59 votes

Daily Tildes discussion - what do we need to change to make comment tags reasonable to re-enable?

There are already a couple of (great) discussions going on related to comment tags, from different directions:

As I mentioned in a comment in the top one, I've disabled the ability to add/remove comment tags for now. They didn't have any actual, non-cosmetic functionality yet anyway, and they're being misused (not severely, but a bit) for various reasons and in various ways.

Obviously we can have lots of larger discussions about how to revamp the comment-tagging system significantly to make it better (and link it into the trust system and such, once that actually exists), but I'd like to try to talk about something more focused in this thread for the sake of expediency: are there any simple, minimal things that we could do to make comment-tagging "useful enough" to turn back on soon?

For example, maybe it would be enough for now to just drop or add some of the options, or make the comment tags non-anonymous so that we can see who added particular tags. I'm not saying we definitely should do those, because it very well might go wrong in other ways, but those are the types of ideas I'd like to talk about—relatively quick solutions that might address some of the misuse.

87 comments

  1. [11]
    ian Link
    I liked the idea in one of the other threads of keeping it invisible until it reaches a certain threshold. Or the idea of making them only used for sorting. So far I've seen them used as a...

    I liked the idea in one of the other threads of keeping it invisible until it reaches a certain threshold.

    Or the idea of making them only used for sorting.

    So far I've seen them used as a "dislike or disagree" statement, which I'm very much not a fan of!

    Making them a little less visible may help also.

    39 votes
    1. [2]
      guamisc Link Parent
      Until there is some sort of weight applied via a trust system, I do think there needs to be some threshold before it shows up. That way you cannot get one user ruining the conversation for...

      Until there is some sort of weight applied via a trust system, I do think there needs to be some threshold before it shows up. That way you cannot get one user ruining the conversation for everyone because nobody will be any wiser about it (except the admins).

      19 votes
      1. ruspaceni Link Parent
        This would also free people up to actually rate comments honestly instead of avoiding tagging a comment because, while it crosses a line for you, you dont wanna make a scene of it and ruin the...

        This would also free people up to actually rate comments honestly instead of avoiding tagging a comment because, while it crosses a line for you, you dont wanna make a scene of it and ruin the thread. Not sure if that's a good or a bad thing though.

        8 votes
    2. [3]
      Amarok Link Parent
      I'm on board with this as well. It's not solving the problem, but it does fuzz it away enough that a few individuals can't mess it up. It'll take larger numbers of people to make the tag 'stick'...

      I'm on board with this as well. It's not solving the problem, but it does fuzz it away enough that a few individuals can't mess it up. It'll take larger numbers of people to make the tag 'stick' to the post. We can even adjust that number up or down based on the size of the community.

      Obviously we'd need those users to still see the tags they've added, but not show them to everyone else. I'd also lose the fancy colors and go back to a more text-based style like we have on the submission tags. We should have another discussion about what tags we want to see. We're using the same rudimentary kinds of tags everyone has historically used, but several interesting ideas have popped up about other kinds of tags.

      10 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. cfabbro Link Parent
          That sounds like a remarkably effective bad-faith user honeypot to me. ;)

          Furthermore, whatever number you put it at, it will just motivate the bad actors to become more organized and further game the system.

          That sounds like a remarkably effective bad-faith user honeypot to me. ;)

          1 vote
      2. abbenm Link Parent
        LIke Feureau, I actually think it's still going to get abused this way (granted, you are acknowledging this, so I may just be agreeing with you here). People will know that if they tag someone,...

        LIke Feureau, I actually think it's still going to get abused this way (granted, you are acknowledging this, so I may just be agreeing with you here). People will know that if they tag someone, their preferred tag may show up eventually, and over time people will get a feel for which tags to use for scolding people, and in the long term I don't think it's really an impediment to organized mobs.

        I think some kind of trust system may be more difficult to game, but that also would depend on the details, of course. But in the meantime, I think you are definitely right that it fuzzes away the problem and that's definitely progress.

    3. Administrator Link Parent
      I think the invisible option is probably the best bet. The second that "Noise" or "Flame" becomes the majority of tags, people are just going to keep hitting the same tag. You see the same thing...

      I think the invisible option is probably the best bet. The second that "Noise" or "Flame" becomes the majority of tags, people are just going to keep hitting the same tag. You see the same thing with downvotes where people just pile on until the comment entirely disappears.

      3 votes
    4. plausiblelizard Link Parent
      Is having a dislike/disagree tag terrible in and of itself, if no site behaviors like hiding or pushing down comments hinge on it?

      Is having a dislike/disagree tag terrible in and of itself, if no site behaviors like hiding or pushing down comments hinge on it?

      3 votes
    5. abbenm Link Parent
      I think keeping them invisible definitely helps, but people will still know enough to tag someone in the hopes it eventually becomes visible. And I think even if tags are only used for sorting,...

      I think keeping them invisible definitely helps, but people will still know enough to tag someone in the hopes it eventually becomes visible.

      And I think even if tags are only used for sorting, when you see them immediately above a comment they are already serving the purpose of a downvote on them. Unless you are suggesting that tags aren't visible next to the comment, but are instead used for sorting in the "comments sorted by..." box in the top right corner, which would be interesting.

      1 vote
    6. joelthelion Link Parent
      I think we need a way for people to voice disagreement. When people write inane or incorrect comments, they need to know about it. Also, past a certain threshold, we should stop wasting the...

      So far I've seen them used as a "dislike or disagree" statement, which I'm very much not a fan of!

      I think we need a way for people to voice disagreement. When people write inane or incorrect comments, they need to know about it. Also, past a certain threshold, we should stop wasting the community's time on these comments.

      Of course, there is high potential for abuse, so it should be well thought out and tightly controlled. But I don't think this means it shouldn't exist.

    7. nothis Link Parent
      I'd too like to see some way to "punish" comments that receive "troll"/"noise"/"flame" tags. Negative tags can essentially be downvotes with the subtle barrier of having to settle on a reason...

      Or the idea of making them only used for sorting.

      I'd too like to see some way to "punish" comments that receive "troll"/"noise"/"flame" tags. Negative tags can essentially be downvotes with the subtle barrier of having to settle on a reason other than "disagreement". In fact, positive tags could do the same and pretty much replace "upvotes", even.

      I just found them to be way too "loud" in the UI so far. They could as well be hidden.

  2. [15]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [5]
      Parliament Link Parent
      If nothing else, I’d love to give positive-only tags a go for a couple weeks. Just to compare with the effects of negative-only tags. I also felt that some of the old tags had too much overlap anyway.

