Free market for Likes?

Continuing a discussion from Rules for Regulars:

In that thread I suggested the following:

How about a free market for likes? I’m probably too stingy with mine, but would gladly give the ones I don’t use away.

@tropo wanted me to move this to a new meta topic, so here we are.


First question: Can we accumulate likes like vacation days? Or are they “use it or lose it” likes?

Because your proposal would work well with former but not the latter.


I can’t speak for @codinghorror, but the based on his past opinions on things, I’d say that it’s going to be a matter of convincing him that it somehow improves discussion. Discourse is gamified to produce good conversation, turning likes into a commodity may just turn like markets into a game itself.


It could be a Trade Wars style marketplace. I mean, shit, how can anybody call this a BBS without some goddamn door games!


That sounds like a super fun idea that also seems likely to increase interaction between accounts. OTOH maybe I’m not clear on how it would work.

If I wanted more likes and you had a surplus, would you just gratuitously tranfer some portion to me?

What could I offer in exchange other than, say, a promise to transfer the same number of likes back to you plus an additional number at a future time?


I think the prospect of this is one reason why this will never be implemented.


But what if you give me 1 like today in exhange for 2 likes on Tuesday? That seems like a fun idea to me that people would … LIKE!! :smiley_cat:



Does that mean we get badges for accumalting say 1000 likes through trading.

1 Like

That’s just what i was thinking! :grinning:


Further down the free market rabbit hole…

  • you can trade likes, but they’re still associated with the original owner’s profile. This way different commenters’ likes can acquire a specific value based on factors like rarity and relative status.

  • give someone a certain number of likes in exchange for them being your sockpuppet on a thread. Just pm or email them your chosen comments in advance and you can create your own army.

  • based on the first point, some regulars’ likes might be worth multiple times the value a lower ranking commenter. An enterprising regular could therefore purchase the entire supply of some commenters in exchange for a fraction of their own. After having acquired several of these slave accounts, the regular could then use these likes as they wish or trade them on to someone else for a fee. They could also loan their likes out and bundle the like debt before selling it off.


So you want to destroy the socialist utopia where everyone receives a universal basic income of likes by promoting inequality through capitalism? Tut-tut.


So, basically a cap-and-trade system for likes? This sounds like an imported solution in search of a problem. As @ActionAbe suggests, this would likely turn into an all-pervasive game I’d rather not play.

Feel grateful for the days when you run out of likes; it suggests—without mutual exclusion—that you’re either a generous person or that the observations from those on BB were, on that particular day, just that interesting and insightful.


Remove caps on likes and consider expanding the options for communication by adding other options like /. Or remove likes completely and just rely on text, emojis, jpgs and gifs?

I guess this is the implied meaning.

Or treat your replies as “golden tickets” that have a bit more value, where you reply with specifics of why you liked someone’s post and what was great about it.

In some ways a reply is the highest compliment you can pay a post: it was worthy of your time. (That’s also why it is generally a bad idea to respond to overt trolling / bad faith posts.)


Five stars. Would like again.

(Someday you’re gonna highlander me, aren’t you?)


Down with capitalism!


Ha, you thought you could create a capitalists system right under our noses? You thought wrong! Father Lenin is on his way.


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