Downvoting is being replaced by Hiding

The Frowning Pony

Edit: this is a first iteration of replacing the downvote button with hiding, and doing something different with scoring. This is not the final state of things and we will consider and implement changes based on feedback and how things go. Keep that in mind before wailing about it, please.

Edit 2: If anyone has any feedback on this change, or would like to suggest/discuss alternatives, please see this thread

tl;dr: Downvoting is going away, replaced by Hiding. Hiding does not affect an image's score, it will only hide it from your view. If you're going to comment about this, bother to read the long-ass post below.

So, this has been a long time coming, a long time under "official consideration" (specifically, since June 12 2015), and now it's finally time. First off, what this means:

- Downvoting Hiding an image will not affect its score
- Hiding an image will make it vanish for you from main gallery, searches, watchlist, galleries, embeds, etc.
- Upvoting an image bumps up the score and serves as a private fave
- Faves are still faves
- The lowest score an image can have will be 0
- An unpopular (for any reason) decent image will likely have a lower score than a funnyman shitpost

Now for the why:

1- Downvoting wasn't being used as we'd intended

When we conceived the site, the example interactions for content people didn't like were as follows:

a. I don't like the theme of this image → find tag for theme, filter it
b. The quality is poor or something in the image is "bad" → comment in a constructive or informative way
c. It's an utter shitpost, but not wholly rule breaking → downvote it
d. It actually breaks a rule → report it

Instead, what people did was as follows:

a. I don't like the theme of this image → downvote
b. The quality is poor or something in the image is "bad" → downvote
c. It's an utter shitpost, but not wholly rule breaking → downvote
d. It actually breaks a rule → upvote and leave a comment to tell people to save before mods delete it

2- It's been planned for a long time

The ability to easily filter individual images has been a recurring request for five years now. With the introduction of complex filters some 3 years ago people could filter individual images by adding them one by one to their filters, which is obviously a fairly horrific thing from a usability perspective and leads to bloated filtersets.

About 4 months ago we added the ability to search your own downvotes, because why not. Immediately there were people adding the term to their filters in order to hide images they didn't like. From a user perspective, it was great; I don't like thing, click and it's gone!

So we're going off our initial ideas for this from over two years ago plus the recent example of this being fairly close to how some people intuited the site should work in the first place.

3. Downvotes require moderation

Since the dawn of the site, people have found a way to use downvotes as a way to fuck with the site. There are literally hundreds of active users that have 2 or 3 accounts for whatever reason, and way too many of them have fallen into the temptation of downvoting an image with more than one, nevermind the too-many instances of people setting up dozens (or hundreds, as has happened several times) of accounts exclusively to mass downvote images.

Honestly, having to clean up after these things for half a decade has been really tiring. Now, we don't really have to care how many alt accounts you've set up for this.

4. Downvotes are largely unhelpful or downright harmful

Previous points don't mean much if this one isn't here.

Here's the thing: in almost all cases, a downvote is a silent and anonymous way of saying "I hate this". It doesn't say who and it doesn't say why. Is the art really bad? Is the theme tasteless and insulting? Who knows! More often than not, the downvote is there because one of the following reasons:

a. I don't like this harmless ship/character but refuse to filter it, but I still want everyone to know that someone out there thinks flutterdash is awful
b. I don't like this theme/kink that's filtered in the defaults, but I'm an internet tough guy and refuse to filter even though I'm consistently triggered enough to downvote it
c. I must vote on everything, so if I don't love it, I must hate it. Yes, there are a good many users that vote on literally everything they see and keep near parity on up/down
d. It's on the front page. Yeah, that's about the only reason; it's on the front page at the time I'm on, so it's getting a downvote
e. An image is competing with my upload/fave! We have seen this way too often. People downvoting (and dupe voting) images in the Top X / trending series or the front page in order to "boost" another

What all this results in is most downvotes don't mean much of anything.

An artist or uploader doesn't know why their image got downvoted; they may think it's because of their art skills, when chances are they just uploaded at the same time a front-page downvoter was active, and a few people really dislike twiluna, but not enough to filter it or say anything. Reality is "poor art" doesn't get many downvotes, it just gets ignored. Draw a sonic crossover, though, and you'll get 20 downvotes in an hour no matter how good you are.

People using votes as a way to find "good content" can't trust the numbers if they're into some odd kink or just dark content, because too many people votebomb those images en-masse rather than filter them. When you've downvoted the 70th image of, I dunno, navel fetish in a row, maybe it's time you just filtered it and stopped wasting your time and annoying the people that are into whatever you hate.

And also downvotes end up getting used as a way to spite people, with cliques grouping up to mass-downvote all the images from one artist because of some feud on Discord or because bombing some image is the latest hip new meme. This is, sadly, very common.

So after years of this, it's over.

Your ability to negatively affect an image anonymously with a single button-press is now gone. If you want to let people know you don't like an image, you can leave a comment stating as much and be clear to follow the rules. If you don't like a theme or artist or ship or whatever, you may as well finally filter it. And if you've always just wanted a way to get images you didn't want out of your sight, congrats.

And yes, there's a user setting to make hidden images visible, in case you missclicked or something. And the hide doesn't take place immediately, you can still unhide if you've not changed page.

There will be some gradual changes to handle some unique scenarios, some technical, some more related to features tied to how old voting worked. As pretty much everything related to the site, stuff is subject to change.

About now is when you queue up to call us hugbox SJWs or something. But before posting, consider what you're actually whining about.
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@Darth Prime
The image won't instantly disappear from view, so you can un-hide, but as it says:
there’s a user setting to make hidden images visible, in case you missclicked or something.
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bg pony nymphomaniac
Hiding is better, it's a reasonable decision. Downvoting was much about dislikes and personal preferences where the uploader couldn't do a thing. It was often a tool to directly say: 'That's shit and you should feel bad.'

tldr. Why would it matter what people use it for? Seems pretty logical to me that one should have the ability to downvote something they dislike, regardless of what the reason is. Otherwise you're just being overly sensitive about beginner artists getting negative scores, which they must be able to deal with imo.
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The Paranoid Pessimist
What if I accidentally "downvote" an image? I go on the site mostly with my phone and you know the scrolling thing can sometime mess thing up. I have accidentally upvoted or downvoted an image many times before.

Ps: Nvm. I just read the new comments.
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fluffy sylveon
At least I'm glad to see Downy is still the icon for hiding when using the poni icons.

(Although it seems you still can't hide things from the thumbnail if it's spoilered. Honestly, I don't see the purpose of this: it doesn't affect the score anymore, and personally, I spoiler things when I'm okay with seeing them sometimes but not all the time, so I'd still like to be able to hide certain images that are spoilered.)
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