      If nothing else, I’d love to give positive-only tags a go for a couple weeks. Just to compare with the effects of negative-only tags. I also felt that some of the old tags had too much overlap anyway.

      19 votes
      1. [5]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [4]
          tildesatwindmills Link Parent
          Negative tags could be invisible to all but moderators and administrators, helping with the moderation process. I'm all for positive only tags being visible to us regular users.

          Negative tags could be invisible to all but moderators and administrators, helping with the moderation process.

          I'm all for positive only tags being visible to us regular users.

          11 votes
          1. [3]
            PogChamp (edited ) Link Parent
            Conversely the existence of tags impacts how people treat other comments. If the tag system is founded on giving negative feedback then just by existing it defines how users interact with other...

            Conversely the existence of tags impacts how people treat other comments. If the tag system is founded on giving negative feedback then just by existing it defines how users interact with other users' comments. Even if it's not visible, it still fosters and encourages behavior that is negatively slanted.

            My first and only comment that I left on this site up until now was twice flagged with Noise. From the point of view of the users that flagged it as such it was probably fair. It was definitely a throwaway comment, meant as a conversation starter, however admittedly weak. Perhaps it was noise.

            What one user might consider to be noise might not be noise to another. What matters is that those tags shape social interaction, and as they were negatively worded lead to negative experience. If a comment lacks substance it simply doesn't garner votes. Leave it at that.

            I'd be willing to bet that the presence of a negative outlet, even something as simple as a report button in the comments section, as user Feaureau mentioned below, would lead to users using that feature to submit negative feedback according to their own personal standards.

            Whether they are in the right or not isn't important. It's that the site prompts the user to act negatively.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              abbenm Link Parent
              There are certain kinds of good comments I would want tagged for positive attributes. There's a subreddit called /r/threadkillers, with massive evidence-bomb type comments that give massive,...

              If the tag system is founded on giving negative feedback then just by existing it defines how users interact with other users' comments. Even if it's not visible, it still fosters and encourages behavior that is negatively slanted.

              There are certain kinds of good comments I would want tagged for positive attributes. There's a subreddit called /r/threadkillers, with massive evidence-bomb type comments that give massive, comprehensive overviews of a subject. I love those comments, and want to see them.

              1. PogChamp (edited ) Link Parent
                I think a positively worded tagging system would be great, but have also seen examples of even positive tag systems be abused on the Steam platform. You can rate reviews as helpful, not helpful...

                I think a positively worded tagging system would be great, but have also seen examples of even positive tag systems be abused on the Steam platform. You can rate reviews as helpful, not helpful and funny. Whenever somebody disagrees with your review (typically fans of the game who take it upon themselves to champion the cause of their favorite game) they leave a combined not helpful and funny rating to push your review down.

                The 'funny' rating tag was meant to help filter out posts like this meme review so that more seriously worded reviews wouldn't have to compete with comedy 'reviews' meant to garner laughs.

                One thing I did like about reddit was the ability to add subreddit specific flairs and tags to users and posts. It isn't a perfect system and it does require the end user to set up and use RES sometimes, but it does have a legitimate purpose. It would be cool if tildes could expand on that system and better integrate it into the site experience.

                1 vote
    2. [2]
      ian (edited ) Link Parent
      I'm curious, what forum is this? Also, in one of the other threads they were talking about communities finding a way to get around these barriers to express negativity, like (apparently)...

      I'm curious, what forum is this?

      Also, in one of the other threads they were talking about communities finding a way to get around these barriers to express negativity, like (apparently) re-tweeting. Does that not happen in your subscriber forum?
      I would think also that money being required as a barrier to entry would deter people more from acting outside of the communities guidelines!

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. DonQuixote Link Parent
          That would be the Fight Club community I imagine. :) [Noise]

          One of the rules of the community is to not talk about it.

          That would be the Fight Club community I imagine. :) [Noise]

    3. [4]
      Amarok Link Parent
      This sounds like The Well. I imagine they could teach us a thing or twelve about moderation. They require you pay to subscribe, and to register using your own name which, I think, is the ultimate...

      This sounds like The Well. I imagine they could teach us a thing or twelve about moderation. They require you pay to subscribe, and to register using your own name which, I think, is the ultimate dis-incentive towards bad behavior... but not so great for privacy.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        Axord Link Parent
        I think that only works if your social/professional circles strongly disapprove of that behavior, are paying attention to that particular forum, and you care about that judgment. The combination...

        the ultimate dis-incentive towards bad behavior

        I think that only works if your social/professional circles strongly disapprove of that behavior, are paying attention to that particular forum, and you care about that judgment.

        The combination of paid forum membership plus a high degree of professional usefulness plus vigilant moderation does strike me as being more consistently effective.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. Axord Link Parent
            Oh, definitely understood. I just got interested in the abstract framework of the question, detached from any actually-existing examples. I don't know that I agree with that. Certainly, people...

            and my original post was not to say that Tildes should try to mimic my other forum.

            Oh, definitely understood. I just got interested in the abstract framework of the question, detached from any actually-existing examples.

            There's never a reason to go really negative.

            I don't know that I agree with that. Certainly, people tend to quite frequently feel that there are reasons to do so, otherwise they would not. That forum operators universally need to artificially create strong incentives to not go negative simply to achieve something approaching a neutral tone suggests the reasons lie in our human psychology.

            I might agree though that going deeply negative very rarely accomplishes the conscious external goals of the attacker.

      2. merick Link Parent
        Honestly, that takes away from the whole experience. Part of the fun is talking to complete strangers who you have zero knowledge about and being able to talk freely without being identified....

        register using your own name

        Honestly, that takes away from the whole experience. Part of the fun is talking to complete strangers who you have zero knowledge about and being able to talk freely without being identified. Adding IRL identification would just turn it into Facebook and we know how great that place is lol

    4. [2]
      AirStryke Link Parent
      Positive only tags seems like a good idea, but I worry that it still could be used improperly, maybe even in worse ways than negative tags. For example, a "Funny" tag might be good to sort out the...

      Positive only tags seems like a good idea, but I worry that it still could be used improperly, maybe even in worse ways than negative tags. For example, a "Funny" tag might be good to sort out the humorous, but still quality, comments from serious ones. But then when someone shares a serious opinion and it gets that tag, it becomes negative. You'd have to be very careful to ensure that the tags can't be taken out of context if you're going down that route.

