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In the new user profile page if one enters a user page of someone that only received downvotes in the past few days, instead of that you see a note:

This user has no recent positive reputation changes
view more [I used my own profile link, to avoid pointing fingers. My profile is fine.]

It makes me feel a lot as if Jim Cunningham is taking charge of the UI, and tries to get everyone "go towards love".


It makes me mighty suspicious, as a person, to see this. If someone was downvoted, I want to see it right away. I do not want to have to click through this as if this is some embarrassing secret.

The new user page, this specific message, and the previously failed attempt to have a contest between sites most of which prefer the site remain in a relatively small scale - all make me very suspicious about SE.

Of course all my suspicions are ridiculous and 99.99% untrue, but they are still there. I am feeling as though SE is becoming a little bit Big Brotherish in the sense that we are being accustomed to some doublethink here. We are required to develop a sense of criticism and critical thought process (which is even more essential for mathematics) and at the same time we are to make things prettier - hide the little problems, the downvotes, ask a lot of questions even if it is ultimately counterproductive to this site (in my opinion).


My point, all in all, is that this should not be the way to do things. If a user has been downvoted and lost 6 reputation points recently but did not gain any - I should see that. If the user lost 6 points, but gained 10, I should also see that.

I should see that right away. Not just to see positivism and whatnot.

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I'm not sure about the reasons for this change, I'm not seeing any big advantage either way. I don't see any reason to hide this information, but I also don't see why I should look for this information in the first case.

The StackExchange model is very post-centric, not user-centric like some of the competition (e.g. Quora). The individual post is the focus, not the user that composed it. In theory, I shouldn't care about the user and his history, I should evaluate any post on its own merits.

This is of course not an entirely realistic concept, if I have encountered the user previously my opinion of him will of course play some role in my perception of the later posts. But I think that trying to put the emphasis on the posts, not the users is a worthy goal.

There are certainly exceptions, if a user is consistently misbehaving the moderators will step in. But the community in general should be more concerned with the actual posts than the users, dealing with problematic users is the duty of the moderators.

So, while I don't see any substantial advantage to showing this information only on the detailed view, I also don't see any reason why I would look up if a user was recently downvoted. Ideally, I my actions would be based entirely on the content of a post, not on the history of the user.

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  • $\begingroup$ I completely agree with that approach, and I do my best to remember these things when reading posts and voting. However when I check a user profile and I see that line... it just means that something in the system is wrong. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 24 '11 at 22:55
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Click 'activity' (or 'newest') on the headers for questions and answers. Your choice will stick. Downvoted posts are not filtered there.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I don't see how posting the last four changes, whatever they might be, is encouraging flames. I also don't see how the fact that I can see that in a whole other tab is relevant to the fact that I cannot see that on the main tab. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 24 '11 at 23:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf No information is hidden, but some information is more important than other information. That's the principle of design. A user profile that tries to paint a positive view of the user is a worthy goal in my eyes. Besides, as I said, you can click on those two "newest" links to get recently downvoted posts in the main tab. $\endgroup$ – badp Nov 24 '11 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ This is not a social network. This is a Q&A website. It does not allow private messaging, friending, or any other kind of social interacting that Facebook or Google+ or whatever would offer. Furthermore, even a discussion in the comments is being discouraged. I expect the user profile to paint an accurate picture, not a positive nor negative. I just want to see what the user was up to lately and how the community reacted to that. The fact that only four changes are shown is bad enough as it is, decided to "hide" the negative results is even worse. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 24 '11 at 23:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf The user page is your business card - and the site's. There's no reason to show off your dirty laundry. We're not here to judge each other - we're here to work together into building the definitive Q&A site about the topics we know and love. "I just want to see what the user was up to lately and how the community reacted to that." I'm not sure how an atmosphere where people need, or are encouraged to constantly check on each other is one that's not inspired to Big Brother. Users need to work in an atmosphere of reciprocal trust, and be reminded that they're working with great ppl $\endgroup$ – badp Nov 24 '11 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ I do not say that users need to check every profile every time they see a post by the user. I do not think that we are to induce paranoia and all that things. I do think that I need to trust the software before I can use it quietly. I do think that I cannot trust this software when it is biased. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 24 '11 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Then don't. Build your own profile pages with the API. Or, as I'm suggesting for the third time now, click on those two links so that you see the newest, rather than the top questions and answer by a user. $\endgroup$ – badp Nov 24 '11 at 23:45
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    $\begingroup$ When the waitress brings your steak well done instead medium rare, with a side of rice instead of potatoes - you don't get up and walk to fix your own meal. You send it back, you complain to the owners and you never return. I see no reason to walk into the kitchen and fix my own meal in this case. I do see the logic in complaining to the owners, raising awareness, and when the time comes to it, leave and never return. My post, as I say, is not only this issue but other issues coupled with this one which trigger many alarm wires in my brain. I do like it here though, I would like to stay. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 25 '11 at 0:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf You don't want to enter the kitchen? Fine. There is still a solution, and you stubbornly continue ignoring it. Do order your steak medium rare. Do order answers and questions by time. Clearly this not enough of a deal for you to leave the site, so just solve it and move along. $\endgroup$ – badp Nov 25 '11 at 0:12
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    $\begingroup$ "This is not a social network. This is a Q&A website. It does not allow private messaging, friending, or any other kind of social interacting that Facebook or Google+ or whatever would offer." Quiet, Asaf, don't give them any ideas! $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Nov 25 '11 at 0:23
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    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson Har har har. :) $\endgroup$ – badp Nov 25 '11 at 0:28

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