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HI !Friendica Support,

I've been recently reminded of the ambiguity of the dislike reaction feature. @Spencer added a dislike on a post of mine with a negative tone. Then he felt the need to explicit the meaning of the dislike in a comment.

I'd like to remove this feature for 3 reasons:
  • No other protocol supports it.
  • It's too ambiguous and negative with harassment potential.
  • It would visually clear some space in the post link list for people not using it like me.

What do you think?

I love the idea of the Dislike balancing out the Like... but in other parts of the fediverse there's just a Favourite button (which can used kind of like a bookmark/remember thing, as you can bring up a list of things you've favourited... that's a word! heh)

What about potentially replacing with emoji reactions?

I thought it was clever too, but dislike usage is awkward and limited to Friendica network, which doesn’t match our network universalist philosophy.

I‘m not against emoji reactions even though I probably wouldn’t use them myself, but I’m against the idea of replacement. The Dislike removal shouldn’t be tied with the emoji reaction addition.
This entry was edited (2 weeks ago)

hoergen on Friendica doesn't like this.

No, I wouldn't think so either. Maybe a "perhaps hopefully replace in the future", but not directly tied together, no.

Wouldn't be an emoji reaction awkward and limited to Friendica as well? And with most of the UTF8-emoticons I cannot get the meaning at all.

hoergen on Friendica doesn't like this.

At least Pleroma has emoji reactions.

Isn't # also supporting it?

I'm mostly lost with the slight variations of the emojis.

I would vote for an option to disable/enable like, or dislike or both.on an account.At the end it is just a "not display" option, but since those gamification "actions" create more harm than fun, i would love if it is disabable.

"Dislike" used to be a user-controlled feature before it was moved to the core on November 2018 and released in version 2019.01 according to a spreadsheet I created and where a bunch of people voted. I personally voted "Core" at the time. 😅
This entry was edited (2 weeks ago)

Every decisioin we do in life isn't always the right one. So why not admit that we mabye made the wrong decision?
If the Like/Dislike/Emoji is user configured, everybody can decide for themself and I think there are lot people that want a different "presentation".

I do believe we made the wrong decision, this whole thread is about how we made a wrong decision!

The Psychology of Social Media: Why We Like, Comment, and Share Online #

Emoji is just the same like dislike, or like or anything else. Why not just leave the comments, so everybody who wants to express something can write?

I don't think there is any more harassment potential than in comments, especially since there is no notification but I am not seeing much use for it as no one else supports it.

I am not opposed to the idea but it just doesn't get traction so perhaps it should become optional as in theory some community might want to use it.

Same here. I like the function but not what it is called.

I, personally, like both "like" and "dislike".

Concerning "No other protocol supports it": it is part of the definition of ActivityPub: and Diaspora:

Concerning the "harassment potential": I've got the opinion that you cannot solve social problems with technology.

I see the "dislike" as some supportive activity. When someone reports something negative, like some disaster or so, pressing "like" feels just wrong. But "dislike" then transports the message: "Yes, I don't like what happened as well".

As soon as i like (or dislike?) an article, i find it in my "personal"-timeline, so i use it as a kind of favorite marker.
Especially when you use third party apps like Fedilab, there is no other way to do so: when i activate this little favorite-star in Fedilab, the related article has a "like" in Friendica and becomes part of my personal timeline.

In this usecase it is a good and simple "have to read"-reminder beside storing things in folders. So the like-feature of Friendica shouldn't be removed.

"have-to-read",marker, which works across several apps

In theory, that is what the "star" is meant for, a personal fav / bookmark without notifying the author about the mark.

So in theory we have a feature request, but as long as this "bookmarking without notifying" doesn't work platform- and app-independent, we'll have to use the 'like'-feature for that.

The "starring" feature does work very fine. I use it very often to mark posts where I want to have a look on it at a later time.

The Friendica "starring" feature isn't connected to third party apps, like Tobias mentioned already.

No, in contrary. The API function to "star" an item is doing exactly this. And this function is widely used by Twidere and co.

But a feature request for the app you use to use the correct API for marking the posting when the star button is pressed and like the posting when the thumbs-up button is pressed.

Maybe "agree" / "disagree" could be more accurate...

hoergen on Friendica doesn't like this.

If you change the meaning of the buttons, that is transmitted to other networks, where they still name it "like/dislike" you could change the statement completely. in the worst case.

Max doesn't like this.

Myself I like upvote/downvote the best.

Upvote means "I appreciate you posting this, great content, I agree" and such. Downvote means "Ugh, this is not for me".

It is feedback on content, not emotional expression. For that there are comments.

Also this way likes/dislikes can be used for further processing. E.g. if I downvote a post, don't subscribe me to it or maybe even hide it from my stream. If I like it then subscribe me for activity on it.

