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The issue of anonymity of the Like, Ill informed, Disagree, etc buttons

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#1 Hip

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 05:13 PM


Are there others on this forum who find the anonymity of the under-post buttons such as Like, Good Point, Informative, Ill informed, Disagree, etc detracts from the discussion?

 

When some says something positive or negative about your post, it is nice to know who they are. On other forums, when the Like button is pressed under a post, it usually tells you which forum members pressed that button. For example, if you look at this thread on the Phoenix Rising forum, it displays the name of each members who has Liked a post. You can thus see at a glance who enjoyed or agreed with your post. 

 

More of an issue are the negative responses on longeCity. If someone clicks for example the Ill informed or Disagree button, not only do you not know who they are, but you have no idea of why they disagree, or why they are saying your post is ill informed. 

 

If someone wants to criticize a post, or point out errors in a post, that is a useful part of discussion, as debate is what online forums are all about. But pressing the Ill informed or Disagree buttons without offering any explanation does not really contribute to the discussion, especially when done anonymously. 

 

Thus if the forum software is capable of it, the administrators might consider placing the names of the members who press the Like etc buttons. 

 


Edited by Hip, 12 October 2018 - 05:15 PM.

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#2 Hip

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:09 PM

I was hoping someone would press the Disagree button on my above post! Because it provides an example of what I am talking about. Here you have a forum member who disagrees with what was said, and it would be nice to know why, and good to hear their differing view; everyone's views should be heard. But they seem not to want to bother with expressing themselves; or I guess it could be that they are a bit lacking in confidence, and so don't feel comfortable about expressing their views. Maybe hiding behind an anonymous Disagree button is a solution to shyness?  

 


Edited by Hip, 13 October 2018 - 07:14 PM.

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#3 caliban

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 11:27 PM

Hi Hip.  You are not alone in feeling odd when seeing icon-only reactions, it is a common complaint here. 

 

In fact, this response of wanting to know "who and why" especially to negative votes is so understandable, that I'm sure most people take this into consideration when pressing the button. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I assume people who go out of their way to visit an actual old-school forum in this social media age know that the thing will only flourish if there are meaningful discussions, instead of empty "likes".  That means IF they felt like explaining their verdict, they would have done so.   

 

You seem like a cheerful and sensible person. Alas the internet, (even LongeCity) also has other characters. Tempers flare. If negative votes were not anonymous, I can promise you that you would receive plenty of PM's - demanding an explanation, challenging your position, your upbringing, your sanity... 

 

Sometimes you might just silently want to criticise a post so that others can quickly see its merits are contested, but without inviting an argument with that person on that issue at that time.     

Thus, our policy of anonymity for negative votes... and its currently just too difficult technically to have transparency for positive votes only. 

 

Having said all that, I hope everyone realises the anonymity of ratings is NOT a given! Moderators can look into who rated how, to establish patterns of abuse.   

 


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#4 YOLF

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 12:30 AM

Perhaps if there was an option to request that anonymity be broken? In this case, a pm would go out to the user who left the rating and things could be set straight? Perhaps make the user anonymous so whatever happens, they can still argue or determine why the rating was left? Or perhaps the user could request that "needs references" be retracted after linking to a follow up post? I think this kind of stuff would increase our traffic and give our users more options for educational improvement.


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#5 Hip

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 12:31 AM

Hi caliban, thanks for replying.

 

When it comes to Likes and other positive responses, I don't really see those as empty, because if someone Likes your post, it often means they are in agreement with it. And as there is only one way to be in agreement with a post, the Like button in fact tells you quite a lot: it tells you that there is another person who thinks like you. And if the name of the person pressing the Like button were provided, after a while you start to learn who has likeminded views to you, and this is one way to make friends on a forum. So the Like button and other positive buttons do convey a meaningful message.

 

By contrast, if someone disagrees with a post, there are a 1001 reasons why they might disagree. Thus when someone presses the Disagree button, it comes over as a negative but ultimately meaningless response, because it is impossible to guess from the Disagree button why that person disagrees. Similarly for other negative buttons: if someone presses the Ill Informed button, they are basically saying that your comments and reasoning are naive, or that you are missing some vital pieces of information; but the Ill Informed button does not tell you specifically what pieces of information are missing.

 

So some of the negative buttons tend to be negative but meaningless. I would say the three worse negative buttons are Disagree, Dislike and Ill Informed. I would suggest this forum would be better off without those three, which will then force people to explain why they disagree or dislike a post, and force people to explain why they think a post is ill informed. The other negative buttons are not as bad, and can be quite useful at times. 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Hip, 14 October 2018 - 12:34 AM.

