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I was wondering if you'd consider adding an opt-in setting that would make users' votes visible to others, both for comments and for submissions. I'm interested in it for a few reasons:

1) I'd like to see what people I respect are voting for, in the hopes of finding things I otherwise would have missed.

2) I'd like to someday make a recommendations system that would work for HN, and starting now to create a corpus of permission-cleared votes would help if I ever get to it.

3) I think it might have a positive effect on social dynamics. While there is in theory greater potential for retaliatory downvotes, I hope that instead people would act more considerately if they felt that others could review their behaviour. I don't see any way to test this other than by trying it out.

I think this option would best be a simple checkbox on each user's settings page: "Make my votes visible to others". The votes would then be visible from a link on that page for others to view. Ideally, it would also be possible to view these from an item-centric viewpoint, accessible from the 'link' page.

If the idea were to catch on, I'd eventually like to see an 'Open' list, parallel to 'Classic', whereby one could view the entire site as it would appear if ordered only by users with their votes set to be visible.


[Originally here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1878591]

I was working on something like this for a while. May be I'll dust it off and release it :)

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