Comment 51802

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted November 17, 2010 at 20:01:04

The thing that seems to get overlooked with the voting is that the votes are by the community at large, and all registered users are welcome to cast votes. There is no central authority doing mass voting by any means. It is not censorship. I, for one, will often upvote a comment which is not offensive if it appears to have been downvoted by some people simply due to a disagreement with the opinion itself - even if I also disagree with the opinion presented. I rarely downvote unless it is clear spam or name calling. I don't even downvote factually incorrect posts, opting instead to create a post of my own to try to correct the innacuracy.

Also keep in mind that hiding downvoted posts is a per-user setting. I have removed my threshold because I like to see all of the posts, even the downvoted ones.

For those who frequently receive downvotes, I think that it makes sense to step back and take an honest look at the posts and try to be more civil in the future.

Most heavily downvoted posts are either greatly off topic, factually incorrect, or filled with personal attacks (or sometimes just an air of taking things too far on the personal side of things)

If you think that your comments are being downvoted simply because the opinion presented is not popular, then a great approach would be get more like minded people on the site to help get your posts upvoted. I for one welcome a wide range of opinions and the more people we have here, the better the dialog will be.

What I find most tiring is having to make the same factual arguments over and over again, only to have the same posters repeatedly say "you are wrong", when it's clear that they don't understand what is being said and they refuse to even try to find out. A perfect example of this was put directly into words in a post on this very article: "when you talk about elastic and inelastic graphs I cry BS because I don't have a clue about what you are talking". Calling BS because one doesn't understand something is not a discussion. Learning about what you don't understand, and then coming up with a retort based on facts would be a more appropriate approach that I am certain would receive no downvotes!

If I were to make any suggestions about the voting system, I'd say that no posts should be hidden from unregistered users, and that setting a hidden vote threshold would be a privilege of registering with the site. This would keep anonymous users from thinking that their posts are being "removed" because they are unpopular.

Most open comment sites offer a thumbs up and thumbs down voting system - it's the way things go. Some even go as far as to have a rating system for individual users. The only difference I can see here is that the community is much smaller than, say, slashdot. So people who receive downvotes here always seem to get the impression that there is a conspiracy of "rth users" working against them. This could not be further from the truth.

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