The ability to up- and downvote posts and comments is useful but the score should not be displayed to the users and you shouldn’t be able to enable it even if you wanted to. This means both, posts made by you as well as by others.

Nobody wants to see their messages get downvoted. This is bad for our mental health as individuals but especially as a group. It’s like walking up to a person on the street, saying “I don’t like you” and then moving on. You’re free to not like (downvote) someone but they don’t need to hear it. If you really want them to know then write a message and explain yourself.

Upvotes on the other hand skews the reality and encourages groupthink. People say what is popular even if they don’t fully buy it themselves and conversely refrain from saying things they truly believe because they then dont get the upvotes and get downvoted instead.

Seeing the scores also primes the reader. When something is heavily upvoted for example you assume it to be true/good instead of using your own judgement to decide.

  • @Donut
    93 months ago

    I wholeheartedly agree. When you have an upvote/downvote structure, there is an incentive to not go against the grain and just post stuff that’s considered “acceptable” in the local community.

    Not everyone treats the votes the same way as well. Some people downvote because they don’t agree with the content, the poster, just because they sound disagreeable or simply because the post is too much to read. You can apply the same myriad of methods to upvotes. Not one motivator is the same.

    If we’d ditch showing the numbers and just have them work under the hood, discussions might start looking a lot more genuine.