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Feature Request: Comments improvements to indicate assent or dissent with previously posted comments

+5
−0

Often I'm looking over a post and feel that I have what to add as a comment. But as soon as I look at the comments, I find that someone's already written exactly what I would have said. At that point, it would just be adding noise to write my own comment saying essentially the same thing, as it would be to write my own comment saying that "I agree with @NumericallyUnchallenged." Somewhere Else I might have upvoted the comment, but that's not an option here.

For contrast to the proposals below, here's an example of a user saying a comment (actual comment of mine), with two (fictitious) users responding — one in agreement, one in dissent:1

DonielF: "I feel bad for the users who found hundreds of notifs waiting for them." SRU: "Me too." NC: "NoU"

Proposal One: "Me Too!"

In lieu of having someone post a new comment just to say "me too," let's give them a button to click. In this example, SomeRandomUser no longer has to agree with me; he can instead click "me too!":

Let me just pop my name on in there behind yours

And if multiple people all give their agreement, let the system show simply "X other users," and clicking on that will expand out the user list:2

It's memes all the way down. I can still see you rubocop.

Proposal Two: Vote on Comments

We could always implement Somewhere Else's system of upvoting comments, but it's only right that if you can upvote a comment to indicate assent, you should be able to downvote to indicate displeasure. Sample mockup:

Just one comment. Nice and tidy. +1/-1 score balances out back at 50% Wilson Score.

Notice that these options are not mutually exclusive. We can always implement the upvote/downvote system and add "me too!" votes; we can always add the proposed reactions feature to comments as well.

  1. Courtesy of a Paint application. Thank you for using Arial; it made this a lot easier to work with.

  2. Dropdown was cropped out and edited based on the existing dropdown menu for the Sefaria Link suggester on Judaism Codidact, if that helps for whoever would be coding this in.

Why should this post be closed?

5 comments

Is there a rubocop hidden????? ‭luap42‭ 20 days ago

@luap42 There we go. I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that. ‭DonielF‭ 20 days ago

@DonielF, well... it's better when it's hidden, right, @ArtOfCode ? :D ‭luap42‭ 20 days ago

This should have been two questions since you made two separate proposals. I don't know how to vote on the question now since I agree with the first proposal, but not the second. ‭Olin Lathrop‭ 7 days ago

@Olin The intention was more to draw attention to the issue, with these proposals being spitballs on how to solve them. Maybe upvote to agree that it’s an issue, with an answer explaining why you like the one proposal and disagree with the other? ‭DonielF‭ 6 days ago

2 answers

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I support the me-too feature, as it saves people from repeating existing comments (and others from reading them).

I don't think we should have up- and downvotes on comments, as they don't necessarily indicate assent and dissent (respectively): they may, for example, indicate that someone thinks the comment was funny. Thus, they serve no practical purpose. (I'm basing this on SE, where comments got votes up for many reasons besides assent. Having downvotes will perhaps temper that, but probably not entirely.) I would even propose no votes on posts, except that we need them for readers' sake; but comments barely serve that purpose. (This all depends, of course, on what comments are for, so should be taken with a grain of salt. Cf. https://meta.codidact.com/q/277872#comment-3871.)

0 comments

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I believe comments need some sort of mechanism to allow 'good' comments to rise to the top.

Some posts attract a lot of comments. Sometimes they're a bit of back-and-forth clarification between asker and respondents, sometimes they're humorous, and sometimes they're mini answers in themselves. Naturally some comments (eg the mini answers or the clarification comment with a lot of detail) are far more important and relevant than others (eg the first two back-and-forth clarification comments). However the not-so-important comments aren't necessarily so bad that they should be deleted; they still have some relevance.

After five comments, further comments are hidden away under a 'Show x more comments' link. However the order of comments always remains the same. If someone comments a particularly useful bit of information as the sixth comment, it will always be initially hidden while less important comments are initially visible. It goes without saying that this isn't very helpful for future readers.

The comment system needs some mechanism to allow especially useful comments to be shown in those first five comments. An upvote system may be misused for funny comments, but if we look at the example of the SE sites, the system generally worked pretty well. Relabeling upvotes on comments to 'Me too' or 'Helpful' votes may further improve this.

2 comments

Comments are getting reworked (design work is happening now) and will be threaded. With the ability to separate threads (after people learn to reply instead of just adding to the end), comments will be more organized. With threading, I don't know if comments "rising to the top" still makes sense. I'd like to see how threaded comments change things before trying to add up- and down-voting (but I like the "me too" idea as a way to sign an existing comment, and maybe we can do something w/that). ‭Monica Cellio‭ 7 days ago

Even now, comments have an order, since some are in reply to others. Comments should definitely not be reordered. ‭Olin Lathrop‭ 6 days ago

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