Forum:Disallowing "support" and "oppose" votes

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Forums: Yew Grove > Disallowing "support" and "oppose" votes
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This thread was archived on 2 February 2012 by Liquidhelium.

The idea might sound absurd at first, but what I'm proposing, as you may have seen from the topic, is disallowing "voting" on request pages, such as support and oppose. This is for several reasons:

  • If we truly are a community based upon consensus, it shouldn't matter what people "vote" for. Votes don't count. Discussion counts.
  • Per above, they don't contribute anything to the discussion. Whether or not you support or oppose something should be clear in your post.
  • It should clear up posts that are entirely unhelpful to the discussion and only exist to cast a vote, such as "Support - x is a good user" or "Oppose - per above". I understand it's more indicative of the community's feelings if 10 people vote a particular way, but unless they can add additional points to any made, there isn't much contributed to the discussion.
  • It might be argued that it helps the person closing the request make a decision and get an idea of what the community feels. This shouldn't be the case, since whoever is making the decision needs to consider every point made, not every vote cast.
  • Something else that I can't remember right now.

I forgot to mention I don't want to get rid of support/oppose votes on things like featured article/image/users, since those are typically less dependent on discussion.


Attack potion (4).png - Now let's hope this is the last time we have to make votes like this. ;) --Sαcrε (edit my sig) | (edit my user page) 13:21, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

^ Oh the irony. User_talk:Fswe1 Fswe1 Brassica Prime symbol.png 19:24, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Defence potion (4).png - While "Lazy admins can count votes" is valid, unanimous support or opposition concerning a topic can make the task much easier for the administrator or bureaucrat closing a thread. If the support and opposition is mixed, then the user closing the thread will have to read all arguments anyway.

 a proofreader ▸ 

13:36, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Shouldn't the unanimity be clear in the discussion then? --Sαcrε (edit my sig) | (edit my user page) 13:45, January 26, 2012 (UTC)
Currently the unanimity is even clearer if the left-hand side of the screen is all bolded Support or all bolded Oppose. I don't see why that is a problem for discussions that end up being unanimous.  a proofreader ▸  13:49, January 26, 2012 (UTC)
Unanimous votes aren't very common, though. Or are they? I dunno. It seems unnecessary to use support/oppose to make it convenient for when discussions actually have a unanimous opinion, if it isn't a very common occurrence. Anyway, what if the reasoning behind the unanimous votes are flawed, like they violates a community policy or something? --Sαcrε (edit my sig) | (edit my user page) 14:57, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Vial of water.png - I think it is a bad thing to "disallow" something. People should still be able to support or oppose in my opinion. I know it doesn't matter if one particular user supports or opposes, but disallowing it would go a bit too far in my opinion. I know it would probably not be a strict policy where people could be blocked or something, but still, I think limiting freedom is not a good thing when it is not necessary. PS: bolded words at the start of each "vote" also makes it easier to see where one user's comment starts and where the next user's comment starts. I know we could start using bulleted lists again, but I think that's even worse. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 13:50, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, I guess I'm proposing a style change rather than outright barring it be used. --Sαcrε (edit my sig) | (edit my user page) 14:57, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Defence potion (4).png - imo, saying "per [insert person here/above/all/whatever]" increases the strength of the argument presented by the user who supports the other user's statement. --クールネシトーク 14:23, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Someone agreeing with another person's argument doesn't make the argument any more valid. --Sαcrε (edit my sig) | (edit my user page) 14:57, January 26, 2012 (UTC)
It makes it a stronger opinion held in the community. We could all write out the same thing, but if one person says no and makes an argument while 1 person says yes and 9 people agree, which one is most likely the will of the community? svco4bY.png3Gf5N2F.png 16:04, January 26, 2012 (UTC)
In discussions about (subjective) opinions, the number of people who agree with an opinion strengthens that opinion by number. If this were a formal argument about (objective) facts, a whole new reasoning needs to be applied, like Wikipedia's notability rules, first-hand and second-hand sources, verifiability and formal logic. However, this is not, and we are also having a discussion about Supporting and Opposing in discussions about subjective opinions. How meta...
In summary: Defence potion (4).png some more - Per Coolnesse.  a proofreader ▸  22:01, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Defence potion (4).png - Absolutely, definitely not. I've seen many wikis that don't use prefixes to indicate their view before, and it looks like chaotic, unprofessional, sloppy rubbish. Are we going to let our discussions become disorganised, scrappy dumps? I hope not. Saying that it influences our sysops to make hasty or lazy decisions is assuming bad faith, and is largely untrue anyway. As for "per" comments, while you are correct to say that it doesn't necessarily validate an argument, it does generally give it more depth and/or legitimacy. This would be a completely unacceptable step back for us. Ronan Talk 16:20, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Defence potion (4).png - There are those who take in others arguments before forming their own opinion or use others' to strengthen their own, such as what sacre did on a recent RfCM. If it isn't clear they may not do so and as such may not be able to give their input. And so what if somebody uses "per x". If X says they oppose something on these grounds and I agree, it's easier for me to type "per x" than basically repeat what they say. Plus it is possible that the reason one person supports is the reason the other opposes, and if they both put that reason down, then without the support/oppose at the start, one of them will be miscounted. Also, what may appear to be an oppose at first is actually a support or vice versa What I've done Ciphrius Kane Talk 16:35, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Defence potion (4).png - A clear "Support" or "Oppose" forms the basis for a person's argument and (yep, I'm saying this) makes it easier for the closing sysop to see which ones favor the proposal and which don't. What's wrong with that? Votes only matter if you let them matter, and I'm sure the individuals who regularly close discussions don't just count up the votes to determine consensus. Even if our stances were implied in our posts, we're technically still voting anyway. You can't discuss a proposal without being for or against it, or else it's simply a review of something we don't intend to change.  Tien  17:37, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Attack potion (2).png - My understanding of this proposal (correct me if I'm wrong) is that for pages such as RfA, RfCM, RfR, and things like request for bots or IRC op or whatever that deal with user rights, individuals commenting on them should no longer explicitly indicate their support/opposition; rather, this position should be implied from the user's comment.

