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+24
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Why are so many people on this website so freaked out about downvotes?

I feel like a lot of people here completely miss the point of up and down votes. One reason may be that, so far, it's a pretty small community. If, say, 10 things are posted every day, the need for any kind of sorting or organizing of that content isn't so great. But if you have 1000 or 10,000 things posted every day, people browsing the site can't/don't want to go through every single thing that gets posted. Up/down votes are a solution to this problem! The content is sorted by the hive-mind! There's no need for everyone to go through 10,000 posts; let everyone browse, if they see something interesting or something they like, they upvote. If they see something that doesn't tickle their pickle, they downvote. The result is that when you go to browse the 10,000 things that have been posted on any given day, the first things you see will be the things that the largest number of people upvoted/didn't downvote. It's all about sorting. In an environment with a lot of content, everyone's opinion/snaps can't be at the top of the pile. And people complain "the down vote button isn't an "I disagree" button"... Sometimes it actually can be! If you're having a debate or argument for example, you can upvote things that you agree with, and downvote things you disagree with. The end result? Again, the opinions that the majority deemed to be correct appear at the top, and the ones that the majority deemed to be incorrect appear at the bottom. Simple. That's the voting system you've chosen for this website doing its job.

Yet people on here seem to be reduced to tears by a single, lonely downvote. Why and how could someone have disagreed with me!? And they didn't even discuss it with me first? They just mercilessly went straight for that evil button that twiddles the counter in the wrong direction! My 16 updoots have been reduced to a mere 15! Worse still, the bounds of my imaginary reputation points have been so coldly, so brutally, so callously cut short! It's so childish. Especially for a website where people seem to promote maturity. And all of the people blaming it on the influx of reddit users, as if people here are better than reddit users, or more refined and mature... if that were the case, maybe people here wouldn't take every downvote so personally and so seriously. People on reddit have already long been accused of taking the voting system too seriously. Hunting and hoarding imaginary points rather than just focusing on building the best quality interaction and content they're capable of. And that tendency to take the voting system too seriously is, from what I've seen, taken to the extreme here. The voting buttons are merely sorting mechanisms. 3 choices: up, neutral, or down. You've created a website with a majority-rules democracy, but then you complain when a member of that democracy has an opinion which differs from your own? Downvotes aren't an indication of some sort of decay or degradation of the community, they're an indication that the voting system you've chosen is working. If you don't like it, maybe try a different voting system. Something like facebook perhaps, with only the option to "thumbs up". Otherwise, accept that there is no epidemic. Your site is growing, with that will come change, some of which will involve seeing your voting system be put to use. Deal with it as maturely as possible.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

EDIT: (I commented this below but I'll put it here for visibility)

Round 2! I'm just going to continue here since there are so many comments and a lot of them are saying similar things.

So first of all, a lot of people are saying WE DON'T WANT A HIVE MIND! People seem to be of the opinion that hive mind = reddit = chaos. Actually a hive mind is just about utilizing many minds in order to achieve something e.g. sorting. The voting system on this website is a hive-mind voting system! That's how it operates whether you say so or not! When you have tens of thousands of users sorting content by voting, that is hive mind voting. Downvotes or not, that's what it is. To everyone saying they don't want this to turn into reddit... the main difference between reddit and snapzu is in the number of users. Askreddit has over 9,000,000 subscribers. I'm a member of many small subreddits and you know what? They're full of polite, intelligent discussion and quality content. But when you take a subreddit that has over 9,000,000 subscribers, chaos is pretty much inevitable. That's not le evil reddit, that's people, and snapzu wouldn't fare any better with that many users. Read reddit's etiquette guide, it seems to be more detailed and at least as noble as snapzu's. And, same as here, it asks users not to downvote based on disagreement or emotional reaction. It works when you have a few thousand users, but it will fall apart when you have hundreds of thousands or millions of users. So to the people saying that downvoting because of disagreement is against the rules, that's all good and well but how do you enforce that? And when snapzu grows and has tens/hundreds of thousands of users, how do you police people's downvoting?

And the person who cited the Boston bombing, the Sunil chaos was not caused by the voices of reason being downvoted. The problem lies more with the fact that people disagreed with the voices of reason, but they would have done so whether there was a downvote button or not. It's complex, and I'm not going to sit here and blame it on one thing or another, but that was people being people. Reddit was just the platform and it would have happened even if the downvote button didn't exist. And another thing that didn't help was the media picking it up and adding weight to it. Reddit is just a platform for a bunch of people to express themselves, it can't really be expected to provide truthful or accurate information, whereas the media should, because the purpose of the media, ideally, should be to disseminate truthful and accurate information.

To people saying that downvotes are bad because they push content down so its harder to see: downvotes just add a little more heft to your voting. But if there are, say, 1000 posts, they have to be sorted in some kind of order. Something has to be in the 1000th spot, and the 999th, and the 1st etc. Provided you don't hide posts with a certain number of downvotes, downvoting won't "hide" content from the users. Whoever thinks that the 1000th post won't be seen because it has been downvoted out of sight... there will still be a 1000th post with just the upvotes/neutral voting system. So you're still pushing some things to the top and in the process, albeit more passively, pushing other things down. I honestly do think that people here have a strange view of downvotes; people tie so much negativity to it, they're upset when they get downvoted. If people were complaining because they felt like their point was valid yet they'd received -50 points, I'd be sympathetic and I think it would warrant investigation. If people were complaining because people were really abusing the downvotes (i.e. going through a users profile and downvoting all of their content out of spite, or multiple users banding together to gang up on a person and supress their opinion by downvoting, downvoting because of the user instead of the content etc.) it would warrant investigation. But so many people complain about one downvote! I think that reflects immaturity and I think that's different from what people in this thread are defending. I think that those people complaining about a single downvote aren't doing so out of fear of snapzu turning into reddit, it's something more akin to vanity, at least in some cases. And if there's a rule that says not to downvote just because you disagree, then why isn't there a rule that says not to upvote just because you agree? Why should people's reasons for downvoting be questioned any more than their reasons for upvoting? Nobody seems to be worried that they got upvoted solely because their opinion is a popular one, rather than because it was a quality contribution to the discussion.

