I really really wish that...

…these forum posts had the option to “dislike/downvote” as well as the “like” option.

Edit: To be clear, downvote is an inaccurate term for what I’m suggesting. The ‘exposure’ a post gets would not be affected in any way. Posts would still be listed in the same order as they are now. Just with a second number next to the like button. No algorithms changing which post gets to be on the “front page”. In that regard, I agree that vote bombing would be a huge issue.

There are SO MANY absurd, bold, and rash statements posted here. I know 343 is smart enough to know that any given comment/post does not represent the entire population’s opinion, but I think ‘disagreement’ should have an equal measurement to ‘agreement’. For example, one comment has 45 likes and another has 2 likes. There’s no way to tell if people are choosing to not like the lower comment or if it’s just not seen by as many. The comment with 45 likes may actually have 300 dislikes but they/we wouldn’t know because all that’s seen is 45. There are countless times that I read a post that is just ridiculous, but I don’t always have the time or patience to engage in a debate/argument with the OP. One could make the argument that posting a rebuttal/counterpoint is a way of hitting the dislike button, but not everyone is willing/able to express in text how they feel about points brought up in these forums. I feel like the comments should be more for the “why” I feel this way about a statement, rather than “how” I feel about a statement. Just because someone can’t/won’t express why they disagree doesn’t change the fact that they disagree.

Take this post you are reading for example. There are more than enough people on this website willing to comment for or against it, but for every one of those people, there may be a handful or more of people that are not willing. Those people obviously still have opinions. I think everyone would benefit from having an additional way of showing it.

Everyone knows it can be difficult to interpret things said on the internet. I think a dislike button would help.

Edit: Again, nothing would change in any way, except there would be a second button next to the like button, with a counter. This would in no way alter the ordering posts giving more or less exposure.

Thoughts?

I agree a dislike button would more accurately represent sentiment toward comments and topics. But, Waypoint is meant to promote Halo.

I’m speculating from here on, but a button like that wouldn’t be the only source of dissent since people post rebuttals and criticisms all the time. But, simply pushing a thumbs down button is more detached than posting a sentence or few explaining why something sucks, for example. In turn, that does little to promote discussions about Halo. Waypoint is built around conversations rather than the thrill of seeing top comments and comments that receive fewer likes are indirectly less favorable than ones with more likes. But, the positive sentiment remains since there is no dislike button.

This is an interesting topic though for sure, especially since there’s plenty of discussion value for a simple button haha.

Side but related note, this might not qualify as a support post.

Edit: Structure.

I actually really disagree and the lack of downvoting is deliberate and, in full disclosure, not likely to change anytime soon.

You don’t have to like/agree with things but you should be able to explain why not in a manner that is concise and constructive vs just dropping a dislike and walking away, leaving OP with no understanding of why their post is being nuked to oblivion.

> 2533274796457055;3:
> I actually really disagree and the lack of downvoting is deliberate and, in full disclosure, not likely to change anytime soon.
>
> You don’t have to like/agree with things but you should be able to explain why not in a manner that is concise and constructive vs just dropping a dislike and walking away, leaving OP with no understanding of why their post is being nuked to oblivion.

I edited the OP to clarify what I meant. You make fair points that I agree with. And I understand that this may not be implemented. I just don’t think it’s fair to leave it up to only the vocal few. Everyone else still has feelings on any given matter.

Random example: Someone who does not have English as a first language, and can easily read it, but has trouble finding the words to use themselves. Or simply someone that has an anxiety about posting words of their own online. They are still playing the same video game we are, and they have opinions too. The vocal few are still a minority of the population. If we’re allowed to “agree” with them with a single button, we should be allowed to “disagree” with a single button.

But yes, as far as “nuking a post to oblivion” with downvotes, and therefore hiding that post at the bottom of a popularity list where no one would see it, I agree that is not an improvement.

Nope. Not gonna happen.

If you disagree with someone, you should explain why, not downvote.

> 2533274796457055;5:
> Nope. Not gonna happen.
>
> If you disagree with someone, you should explain why, not downvote.

But if you agree with someone, you don’t have to explain why, you just hit a button? I don’t understand why another button would be so bad.

> 2533274808332962;6:
> > 2533274796457055;5:
> > Nope. Not gonna happen.
> >
> > If you disagree with someone, you should explain why, not downvote.
>
> But if you agree with someone, you don’t have to explain why, you just hit a button? I don’t understand why another button would be so bad.

On Waypoint we like to foster discussion, and if you disagree with a post it’s much more conducive to discussion to have to explain why you disagree with a point rather than pressing a “dislike” button.

