Comment: Could you give some clarity on the voting up or down of a thread

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Could you give some clarity on the voting up or down of a thread

I've been away for a while. Coming back to the voting system now on the site, it looks like there is confusion and inconsistency with regard to voting up or down of a thread.

In particular, it seems that when voting for or against a thread, some are voting on the ARTICLE that a thread is sharing, rather than the THREAD itself. This is occurring even where a reader is supportive of the article having been shared and the reader seems to concur with the OP.

As an example, in this thread, http://www.dailypaul.com/254897/usa-today-reince-priebus-one... , some were downvoting it based on the content of the article, yet they seemed to concur with the OP. One of the downvoters actually even thanked the poster of the thread for sharing the article.

Voting the thread down by basing their vote on the article conveyed the opposite message of what they appeared to be intending.

Are people supposed to vote for the article itself that is presented in a thread? Or is the vote supposed to reflect whether the reader is supportive of the information having been shared here?

Given some of the objectives you list above for the voting, as with group consensus, community self moderation, and vote ranking that could determine a thread's appearance in areas of recognition such as 'Top Recent Topics', perhaps some clarity could be given because the apparent misunderstandings about what is actually being voted on when voting a thread up or down may be defeating the whole purpose.