3 years ago by lustig with 80 comments

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  • spaceghoti
    +44

    We want to discourage the attitude that's so prevalent in other sites where users treat the downvote button as shorthand for "I disagree."

    • BucksinSixxx
      +25

      The "I disagree" ideology can be very dangerous too. The Boston Bombing threads on Reddit? People got downvoted for saying they shouldn't be witch hunting. The result? Reddit fucked up, big time, the admins? CEO? had to apologize to the family of the man reddit accused, and it turns out he had been dead for a month from suicide anyway.

      If you want to have a downvote happy place (like it seems OP does) g to reddit. They(downvotes) only discourage discussion, which Snapzu is all about, especially since it's community is so small. Hell, that's one of the reasons I'm leaving that website.

      • Xeno
        +20

        Yes, I think a lot of the people that advocate for a disagree button do not realize the implications of shutting out content by majority opinion. Reddit's downvote culture can also be attributed to the perception of majoritarian discrimination on the site.

        • ColonBowel
          +5

          This is one of the best attributes of this site's culture.

      • massani
        +14

        Yeah, the circlejerk should not come here. There were many times on Reddit where I saw people, and including myself, downvoted. Even in the smaller threads, it's the whole "oh you don't share my exact feelings and interests, well fuck you, here's a downvote", attitude that is really off-putting.

        • hallucigenia (edited 3 years ago)
          +3

          Yeah, the circlejerk should not come here.

          But how do you think the circlejerk got to reddit in the first place? I believe that it grew naturally out of the voting system. Snapzu has this same system.

      • FallenWalnut (edited 3 years ago)
        +7

        Posting similar comment as below as it applies here as well.

        Under any system that allows a hive mind to decide on the content, certain ideas will always proliferate across it, even under a pure "Like System"

        E.G:

        Like system

        A = +1000

        A = +600

        A = +500

        A = +200

        B = +10

        No reason that the "Boston Bombing" threads wouldn't had the same result under a pure like system.

        In fact having such a system, allows for abuse of the system, where a vocal minority can manipulate the content to push their agenda. Take /r/SRS (non-redditors this is a sub-reddit that targets comments and posts that goes against their opinions and downvotes them). Applying the same concept but with "like" you could easily push your ideologies to the top.

        The way the admins are handling it is by far the best approach. They are moderating the effect of the downvotes by the frequency of downvotes by the user. That way people who do abuse it, and downvote any opinions that they disagree with, won't make much effect.

        There is nothing inherently wrong with an upvote/downvote system. Its always going to come down to the community.

      • captainjib
        +6

        I think that using the Boston Bombing Witch Hunt to justify your point is a bit extreme and a bad example. The people doing the witch hunting were not going to be dissuaded if a post about stopping been upvoted to the top. None of that was about up or downvotes. They made their own threads; they weren't open to discussion, and that was the problem. A sub-commnity had formed within reddit with new thresholds for what was deserving of up and downvotes. FallenWalnut has a really well laid out example of why the absence of downvotes wouldn't even have solved this problem. This was about individuals doing the wrong thing, not a failure of the voting system.

        All you've done is reference a huge, terrible incident that, although it happened on reddit, has no weight in proving your specific point here.

        • NotWearingPants
          +4

          I think it's a good example of the culture. You are absolutely correct that it wouldn't have/didn't change anyone's mind or derailed the witch hunt, but it's an excellent example of how the hive mind works. There are many subs where even expressing a contrary opinion or raising the "wrong" question results in massive downvotes, and in some cases, mod bans. While it may come from a minority of site users, it's a very active minority in those particular subs.

        • hallucigenia
          +1

          Why doesn't Facebook have a dislike button, even though its users have been requesting one for several years now? Why doesn't Google+ have a -1 button next to the +1 button? I think the reason is very simple. You don't want your users to have a negative experience. Posting something and having it receive a couple of dozen downvotes is a negative experience.

          If somebody wants to disapprove of something, there's a very simple (and much more constructive) way to do it: post a comment! This also forces the person who disapproves to engage in a dialog.

    • Kysol (edited 3 years ago)
      +13

      Not upvoting is the same as "I disagree". That's how I see it.

      I've only downvoted one thing here because I believed that it was done to perpetuate an argument. I came back and removed the downvote later because any sort of attention given to them justified their cause.

      Up vote what is something that is worth it, If your post doesn't get upvoted, then it probably wasn't worth posting.

      Edit: My english is failing me this morning.

    • skolor
      +11

      Upvoting is sorting. Downvoting is voting to remove a post.