      4 votes
      1. SleepyGary Link Parent
        Yea reminds me of Rocket League or Dota where the chat wheel has only neutral or positive messages so people use them sarcastically. E.g., "Nice shot!" when you completely whiff it on a goal shot....

        Yea reminds me of Rocket League or Dota where the chat wheel has only neutral or positive messages so people use them sarcastically. E.g., "Nice shot!" when you completely whiff it on a goal shot.

        I know when I've be debating something on Facebook and my friends crazy conspiracy theorist cousin chimes in with something completely out to lunch I usually just respond with a laughing emoji and disengage because there is no debating with that.

        1 vote
    5. evans Link Parent
      Just wanted to chime in and agree with this as well. I've always liked the /. approach; comments are tagged as funny/insightful/interesting. There's no need to curate negative tagging if there are...

      Just wanted to chime in and agree with this as well. I've always liked the /. approach; comments are tagged as funny/insightful/interesting. There's no need to curate negative tagging if there are no negative tags.

      1 vote
  3. [8]
    arghdos (edited ) Link
    I think the quickest way to make the tags useful would be to simply change the color gradient / alpha based on the number of times the tag has been applied: If 1--4 people think a comment is...

    I think the quickest way to make the tags useful would be to simply change the color gradient / alpha based on the number of times the tag has been applied: If 1--4 people think a comment is noise, that's not so useful. If 5--10 people think it's noise, well maybe I want to see that, etc. This wouldn't fix the problem so much as mask it while allowing some use to be gleaned from the tags

    I'd also like to experiment with positive tags, I think that could be interesting.

    Short of that I don't know that they'll be useful until we get a way to hold people accountable for their misuse (e.g., change-log + mod/power-user review of tags)

    13 votes
    1. [4]
      Petril Link Parent
      Nice. Perhaps a color gradient for each type? Ex: Noise is always gold/ flame is always red, but it gets darker the more people tag the content? I'm not a programmer, so I have no idea how...

      Nice. Perhaps a color gradient for each type? Ex: Noise is always gold/ flame is always red, but it gets darker the more people tag the content?

      I'm not a programmer, so I have no idea how difficult that is.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        arghdos Link Parent
        Exactly

        Exactly

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Petril Link Parent
          Oh... someone (read: me) didn't know what alpha means. Sorry!

          Oh... someone (read: me) didn't know what alpha means. Sorry!

          4 votes
          1. arghdos Link Parent
            Heh, it's on me too! Shoulda been more specific for non graphics-programmer types out there!

            Heh, it's on me too! Shoulda been more specific for non graphics-programmer types out there!

            3 votes
    2. [2]
      crius Link Parent
      I already read this proposition and while visually ahestetic it will not be compliant with the ARIA regulations

      I already read this proposition and while visually ahestetic it will not be compliant with the ARIA regulations

      3 votes
      1. Natanael Link Parent
        Put in visually hidden description field that a screen reader will pick up.

        Put in visually hidden description field that a screen reader will pick up.

        6 votes
    3. Luna Link Parent
      I worry that groups might eventually start brigading and falsely tagging other posts. With the reputation/trust system that may eventually solve itself as abusers could get their tagging...

      I worry that groups might eventually start brigading and falsely tagging other posts. With the reputation/trust system that may eventually solve itself as abusers could get their tagging privileges revoked, but until then, is there a way to protect against drive-by tagging?

      1 vote
  4. CALICO Link
    I'm in favor of the tags, but admit they could use some tweaking. They're quite visible compared to everything else on the page, so they really draw the eye. Desaturating the colors may help with...

    I'm in favor of the tags, but admit they could use some tweaking. They're quite visible compared to everything else on the page, so they really draw the eye. Desaturating the colors may help with that.

    I don't see a fundamental problem with the functional downvote, and unlike some of the folks here I haven't personally seen rampant misuse. Some misapplications, sure. But the tags aid in the democratization of commenting culture on ~. Noise, Off-Topic, & Flame are not positive tags, and therefor for the most part are a psychological deterrent against the kinds of posts that yield those tags. Abuse is a concern, I suppose, so how about implementing the ability to appeal a tag? For example, if I see a comment tagged noise, but I think it in-fact contributes to the discussion, I could click the tag as a ways to contest it.

    Let's say a single tag could be undone by two clicks to "appeal" it. That could act as a barrier against misuse. I know trust & vote weighting have been discussed, so perhaps that could factor in as well. A long-time user with a high-level of trust might have a stronger say in regards to whether a tag is misused compared to a newer or lower-trust user.

    A mechanism to track users who tag frequently compared to voting might be worth considering too, as a ways to find serial abusers. Although I am not a web developer, and don't know if that can be done while maintaining the level of privacy ~ is going for.

    9 votes
  5. [15]
    trazac Link
    I'd like to see the tags returned and the vote button disabled. I've mentioned this in the other threads as well, but I might as well say it here too. A positive tag should be added in the place...

    I'd like to see the tags returned and the vote button disabled. I've mentioned this in the other threads as well, but I might as well say it here too.

    A positive tag should be added in the place of the vote button. I like the tags because they add an extra step of mindfulness that the vote button doesn't have, and I think that's the reason why you originally didn't included a downvote option and opted for the tags instead.

    7 votes
    1. [12]
      Deimos Link Parent
      I'm not necessarily opposed to it, but I don't think it will be much different. Clicking something that's effectively "good comment" on everything isn't really any different than just having a...

      I'm not necessarily opposed to it, but I don't think it will be much different. Clicking something that's effectively "good comment" on everything isn't really any different than just having a vote button.

      18 votes
      1. [8]
        trazac Link Parent
        Yeah, the idea needs work but so does the whole tag system in general. This whole tag situation is a growing pain of Tildes and it's good that we're discussing it. I think being mindful is a big...

        Yeah, the idea needs work but so does the whole tag system in general. This whole tag situation is a growing pain of Tildes and it's good that we're discussing it.

        I think being mindful is a big part of Tildes, and I think the Vote button goes against that ideology. Right now I don't have a great idea for what should replace it. I just think the Vote button should be as big of a discussion as tags are. Tags are overshadowing Vote in discussion and practice, it seems.

        I'm not sure if we'll ever have a concrete answer for what's right but hopefully we'll find something that works and fits Tildes.

        11 votes
        1. [6]
          cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
          My suggestion as a solution to the issues with just a plain, contextless vote mechanic was using a non-binary voting mechanism (inspired by Slashdot) where you would click once on the "vote"...

