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[Discussion] Like/react function in the new forum system?

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Rhim Flavezztowland
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[Discussion] Like/react function in the new forum system?

Postby Rhim Flavezztowland » Fri Jul 30, 2021 12:58 am

(thread created because Reppy suggested that the possibility of a like/react function in the new forum system be discussed in more depth)

So yeah, I've already suggested that there be a function in the new forum system where people can give 'likes' and reactions to posts, and I'd like it to be discussed further in depth, which is why I created this thread.

I'll start by answering the points about likes and reacts in Reppy's post about dedicated discussion threads for new forum system suggestions in the main new forum system thread below...


Reploid Productions wrote:Also starting to think some of these ideas could probably benefit from their own dedicated discussion threads, which we can then link to up in the OP here as a sort of central organizing space. I think the big ones that would benefit from more dedicated discussion are probably:
[...]
  • Post/thread "likes" or other reacts:
    1. Should we even HAVE likes/reacts?

I'd say yes, because I don't see such a thing being excluded (seeing how some of the forums I've been onto before - especially those running more modern forum software - have like/react functions).

Reploid Productions wrote:
  1. Should likes apply to threads, or individual posts?

To me, likes should apply to individual forum/RMB posts because it works that way on the forums that I've seen to have like/react functions.

Reploid Productions wrote:
  1. What about upvotes/downvotes like exists for Dispatches?

I guess they could be deprecated after the new forum system's launched by allowing players to choose between the two - the up/downvote thing currently seen in Dispatches, and the like/react thing I've suggested - for a time being; if so, I'd suggest that they correlate upvotes to likes and downvotes to dislikes in the Dispatches feature for those who decide to use the like/react thing.

Reploid Productions wrote:
  1. Should we have a variety of "reacts" such as thumbs up/down, hearts, etc a la Facebook?

I'd say so, because it'd be more of a variety than a simple 'like' function - to me, the reactions should be 'like' (represented with a thumbs-up, similar to upvotes), 'dislike' (represented with a thumbs-down, similar to downvotes), 'lovin' it' (represented with a red heart, for when you love something posted), 'LOL' (represented with a laughing face, for when you find something posted funny), 'OMG' (represented with a dizzy face, for when you're shocked by something posted), 'par-tay!' (represented with a partying face, for when you want to celebrate something), 'oh no' (represented with a crying face, for when you find something sad), 'confused' (represented with a thinking face, for when you find something posted confusing), and 'grrr...' (represented with an angry face, for when you're angered by something posted).

Reploid Productions wrote:
  1. Potential areas for abuse (like-spamming/notification spamming and harassment), and ways to mitigate it. (EX: Players get a limited number of reacts per day?)

As far as I can think of, the potential areas for like/reaction abuse include stuff such as like-spamming, giving reactions just to harass other players, and causing more contention in contentious threads like those NSG ones made for political discussion. So I'd suggest that these concerns be mitigated by limiting players to 10-20 reactions per day.

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Postby Wormfodder Delivery » Fri Jul 30, 2021 2:34 am

My take is that Like functions have, when implemented, always stifled any form of discussion. The numbers always cause people to write only what they think is popular to appear popular and also causes people to form their opinion about what is liked and disliked.
Also they are ultimately also not really saying anything about why the post was liked or disliked, sometimes with likes/dislikes begetting their own kind simply by people seeing "Oh, this got this reaction? Guess the post is that, better react first without actually reading it."

TL;DR: Like functions are a detriment to discussions, so I disagree hard here.
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Postby Kashimura » Fri Jul 30, 2021 3:20 am

1. Should we have likes or reacts?
That’s something of a double-edged sword to me. While it would certainly help users express themselves more freely when they don’t actually have input to add to a certain comment, it may also spur on unnecessary popularity contests. I’m not a decided vote on the suggestion as a whole, but I will warn that in one of the forums I frequent, not only do users make a personal goal of being the most likable user, some also make the goal of being the most unlikable. They’re assuredly not a crowd you want to draw.

2. For Threads or Posts?
The thread voting system as implemented on reddit does serve a level function, but by post would make more sense, which is also a reddit function. Voting on threads for apporval or disapproval would probably only have a narrow scope of any real consequence here. If the approval of an entire thread needs to be expressed, a simple poll can be added anyways.