    • hallucigenia
      +5

      While I admire the sentiment, I think that trying to discourage superfluous downvotes is doomed to failure. Even if you could get all of the regular site users to agree with this, there's still the matter of impressing that value onto new users. It's only natural to view the downvote button as an "anti-upvote". If upvote = I agree / I like this, then downvote = I disagree / I don't like this. To advocate anything else is to go against human nature and is an uphill battle for sure.

      I think instead of upvote / downvote we should have a thumbs-up and a report button. Reporting carries a lot more weight than downvoting, because you know a human is going to see it, and you might have to justify your dislike.

  • picklefingers
    +35

    Advocating for a downvote as a disagreement button is advocating for a circlejerk and a hivemind. There is no other way around it. Downvotes hide posts. By downvoting posts that don't coincide with you're opinion you are hiding that persons ideas from view. That's they exact OPPOSITE point of the voting system. The point of the voting system is to make interesting and conversation-starting posts rise so other people can join in on the conversation. We don't want our website to descend to the circlejerk that reddit has become.

    Nobody is 'crying that they have received a downvote'. We all know that we will get them from time to time. However, for us veterans, it does show that the culture is changing. These things just didn't really use to happen.

    Newer members need to realize that this website is NOT reddit. It has a different site culture, It has different expectations of its users, and it stresses certain things like upvotes/downvotes way more than reddit. You are talking down to us as if we don't know how our own voting system works and as if we don't know how things are like over on reddit. We are fully aware that things are different on reddit. We have had a lot of intelligent discussion about the subject. A LOT of it. So, if you have suggestions or beef with Snapzu, then you should do it in a less condescending way. You know, not patronizing the community by saying 'my precious updoots'.

    • xg549
      +12

      Yes. I think it's kind of unfair for anyone who is relatively or explicitly new to snapzu to tell seasoned users how the voting system is intended to work... as if someone build a "voting module" back in 2000 and every installation of it in a website since is required by said creator to operate in the same manner.

    • hallucigenia
      +1

      You know, not patronizing the community by saying 'my precious updoots'.

      I think OP is just grouchy because they don't have enough calcium.

  • Boop (edited 3 years ago)
    +17

    I think the problem people have with down votes is that they fear it will turn into Reddit; the hive mind will up vote everything they agree with and down vote everything they disagree with. The problem with unpopular opinions being down voted is that it limits discussion; the unpopular opinion gets hidden, and all you can see are comments you agree with. I believe the atmosphere Snapzu is trying to create is one focused on keeping the conversation going. Users are encouraged to up vote content that they like as well as content that helps stimulate conversation. Any content that is off-topic or is nonconstructive (has no value to the post whatsoever) should, in theory, be down voted.

    I do want to point you to the voting FAQ, because where you mention that it is okay to down vote something because of disagreement, that is actually explicitly against the rules. I do think though that the current UI communicates a different mentality, and it's the mentality you are describing as okay. With an up and down arrow, this shows that the system is about agreement and disagreement. The UI needs to change so that people know it is not right to down vote because of disagreement. This may be fixed with a flag icon or "report" button. But, that's a whole other discussion in itself.

    • joethebob (edited 3 years ago)
      +5

      it is okay to down vote something because of disagreement, that is actually explicitly against the rules.

      Which in itself is pointless because you can never enforce it. A rule without enforcement is at best a voluntary social custom. It only functions as long as you have effectively created a hivemind of sorts in which all agree on the concept. Reddiquette was a fairly pervasive thing for years, but as population grows the commonality of shared behavior shrinks as well as adherence to voluntary social custom.

      • RedditExodus
        +4

        You have included a space between your closing bracket and your opening bracket that has broken how you wanted to display your link.

        Just thought you might want to know, good night.

      • Boop
        +2

        I completely agree with you. As Snapzu grows, users will inevitably treat the voting system the way it feels natural to them. Enforcement will never change human behavior. The only way we can curb this behavior is if we change the voting UI. I know they have mentioned there will be improvements to the voting system sometime in the future.

        • Aaron215
          +3

          The good news is that users get a limited number of downvotes a day. I would think that would help.

  • Jupiter7
    +17

    If they see something that doesn't tickle their pickle, they downvote.

    Because here, the downvote isn't an "I disagree with you" button, its generally a poor quality content indicator. Though there aren't defined rules for downvotes (as far as I know), take a look here for the /u/teamsnapzu comment.

  • Xeno (edited 3 years ago)
    +17

    Downvoting is constantly misunderstood on this site and it's hard to blame anyone. The downvoting button... looks like a downvoting button. This means for those who have not read extensively about Snapzu's downvote function it is an "I disagree" button. But, according to all official sources the downvote button is not a disagree button. I think there are valid reasons to not push down content and comments for simple disagreement and I imagine some of the users you were referring to are aware of these reasons and that's why they are outspoken.

    As I've advocated for previously, I think the solution is to change the image that represents the downvote button so it is understood for the intended flag-like purpose.

    Also not that I'm saying reputation is particularly important to me, but just because you don't care doesn't mean it's immature. If anything I find this post to be callous and unaccepting of what the potential consequences a pure disagreement button has and why various users have chosen to be outspoken about it. I can definitely understand your side of the argument, but this post comes off as unproductive and more from a point of attack.

    Edit: for typos

    • ofest
      +3

      I think the solution is to change the image that represents the downvote button so it is understood for the intended flag-like purpose.

      What would it take to make this happen? (a question for anyone who knows)

      • Xeno
        +4

        It shouldn't be difficult... the reputation algorithm will all be the same, the only thing that would change is whatever image is used for the downvote indicators.

