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Annoyance comments on Well-Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism - Less Wrong

105 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 April 2009 02:44AM

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Comment author: Annoyance 22 April 2009 03:36:48PM *  3 points [-]

So in order to facilitate the downvoting that we have been encouraged to do, we must restrict downvoting so as to keep it within our karma.

Are upvotes also so restricted?

Y'know, this new feature seems to be of dubious value in itself, but it's a great way to disassociate upvotes from comment quality. Before, people would be more willing to upvote a good comment from a person whose judgment they didn't agree with or like, providing effective feedback as to what they felt about the comment and its contents. Now, though, providing that upvote gives people more ability to exercise their judgment and thus more power. People don't like giving people they dislike more power. Ergo, people will give upvotes not according to their evaluation of individual comments, but as approval of the person who posts them.

Comment author: thomblake 22 April 2009 03:42:24PM 10 points [-]

Are upvotes also so restricted?

Nope. I'd suggested that originally for balance, but the concern here (I think) was that someone could wreak more damage with unrestricted downvotes. Someone could create a bunch of accounts and downvote a bunch of stuff to oblivion. To use the 'pruning the garden' metaphor, we don't want people to come off the street with machetes and chainsaws.

But yes, I find it very ironic that this feature was implemented at the same time as encouragement to downvote more. On the other hand, they do go together, as since I can't be the one doing most of the downvoting anymore (he said jokingly), other people need to step it up.

Comment author: Mulciber 23 April 2009 01:20:48AM 5 points [-]

I'm concerned that this makes the ability to downvote a limited resource. That's good in some ways, but as long as we're talking about "what if someone created a whole bunch of accounts to mess things up" scenarios, it raises an unpleasant possibility.

If someone mass-created accounts to post flame bait and complete garbage, we'd respond by voting them down severely, which restricts the ability to use downvotes productively in actual discourse.

I don't know much about the way this site is set up. Was that scenario already considered, but viewed as unlikely for reasons I'm not seeing?