3/4. Binary or Multipurpose vote system?
The way I read it, Rep was talking about the ±1 nature of voting like in dispatches, as opposed to the Facebook’s nonnumerical reaction system. Reactions do permit a greater range of expression for the voter, but I skew more towards a numerical voting system. It’s a simple, but effective way to manage public opinion. Reactions also won’t mesh with the dispatch system’s already implemented numerical system unless they translate to something, which isn’t impossible, but it is an extra step. A third approach would be a unary, positive-only system. It’s disingenuous on a level, but I’ve seen it implemented before. I think the RMBs currently operate like this too. It is in a certain respect liberating since nobody has to be held accountable for a poor reaction. It’s not my choice; I still prefer the binary one, but it’s food for thought.

5. Reaction mitigation?
There are two ways I’ve seen this handled, which both work effectively in their own rights.
Of the two forums I visit that shan’t be named, Forum 1 somewhat takes the proposed approach: 10 votes per hour per account. This by itself doesn’t quite work with the multiple nations a person can own, but if you can tie votes to an IP address, it should relatively fix the issue. Also consider the rate with respect to users, since there are likely nations here that go through many threads a day. Rates too low would inflate a vote’s importance while paradoxically making it less usable, while rates too high pose problems I’m about to discuss with limitless voting. I mentioned 10vph, but NS may need a different number since Forum 1 is primarily an image forum with low actual involvement in comments.
Forum 2 is more of a Wild West approach to voting: There are no voting limits. You just vote up or down whenever you feel ways about things. This poses the additional problem of what is known on that forum as “bombing”, wherein a user maliciously hunts down and downvotes every comment ever said by the victim user. This is supposed to be fixed by monitoring and reporting to the moderators since you can also see who voted, but the mods on Forum 2 are just glorified users and reporting it just gets you targeted. I can only assume it would work with the far more diligent squadron of moderators here. Users here also seem to be far more civilized in their distaste.
I’m going to err on the side of the former, but the latter with unlimited voting is for your consideration.
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Postby Bears Armed » Fri Jul 30, 2021 3:50 am

No. Leave the situation as it is, with people having to say why they agree or disagree with a particular post: The other way would simply make tying to smother "unpopular" opinions too easy.
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Postby Sunset » Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:05 am

I'ma steal Kashimura's headings. Note that I'm primarily coming at this from a role-player perspective - if this is something 'we're' doing ourselves, it is plausible that different forums might have different feature sets.

1. Should we have likes or reacts?
Yes, but carefully. At least in RP-world it would be detrimental to have a bunch of people insert a bunch of OOC comments after a particular post. It would break the flow of the story and more than likely result in OOC rabbit trailing. But having 'likes' or 'reacts' - and I'm in favor of the second more than the first - would be a useful way to show the poster that their work is appreciated by those who are reading the story. And again-also, I'm in favor of only having 'positive' reactions. It might sound strange for a forum where role-playing is supposed to be the primary focus but there's a lot of OOC drama out there and I strongly suspect that if 'dislikes' were a thing - or downvotes - there would be more than one group of people who just sit there going through threads downvoting/disliking. I'd rather they be writing instead, but I'll take a 'middle' ground.

2. For Threads or Posts or Both?
Both. At least in RP-land there's usually multiple posters in a single thread and it would be nice to show the aforementioned appreciation to both.

3. Binary or Multipurpose Vote System?
Again, RP-land; I'd prefer a limited something-or-nothing system. I don't like popularity contests - this isn't high school, though there's certainly groups that think it should be. And I don't like clutter. So less a voting system and more a react system with just enough space on the page taken to show appreciation. A little box that replaces the 'react' button once you react or if it is your own post (no, you can't react to your own post/thread. Ideally no puppets or alts either) that then shows the reactions the post has gotten stacked up half-over the other to again save space. And no, we don't need to know who. Again, shouldn't be a popularity contest.

4. Reaction Mitigation?
RP-land caveat; I don't think we need a limit per day - I think we need a limit per post/thread to keep things from turning into a popularity contest. If there's no positive reactions... Well, that does tell one something, doesn't it? And yes, if there was an absolute limit of say... 5 reacts to a post/thread, it would be really easy to reach that limit but again my thinking is that we really want to avoid a popularity contest situation. I could see that spiraling real quick and adding quite the workload to the moderator staff when organized upvote/downvote rings start operating. Ugh, no thank you.
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Postby Aikoland » Fri Jul 30, 2021 10:51 am

Wormfodder Delivery wrote:My take is that Like functions have, when implemented, always stifled any form of discussion. The numbers always cause people to write only what they think is popular to appear popular and also causes people to form their opinion about what is liked and disliked.
Also they are ultimately also not really saying anything about why the post was liked or disliked, sometimes with likes/dislikes begetting their own kind simply by people seeing "Oh, this got this reaction? Guess the post is that, better react first without actually reading it."

TL;DR: Like functions are a detriment to discussions, so I disagree hard here.

