1s because they're ubiquitous; or if admin action is required to prevent abuse by warning/banning individuals.

Don't mean to sound like an anti mod authority dude. But why should the mod's be able to see who has voted a certain way and not the other registered users of the site? Seems a wee bit weird.

gypsy
Mar 7 2012 09:59
revol68 wrote:
Joseph Kay wrote:
It does look like someone is voting everything down.

Your skills are missed at Scotland Yard wink

choccy wrote:
I'm just marking everything down at the minute.

Get on the phone to the PSNI. Some supergrasses would love you.

Fall Back
Mar 7 2012 10:07
gypsy wrote:
Don't mean to sound like an anti mod authority dude. But why should the mod's be able to see who has voted a certain way and not the other registered users of the site? Seems a wee bit weird.

Because we're moderators and other users are not? confused

gypsy
Mar 7 2012 10:12
Fall Back wrote:
gypsy wrote:
Don't mean to sound like an anti mod authority dude. But why should the mod's be able to see who has voted a certain way and not the other registered users of the site? Seems a wee bit weird.

Because we're moderators and other users are not? confused

I reckon it would stop ppl being dicks if the voting was not anonymous to the public. Or even better if it was not done at all.

gypsy
Mar 7 2012 11:07
revol68 wrote:
yeah it's especially fucked up if mods and admins can see who votes for what but others can't.
.

Aye it means that they can see if ppl have a vendetta against them but we can't. Not fair.

the button
Mar 7 2012 11:12

I look forward to the first "So-and-so was only banned because s/he (probably) consistently voted down so-and-so's posts" thread.

gypsy
Mar 7 2012 11:19
the button wrote:
I look forward to the first "So-and-so was only banned because s/he (probably) consistently voted down so-and-so's posts" thread.

Would be funny if all the voting so far would be made public. I have a funny feeling that many of the anti vote up and down -downs will have been done by mods.

snipfool
Mar 7 2012 11:26
gypsy wrote:
revol68 wrote:
yeah it's especially fucked up if mods and admins can see who votes for what but others can't.
.

Aye it means that they can see if ppl have a vendetta against them but we can't. Not fair.

i have a feeling that admins have probably given themselves the same front end experience as us and haven't gone out of their way to hide the voters from regular users. but as admins (at least some) have access to the database, they could check there. and it would definitely need to be stored in the database in order to know if you've upped or downed already.

i could be wrong, maybe they see it on the site too. in which case i think that's a shame.

the button
Mar 7 2012 11:25

No-one's upped my post yet. cry

gypsy
Mar 7 2012 11:27

just upped you. wink