-78 votes

Why People Should Not Be Able To DownVote Without Commenting To Explain It

GREAT comment from KongVault: I don't understand the whole point of a downvote option at all. It's horrible for morale, just gets everyone pissed off, hating each other, doesn't do a damn thing to help the site. I can't think of a more divisive tool on a forum.

V: I agree! I would also add that if you see a post with zero votes on it you are more likely to up-vote it then if you see it with -58 votes.
End Edit

Let's face it. The vote count on these posts does have at the very least a subliminal effect on how people percieve your information. If people can "drive-by downvote" they can affect that perception without having to explain why they downvoted.

If people have to comment first before downvoting (and the downvote is shown in their comment) then the other people viewing the thread can decide if they actually had a legit reason for poo-pooing the information or if it was just some kind of personal vendetta.

Maybe they are just a "govt" plant, I don't know. The point is I think a lot of these posts that contain some PRO-ACTIVE information (not just from me) are being downvoted by some folks possibly because there is an agenda to keep this community chasing their tails.

With full disclosure of their vote that's less likely to happen. Think of it this way. Those of us with DP accounts are like the "state reps" and the people who read the site but don't have an account are like "the people." Shouldn't our votes be a matter of public view since we are de-facto representing the people who frequently read the DP?

Are there any objections?

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I think it's ironic that this post got negative votes. Also, the post title is not descriptive of the content.

I would like to see a comment required for a downvote, but it's not something I have strong opinions on. It would force the issues that are always pushed to the bottom to gather reasoning for the neg.

However, it's possible to have untended consequences. For example, quite often posts with lots of negative votes make it to the 'Active Forum Topics'. Which is good enough when you can't make the front page. Imagine something horrible making it to the front page because we all are just too lazy to comment&downvote.

It's a good idea, but ideas have consequences.

-quiet engineer

Why does it bother you so

Why does it bother you so much?

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

Well for one reason

if someone doesn't like something that I've said I would like to know why and if they actually have a legitimate beef. It's all about the search for truth. I also think there's a bit of information suppression going on and down-voting a post into oblivion certainly helps stain the air on it before you even begin to read.

Downvotes Are Like Skid Marks on Your Underwear

Sometimes, ya just can't help yourself.

What's the goal of the votes?

If you're going to implement votes, you must first obtain the goal.

There are 3 things someone can vote on a post or comment for.

First is the person. Maybe they support that person or just like them. Maybe the opposite is true.

Second is the action of posting the content. Content saying the Fed just implemented QE400 is negative to our cause, so should that get a negative vote or positive one? The action of posting it is separate from the actual content.

Third is the content itself. In this case, there is original content and awareness of external content. There is opinion and fact. There is both good and bad in both of those. For me, I post mostly original idea/activist content so I don't have any idea if down votes are for me, my action of wanting to get active or the actual idea.

It's just too confusing. If there are to be rankings based on it, that adds another level of frustration. With original content, certain areas showcase highly voted material (the tabbed section above the user area) but even that defaults to Originals so the other tabs get neglected. A showcase should cycle between Originals and Questions/Ideas, etc., and it should highlight the ones whose content received the most support, regardless of user standing or how negative people feel about the topic being discussed.

The other concern, mentioned numerous times, is to see how much support each of the above has AND how must negative support. A single down vote would be much more informative if it was displayed as +20/-21 than a simple total.

Maybe the solution is 3 levels of voting (personal, post and content agreement) or maybe there's another way to do this technically. I do know that together, we can make it however it works best to do all things desired, the best way possible. We just have to be open to ideas and discuss things honestly.

All in all, I think there's a major social aspect that is being missed in the way it's done now. If we ask ourselves what we are all doing here, I think the answers we would receive mostly center around two things. First is simple awareness and discussion. The system seems to work fair for that. For those that post ideas for getting some action going, the system doesn't really work. There doesn't seem to be any process to keep it alive once it passes those first few minutes of being active. A lapse of a couple hours during a busy day and the best idea gets buried.

