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Why Do People Actually Thumb Down Stuff

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Call me naive or just stupid but I still feel sad and even irritated when I see some stories thumbed down or buried or desphunn or whatever… Don’t get me wrong, I love well-grounded critique. What I can’t stand is uncommented thumbs-down or down voting followed by look-how-clever-I-am-and-you-are-not type of comments.

I feel sad for a person who has devoted time and effort to create stuff and then get upset because of negative votes. I know you do have to grow a thick skin when dealing with social media and I’ve been advocative of that myself but sometimes this just driving me mad.

It would be great if thumb-downs were always given for merit or if they were well deserved. From my one-year social media experience, most often the situation is quite the opposite:

  • A person down-votes a great story to differentiate himself from all others who thumbed it down. By doing that he feels he is special because he doesn’t follow the crowd. To me it always looks really stupid: if you want to feel unique, add value but don’t make others look worse than they really are;
  • A person down-votes all stories of a particular topic. Every social media user has come across SEO hate at Digg and StumbleUpon when each story related to search marketing or submitted by a search marketer gets multiple negative votes by a group of SEO haters;
  • A person just thumbs down pretty much everything to get noiced: there are a couple of members at my favorite social networks that seem to always contradict and find faults with any member or story. Thanks to that they are well-known and even popular.
  • A person down-votes a story because he wants to look or sincerely believes to be smarter than the author and shows that by his negative vote.

Do I use negative voting myself? Yes. I may down-vote a duplicate story to help push the version that was the first to be submitted. I may down-vote free-poker-type spam (if there’s no “Report Spam” option available. In all other cases, I criticize if the story deserves it but never down-vote because I believe that a person deserves a thumb-up for taking time to create an article and who am I judge him?no hate

Image credits: blakeemrys and Mai Le

Posted in Social Voting. Tags: ,

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