I love this idea, as it would actually force people to come up with a good reason to support. For far too long, things like RfRs (and to a lesser extent, RfAs) have had supporters who barely articulated their reasoning or did not do it at all. Granted, the opposition should still be writing a lot more reasoning, but this does not absolve the supporters from articulating their thoughts as well. (This should not affect "per (user)" positions, as instead of "Support - Per Ronan." one could say "Comment - I agree with Ronan." or something of the sort.)

I don't quite agree with the assertion that this makes it less likely that sysops would simply "count" votes as there would be nothing to count; I've never just did a simple count and I don't think any other sysops have either. The main benefit that I see is the fact that users have fuller positions instead of a simple throwaway statement.

However, my main issue with this proposal is that I don't like the principle of banning a strongly ingrained discussion format. I have severe doubts that this is the proper method to achieve the goals, which I do believe in.

Furthermore, my main reason for liking this proposal is for users to write fuller and more enunciated opinions; doing so and using a support/oppose commenting system is not mutually exclusive. I am fine with explicitly stating support/oppose as long as it is accompanied by a decent explanation. While I don't think that is likely to happen unless we actually disallowed support/oppose statements, that still is a strike against the proposal.

So, to summarize, I like the goal that this would achieve, but have doubts about the execution and methodology. --LiquidTalk 18:34, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

I agree with your statement besides your ultimate conclusion. There are definitely rational contributors on this wiki who simply are not good at writing or who cannot express themselves clearly, take me or Atlandy for example. --クールネシトーク 20:29, January 26, 2012 (UTC)
lolwat Suppa chuppa Talk 21:10, January 26, 2012 (UTC)
What? --LiquidTalk 21:26, January 26, 2012 (UTC)
what Ronan Talk 21:34, January 26, 2012 (UTC)
You made my day sir bad_fetustalk 22:36, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Super defence (4).png - Per opposers (or should I not be doing that?). Is it ironic to oppose a thread about not opposing (or supporting) distinctly? We use consensus, yes, but numbers still do matter. Zamorak has a really good point with a "yes" vote being "worth" more than a no vote if the rest of the community says "per the yes guy". That doesn't necessarily mean they're lazy, nor does it mean they don't have a reason, but simply that the person they agree with basically summed up their reason for opposing or supporting.

