Here's a way to limit rudeness and make discussion on the site more constructive.

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by prother1, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. prother1 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2014
    The upvote/downvote system should be revised.

    Seriously, hear me out. I've spent some serious time thinking about this and the only reason I'm posting here is because I honestly believe this can help the site. I'd be crushed if I tried to reach out through this post and it got torn down and locked by a moderator because "it's been suggested before, and we won't do it and don't want anymore discussion about it."

    Here's the deal: commenting on the forum has become a voting game. It's become completely ridiculous how blatant some posts are for the sole purpose of harvesting upvotes.

    Let's look at an example. I was reading through this thread recently and this was one of the things that galvanized me to start this discussion on the voting system. From the thread:

    ^This is OP. I find her post quite humorous. First reply to thread is below.

    Stop right there.

    Let's pretend we were in a forum that had no upvote or downvote buttons. Each post stood on its merit alone and no "approval points" to earn from others.

    Would that reply have been posted? NO. But wait, this is Macrumors, where there is only an upvote button and no downvote button. So that reply was posted. How many upvotes did it earn?.....


    The way the voting system works, people are essentially being rewarded for making pure shock-value posts that offer absolutely no constructive discussion, usually incorporating rudeness and crassness into some "clever" one-liner. This has got to stop. I mean, is this really what our forum is becoming? Nobody gets the most upvotes on a thread by being polite and civil.

    This issue leeches into the main site as well. Mac rumors articles have included "top-rated comments" from the forums for a while now. But that too has turned into a "game" of who can score the highest post on the front page. I've seen first pages of forums filled with posts sparring for the most votes with little or no relevant discussion of the topic.

    To sum up:
    Many rude comments are just to get upvotes
    "Top comments" on articles encourage trash posts with little discussion
    Both types of posts get encouraged by upvotes, and cannot be discouraged by downvotes

    1. Remove voting altogether. This way, people comment to actually communicate something and have a discussion, not to score points.
    2. No longer put "top-rated comments" in the article front page.

    Alternative suggestion:
    Keep upvote and reestablish downvote button for balance

    I hope this gets you all thinking about just how much influence the post voting system has on the entire forums. It will be a shame and a slap in the face if a mod locks this right off the bat, but I have faith it will stay open and spark at least a little thinking in other users as well as the admins of this forum.

    (Sorry for the sorta long post)
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I don't pay any attention to the vote buttons at all
    and I believe people are gonna say what they wanna say regardless
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't think the lack up up votes (and/or down votes) will have any impact on people's posting style. That is, if someone is rude, the buttons won't help/hurt that.

    I agree, though that I've seen a number of posts that were made which had high up votes and was attacking a poster. In those cases, report the post so the moderation staff can investigate and deal with it.
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Personally I think your wrong. I never take any notice or use the voting system. Why would somebody want to post just to gain votes? Are they giving out prizes?

    Also I don't believe the post you quoted is someone trying to win votes. It's just a comment. Maybe a flippant one, but heck half of what I post is flippant. It's just my sense of humour.
    If this forum was just people posting answers to questions, it would be a dry and dull place.
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I agree with you!
    And I was about to write a flippant one-liner but decided against it, because of my recent mod history. :(
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    As someone who mostly just posts answers to questions, I resemble your remark. :p:p

    To be fair, I am also dry and dull. :)
  7. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    There have to be all kinds of people. Sometimes dry and dull is good. :)
  8. Aspasia macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2011
    Halfway between the Equator and North Pole

    I find nothing offensive about the response you are so offended by.

    It was not rude, just a succinct statement.
  9. tdale macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2013
    Christchurch, N.Z.
    I also take little notice of the vote stats. I would prefer posters act with a bit of respect. Macs, PC's, OS X, Windows, Android, iOS, Notes, iPads, etc etc etc.

    They are all good. Some of us prefer this or that, there isn't any need to downgrade others who use what we don't, or to down grade what they use as crud, etc, etc. Its quite easy, and more enjoyable to have a discussion of A vs B if everyone listened, accounted for some bias, and appreciated that for varying reasons, they other guy uses the "other" stuff. Each variety of A vs B has pros and cons. If you can discuss the pros of the other stuff and the cons of your stuff, your 95% there. If you cannot discuss that, then there is really little point in reading the thread or commenting
  10. Pakaku macrumors 68020


    Aug 29, 2009
    I like reading the top comments on front-page articles, because chances are they were upvoted for being humorous or just blatantly right. (Although some, like Safari meme and the Jony Ive pseudo-quotes are just plain overdone.)

    The system, as it is, works great for me. This sounds more like you can't deal with the occasional unagreeable comment, from your perspective.
  11. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Both the opening post and the reply were humorous.

    I would argue vehemently against reintroduction of down-votes.

    I have voted for some of the posts in this topic. I'm often the only person who votes in a topic; that's just the way it is.

    Recommended reading

    Why are people in here so mean?

    Dealing With Disrespect
  12. rhett7660 macrumors G5


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Yup it is the internet, where anonymous and faceless people come to play, say things and do things were they will have no repercussions for their actions. Well except maybe get kicked off a site etc. But even then.
  13. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    I see nothing really offensive about what is supposedly rude. What's rude about it?
  14. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    so why have the voting?
  15. Alimar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2014
    New York State
    I got an email from the MR Mods stating I was in violation for posting a 'one-worder'. I'm STILL in therapy over that.
  16. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth


    Its a public forum, after all... Although most people can't even do what i do best.... just ignore.. They'll settle when they see they don't get a reply...

    I do it all the time, and find it the most effective. :D
  17. Googlyhead macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2010
    To be honest, I don't think you picked the best example. At the simplest:
    - applying a sense of humor results in appreciation of both the posts.
    - having no sense of humor / overly PC results in offence being taken with at least one of the posts.
    - applying a particular self-centredness results in one post being taken as offensive.
    - not bothering to read important parts or identify references results in either post being easily misunderstood.

    (1) The simple fact is; people have opinions and can be quite blunt. Monitoring name calling and baseless attacks is all that really should be done here, as to be suitably blunt; if people can't tolerate alternative opinions, the internet is not a suitable place for them.
    (2) The issue highlighted with the "up vote scoring" here is that of oversimplification: people vote for different reasons, and people expect the scoring to reflect different things.
    Getting rid of a feature because it is misunderstood isn't ideal, yet if you want to avoid this, adding down votes isn't enough; you're going to need the old "useful/funny/good/bad" set of ratings.

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