A case for Downvotes

Recently some advice in development support has contained things from bad practices, to stuff that downright break Roblox’s rules.

In my opinion, we should have some sort of a downvote tool integrated for the support categories. This has been discussed in Discourse Meta but refused by the Discourse team because it’s a discussion software, not a Q&A or fact-based system.

This doesn’t work when it comes to development support where some advise may be harmful, and replies about why that’s harmful could be off-topic, or drowned out in a sea of replies.

In fact, systems like this were proposed by members around the time of the Discourse-DevForum’s inception.

To quote Jeff Atwood:

systems of fact, data, and science can benefit from downvotes, because statements can be scientifically proven to a reasonable degree.

You can see here that a lot of people think the development support categories need improvement (just search support in the topic). I believe that adding a system of accountability to people’s advise that is entirely community-based would be cool.

How would this be possible with Discourse not supporting it?

Plugins! Custom plugins are used a lot on the DevForum. You know that New Topic-automatic-to-post-approval button? That’s a plugin.

This can already be kinda done with this plugin. It even lets you disable categories from it

IRL example

scriptinghelpers.org by @evaera has a reputation system similar to StackOverflow and it works quite well, this is a system built for support- not discussion, and it works. I still see many DevForum members (who have access to dev support) opting to ask their question on StackOverflow, ScriptingHelpers, Discord, etc. because Discourse was not designed for something like this.

What about flags?

Flags are cool. But giving bad advise (e.g. this example shown by @howmanysmaII, which inspired this suggestion) are not against the forum rules.

Would you be in favor of a feature like this?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

If not, why? or What concerns would you have about this?

  • It’d be abused (make it members only)
  • It’d be abused (don’t add it)
  • It makes no sense for Development Support
  • I just don’t like it
  • Other

0 voters

:heart: thanks for reading

But who would be able to use this downvote system, if this was implemented? Would only the Members trust level and above be able to use this?

If it were implemented, imo it should start as a member-only trial. But it still could be given access to everyone with a system like this: (as suggested by @EchoReaper all those years ago)

1 Like

I guess I have a few questions, would the downvotes be visible like “likes”? Would you just have to click a button to downvote? I’m not too familiar with stackexchange or discourse so excuse my ignorance on the subjects.

In my opinion this forum could benefit from a downvote system aslong as the OP and people viewing the post later know why something was downvoted. I can see it working for topics like this as it can give a generalized rating on ideas.

Regarding the development support sections, I can see it working there. I guess my only question there is what should be downvoted? Should that twitter example be downvoted because its not a secure way of doing things?

If you find that people are spreading misinformation, I’ve found the best thing to do is let them know. Downvotes don’t let people know the right way to do something, they just let everyone know that this guy did it wrong.

If anything, this would lead to an environment where people don’t share their opinion because they’re scared it might be judged as “wrong.” There’s not always an objectively correct response to everything on the forum, and there are multiple approaches to almost every problem.


Why? Downvotes make no sense, this forum acts more like a discussion board, not reddit.


Downvotes could be used to mark something as being bad advise/bad practice, e.g. using deprecated methods or not respecting the client/server relationship.

This is a difficult balancing act. If downvotes were public, it could discourage their use, but making them public could also encourage members to use them in moderation.

How would you suggest to implement something like this? Would your idea be something similar to the flag system?

This feature generally refers to people who are spreading misinformation. Usually, DMing that one person won’t solve the issue as someone may follow that advise, or the DM will be ignored/drowned out.

I was referring to downvotes exclusively for development support. This is how things work on StackExchange, StackOverflow, and ScriptingHelpers; and they’re all pretty good for solving issues.

When it comes to real discussion, even likes make no sense.

I’ve added a poll to the OP about this feature. Thanks.

imo if you are downvoting someone in a support category then you should have to provide a reason “why” that all users can view (such as the image you posted).

Maybe something like displaying whether you liked, downvoted or were neutral on a post within the comment box itself, however this might require some engineering. Currently there is no downvote button, if you disagree with a post you either ignore it or go into the comments and provide your feedback anyway.

I don’t really see a problem with them needing to provide a reason why they downvote it personally, it just might hinder the use of it in the long run.

1 Like

It might be beneficial for mature communities, but we are not one of those fostering age ranges which typically include immature emotionally reactant people more often than not. It also includes socially sensitive people where it is incredibly easy to discourage discussion. People have expressed similar feelings already.

As much as I have my own feelings about the report system, i’d rather that be used if something is really bad advice, otherwise making a reply post with some font usage to grab attention and an explanation on why a post is bad advice is sufficient.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it. If people want to use bad advice, thats on them. Nobody is here to be the parents of any particular user.


Personally, I do not believe downvotes are the right way to approach this problem.

The issue with downvotes is that nobody learns what’s wrong from them and they are prone to misuse, but the problem with simple replies is that they get far separated from bad advice so casual readers never see them.

I think the better approach is a StackOverflow-like method of organizing replies. Then disagreements and clarifications are grouped below the post, and are immediately visible to the casual reader, which renders downvoting to point out bad advice unnecessary.


