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tux0r
tux0r

Posted on

A thought on the overuse of hearts on DEV.

When I started writing on DEV, I was happy to see that I got my first "hearts" really soon. I thought that people liked what I wrote, so I kept contributing more comments and more articles, some more technical, some less.

Now this week I saw that the first spam bots registered here to post a meaningless "hi I'm $username" article and two subsequent links to a current movie from an obviously illegal source. None of those had less than five hearts before the DEV team got rid of them. This has one of two possible reasons:

  1. Some DEV users like empty articles and being spammed.
  2. More obvious: Some DEV users just add a "heart" to any new article without even reading the headline, because why?

Either way, this makes "hearts" worthless to me, at least for the moment. I can only urge you to think twice before giving them out. Make hearts great again!

But then again, at least five of you will probably not even read this.

Discussion (21)

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jsrn profile image
James • Edited on

I agree that it devalues those first few hearts in the sense that they're not based on the merit of your post, so you a) can't tell if your post is good until you get more and b) can't tell at a glance whether someone else's post is good.

However.

I thought that people liked what I wrote, so I kept contributing more comments and more articles, some more technical, some less.

The ruse was absolutely worth it. If it encourages people to share more of their experiences, develop their writing ability, etc. having to wait until a post gets more than a handful of hearts before you can judge its quality without reading it is a small price to pay.

🦄

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

But given that, if you write a post that's really low quality and immediately get half a dozen hearts, it's going to reinforce the idea that you can continue to write crap. Not that we have much low quality stuff here (yet...), I'm saying that encouragement is only good when it's genuine encouragement from people who appreciate you. If we start taking things for granted we're back to the point where nobody need get anything at all.

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jsrn profile image
James

Yeah, that's a fair point. I suppose "encouragement" hearts should ideally be paired with actual feedback.

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yaser profile image
Yaser Al-Najjar • Edited on

That's why I see the benefit of the unicorns... hearts are everywhere unicorns are scarce 😁

Looking at the positive side, I think this is a plus for dev being a generous community.

Same time look at Stack Overflow, cuz it just became notorious and sometimes toxic, they emailed the users before few seconds this code of conduct:

stackoverflow.com/conduct

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tux0r profile image
tux0r Author

I usually use unicorns ironically.

But we really should not be generous towards disruptive automatisms.

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yaser profile image
Yaser Al-Najjar

You're absolutely right.

I remember the good-old days moderating black hat forums, when the new guys come full of arrogance as if they finished learning the field 3 times, and they are repeating to finish it with us the 4th time... duh !

The only way that works with this kind of people is to report the destructive behavior (like spreading infected files), and keep pushing good content to let them know how good content should be like.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Yes, DEV staff is good for 2-3 hearts without much thought. It’s a habit picked up from earlier days we can probably tone back a bit.

We get posts right to our notifications and can just auto-heart things we see.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

We’ve even shared spam stuff to twitter once or twice in the past out of sloppiness.

We’re none of us perfect

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tux0r profile image
tux0r Author

Idea: No rating (except bookmarks...) without a comment.

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rafalpienkowski profile image
Rafal Pienkowski

Honestly I like to have a lot of "hearts" under my post, but I appreciate comments especially with constructive critique. That is the thing which makes me a better writer and developer.

I read this before I made "heart" :)

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rupankarghosh profile image
RupankarGhosh

That's because some Dev readers not even open the subject either. They just read the title and if it consists a '$' or '#' they thought it's about something technical. I also noticed that some stupid posts even get more than 15 hearts.

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tux0r profile image
tux0r Author

Like... like mine?

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rupankarghosh profile image
RupankarGhosh

Oh my god ...I didn't notice you also got 15 likes. Dont take it sarcastically . I really do appreciate your article and I would also like to see more from you.

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trusktr profile image
Joe Pea

Maybe what would make this better us the ability to have a limited set of hearts per day (gain more with reputation), and ability to heart post more than once, so that people feel like spending hearts wisely, and really good articles will be hearted multiple times (f.e. someone spending time to click it multiple times while it has a throttle limit).

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naveenkolambage profile image
Naveen Dinushka

hey btw how do we check the people who liked the post on dev.to? i dont see any option ...sorry im new here

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naveenkolambage profile image
Naveen Dinushka

jesus.. this comment got liked by default~`!

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone • Edited on

I believe you can up to 7 likes from the automated "dev staff" accounts. I do agree that this effectively moves 0.

I guess the original idea was that people are more likely to read, and in turn interact with, posts that have a few likes rather than a post with nothing. A nice idea but as it happens for low-quality, low effort posts perhaps the good intentions were lost.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

Or 3: other spam accounts liked their posts to make them seem popular and legit. Did you check out who it was who was liking the post to see if they were real?
That could be a major signifier to a n algorithm spotting fake content.

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katafrakt profile image
Paweł Świątkowski

My thoughts exactly: either spambots boosting post to look more legit or spambots liking random posts to draw attention to their accounts and content (much like it works on Instagram).

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tux0r profile image
tux0r Author

No, I have not checked the list of people. I did not consider that to be signifying enough.