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https://www.duolingo.com/Dr.Manhattan95

People are downvoting like crazy! (something should be done)

I see so many legitimate questions in the discussions that aren't offensive, spam, or anything bad at all. I think people just downvote them because maybe the question doesn't pertain to them? I don't know. What I do know is that titles that have a negative vote reduce the chances of people actually going through them and reading them. It also discourages people from voicing their opinion, even if it isn't offensive and is very relevant to duolingo. Duolingo is supposed to be an open community where anyone can offer ideas and such without getting chastised. Some people just aren't getting the answers they need, and duolingo isn't getting the feedback it needs. This needs to be changed. I'm not an expert or anything, but maybe the downvoting option should just be terminated all together or instead just allow us to report questionable comments or flag them for deletion. Any alternative would be nice.

4 years ago

58 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

I have voiced support for the removal of downvoting in the past due to it stifling discussions (People don't want to be downvoted in general, so they don't always say how they feel about a topic unless it is a popular opinion) and offering nothing of value, but I only got downvoted for it. The irony is palpable.

I would love for downvoting to be removed and to have a flag system instead to alert moderators of an inappropriate post.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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Now, Zach, I disagreed with you earlier on some things, but I see your point in this case. I'm checking the recent discussions and there are many legitimate points that are being downvoted for no apparent reason. Would this be an issue to contacts the moderators on? Possibly they could put out a public service announcement. Maybe the influx of rude people is being caused by the news about the incubator.

EDIT: It seems to be just one or two people doing this.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

1 or 2 net negative votes doesn't mean that just 1 or 2 people are doing this. There are likely lots of upvotes and downvotes being thrown around for many posts and threads. People have been downvoting for the wrong reasons ever since Duolingo first started. It's just the nature of having downvotes, be it on Reddit, Duolingo or wherever (It's obviously much worse on Reddit than Duolingo though). People downvote posts they don't agree with (Even if they aren't rude). People downvote posts so that their own post(s) rise to the top. People downvote threads so that their own thread(s) rise to the top. People downvote people simply based on previous interactions with them, even if said downvoted post or thread is perfectly reasonable. People go through others' posting history and downvote their posts and threads simply because they disagree with them on something.

I'll never be for downvoting because 100% of people won't magically start using downvoting solely to mark something as rude and/or off topic, which is what I think it should be used for ATM as it's a feature that I have to live with here (For now!)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
Kai_E.
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Just a thought I had, I don't know how well this would work: What if there were only votes.... A post could only go up in popularity and if no one likes it, well just don't vote for it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

Well, that would be better than what we have now. I am against downvotes, not upvotes. Facebook (I don't use it, but it's popular so it will be my example) only has likes and no dislikes. It's not exactly the same as the idea you are talking about as a post doesn't move up in a thread on Facebook based on the number of likes, but still, it's an example of a site that does something like that. I'd like Duolingo to go forum style though, where posts don't move up based on the number of likes.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

@kaiengle (The comment chain is too long, so I can't reply to you directly.)

I think that is a great point. When you upvote someone, it's obvious why you upvoted them. You upvoted them because you agree with the content of their post/thread. When you downvote someone, it's not obvious why you downvoted them. People just see a downvote and are left guessing as to why it's there, as people downvote for many reasons (Many bad ones too as I listed above in this thread) and people won't know what exactly you don't like about their post until you make a response to them.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_E.
Kai_E.
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I think I've seen that happen on official pages but not on status updates. Either way, yeah, it'll prevent arbitrary down-voting. Another interesting aspect about the lack of dislikes on Facebook, I think, is that it almost forces people who disagree with something to voice their own opinion, and you can't just hide behind a down-vote.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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There could always be YouTube's "Flag for Spam" method. If enough people flag a comment, it is hidden, eventually, it might be deleted. There is always the option to show it, if curiosity wins out, which it usually does with me.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

@Puddl3glum posts that simply say things like "I agree" are already deleted as one mod mentioned in my... highly contentious thread that I made recently. So the mods could just simply make it a well-known official rule that it is against the rules to make posts like that as they add nothing to a discussion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
Puddleglum
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It would be interesting to force people to talk, but I cringe to think of how many short answers, such as "i dont think so" and "i disagree" will flood the comments. The problem is, no system is perfect. They all have their merits, and their faults.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lieryan
lieryanPlus
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Facebook only having likes and no dislikes is a matter of their commercial interest; Facebook (and other social networks) want to promote their "Like" button to be installed in as many websites as they could, and they don't want business to have to think twice about installing the button when there is the slightest possibility of swaths of dislikes in their own site. They aren't doing that because it's a better way to filter posts.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lieryan
lieryanPlus
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People downvote posts they don't agree with (Even if they aren't rude).