        • ofest
          +6

          Rephrased:

          Who needs to be convinced to make this happen?

          • Xeno
            +3

            I posted something similar to this in an appropriate thread, it was top comment, so they've seen it. It depends if they think it's a feasible/good idea or not.

  • gremlin
    +14

    I think that you're right in the sense that there are three choices. Up, down, and neutral. Ideally, I would prefer that upvotes are given to high quality posts, even if you disagree with them. Unfortunately, I do tend upvote posts I agree with and ignore others. No voting is usually done when I feel that a post has enough upvotes or that I really don't find the content worthy of a vote. And I have downvoted people on points that I disagree with and think shouldn't be gaining traction. However, this is on Reddit.

    I have not downvoted anyone on Snapzu yet, as I find and enjoy that it is a more upvote-y place. I would love a place that prefers to upvote content on the basis of quality. I gave you an upvote, not because I agree with you but because I enjoy seeing detailed posts. I think having that sort of culture is being as mature as possible.

    So maybe the problem is the voting system. Maybe having a neutral vote, sort of a grey bar, would be more in line with Snapzu's culture and would differentiate it from other Reddit-ish sites.

    • GeniusIComeAnon
      +4

      I don't see a problem with not upvoting something that doesn't interest you. For me, an upvote is usually good/ interesting + something I care about. It's not a bad thing to downvote, you just want to make sure you do it for the right reason.

  • ofest
    +12

    The content is sorted by the hive-mind!

    That's supposed to be a good thing?!?

    "The Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei was trialled and convicted in 1633 for publishing his evidence that supported the Copernican theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun. His research was instantly criticized by the Catholic Church for going against the established scripture that places Earth and not the Sun at the center of the universe." source

    Hive-mind...

  • coupland (edited 3 years ago)
    +12

    One thing I haven't seen mentioned here (or even on Reddit) that I think is the most sinister effect of a downvote button is that (at least on Reddit, I'm very new to Snapzu) it meant that all content had a 50%-70% chance of being buried forever, regardless of quality. How so?

    Well, first of all you have filters. In general when content drops below a certain threshhold it stops being visible to users. Either through a hard filter that hides the content, or it simply falls beneath users' mental radar. Which meant that when you submitted content to reddit it had a few LIVE OR DIE minutes to garner a few upvotes or it would simply be buried by other content. If at any time during those crucial few minutes it received a downvote, it was essentially gone forever. It would drop below 1 karma and never be seen by another user. For all the talk of democratizing content, reality was that all it took was ONE downvote to bury a submission forever. Pretty brutal if you ask me.

    Add to that the culture of "knights of new." (A culture that makes my stomach churn.) People being praised and heralded for ruthlessly burying content. An entire culture that lionizes the burying of content. Couple that with the fact that a single downvote is all that's required to bury something forever, and you get a site where it's almost impossible for good content to flow to the top unless it's a repost or submitted by a "Power" user. Which, as we all recall, is what brought the Digg empire crashing down.

    A downvote button is, in theory, a great idea. It means "this is irrelevant or offensive, nobody should ever see it." Unfortunately large groups of people can't be trusted to use it responsibly and it invariably turns into an "I disagree" button. Which then creates an environment where good content cannot float up. I'm vehemently in favour of anything that banishes the "I disagree" button.

    • remez
      +6

      A downvote button is, in theory, a great idea. It means "this is irrelevant or offensive, nobody should ever see it." Unfortunately large groups of people can't be trusted to use it responsibly and it invariably turns into an "I disagree" button.

      I think that if the downvote button is clearly labeled as "poor content" or something like this, and is not put near the upvote button, people would be less prone to using it as a "disagree" button. This is a simple UI solution that can lead to behaviour change.

      • Aaron215
        +4

        New here: Has this been suggested anywhere official, or to admins? I can't think of any reason why this would be a bad idea, and similar ideas have been mentioned a few times on this thread. I imagine it wouldn't be a hard change.

        • spaceghoti
          +4

          It has in many forms. One idea was to change the arrows to flags or +/- signs to break the association with up/down voting. To date the admins have not indicated that they've taken a position that I'm aware of, but I haven't been following it that closely. They've expressed confidence that the way they've designed the reputation system will offset abuse of the downvote button, so I will remain patient and see whether or not their confidence is justified.

    • ofest
      +3

      For the reason's you've given, the downvote button can be considered a "STFU button" when used improperly, instead of being used as a moderation button.

  • cheezoncrack
    +12

    It creates a circle jerk and mundane culture that not only gets hostile to opinions that differ from the hivemind but also contributes to the overall quality of the website becoming worse.

    Want to see a great example? Go to reddit and bathe in its endless sea of pun jokes and watch as anybody who isnt a liberal in college get downvoted when they post one of their opinions on anything.

    • SurrealBeliefs
      +8

      It's largely why I've come here to get away from that. I really didn't enjoy the idea of having to conform my own opinions or statements to be suitable for the environment I'm in.

      People here have been incredibly kind and it's lacked that hive mind mentality from what I've seen.

    • FallenWalnut
      +3

      Wouldn't say that it is the up/down system that contributes to this but rather that, when a community becomes large, the content that appeals to the lowest common denominator bubbles to the top.

      No reason this won't happen to a purely up vote system. Snapzu is the way it is, because of the people using it not the system.

    • hallucigenia
      +2

      watch as anybody who isnt a liberal in college get downvoted when they post one of their opinions on anything.