So again I ask... What's the goal?

Domestic Terrorist, with all

Domestic Terrorist, with all your bitching and complaints about the Daily Paul...have you considered just moving along to another site and leaving this one?

"Ehhh, What's ups Doc?" B.Bunny "Scwewy Wabbit!"E. Fudd
People's Awareness Coalition: Deprogramming Sequence

Why care?

Since up votes don't translate into more money or friends or anything else that's useful, I don't know why it should bother you.


Are you going for another record:))

"Its easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."
Mark Twain

Why don't you take the lead

and go back through all your own uncommented down votes of others and post explanations?

Lead by example not by dictate.

Like Josh Arizona's post below

I agree with his post and give him an upvote.. and even when I agree I don't always upvote.. could be because it's something I agree, but I don't think the subject is relative to the Forum Topic.

Then I had an idea... maybe it's how you posted your case about downvotes. And Lord knows I've had or have my share of downvotes, but I've also got a lot of friends and solid expressions of support from DP, posters/ MNs work and kind words, liberty flag, flyers..campaign stuff shared on DP.. I have like a DP wall... anyways.. your post made me think that while posters like JoshArizona and me have thick skins.. so to speak.. a lot of people don't.

When I think about people and their general social /ego needs, down votes (especially those with no explaination), they can knock a kind gental person right off the DP. People feel real shame from downvotes. You can spare me a lecture about feelings.. I know feelings are unreasonable, but I also know that people have feelings (feelings are like hormones, very difficult for some to control), and hurt feelings does not make for a good posting day..

So, instead of defending stealth downvotes, I'm now going to say, I think the stealth downvotes genuinely hurt some posters enough to leave DP. Matter of fact.. I am now recalling topic posts by those who were hurt and made a plea, and then left the DP.

I just had another thought.. maybe MN can respond by offering tee shirts: "I survived the DP downvotes". put www.randwatch.com on the back...

Why does this come up atleast

Why does this come up atleast one a month???

Why do people care so much about other people's opinions???


Why are you bothered so much by downvotes? Are you afraid of being wrong or unpopular? Do you want all your posts to be upvoted, front page material?
Sounds a lot like the progressive world of no consequences and perpetual happiness.

Make a new post and move on. It is not hard.

Southern Agrarian

Why people should be allowed to upvote without a comment?

I say we start there first...then we do your suggestion. After all people who upvote can be a government plant building up false hopes with somebody's post, egging them on. They could not be serious, how can anyone really upvote without knowing the full context of what the OP said?

There should be a full blown discussion on any vote up or down, or even the rumored sideways vote that will be introduced soon.

THEN...we move on to soft drink size and hiding cigarettes from view.

I have noticed one thing,

about 18 months ago an influx of members began to congeal here much as a scab on an open wound. It seems they embrace a flash mob mentality where if any one of them has an issue with another member the group descend's upon that individuals post like a pack of jackals and voice their displeasure with the only tool at their disposal.

There are no politicians or bankers in foxholes.

I have noticed this also. I

I have noticed this also. I see many posters who joined anywhere from 1 year to 1 year and 3 months and it seems most of them who I disagree with have that time stamp on joining. I am sure that these are part of Obama's 3500 douchebags who get paid to comment on blogs.

i'm going to troll if i want

i'm going to troll if i want and when i want, and i'm not going to read your comment, and you have been downvoted Sir.

Now, Good Day to you and God Speed


Mr. Nystrom,

I want to personally thank you for all the hard work and sacrifice you have put into providing the Liberty Community with one of the absolute finest sites on the world wide web. From a user standpoint the format here is far superior to any of the other numerous pages I frequently visit, not to mention it's smooth, fast and easy to navigate. On those rare occasions when technical dificulties are noticeable to us the users, you address them quickly and with effective lasting solutions. Moreover, you seldom make the drastic, inexplicable changes that are commonplace among other websites, and when changes are made they tend to be subtle and beneficial.

