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Until fairly recently, if someone "liked" or agreed with a post, their name would be shown. Ever since the recent upgrade, with a choice of emojis appearing as a response, the responder is now anonymous and it seems rather impersonal. Is there a reason for this change, or possibility to revert back?

Edited by sanford
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Fair question and one I wrestled with. The ability to see who gave a reaction is a setting that can indeed be changed. Here is the primary reason why I am trying it enumerated but anonymized: the introduction of the downvote.


I saw the introduction of 'reactions' as a possibility to offer a relatively non-destructive way to let members disagree with something (or someone) in addition to being able to thank or laugh with them.

To me it's important that people get negative feedback when it's warranted, and that people have the opportunity to express displeasure without having to engage in a public verbal battle to justify what is after all, simply their reaction or opinion. I sometimes wonder if the awful July of 2016 might not have happened if this option had been available. 

For some posts the feedback can be both negative AND positive. That's kind of interesting. 

However the recipient of negative reputation almost always focuses on the person who gave the feedback and rarely on why they might have received it in the first place. I've seen this reliably on countless forums over the years.

But ... the cost of being able to peacefully register disapproval on the rare occasion where that is our valid reaction is to cloak the positive reactions in the same privacy. That's how the software works — you can either see who gave reactions or not — there is no granularity that lets you attribute only good news while anonymizing bad news. I wish it did. Then this would be simpler.

So the binary decision comes down to, are we willing to trade the ability to peacefully disagree from time to time for the knowledge of who specifically liked a post? Or is it enough to know that a post was well-liked, if not by whom, exactly?

As I hope I've demonstrated over the years I  do like to try new things out but I'm not averse to reverting changes when it seems the right way to go. For now, maybe enjoy the mystery of knowing you charmed several people, several have thanked you, a couple are LOL'ing and one is confused. Oh, and somebody took exception to something and gave some negative feedback. 

I personally hope we can use occasional negative feedback as signal to look at what we've said and consider why, rather than react and engage with whomever disagrees with us so we can "win."

If this post is not downvoted I'm going to seriously disappointed. I might even use reactions to consider how strongly I care to hold to my current thinking on this (although fair warning, it might also strengthen my resolve).

However I thank you for asking the question since I think it's a good one and I deeply appreciate both your keen eye and commitment to ensuring that CairnTalk is a worthwhile place to be.

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CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club 



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I have no issues one way or the other in regards to who likes or doesn't or hearts or what ever. Although I must admit if I had down arrows on one of my posts I wouldn't mind feedback. 

Edited by Terrier lover

Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie


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Thanks for the explanation. I completely agree that wholesale anonymity is the better course if the alternative opens us up to the "awful July of 2016"! In a more perfect world the softwear would allow for anonymizing negative, or bad news. In that context, this space is too positive, helpful and trusting to risk a public verbal battle, a la 2016, and I'm grateful for your vigilance in keeping this space safe and respectful!:)

Edited by sanford


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I wish many websites had the downvote option.  It would save a lot of bluster and fluster and wasted words.  I have no problem with wholesale anonymity although I admit it warms my heart when one of the highly-respected "old-timers" on the forum likes one of my posts.  That said, do what you feel is best, fearless leader.

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  • 1 month later...

Just got around to commenting on this. Was disappointed not to see names of commentators. However I agree that when people feel differently and hotly about a subject under discussion they often tend to focus on perceived personal faults to the detriment of furthering discussion on the actual subject mentioned in a post. In this day of violent and often brutal tweets and comments all over the internet I have to agree, however reluctantly, that anonymous comments are probably the safest way to keep people's mind on discussions rather than personalities. Depressed to think what a comment this is on our characters, souls, intellects etc etc etc.


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