Down with Downvotes: Why Do Subreddits Disable Downvotes?

Two subreddits. On the left, the r/YAwriters does not make the downvoting option available. On the right, r/dailyprogrammer does.
  1. We began with a master Reddit dataset (helpfully provided for the workshop by Alex Leavitt and available publicly on Google BigQuery) and searched for four variations of the phrase “disabled downvoting.” Through this process, we identified 13 potential subreddits that have posted on this topic.
  2. From this set, we excluded subreddits where the option was mentioned but not discussed or enacted, ending up with 4 subreddits that made the decision to disable downvotes and were still disabled on the day of the workshop (Feb 2017) and 4 subreddits that made the decision to disable downvotes but reversed this decision sometime before the workshop.
  3. We open-coded all discussion in the post threads corresponding with the decision to disable and/or re-enable downvoting (generating over 150 open codes).
  4. We clustered these open-codes based on thematic affinity to identify major themes in response to the three guiding questions below.

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I am a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at University of Minnesota. I'm also a "maker" of all sorts and love to share my designs with others!

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Lana Yarosh

Lana Yarosh

I am a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at University of Minnesota. I'm also a "maker" of all sorts and love to share my designs with others!

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