Forum: Bringing Back Downvote
gravatar for lh3
7.4 years ago by
United States
lh332k wrote:

The new biostar lacks downvote from the beginning. However, I think a system with upvote only is fundamentally crippled. An upvote-only system encourages popularity but not correctness. Without downvote, the most voted question/answer is the most popular but may not be the best. We need downvote to balance the effect a little bit.

Several of users have proposed some minor modifications to downvote, such as greater penalty for a downvote, not displaying negative vote, only enabling downvote for users with enough reputations and displaying both numbers of upvotes/downvotes (in SO, you need 1000 reputation to see both numbers). I know downvote sometimes has side-effects, but we should not get rid of it without valuing its advantages.

I am aware that we have discussed downvote several times (e.g. Suggesting The Removal Of Post Closing and here). It seems to me the consensus is to have downvote.

PS: I prefer not to poll on BioStar features. Each vote is associated with a different weight. A user familiar with SO/SE is more likely to have a comprehensive view on a BioStar feature than a new user. His/her opinions should be valued more. One may argue weight-associated voting also happens to common answers. That is true, but in that case, accepting a suboptimal answer only affects a tiny fraction of users who care about the question; others can still see all the answers anyway. On BioStar features, however, a wrong decision affects all users and users have no choice. Seeking the consensus among experienced users is a better approach than poll.

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ADD COMMENTlink modified 7.4 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 85k • written 7.4 years ago by lh332k

I am not sure how SO works with respect of downvotes, What is the overall score then if the downvotes are not displayed? Does that stay positive? Would the following be middle ground: an implementation of down-votes but with the property that

  1. negative post score is shown as zero
  2. negative user reputation is shown as zero

this is basically more of a display issue, the post score/reputation is actually negative only that is zero will be displayed until it gets into positive territory. It also affects sorting of course, posts with real zero will come before post with the "fake" zero score.

ADD REPLYlink modified 7.4 years ago • written 7.4 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 85k

Istvan, reg. your 2nd point, I've never seen the reputation go below 1 on SO. For your 1st point, the score for a question, if it's negative, is displayed as such. Usually such questions gets closed and stays so unless the question has been edited and is better and someone votes it to be reopened. There is no penalty for one to down-vote a question. When one down-votes the answer, it's a -2. And with already 3 down-votes, the answer becomes flagged (for moderator's attention, iiuc). Part of becoming a learned member of the community is to know what one lacks (framing a question, expressing one's ideas/questions clearly, simply lacking knowledge in that field etc..) and it should be taken constructively when down-votes happen. The reason for down-votes on SO at least is "this question does not show research effort or is ambiguous and vague" or something like that. It doesn't say anything about the OP's intelligence. Just his effort.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.4 years ago by Arun2.3k
gravatar for Istvan Albert
7.4 years ago by
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 85k
University Park, USA
Istvan Albert ♦♦ 85k wrote:

Just to summarize some of the previous discussions, the observed problems with downvoting were

  1. The ease of accumulating negative reputation for new users was a big turnoff
  2. An underlying unfairness where a down-voted item would still have down-votes even after the author made an effort to fix it
  3. Numerous situations where people used down-votes to express disagreement rather than rate the quality of answer
  4. A clear discouragement even by large sites such as SE that try to suggest avoiding down votes if at all possible.
  5. My personal opinion is that both non-voting and down-voting are a kind of negative sentiment. But there is only one way to express a positive sentiment.

Edit: would be helpful to see examples of which posts should have lots of downvotes

ADD COMMENTlink modified 7.4 years ago • written 7.4 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 85k
  1. See my comments to Suggesting The Removal Of Post Closing.
  2. I buy that, but how often does this happen? What I see is many one-sentence questions are not modified later. EDIT: in addition, a modified question will be pushed to the first page. I guess most downvoters would change the vote when they see the question gets improved.
  3. Some examples on "numerous situations"? I am not sure why I should not downvote when I strongly disagree with the answerer. (EDIT: actually the same can be said for upvoting: "people used up-votes to express agreement rather than rate the quality of answer").
  4. Downvote should be discouraged (by penalty or by requiring enough reputation), but it should not be removed. The existence of downvote at quora and SE is a proof.
  5. "no voting"="I don't care/I don't know" (I am neutral or I don't have an opinion). "down voting"="I think the answer is bad" (I have a strong opinion). "up voting"="I think the answer is good" (I have an opinion, too). These are different. "no voting" != "down voting".
ADD REPLYlink modified 7.4 years ago • written 7.4 years ago by lh332k

I would like to add just one point to Ih3's points. This is a Q and A website as opposed to a normal forum. So the questions are expected to be clear for someone who might search sometime later. And the quality of a question matters. And so does the quality of an answer. Part of dealing with a forum is knowing, reading and following the guidelines. It is the only requirement. I personally do not take the time to answer a question when the OP himself has shown no effort in framing his /her question. I up vote to bring down vote option.

ADD REPLYlink written 7.4 years ago by Arun2.3k
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