Frankly, you're the one that misunderstood what downvoting is supposed to be. If you post overtly rude or abusive posts or off topic stuffs, I wouldn't bother downvoting, that's what flags/report problems are for (which Duo is lacking at the moment). Voting is about voicing agreement/disagreement, it is not for reporting abuse. Downvoting do not get abusive posts deleted any sooner.

Not all questions and opinions are worthy of respect. Receiving one or two donwvotes are immateral, just treat them as background noise, since ultimately, if your post are truly worth something then you'll get upvoted again; but if you receive more than ten downvotes that's simply because what you're saying is stupid, not as "perfectly reasonable" as you might think.

People downvote posts so that their own post(s) rise to the top. People downvote threads so that their own thread(s) rise to the top. People go through others' posting history and downvote their posts and threads simply because they disagree with them on something.

Red herring. Those are different issues; they're called vote gaming, and yes I agree they're bad. They can be solved by having the system automatically detect unusual voting patterns and revert them and by banning repeat offenders (or maybe shadow ban). Removing down votes wouldn't solve vote gaming, there's a lot of harm that can be done by vote gamers with just upvotes.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

Frankly, you're the one that misunderstood what downvoting is supposed to be. If you post overtly rude or abusive posts or off topic stuffs, I wouldn't bother downvoting, that's what flags/report problems are for (which Duo is lacking at the moment). Voting is about voicing agreement/disagreement, it is not for reporting abuse. Downvoting do not get abusive posts deleted any sooner.

How am I misunderstanding what downvoting is supposed to be? Does it even matter what it's supposed to be? It matters how people use it. I said "I'll never be for downvoting because 100% of people won't magically start using downvoting solely to mark something as rude and/or off topic, which is what I think it should be used for ATM as it's a feature that I have to live with here (For now!)"

Which means that, since downvoting is around and I have to live with it, I think it should be used for downvoting rude and/or inappropriate posts. I never said that was the original intent of downvoting. But once again, that doesn't really matter. It matters how people use it.

Not all questions and opinions are worthy of respect. Receiving one or two donwvotes are immateral, just treat them as background noise, since ultimately, if your post are truly worth something then you'll get upvoted again; but if you receive more than ten downvotes that's simply because what you're saying is stupid, not as "perfectly reasonable" as you might think.

I have a huge problem with this part of your post and I find it highly offensive. Being downvoted a lot does not mean your post is stupid at all (Stupid is highly subjective anyways). It means that your opinion doesn't fit in with the majority. Simple as that. If this was the 1700s in America, posts against slavery would be downvoted. Just because an opinion is popular doesn't make it right (Right is highly subjective of course) and just because an opinion is unpopular doesn't make it wrong (Wrong is highly subjective as well, of course). Ever used Reddit? It's the epitome of a hivemind in some subreddits and in the subreddits where there isn't a hivemind, downvoting still completely ruins the experience for me. I quit it due to massive downvotes for simply sharing my unpopular (But not rude) opinion on things. I don't want to quit the Duolingo discussion areas as well.

Red herring. Those are different issues; they're called vote gaming, and yes I agree they're bad.

Red herring? lol. Not at all. The issues go hand in hand as there are no limits to what people can downvote and people get away with downvoting whatever they want.

They can be solved by having the system automatically detect unusual voting patterns and revert them and by banning repeat offenders (or maybe shadow ban).

Ya... good luck figuring out an effective system to do that. Reddit hasn't even. Even if it could be figured out though, I'd still be against downvoting for the reasons I have previously stated. Just because people wouldn't be able to do it as much doesn't mean that I would start being for downvoting.

Removing down votes wouldn't solve vote gaming, there's a lot of harm that can be done by vote gamers with just upvotes.

Of course it wouldn't. But people would at least see your posts without them being hidden and would at least take a look at your thread since it wouldn't be downvoted to hell. I'd much rather Duolingo go forum style and not have posts move up based on likes/dislikes, but getting rid of dislikes is a majorly good step IMO and is the topic of this thread, so I'm not really talking about that.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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Well there are some benefits to it. Such as unhelpful posts becoming hidden more quickly than they would with flagging (I think). Another problem with downvoting: No one likes to be downvoted. Everyone just feels bad about it, or just starts attacking because of it. I've gotten into the negatives for making a bad comment, and I know it doesn't feel good. Unfortunately, not everyone will simply delete their comment and apologize for it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MegaTeck

Dont you worry I am up-voting like crazy :3

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
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I hadn't realized that downvoting trend, but now that I've read your posts, if I may, I think the problem lies in the fact that Duo is somehow getting more and more popular (maybe the CNN stuff attracted a lot of people) and the forums are getting out of control.