          My suggestion as a solution to the issues with just a plain, contextless vote mechanic was using a non-binary voting mechanism (inspired by Slashdot) where you would click once on the "vote" button to pop up a radial menu with some contextual vote options, then click on the contextual vote of your choice in the radial to have your vote+tag both applied at the same time, which is then reflected in which colour the vote icon turns into afterwards.

          E.g. https://i.imgur.com/d2cZ2GJ.png

          Given @deimos doesn't want icons, that could easily just be text rather than an up-arrow though. And those four options I chose "Insightful, Informative, Amusing and Heartwarming" were just examples, with the first two being a bit too close in meaning IMO. But I think that system could work as a way to add context to votes so it's not just a binary choice (to vote or not to vote) and since it's only 2 clicks as opposed to 1 it isn't a significant impediment to voting.

          13 votes
          1. [2]
            Kenny Link Parent
            Group-specific ones could be useful too. Like, in design, people providing useful critiques rather than "looks purtty" would be encouraged. If you could add your own tags, "Useful Critique" and...

            Group-specific ones could be useful too. Like, in design, people providing useful critiques rather than "looks purtty" would be encouraged. If you could add your own tags, "Useful Critique" and weight it heavier than others, that could help communities curate their content.

            Also, tie the ability to tag to users' trust/reputation.

            12 votes
            1. Amarok Link Parent
              I think group-specific tags are definitely in the cards - so many use cases, plus all of that experimentation from different communities with different goals would really help explore the space of...

              I think group-specific tags are definitely in the cards - so many use cases, plus all of that experimentation from different communities with different goals would really help explore the space of what's possible. We'll quickly find out what works and what doesn't that way.

              7 votes
          2. [2]
            trazac Link Parent
            I think this is an idea with promise. Perhaps, just like the Demon-God Reddit, we could have a upvote and downvote button that are both two-step instead of one. I'm worried that it would be...

            I think this is an idea with promise.

            Perhaps, just like the Demon-God Reddit, we could have a upvote and downvote button that are both two-step instead of one. I'm worried that it would be confusing, which is a similar worry with the tag button.

            I really like how mindful we'd have to be, and this type of voting option allows for accountability the same way tags will have accountability with the trust system, whenever that is in place.

            2 votes
            1. what Link Parent
              I think the main problem with an explicit downvote button is that it could start being used as an "I disagree" button like on Reddit (which isn't supposed to happen, but it does).

              I think the main problem with an explicit downvote button is that it could start being used as an "I disagree" button like on Reddit (which isn't supposed to happen, but it does).

              3 votes
          3. crius Link Parent
            I'm no expert in english language but I thought that insightful is something that basically made you reflect and think about something while informative is something that just enrich something you...

            I'm no expert in english language but I thought that insightful is something that basically made you reflect and think about something while informative is something that just enrich something you already knew.

            A comment that express a quite different point of view about a topic could be insightful but not informative if it doesn't go to lenght into explaining the "why". If it also go there, well than it's also informative.

            If not else, the fact that you can only choose one over the other is not really a good solution in their system. If you are supposed to choose only one of the fourth option, they should also represent a sort of progression in... something.

            Goddamnit these things are complicated. We will end up having to invent new words I'm telling you!

            2 votes
        2. abbenm Link Parent
          I completely agree with you and think maybe voting should go. Or maybe there should be voting or tags, but not both.

          I just think the Vote button should be as big of a discussion as tags are.

          I completely agree with you and think maybe voting should go. Or maybe there should be voting or tags, but not both.

          3 votes
      2. [4]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [3]
          Gyrfalcon Link Parent
          I don't think the vote button should ever be used for "I agree" I think it is supposed to be more along the lines of "This contributes to the discussion" button.

          I don't think the vote button should ever be used for "I agree"

          I think it is supposed to be more along the lines of "This contributes to the discussion" button.

          6 votes
          1. tvfj Link Parent
            If we're being realistic, it's obvious that no one uses it that way. Votes will always at least partially mean agreement, just like downvotes on Reddit will always mean disagreement. I don't think...

            If we're being realistic, it's obvious that no one uses it that way. Votes will always at least partially mean agreement, just like downvotes on Reddit will always mean disagreement. I don't think we should delude ourselves to the nature of the most basic interaction with the site.

            7 votes
          2. ajar Link Parent
            While I agree (I will vote on a comment that doesn't share my opinion if it forwards the conversation and brings good points, for example), I think some kind of agreement expression is necessary....

            While I agree (I will vote on a comment that doesn't share my opinion if it forwards the conversation and brings good points, for example), I think some kind of agreement expression is necessary. Otherwise people who are not directly participating in the conversation and just agree, would flood the replies with "I agree" comments. Also, as has been mentioned, it will be used like that whatever the rules are, so I guess it's better to go with it and find other ways of making people participate more significantly.

            4 votes
    2. [2]
      Kenny Link Parent
      It would follow in line with other decisions made. It also falls in line with their overall goals of in-depth text conversations. I like the idea of having a curated set of tags. Different weights...

      It would follow in line with other decisions made. It also falls in line with their overall goals of in-depth text conversations.

      I like the idea of having a curated set of tags. Different weights can be established and the hierarchy of comments can be determined by that algorithm. They could be all positive too, as @koan suggested.

      *proceeds to vote @trazac

      4 votes
      1. ajar Link Parent
        I fear giving different weights to tags would overcomplicate things and open a door to malicious behavior (using tags with higher weight even if they're not used appropriately). Also, while only...

        I fear giving different weights to tags would overcomplicate things and open a door to malicious behavior (using tags with higher weight even if they're not used appropriately).

        Also, while only positive tags are nice, I think it's difficult to determine whether they're used appropriately in general. If we had an "insightful" tag, who is to say that is actually insightful or not to someone, etc.

        1 vote
  6. 13steinj Link
    The idea of tags is a perfectly fine one, but regardless of what tags exist, one will always turn into the "this is garbage, here's my downvote" if they directly count torwards one category. I...

    The idea of tags is a perfectly fine one, but regardless of what tags exist, one will always turn into the "this is garbage, here's my downvote" if they directly count torwards one category. I don't think it's avoidable.

    At the same time, I don't think positive-only responses work either. If all responses are positive in nature (vote, tag, or otherwise)... this causes a negative bias torwards new comments, being treated the same as the filth.

    In that sense I like StackOverflow's system of 4 types of values: postive up, negative down, moderator tags (off topic, duplicate, etc, though I don't think these should be restricted to those in power for a general message board), and "approval of submitter" (but this also doesn't work for a general, non question message board).

