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Published December 15th, 2011

I have a (VERY) carefully-considered suggestion to make.

I know a lot of photographers have been calling for a total ban on the "dislike" option, but I would actually say no, let the "dislike" option continue.

However, anyone who "dislikes" an image should a) be identified and b) give a reason for the dislike.

Personally, I would never retaliate against anyone who "dislikes" my work. That is their undeniable right in an international artistic democracy.

I believe in the full gamut of artistic criticism - without the cloak of anonymity.

Anonymity, alas, spawns cowardice, which has no place in this global village.

David (McMahon)

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Ivelina A.  over 5 years ago

The whole issue is indeed about the misuse of this button. I think it shouldn't be anonymous .

Erin Babnik  over 5 years ago

After having watched what happened during the dislike-free weekend in November, I agree that the dislike button serves a valuable purpose. It helps to ensure that content doesn't overrule artistry in the Popular section.

There were several long blog threads on this issue, and they generated a lot of interesting discussion. My own feeling is that a lot of people would be inclined to retaliate against someone who disliked their photo if the disliker were identified. People can get pretty emotional about their photos, and it's quite disheartening to have one get knocked out of a visible position because of one dislike. I am not the retaliatory type myself, but the internet is a crazy place, full of all sorts of people. I would even fear that retaliation could extend beyond the confines of the 500px website. Therefore, if I had to identify myself when disliking a photo, I simply wouldn't do it, even if the photo was the worst possible case of artlessness, pornography, violence, racism, etc. (Indeed, I would be all the more afraid of photographers posting that kind of content.)

I think enough people would feel the same way I do that use of the dislike button would all but disappear if people had to identify themselves. And in that case, it would be the same as having no dislike button at all.

It was a good step in the right direction when the folks at 500px decided to put an affection minimum on the privilege of using the dislike button. At least now it's more difficult for people to have a bunch of different accounts set up in order to dislike photos for self-serving purposes. Now those people have to get each account up to something like 190 affection before they can use them in that way.

Anyway, I agree with your views on anonymity, but simple transparency probably would not work out so well in practice.