Voting etiquette at FSD

lozz's picture
Submitted by lozz on Sat, 07/12/2008 - 01:37

I am still seeing a certain pattern of voting, by some participants, which I, personally, consider to be an abuse of the voting concept here. Why?

Because I see the pattern as being designed to achieve an end other than to simply commend a particular posting based on its own merits.

I won't invite a flame-war by referring directly to the particular voting pattern, instead I'll describe my own voting etiquette which, I think, would eliminate such an abuse.

We are offered three different voting options on each posting.

We can vote it UP.

We can do NOTHING.

We can vote it DOWN.

I'm easy. I find nearly all the postings to be interesting and I vote them UP, accordingly. Included in this are all stories warning of clear and present dangers to the whole Free Software Community. I find these interesting, even when they are often alarming.

There are usually two classes of posting with which I, personally, disagree and invoke the second option, to do NOTHING.

The first is gaming, which I, personally, think is a waste of valuable hardware as well as having moral objections towards violent shooter type games. Many of these are promoted by M$ and allied companies, anyway.

The second class are postings commending software from organisations which I, personally, consider to have betrayed the principles underlying Free Software. Typically, these companies will have signed certain accords with Microsoft.

However, I always choose to do NOTHING, in these cases, because I respect the concept of Free Speech as much as I respect Free Software.

I never vote DOWN stories with which I, personally, disagree. This is the most unfriendly action that can be aimed at a posting and shows complete disrespect to whoever may have posted the story in good faith. It would imply that I was insisting that my own opinion was absolutely right, if I employ a tool of potential censorship against a story with which I, personally, disagree.

There is only one class of posting which I always accord this level of disrespect and vote DOWN.


This has no place here and I completely disrespect the opinions of pathetic individuals who attempt to grab a few minutes of free advertising by posting stories like, "Get a NEW Ferrari", posted by, "Fly by Night Loansharks Inc." Usually, these clowns have only registered with this site a few minutes before they begin to make such pernicious postings.

I urge all voters to show courtesy towards the opinions of others and to simply ignore postings with which they, personally, disagree.

Please, save the big gun for SPAM.

dave's picture


11 years 13 weeks 23 hours 26 min ago


Some good points

Thanks for posting lozz. You have raised some good points. I feel a little differently about this. I don't see voting (negative or positive) as being about agreeing or disagreeing with an article but more about whether you think other people should read it. This may mean you vote up a story you disagree with or even voting down a story you agree with.

Here's my take on voting in more detail:

3rdalbum's picture


11 years 13 weeks 19 hours 41 min ago


Good points but,..

I mostly do nothing. If an article is good, I'll vote it up. If it's damaging to the free software community (, I'll vote it down. I don't automatically vote down BN stories, but it's rare that a BoycottNovell story is worthy of getting no vote, let alone a positive vote.

Kletskous's picture


11 years 13 weeks 8 hours 15 min ago



I agree with 3rdalbum. I never voted an item down until BoycotNovell started crapping this place with their bad documented articles and fud. Articles I really enjoy, I vote up and mostly I do nothing.

aboutblank's picture


11 years 13 weeks 3 hours 16 min ago


My downvote guideline

I vote down any articles under the following guidelines:

  • the article does not have any material consequence to the free software community. Without any commentary to get people to think about their freedom, these are just ordinary reports of proprietary software companies mucking around with their proprietary software. The user "Komrad" is particularly guilty of this. We don't need any more examples of harm by proprietary software, we need more education about freedom.
  • promotions of proprietary software. This is closely related to the previous point. Sometimes there are articles that promote solely proprietary software. Other times, the articles promote "Linux software" that may include promotions for non-free software. In this case, the article gets a downvote if there is more than a couple of promotions for proprietary software; I am willing to overlook the promotion of smaller numbers of proprietary programs.
  • non-conclusive articles. Had the articles been truly conclusive, then the article may be truly something of concern. These non-conclusive articles leave some room for reasonable doubt and are therefore inconsequential until there are more hard facts. My first point is closely associated to this point. Boycott Novell is particularly guilty of this point.
  • spam. It's easier to flag spam by downvoting it and letting others flag it to the admin.
dave's picture


11 years 13 weeks 3 hours 3 min ago


A point on spam

If you have the "Mark as spam" option I really would urge you to use it on spam. It unpublishes the story immediately so that others are not exposed to it. If you vote it down it may be while I am asleep or not at my machine for some other reason and it may take quite a while before I (or someone else) notices it.

Please, if you have moderator privileges, use them.

Mr. Psychopath's picture

Mr. Psychopath

10 years 19 weeks 57 min 57 sec ago



"I never vote DOWN on stories"

You just did on mine. If you can't stand for your own postings, where does the credibility go?

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