"respect" and "agree" vs "like" (and other ideal reaction options)

The best general click-response if we had only one would be “respect” to indicate some support of a post without saying that one “likes” the content necessarily. (This is not my original idea, this is shown from good research and other real-world trials outside of Snowdrift.coop).

Having “agree” is also more meaningful than “like”.

I’m okay with keeping “like” with the heart as well, but I’d be okay removing it.

Are any of these types of adaptations possible here?

FWIW, I really like the trend we see now at GitHub, GitLab and elsewhere that allow multiple types of emoji / responses with the ability to reinforce any (i.e. show how many people have which responses). That goes along with the vision we had from the original Snowdrift.coop discuss boards prior to most others else out there realizing the value. It’s really the best approach (although our version allowed this with tags so that it could be contextual to us and be arbitrary text rather than abstract icons). I would like to have that direction here.

2 Appreciations

Is this configurable, or is it something that should be feedback to the Discourse project itself?

That’s the question. I’m hoping @Salt can investigate or answer if he knows already.

Configurable and done.

Edit: @Salt, if this change is not okay I can manually revert it.

I like that the hover says “agree” now, but if we have only one I’d vote for “respect”(I think…) (and no extra “…this post” stuff. What I’d like ideally would be to have both (separate actions) agree and respect (and the option to have additional reactions as either tags or symbols etc).

What should it say on hover, “1 person respected”?

Not sure if separate agree and respect is possible (probably not, the text was just changed from the Like feature to “agree”).

Additional reactions should be possible with a plugin like retort. Plugins would need to be installed server-side, @chreekat or @Salt would have access to install it.

That’s promising! (Side note: how do you research plugins besides the official ones?)

If we can only have 1 main heart-shaped (can we change the icon?) main thing, I’m mixed between “agree” and “respect” but leaning to “respect” as I said… interested in views from others.

I’d like to add that retort plugin (if there’s nothing better to consider, such as ideally one that lets people upvote arbitrary tags). Maybe we can limit the responses from that to a set that will feel less overwhelming. And if we can somehow identify something there that works well as either “respect” or “agree” or “like” then we can use those and that might help decide which term to use for the main button.

“1 person respected”

Maybe, or maybe “respect: 1” ?

How about this: attached is a list of text nodes related to the Like feature. Currently the “like” verb/noun has been replaced with variations of “agree”. If you attach a list of the nodes you want changed and their values, I can update them for you?

agrees-text.txt (1.9 KB)

For plugins, have a look at the plugins directory and the plugins discussion section on the Discourse forum:

So far, I have used the button as a “me too” or “+1”, to avoid adding an unnecessary comment.

I’m not sure which verb I prefer. “Agree” is closer to my usage, but “Agrees” as a noun is a really awkward word. What about “Support”?

I am in favor of limiting the number of reactions, with a slightly different goal: discourage groupthink.

Discourse does a decent job of this by putting reactions at the bottom so people aren’t affected before reading the post. However, I’d still prefer to avoid having, in effect, a downvote button.

I think reactions work better as a way to avoid writing short, contentless replies. Others I could imagine being useful:

  • Acknowledge(d) — When I don’t want to take up space to let someone know I saw their comment.
    • Example of where I’d have used this.
  • Excite(d/ment) (:confetti_ball:) or Thank Appreciate (:heart:) — I have used these on github before in response to “this is now implemented”.
    • Example of where I’d have used this.
    • Second example, which I might also express Interest in or Respect for.
  • Interest(ed) — But maybe this overlaps with “Agree”
  • Confus(ed/ion) — But maybe this is something people should write out why they’re confused

Yeah, “agree” is closer to how I’d use the feature, unfortunately it was a bit awkward when trying to replace the text nodes. “Thank” sounds good though, and “support” could also work.

The world “respect” has a different usage to me, and I wouldn’t insert “respect” interchangeably with “agree” in the text nodes, e.g. one in normal and the other in hover state. However, I’ll leave it to others to decide what they would like displayed.

1 Appreciation

As long as any critical response isn’t actually a downvote (doesn’t bury unpopular opinions), it’s not too bad when used fairly and respectfully.

I agree with the comments above: agree and support are better fit for the heart, maybe even “thanks”. And the noun isn’t an issue. It doesn’t have to be # nouns it can be verb: # or other constructions.

