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Re: Negative voting (system redesign)

by tye (Sage)
on Aug 07, 2013 at 06:28 UTC ( #1048264=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Negative voting

Yeah. Pretty much. Anonymous sniping isn't particularly useful as a means for communicating to the recipient.

But getting rid of downvoting won't eliminate anonymous sniping. Neither will getting rid of it and also of posting without logging in.

The cheap jedi mind trick is to get most people to sate their urge to anonymously snipe in the least disruptive way possible while also getting the recipient to usually ignore it (but without the sender feeling obviously ignored, of course, because that would thwart the sating). And the major point of that is reducing flame wars.

So downvotes rather suck at communicating useful information to the recipient. (Though, in my experience, they often aren't completely useless on even that front.) But that isn't really their primary purpose. And I think that you have indeed identified a usage model of this system were at least some users following that model would be better served by the lack of downvoting.

But that is rather far from determining that the whole system would be better without downvoting. Heck, I'll even agree that downvotes aren't extremely effective at any one particular purpose. But I still find them worthwhile as part of a rather complex system that tries to balance a lot of competing interests. And taking downvotes out of this system would indeed make it better in some ways, IMHO. I expect it would also make the system worse in other ways.

I think none would really disagree with the proposition that eloquent replies are better than downvotes in (almost?) every way. But not all replies are eloquent. Not all potential repliers possess the eloquence for the message they feel the need to send.

I, in general, encourage people to reply eloquently if at all possible over downvoting. (I also encourage people to simply wait if they aren't feeling particularly eloquent in a particular situation as, very often, somebody more eloquent will come along soon enough or the passage of time will be sufficient to improve their own eloquence.)

But I don't make blanket suggestions that everybody in every situation should choose to reply over downvoting. And I believe that I have even witnessed situations where downvoting was a much better choice than replying. Though I also find that to be true in only a small minority of cases.

So, when you get a downvote, just think "At least s/he didn't create a throw-away account and use it to reply to me with just 'You suck!' (or worse)." That's what I do. :)

- tye        

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Re^2: Negative voting (system redesign)
by mtmcc (Hermit) on Aug 07, 2013 at 08:17 UTC
    Thanks tye!

    I guess I don't think negative votes are a bad thing - I see your point. I suppose I'm not talking about this because I get downvoted particularly often, I just think that a reply with any useful information content, whether eloquent or not, beats negative voting without feedback. And people who get down voted often are the people who would benefit most from some feedback.

    Thanks for your thoughts - fair points!

      And people who get down voted often are the people who would benefit most from some feedback.

      some folks are quite immune to feedback, trying to engage them with constructive-feedback is quite pointless, there isn't enough time in the day to accomplish nothing repeatedly -- downvote (if ye can) and move on

      I just think that a reply with any useful information content, whether eloquent or not, beats negative voting without feedback. And people who get down voted often are the people who would benefit most from some feedback.
      How could you read several threads on downvoting and still be so naive?!?

      Anyway.... One obvious reason for downvoting without, or in lieu of, an explanation is if someone else has already provided a good explanation. It's not like that magically exonerates the offending node. Massive downvoting could even help drive home the point (if the recipient is open to learning, or at least open to accepting/adapting to the way things are).

      And I'm pretty sure that spammers will not be reading any explanations, but a certain number of downvotes are necessary before a node is reaped.

      Regardless, your post is a good reminder that constructive criticism can be very beneficial, so thanks for asking.

      Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
      My deviantART gallery

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