Concerning content, I know of no other place on the web where one can expect to encounter such a diverse assortment of highly useful information, provocative social commentary, and essential alternative points of view, and all of this in near to perfect adherence to the freedom of expression guaranteed within the framework of the First Amendment. Kudos Mr. Nystrom, your work here is exceptional and greatly appreciated.

In regards to the OP's complaint, I find the suggestion that explanatory commentary be required to cast a down vote, self serving, completely impracticle and entirely unecessary. As much as the content of the Daily Paul draws thousands to it's pages on a regular basis, it is the robust exchange of ideas through commentary and dialogue that truly distinguishes this site. What possible benefit could be achieved by instituting coersive measures in an environment whos very existence is fueled by the foundational principles of freedom of thought and expression?

In my opinion the comments section works exceedingly well and should simply be left alone. If you are even considering making a change to the current format, please allow me to offer a small suggestion of my own. Instead of showing the sum of negative and positive votes beside any given post, maybe it would be helpful to eliminate the contested nature of voting altogether and replace it with a system of recommendation instead, if someone likes the post they can give it a recommendation, making those recommendations visible to all in each persons individual comments should they choose to leave one. Alternatively and more simply, instead of showing just the sum of negative and postive votes for a given post, place the total positive and negative votes side by side. Example: 100+/27-

Please pardon the long winded response but I've seen many other posts and comments on this same subject lately and it would be nice to have the issue dealt with once and for all. I am personally quite content with the Daily Paul just the way it is and think you have done a remarkable job. Thank you again for the tremendous effort you put into providing this invaluable resource.

πολλα γαρ πταιομεν απαντες ει τις εν λογω ου πταιει ουτος τελειος ανηρ δυνατος χαλιναγωγησαι και ολον το σωμα


The suggestion on recommendations being visible is great, Archie, I really like that. I had the same thoughts regarding the elimination of the contested nature of the voting on the posts. I think that could work well for the comments too where the total number of up and down votes could be seen. Also, maybe a feature where if you hold your cursor over the vote totals a drop down window would appear identifying the users who voted up or down would be helpful. It might encourage people to be a bit more mindful of their voting, really consider what the person is saying and not be as reactionary. It could also help people to identify individuals who completely disregard the content of the comment and just go through the comments down-voting every comment made by someone they have a personal issue with just to be a jerk. That might be impractical, I dunno, but just a thought I had.

I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Spiral out.


That seems like a step in the right direction!

What would the Founders do?

Was already thinking on what

Was already thinking on what i should write when i happenchance upon your post, thanks for posting

A two tier scheme is what came to mind too, possitive/negative, so at least those who post usefull stuff, know that they are appreciated, you wanna avoid an influx of trolls looking for good posts, and giving the poster negatives, whose to say they may not have provided usefull information the future, but got turned off, because of the negatives

Thats not to say that some posts wont need negatives, some troll might come on and spouse things so obviously against liberty, in such a way that presumes thats what everyone here thinks the same, that you either have to engage the troll, or for times you cant be asked, disagree.....-1

To me positive and negative points is not, i love you, i hate you.......its a, i agree with that, i dont agree with that, sometimes it DOES go beyond that, like someone may make a comment attacking a person instead of the topic at hand, respectul thoughtprovoking attacks against trolls not withstanding, even if they do throw that in your face.........those who've learned to let it slide hold much esteem to me, but yeah,, sometimes "shit happens" once in a while, the trick is to calm yourselves as best you can, store that energy, learn to control it, and use it to enhance the talents that feel right, in your "soul"

Personally, ive only been here a month, i dont think i remember ever downvoting anything, as far as other places go, if you do have trolls, either their very mild, very subtle, or ive not been looking hard enough, thats not to say they may not be there, and plus i care more for showing support then not, thats not to say that wont change, hope it dont, feels good, that feeling of, internal "growness" ) but........."shit happens".......all the time, i never say never, or 100%

yeah, as most places go, im pleasantly surprised by the lack of them, not to say i agree with everyone, everytime, but hats not to say i disagree either if i dont agree, i think a neutral has a place here too, the posts that are neither plus nor minus........but with those, i still get a sense of comradery

this comment..

