Facebook versus Reddit

Facebook communities have moderators. That is not a good system. Give the wrong person only a little bit of power and he will abuse it. The existence of moderator jobs will end up attracting the wrong crowd.

Of course, some posts should be banned because they are really unacceptable. The users should be able to report a post, but only for very specific reasons. For example:

[x] pornography
[ ] slander; (real) name of the person being slandered: [             ]

If enough users confirm this report, for exactly the same reasons, the system should remove the post altogether.

But then again, there are not that many valid reasons to report a post. For example, off-topic posts should just be ignored.

A user should even be able to ignore all posts by a particular author, by clicking an “ignore” button behind his name. In order to save time, a user should also be able to automatically ignore the authors that another, chosen user also ignores. The user should also be able to un-ignore an author recommended by another user.

Facebook communities use real names. That is a bad idea. You may not be able to speak your mind or be critical, because that will attract the same, wrong “moderator” crowd. They will inevitably even try to moderate your Facebook comments in real life. You do not want communist party officials running after you in the forbidden city.

Reddit allows for down votes.

Imagine that you create a new product. Initially, 3 000 people like and buy it, while 97 000 people do not see the point in it. Your startup is doing perfectly fine, but Reddit says that you have 94 000 down votes.

For anything innovative, it usually takes a bit of time before it spreads from the early adopters to the mainstream. A system like Reddit will destroy the new product or new idea long before that.

If real life allowed for down votes, we would still be living in caves.

Reddit also allows for no proof-of-work up votes. People are not forced to put their money where their mouth is. That is also not how it works. We do not care that someone thinks that the new product is cool. We only care if that person actually buys it.

An up vote (“a like”) without even a micropayment, is just spam.

In my impression, the correct way to organize discussion communities is:

  1. no moderators
  2. no real names
  3. “report this post” button, selecting a specific reason
  4. “ignore this author” button
  5. “ignore all authors” that a chosen other user also ignores
  6. “un-ignore authors” who are favourites of another user
  7. no down votes
  8. mandatory micropayment for up votes (“likes”)

I personally think that Reddit shows the best potential. It has all the seeds for fundamentally working better than Facebook. However, the whole system gets ruined by their unproductive approach on voting.

Voting should not try to mimic political elections but customer product appreciations in the open market.



Published by


I mostly work on an alternative bitcoin marketplace -and exchange applications. I am sometimes available for new commercial projects but rather unlikely right now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s