Upvote/downvote amounts

by gwillen1 min read27th Jan 201811 comments


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In light of the variable voting powers that the new karma system has, I keep finding myself wanting to be able to vote less than my "full power" on a comment.

But in particular, the thing I think I always want in practice is to be able to downvote less than that. Downvoting a comment by 4 feels like a huge slap in the face, especially if the comment already has 4 or fewer points. I think the default downvote weight should probably be 1, or n/2, or something less than the default upvote weight. Upvoting is a positive community interaction, and downvoting, while necessary, is sort of a necessary evil at best.

I'm not sure whether I'd argue in favor of going further to actually enable choosing the amount for up/down votes, or just down-weighting downvoting.

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Yep, we have a plan for this, modeled after what Medium currently does with clapping.

Please tell me you won’t actually require multiple clicks to exercise full voting power!

That is indeed the straightforward interpretation :-) It has the excellent value of making maximum upvoting a costly signal, and significantly increases the information value of a post or comment's karma score. This is true for both users with low or high maximum karma.

But why?

Isn’t vote weight already a measure of ‘trust’ or something? What, then, does it mean if I see that a comment has (say) a score of 12? Aren’t you further increasing the separation between the number, as perceived as a snap judgment by the user, and… any of that number’s causes? Why do this?

How would this increase the separation between the number and "any of that number's causes"? It seems to me that it would weaken the connection to the karma scores of voters, and strengthen (from the current level of zero) the connection to how strongly voters feel. Maybe that's good, maybe it's bad, but it certainly isn't just a matter of weakening connections.

If as a LW2.0 user I'm not a member of the Sunshine Regiment, but I have a suggestion I think will improve the site in terms of what community goals and tactics to incentivize them on the site are, how would it be preferred I do that? Make a post in Meta, or send a comment to a member of Sunshine Regiment privately?

I think post in Meta is fine.

My suggestion is to show up-votes and down-votes separately. Naturally the post that gets no votes at all and post that gets 50 downvotes and 50 upvotes are of different significance and that should be visible.

This is indeed a valuable feature, and old-LW has something like it (it displays sum-of-votes and %positive, which is almost the same information but I think strictly worse than just displaying total-up and total-down). I would be surprised if it weren't in the LW2 roadmap.

I would be surprised if it where, given the censorship state currently this site is in.

I think you overstate how censor-y the site is. And I am not at all convinced that making up/down votes separately visible does anything to make censors' lives easier, so even conditional on your being right about that I don't see why we should expect not to get up/down separation at some point.