      Your bias is showing. A lot of these "college liberals" are also very dismissive and even downright hateful towards women, minorities, and, of course, fat people.

      • cheezoncrack
        +1

        Go ahead and got post a conservative view on the up coming elections, or economics, or foreign policy, or about Obama, and come back and report to me how negative you went.

  • frohawk
    +12

    Because with such a small community, the down-vote button shouldn't be used to hide anything we disagree with (in fact, I upvote comment I don't agree with yet can find no fault in; it leads to diverse discussions) but only to hide outright rude and useless comments.

    If you down-voted everything you disliked, you'd get an annoying echo chamber. Sure, that was okay in Reddit; it's so immense you're bound to find pockets of diverse discussion there, but with such small numbers here, you'd would crush out any differing opinions.

    All that being said, I don't mind the occasional down-vote. But when a comment gets a flood of down-votes for expressing a differing opinion, that's when I get testy.

  • dart123
    +11

    Agreed, I'm not sure what the deal is. I got my invite an hour ago and I've seen two posts regarding getting rid of the downvote button! I didn't even use reddit but I saw the importance of a dual-vote system versus Facebook's Like system. A dual voting system promotes discussion, a single vote system creates self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Imagine a game of Basketball where there's a wall going through the center of the court and both teams just stay on their sides throwing the ball into their own hoops. That's what a Like system does. An Up/Downvoting system is like a real Basketball game.

    Tortured analogies aside, I'm eager to see how this plays out.

    • zaywolfe
      +9

      Not to be splitting hairs or anything but I think your winning analogy is actually a Like system.

      Two teams, two competing comments with competing viewpoints. Points only go up. It's normal basketball.

      An Up/Downvote system would be the same game of basketball except teams could lose points.

  • Kysol (edited 3 years ago)
    +8

    The content is sorted by the hive-mind!

    If everyone was an individual, and the world was perfect this would work. The sad truth is that voting can be brigaded easily. Look at any form of poll on the internet these days and you will see that if say "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough" is winning the "Vote your favourite Baskin Robins flavour" poll, the Peppermint Twist groupies will post on their PEPPA4LYF forum that their flavour is losing and boom, 30,000 votes get cast. You see it all the time, gaming companies asking their fans to vote for them in some video game award polls.

    These polls would be more fair if you had to wait a year before you could vote, or you had to have been active for more than X amount of time, somewhat like /r/thebutton - If they hadn't imposed an account age limit on pressing, you would have had people spooling up fake accounts by the 1000's per second and all hell would have broken loose.

    We live in a time where right is wrong and wrong is wrong.

  • Boudicca
    +7

    Hi lustig, Its seems that perhaps you may have completely missed the point of up and down votes - on Snapzu. I disagree with what you are saying- but I'm not downvoting it for that.I am interested in reading your point of view. I probably disagree more with how you are saying it.

    I for one am not intererested in content sorted by the "hive mind".

    • Appaloosa (edited 3 years ago)
      +2

      What's wrong with the hive mind!

      The Borg

  • Fooferhill
    +7

    If you don't like it or disagree then you have other choices including respectfully disagreeing, not reading further, ignoring and disregarding. It is not imperative that this be expressed and down votes are open to rorting. Up votes encourage and acknowledge interesting content and therefore are acknowledged with a vote. I love this about SNAPZU.

  • Kysol
    +7

    I'm one of those freaked out by downvotes but for the reason that I try to tread a morally neutral line that gives everyone an equal say. When someone downvotes me I want to know why. Did I offend someone in some way that I didn't mean, if so then I'd like to fix the misunderstanding.

    I realise that a lot of the mass downvote abusers are people who think their opinion is right and everyone else is wrong. I feel sorry for these people as they will live sad reclusive lives due to the fact that nobody will be able to placate their needs because nobody will be perfect like them. And those that do fit into a crowd will probably have a breakdown somewhere late in life when they realise that they have wasted their life following a path of misery where every bridge was burnt including the one they are currently standing on.

  • cailihphiliac
    +6

    The content is sorted by the hive-mind!

    That's a bad thing! Instead of finding out about different opinions, you find out about one opinion.

    if they see something interesting or something they like, they upvote. If they see something that doesn't tickle their pickle, they downvote.

    This is why reddit was full of reposts and people driving memes into the ground. You couldn't just post something kinda good to a default subreddit, it had to be amazing, or it would be downvoted by people like you.

    the first things you see will be the things that the largest number of people upvoted/didn't downvote. It's all about sorting.

    I'm not sure if you're for or against this, but it almost doesn't matter because this is the first thing you see on any website with any form of voting. Reddit, Snapzu, Facebook, you always start out seeing the stuff that people approved of / didn't express disapproval of.

    you can upvote things that you agree with, and downvote things you disagree with. The end result? Again, the opinions that the majority deemed to be correct appear at the top, and the ones that the majority deemed to be incorrect appear at the bottom.

    That's what went wrong with Unidan. He used his alt-accounts to upvote himself and downvote not just the people with opposing views, but everyone around him, so that his would be the top comment and everyone would think he was great.

    Downvotes aren't an indication of some sort of decay or degradation of the community

    No, they're an indication that something is wrong with the post. Porn not labelled NSFW, broken link, nonsensical title, etc.

  • FallenWalnut (edited 3 years ago)
    +6

    Thanks for posting this. Was tempted to make a similar post, but was too lazy too.

    When I initially joined snapzu there were at least 2 posts a day whining about getting a single downvote. Never seen people so caught up with imaginary internet points before.

