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View Poll Results: Should the Thanks system continue?
Yes. 24 60.00%
Yes, but be restricted in certain sections (Discuss). 12 30.00%
No. 4 10.00%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04/14/2016   #31
Strangelove
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i agree with what avec said about having 10 people post instead of just thank another post seems like the worse option, if just because it's more of an emotional/mental drain to respond and deal with many opposing views at once even if they're basically saying the same thing. even if it's not about a serious issue and just some silly fandom stuff, it's not fun when it's just you against half a dozen people picking at your post on why cait sith should be removed from ffvii

given the nature of a system like thanks/likes/upvotes/whatever is trendy now, you're going to get people who agree with each other thanking the other's posts (because if they share that viewpoint i'm guess they like the contents of a post). maybe they thought it added something to the general point that's being developed in the thread which they didn't consider, or do just like the support for their view. just like it's natural for a 'clique' of people to like each other's posts (because if you're on friendly terms with someone on a message board, i'd assume it's because you tend to like the content of the things they post). whenever people gather it's natural that such groups would form, and possibly that an overall culture would as well. and it takes conviction and will to go against that, which for some people isn't going to be worth it at the end of the day for a political debate on a video game forum.

not every side of an issue is going to get equal support everywhere, and i can admit that in the past i've avoid posting a bunch of times just to avoid the hassle thinking 'am i going to have to spend the next few days defending this point without any kind of support?'. it takes time, mental energy, emotional energy depending on the topic. which is where thanks are nice, in a sense of getting that 'silent' encouragement that at least someone saw value in what you've posted.

there is probably something to be considered about the present nature of the internet and social media (of which i would count forums as a part of), particularly in regards to 'value judgment' systems like thanks or likes. i watched monica lewinsky's ted talk about shame and in particular how it manifests online. while i'm not suggesting this is comparable to the more extreme examples of that, there might be something similar going on.

if i can expand on that scatterbrained thought (i'm not sure i can right now), some people will write nasty tweets about a person in the hopes of getting lots of likes or retweets. the more mean-spirited the more likes. if you're the target of that, seeing all those likes approving of that comment can be hurtful. people can be crueller online than offline (and not just because of anonymity given that people will do the same stuff on sites like facebook with their real names attached). and it's sometimes hard to disentangle what's attacking your viewpoint and what's attacking you as a person, because your views are personal to you and feel like a part of you. which might be why people get angry and offended if you 'insult' some piece of media they like; you identify with it and feel you have to defend it even though it's separate from you.

i'm not really clear-headed enough to make points right now

i guess to close this off, my last point would be to consider if that disagreement is following that person around outside of the specific threads. thankfully (haha 'thank') we don't have a negative valuing system so avoid the issue of bombarding everything a person posts with dislikes/downvotes/etc. but if that disagreement is carried out beyond where it happened, then it might be time to take note. if you disagree with someone a lot, it's the opposite the thing above about cliques: you're not likely going to be a fan of their posts if those views find their way into them. but if they just post a picture of their dog and that post's thanks are a ghost town despite other posts of dogs getting multiple thanks, that starts to look like ostracising a person and not just disagreeing.

anyway i'm done now
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Old 04/14/2016   #32
Flare
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I was gonna post last night but it was almost 2am and I felt so tired.

Anyways, the short of it: I vote to keep the Thanks system but to try to somehow modify it out of the debates section. A trail period or whatever, that sounds cool to me.

I can speak very personally about this Thanks system in the debate threads, and I will, because I seem to be one of the few minority voices here that does post regularly across the board, and sometimes in debates. Joe made some really good points in his first post, and also, before I go into my personal feelings, this:
Joe wrote: The thing is I feel rather strangely about this referendum too. I mean, it's clear that a minority are affected by this issue. The votes are going to reflect that.
Personally I feel like enough people clearly have some problem with it to justify looking into it.
Is what should really be taken a look at. There ARE people affected by the Thanks system in debate threads, and knowing that, can't we at least try to remove it from those threads even if it's just for a trial period?
As of my count right now, there's 7 votes that either want it removes entirely or want it taken out of certain sections. This is something that needs to be looked at.

Anyway, on to my personal feelings: As probably everyone knows, I sometimes post in debate threads. I used to post in the Presidential thread often too. I hardly post there anymore for a few reasons, and one of them is the Thanks system. Don't even try to say I have a 'thin-skin' either.
I'll tell you how it feels to be on the opposite end of the spectrum. I make a post in a debate thread (say politics), said post takes a couple hours. I come back to it when someone replies, and see my post got 0 Thanks, and their post got 5, 10, maybe more. Sometimes the Thanks come from those who never make posts in those threads themselves.
How does it feel? It feels kind of shitty, to be honest, and has made me not reply or reply in aggravation many times.