Is what makes DP so great.

My hat is off to you sir/madam...

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

bah! censorship. if you want

bah! censorship. if you want special rules for down votes, the same rule should apply for up votes. it sounds to me like you have ideas that aren't popular, and you feel like the fact that people get to down vote them without explaining themselves is unfair to you.. well guess what.. i bet you don't beg for an explanation when someone gives you an up vote, do ya? why should people have to explain themselves to YOU to disagree with you? is it not THEIR opinion that they are expressing when they down vote? a situation in which people can up vote ad hoc, while having to explain themselves to down vote leads to laziness and group think. a system in which people must explain themselves to do either stifles opinion. sour grapes i say... bah! i'm down voting this, your lucky i commented :)

Agree with this post, though

Agree with this post, though it doesn't necessarily mean that we have to go with this particular solution. It's not only you that feels this way, even the creator of this site feels that some things can be improved. There's a thread by him discussing part of this:


I believe the concept of the daily originals was one of these improvements in order to alleviate the situation.

Personally, I think the greatest problem with the voting system is its ability to foster groupthink, a bad condition to have if one needs creative solutions. Some measure of unity IS required to pool our power, but I do think we don't want TOO much groupthink to occur afterall.

I upvoted your post and I agree

I've been saying the same thing for awhile now. If I get downvoted without an explanation I consider the person a coward who doesn't have the courage of their conviction. And that's what an upvote/downvote is, a conviction. I don't have to explain or have an upvote explained because that means there's an agreement with the sentiment expressed. But when I see a downvote and no reason for it I wonder what it was I said that was perceived as wrongheaded. I want to know why my thoughts didn't strike a chord with the reader. That downvoter's position may give me pause and I may even cause me to alter my position. We are supposed to be discussing things, and I really don't mind being questioned re: my thoughts. If we don't challenge each other with new ideas we become stagnant and an explanation of a downvote is that opportunity to express and exchange ideas. Unfortunately, I believe too many downvotes are given by others who have no idea why they are downvoting and can't express their dislike of what was written except for an unreasoned 'I don't like it' proving the dumbing-down GRIC (govt run indoctrination center aka public school system) has been successful.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

I think it is sort of funny...

because it started getting to me, but then I thought about how silly it was to be upset at a digital thumbs down with a red negative number. It IS visually stressful.

Who likes to be thumbs downed? I think people who insult other people probably deserve it.

-Matthew Good

What does freedom mean?

Well it means not "shoulding" on anyone ability to express their opinion. Especially in an OPEN forum. I find that in many cases down votes actually make my point of peoples pre programmed responses and state that boldly in my description. If one embraces the concept of allowing everyone's "dignity of process" (especially one's own) anger and judgement clouds important thinking and decisions much less. TRY IT! Forgive them long enough to get smarter.

I upvoted

And if downvotes have to be explained - upvotes should be as well.

I'm against anonymity in upvoting/downvoting (at least there should be lists), cause this community supposed to be free. And if you're afraid to speak up your mind - don't do it. I've seen time and time again on this site: a big crowd of statists who just arbitrarily upvote/downvote certain things because it suits their personal delusions. All while proclaiming 'check everything for yourself before judging' principle.

So yeah - rating system is best be gone.

Only as high as i reach can i grow
Only as far as i seek can i go
Only as deep as i look can i see
Only as much as i dream can i be

"(at least there should be lists)"

This was my thought on the issue as well. Maybe not that people are necessarily required to leave a comment with an up or down vote, but if they do choose to vote up or down I don't think it would hurt to put their name to it. I think it has the potential to encourage people to actually engage a person if they disagree and identify those that just want to be trolls.

I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
Spiral out.

I get down voted all the time

I get down voted all the time and i never complain about it. The benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

We need votes to learn what to believe

Correct thinking is what sites want, this one no exception.

In Philly PA RichardKanePA