Should I Keep Like & Dislike Buttons?

I asked this a while back and the answer was a fairly resounding “yes,” but in response to a few emails and comments lately, I will ask again if I should keep the “like” and “dislike” button found on each comment.

Personally, I like the buttons because it allows people to chime in without having to actually write something. It’s an easy way to participate. On the other hand, there are plenty of negative people out there who seem to enjoy hitting the dislike button for some reason. Maybe they’re messing around or perhaps they find some sort of strange pleasure in putting someone else down anonymously.

It seems the most complaints come from people who don’t like dislikes when they list names for sale in the weekly brokerage post. Although I don’t generally use the dislike button, I don’t usually disagree with the majority. Some names listed may sell for the listing price to the right buyer, but honestly, my blog is probably the wrong venue to try and sell a domain name that doesn’t make sense to 99.9999% of people. Those kinds of names may have value to someone, but you need to wait until that person needs it rather than trying to sell it to an audience of people who probably don’t understand it. I guess that’s a topic for another day.

Should I keep the “like” and “dislike” buttons? Vote below:

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. *

    Now that your site is more professional and business-like, I would say that the Like/Dislike buttons seem unprofessional. I don’t see too many businesses with such buttons, at least on their core sites.

    If you want comments from the unwashed masses, a DI Facebook page might be an option, but even FB does not offer that incendiary dislike button.


    • The “unwashed masses” can comment whether there are likes or not. Also, this is not a traditional business website, it is a blog, and I believe comments make a blg far more interesting.

      That said, perhaps simply removing the dislike option would make sense.

  2. *

    Well, that’s a business decision then, to cultivate a less formal business site.

    Nothing wrong with that.

    For me (as an occasional commentator) the “like” button was never the problem.

    However, the “dislike” button does not create or add anything significant to a discussion but simply allows trollers to hide behind anonymous buttons without revealing why they don’t like someone else’s comment.


  3. *

    I’m easy to find, but in case you’re not inclined to bother, I’m Jennifer Semple Siegel.

    I have never made a “secret” of my identity, having been open about it on Namepros.

    Anyway, I’m not really talking about anonymity on what is posted; I can still debate an anonymous person, but a dislike (negative) button is an altogether different experience, if you can call it that.

    Elliot, it’s your site, so it’s your decision. But you asked and I offered an opinion.


    • I appreciate your feedback. I know you’re not posting anonymously per se, but anyone can post under a pseudonym that would allow them to be anonymous.

      Ultimately I want to encourage discussion without people fearing personal attacks.

  4. In my opinion, +1/-1 voting makes more sense in a threaded system, where more insightful comments get “rewarded” and appear higher in the exchange.

    Expect this comment to receive at least 5 negative votes.

  5. Keep the buttons. I cant believe anyone in Domaining, a large part of which is going to be sales, is so thin skinned they care about disliked comments.

    In relation to anonymous comments, I prefer them but they end up being abused by a few morons. The Domains was a better place with anonymous comments, you rarely get 2/3 pages worth of comments there now.

    If anyone dislikes this comment, I will find out where you live!

    • From what I have seen, there’s clearly a portion of readers who for whatever reason, just love clicking the dislike button. While terrible domains being pitched do get their fair share of dislikes, I have also seen decent domains getting a huge amount of dislikes. Perhaps for an end-user who is not necessarily a regular reader of this blog, I can see how that could potentially discourage them from possibly making an offer on an otherwise decent domain. There’s also been many fantastic, quality posts/comments which also receive a large number of dislikes on virtually every post. At the end of the day, the internet is full of trolls. There’s probably a strategy behind facebook’s decision to not add a dislike button, and I can see why. So with that said, bring on the dislikes fir this post. 😀

  6. I don’t know if it’s me, but it seems that the ‘Dislikers’ have grown over the last few weeks, that it wasn’t such a problem, say a couple of months ago. At the same time, I’d say the quality of submissions in the Brokerage section has hit rock bottom of late, so no surprises to see many more dislikes going round. If there are individuals purposefully hitting the ‘dislike’ button just for the sake of it, I’d say they’ll eventually get tired of it and find something new to hate, even maybe themselves…

  7. Hey Elliot,

    i would just delete the “dislike” button. If anyone has a really big issue with something posted he/she should be able to response with a full text answer to that. Its much more productive anyways because a discussion will be started and maybe people will learn from each other.

    In case of “liking” something its a little bit different. Its much easier to just click a button to like for example an article, than always have to write a book to support an it 😉



    • I agree 100%. If someone likes a post, article or a domain, clicking a like button should suffice. However, when someone really dislikes something, that person would have more of an incentive to post their feelings, rather just clicking the dislike button. People love to bitch about everything.

      In other words, more conversation = more participation = more pageviews. 😀

  8. I agree with Jason it does add to the debate. I bet if you could actually track the buttons you would find out that 90% of the likes and dislikes are coming from those who are actually making comments not including yourself in the number. If you look through a few of your posts you will see that the number of individual commentors is in almost direct correlation to the number of likes or dislikes which proves one thing that the only ones using the buttons are the ones making comments. This is why the majority of the likes or dislikes are higher in the first third of the comment section and slowly detract as the comments near the end.

    This does not play true with the brokerage listings but it does with all the other posts.

  9. It would be great if we were able to like/dislike the brokerage offerings by domain – price – both. It could prove to be educational and interesting. (Except for the trolls.)

    If the purpose of the like/dislike buttons is to encourage comments, debate and feedback, how can that be unprofessional?