Anyone can come back and say 'but if they instead posted their thoughts and how they felt as well, it might be even worse for the one in opposition/minority/ect and make them feel worse', but that still doesn't change that the Thanks system is just a 'silent' perpetuation of this very thing. Because you can just lazily Thank a post you agree with and move on, whereas what if you actually discussed something with said opposition in a good manner? Because I'd feel a hell of a lot better if more people 'talked' and less people 'Thanked'. Sometimes you find out that those people, even though they have different ideals, actually DO agree with you on some things, or that maybe they DON'T have bad feelings towards you for your belief/opinion after all. You know how much more at ease it makes me feel to have someone speak to you about things instead of just throw a Thanks at the popular opinion? Because I find that when people actually talk to one another, as long as it's in a good manner, people get along better and feel better about each other. It's happened to me personally here, and I'm ever grateful for it.

As for 'Does the Thanks system deter people from posting': Yes it does. Absolutely, I can say that with certainty (and others have said it too at the beginning of this thread).
Again, it makes you feel like you're completely on the outside of debates, when you post with 0 Thanks and another posts in direct opposition to you and gets a shitload of Thanks. In fact, not too long ago when I was debating with some more political/social stuff, I almost stopped once again in posting because I saw the person opposite me was getting many Thanks, and from people that weren't even posting the the thread and probably never will. In fact I would've stopped if it wasn't for another member on here encouraging me to ignore the Thanks, because sometimes Thanks is used more as a popularity contest than actually adding anything significant to a debate discussion.
Also, I'd like to add, no one should have to be told "Just ignore the Thanks system so you can post". How comfortable does that make someone? "Just ignore it"? Why does the minority have to ignore this so the majority can continue with throwing Thanks about and many of them not actually debating? Why does one side have to "Deal with it" when the other side uses it to it's advantage?
This system does not work well in debates.

And actually, the Thanks system literally adds nothing to a debate thread. What adds to a debate thread is actually talking/posting about it. The Thanks system only adds a deterrent to anyone outside of the majority.

Why not have everyone just talk? If you really wanna say something in a Thread, or a agree on a post, quote it, and point out what you agree with and why. It makes me, as a minority on here, feel better to know you're actually providing something to a discussion.
Do I still feel bad when there's a large 'vocal' (posts) majority combating my opinion? Yes, I do. But that still happens even with the Thanks system. With the Thanks system removed from big debate areas, that's one less intimidation and helps put the minority posters on more even ground.
Isn't that worth it?
I hope people think so. TLS is a great community, and having everyone's voice heard and actually listened to makes it even greater.


I'd like to end this with the idea that I have no problem with the Thanks system pretty much everywhere else, and use it myself many times with friendly chatter, funny stuff, game discussions, support for people who need it, ect. The Thanks system on such topics is fun and is used (for the most part) lightheartedly. I use Thanks as a 'like' button and a 'thank you' button.
But for discussion, we can make these threads a lot better if more people actually talk, and we get rid of the 'silent' Thanks that discourages a lot of discussion and discourages anyone with a minority viewpoint from posting.

Edit: I want to add, Hito makes good points about making sure the system isn't abused (like making sure people aren't personally ostracized or something because of their opinions and beliefs elsewhere).
This point here:
Strangelove wrote: not every side of an issue is going to get equal support everywhere, and i can admit that in the past i've avoid posting a bunch of times just to avoid the hassle thinking 'am i going to have to spend the next few days defending this point without any kind of support?'. it takes time, mental energy, emotional energy depending on the topic. which is where thanks are nice, in a sense of getting that 'silent' encouragement that at least someone saw value in what you've posted.
This is true. And it's also true that when a minority voice makes a big thought-out post and see no one Thank their posts, it's just the opposite. You get no encouragement, no 'reward' for sticking around and posting something different. That time and emotion and mental energy/stress you just took to make that post feels like it just fell flat. Like there was no reason at all for it. Why post when no one cares?
So Thanks are only nice for one side. They are not nice at all for the other.

Last edited by Flare; 04/14/2016 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 04/14/2016   #33
Flintlock
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Flare wrote: Anyway, on to my personal feelings: As probably everyone knows, I sometimes post in debate threads. I used to post in the Presidential thread often too. I hardly post there anymore for a few reasons, and one of them is the Thanks system. Don't even try to say I have a 'thin-skin' either.
I'll tell you how it feels to be on the opposite end of the spectrum. I make a post in a debate thread (say politics), said post takes a couple hours. I come back to it when someone replies, and see my post got 0 Thanks, and their post got 5, 10, maybe more. Sometimes the Thanks come from those who never make posts in those threads themselves.
How does it feel? It feels kind of shitty, to be honest, and has made me not reply or reply in aggravation many times.
Thanks for posting here - I don't know if you saw, but I encouraged you to do so in the shoutbox.

The section of your post I quoted is quite at odds with my impression, though, so - knowing full-well that I'll be called pedantic for this - I went back and looked at your last 40 posts in the presidential campaign thread. I could have done more but I think that's a decent sample size. 30 of them had been thanked - 75%. Across all your 3350 posts on TLS, 2389 of them have been thanked - 71%. So despite having a minority opinion, your posts have been thanked more often in that thread than elsewhere.