    Because of that I think a proper solution would be as follows-- have a set of descriptive values (whatever these may be, ex "news", "thought provoking", "funny"), where each tag affects all categories (ex, a "joke" tag subtracts some amount of points from news and thought provoking but adds some to funny).

    From there each category ("news", etc) can be listed and sorted as a page.

    This will mean that the values of everyone elses tags would have to be hidden, though, to not skew anything.

    In regards to a binary vote,

    • if they exist, either count them as torwards all categories or as a separate category that is weighted separately from the rest

    • if they don't, they don't, but this limits the usefulness of "this should be talked about", imo.

    Of course, this will limit groupes like "news" from existing or from the "news" category from being as valid in that group-- because it's all supposed to be news. If people continue to use the tags regardless, it will however cause those posts to be "more newsworthy" than others in ~news.

    7 votes
  7. [2]
    iiv Link
    Something that could happen is that one (or many) subtildes decide that a tag means "downvote". For example, it might become common practice ~music to tag comments with a specific tag to mean...

    Something that could happen is that one (or many) subtildes decide that a tag means "downvote".

    For example, it might become common practice ~music to tag comments with a specific tag to mean downvote, even a "good" tag.

    6 votes
    1. Mumberthrax Link Parent
      I can definitely see this happening, even if it is an unspoken thing. People are extremely perceptive at picking up patterns like that in social situations if they spend enough time together.

      I can definitely see this happening, even if it is an unspoken thing. People are extremely perceptive at picking up patterns like that in social situations if they spend enough time together.

      4 votes
  8. tildesatwindmills Link
    Simple idea about tags: they could be displayed at the bottom of the comment, so you make up your mind about the comment first before reading the tags. Filtering by tag level will take care of the...

    Simple idea about tags: they could be displayed at the bottom of the comment, so you make up your mind about the comment first before reading the tags.

    Filtering by tag level will take care of the "I don't want to read noise, offtopic or jokes" ~rs.

    5 votes
  9. thykka Link
    I believe the ability to tag – as well as all other abilities that have abuse potential – must be tied to the user's trust level, like at StackOverflow. This should ensure that people from other...

    I believe the ability to tag – as well as all other abilities that have abuse potential – must be tied to the user's trust level, like at StackOverflow. This should ensure that people from other communities won't just start applying their old downvoting/flagging habits here, but need to first get to know the ~ community and especially it's rules and customs.

    Also, there has to be public accountability; usernames of the people who have tagged something, should be visible to everyone except the person whose content was tagged. This will keep the tagging process transparent, while still giving some protection against personal attacks in case the person who got tagged chooses to retaliate somehow.

    Perhaps with a higher trust level, an untagging ability could become unlocked, to let the community deal with abuse cases. Still, untagging should not simply remove the tag entirely, but both actions should be logged publicly.

    Voting seems fine as it is; I wouldn't add downvotes due to how the Internet tends to use them, and I wouldn't ditch upvotes since they serve many practical purposes.

    4 votes
  10. [17]
    Ten Link
    Personally I think the tags should be gone. Tags are just the new downvote (that I've noticed) and aside from maybe the "Joke" tag, I don't see a use. Let the content of someone's comment stand on...

    Personally I think the tags should be gone.

    Tags are just the new downvote (that I've noticed) and aside from maybe the "Joke" tag, I don't see a use. Let the content of someone's comment stand on its own. If it gets no likes then that is just how it is.

    I know it's a bit close minded, but I personally think this will eventually lead to less low effort comments or comments meant to stir up shit (negatively).

    3 votes
    1. [15]
      Deimos Link Parent
      There's nothing wrong with the overall concept of downvoting, some things should be downvoted for various reasons. The problem is that because the downvote is generic, people misuse it for reasons...

      There's nothing wrong with the overall concept of downvoting, some things should be downvoted for various reasons. The problem is that because the downvote is generic, people misuse it for reasons that it shouldn't be used for, and it also doesn't give any useful feedback to the author or other readers about why something is being downvoted.

      17 votes
      1. [9]
        cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
        I think a major factor with downvotes being misused is people not being held accountable for misuse of them. Because of this, when someone does misuse them (e.g. as a disagree button) they will...

        I think a major factor with downvotes being misused is people not being held accountable for misuse of them. Because of this, when someone does misuse them (e.g. as a disagree button) they will inevitably just keep doing so and then the culture of misuse spreads as people begin to see they can also use them as a weapon against dissenting opinions without being punished for it.

        That is what I think we were beginning to see with comment tags here since there was no accountability for their use yet either. But once accountability exists here, you can warn people who misuse them and if they keep doing it punish them by either removing their ability to tag in the future or, in more egregious cases, ban them (temporarily or permanently).

        But even with accountability, votes are binary and don't provide any additional context so the reason they were applied is not always easy to determine. At least tags do provide context and can be incredibly useful as a result (especially for filtering and letting trusted users know a thread requires their attention).

        13 votes
        1. [6]
          Kraetos Link Parent
          A user was banned for misusing the tags, which seems to constitute accountability. To be honest that's scared me off from using tags, or whatever you replace them with, entirely.

          A user was banned for misusing the tags, which seems to constitute accountability. To be honest that's scared me off from using tags, or whatever you replace them with, entirely.

          6 votes
          1. [5]
            cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
            @deimos can’t monitor every single use of tags on the site, even at this early stage, which is part of the reason I suspect that particular user was singled out and made an example of because it...

            @deimos can’t monitor every single use of tags on the site, even at this early stage, which is part of the reason I suspect that particular user was singled out and made an example of because it was a 100% undeniably bad-faith example. At some point accountability is going to require crowdsourcing through the public changelog (however it gets implemented) and the trust system though. And given your hesitance to use them because of what happened, you might be a good candidate for doing so, or at the very least suggesting ways it could best be handled so as not to put people off using them entirely. ;)

            4 votes
            1. [4]
              Kraetos Link Parent
              Sorry, I should have been clearer. Whatever the intentions behind the ban were, I took away three things from reading that thread: don't discuss politics here, don't express anger here, and don't...

              Sorry, I should have been clearer. Whatever the intentions behind the ban were, I took away three things from reading that thread: don't discuss politics here, don't express anger here, and don't use the experimental features.

              3 votes
              1. [3]
                cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
                Don't discuss politics? The comment section has over 250 comments about politics, with at least 50 people participating and only one person stepped out of line enough to receive a ban. Don't...

                Don't discuss politics? The comment section has over 250 comments about politics, with at least 50 people participating and only one person stepped out of line enough to receive a ban.

