An Interesting Feature of Reddit

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… all of them have “like” buttons (and some have more). But none of them have “dislike” buttons. There are anger buttons, sadness buttons… but no dislike. No thumbs down.

There are good reasons for this, though I don’t know if these are the reasons that there aren’t dislike buttons. For instance, seeing a dislike number next to your posts might cause self-consciousness, and might cause you to post less, which is the opposite of what social media sites want.

Except on Reddit, and also YouTube. On these sites, you can dislike or downvote comments.

Reddit can sometimes be the home for very civilized discussions. Part of this is that they have something called “rediquette” or community expectations. This is the same thing you might find in a kindergarten classroom: a list of norms that people generally try to follow. Very few of these other sites go that far, and in fact, some of them are against the idea of expectations in the name of free speech.

The YouTube comment section has no rules, no etiquette, and so it is a total mess, with hatred spewing on almost every video.

Free speech is important, but a few guidelines for how to behave can turn a network from a distraction to a useful asset.