I like @smichel17’s list of desired responses (again, my dream would be these could be tags that anyone could vote-up effectively).

I like “respect” for various reasons but am fine with making it a wishlist item or at least secondary to “agree” or “support”.

EDIT: YAY, there’s a thumb’s up that says “agree” now! That’s way better than a heart and better than either symbol saying “like”.

I’ll add another one I’d like to see: tl;dr :stuck_out_tongue: (more seriously: a way to ask someone to be more concise).

1 Appreciation

That seems sorta like “this isn’t flaggable, but still… request for editing, reason: concision”

A specific tl;dr would be informative (telling poster that others are noticing and not reading)

This thread is quite long and bikeshed-y, but convinced me that :heart: is better than :+1:


As for retort, it looks like it only allows emoji reactions; no text. Can we confirm/deny this?

The problem is the idea of forcing to choose one or the other. They are each better when they are better. My point all along is I want both and a couple others. If we have only one primary one, the heart is a worse choice.

As I put it in IRC:

  • I like heart, but I hate being forced to use it to express any sort of agree / like / support / respect
  • heart is more emotional but it’s often enough WRONG to be emotional and wrong to express a heart-type emotion
  • when Twitter switched to a heart, there was a real backlash because it truly changes the significance and meaning

I look forward to having that plugin discussed above so that we can use hearts, and we should encourage them whenever appropriate.

When I want to say “I agree” it’s often NOT with a heart, and the heart feels not only wrong often enough but it cheapens the sincerity of the symbol if you have to use it all the time in all these inappropriate ways.

Having a single option of either “like” / “love” etc. that is emotional feels awful. It feels like the system manipulating us into simplistic boxes. The tension is shitty. The option to express such emotions is great, but the value of “respect” or “agree” is that it allows concise communication while still allowing the emotional stuff to be used appropriately and retain its actual emotional meaning.

To reiterate: hearts on Twitter amplify miscommunication, people attack others for “hearting” posts that are seen as bad in some way when the hearting was actually a bookmarking or just an attempt at respect. The heart actually drives the emotional tribalist groupthink. Nobody is willing to give a heart to ideas they don’t like even when they desire to express “respect” in a challenging but respectful debate… This is about having the right tools for the right cases. All the arguments of the right one response are themselves wrong arguments in the first place.

Look at this right here. You’re more likely to want to “respect” what I’m writing. You might “agree”, but if you find something I’m saying troubling, you’ll feel it troubling to “heart” this. If I keep making this text longer and longer, you might still agree but be even less emotionally heartful about my excessive text…

1 Appreciation

EDIT: damnit, moderator action of moving a reply from one topic to another does not maintain a link back! Shit.

The following was a reply I just moved from Discourse plugins to consider which now shows that there was a reply but only links generally to this topic and not to the exact reply. Looks like this moving of replies is somewhat buggy and needs improvement in the UI…

I’m happy to thumb’s-up agree to your comment. I would feel less comfortable or appropriate “hearting” (like/love even labeled “agree”) this. I do not feel emotional and empathic here, it’s just a plain informational post. I want to be able to actually express empathy elsewhere and not pollute everything with fake empathy.

This is why I mentioned this. If we get one primary reaction that gets text along with it and several other reactions that only get an icon, what icon and text do we want to be primary?

:+1: and :heart: both seem self-explanatory enough that they don’t need additional descriptive text. I can’t imagine communicating tl;dr without text, but it shouldn’t be our primary reaction (or is that okay? It looks like retort emojis appear higher up, so maybe it’s okay to separate this?).

Right now I think “respect” seems like the best choice for the option that gets text.

Maybe we’ll just have to use a “Confused” emoji or something and just let it be known that it means tl;dr.

We can and should request that retort plugin add some optional text meaning (or ideally: my favorite possibility, add support for arbitrary text separate from the icons).

That said, I think “agree” should be the one primary thing with all the retort icons secondary (and “respect” is now my second choice for primary, I’m convinced from above discussion about that). I don’t know that thumb’s-up is the best icon for the primary “agree” item, but it’s certainly better than a heart which I want to reserve for expressing that sort of emotion/empathy.

It seems to me that there’s not really a need to keep thumb’s up available for something other than “agree” so I vote to keep that as is.

Maybe we’ll just have to use a “Confused” emoji or something and just let it be known that it means tl;dr.

Yeah, whatever icon seems to be the best-fit there…