This post is a clear example of that. If we had a dislike button Snckerdoodle or I could have just “disliked” your post, but instead we’re providing reasoning as to why there is no dislike button.

> 2533274927740213;7:
> > 2533274808332962;6:
> > > 2533274796457055;5:
> > > Nope. Not gonna happen.
> > >
> > > If you disagree with someone, you should explain why, not downvote.
> >
> > But if you agree with someone, you don’t have to explain why, you just hit a button? I don’t understand why another button would be so bad.
>
> On Waypoint we like to foster discussion, and if you disagree with a post it’s much more conducive to discussion to have to explain why you disagree with a point rather than pressing a “dislike” button.
>
> This post is a clear example of that. If we had a dislike button Snckerdoodle or I could have just “disliked” your post, but instead we’re providing reasoning as to why there is no dislike button.

Preface: I realize the button will not be added and that I’m probably wasting time, but I got pretty philosophical/existential thinking about this and I just kinda went with it. lol (Cue Peter Griffin deep in thought, proclaiming, “But why?”)
Why can’t it be both? If there was a dislike button, I would have a clearer gauge of readers’ opinions on this or any other post. And at the same time, people will still comment with reasons. It’s the internet. If there’s something to be said, somebody is gonna say it. lol Regardless of what buttons exist, somebody is still gonna comment on the subject.

It’s not just about the reasoning, but how widely spread the opinion is. Why is a ‘like’ button okay, but not a ‘dislike’ button? We shouldn’t just care about how many others agree with something, but not care how many disagree. That seems contradictory (apparently spellcheck doesn’t believe contradictive is a word lol). Isn’t disagreement is just as constructive as (if not more than) agreement?

Why make it easy to agree in silence, but not disagree in silence? Yes, having a button provides anonymity. But why is one okay and not the other? Having anonymity for like-minded people, but forcing those of a different opinion to stand in the spotlight doesn’t seem fair. Why must we demand reasoning and justification of those who disagree? Why must we not accept their opinion, but we so easily accept someone who agrees with us? (You can tell I’m not really just talking about a forum anymore, right? lol) Should we not question why they agree? Should we not say, “If they agree, they should explain why, not upvote.”? Why must we demand reasoning from only one side of the argument? This implies that there’s only one correct opinion…that if there is another opinion, we must put it on trial and determine if we are correct or they are correct. (Jeez, it’s getting late. Time flies when you’re pondering social stigmas lol)
That’s enough pondering for one night. If you’re still reading this, thank you for your time down this rabbit hole.

> 2533274808332962;8:
> Why can’t it be both?

Why can’t it be neither?

There are just a variety of issues with letting people express their opinion by pressing a button. First, the already mentioned issue that if you can just press a button, you don’t need to engage in discussion, which directly goes against the purpose of a discussion forum. If you don’t have to engage in the discussion, there is no chance for anyone to counter your opinion, and there’s no opportunity for meaningful discourse.

Furthermore, another problem with the opinion buttons is that everyone’s button press is equal. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve actually read and processed the post and thought carefully about it, or if you’re just pressing the button because the poster is or isn’t part of your group. Heck, we can take this a step further and suppose that someone just goes and asks a bunch of their friends (who don’t necessarily have any opinion) to like/dislike a post, or makes a bunch of alts to make it seem as if the opinion sways a certain way when it actually doesn’t. Alternatively, people can like or dislike posts for reasons that have nothing to do with their opinion. This is perhaps more common with likes, where people like a post if they find it funny or witty, for instance. This is already apparent in the current system where a witty one-liner hyperbole is easier to like than a well reasoned multi-paragraph analysis that doesn’t necessarily present a strong position one way or the other.

Yet another problem is that people tend to overvalue the like/dislike ratio, or number of likes, as if it validates their standpoint. It breeds self-importance and gives the popular side more ammo to not have an actual discussion. People already like to throw around the “you’re in the minority so your opinion doesn’t matter” without any evidence of whether that’s actually true. Now we should give them an actual number to point at—a number that, as noted above, we have no way of confirming whether it corresponds to the reality or not?

There are no likes, and no dislikes on an ideal forum.

I agree with tsassi that neither likes nor dislikes are terribly constructive in a forum; I find they often make situations very black or white, rather than the grey that they should be. Unless a post raises a single basic point, there will be many different things in it that one can agree and disagree with, and a like/dislike system tends to generalize things into ‘I agree with all of this’ or ‘I agree with none of this’; all that does is kill discussion in its crib and create statistics that aren’t wholly accurate. Likes and dislikes are an easy way to get a quick (albeit flawed) consensus but they don’t advance the conversation in any way.

