Like Strike part II

I get ya. I’m not saying you guys were totally unresponsive. I’m saying that approach hadn’t fixed the issue before. If I read the formulas correctly, TL3 would have had 300 likes per day as of this February. I never hit that limit, but it’s certainly easy for a Regular (whose status is based largely upon reading a lot of posts daily) to read a couple hundred comments per hour on a busy site like this. The incremental increases, well-intentioned as they were and applied in good faith as they were, were too low for some users who happen to be very active members of the community, and the logic behind the limitation on Likes may not have been effectively communicated (or simply been disagreed with).

I, myself, knew for quite a while that Liz and Mindy and several other users were frustrated by the Like limit… hence the Waaah thread, the one with 420 comments spanning a year and a half. The low-level grumbling turned into actual troublemaking concern when Liz decided she really didn’t want to put up with the frustration anymore… and we really didn’t want to lose such a valued member of the community over what struck us as a bad limitation. And again, it was not well-understood that this was a variable setting that Rob and Jason et al had control over, rather than a baked-in part of Discourse in general. I don’t know if Jason fixed it in a moment of pique just to shut us up, or as a good-faith response to our (probably annoying) complaints… but the issue is fixed, and nobody’s causing any untoward havoc thereby. I mean, if Like-spamming does become a real and present issue, you’ll let us know, settings will be changed, and the world will continue to spin merrily on its axis.

I do understand that from your perspective, each of those four incremental fixes you listed should have been viewed as positive changes, and yes I do agree that we should be grateful for them. We are. But as it turned out, those changes were too small to effectively eliminate the issue, though each iteration probably shrunk the number of people complaining about the issue by a measurable amount.

Yes, 31,000 Likes per day is more than anyone would ever need. Twenty Likes per minute, twenty-four hours a day? No, that’s not what anyone needed. Somewhere between 300 and 31,000 is where the sweet spot lies. Maybe 1,000 would have been more than enough for a “power user” without causing Like inflation to the point of devaluing the Like by an order of magnitude or so. I don’t know.

But I guess the important thing is that we, as users, are reminded that the Meta category is the best place to register concerns over stuff like this, and that you are reminded that we squawk about stuff like this because we love using your creation so damned much, and we’ve come to rely upon it, and we’re desperate to understand, on those occasions when it doesn’t meet our expectations perfectly, why it doesn’t meet them, since it’s otherwise so good in so many ways.

Thanks for helping improve our understanding.


Speak for yourself.


Oh! You’re back! Welcome, we missed you.

And so I stand corrected.


Since I started the second one, and didn’t think I’d been a regular for that long, I double checked: my #meta thread on this was started May 28.

Yeah, that’s true, though the first one was started in January 2014. So the issue’s been around a while. But I figured that since your thread addressed the issue obliquely (and didn’t seem to get a definitive answer one way or another), I figured it had fallen off Jeff’s radar.

1 Like

Well, I feel I ought to provide some more substantial reflection on this here Like Strike.

That’s where I start. I seldom run out of likes, so I’m more moved by how the like cap has affected the people I like than me personally.

Which is to say, I’ve made jokes about it. Jokes that usually involve @chgoliz as the punchline. What can I say, she’s been a great sport about it. So, it killed me when she left. I mean, I feel like I helped drive her away by joking about something that wound up being “not funny” for her. For a jokester like me, it’s my worst nightmare to joke about something that later turns out to be hurtful.

Where was I? I guess is what I’m saying is that I will miss the jokes about the like cap, because they let me share a smile with other goofballs.

Firstly, Donald, I want to thank you for doing the emotionally laborious task of taking something that you’ve grokked intuitively and translating it to The Power. The people who haven’t had the experience to run out of likes don’t have the chance to empathize about what it’s like.

That said, I’d like to extend and embrace your comments by submitting that we need to be careful about how we time-box any “fix.” It’s quite possible for one solution, one cap, to work during a period of time only to be completely unworkable later.