                Don't express anger here? You can be angry just don't think that anger suddenly gives you the right to say things like "My god you are disgusting... You're pathetic, your cause is pathetic", "[he's] too dumb to realize he's fucking over our future", "This guy is so far up his own ass it defies belief" like the banned user did.

                Is that really too much to ask you don't cross into personal attacks like that just because you're "angry"? If so, then yes, maybe you shouldn't discuss politics here if you feel that's a justified response to someone else talking about their political beliefs. If someone's political beliefs entail expressing hate speech, blatant misogyny/misandry/discrimination or harassment, that's a different story and you should report them so they can be dealt with as well but as far as I can see @Mumberthrax did no such thing (unless you can point to otherwise).

                Don't use the experimental features? No, don't blatantly and systematically abuse them just because you're "angry". There is a difference and it's a big one. If/when trusted users get the ability to remove comments from their groups they feel are inappropriate or against site/group policy, do you think @deimos should just sit on his thumbs as people misuse that to censor people who they simply disagree with, don't like or had a run in with elsewhere, but don't otherwise deserve it?

                8 votes
                1. [2]
                  Kraetos Link Parent
                  I appreciate and understand your justifications for deimos's actions, but ultimately actions speak louder than words. I don't share your interpretation of the events that transpired and would...

                  I appreciate and understand your justifications for deimos's actions, but ultimately actions speak louder than words. I don't share your interpretation of the events that transpired and would therefore like to see how further disciplinary action is meted out before volunteering for anything.

                  3 votes
                  1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
                    Fair enough. Only time will tell with all things on this site how they will play out. It's basically a grand experiment and will likely to continue to be so going forwards as well since it's...

                    Fair enough. Only time will tell with all things on this site how they will play out. It's basically a grand experiment and will likely to continue to be so going forwards as well since it's basically /r/theoryofreddit and /r/ideasfortheadmins but actually being attempted instead of just ignored. Mistakes will be made on all sides and how everyone deals with them, learns from them and adapts to changing realities will ultimately decide if this site and its goals can work.

                    8 votes
        2. [2]
          abbenm Link Parent
          I think this is the best insight in the whole thread. Your comment helped me understand that I actually do like tags, and that I'm just willing to get rid of them to do away with the bad actors...

          I think a major factor with downvotes being misused is people not being held accountable for misuse of them.

          I think this is the best insight in the whole thread. Your comment helped me understand that I actually do like tags, and that I'm just willing to get rid of them to do away with the bad actors that come with it. But if we can police it well, tags are great.

          So it then becomes a question of how to create accountability without requiring massive administration. Maybe allow tags, but make public who applies each tag? Or limit the frequency of tagging in some way?

          2 votes
          1. cfabbro Link Parent
            Accountability is something I personally think is very, very important, which is why I recommended public trusted user action logs and a meta-moderation system where trusted users need to vote on...

            Accountability is something I personally think is very, very important, which is why I recommended public trusted user action logs and a meta-moderation system where trusted users need to vote on the more powerful actions that have the potential to be abused (e.g. title changes, link changes, etc) before they are applied. However public logs have their own drawbacks too, such as people having the actions taken against them potentially going off the deep end and doxxing/harassing trusted users, which is why some people have suggest psuedo-random IDs assigned to trusted user actions rather than user names themselves... so users can still be punished (loss of trust) if their actions are counteracted or even banned for egregious abuses but the action takers cant be specifically identified by the public at large.

            As for tags, the comment tags are coming back, no doubt... the system just needs to be reworked first so that people can be held accountable for their misuses and so they don't derail comment threads. There was a lot of good suggestions by users on the thread about it: https://tildes.net/%7Etildes.official/11n/daily_tildes_discussion_what_do_we_need_to_change_to_make_comment_tags_reasonable_to_re_enable

            Ultimately comment tags may have to just wait until the trust system and action auditing systems are in place though. We shall see.

            2 votes
      2. [3]
        Ten Link Parent
        I disagree about nothing wrong with downvoting. When a comment hits -2, most of the time everyone else just piles on it and downvotes out of reaction. I'm sure you've seen it more times than you...

        I disagree about nothing wrong with downvoting.

        When a comment hits -2, most of the time everyone else just piles on it and downvotes out of reaction. I'm sure you've seen it more times than you can count. It becomes a mob mentality because "well, it already has so many downvotes so I'm going to downvote too!" People use it to stifle conversation.

        7 votes
        1. [2]
          Deimos Link Parent
          Of course, but that's only actually a problem if those initial downvotes were incorrect. That's what I'm saying—the problem isn't the entire concept of a downvote, just them being misapplied.

          Of course, but that's only actually a problem if those initial downvotes were incorrect. That's what I'm saying—the problem isn't the entire concept of a downvote, just them being misapplied.

          12 votes
          1. Amarok Link Parent
            We also don't have to show people the -2 (or -100 or whatever) - it can just always look like an unvoted comment, rather than an invitation to dogpile on the poster.

            We also don't have to show people the -2 (or -100 or whatever) - it can just always look like an unvoted comment, rather than an invitation to dogpile on the poster.

            7 votes
      3. creesch Link Parent
        what you could possibly do is give users insight in their tagging behavior and for example if someone does tag a lot more negatively than they upvote alert them to that fact. Something along the...

        what you could possibly do is give users insight in their tagging behavior and for example if someone does tag a lot more negatively than they upvote alert them to that fact. Something along the lines of:

        Hi, we noticed that a large percentage (50%) of your recent actions are tags of <kind>. It is likely you are using tags for something different than their intended purposes.

        Probably better phrased but I hope you get the idea.
        Maybe also build in something that alerts you.

        Finally, if tags are used for sorting purposes you could use a similar principle to make tags applied by some users weigh less. If the latter should be automatic or an action taken on users that have been reviewed is a different story.

        As far as accountability goes it would be interesting to see how people will respond to a message stating their tags have less weight. Specifically if it is a temp thing where afterwards the weight of tags is restored.

        So users would get a message long the lines of.

        Your tagging behavior has been reviewed and as a result tags you apply will now have less value in the sorting mechanism. This is a temporary action, your tags will return to full functionality in one week.

        2 votes
      4. UrsulaMajor Link Parent
        I think that the main problem with tags/downvoting is that users are not held accountable for it. I think that tags would work better if you could hover over / click a tag on a post/comment in...

        I think that the main problem with tags/downvoting is that users are not held accountable for it.