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#6 Heisok

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 03:52 AM

Hip, I will say that you practice what you believe in as far as ratings. Good job. I have seen discussions against them by some who use them a lot themselves.  I can understand your desire, but simply disagree with you. Nothing to add beyond that. Yolf, I agree about your position on needs references.

 

"Tempers flare. If negative votes were not anonymous, I can promise you that you would receive plenty of PM's - demanding an explanation, challenging your position, your upbringing, your sanity... Sometimes you might just silently want to criticise a post so that others can quickly see its merits are contested, but without inviting an argument with that person on that issue at that time."

 

Here is a specific example. Another member and I were equated directly to Nazi's, and accused of bullying. In fact using psychological warfare. It was quite unbelieveable to me. Instead of lashing out, I followed procedure, and the thread was removed. Bottom line is that if I disagree, but have no discussion to add, I will use the button sometimes if it is important,. It is safer. If I have information to add, I gladly do it, but will sit back if others do it first. At times, if it is a member who seems sensitive, I will not post or rate,. People matter.

 

Most, and I certainly am,  should be aware enough to know that access to the member information is open to Longecity. Might even be in the terms.  I believe that part of the terms which I have read is not to misuse things like the ratings.

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Heisok, 14 October 2018 - 03:55 AM.

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#7 Hip

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 11:45 AM

I can understand your desire, but simply disagree with you. Nothing to add beyond that. 

 

That's interesting, thanks for your contribution. So are you are saying that sometimes you disagree with a post, but you have not been able to fully articulate why you disagree? You have a sort of "gut feeling" of disagreement, but you not been able to rationalize or articulate why you disagree?

 

Or is more that you have not got the time or inclination to explain or articulate why you disagree?

 

 

 


Here is a specific example. Another member and I were equated directly to Nazi's, and accused of bullying. In fact using psychological warfare. It was quite unbelieveable to me. Instead of lashing out, I followed procedure, and the thread was removed. Bottom line is that if I disagree, but have no discussion to add, I will use the button sometimes if it is important,. It is safer. If I have information to add, I gladly do it, but will sit back if others do it first. At times, if it is a member who seems sensitive, I will not post or rate,. People matter.

 

I can appreciate how tempers can flair, and how things can quickly turn nasty. Though often tempers flair not because of the disagreement itself, but because of the tone of how the disagreement is expressed. 

 

When someone disagrees with you, or thinks that your argument is mistaken, if you feel that the person pointing out your mistakes is doing it with good intentions and in a friendly manner, then it's nice, and it's easy to admit your mistakes and say to them "ah, right, I did not know that, thanks".

 

But sometimes people will rub your mistakes in your face, or aggressively confront you with them, and that sets a very different tone. In these cases, you feel that they are not correcting your mistakes with friendly good intentions, but because they see it as competitive one-upmanship, and enjoy gloating in pointing out your errors. 

 

So when disagreeing with someone, the tone and the manners used are very important. Though we are all guilty, myself included, of not using sufficiently good manners in our disagreements. Sometimes we just respond too quickly without thinking, and the words of disagreement then come out too harshly or abruptly.  

 

 

 

 

But going back to the negative buttons, for me, when I receive an anonymous Disagree response to my posts, it feels like someone in a crowd has poked me in the back, but when I turn around to see who it was, they've disappeared back into the crowd. So it just a little annoying.

 

That's not to say I expect everyone to agree with me; the times that I learn most on forums are where other people have pointed out a mistake that I have made, or have pointed out out a shortcoming in my knowledge or my logic. And I am always grateful when people do this (provided it is done with friendly manners and tact), because it gives you a chance to learn something. 


Edited by Hip, 14 October 2018 - 11:56 AM.

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#8 Heisok

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 07:02 PM

Hi again Hip.

 

Let's put this thread aside as an example for now. A reason for using things like disagree, can also be due to the issue that is disagreed to/ or agreed to,  has already been posted about. No reason to post again, but good reasons to indicate that there is more than one member who also has an opinion.

 

Here is another example without going into any more specific threads which exist. The person who gave a valid reason for being careful about a strategy with links to support had multiple attacks from the O.P.  IE: attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument. This is expressly prohibited by Longecity, but we can not really expect moderators to police us.  I believe that if members are linked to their ratings that the same thing will happen at times; even with lack of anonymity for "green" positive ratings.

 

I have noticed at times, fairly regularly, that Reason's posts get quickly flagged as irresponsible or some other negative rating. I will say that it is possible that the ratings are well thought out, but possibly just a negative opinion towards Reason's opinions generally. My guess is that it is the same member who does these ratings.

 

https://www.longecit...18/#entry860412

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







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