TheJournal.ie featured very lively discussions since 2010. After nearly every article (there were some exceptions) readers could express their opinion and once an opinion was expressed, others could give a Thumbs Up or a Thumbs Down to that opinion. It meant that some opinions found huge support, but it also meant that stupid comments were punished by the public vote.
On Wednesday, however, they announced that the commenting option would change dramatically. You can still LIKE (Thumbs Up) an opinion, but you can NOT express your dislike anymore. A change that will make the discussions a lot less attractive and a move that is heavily criticised by the reader community at TheJournal.ie
In an astonishing #AlternativeFacts approach, the removal of the “downvote” has been presented to readers as an improvement. Instead of the downvote you can now “mute” a commenter, hide a comment or report a comment. NONE of these three options gives a reader the opportunity to express his/her opinion to the original commenter, so TheJournal.ie just killed one of its most liked features.
If you are not a TheJournal.ie user, imagine this: If a contentious comment was made in the past, that comment might have received 250 Thumbs Up and 250 Thumbs Down and other readers clearly saw that there is a divided opinion. With the new system, there will ONLY be Thumbs Up and a comment with 250 supporters and no visible opposition will appear as supported by a large part of the commentors. You see how misleading it will be?