Seriously, the number of threads is exploding, people care little about searching if their topic has already been discussed before, and this ends up with more and more threads every day about the same stuff over and over again. I guess this is what pisses off some people.

Before you try attacking me on that, NO, I do not downvote conversations I don't find interesting (and believe me, there is plenty of them.) I downvote empty threads or "jhbouhbouhvbouyb" (I still don't get what's the point of posting that, but whatever.)

That being said, I can tell you that I don't even read anymore the threads about "improving Duo" or "brilliant idea that HAS NOT been posted 1,000,000 times before". I'm not saying I have a solution on how to solve this, but it does get pretty annoying to read the same stuff over and over again. You also have plenty of suggestions to improve the incubator, which I personally find pointless since 99% of the people here haven't even seen the said incubator and won't probably ever see it, but that's not the point here. As for all the questions regarding language learning, no, they shouldn't be downvoted, even if you find them "stupid" (I guess this is why people downvote them?...)

Now, it is perfectly natural to want to "discuss" your point of view - I do it myself on these forums, and yes probably most of the (if not every) discussions I'm having are no brand new topics. However, some "clean up" would be warmly welcomed. Maybe there should be more categories in the forums? Or some kind of code in the title, like [incubator], [improvements], [tips], [language learning] ... ? That way, you can read the discussions that you find interesting, and let everyone be happy with the topic they find interesting.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

Although I do not agree with casting away the down vote, I do think that it should be handled more carefully; as I have also noticed the careless down voting. There have been many interesting posts, questions and ideas that I have seen down voted for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I found an interesting short story which I commented on that had a very large number of down votes. Of course I have not been a Duolingo user for quite as long as many of you, so I do not know how long exactly this has been going on; even so, from what I have seen it happens quite frequently. http://www.duolingo.com/comment/969300$comment_id=973822 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/970619 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/970539 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/968501 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/968741 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/967279 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/967974 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/961718 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/969338 - http://www.duolingo.com/comment/969642 - There are many more, but if I post them all I would take up a very large amount of space. Like Puddl3glum I do not just downvote a comment (unless of coarse it is offensive) I speak/type my disagreance instead.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

May I ask why I was down voted? -_-

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
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Most likely it was someone doing it for the lulz.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

lol most likely. Either way it just proves our point more. It seems you were down voted as well.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

You don't know being downvoted until you have received as many as I have in my recent contentious thread.:P

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
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That one was a hotbed of dissent. I admit, I did disagree with you on that one.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

lol I saw your down votes, honestly the only reason it bothers me is the fact that it has been done for no reason. I don't mind dissagreances I actually like hearing why people disagree, it helps me to see whatever we are dissagreing about in a new light. No, I may not always agree even after being shown this new way, but it still helps me understand the person and their point of view. I'm just weird like that XD, lol. I have noticed that someone has up voted my comments.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnieN82

This is getting ridiculous. Two people fighting over one thing? Just work out something for once. But i have seen people downvote for nothing so maybe if you downvote, a box comes up asking the reason of downvoting this person's thread/post. Then maybe the moderators can keep track of them.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

Seeing as how people downvote all the time and many would disregard that info box anyways, it would become a full time job for the moderators. I don't think that is a good solution.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
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Hm, a bit much for hitting the button. Perhaps the moderators or owners should be contacted so they could know that they have a troll infestation. If they punish this small set of trolls, we might not have this problem in the future.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

I was thinking the same thing. It would decrease the numbers, but it would add a lot more to the mods' list of things to do. We already have problems because of the shortage of mods, adding this would make this problem worse.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnieN82

True but i was thinking if 'some trustful users' could help the mod's. The only problem is if there are 'some trustful users' around.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

Lol exactly what I was thinking again. I don't know if you saw my "weekly post' but for next week's I was thinking about discussing this. I would help if I could I almost said I would volunteer as a mod, but unfortunately to be a mod you must be fluent in at least two languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_
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but unfortunately to be a mod you must be fluent in at least two languages.

I think you're confusing the two different types of moderators that Duo has. The first is a new one, the course moderators which are required to be multilingual and vetted by Duo to moderate crowdsourced language courses. The other is forum moderators which have been around now for some time. There is a very different and much lower set of standards for qualifying to be a forum moderator.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

Do you know these standards? If so, could you let me know what they are?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_
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@madalinehatter - If I remember correctly, there was an official post from Duo staff around the time that moderators were initially selected. It listed what they were looking for when selecting new mods. You might be able to unearth it with a search, but the forum's search function is kind of limited. It might be easier to just ask kristinemc, the Duolingo community manager, directly.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

@pinkodoug Thank you I will.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
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And it also seems a bit pretentious and rude to ask to be a mod, as with all sites. Eventually, if you build your rep, you might be able to, I imagine. The mods are mods because they are the trustworthy users, which is proved by their activity.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnieN82

Discussing this would be a great idea. We probably don't have to be a mod but we could be something like 'Moderator's Helper' and we could help with stuff going on mainly in discussions including downvoting for no reason.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

I'll post it as a topic next week in my weekly post. :D I already have around seven topics lol.