    P.S. I agree with the sentiment that down-voting shouldn't be used as a "I disagree", but if it does, it isn't the end of the world.

    • Kalysta
      +5

      It certainly could be the end of an interesting discussion though.

  • Appaloosa (edited 3 years ago)
    +6

    The people who down voted this snap should be banned!...kidding, don't downvote me bro...

  • alizure
    +6

    Well, you can have a down vote option IF it can be used correctly and not abused. But I think it is better to discuss why a person would disagree with something. Hence getting other points of view on subjects. Which can in turn enlighten us all.

  • lustig
    +5

    Round 2! I'm just going to continue here since there are so many comments and a lot of them are saying similar things.

    So first of all, a lot of people are saying WE DON'T WANT A HIVE MIND! People seem to be of the opinion that hive mind = reddit = chaos. Actually a hive mind is just about utilizing many minds in order to achieve something e.g. sorting. The voting system on this website is a hive-mind voting system! That's how it operates whether you say so or not! When you have tens of thousands of users sorting content by voting, that is hive mind voting. Downvotes or not, that's what it is. To everyone saying they don't want this to turn into reddit... the main difference between reddit and snapzu is in the number of users. Askreddit has over 9,000,000 subscribers. I'm a member of many small subreddits and you know what? They're full of polite, intelligent discussion and quality content. But when you take a subreddit that has over 9,000,000 subscribers, chaos is pretty much inevitable. That's not le evil reddit, that's people, and snapzu wouldn't fare any better with that many users. Read reddit's etiquette guide, it seems to be more detailed and at least as noble as snapzu's. And, same as here, it asks users not to downvote based on disagreement or emotional reaction. It works when you have a few thousand users, but it will fall apart when you have hundreds of thousands or millions of users. So to the people saying that downvoting because of disagreement is against the rules, that's all good and well but how do you enforce that? And when snapzu grows and has tens/hundreds of thousands of users, how do you police people's downvoting?

    And the person who cited the Boston bombing, the Sunil chaos was not caused by the voices of reason being downvoted. The problem lies more with the fact that people disagreed with the voices of reason, but they would have done so whether there was a downvote button or not. It's complex, and I'm not going to sit here and blame it on one thing or another, but that was people being people. Reddit was just the platform and it would have happened even if the downvote button didn't exist. And another thing that didn't help was the media picking it up and adding weight to it. Reddit is just a platform for a bunch of people to express themselves, it can't really be expected to provide truthful or accurate information, whereas the media should, because the purpose of the media, ideally, should be to disseminate truthful and accurate information.

    To people saying that downvotes are bad because they push content down so its harder to see: downvotes just add a little more heft to your voting. But if there are, say, 1000 posts, they have to be sorted in some kind of order. Something has to be in the 1000th spot, and the 999th, and the 1st etc. Provided you don't hide posts with a certain number of downvotes, downvoting won't "hide" content from the users. Whoever thinks that the 1000th post won't be seen because it has been downvoted out of sight... there will still be a 1000th post with just the upvotes/neutral voting system. So you're still pushing some things to the top and in the process, albeit more passively, pushing other things down. I honestly do think that people here have a strange view of downvotes; people tie so much negativity to it, they're upset when they get downvoted. If people were complaining because they felt like their point was valid yet they'd received -50 points, I'd be sympathetic and...

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    • folkrav
      +13

      1. UPVOTE : Express agreement and put relevant content up-front.
      2. IGNORE (Do nothing): Disagreement. Let the content "sit" where it is.
      3. DOWNVOTE : Bury unrelevant content.

      That's it. Honestly, I feel like Snapzu's prior users simply are too polite to tell us to just freaking adapt to their local culture. That's how this website works, it's not really up to us to change it. Jesus Christ, what is so hard to understand? We, Reddit shipjumpers, have to get accustomed to the local rules, not bend them around our will...

      To people saying that downvotes are bad because they push content down so its harder to see: downvotes just add a little more heft to your voting. But if there are, say, 1000 posts, they have to be sorted in some kind of order. Something has to be in the 1000th spot, and the 999th, and the 1st etc. Provided you don't hide posts with a certain number of downvotes, downvoting won't "hide" content from the users. Whoever thinks that the 1000th post won't be seen because it has been downvoted out of sight... there will still be a 1000th post with just the upvotes/neutral voting system. So you're still pushing some things to the top and in the process, albeit more passively, pushing other things down.

      Not really. The idea is that content that we don't agree with shouldn't be pushed down, simple left where it is. It's not up to someone who doesn't agree with the idea we have to make it unseen. A comment with enough downvotes will be hidden from sight - completely. A comment nobody agrees with will be down there, but still accessible. It's a subtle difference, yes, but there is one.

      I honestly do think that people here have a strange view of downvotes; people tie so much negativity to it, they're upset when they get downvoted. If people were complaining because they felt like their point was valid yet they'd received -50 points, I'd be sympathetic and I think it would warrant investigation. If people were complaining because people were really abusing the downvotes (i.e. going through a users profile and downvoting all of their content out of spite, or multiple users banding together to gang up on a person and supress their opinion by downvoting, downvoting because of the user instead of the content etc.) it would warrant investigation. But so many people complain about one downvote! I think that reflects immaturity and I think that's different from what people in this thread are defending. I think that those people complaining about a single downvote aren't doing so out of fear of snapzu turning into reddit, it's something more akin to vanity, at least in some cases.

