Who are the people down-voting comments?

Maybe I’m paranoid but there seems to be people down-voting all comments. There are innocent posts that gather dozens of down-votes. Posting a fact could end with 20 down-votes on a comment.

Are these the regular registered users of BP, or are they lurkers reading BP just to be mad and down-vote?

Are you allowed to vote if you’re not registered? You should have to be registered.

Maybe I’m naive and don’t understand that there are good reasons for these seemingly innocent posts to get down-voted into oblivion.

And maybe I’m used to systems like Facebook where you can see who votes which way and it helps to see how they vote and feel about posts.

EDIT: Category


You do realize there is a concurrent thread here that plumbs the depths of these questions?
It is dispiriting, to be sure.

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Anyone can vote, no login needed. Each IP address gets one vote per comment. Note that every cell tower has at least an IPv6 “/64” allocated to it. That’s 1.844674407371e19 addresses (~184 followed by seventeen zeros). It’s also possible to look at browser user agent or fingerprint to de-dupe users, but Chrome and FF both offer options to mung those values beyond use, and in my tests a month or so back those checks were not implemented. CAPTCHAs could inhibit vote stuffing for non-login votes.

I don’t actually think there’s much outright vote stuffing. I suspect lurkers.


Yes, I know there’s a thread about WHY we down-vote, but I’m thinking more about the data side of it and the statistics of how many IP addresses down-vote an entire articles comments, things like that.

It just seems that the amount of down-votes outweighs the comment content along with the reader-base.

I’m not sure if @Jonathan_Maus has the ability to look at comment statistics like that, though I know he pays a lot of attention to some aspects of the comments. It would be a limitation of whatever system he’s using.

I’m curious to know the trends of what type of reader votes which way. Do people that comment a lot vote a certain way? Do non-commenters vote a certain way? And what about the people that don’t vote?

There’s always lots of statistics.


Saw your comment in the Lloyd Center crash article that one of the innocuous comments there getting so many downvotes is why you started this thread. I agree, obviously, which is why I commented that I’d love to hear why someone would downvote that comment.

The downvotes in that article are nuts. There’s hardly any disagreeing going on in the written comments. Nobody is taking any strong position about what happened, just “IF this was true…” Some comments have many downvotes, but no comments disagreeing or even replying to them. A few comments have many upvotes, then comments supporting them, or restating them, get blasted with downvotes. It is weird–it feels like maybe the downvotes are being aimed at commenters, rather than what they’re saying.

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The downvoting certainly often has such a negative ‘trash the commenter’ whiff to it. which seems antithetical to the spirit of bikeportland. Or at least the spirit of olde bikeportlande.

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Those aspects were also explored in that other discussion. Which certainly is not to suggest we can’t have another go at it.

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