Edit: I have also seen alot of questions of how to get a job at duo, do you think I should add that as a topic?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jasminedesi16
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Hello Gringacho, I agree. I have been looking at questions in the French senatcnes and some questions are voted down for no reason and they are questions that haven't been asked before and questions that are legitimate.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TTANTAWY
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I don't like the fact that upvotes and downvotes cancel each other out. I think it'd be reliable to have 2 separate counts visible in order to get a clearer idea of the number of people for or against a certain post.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eirajea

I agree with that, it does get annoying and confusing at times because one minute your at 1 upvote the next your at 3 and then your at -1. It makes it hard to see the majorities opinion. (I hope you understand what I mean I couldn't explain it well)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
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I agree with this sentiment in general. At the very least, could they enable a feature so if you hover over or click the arrows, it shows which users voted up or down? I've seen this on other forums. Maybe some accountability would give pause to frequent and frivolous downvoting. Or maybe it would just invite more trouble, I don't know.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IG88
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That would be a guaranteed source of arguments, especially if it were retroactive.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zenolee
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Maybe downvotes should be transparent. If there was no anonymity in downvoting or upvoting for that matter, then people would be more sparing of its use. Right now there's no consequence of spurious downvoting.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nosaji

I don't need a down-vote to know if someone does not agree with me. If they have a constructive comment they can reply. There is no need for a down-vote. I hope they remove it. They should have never added it.

I imagine most people down-vote to get their replies closer to the top.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Puddleglum
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Alright, so the trolls have found this post. Prepare accordingly.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ComradeFrancis
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Downvotes are an essential part of the sorting algorithm which keeps the discussion boards usable and relevant. Threads move upward or downward on the ladder based upon community feedback without any need for blame or reprisal.

What you suggest (replacing the "downvote" option with "flag for deletion") only makes sorting for relevance far less responsive and creates an opening for far more destructive and vindictive abuses of site functions.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr.Manhattan95

Not really. Discussions can still move on the amount of upvotes. Any "destructive and vindictive abuses" would have been flagged and deleted.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nosaji

I agree, however I would much rather have the replies sorted by date. It is much easier to keep up with new replies if you are following a topic.

As I have said before, I bet most people down-vote to get their replies closer to the top.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_undertoad

I think that the main problem is not with the fact that people have an option to upvote or downvote a comment or a post in these forums. The main problem is with the way that information is being presented to viewers. Personally, I find the fact that one has the option to only "Like" or simply ignore something on certain sites... like Facebook... intellectually offensive. People have opinions and should be allowed to express them. Maybe the problem with these forums is with the way that the information that you're viewing is being presented. What I see is 1 number that is impacted by upvotes and by downvotes. What if there were two numbers? Would that make you feel better? Maybe... Maybe not. I don't know. There's no sense in trying to force people to either have a positive attitude or just shut up. I've been a teenager before and I hated everything. I also thought that my point of view was just as valid as anyone else's. How wrong was I? It doesn't matter. Anyway, I do strongly feel that both sides should be heard in any debate. Perhaps it would be wise for someone to restrict how often one can downvote without explaining why, but maybe even that would be unwise or unfair... unless serial upvoters were held to the same standard.

I simply don't understand why anyone would sign up on this site and do nothing but troll the forums. Maybe there are some... I'd hate to think that people would waste so much of their own time and everyone else's.

« Je ne suis pas d’accord avec ce que vous dites, mais je me battrai jusqu’à la mort pour que vous ayez le droit de le dire. »

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_undertoad

I just posted this big long thing... and maybe no one is going to read it (because it automatically fell to the very bottom. New post. Other posts have been better appreciated by prior voters). No big deal. But, it makes me wonder: Is it even fair to list posts by their popularity? I'm not sure.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RyStarrr

dulolingo is great!!! no adds no spam no nothing i love learning my new language!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_-C1-_
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That's a good idea! ^^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
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I wish both counts would show, the number of upvotes and downvotes. 156-up/157-down is different from 0-up/1-down.

I also wish there was an "abuse" button everywhere there is a downvote button. Then we could distinguish between "I don't agree" and "you should not be on this site".

And finally, I wish there was a daily limit for the number of downvotes any person could give. If there are indeed a few over-eager downvoters, maybe that would rein them in a bit.

4 years ago