For example, we used to have high rates for long distance calling from landlines, and now many have unlimited cell calling. Twitter had to increase their follower limit, and Facebook had to rework their friend limit.

So, what was good for bbs in 2013 is not necessarily good for bbs in 2016. Indeed, as the lounge has expanded, so I have expanded the likes I spread to new people. Whereas once @Melizmatic was a filthy n00b to be wary of, now she is beloved. Whereas once everyone sparred with @mister44 in public threads about his un-movable gun opinions, now that he’s a regular people have completely adorable discussions with him about ponies and comic-cons and child-rearing. Over time, this bbs community has both grown larger and grown tighter. To those who have ever run over their phone minutes, it should be unsurprising that we’ve run over our like limits. We, as a mutant family, want to communicate more often to more people. Thus, under the constraints of the prior like limit, what we had here was failure to communicate.

In my view, the folks at discourse should be pleased as punch that this platform has evolved into a proper social network, and the folks at b01ng b01ng should be happy as clams that it’s their community who is both passionate enough and growing enough to bust the seams of discourse’s previously desgined constraints. People want to engage more with your platform, your content, and your community. This social graph is pulsating with lifeblood. Talk about wonderful things.

I wish you’d stop being so good to us, Cap’n.


Here’s their chance:




No no no no no no no! You did not drive me away. (I love your sense of humor!) The fact that nearly every single time I came onto the forum I hit the limit (often after only a handful of likes), which did not square well with my IRL schedule (you’re willing to allow me to like posts again in 3 hours? well that’s nice, but I won’t be near a computer at that point for at least 3 hours after that. and why bother, when it might be only a few more likes allowed at that time, too?) I mean, literally, I was yelling at my screen on a daily basis whenever I was here.

And I complained about the situation daily for countless MONTHS. I also gave @codinghorror credit in several threads for the incremental changes that he put forth over that time, but continued to state that it wasn’t nearly enough.

As @Donald_Petersen pointed out:

I was doing my part, reading at a significant level and responding in an appropriate way, but felt like the reward for eating 3 bushels of cruciferous vegetables meant getting one chocolate chip for dessert as a reward. And really, much as we Regulars joke about this, we do all have real work and real families and can’t structure our lives around any one website, no matter how fabulous.


And now our reward for effectively unlimited likes, is this?

This has been going on for a while now. Can you please stop @OtherMichael or do we need to revert back to sane like limits again?


I think there’s a suppress like notifications in the settings somewhere?

ETA: LOL. Derp. Just remembered you wrote it. :blush: Usersplaining again.


You seem like the sort who admits when they’re incorrect. No need to arrive at that entrenched and ornery point of being personally ‘wrong’.


did you miss a comma, or are we forming a posse? :wink:


Playing devil’s advocate here. Other than the annoyance of the notifications what’s the problem here? I agree that @OtherMichael’s like spree may be silly but is it causing any real harm?


It is to @crenquis :slight_smile:

Heaven forbid someone would try to game a system that encourages gamification.


Tomato, to-mah-toe; even more than a month later…



I am unsure whether this particular use-case should result in a rollback to… uh… “sane like limits”, or just a stern finger-waggling over spamming the Likes.

'Cause I suspect somebody is spamming the Likes to get this very reaction from you. And I, personally, can’t think of a genuine, good-faith reason for it.

But I’m not all that imaginative.


They actually do seem to be limited. He’s running out on a daily basis.

I’m out of here for awhile though, so I’ll let you all sort it out. Thank’s for all you do around here @codinghorror. Don’t break anything before I get back. :wink:


Another idea:

If the purpose of the like feature is to replace a bunch of mostly content-free replies, and if the way replies are limited is not by a fixed daily number but rather by closing topics after a while, then maybe the analogous policy would be to turn the like feature off in closed topics, or for any post over five days old …


Hmm. Not so keen on this. I’m going through older posts on closed topics. I’ll like an occasional one. Or one that’s only just short of a badge. It’s a way of telling the poster that newer users are appreciating sustained contribution.