Same (greater?) ambiguity with downvote, are you downvoting the content or its author? No way to tell without context. Upvoting is "safer". Hacker News, Stack Overflow and Reddit all use down votes and I regularly see comments from OP asking the meaning of downvotes since it's anonymous. So even with an accompanying comment it would still be confusing and irritating.

For me downvoting always felt as content quality feedback and nothing else. But I suppose someone might see it differently.

And on the other hand do we really need this on social networks? In places like Reddit this has practical function of filtering and refining the best content. Not perfect, can be misused but it has a purpose.

But isn't social networking different? What is the point of downvoting (or disliking) here? The authors here are generally not in search of truth or public approval, they just express themselves. Most probably don't mind criticism (I certainly don't) but what message do dislikes convey? That someone just disliked my cat or political statement? What should I do with this information? Be upset? Go dislike something back? Stop being myself?

This probably has value for professional bloggers but not ordinary people.

Example: You write "Union Berlin won 2:0 against Herta BSC". As a Union supporter you will hit the "like" button, as Herta supporter you will hit "dislike". No furter explanation needed.

It's true but meaningless in the larger scheme. Not all Friendica posts are that factually binary.

Not all, but there are such postings.

Yes, but do we want to make them a priority feature-wise?

No, it is not meaningless. It is a perfect example of how the dis/like buttons can be used.

"in the larger scheme". This means it is statistically insignificant. It doesn't happen often enough to warrant a specific treatment. Its very low likelihood makes it irrelevant regarding the dislike feature removal question.

The activity in this thread demonstrates that there is no consensus on this topic. In my opinion this means that we shouldn't remove this functionality.

Maybe, but the final decision still shouldn't be based on sport result posts.

There is no consensus to remove that feature. Do you see some compromise?

Restore the user-controlled additional feature for dislikes. It would just hide the button but still allow display of received dislikes.

Although this wouldn’t prevent harassment through dislikes.

Maybe, but the final decision still shouldn't be based on other niche topics.

Also not a single dislike used :)

I'm for keeping it. Its the nearest thing to a poll we have. There is also an API for dislikes which I use. So if you change the code please tell the client programmer in time.

There are a lot such binary posts. So you lose the ability to dislike such posts.

So don't transmit them as like/dislike since obviously it's not the same meaning... 🤦

I thought you just wanted to change the label but keep the same message structure.

I use the Like button to mean a read receipt when I don't have anything to add, this wouldn't work as much.

It’s good if the meaning isn’t confusing to you, but this isn’t the case for everybody either.

I personally never understand a Like on a terrible news as an evil enjoyment of the news itself. I can do that because Like is a positive action by default, and you can’t subvert its meaning without adding some context. So for terrible news, I will understand a Like as a support.

It’s possible, but unlikely and impossible to guess without context. Which means that it looks nice and positive by default, unlike the dislike that looks negative by default even if it was meant as sympathetic.
This entry was edited (2 weeks ago)

So if I break my leg, and someone dislikes it it is negative? For me that rather sounds positive that someone dislikes me having a broken leg. On the other hand if someone likes it, that would be negative from my point of view.

It's a possible interpretation, but if the Dislike wasn't available, I believe you would be less likely to feel that way.

Why? "I like that you broke your leg" keeps the meaning regardless of the existing of the word "dislike".

Of course you're free to understand a "like" as its first degree meaning even if the context shows there was no other possible interaction, but at this point I believe it's a "you" problem we can't fully accommodate. Incidentally I believe emoji reactions would be a better solution for you in this case.
This entry was edited (2 weeks ago)

How does the context in this example "show" that you don't mean that you like me having a broken leg?

I would read a "Like" as "I am with you". So whether you write something positive or negative it says "I look at it in a similar way you do". This could be a statement like "Hey cool, i have a broken leg and will stay at home on my sofa" or "My next long planned trip is cancelled because of a broken leg".
On the other hand a "Like" for "Chelsea Manning under arrest" depends on whether the author is Amnesty International or the actual Potus.

In the end a "Like" says something about me. Same fo "Dislike", but maybe a litte more complicated.

Interesting. I would never assume such a way of using those buttons.

Because of the extremely limited range of available reactions. and the unlikelihood of such a meaning. Both combined means that you can safely assume good faith from everyone who added a "Like" on your broken leg post.

Which means even if someone actually meant to show they enjoy your predicament, they couldn't adequately convey it with a "Like" only.

Why assume "good faith" in a like but not a dislike? I really don't get the distinction between the two that you are implying.

Both have a very simple meaning, why assume "good faith" for the one meaning but not the other.

Because it isn't the same meaning? Like has a positive tone, dislike has a negative tone.

But the meaning of the word "like" does not change.

