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Hopeful Pioneer
Indeed I do think upvotes/downvotes ought to be used as a thermometer to gauge what people like. Unfortunately it's not that simple when the community is essentially a handful of people. Some of us are familiar faces from /mlpol/ or other places so we tend to upvote people based on familiarity alone. As for other artists who aren't on Ponerpics, we're too few to provide much in the way of critique they'll listen to. Finally, the "Trending" page is helpful for finding art when you don't want to go through the entire catalog, but the "Wilson" score is vulnerable to content being buried. A decent piece that gets one or two upvotes will still be sent to the bottom of the pile by blanket downvoters. That hurts exposure and is the only reason I don't use the trending page anymore.

Ideally this would be fixed if we just had more users from Derpibooru/Ponybooru, but that's like saying my personal problems would be fixed if I just had more money. We shouldn't take ratings too seriously. When searching through a particular tag I prefer sorting by Derpibooru upvotes, as this is a somewhat reliable way of finding quality.

@Soft Lava
First someone blows a whistle about how many people downvote this over that. Then another one agrees with it and starts calling for filters, voting moderation or even removing the voting feature altogether. And shortly after you get shit like being banned for downvoting BLM related garbage.

I think we can all agree that would be a "cure" far worse than the disease. That would be directly against the spirit of Ponerpics and its community. This is not something that should be moderated at all. However, I do think we should talk about it as a problem.

Comments are a far better means of critique than the simple boolean values of voting. They're an ideal medium by which to go against the grain and explain why you dislike something the majority likes or vice versa. Art is art and is not a science; it's an expression of the human will and psyche. We all have our reasons and it's fine to disagree; by a combination of voting, favorites and comments we can show our reactions and interact with each other. This nuance is lost when someone mass-downvotes a tag, however. There's no personality you can get from it because it exists regardless of art quality.

If you have mixed feelings about a tag then by all means upvote or downvote items depending on their merit to you, but if you find a tag that's 100% unappealing then write a comment explaining your reasoning on a piece (or better yet go to the forums) and then filter it out completely. This doesn't have to apply to something like an opposing political view (because whoever made that point put it out there to be applauded or attacked), but an art genre is more neutral and is completely a matter of taste. Imagine if someone downvoted every single NSFW artwork on this site (making the score of the majority of them negative in this sparsely-populated place) and never gave a reason beyond considering it "disgusting." There's positive and negative criticism. I've critiqued sumin6301 for drawing essentially the same type of artwork with little variation, but I don't think his well-drawn pieces deserve a zero or negative score because it's EQG. It's unquestionable that blanket downvoting hurts the site as a whole.
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Soft Lava
Marenheit Contributor - This little pony contributed to the Marenheit fundraiser of 2020
Auti.. Artist -

الصداقة حرام
First someone blows a whistle about how many people downvote this over that. Then another one agrees with it and starts calling for filters, voting moderation or even removing the voting feature altogether. And shortly after you get shit like being banned for downvoting BLM related garbage.

It's not much of a problem as you think. People are self centered assholes and they do dislike art for reasons that are entirely their own. Irrational, unjustified, egotistical reasons. And I think it's their right to express themselves in ways they choose, even if it shows the worst in them. This is a freedom of speech we are talking about. Truth hurts sometimes but what would you do about truth? Ask nicely for them to stop telling their truth? Whine about it enough for mods to shut the truth down? So far I see this conversation leaning in the direction of somehow sugarcoating the truth to make it appealing. Tweaking the numbers that people were unconventionally agreeing on. Rigging the system for a greater good by removing the bad guys. That's leftist bullshit right there, daug. Check your damn priveleg.

When I see a good picture being downvoted, I feel sad. I may even comment on that in the comments and express my mornful reverie in relation to this enequity. The other day I stumble upon a nicely drawn femboy pony and I instantly downvote it and call whoever drew it a fucking faggot. One time I downvote some silly animation for being a tastless usage of human resourses only to upvote a picture of rainbeen dash that does the same exact thing that I somehow find no problems with. You can see it clearly as day that I am myself guilty of downvoting art. But through my comments and downvotes, you see me. You see the kind of person I am, thus you begin to understand me. And the same can be said about you when someone reads your comments to things you react to, respond to. Most of downvotes are blurred anonymous representations but they serve their purpose of establishing a dialog between a person and the croud. And even if the croud boos at said person, deeply inside we are thankful for it. We are thankful for them being honest with themselves and we cherish their stupidity and ignorence on the same level we cherish our own.

Let's all agree to disagree. Let's cherish our honestly as much as wren cherishes Applejack.

upvotes/downvotes are only here as an opinion, not as a score, at best the score should be counted in favs.
make anything, there are people who will like it, people who will not even click it, and people who will instantly hate it. depending of their views, opinions and more. And that's a good information because it makes a fair balance.

Too much upvotes means "yes, I'm doing good I reached 100 ups on that thing, I will go on like that and ignore the little downvotes."

by default not everyone will like everything, the fact they can tell «i don't like it» should not be seen as hurting, but as an information for the artist, otherwise he will continue doing the same mediocre thing and never change. Upvotes and «always positive» is an enemy.

Figured out whenever I get a new style I'm tempted to repeat it. It works, people like it, or the client got what he wanted. It's a bit like a restaurant that always serve the same plate, with just changing the sauce, there are customers that have the habit to come and the cook will never try anything else — why would he ?

«Let's ignore the critiques, I just do kebabs.»

When I make a pic that once thrown at a site that gets -20 and that's not about the form but the message, I know something's passed. People who do that generally don't care about the critique, make something and watch the world burn, that's also the role of an artist.

This. It's easy to filter, but passing an opinion, positive or negative is also an information some artists may need to see, or can just simply ignore it.
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