Could we have a :thumbs_down: reaction?

Continuing the discussione from Could we have a emoji :thumps up: as reaction?:

the above discussion being closed, I propose a new thread.

I’ve occasionally seen scores of :+1: collected by strongly critical (and in my opinion questionable) posts, with few options to disagree:

  • post a reply and expose yourself to the above mentioned scores of up-voters.
  • show your disappointment :frowning_face: (which is arguably other than disagreeing).
  • show your anger :angry: (which is not a constructive reaction at all IMO.)

could we just let people disagree :-1: where they are allowed to agree :+1:?


When can we expect a reaction to this request? Thanks.
(@forums-governance I think)

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I’m nothing to do with the administration of the site and certainly not part of the forums governance team, but based on what has been said previously:

  • A “thumbs down” reaction has been widely discussed as being essential before the Help site is migrated from OSQA to here.
  • The help site isn’t going anywhere until the old forum has been migrated from FluxBB to here (there are numerous discussions on the progress with that elsewhere).
  • The admins have been quite busy recently dealing with issues caused by the upgrade to Discourse 3.0

There’s actually a “solution” to this question here, but essentially that says “we’ll look at this when move on to supporting functionality”, which seems like a sensible approach to me.


That is surely the only sensible solution to the problem of sorting replies to help and support questions by up and down votes.

Being able to provide a “thumbs down” reaction is a slightly broader topic, as it is about being able to provide a :-1: reaction to any post, not just downvote a support reply. Being able to downvote a support reply is obviously necessary if we want to sort by the algebraic sum of +1 (:+1:) and -1 (:-1:) votes.

Hopefully admins will find time for looking into this once solved the mentioned upgrade.


I find it strange that there is still no reaction to this request from anybody managing this forum. Even if it is a low priority, it takes only seconds to at least let us know that.

To be fair, I don’t think that that is actually true. In my previous reply I summarised what was, and still is, the current position, and also linked to the “solution” to the previous question, which Mario’s just repeating here.

True, but the last update on that is now 8 months ago. Implementing a downvote option is not dependent on that plugin. Therefore, I still think expecting a response to this particular request is fair.

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hi. I don’t think I’m merely repeating the previous question. I’m suggesting adding this :-1: reaction. IIUC, the “previous question” is about counting them together with :+1: reactions, for which the solution is in a plugin.

if we had it, I would consider adding a :-1: to your comment :wink:

I expect we will look at this in the context of the migration. While it is not inherently confined to #help-and-support, compatibility with the plugin(s) we use to approximate help’s features seems crucial.

I also expect some debate on the pros and cons. It’s not obvious whether non-constructive disagreement is really a desirable reaction outside a vote-ranked discussion format. Upvoting a post which explains the disagreement seems like it might lead to better conversations.


is still better than the negative emotion reactions we have right now. If I disagree with a post, I disagree. That does not mean that I am sad (:frowning_face:) or angry (:angry:) or even crying (:cry:) about the post or the user who posted it.

But no hurry.


applying this logic to its diametral opposite, we might disable non-constructive agreement (:+1:) as well. :person_shrugging:


The person I’m agreeing with has hopefully already explained their views and why they hold them. Asking people who disagree to do the same and put forward some arguments for their opposing viewpoint seems only fair. This is similar to how the proposal process asks that people who oppose should give a reason and preferably include suggestions.

There’s also the emotional dimension to consider: Receiving upvotes feels good. So it’s not quite as important that they’re constructive – being encouraging and making people happy is already a pretty good reason to hand them out. In contrast, receiving downvotes feels bad, and this negative impact needs to be balanced out by a sufficiently large upside (such as improving the conversation, making it easier to find correct information or producing better decisions).

While you’re probably right about this, I’m not really convinced these reactions are a net benefit either. :thinking:

I think I do see your point and partially agree: it’s like the return value from a function, where ‘0’ means no error (I agree with the statement), but there’s so many different ways to disagree.

however, it seems only fair to let people who disagree to have their votes seen at a glance, not requiring the quick reader to scan the reactions and judge which ones are in favour and which against.

one more point: I’ve occasionally seen posts strongly opposing the original topic author (OP), and people who wanted to disagree with those posts (agreeing with the OP) could only choose among :cry:, :angry:, :frowning_face:, or flagging the reaction post, or having to spend time to translate their disagreement into a post long enough to be accepted by this platform.

whatever, you have the keys, you decide, I guess.


still, could we pretty please have this option?

I regularly come across posts with which I disagree, I see them upvoted, and I wish to downvote them. instead, I have to upvote one of the critics to that post. or just give up, which is what I generally do.

with these posts I’m not upset, I’m not sad, I simply disagree.

but I’m upset with this community not letting us disagree.


I mostly agree with your comment and find myself in the position sometimes. The problem I’ve seen with how most sites do thumbs up/thumbs down systems though is that they cancel each other out. Which to me is kind of worthless because then there’s no way to if a post got 5 thumps up, or 7 and 2 thumbs down, or what. Although I guess that could be solved by putting them side by side, but it already does that with other emojis and more the two rows just seems excessive.

Although I guess that could be solved by putting them side by side, but it already does that with other emojis and more the two rows just seems excessive.

the other emotions are rather emotional and cannot express a simple dissent, hence the discussion here. For neutrality, we could consider removing the thumbs-up button

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I’m aware. My comment wasn’t pro or con the other emojis. I was just saying is that I’m not sure how a thumbs down could be implemented in a way that doesn’t cancel out thumbs up. That said, I’d be totally fine with them getting rid of the other emotes. Since I agree with both you and the OP that they are rather emotional. I don’t see that and implementing a thumbs down in a way that doesn’t cancel out a thumbs up when both are left on the same message as orthogonal though. Plus, I assume completely getting rid of them has a slim of happening anyway. I’m not sure if getting rid of the thumbs up reaction is that great if the other ones are still being used though. If the others are rather emotional, which I agree that they are, you’d think it would be better just to get rid of them and have a thumbs down emojis instead of axing one of the few semi-neutral options.

if the people in charge of this discourse site would let us react with :-1: as they now let us react with :+1: :heart: :laughing: :open_mouth: :cry: :angry: :hugs: :frowning_face: :star_struck:, these reactions would be counted each individually, none cancelling out any other, as is already the case.

Maybe, I assume the other emojis don’t cancel each other out because they aren’t 100% analogous though. Like why would the heart emoji cancel out a surprised emoji when they aren’t at all similar?

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emojis aren’t classified at all. it’s just reactions, none cancelling any other.
you need to define and implement a cancelling count if you want to just upvote vs. downvote posts, and be able to sort them based on algebraic sum of reactions.
letting us simply react with this or that emoji will leave our reactions, that’s all.

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