        I think that tags would work better if you could hover over / click a tag on a post/comment in order to see a list of usernames who tagged it.

        maybe even add a "tag reason" field where users can put in a reason for the tag that shows up on hover.

        that way users will only put on tags that they can publicly justify

        2 votes
    2. Petril Link Parent
      That's certainly an interesting thought! I agree that there are trolls who enjoy the attention whether positive or negative, and I love the idea that a racist/mean/sexist/unnecessary comment or...

      That's certainly an interesting thought! I agree that there are trolls who enjoy the attention whether positive or negative, and I love the idea that a racist/mean/sexist/unnecessary comment or post would just languish in anonymity instead of getting a huge amount of "tag attention." I often find myself wishing on reddit that people would ignore and report the trolls rather than downvoting. Because being ignored would bea fitting punishment.

      5 votes
  11. vaddi (edited ) Link
    What if we treat posts and comments in a different way? The truth is that currently one can upvote a post just by reading its title while browsing the frontpage. And people vote, I guess, because...

    What if we treat posts and comments in a different way?
    The truth is that currently one can upvote a post just by reading its title while browsing the frontpage. And people vote, I guess, because they want to raise awareness to that specific topic (most of the times simply by inferring from the title), so that more people enter the discussion.
    But when we are talking about specific comments, I don't think people vote because they want other people to notice that comment. People vote because they agree/didn't agree or liked/didn't like that comment. So this means that we use the same method (voting) to represent different things. Is this really the correct way?
    And this also brings me to an idea that I wrote about in the other discussion thread.
    Should the way people vote/tag comments have more granularity and be more transparent about what they feel when they read that comment?

    3 votes
  12. [6]
    dyslexda Link
    Hey, I know I'm really late to this conversation, but wanted to add something I didn't see elsewhere here: Is there any way to throttle the number of negative tags someone can apply? A big issue...

    Hey, I know I'm really late to this conversation, but wanted to add something I didn't see elsewhere here:

    Is there any way to throttle the number of negative tags someone can apply? A big issue with brigading happens when a malcontent opens a thread and immediately downvotes every dissenting opinion. Alternatively, they open one person's profile and do a mass downvote on all of their posts. Much like some subreddits have commenting limits based upon your karma (if you're under X threshold, you can only comment once every Y minutes), could the Trust system be adapted to dynamically allow more negative tags?

    If you're a new user, you can't negative tag more than, say, once every 15 minutes. Trolls would have to be very dedicated to spend hours downvoting every post (admittedly a bot could do it, but bots can do everything, no?). With greater Trust comes the ability to negatively tag every five minutes, or maybe 10 comments in a thread (or X% of a thread's comments), and eventually ultra-trusted users have no limits; they'd be the police that could single out and "brigade" a known troll.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      NamelessThirteenth Link Parent
      I've seen some alternatives try something similar to this. What ended up happening is people would make a ton of socket puppet accounts and use them solely to downvote. This obviously isn't an...

      I've seen some alternatives try something similar to this. What ended up happening is people would make a ton of socket puppet accounts and use them solely to downvote. This obviously isn't an issue on ~ right now due to it being invite only but I think we'll need another solution.

      1 vote
      1. dyslexda Link Parent
        Well, sure. There's never a perfect solution. But surely there'd be a way to weed out accounts that were only used to negatively tag comments. Force a certain trust level before you have that...

        Well, sure. There's never a perfect solution. But surely there'd be a way to weed out accounts that were only used to negatively tag comments. Force a certain trust level before you have that privilege. If new accounts were limited to a single negative tag per day, you'd need hundreds to make an impact, and I'd assume it'd be easy to detect that kind of bulk abuse.

        4 votes
    2. [3]
      Deimos Link Parent
      It's definitely possible, yes. Though someone behaving like that would probably also be the sort of thing that gets all their tags removed and takes away their ability to use tags entirely.

      It's definitely possible, yes. Though someone behaving like that would probably also be the sort of thing that gets all their tags removed and takes away their ability to use tags entirely.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        dyslexda Link Parent
        Sure, but how well would that scale? It's been a bit since I've read through your documentation, but after the site has grown to 10k, or 100k, or a million users, will you have a dedicated team of...

        Sure, but how well would that scale? It's been a bit since I've read through your documentation, but after the site has grown to 10k, or 100k, or a million users, will you have a dedicated team of admins doing nothing but troll patrol? I'd think you'd need an automated system to encourage "good" use of the negative tags, with flagrant abuses being the only ones brought to your personal attention

        E.g., some trigger that notices a huge uptick in negative tags. Bot accounts and farm accounts are big issues on reddit. People gradually build up karma on a generic account, only to turn around and sell it to a bot net or company for advertising. A swing in behavior should be detectable and flag accounts for review, I'd think.

        2 votes
        1. Deimos Link Parent
          It wouldn't necessarily have to be just admins. We'd probably want other trusted users (who we'd have a much higher confidence are using tags "properly") to basically be able to "cancel" tags....

          It wouldn't necessarily have to be just admins. We'd probably want other trusted users (who we'd have a much higher confidence are using tags "properly") to basically be able to "cancel" tags. Then if a bunch of a user's tags are getting cancelled, we know that they're probably using them improperly and could reduce their abilities or whatever.

          That's all very "someday it would be nice if it worked this way" kind of stuff though, I think ratelimiting people initially would probably make a big difference too, and is much simpler.

          2 votes
  13. Mumberthrax (edited ) Link
    This might not be precisely a solution to the tag issue, not directly, but might be part of creating a stronger culture which shuns bad behavior in general, including tagging power misuse. What if...

    This might not be precisely a solution to the tag issue, not directly, but might be part of creating a stronger culture which shuns bad behavior in general, including tagging power misuse.

    What if we we took something like my Civil Voater's Agreement, cleaned it up, and opened it up for the community to engage with and internalize?

    It seems like this would be in the spirit of the Overall Goals doc, https://docs.tildes.net/overall-goals#trust-people-but-punish-abusers.

    It won't be a silver bullet of course, there are going to be bad actors, but if Tildes could be something particularly special in people's minds, someplace where you are actually motivated to be a better person while engaged there, maybe that would be a part of keeping us on a good path. And maybe a voluntary nonbinding reddiquette-like contract, owned by and edited by the community, would be part of that.

    2 votes
  14. Bear Link
    Personally, I'd be happy dropping tags, and replacing it with an up and down vote system, but with a few tweaks: No vote fuzzing. Real totals displayed. Bots and their effects are dealt with in...

