Remove ability to see who has liked a post

I recently discovered if you click on the number of likes a post has you can see who has posted. I think this feature should be removed in the interest of getting neutral / anonymous feedback.

For example, the feature may discourage a person from liking a post if there is a general trend against the poster (i.e. they are receiving none or few likes and the counter-posters are receiving more). It may also engender group-liking where people will like something after seeing who else has liked it. (This kind of thing is already a potential problem based on number of likes or popularity of poster, but knowing who has liked may cause additional bias.)

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I disagree. I rather like seeing who has liked a post.

9 Likes

I also disagree, I‘d like to see who from the community like mine or a different posts so I have an understanding who is on the same page. I don‘t see this information as a privacy concern, after all we‘re not a social media here.

I for myself evaluate all posts I read, but I view likes as an attraction for a potential point of interest.

4 Likes

I had high hopes in the move to Discourse, and in a perfect world, I would dismiss the request as nonsense - but we are far away from perfection, and I think discussion is justified.

The negative effect might not be big, but I'm pretty sure it's real; so for me, the question is "what is the benefit of the likes-list?"
Imho personal curiosity isn't that important, and I can't think of really compelling reasons - except, of course "it's not supported by our forum" (and unless the benefits are substantial, I don't think it's justified to spend time modifying the source of Discourse).

1 Like

I think a lot of the benefit is psychological. After awhile of lurking, people will begin to remember who the big influencers are. So when a user begins to post and see who is liking them, if some of the people doing the liking are familiar names, it can make the poster feel like they are contributing worthwhile things, which is great.

I also think it’s a nice idea to see what the big names like. But there’s probably something to be said about seeing a big name liking a particular comment could sway opinions towards that comment, which might not be ideal.

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I think that there are benefits. e.g. it is often used as a lightweight way to signal agreement, or at least acceptance of a point of view, so it can be one signal that a back-and-forth discussion probably doesn't require more replies. Anything that reduces the number of posts people have to read seems beneficial to me.

3 Likes

The “like” button is essentially a stand-in for the large number of “+1” and “I agree with so-and-so” posts that we used to see back in the mailing-list days.

We want to reduce those posts, therefore we want the “like” button to serve an equivalent role. Since a “+1” comment includes the username, it follows that a “like” should as well.

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This, basically. It's a useful signal during a debate that you've communicated your point clearly.

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I don't buy that logic - we now have a medium with more capabilities than email, and we don't have to keep restrictions that just could not be avoided in the past. Btw, I'm pretty sure someone from Core explicitly wrote we should keep writing "me too" comments instead of liking other posts during review.

Also, there is no agreement on what a "like" actually means:
It's something positive, but when you ask for details, everyone may have a personal interpretation (and even a single person may have completely different reasons for liking different posts).

True - but a much bigger variant of the same problem exists with posts, and we probably don't want to anonymize those ;-)

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Sounds to me like the real solution is to anonymize everything. :wink: No one knows who posted what or who liked what!

This has some clear benefits:

  • No one gets influenced by big names
  • Makes it more difficult to follow a certain clique or crowd
  • No one can form a bias against someone because of something they said in the past

I'm sure there's more stuff too.

I think it would also be fun if reviews/pitches were un-anonymized after the thread was closed/locked. Go see your mortal enemies that you actually ended up agreeing with on certain points. :joy:

5 Likes

I think this would increase the amount of noise and by non trivial amounts. As most other forums large and small, work comms tools, etc... are all picking up reactions to messages (vBulletin is soo much better with reactions and MS Teams did a good job picking up reactions too... step up over HipChat).

Also, the point about influencers well... considering the real decision is always in the hands of the Core Team and so far I see tons of people fresh and old contributing it feels like we are thinking of a solution to a problem that is not really here... the attitude of brushing off other’s comments with one liner or attitude self appointed police force statements... those scare people off.

Also, the matter gets more and more complex as the language matures and people may fear the initial curve to contribute and discuss.

My initial thought is the technical and focused nature of this forum will tend to keep it insulated from much of the potential negative effects of the "like" button.

If users reputations here becomes so important that they're scared to disagree, that's a much more fundamental issue. It would also be quite surprising given the combined (cliche) tendencies of the Internet and Engineers :smile:

As long as the visibility of posts/comments aren't affected by likes, I don't see too many negative effects from this. If there was some sort of "trending posts" section, that could be a problem, but currently it's a fairly minor feature that's easily ignored. I rarely even notice the number unless I like it. As it is, it seems like it adds a simple way for people to support something and/or feel included. As such, IMO it should require active examples of abuse/problems before a change would be necessary.

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AFAIK there's nothing preventing people from using multiple accounts, so if you want to lurk as "Brony47" no one would know :wink:

Just hiding that list would not make anything anonymous.

Discourse also alerts you when someone likes your post, and it includes the liker’s username. (Though it seems to omit subsequent likes by others if they are of the same post on the same day).

There are also statistics like this available to every user:

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I think this is a solution looking for a problem. I disagree with the suppositions presented and the overall proposal.

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I don’t think anonymity is necessary here, because, as said a few message above by @GetSwifty, likes don’t influence visibility, meaning that likes are just one way to express opinion, like any other post.

I’ve been lurking for almost a year here before creating an account a few days ago and I never noticed likes or used them as a measure of value (though that’s my personal experience and not an absolute truth).

I think likes influence which posts are visible in the automatic thread summary

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Where's that?

Open a long thread like this one, scroll up to the first post and you should have " There are 107 replies with an estimated read time of 25 minutes ." and a [Summarize This Topic] button at the bottom

Yay! I made it to the high score list! :P

But seriously, I don't really think the like list really effects much. It's literally just a +1 button.

1 Like
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