      People aren't complaining particularly about those single downvotes. They don't fear for their own reputation, neither do they show "vanity" because of it... People are complaining because of the slow culture shift that could happen if this goes unnoticed and unaddressed for too long. Snapzu is older than our arrival - circa 2012, I believe? It has its own identity and way of working. I definitely aren't here to change that, as this way of working was what brought me here in the first place.

      And if there's a rule that says not to downvote just because you disagree, then why isn't there a rule that says not to upvote just because you agree? Why should people's reasons for downvoting be questioned any more than their reasons for upvoting? Nobody seems to be worried that they got upvoted solely because their opinion is a popular one, rather than...

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      • ofest
        +6

        I feel like Snapzu's prior users simply are too polite to tell us to just freaking adapt to their local culture. That's how this website works, it's not really up to us to change it. Jesus Christ, what is so hard to understand?

        I came here from Reddit because of this culture. I don't want to see that change. OP, you have a choice:

        1. Adapt to Snapzu culture

        2. Use Voat

        3. Stick with Reddit

        It's okay that you asked the original question, but after your edit/round 2, even I downvoted your post (congratulations...you received my first downvote). Why? You weren't really asking a question and taking in the answers. You were beating people over the head with how it should be. Borderline trolling.

      • Amulet (edited 3 years ago)
        +4

        lustig: if there's a rule that says not to downvote just because you disagree, then why isn't there a rule that says not to upvote just because you agree?

        folkrav: It's been explained more times than it should have been.

        I think here's the core issue with the current voting mechanism: it conflates subjective and objective votes, and incorrectly presents up and down voting as equal but opposite actions. It has to be continually explained to newcomers because the UI isn't aligned with the etiquette, and thus newcomers don't intuitively know how to use it.

        There are actually 4 kinds of voting reactions one might have:

        1. Subjective positive: I agree with this, yay interesting.

        2. Subjective negative: I disagree, what a load of crap.

        3. Objective positive: This content is of high quality: well-written, many source links, covers the topic in all relevant areas, etc.

        4. Objective negative: Spam, harassment, other TOS violation.

        However, since we aren't robots, it's usually difficult to separate the subjective and objective reactions, so an up vote actually means 1+3, and a Snapzu down vote is intended only for 4. Currently there is no way to express 2 except by commenting.

        If you ask me, it would be sufficient to address the issue simply by changing the UI. The voting & reputation system itself seems fine. I wonder, though, if it would make sense to have an additional, separate button for the "disagree" vote that wouldn't actually affect the sorting of the snap or the submitter's reputation, just to give people a way to easily express their opinion?

    • picklefingers
      +8

      A bit of a preamble, you should know that next to none of us think that the upvote-downvote system here is perfect. Head over to /t/ideasforsnapzu where everybody is suggesting things and giving opinions like these on how to improve the site. There have been countless suggestions on the voting system and there are a lot of functions currently being worked on. This isn't the final version of the voting system. Snapzu is a young and evolving site. Some of the features that exist on reddit are there after years and years of the site being alive. Snapzu is only a couple years old.

      These things take time. However, the solution is definitely not to just give up and let it happen. You keep referencing some inevitable future point of the site that is impossible to fight as if that's a fact. Truth is, no site is the same and just because it happened on reddit doesn't mean it will happen on every other content aggregator. Snapzu isn't reddit. Reddit isn't snapzu. Snapzu isn't voat or hubski or meneame or panjurry or whatever content aggregator has been advertised around reddit the past month. Snapzu is just snapzu. It has it's own destiny. While some things are truly inevitable, we don't know what. Websites aren't a science. Just accepting the toxic aspects of a different website and just saying "let it happen" is akin to just asking for the site to become toxic itself.

      Now, I'll tackle your post concept to concept

      Hive mind

      Here is the thing, yes you are giving an accurate description of a hive mind, but you aren't giving the whole picture. Yes, a site-wide hive mind is an extremely effective method of content aggregation. You can have certain opinions up and down at a powerful level with mass agreement. However, what this picture doesn't paint is the quality of these submissions. The reason why large subreddits are such terrible places for quality content is because of the hive mind. Nobody cares about quality on these subs so nobody upvotes based on quality. They upvote based on "I agree vs I disagree". This is why on top threads on /r/askreddit, when the post isn't tagged as serious, it is always some pun or joke, or super-agreeable comment. They were just the first person there and their content rose to the top, even though later users have higher quality posts, they are buried under the hive mind.

      Taking the higher quality subreddits into mind, like /r/askscience and /r/askhistorians, these subs are only their level of quality because of two things:

      1)A community with quality over agreeability in mind

      2)Extremely active moderation team.

      If the community didn't agree with the moderator's principles, then the moderator's jobs would be absolutely impossible. While the moderation team at those subs are spectacular, the community and their principles are also a driving force.

      Taking the smaller subs into account, you are right in that these tend to be higher quality subreddits, but they tend to be so for different reasons than just the hivemind. Hiveminds aren't things that start to happen at extremely large sizes. Subreddits/tribes can have hiveminds at extremely small sizes. The reason why quality tends to be higher in these subs is usually just because of reddit's karma system. It's extremely hard to game smaller subs for karma. For one, you are never going to gain a massive amount of karma from a small sub, so legitimate gamers only stay in the large subs where they can take advantage of the system there. Also, when you ...

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    • Aaron215
      +6

      "So to the people saying that downvoting because of disagreement is against the rules, that's all good and well but how do you enforce that? And when snapzu grows and has tens/hundreds of thousands of users, how do you police people's downvoting?"