    Personally, I'd be happy dropping tags, and replacing it with an up and down vote system, but with a few tweaks:

    • No vote fuzzing. Real totals displayed. Bots and their effects are dealt with in other ways.
    • A public per-comment expandable vote log, with notations next to a person's name that shows if they're subscribed to an area, or not. People need to be accountable for their actions online.
    2 votes
  15. nathan Link
    Regardless of how tags end up being implemented, I think there needs to be a system where trusted users can “disagree” with a tag. This also gives a mechanism to identify people who are using tags...

    Regardless of how tags end up being implemented, I think there needs to be a system where trusted users can “disagree” with a tag. This also gives a mechanism to identify people who are using tags maliciously. If you keep creating tags that trusted users keep disagreeing with then you’re probably not using them charitably.

    Additionally tags could be displayed if they meet some threshold of the sum of the trusted users who have tagged it - minus the sum of the trusted users who have untagged it. This way comments that are maliciously tagged don’t keep the tag indefinitely.

    2 votes
  16. jgb Link
    I'd propose anti-tags as a simple solution. An anti-matter particle and a matter particle collide, and they annhiliate each other, right? Each anti-tag could cancel out one of the tags in a...

    I'd propose anti-tags as a simple solution. An anti-matter particle and a matter particle collide, and they annhiliate each other, right? Each anti-tag could cancel out one of the tags in a similar manner. Perhaps not a brilliant solution, but it could potentially work as a stop-gap until trust becomes more formalised.

    2 votes
  17. butts Link
    I know this post is a little old, but I'd like to voice my thoughts on tags. Personally, I don't see the point of having comment tags at all. Tildes is supposed to be about discussion, and to me,...

    I know this post is a little old, but I'd like to voice my thoughts on tags. Personally, I don't see the point of having comment tags at all. Tildes is supposed to be about discussion, and to me, tags just defeat discussion. It's basically a marker that says, "I've already read this comment, and it can be summed up in these tags. No need for you to read it yourself!"

    Especially with tags like "noise" and "flame" it just encourages users to ignore whatever was posted and move onto the next comment, which I feel goes directly against the goal of this site. Tagging things as noise or flame doesn't make the comment go away either, like with downvotes on Reddit. If anything, it just brings more attention to the comment with a big red bar at the top.

    2 votes
  18. glass_table_girl Link
    Also a bit late, but just since I'm here and have read through the conversation: A big concern folks seem to be raising is that a misuse of tags could stifle insightful conversation because...

    Also a bit late, but just since I'm here and have read through the conversation:

    A big concern folks seem to be raising is that a misuse of tags could stifle insightful conversation because something gets unfairly or inaccurately tagged. I've liked a couple of the suggestions that I've seen so far:

    • threshold before a tag shows up
    • moving tags to the bottom of a comment
    • less outstanding colors (ends up being the flashiest thing but also, fwiw, colors can trigger an unintended emotional response and bias someone against or towards something)

    The use case that ultimately led to a ban and need to rethink the tagging system also shows the need to think about how these tags get used in a back-and-forth discussion. Everyone here has likely been on enough internet communities to understand that those civility violations tend to occur when people get angry, and that clouds their judgement. The best response can sometimes be taking a few to walk away, cool your head, to regain better judgement.

    To prevent the use of tags in flame wars as more functionality is built, you could have a way of detecting if a low-trust user is suddenly negatively tagging the same user with a lot of the same tag in a short span of time. This would spur two actions:

    1. The tagger receives a prompt that stops them from taking more actions that says something like, "You've been doing that a lot! Please take the time to step back and think about if this tag is necessary for the discussion or if maybe you want to take some time before continuing this discussion." They can, of course, choose to continue/x-out of the notice. But I wonder if putting that slight pause could create a break and moment of self-awareness. Basically, just stopping that inertia.
    2. Alerts the mods or high-trust users in charge of the group of the interaction. This obviously wouldn't be until much later when that is built out, since it would be infeasible with too small a team, but it would allow folks to gauge whether there are any civility violations, whether the tags are warranted, etc.

    I also saw in another thread people discussing potential use of sentiment analysis, and that could definitely play into creating a cool down period or something.

    2 votes
  19. NamelessThirteenth Link
    It's very difficult. Some people get very heated and emotional when they see something they disagree with and when you give them an easy way to show it they'll use it.

    It's very difficult. Some people get very heated and emotional when they see something they disagree with and when you give them an easy way to show it they'll use it.

    2 votes
  20. DanBC Link
    I'd be interested to see a purely placaebo tag for [I disagree] that only appears on the tagger's view and has no other effects.

    Perhaps adding a tag with "I disagree", or something similar, that doesn't have impact on the trust system,

    I'd be interested to see a purely placaebo tag for [I disagree] that only appears on the tagger's view and has no other effects.

    2 votes
  21. hook Link
    A lot of good comments and discussion took place on this topic here. I won’t try to summarise anything, but here’s something that’s been gnawing me since yesterday. What we seem to have is: votes...

    A lot of good comments and discussion took place on this topic here. I won’t try to summarise anything, but here’s something that’s been gnawing me since yesterday.

    What we seem to have is:

    • votes – affect ranking
    • tags – don’t affect ranking (?), might affect filtering

    What we seem to be concerned with is:

    • abuse of tags as voicing disagreement (perhaps even agreement, ha!)
    • abuse of (up)votes as voicing agreement and potentially of (down)votes as voicing disagreement
    • users confusing votes for agreement and therefore without malice
    • people adding fluff comments to voice (dis)agreement – e.g. “I agree with OP.” / “I disagree, this is now how it works!”
      • people adding more such fluff comments; or
      • people then voting those fluff comments in order to voice their (dis)agreement, as they feel it’s less bad than adding more fluff by commenting the same as well

    Perhaps it would make sense for us to discuss whether it makes sense to instead:

    • keep votes, perhaps rename them to better reflect what their actual cause is
      • perhaps even have separate names for votes on topic and votes on comment; or
      • as was suggested elsewhere, to not have just a vote, but a two-step argumented vote
    • keep tags
    • add option to simply agree / disagree on a comment, without affecting either rank or filter
      • this could be done as a non-filterable tag perhaps; or
      • perhaps even just enable something like the emoji response to comments, just as e.g. GitHub and GitLab have. It will add fluff, but the fluff will be self-contained in a small part. Also while graphic, emojis are part of UTF nowadays.

    Of course this would not prevent people gaming the system, but I feel it would help quite a bit and clear some confusion inherent in any voting system on content.

    2 votes