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Ask HN: Where's the downvote button?
34 points by mpetkevicius 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments
I've been wondering for awhile now how some comments on HN become greyed out. Is there a downvote or report button?

I'm also having a suspicion that the [-] button on the right, which I've been using to collapse threads, might be the one. Either way, I find HN's UX confusing.

Yes, both. Downvote and flag.

You need x karma to see it.

The [-] collapses the subthread, nothing more.

x is actually 501.

Even past that threshold, you can't downvote responses to your own comments. That's probably a wise limitation when you think about it.

Downvoting threads is done with the "flag" button which appears at the same time. Unfortunately, as HN has grown past a certain size, there's gotten to be a critical mass of "made" high-karma censors, who flag nascent postings on a whim. The diversity of articles suffers, limited now to either the things censors like, plus a small selection of postings where teams will "unflag" (also available at 501) this price-of-admission flagging.

Running any kind of good forum is hard, and HN's moderators work really hard at it, but "strangled-in-the-crib" flagging both takes away from the value of the site and gamifies the forum to where it now takes a team to make a posting that survives. I don't have an easy solution, though it might be worth trying to limit flags to one, two, or ten per day.

I have well under 501 karma, and I'm able to flag articles as well as vouch for dead ones.

I think your idea of limiting the number of flags a user has per day is a good one. I'm kind of surprised that isn't the default behavior already...

Yes, exactly. I find this a major annoyance of HN, and wish it would be improved.

> There are no down arrows on stories. They appear on comments after users reach a certain karma threshold, but never on direct replies.


AFAIK you need 500 points to unlock "downvote" functionality.

That's a urban legend.

I have over 1,800 points, and there's no downvote to be seen.

I believe HN takes a holistic approach and takes other criteria into consideration. My downvote button was activated after my karma reached 500.

I have 530 and I see a downvote arrows on comments, which I don't recall seeing before.

I see no downvote on articles.

I do see downvote on some comments (not all).

The rules seem subtle.

There is no downvoting for articles, independent of karma, that‘s correct.

Quite consistently: no downvote button on comments more than 24 hours old; no downvote button on comments that are followups to your own comment.

Submissions don't have downvoting, but you can flag them.

The pattern I see is no downvotes to replies to YOUR comment (e.g. this one), and no downvotes once the comment is about 2 days old-ish.

I have 7500 karma and I have downvote for comments, but not for articles. I only can't downvotes comments that are replies to my own comments(which I think is smart and is something that reddit should copy).

By the way I think that this downvote button is really a bad feature that brings negativity.

Don't like a post? Just ignore and don't upvote it!

HN agrees, and so doesn't have downvoting for posts, only comments. (Posts can be flagged, which is different.)

I always liked Reddit's intended approach: downvote comments that don't add to the conversation.

Sadly, votes are too easily mapped to agree/disagree or truth/falsehood - see the "1,800 karma" comment below as a key example, where it furthers the conversation but is downvoted "because they are incorrect".

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