https://www.duolingo.com/Lenkvist

Do we need voting buttons in the discussions list?

Lenkvist
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Hi everyone,

This is not going to be a discussion about whether the positive/negative voting system is a good idea. The subject has been discussed many times with the main strength being that it helps to sort out comments while the main weakness is that it might be abused.

However, I don't recall seeing a discussion about whether we need these buttons on the outside of a discussion. Yesterday, three discussions/questions I had already answered received a negative vote. As they were underneath each other on top of the new discussions list, it is possible that somebody rated them without opening the discussions themselves.

The reason for proposing the buttons on the outside to be removed is that it will not have a negative effect on people who already take the time to read discussions while helping to limit some of the abuse people have been complaining about. Taking away the buttons might also be relatively easy, but that is something I'll leave up to the judgement of others.

This is quite a minor topic as Duolingo is generally a very nice place, but it would still be interesting to see other people's opinions on this subject. What do you think? What negative/positive effects do you expect this change to have and do you think it is easy to implement? Thank you for your time!

4 years ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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I actually think having the downvote system at all is just really bad juju in general. Upvotes are good enough for sorting purposes, and whenever I see a perfectly innocent post with one single -1, I upvote it just to spite the person who was being miserable.

The whole discussion system feels very strained to me personally - there is now an unmanageable torrent of new posts each day, there are no subdivisions of the forum into topics (which is the simplest way to get people to what they want to read) and the search box has all of ... no options... so if you can remember the name of someone that made a related post 7 months ago that was very interesting and pertinent to the present discussion, but don't know the exact phrase that was used, you are out of luck, hope you enjoy scrolling!

I actually enjoy hearing what people have to say here, but it is getting harder and harder to both keep up with a discussion that started yesterday and also sift through the number of posts that ask the same questions that have been asked 50 gajillion times before - which is no fault of the poster, but their welcome to the community for that is an instant -10 downvote. They might have had something to say eventually, but they won't now, ever. Like I said, bad juju.

I could cut the volume in by half by adding simple categories:

A: New languages: Tell us all about your pressing need to learn Uzbek here

B: Feature Requests: De beste stuurlui stan aan wal ;)

C: Language Tips: You've found something that works for you. Share it with everybody!

D: Share and Discuss Articles: You found an amazing video. We all want to see it too.

E: Off Topic! ---- Talk about your granny's favourite biscuit recipes here! ----

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

I really like your suggestions. I too am against downvoting and have been on all websites really, though a while ago when I brought that up it didn't end too well.

What I would actually like to see more though is a forum style discussion area, which would mean there would be no need for upvoting/downvoting at all here. I would only like to see that for non-sentence related discussions though. I think upvoting should stay in the sentence discussion areas due to the nature of those discussions and the content within, but downvoting should be removed.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I don't really mind the downvotes, but I believe they are very useful in the sentence discussions. What I would like to see though, is maybe if they change the icon, or add a tooltip indicating " ^ = Helpful, v = Unhelpful". That would make it much more effective than the current system where one has to vote based on one's own perception of what it means.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jack.Elliot
Jack.Elliot
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Hello chilvence

quite agree with you

covered my own feelings with some I had not even considered

well done

have a happy new year

all the best Jack

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lenkvist
Lenkvist
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Thank you for writing your comment. You are absolutely right even though it's ironic that saying that it's hard to find the right discussions has also been mentioned (and disappeared) many times before. Here is a discussion from nine months ago. I think you will agree with the comment I made there :)

http://www.duolingo.com/comment/249934

PS That is probably also why I rarely create discussions of my own. I am glad today's attempt gave you a platform to talk about your concerns.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
wazzie
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I appear to be in the minority here, but I like the current method of organizing the forums. I don't feel like that many new post get added each day to make the forums unnavigable. I like being able to go to one (really 3 if I check Troubleshooting, and Spanish) forum and see all the new post for the day. Having to check 5 (really 7) forums seems like a bit of a pain. If this were implemented, I would probably become a bit less active in the forums, simply because I wouldn't want to check all 5 (7) forums several times a day like I do the 1 (3) now. Sure, I may see less trash, but are News Language that common (although extremely annoying) that that they require an entire separate forum?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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Well, the categories are more to corral new people into the right place, than anything else. I didn't even give them that much thought to be honest, I just bashed that post out while I was waiting to go to work. But if you have to click on a topic first before you post, at least you are concious that it has already been talked about and even search for the answer to your question. I don't see why we couldn't also keep the current system of 'see everything on one page' though. I just know that it is going to go from bad to worse if everything stays the same, because the forums will end up being crushed under the weight of popularity...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Yes, I agree that the forums are very disorganized, and even the team has agreed on occasion, I think. Down-voting is what perhaps helps organize it a bit, if it is not abused. I generally agree with everything else you have stated, however, organizing it would not be so trivial.

If they had categories, then either somebody has to go through all existing discussions, and tag it as part of a particular category, or perhaps Duolingo could ignore the old discussions (put them under general discussion), and newer discussions would follow the new system of categories.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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We will do an overhaul of the forum in early 2014, so hopefully we'll be able to address most of these issues.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/louis.vang
louis.vang
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early 2014?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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Sorry, that's what I meant :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

Such a tease.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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Well, I think that removing it is certainly easy, no doubt about it. However, there are three sides to this coin as usual. First, I can see the benefit of having it because it makes it easier to upvote a general Idea you like, even without reading a whole discussion, you can tell much from just glancing at a title, but of course the OP may not be able to eloquently describe what they suggest or want to say. However, even if that is the case, the general idea may be implemented in any way one wishes, so it is not really a problem. This also works for things you dislike or disagree, you may quickly glance, and in fact I immediately know what I don't want to read by glancing at the title of a post.

Secondly, it makes it easy for people to bury and downvote inappropriate content without wasting time reading it, but again, as you said it can be abused. Finally, it pushes good topics to the top easily, and shows topics people dislike quickly too.

The positive attributes would be making people read before laying judgement on whether an idea/discussion is good or not. The negative would be a lot of inappropriate or spammy content persisting simply because the community is too lazy too downvote it, and the moderators aren't currently available.

However, I can think of one middle ground which I've seen being implemented in other forums. It is a small preview of the topic (OP) being discussed that would allow you to glance at a topic and vote for it.

4 years ago
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