I love it and I don’t, im 50-50 I would love something like this though! (lets turn this place into reddit)

Don’t DM them, just reply to the topic. Correcting someone helps everyone learn whereas just telling someone they’re wrong without telling them why doesn’t. Future people viewing that topic might have the same confusion, so it’s helpful to have the discussion on the thread (as long as it doesn’t derail it too much)


Replies can also get drowned out by other posts.

  1. It isn’t a nessecary function.
    Inappropriate responses can be flagged and hidden by community.

  2. It creates a negative enviroment
    You create an awesome feature post but then get a ton of downvotes because people don’t like it.
    Instead of getting constructive critisism in comments you get a bunch of anonymous haters.

  3. Bad advice might not get filtered
    But it will be drowned out in the replies of those who give good advice and get likes.


I feel like this shouldn’t be added at all, and here are some of my reasons:

  1. Abuse: It’s going to be abused, and we might start having problems with “vote brigading” (just google “vote brigading” and you’ll see what I mean by that, but if you want, vote brigading (per my definition at least) is when you get a mob of people to upvote/downvote something en masse regardless of agreeing or not to what they voted on, a blaring example is Reddit which often in the past had to deal with vote brigading. See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vote_brigading)
    Note that this might be confused often with “review bombing”, the two practices are very similar, but review bombing is purely to hamper a product’s reputation.

  2. Bullying: when you downvote a specific user just to harass them regardless if what they say contributes to the discussion or not), and given that downvotes are anonymous…

Moreso, this forum is more of a discussion board (per @wravager’s statement) and not Reddit nor Stack Exchange (which is more geared towards a Q&A system).

1 Like

Personally, I do not like the way that dislikes are handled on Roblox. They’re too easily abused by people who are frustrated at a game. Rather than having a system that requires someone to give a comprehensive review on a game, it’s “play game for 5 seconds, then you have the ability to down or upvote.” It’s a very flawed and broken system and was poorly implemented in my opinion. Plus, dislikes do not tell the developer anything as to why that particular person downvoted a game other than making them guess.

Personally, if a downvote system were to be added to the DeveloperForum, the ability to dislike something should only be given to those with a certain trust level, otherwise we’re going to have cases of topics being downvoted to oblivion.

1 Like

I think we definitely need some sort of system to filter the relatively frequent bad advice that pops up through the Help and Feedback categories, specifically Scripting Support. This is especially true with the influx of New Members–while Members are obviously still capable of giving bad advice, from what I have seen, it is usually New Members who pointlessly post advice regarding things they aren’t personally informed about, or otherwise contribute nothing meaningful to the thread.

I say that as a New Member myself. Considering the weakening of the forum restrictions, (which I wouldn’t be here without), there has to be some way to hold people accountable to their advice. That should be the primary goal, not creating an outlet to discourage people from posting. A Stack Overflow-like reputation system seems like it would work best.

Obviously, this would not be limited to New Members, but the influx of new forum members only strengthens the case for a reputation system.

Outside of the “advice-based” categories, however, I don’t feel like a downvote-like system would contribute anything meaningful. We already have the flag system, which is generally okay at getting rid of meaningless responses or clutter.

I think it might also pay to look at how overzealous users of the flag system can occasionally be. I come across a lot of flags that come off as unreasonable, and representative of a toxic culture, usually within discussion-based topics in which flags are distributed freely for the most benign of violations. A ‘downvote-like’ system should not emulate this; it should be a way for more experienced users with ‘reputation’ to draw attention to poor advice or misleading information. It should also be constructive–require people who ‘downvote’ a reply to post a visible reason, as Stack Overflow seems to do. That way, you can see what’s wrong with a solution, and judge advice on its merits.

I think Scripting Helpers already does something like this. This might be a lot of work to implement properly, but as the DevForum and the help sections grow, misinformation is inevitability going to become more rampant. The Devforum is an extremely useful resource, and this should not be compromised by a lack of accountability–outside the flag system, which requires extra moderation manpower, and can often be too extreme for an (often subjectively) poor response to a question.


This is not specifically in relation to the idea of downvotes, but more the “reputation” system that has been discussed in this thread (justification for the inevitable upset generated by bumping any sort of thread)–

It looks like a system like this is now under consideration (but obviously not guranteed, so don’t take it with certainty), so I’m resurfacing the discussion.

I personally think this is highly necessary for Scripting Support now more than ever. Blatant misinformation and lack of knowledge on the part of some of the more frequent posters seems to have actually increased over the last few months–I’ve withdrawn from posting there because it’s an annoying experience for everyone.

Implementing “downvotes” or a “reputation-like” system would allow scripting support topics to focus on in-depth discussion of problems, allowing people with relevant knowledge or experience to tackle issues at depth (and allowing simple problems to be solved more efficiently, without junk spam on the behalf of people who feel the obligation to reply despite no knowledge of the core issue).


I think it’s a good idea.

It would prevent me from making low effort (but very high quality) joke replies.