As well, the initial statement of their stance makes it easy to get a quick overview on how the community stands on an issue, not to mention seeing the ambiguous reasons some people give, it's almost necessary to know what there stance is. Oh, and yeah, pretty messy. Try and mentally picture that bureaucrat thread shortly back without bold declaration at the start of a user's opinion. Heck, some threads are hard enough to read as it is, the declaration of the stance makes readability considerably easier, though. Hofmic Talk 18:53, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Strong Oppose - Per above. (Sorry for this, but everyone else pretty much summed up my feelings about this proposal...) [1] N7 Elite (Ready to talk now?) 21:30, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

??? mixture (warm).png - what do you propose to replace it with? cqm talk 22:05, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

No replacement. The idea is to not have the bolded part at the beginning of each comment. bad_fetustalk 22:33, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Attack potion (4).png - Liquid has summed up the main factor in this for me... It will force people to write a more logical, a more formulated reasoning behind their supports and opposes. I also believe that it might result in a more balanced consensus, as much as I hate to say it, I believe some of our Sysops just close threads and requests by looking and seeing: Oh, this has 12 supports and 2 opposes, It's passed. It's all about the strength of an argument, not the number of people who can write "Support - Per all". RSN: Warthog Rhys Talk Completionist's cape... Coming soon. 22:40, January 26, 2012 (UTC)

Vial of water.png - Does this not make it such that one strongly argued text wall in opposition to the general consensus carries more weight than several individuals saying support/oppose per all in consensus? I fear that this may happen if the support/oppose convention is removed. Raglough 01:31, January 27, 2012 (UTC)
EDIT - As i believe that the support/oppose opening provides clarity. Raglough 01:34, January 27, 2012 (UTC)
How will the mere omission of a "Support" or "Oppose" force me to write a better argument? If I supported a proposal, there's nothing stopping me from writing out a single sentence in favor of it (for example, I see nothing wrong with this, or This can't hurt, or something along those lines), regardless of whether my bolded initial stance is included.  Tien  17:07, January 27, 2012 (UTC)

Vial of water.png/Defence potion (4).png - The reason we have support/oppose labels is not for voting, but for expressing opinion for or against something. Disallowing them is disallowing freedom of opinion, which this wiki is about, right? Also, it helps with a label to understand where a user stands in the whole debate. Youdead00 03:41, January 27, 2012 (UTC)

Super defence (4).png - Per most of the above. I think it would be a bad idea to disallow oppose/support pretext. --Touhou FTW Zaros symbol.png 05:40, January 27, 2012 (UTC)

Defence potion (4).png - per above, but also it just makes the separate comments easier to follow. If someone forgot to sign and no one noticed to sign it for them then it could just cause confusion. cqm talk 10:04, January 27, 2012 (UTC)

Vial of water.png - Sometimes in a discussion, I feel I would like to bring up a point or two just so people can read it and consider it when making their own comments and "votes". Although my comment may be overly biased and lean towards either a support or oppose, I may not really have a huge opinion on the proposal and don't wish to formally support or oppose it. I just wish to add to the discussion. My comment in the linked thread is an example. Unfortunately, this comment itself is not; I Defence potion (4).png. Smile Chicken7 >talk 12:10, January 27, 2012 (UTC)

I think that it has been pretty well established that comments such as Support - per nominator hold very little weight compared to an in-depth analysis of a topic. Allowing a user to quickly specify their stance also isn't such a bad thing - it allows an outsider to quickly get a grasp on how the discussion is shaping out without needing to read a 2MB text wall. ajr 16:17, January 27, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - Potions @[email protected] Uhm, per all. Matt (t) 04:02, January 28, 2012 (UTC)

My comment is immune from potions. >_> Matt (t) 23:05, January 28, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - What's with the potions?  —The preceding unsigned comment was added by I Am Me (talk) on 13:20, 28 January, 2012 (UTC).

This edit by Cook Me Plox will tell you. Basically, though, you support with an attack potion, oppose with a defence potion, and are neutral leave comments with a vial of water. It is kind of a joke, but is perfect for this thread, as there is no support and opposition written out in a thread discouraging the use of that very same thing.  a proofreader ▸  12:28, January 28, 2012 (UTC)

Vial of water.png - I like the irony of people making "per" votes on this thread XD JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 12:45, January 28, 2012 (UTC)

Defence potion (4).png - We don't count votes when determining consensus anyways, so this isn't even an issue. It's nice to be able to easily identify what someone's position is (because sometimes it can be a little unclear) and I don't see this as an issue at all. Andrew talk 18:09, January 28, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - I'm not entirely sure why everyone is using icons still, even if it is just inventory images. Disregarding whatever happened above, I have never cared for the vote counting that goes on in the various projects of the wiki even if it still forms consensus. Asking users to explain in detail why a certain image or user become featured might be overdoing it. I agree that having more to say than, as Ajraddatz wrote, "per nominator" would help various projects, but sometimes it just sounds better when coming from another user that hold an almost identical opinion.