Additionally, it often isn’t a fair system: for instance, regulars and staff that have built up a rapport with the community are likely to get more likes than a newcomer, regardless of what they say. Clicking ‘Like’ for the person rather than the content of their post shouldn’t happen, but it’s human nature to want to show support for those you care about and feel validated by.

You also have to take into account varying levels of seriousness. Some like and dislike for genuine reasons, others don’t. Trolls, people with personal grievances, friends, impatient people who refuse to read long posts, those just following the crowd, and many more will all skew the results.

> 2533274825830455;9:
> > 2533274808332962;8:
> > Why can’t it be both?
>
> Why can’t it be neither?
>
> There are just a variety of issues with letting people express their opinion by pressing a button. First, the already mentioned issue that if you can just press a button, you don’t need to engage in discussion, which directly goes against the purpose of a discussion forum. If you don’t have to engage in the discussion, there is no chance for anyone to counter your opinion, and there’s no opportunity for meaningful discourse.
>
> Furthermore, another problem with the opinion buttons is that everyone’s button press is equal. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve actually read and processed the post and thought carefully about it, or if you’re just pressing the button because the poster is or isn’t part of your group. Heck, we can take this a step further and suppose that someone just goes and asks a bunch of their friends (who don’t necessarily have any opinion) to like/dislike a post, or makes a bunch of alts to make it seem as if the opinion sways a certain way when it actually doesn’t. Alternatively, people can like or dislike posts for reasons that have nothing to do with their opinion. This is perhaps more common with likes, where people like a post if they find it funny or witty, for instance. This is already apparent in the current system where a witty one-liner hyperbole is easier to like than a well reasoned multi-paragraph analysis that doesn’t necessarily present a strong position one way or the other.
>
> Yet another problem is that people tend to overvalue the like/dislike ratio, or number of likes, as if it validates their standpoint. It breeds self-importance and gives the popular side more ammo to not have an actual discussion. People already like to throw around the “you’re in the minority so your opinion doesn’t matter” without any evidence of whether that’s actually true. Now we should give them an actual number to point at—a number that, as noted above, we have no way of confirming whether it corresponds to the reality or not?
>
> There are no likes, and no dislikes on an ideal forum.

I agree with all of this, especially your last statement. I do think there is still some value to be had in having like/dislike buttons, but that is pretty subjective and situational and inconsistent. In the end, I would prefer we either have both buttons or no buttons at all.

I am a fan of Discord’s near infinite supply of reaction buttons, but that is an entirely different atmosphere.

> 2533274808332962;11:
> I am a fan of Discord’s near infinite supply of reaction buttons, but that is an entirely different atmosphere.

It’s an entirely different format of discussion. Traditional forums, Discord, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube comments all have their own discussion formats, and I feel like people who ask for (or wish to implement, if they are in such a position) features from one to another haven’t really thought about this in depth. Reddit, for example, is a content aggregator where the most relevant/popular content is meant to rise to the top and the discussion revolves around the specific piece of content. Hence you have upvotes and downvotes to sort the content and the comments, and the comments are organized in a hierarchical way where each comment is its own subthread with the OP sitting at the top of the hierarchy. It’s great for what it’s meant for, but it’s not ideal for having long, linear discussions that go somewhere. Discord, as a real time chat, is at the other extreme where you have no threads for different topics (at best you have the few channels for a couple of general subject areas) and the discussion just proceeds ultralinearly and flows from one topic to another. You can’t meaningfully hold a single discussion for long periods of time (how long depends on the population of the server). There’s no expectation or necessarily even possibility of having a long thoughtful discussion. Hence reactions don’t detract from anything.

On a forum, unlike on Reddit, the discussion is the content, and unlike on Discord it’s not real time, there are threads, it’s slower, and it’s more formal. Anything that doesn’t add to the discussion, strictly speaking, detracts from it. Upvotes, downvotes, likes, dislikes are not present because we don’t need to sort the content, and every comment needs to stand on its own. Reactions are not present, because you have the time to write a thoughtful response. If not today, then tomorrow, or next weekend. There is no excuse.

Of course, everybody understands that these platforms are different, and maybe even that there is value in having different discussion formats and that not every one of them needs to be [your favorite social media] or have its features. But I think it’s still useful to say explicitly what the differences are so that we can understand what features work for what discussion formats, and what features don’t. Namely, on a forum every feature should encourage more thoughtful discussion. Letting writing a comment be the only way to express your opinion is obviously fundamental.