I have to disagree with this, I'm active on several forums that have like functionally built-in and active and they don't stifle discussion at all. They're used for exactly the purpose they're designed for: to let someone know that you like what they've written/posted without needing to clog up the thread with useless 'Wow great post!' replies or (often) to thank a poster for something that they've done. Like if someone needs help with something here on the forums and another player helps them out, I don't see what's wrong with the player who needed help giving the player who helped them a like.

Another forum I use has a full reaction system that has likes, love, haha, sad, shocked, and thinking and I'd much rather have people reacting to a funny post with a 'haha' reaction vs replying 'lol' or something tbh.

Although I think that if a like function is enabled on the new forum software, it should maybe be disabled in a post where a mod does a modly action (like warning, banning, or DEATing a player). Like IDK it'd just feel improper for people to be able to like a post where the mods banned a player for three days for trolling or something, like it'd feel like the people who liked the posts are celebrating that the person got banned, you know?
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Postby Reploid Productions » Fri Jul 30, 2021 12:00 pm

Personally, I'm not particularly in favor of a react system for the forums. Like already mentioned, I worry about a quick like/dislike/whatever coming to replace more meaningful debate, plus the fact in a forum environment it is a system ripe for abuse and as a tool of harassment. That being said, limiting reacts to positives-only would likely mitigate a great deal of those problems; certainly "like" as an option on RMB posts hasn't hampered RMB posting, nor created an excessive enforcement burden.
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Postby South Reinkalistan » Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:16 pm

It's my personal belief that if you're worrying about dislikes/reacts being used as a tool of harassment, you are rather trying to treat the symptom of a deeper issue rather than tackle it head-on -- if people want to be dicks, they're gonna find a way to be dicks.

I am in favour of like/react functions
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Postby Dexterra » Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:18 pm

I feel like the forums are a lot more peaceful without a like/react function, but maybe that's just introverted me

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Postby South Reinkalistan » Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:21 pm

Dexterra wrote:I feel like the forums are a lot more peaceful without a like/react function, but maybe that's just introverted me

this is the first time i have seen someone regard the nationstates forums as "peaceful"
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Postby The Python » Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:30 pm

Reploid Productions wrote:Personally, I'm not particularly in favor of a react system for the forums. Like already mentioned, I worry about a quick like/dislike/whatever coming to replace more meaningful debate, plus the fact in a forum environment it is a system ripe for abuse and as a tool of harassment. That being said, limiting reacts to positives-only would likely mitigate a great deal of those problems; certainly "like" as an option on RMB posts hasn't hampered RMB posting, nor created an excessive enforcement burden.

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Postby Equestrian States » Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:55 pm

I'm strongly opposed to any like/dislike system being implemented for the simple reason that it seems likely to cause more problems than it would solve, as others have already expressed. I just don't see any worthwhile value such a system would bring to a forum like this.
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Postby Dexterra » Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:13 pm

South Reinkalistan wrote:
Dexterra wrote:I feel like the forums are a lot more peaceful without a like/react function, but maybe that's just introverted me

this is the first time i have seen someone regard the nationstates forums as "peaceful"


In no way was I calling these forums peaceful! :lol2: I meant peaceful, as in, relative to (say) Twitter, Reddit, 4chan or other sites

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Postby Minoa » Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:03 pm

I disapprove of the idea of likes and reactions. In my opinion, it would discourage user input, and make it too easy for users to inflate the number of likes, especially with multiple nations being allowed on the site.
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Postby Picairn » Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:09 pm

Opposed on principle. If I want popularity contests I'll go to Facebook or Reddit.
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Postby South Reinkalistan » Sat Jul 31, 2021 6:49 am

Minoa wrote:I disapprove of the idea of likes and reactions. In my opinion, it would discourage user input, and make it too easy for users to inflate the number of likes, especially with multiple nations being allowed on the site.

I mean I don't see how it would discourage user input? If someone's only intention was to go "hey nice post" and like something, then I don't think that their "input" in the form of a post would be particularly valuable for the discussion and would merely clog up the thread. In fact, on the contrary, it would probably advance user input; in cases where someone wants to express that they approve of a certain post, but would otherwise ignore it as they don't have enough to say in order to justify replying via a post of their own, there's an opportunity here for *extra* user input.
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Postby Xoriet » Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:18 am

Reploid Productions wrote:Personally, I'm not particularly in favor of a react system for the forums. Like already mentioned, I worry about a quick like/dislike/whatever coming to replace more meaningful debate, plus the fact in a forum environment it is a system ripe for abuse and as a tool of harassment. That being said, limiting reacts to positives-only would likely mitigate a great deal of those problems; certainly "like" as an option on RMB posts hasn't hampered RMB posting, nor created an excessive enforcement burden.

