February 9, 2022

How controversial… increasing transparency of the downvote

A blurred out thumbs down icon with water droplets in focus, with a thumbs up icon within each droplet

Starting in NodeBB v1.19.2, released today, you may notice there is a new account page available for each user — controversial posts. 👎

A counterpart to the “best posts” page, “controversial” is simply a listing of a user’s most downvoted posts.

This feature was implemented in response to a request from a forum admin who wanted increased visibility into a user’s downvoted posts. Oftentimes, a user’s post history can provide clues as to how to respond to other users’ complaints. We agreed with the thought that having additional signals could lead to better moderation.

At the very least, it gives others some amusement by looking at the content that brought you the most shame. As is seemingly traditional whenever I post anything about downvoting, the topic associated with this blog post will most likely be downvoted into oblivion. Let’s see if we can beat the current record of 5 downvotes! 😈

How do I get see controversial posts in my custom theme?

This new page has been added to the Persona and Vanilla themes, so any themes using either of those themes as a base will automatically have this new sub-page.

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