Disqus Downvotes The Downvote

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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16 Responses

  1. veronica dire says:

    I wonder why these folks consider femininity an undesirable trait.Report

  2. zic says:

    Moderating is required. Free-for-all’s always bring out a thread of herd-mentality meanness and disrespect.

    Particularly for anything even loosely considered feminine, unless it’s on sexual display in socially accepted hot-girl ways.Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to zic says:

      Having watched Slashdot pretty much from the beginning, and then other sites that attempt up- and down-rating of comments, I am convinced that allowing anonymous users to rate is doomed to be a disaster. Slashdot’s meta-moderation of ratings appears to keep the worst of the trolls from getting mod points, so it’s at least feasible that the community can keep the rating system honest. But you have to have users register so that you can track things.Report

  3. Glyph says:

    AVClub coment boards (which switched to Disqus, and then NuDisqus, and have never been fully the same IMO) turned off downvotes only.

    I didn’t really ever care for downvoting in the first place, but the way it was implemented was even worse. You could hover over upvotes and see the upvoters’ names (though of course many were still anonymous guests, because guests could upvote without logging in).

    But downvoters’ names were not viewable (though they were at least limited to logged in people).

    This inconsistency took a bad idea and made it worse.

    They for a while did have a mystery downvoter, who would apply a downvote to every…single…comment, which was at first annoying, and then sort of hilarious. You couldn’t really take it personally, in fact if you didn’t get a downvote you felt sort of left out.

    I half-suspect he was a driver of the change, so kudos to you, Mr. “I’m Against It”.Report

  4. Pinky says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. I’ve wasted enough time on blogs to have seen sites rise and fall, and to my mind falling is synonymous with the disappearance of civil discourse. Does that happen more often with up and down voting? I don’t know. I’ve seen three things happen to end a site: bad moderation, the departure of the core of good posters and commenters, and a takeover by a faction. Of those, I think only the middle one could be affected by downvoting. With the first and last, it’s not the comments that consist of “+” or “-” that are the problem; it’s the erroneous, boring, and/or abusive ones.Report

  5. LeeEsq says:

    I’m not a fan of up voting or down voting. What I find is that such systems are usually used to enforce the orthodoxy of a particular site. Anything that contradicts a site’s orthodoxy is down voted regardless of its trollish or not. Things that are in-line with orthodoxy get up voted. Its not a way to sustain conversation.Report

  6. Saul DeGraw says:

    I am all for getting rid of the downvote. It always seemed like either a tool for trolling or enforcing a site orthodoxy that would break out and go against the slightest dissent.

    I don’t see how getting rid of downvoting is feminizing though.

    That being said, I don’t get trolling or creating sock puppets and I think trolling existed long before the internet. I ran an election for the Board of Directors of a non-profit radio station. This radio station was pretty far to the left and there were already factional splits at the radio station (this made my job oh so much fun.) One of my responsibilities was to moderate on-air debates between the candidates and talk about the election on the air. There was one guy, he sounded like a very old school New Yorker, working class and probably white ethnic, he would always call the radio station (at any call in opportunity) and scream “Go Back to Cuba” “Go Back to Cuba.” I felt sorry and perplexed for the guy. How much do you really have to hate the left to spend your time doing this. The radio station had no money and no political power. They currently have even less money and less political power and relevance. The heyday of the station was in the 1960s counter culture.

    A while ago there was a story on TAL about small town slander happening on-line. It turns out in the story, the slanderer was just one woman who created five or six different accounts to bash this one guy on a small-town discussion board. That is a lot of effort. There are some people I dislike but not to that extent.Report

  7. greginak says:

    Since i almost never look at how many up or down votes a comment has, i can’t say they matter much to me. They woudl;nt be any loss. I don’t think they serve much purpose since an up or down thumb really doesn’t tell you much. If some one is to lazy to even just do a “+1” comment, let alone actually write a few coherent sentences, then i’m not sure why i should care much about what they have to say.Report

  8. Tod Kelly says:

    “Warner Todd Huston, on the other hand, thinks this is an example of “feminizing America.”

    Yeah, there’s nothing like a white dude explaining to everyone that lack of mental and emotional strength is “feminine.”

    I was sure when I Googled him he was going to be a NRO editor. How very awesome to discover he is in fact a motivational speaker. I would pay $100 to see him attempt to “motivate” my sister in front of an audience.Report

  9. Brian Murphy says:


  10. Alex says:

    I kinda of agree with Huston’s main point, but the way he expresses it comes across as pretty sexist.Report

  11. Road Scholar says:

    I think it’s interesting how the upvotes and downvotes get used asymmetrically. I typically see upvotes being used to mean “that was a good/important point” or “that was expressed very well” more than just “I agree”. Downvotes pretty much exclusively mean “I disagree”, which isn’t particularly interesting in and of itself. Tell me WHY you disagree and then at least we’re starting to have a conversation.Report

  12. Damon says:

    I’m generally in favor of as much “freedom” as possible so, in general, i’m opposed to removing down votes, and only am willing to accept moderation for the most extreme comments. That being said, this in the op caught my attention:

    “This has a discouraging effect on (ideological) minority voices, which exacerbates echo chambers…. “Truthfully, the fact that people seem to agree more with “Republicans are soo stupid” guy and feel the need to downvote me is more discouraging than the comment itself, which I can dismiss as a crank. Except I can’t when his view is apparently more popular than mine.”

    Yeah, and these are people that likely vote! That’s the scary scenario.Report

  13. Jim Heffman says:

    Shades of the Digg Bury Brigade.Report