by Silver Adept
Riddle me this, New Disqus (and probably Facebook, Google Plus, and the like):
If I want to upvote something, a list of all the people who also upvoted it appears (including Guest upvotes), so I can see who else thinks this thing is great.
If I downvote something, the downvote is recorded in the system, but no list of usernames appears, not even any Guest votes.
Why are critics and potential trolls given the benefit of anonymity, while people expressing positive sentiment for things are broadcast to everyone, potentially so that such trolls can find a new account to descend upon?
Why do I have to risk more exposure of hostile forces finding my support for something if I do it on the Internet, when I could support something financially, even with a large amount of financial support, and be afforded anonymity? Why can I donate to PACs and certain political organizations and be assured that my name will never appear in the public record, yet pushing a like button generates an immediate and publicly-accessible record of my support?
Why is my ability to say I don't like something more protected than my ability to say I do like something?
And how many voices that would otherwise speak are silenced because they can't afford to be identified, outed, recognized, or connected with something because of the repercussions?
Privileging the critic with anonymity without a corresponding option for the supporter biases the system toward having more critics feel free to express their sentiment than supporters. It gives trolls a haven to hide in and the ability to potentially affect what things are seen and where, as well as what kind of weight and credibility is assigned to each comment. It lets the people who should have the least control over things gain the most control.
So what are comment systems saying, implicitly or explicitly, when they require a record of every like, but don't for every dislike?
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