      You enforce it by assimilating newcomers into your community. At the beginning it is very important to establish culture, and as it grows you have to exponentially increase that effort. When a community grows rapidly, the newcomers outnumber the established folks and sometimes will even out-participate them. As a single newcomer on a forum like this one, you see the actions of everyone around you in the form of those little numbers next to their names, so if you see 50 downvotes on a comment that doesn't break the rules, but seems like what you'd consider an unpopular but at least potentially a reasoned argument, you assume that downvotes are for things that you disagree with. Most people aren't going to read the rules, so if the established community believes strongly that downvotes should be used as intended, they need to push hard to make sure the downvote's purpose is known to the new users.

      So can it be legitimately enforced? Not easily unless you want to assume you know what the person who downvoted was thinking when they clicked the button. But can it be socially enforced, to an extent? Yes. By leading by example when growth is not rapid, and by calling special attention to it when growth is rapid. There will come a point when that is not enough either, and that will require UI changes that have been suggested in this thread: moving the downvote button, changing the graphic, and including a dropdown box for you to give a reason for every downvote (which will make very clear that if you don't have one of those reasons, then there shouldn't be a downvote given).

    • Xeno
      +4

      I think others have addressed part 2 well, but just some feedback for you:

      I appreciate your change of tone, the original post was more rant-like and I found the latter portion to be more productive.

  • racerxonclar
    +5

    I think both sides have a valid point. It's good to avoid the pitfalls of Reddit...but there will be growing pains as well. I think a good change would be to require people to give a reason on the downvote. If you click on the little box of upvotes and downvotes, as the submitter, it brings up a box that is supposed to say why the downvotes happened, but there never seems to be a reason specified.

    Addressing that...so there has to be something picked (avoiding having an "other" option if possible) would be a nice way to push the button away from the "I disagree" issue. It shows the purpose of the button right off the bat. And it's something I'd appreciate. If people think my post was formatted badly, or there's a broken link, or it's even a repost... it'd be very simple to see that from that section rather than people having to comment.

  • trails
    +4

    I simply find it interesting that post voting can occur directly from the top level of the site without ever having to drill down to the snap itself, let alone the linked content. It allows for snap (pun slightly intended) judgments to be made around titles and descriptions, which really seems to cater to an emotional response. The research geek in me would love to see an analysis of how often such votes (up or down) occur without ever traversing the actual snap.

  • ColonBowel
    +4

    I don't agree with your statement, but I think I makes for a great discussion. So, I upvoted it.

    • frohawk
      +2

      Same here! It made for some good discussion and really gave another chance to solidify how the down-vote button should be used here.

  • zaywolfe (edited 3 years ago)
    +4

    I don't like an Up/Downvote system because of the possibility for abuse, and because it's fundamentally misleading. If you take two competing ideas posted as comments, 'A' and 'B', and pit them against each other in both systems how might it look?

    Like system

    A = +1000
    B = +10

    Up/Downvote system

    A = +1000
    B = -910

    So which one shows the most important information? With the Like system, you can see idea A has 1000 supporters while idea B has 10 supporters. With the Up/Downvote system, information is drowned out by supporters of idea A. How many supporters are there of idea B? You don't know because the number is hidden by the downvotes of a competing idea. Also, along with this information being hidden I think this is also hurts discussion because it encourages users to succumb to peer pressure. A user who might normally agree with idea B may side with idea A because it doesn't look like idea B has any supporters.

    • FallenWalnut (edited 3 years ago)
      +3

      You over simplifying the situation.

      Under any system that allows a hive mind to decide on the content, certain ideas will proliferate across it.

      Like system

      A = +1000

      A = +600

      A = +500

      A = +200

      B = +10

      It also allows for abuse of the system, where a vocal minority can manipulate the content to push their agenda. Take /r/SRS (non-redditors this is a sub-reddit that targets comments and posts that goes against their opinions and downvotes them). Applying the same concept but with "like" you could easily push your ideologies to the top.

      The way the admins are handling it is by far the best approach. They are moderating the effect of the downvotes by the frequency of downvotes by the user. That way people who do abuse it, and downvote any opinions that they disagree with, won't make much effect.

    • GreatMightyPoo
      +2

      I agree and instead of downvote have a report button. If the downvote button is to remove content that adds nothing to the discussion then those comments should probably be removed anyway. People are less likely to report posts if someone else has to read them (the mods) and sees who did the reporting. Therefore it would only be used when a post does have to be removed.

      • Kalysta
        +1

        I don't like the term "report" for the button. I see that and think the person has posted something threatening or racist and so it's alerting the admin/mods about the behavior. The only downvote I remember giving was for a comment that was only 'Murica! There's nothing threatening or racist about it, but I find that a waste of a post, plus I find the term terrible, being used to dismiss a population of Americans who, while I disagree with them, may have a good point about the constitution if you bother to listen to them. But is it worthy of a mod's attention if i "report"ed it?

        Maybe the tags should be changed to something like "Well Said!" vs "Poorly Written" or something like that.

      • remez
        +1

        Are the posts in question removed immediately or after admin review? Both ways could be problematic:

        - Immediate removal gets rid of unpopular opinions quickly. Even if the removed posts / comments are reinstated later by admins, chance is the discussion is already over.

        - Moderation queue has the same problem in reverse: bad content isn't removed fast enough, and site users are still subjected to it.