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Likes for comments

I'd like the ability to "like" comments, in order to let someone know that I appreciate their comment without having to make a comment of my own. I envision this as behaving similarly to likes on posts, in that it would be invisible to everyone but the liker and the commenter. 

I could also see some sort of public-facing +1 or upvote system, which would have the added benefit of reducing the number of replies that are just "+1" or otherwise just expressions of agreement. However, I would not want this to become a full Reddit-style voting/ranking system.

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If this gets implemented, I'd like the ability to hide the like count on my own comments, but still see notifications if someone likes one of my comments.
I definitely don't want to see like counts for comments made by other people.
One of the things that makes Cohost healthier for me is knowing as few numbers as possible.

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Being able to see who liked my comment or my post, but not who else liked whoever else's post would be nice, whereas I definitely wouldn't want a public facing upvote/downvote system. I actually rather **LIKE** the comments that are just "+1".

There's an effect I observe on places like Facebook and Twitter which is that when poeple like something they just click the little heart, and when people dislike something, they post a comment.  You almost NEVER see posts like "I agree with this" or "Seconding that middle paragraph" or whatever on other sites and I see it all the time on Cohost. I don't view it as a negative, I view it as a feature.

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Something l've seen on birdsite from time to time is people stating "likes are acknowledgements"; aka, "if l liked your post that means l read & appreciate it". (and that's how l use it, too!) Some kind of neutral "seen" or "acknowledge" action would primarily be useful for letting people that respond to you know you've seen their post, while "like" / "agree" are also useful for other people who drop by and want to let the commenter know what they think. Likes/etc might also help prevent the (afaik) nearly universally hated useless response like 'came here to say this!' that takes up space but adds nothing. In essence, you could have multiple different buttons, or only allow "seen" on posts of people replying to you, or go for full chaos and let people react to posts with any emoji as discord does.

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maybe an opt-in system

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I think having likes work on comments exactly the way they work on posts (they already aren't publicly visible, which it sounds like some folks don't realize) would be simple & effective.

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I kinda like how freeing it feels to not have any sort of read-receipt system for comments. I get a lot of inane comments on my stuff and I like that there's nothing indicating if I saw a comment, if I like it, dislike, etc. whereas on Twitter I always felt a pressure to Like the comments from my active followers to show that I appreciate that they appreciate my stuff but don't have anything to say. If I ignored a reply, it felt like a snub to them, or that it meant I just didn't see it.

I also like that when people do get into conflicts in the comments there's not this like, spectator sport element of people egging others on by liking the comments of the people they agree with. It just remains an interaction between only those two people and it doesn't emphasize to you that other people might be watching. I feel like I've seen a lot of these conflicts resolve more normally with people coming to shared ground etc. rather than posturing for an audience who is watching them fight.

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i do miss going "heh" via a like on a tweet, but i used to go without it on forums, and sometimes it does feel like twitter encourages people to fish for likes.  

even if the likes were hidden on a comment, and only the commenter saw the like, well, i'm not really sure it captures the vibe i'm looking for. i don't really care too much that a random person reading the thread had a chuckle, i want to know if the person who i'm replying to is going "yep, sure" and nodding along

similarly, i'm not sure  how i'd feel about emoji reactions—it feels like transplanting a chat feature—and i've seen how they look on github, it just encourages low effort spectator sport stuff

one possible alternative that i haven't seen here: what if short replies took up much less screen space

e.g i reply with an emoji, or "heh" or "sure" and instead of having a big old forum post, there's a one line reply, with a scaled down avatar, my name, the comment, and the time

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I'm of two minds on it. A private like system that notifies the commenter both addresses my desire to let people know I saw their reply and appreciate it but don't have much to say and creates an impulse to do so which is not so good.

As far as a visible number of likes on a reply... not really in favor I think. "Popularity" indicators lean back into the engagement-driven nature that leads to a lot of toxic behavior on other social media sites. I'm not sure it would lean that direction on cohost given the generally more anonymous nature of likes but it still feels... iffy

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i would like to forward my old idea of a circle you can fill in for comments, as distinct from a like. it has no defined meaning but the commenter knows you did it

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I strongly agree with Shel and would prefer not to have comment likes.

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I'm a no on this, I think it gets into insecurity-inducing "politeness like" territory too quickly

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Personally, I personally much prefer the option of a courtesy like to having to manually reply to every comment or else ignore it completely, and I'd much rather other people be able to just give my comment a quick like than make them feel like they need to actually respond or else have no idea whether they even saw it and just keep waiting for a response. 

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The concept of courtesy likes is exhausting and I don't like the way it will end up shaping social interactions on this site. I also think the current notifications page would be a poor fit for it. This reads to me like adding twitter features for the sake of pining for twitter features.

I am especially strongly against any public-facing element of this as I've seen it used for hostile arguments or passive-aggressivity way too many times in the past. If I have to log in and see Like wars the next time there's an argument over the ToS I am going to want to immediately log back out. I would much, MUCH rather incentivize "low quality" +1 comments that can at least facilitate discussion than low-friction metrics-y things like this.

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The more I think about this, the more convinced I am that I don't actually want notifications for likes:

    1. The absence of likes helps encourage meaningful responses. I haven't really seen many "+1" comments. Sure, maybe there is less interaction because comments are higher-effort, but I'm not convinced that's a compelling reason to add likes, especially if doing so will discourage commenting.
    2. It's often nice not knowing whether someone liked my comments because it prevents opportunities for anxiety, e.g. "this comment got way less likes than my previous ones, what did I do wrong???" or "did this person see my comment already and hate it?". I'm not currently compelled to sit and wait for a notification to come in. I can comment and be content with the fact I'll never know whether it was read unless someone replies.
    3. I won't ever want a bunch of notifications if dozens/hundreds of people like one of my comments.

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