Hello Steemians, we want to hear your thoughts on whether we should replace "flags" with "downvotes" on steemit.com, which is why we’d like you to participate in this poll. Specifically we will be changing the icon and some of the verbiage that users see when they click on the icon. This idea has been brought up in the past by community members through various channels. You can view some of that discussion here: Change flag to downvote #2258.
Do you think flags should be changed to downvotes? Leave a comment to this post saying “Yes” if you would like flags changed to downvotes, or leave a comment saying “No” if you would not like flags to be changed to downvotes.
There are two reasons why we would support this change. First, a “downvote” is more accurate as that is what the action is called on the blockchain level. The reason why Steem has downvotes is to enable the Steem user base to self-regulate and police the distribution of tokens from the rewards pool. If Steem only had upvotes, that would enable people to exploit the rewards pool while leaving other users without the ability to counter that behavior.
Downvotes are a critical function from a game theoretical perspective. Rendering a downvote is technically just a user expressing their opinion that a post is overvalued, but a flag connotes a negative moral or legal judgment about the content. That creates a negative user experience and engenders confusion in the mind of the user with respect to how the protocol functions on a technical level.
The Role of Steemit.com
We believe that part of steemit.com’s function within the ecosystem is to be the most accurate visual representation of the Steem blockchain. Steem can be used to power an infinite variety of applications, but it is for other developers to explore those opportunities. It is our responsibility at Steemit to ensure that users and developers who are new to the ecosystem are introduced to the blockchain in a way that maximizes the odds that they will be able to rapidly acquire a deep understanding of the protocol so that they can come up with new and innovative uses of it.
The second reason why we would like to experiment with downvotes is because the Communities specification also has a flag component that is effectively identical to the more typical use of that element in other social media applications. Thanks to flexibility of Soft Consensus, flags in Hivemind can be used to satisfy whatever subjective standards a community desires to enforce, freeing downvotes to serve the specific application for which they were intended: regulating the rewards pool.
For now, we only plan to replace the flag icon with a downvote icon as a test. We are not making substantial changes to the text used in the dialogue box that appears when you click on the Flag icon, so we would love to read any suggestions you might have for changes to that text in the comments section below.
We want steemit.com to be a great experience for you all, so let us know what you think by completing the poll below.
Do you think flags should be changed to downvotes? Leave a comment saying “Yes” if you would like flags changed to downvotes, or leave a comment saying “No” if you would not like flags to be changed to downvotes.
The Steemit Team