If I know the person who liked the broken leg posting I can put such assumptions and "good faith" in the meaning of the word "like" because I know that person. But not in the word itself.

And the same is true for the word "dislike". There is no difference between the two cases.

Again, if you can't grasp that a specific word can have multiple meanings depending on context, while also having a primary acception with a definite positive or negative tone, there is nothing meaningful I can add to this conversation. "Like" and "Dislike" are different words with different meaning with different tones. The difference in tone sets the difference in usage as well.

In the four years I've been using Friendica with the dislike feature, nobody has commented on one of my post to clarify a "Like" they added because they weren't sure of the reception. However it happened last month with "Dislike".

There is a difference between the two cases and I'm running out of arguments to help you see it.

Maybe your feeling is not a better argument than the feeling of somebody else? Maybe you can't see you are making differences, where others don't feel or see differences because you put a very small spotlight on some examples, instead they try to see the whole picture?

If it is all about feelings on some not explained actions, we shouldn't even think about using emojis or anything else. If we want to prevent misunderstanding, we should eliminate every action except comments. And even then there are still misunderstandings, because people write and people read and there are always interpretations you can't control.

So why not go the configurable way and let everybody decide it if is displayed or not?

This never had to do with my own feelings. The removal idea was actually sparked by @Spencer ’s feelings which are shared by other people in this thread.

So this isn’t personal, but it is about feelings and how prominent they are among Friendica users. Tobias’ are very specific and probably can’t be catered to by a solution that assumes meaning depends on context, which it generally does.

The "you" stands for the people you are speaking for. As I said it is always that people interpreting things. And a "like" is as evil or as good as a "dislike" depending how you interpret it.

Concerning the "harassment potential": I've got the opinion that you cannot solve social problems with technology.
It's true but technology can still enable or damper negative behaviors. Twitter's all-public centralized model definitely enabled mass pile-on, while Mastodon's choice to not support quote-boost makes it slightly harder to add a snide remark to a boosted toot. Sometimes it's all it takes to prevent a toxic behavior from scaling/spreading.

This is a similar situation: removing the "Dislike" button wouldn't solve online animosity, but it would remove an easy one-click outlet for it, increasing the effort threshold for its expression.

In my experience, unlike to a "like" a "dislike" most often includes a comment explaining the dislike. And in many cases the comment would not have been made without the click on the dislike button.

And in many cases the comment would not have been made without the click on the dislike button.
I am not sure I follow you here, please explain.

As I understand it initially the purpose of "likes" was to remove the need to write similar comments like "thank you" and "me too". And it was quite a relief. I can see "dislike" serving similar purpose (at least most people think of "dislike" in this way and not as "angry/sad like" like @Michael Vogel described). If people want to elaborate there is no need to "like" but some do anyway to emphasize the message or to get the post added to their "liked" list so they can find it later.

But I don't get how clicking the button provokes the comment and why they wouldn't write it anyway since they clearly want to speak up.

In most cases I saw when the "dislike" was used to say that some aspect the content of the posting was disliked, not the posting (information about the disliked part of the posting) itself. Nevertheless the comment would not have been made, if there was not the dislike button to press. (which I know from discussions that evolved afterwards) Instead there would not have been any reaction to the posting at all.

On a like however, almost nobody explains why they hit the like button. And as you say, the meaning of a "like" is just as confusing. Because even the two options you offer, "thank you" and "me too" don't have the same meaning at all.

hoergen on Friendica doesn't like this.

@Tobias, sounds like people are just extremely confused about what message "dislike" button conveys. If "like" can be confusing only in certain edge cases (like tragic events), with "dislike" you always have to elaborate.

This is the reason I never use it (not just on Friendica but pretty much anywhere).

I fully agree with Alexander, you can easily leave a like without commenting, but not so much with dislike. It is the same conclusion @Spencer and I came to recently and my main motivation to remove the feature.

hoergen on Friendica doesn't like this.

I don't get how you arrive at that conclusion.

But then, if you remove it also remove the "like" button. It has the same role as the "dislike" button. And it fuels the drug / gamification in the social media.

I arrive at this conclusion because of the confusion of the double negative which doesn't happen with Likes.

We can talk about removing the Like feature but it will have to be for different reasons than the Dislike one.

hoergen on Friendica doesn't like this.

I don't see any particular evil in dislike feature itself and would keep it.
Also, huge "+1" for emoji reactions support.

hoergen on Friendica doesn't like this.

How many people (re)discovered the Dislike feature thanks to this thread?

I wouldn't think of people aren't aware of this feature. Before claiming people are not using it, you should have some heuristics about it.

And I dont think that zynism will help here.

I can't check right now, but I will make the prediction that the dislikes on this thread alone amount for 90% of the total amount of dislikes I've received on my node for the last year.