I haven't read this thread in its' entirety yet, but hope that whatever is making users use the potions not continue elsewhere. We have already decided in the past to not have icons represent our views, I would like to not see this continue. Then again, we generally state our position at the beginning of our edits in bold. Ryan PM 22:48, January 28, 2012 (UTC)

The only other place we used them was Matt's talk page Wink. Hofmic Talk 06:52, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

Short Green Guy.png per all 16px‎AtlandyBeer.png 23:17, January 28, 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - I will say this, potions suck at this. I reccommend stat icons: Defense for support, Strength for oppose, attack AND defense for neutral, and Hitpoints or something for comments...Youdead00 02:58, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

So... you are saying Keep the support/oppose but making it more complicated?... Hair 03:03, January 29, 2012 (UTC)
We did that before, and an RfD successfully deleted the template. We determined that it caused inconsistency, made things more cluttered, and was unnecessary. And this was with simple checkmarks, x's, etc. A sword and shield make things even more complex (after all, oppose in this thread is the defence potion, which could be interpret as either defending the oppose or support side. The attack potions could be interpet as attacking the proposal, rather than supporting it). Hofmic Talk 06:52, January 29, 2012 (UTC)
I think the potions was a joke; not an actual suggestion as a viable alternative. Chicken7 >talk 10:09, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

SUPER STRONG OPPOSE. POTIONS AREN'T A GOOD IDEA - These potions make it all very confusing and makes it harder to determine a consensus in my opinion. Hair 03:03, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

The potions are a bit of fun. That is all. 222 talk 10:17, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

wath? i thot they were oficial [email protected]@@ bad_fetustalk 12:31, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

Comment - The potions edit by Cook Me Plox made the thread rather confusing. This proposal is just about removing the bold text, so that a comment would look like

Uh, I'm not so sure about this... ~~~~

instead of

Oppose - Uh, I'm not so sure about this... ~~~~

, it's not about having potions to vote.

 a proofreader ▸ 

14:03, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

but i was sure it was about [email protected]@ its [[Forum:Let There Be Potions]] after all :o bad_fetustalk 16:55, January 29, 2012 (UTC)
nub, now you're just confuzzling people JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 16:58, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

Vial of water.png Since everyone's doing the potion thing, I'll try it too. First off, I think Sacre Fi brings up a good point about building consensus rather than a majority opinion. It's not about individuals coming up with their own arguments about an issue for why they support or oppose a particular idea, but about determining the advantages and disadvantages of each issue and then seeing whether people are swayed by the arguments presented. As Liquidhelium pointed out, there's a lot of people who aren't interested in providing an argument or are simply incapable of creating one which is coherent. Proposals are not simply changes, they're a claim that something could be made better or worse through a particular change or policy. As a claim, it's important to look at whether there is a problem, whether the solution will likely fix the problem, whether the solution is too complex, whether the claim even makes logical sense (etc).

Personally, I think it would be more constructive to divorce the discussion of an issue from the actual process of seeing whether people were swayed by the arguments presented. What currently happens in the "discussion" section of proposals is more of a vote, but it doesn't have to be this way. A simpler method of dealing with consensus is to provide a period of time or space for people to actually discuss (ie create new arguments for and against, as well as responding to the arguments of others) in a structured way in a discussion section of the proposal. After that, people feel free to "vote" on whether or not there was a strong case presented for the proposal. Consensus is built not by some vote, but by people responding to an existing discussion which brings up all the relevant points and by those people determining if they're swayed one way or the other; if that's by stating they support or oppose an issue, that's fine... so long as they (try to) understand the issue involved. Just my two cents. Penderwyll 20:47, January 29, 2012 (UTC)

[[File:Bandos_symbol_black.svg|x30px]] - Personally, I prefer the whole Support/Oppose method, the bold statement at the beginning gives a quick glance summary of the direction of following statement. It should only be that, I'd say that instead things like "per X" votes however shouldn't be weighed as heavily for consensus without a brief explanation. My two cents. RSDaftVader 05:29, January 30, 2012 (UTC)

Closed - Explicit disclosure of one's support or opposition will continue to be permissible. --LiquidTalk 01:47, February 2, 2012 (UTC)