The problem with the "Like" function on the RMB is that people have spammed it in the past. Would people be notified if their post was liked here as we do when a post on the RMB we made was liked? Not to mention that "likespamming" has landed some people warnings before because of going back and liking posts from way back when.
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Postby Great Algerstonia » Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:56 am

Bears Armed wrote:No. Leave the situation as it is, with people having to say why they agree or disagree with a particular post: The other way would simply make tying to smother "unpopular" opinions too easy.

I agree.
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Postby Great Algerstonia » Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:59 am

Xoriet wrote:
Reploid Productions wrote:Personally, I'm not particularly in favor of a react system for the forums. Like already mentioned, I worry about a quick like/dislike/whatever coming to replace more meaningful debate, plus the fact in a forum environment it is a system ripe for abuse and as a tool of harassment. That being said, limiting reacts to positives-only would likely mitigate a great deal of those problems; certainly "like" as an option on RMB posts hasn't hampered RMB posting, nor created an excessive enforcement burden.

The problem with the "Like" function on the RMB is that people have spammed it in the past. Would people be notified if their post was liked here as we do when a post on the RMB we made was liked? Not to mention that "likespamming" has landed some people warnings before because of going back and liking posts from way back when.

I've never seen any form of problem with this, and if likes are implemented, there should be no punishment for like"spamming". All they do is create marks of appreciation and create numbers on your notify page and if for some reason you don't like that there's always the option of blocking like notifications...
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Postby Luziyca » Sat Jul 31, 2021 12:29 pm

Most certainly not: NationStates is different from Facebook or Discord, and I do not think having a like/react system on the forums would be all that beneficial to the health of the forums. Best case scenario, it just makes the forums look fugly; worst case scenario, it stifles debate and can be used to basically shut down any point a user makes.

I suspect the only upside of having a like/react function is that if something is so good that it doesn't merit any discussion, the guy who posts it won't feel like they've posted something so mind-boggling that people don't figure out how to reply to it.
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Postby Authoritaria-Imperia » Mon Aug 02, 2021 12:34 pm

I'd be in favour of reacts in limited use:
  • "Like" reactions only. Applicable to posts, not threads.
  • Only for some forums. It sounds like RPs might benefit from them, but we certainly don't need reactions in Moderation; GI could use them (to add multiple people's weight to feedback on drafts), but they've no relevance in Trading Cards; etc.
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Postby The Free Joy State » Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:18 am

I disagree with a "like" or a "react" function.

A react function -- as in a row of buttons for like/dislike/wow/funny/and that disgusted looking one that they have on some clickbaity sites -- could be used to mock or harass users. Even the like-only could lead to people "liking" as opposed to engaging in thoughtful debate and explaining why they agree, which would weaken the quality of debate in NSG. Also, in highly-controversial subjects, it could lead to "battles of the likes" (for want of a better word) as people sought to debate and win others over -- not with words -- but with the appearance of support.

Authoritaria-Imperia suggests "likes" may be useful in GI. I disagree. It is more valuable to explain what you like about a draft than to click a button. A button offers no feedback.
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Morover
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Posts: 1333
Founded: Oct 14, 2018
Libertarian Police State

Postby Morover » Fri Aug 06, 2021 3:12 pm

I agree with it being limited to only a "like" function - in fact, I would prefer it even more neutral than that, being a more "This is a high-effort and high-quality submission" as opposed to "I agree with this", but I know that it would inevitably devolve into the latter for most people.

I also think that this can only be implemented once "accounts" are implemented (if ever), so that each player is limited to one reaction per post as opposed to per nation, which could get hectic, or per WA nation, which could be annoying (particularly for R/D players). I also think rules for "like-bombing" should be put in place, as I've seen it get out of hand on other forums I've been a part of.
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Reploid Productions
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Founded: Antiquity
Democratic Socialists

Postby Reploid Productions » Sun Sep 05, 2021 4:53 pm

So to nudge this again, it sounds like the semi-consensus I'm seeing is against reacts for the new forum, or at most just "likes" in line with current RMB post reacts. I don't want to make a solid decision on that without ample discussion and input first, obviously.
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The Northern Chinese Republic
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Posts: 134
Founded: Jan 25, 2020
Moralistic Democracy

Postby The Northern Chinese Republic » Sun Sep 05, 2021 5:05 pm

I'd prefer not to have the forum cluttered up with a bunch of reacts.

If we do have them, please limit it to positive ones only. If you give people the ability to dislike or downvote things, you WILL get obnoxious behavior where a clique just go around downvoting every post by a particular user that they have something against.

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