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Against social media voting systems

Posted 2/14/2022

Does anyone else find it weird that Locals.com will let you up-vote your own posts, comments and replies?

I see that there are two good ways to handle this problem from the perspective of a developer:

The answer that Locals has decided on; do nothing, is wrong. It just reeks of amateurishness. Though to be fair, it isn't just Locals, many big social sites that should know better leave the problem unsolved too.

It also seems like a trap for those who don't know any better and click it, or those who click it accidentally without realizing it.

The social situation is absurd, isn't it? Surely we all agree with the things we ourselves submit... or else we wouldn't have pressed "Publish". And yet I've never seen anyone up-vote their own stuff on here. Neither do I see people up-voting their own content elsewhere where able.

What is the point of up-votes (and down-votes) in the first place on websites? To let people know what they should and shouldn't like? Shouldn't we leave people unbiased to make that decision for themselves? Those early to the vote have a massive influence over the opinions of others, and the desire to be on the winning side snowballs the popularity/unpopularity of whatever it might be. And of course once something is popular it'll be shown by the platform to more and more people, or if it is unpopular, buried out of sight. Groupthink and online lynch mobs are a result of this social media herding.

I guess what I'm saying is that the web and its conventions are absurd and dreadful.