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Seeking feedback on proposed website change to comment rating

Ken Proudman Executive
 view Arbitrator profile
  BARR LLP
   Edmonton, Alberta


Marla Miller KC has suggested that instead of a "net" comment rating system on this website where downvotes are set off against positive votes, that there be bifurcation, in that you would see a separate tally of positive votes, and of negative votes. In other words, if someone received 5 positive votes but 4 negative votes, the website would currently display "1", even though there may be something problematic with that comment. If someone receives a lot of negative votes, it only displays the negative symbol, not the quantity of downvotes. Under the proposed change, you'd see both the 5 up and -4 down.

Chat boards and email list servers without the ability to downvote usually have too many incorrect or ignorant posts for my liking, so downvoting definitely isn't going away. However I also know that lawyers tend to be hyper-vigilant about their reputation, for good reason, which is why negative scores only showed a negative sign. I am concerned that showing a separate number for downvotes could have a chilling effect on comments, as it can be quite rattling to see that someone has publicly downvoted you in a professional context. On the other hand, Mimi Simon's suggestion to implement anonymous commenting is what really made commenting take off, so maybe lawyers with those concerns would simply post anonymously. Seeing the number of negative comments might help to identify potentially-problematic posts, or identify the extent of negative feedback, because maybe it's just one voter who's wrong themselves.

I'm not quite sure which direction to go, what do you all think?


0 16 months ago

Stephen Harfield
  Queck & Associates
   Sherwood Park, Alberta


Voting incentivizes “performance”. After a while you figure out what gets likes and what doesn’t. What gets lost is more of the human element. Hence all the anonymous - people hiding from judgment.

I’d like, if possible, to allow someone who creates a post to decide whether they want voting or not. Like if a person is looking for a quality legal answer to something, then they can decide if the floor should be open to upvotes and downvotes for quality control. And to that end maybe it makes more sense to see tallies of plusses and minuses to gauge response and interest in a matter. But if a post is about matters of preference, like what resources are helpful for practice, or what do people think of a new court practice, then it is expected that results should be more subjective and more immune from stifling collective judgment.


0 16 months ago - edited 16 months ago

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