I'm not talking about your node only. Don't think that one single user node is a good statistic.

Even if my node is among the top 25% most active Friendica nodes?

Yes even then, because you are talking about all users ant not about activity. Please don't try to fool with wrong arguments. Thanks.

Dislike hast its right to exist, same as Like. See yourself on this example ;)

As some people pointed out in this thread, "Like" is used for multiple uses (read later, read receipt), not all of them having to do with the first degree meaning of "Like". In this sense "Dislike" doesn't make much sense as a strict opposition to "Like" in its first meaning.

I've created a week-long public poll to synthesize the community's opinions. I've included as many outcomes that I could think of:

Please add all your preferred choices.

Voted for "user setting" and by that I mean users being able to turn on and off both the button and counts. It should still work on protocol level, just not showing if disabled.

Node admin should control the default. Default works for anonymous accounts.

OMG .. can't believe you are doing it again. Because of exactly this behavior people left the project.

Please ! Share this poll everyhwere where Friendica users are. Friendica developers, Friendica Support, a Blog Article and via Hashtag, so it will be distributed everywhere people are interested in Friendica.


By all means, the poll URL is public, you can share it wherever you want with hashtags if it's that important to you. There is enough activity on this thread to have a pretty good idea of the general opinion about this specific question.

And people left the project because they wanted to leave the project. I didn't want nor force them to leave. I'm not perfect but I won't be what you want me to be. You aren't what 'd like you to be either but I'm not making a public deal about it. Just leave it at that.

Cmon .. you want to change something, so you should have an interest to make it public. The post is public but if I ask tomorrow some random friendica users, if they know something about what happens in the Friendica Admin forum, you really want to tell us all, that they will know?

I'm sorry this is not a place where a lot people will notice it. So your secret poll isn't something that should decide changes that could be a big impact for all users. Please quit playing dumb with us.

I'm out for today. This is so ridiculous and childish.

This isn't the Friendica Admin forum, this is the Friendica Support forum. Does this change anything to what you thought about the potential reach of this poll?

@Hypolite Petovan @hoergen on Friendica

Hey guys, without having any experience with such a situation i would say, this support-forum is the best place to publish the poll.
Here in the forum you find exactly those users, who are interested in issues like this. And you reach all of them, regardless whom they are following.

What could be done is another separate post here with hashtags. But that's it, isn't it?
Any public post will fade away in the gobal timeline and reaches only that users, who are already following Hypolite.

At this point a pinned post on top of the forum would be great.

@Hypolite Petovan Fun fact: The 'dislike' was a user setting some time ago. When it was set to 'disabled' you didn't see the button and you didn't see the dislikes from others. Then - as a first step - the display of dislikes was always on no matter how the user setting was. And then - after a lengthy discussion and a vote! - the setting was removed and the 'dislike' button was switched on for everybody.

I'm painfully aware of the history, I personally made the poll that eventually made it a core feature and I even voted in favor of it at the time!

Concerning different possible configuration options, these ones would be possible and had a completely different impact:
- Don't show the "dislike" button, but display received dislikes
- Don't show the "dislike" button and ignore received dislikes
- Don't show the "dislike" button and count received dislikes as likes
- Show the "dislike" button and ignore received dislikes
- Show the "dislike" button and count received dislikes as likes

I most certainly didn't think about counting received dislikes as likes. This crosses for me a very weird line about changing the meaning of a received message.

@Hypolite Petovan
Remove the dislike and introduce emoji reactions instead. :-) See mastodom and github for example.

2 people don't like this

..then i need a user setting for switching emojis off.
I just do not want to see them, it's alienware and destroys my eyes.

Yes, this is much needed to.
They are super ugly :)

There is no escape from Unicode emoji though 🙃

I mean, you can use a font that only implements UTF-8 and stops after that

There are less answers on the poll than people who interacted in this thread, I'd like everyone to be able to express their opinion, please participate in the poll:

Not as long you playing this like a dirty Vogon move like in Hitchhiker

There’s no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaints and its far too late to start making a fuss about it no

This is a heavily user related topic, you put in a comment deep in a thread of a not well visited admin forum. As long as you not announcing it publicly on a big audience where normal users will have a chance to read it, this is completely not acceptable.

If you would be really interested on users opinion, you would try to hide it here.But you aren't yet. And I'm the last one to support such a shit move.

I guess a fresh post will be better, since I can imagine that several persons already muted this thread because of the high intensity.

Dislike is a valid actitivystreams2 activity: Other ActivityPub systems might implement it in the future.

@Michael Vogel mentioned it as well and I crossed it out from the list of reasons I wanted to remove it from Friendica but maybe the edit doesn't propagate to the forum because I don't own the post anymore.