I'm not saying that this invalidates your feelings or precludes us from weighing up our options, and I know you were referring to the whole section rather than just one thread, but have you considered that your perception might not be completely accurate? I know it's difficult being in the minority - I sympathise with you, I really do - but it seems a lot of people have appreciated your contributions.
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Old 04/14/2016   #34
Starling
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I think the thanks system can be a way to gauge when mods should be keeping tabs on a discussion. You can tell when no one wants to be involved in the discussion anymore. I'm pretty sparing with thanks so a lot of the time I use them to show support or appreciation of what someone said even if I may not agree. If I have something to add to the discussion, I certainly will but sometimes it just feels redundant unless I was already part of the discussion, so I don't. A trial run would definitely help figure out how much the system will be missed and the difference between having it and not having it.
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Old 04/14/2016   #35
Cthulhu
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Flintlock wrote: On a technical level, can we even remove the system from a single section?
I checked, it's possible; shouldn't be a problem to disable it for the debate section or others.
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Old 04/14/2016   #36
Jason Tandro
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Is there a way for a poster to disable seeing thanks? I mean that might be another good option. Like if you don't want to see who has thanked what and all.
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Old 04/14/2016   #37
Literally Who?
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What if the forum like thanks every post ever automatically for us
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Old 04/14/2016   #38
Cthulhu
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Jason Tandro wrote: Is there a way for a poster to disable seeing thanks? I mean that might be another good option. Like if you don't want to see who has thanked what and all.
Yeah that should be possible too, it'd involve adding a custom profile field (checkbox) and a template edit.

Gabriel wrote: What if the forum like thanks every post ever automatically for us
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Old 04/14/2016   #39
Fangu
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OVER NINE THOUSAND

Also goddamn Yop at least put a cookie monster in there you lazy ass
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Old 04/14/2016   #40
Minato
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I don't go into the debate sub-forum much so it's not really my business but it's got plenty old topics in it. Personally I'd rather someone thank the post against me then feel enclined to necro a topic with my unpopular political opinions from three years ago in it.
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Old 04/14/2016   #41
Howl
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Not that anyone cares, but I accidentally voted no. Carry on.
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Old 04/14/2016   #42
JBedford
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Jason Tandro wrote: Is there a way for a poster to disable seeing thanks? I mean that might be another good option. Like if you don't want to see who has thanked what and all.
You can do so right now on Firefox, if you use Adblock Plus you can add the filter
Code:
thelifestream.net##[id*=post_thanks_box]
in your filter preferences to hide all thanks. I believe there's somewhere deep in the Firefox settings you can do this without Adblock Plus but I don't remember where. I don't know about Chrome's version. Of course it would be better for the site staff to add the option server-side.

I hide reputation systems on other forums. Too easy to just become a popularity system. And people will look at those numbers to judge you. I know on other forums people would downrep me because I had a low reputation.

And you would think I would think the same about a Thanks system. But I quite like it. It's about the post and not the poster. Though I'm sure it doesn't always work like that, there will be bias towards longstanding members who are more integrated into the community.

Anyway, I thought I should say something as a long-time-thanker, not-frequent-poster. I thank people for making me laugh, doing something awesome, revealing something interesting, and in debates: saying what I wanted to say, or making me consider something in a way I hadn't before.

I do wonder how much not being able to Thank people would matter though. I'm sure I would miss the ability to show appreciation for a post, but I don't think it would make me post instead. I don't look at what topic a thread is in since I don't access threads that way, so I'm sure being available sometimes and not others will seem completely random to me.

I did vote Yes but since this I'm not really affected by the system I don't think I should have that much of a say.
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Old 04/14/2016   #43
Octo
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^hey I just tried this, works a treat
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Old 04/14/2016   #44
Obsidian Fire
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JBedford128 wrote: It's about the post and not the poster. Though I'm sure it doesn't always work like that, there will be bias towards longstanding members who are more integrated into the community.
I think this is a critical point here. What influences me to thank posts is the post itself and not the poster.

I notice that on forums that don't have any type of upvote/downvote/thanks systems, who is posting becomes more integral to whether or not I like/don't like/agree/disagree with a post. Effectively, who is writing a post becomes more important then what they're writing.

Our implementation of the thanks system frees me up to acknowledge whatever is in the post inspite of who is posting it and weather or not I agree with the post itself.
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Old 04/14/2016   #45
Cthulhu
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@Bedford: Smart,

That remark about popularity is also a good point; we intentionally hid post count from the postbit (= on every user's profile in every post) when we started TLS because we noticed it was very much being an e-penis thing on other forums. I've never been in favor of showing thanks stats or post counts on that stats box on the front page either, or with Aaron's stats updates showing who got the most thanks and stuff like that (he'd actually check how many thanks he got using an SQL query in the admin CP a few dozen times a day for... probably years). There's also a movement to remove the purely statistic categories from the TLS awards (and criticism has been there for a few years now).
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