    Sometimes, professionalism is a lot like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. One of the most professional men I ever knew wore overalls and drove an old truck. He was down to earth, intelligent and one shrewd businessman.

  10. I’m thinking about removing the dislike button and keeping the like button. I think a dislike can mean disagree and it’s more helpful for someone to say what they think rather than just dislike or disagree. It’s also more friendly that way.

  11. I have received a number of dislikes for names I have presented and I could care less….it’s my call whether a name has any value or not….your dislikes will not change that….

  12. Seems you’ve been struggling with the like/dislike buttons concept lately. 15-20 comments with great feedback on a regular post. 75+ counterproductive comments with raggedy ass domains on Domain Brokerage Listing posts.

    I think you’d benefit from Comment Ranking so that we read the good stuff first.

  13. Deleting at least the dislike button is really a huge no-brainer. I only started reading your blog recently because of the HA auction threads. As you are probably aware, I recently brought up this very issue by suggesting I had attracted a little “dislike” stalker. Now anyone can use the name “John” here and say this now, but you also have both my email and my IP address, so you would know it’s me, the same John that is, unless this blog software is so lacking that it doesn’t give you the IP. As a side note, I was under the impression that you would be able to track all likes and dislikes by IP to begin with. Anyway, take my word for it, I’m the John who just brought it up here: (scroll down to November 23rd, 2013 at 12:48 am).

    So why is deleting the dislike button such a huge no-brainer?

    Well, why don’t I bother with domain forums any more?

    I started in domain forums easily over ten years ago, and stuck with them for quite some time, but dumped them years ago except for very rare occasions. Too many cutthroats and liars and the like, and everyone knows it whether they want to admit it or not. In fact, I’m sorry to say one of the worst of the worst I encountered has been posting right here in this thread surprisingly (perhaps I’ll even say more if I’m in the mood). 🙂 So much nastiness and hostility and willingness to engage in lying, hypocrisy, pretense and disingenuousness, etc., in such forums. It has nothing whatsoever to do with being “thin skinned”; in fact, that type of remark can often just be one more example of the kinds of disingenuous arguments some might put forth to keep something so easily prone to misuse while trying to make the other guy look like the bad guy. And who doesn’t know, for example, that (uh hum) appraisal threads (lol) can be the biggest joke of the century because of this kind of thing, unless you’ve got a domain posted that’s such an obvious winner that the cutthroats and liars wouldn’t even dare try downgrading it? Hasn’t the proprietor of the most famous forum of them all even admitted as much in a rather tactful and muted but very clear way before, much to his credit? Yes, he sure did in one discussion thread I saw, and I’ll say it again – much to his credit.

    I like keeping the “like” feature. The only weakness of it in my opinion is that it can be faked or “pumped,” though honestly it seems unlikely to be much of an issue here, at least for a topical discussion.

    Some of those who have supported dumping the “dislike” feature have touched upon what seems to be one of the best reasons. If someone wants to keep clicking dislike, let them express a substantive reason. Let them present a genuine argument on the merits; otherwise all you do is give them a license and free reign to engage in mischief or keep clicking dislike merely because of some completely selfish agenda that has nothing at all to do with the actual merits of a given statement. Then what happens is that unfortunately other people can be falsely influenced when they see a bunch of false or “otherwise motivated” dislikes that may have nothing at all to do with any genuine disagreement with what was posted, but instead with whatever little agenda or personal obsession or nastiness the clicker of “dislike” wants to engage in.

    So, in my view it doesn’t get any more or bigger of a mountain-sized no-brainer than to at a minimum remove “dislike” because of how susceptible it is to abuse and false use.

    • John,

      Hello mate, I wasn’t trying to be disingenuous or make anyone out to be a bad guy. This isnt a question of right and wrong, it is a personal taste thing like if you enjoy the taste of oranges.

      I have seen what you are talking about when you say there are comments stalkers, this is in fact why I believe The Domains went to no anonymous comments. I think there is a difference between someone always pressing dislike and being verbally abusive every time you post.

      The last point is that you said someone here, on this very post, wasn’t a very nice person then you went on to quote me. Just to clear up we do not know each other at all, if you are referring to me which I very much doubt.

      Anyway, have a good day.

    • Correct, I have no idea who you are, we don’t know each other, and you are not the person I was alluding to from forum days. I was also not responding to you personally or meaning to quote you at all.

  14. I like the Like/Dislike. I like the ability to passively agree or disagree with someone without having to comment.

    Maybe the “Dislike” should be changed to “Disagree” so people don’t take it so personally? Which I’m not sure why they would to begin with but maybe it’s the terminology.

  15. I suggest to keep the Like button, and remove the Dislike button.

    Not getting lot of “Likes” is an indirect “Dislike”. So avoid the direct negativity. This is what Facebook applies.

  16. Thanks for all the feedback.

    I am going to remove the dislike button.

    If you don’t agree with what someone posted, you can write a comment and share your rationale. If you agree with what someone posted, you can “like” it passively.

    • *

      I think you have made the right decision regarding removing the dislike button.

      You are very fortunate, indeed, having fans like John who took the time to write a long rationale re: the “dislike” button.

      With just the “like” button, your readers can infer certain information and force the chronic “dislikers” to either make a case or keep quiet, anonymously or not. Fans can still dislike or express “meh” via omission.

      Have you considered setting up a simple forum (forum [dot] domaininvesting [dot] com)? I’m not saying it’s a great idea — forums have their own difficulties and vulnerabilities, but if you ever decide to separate your business blog from a forum setting, that could be an option.

      Anyway, best wishes!



  17. I think you should keep some form of it. Maybe not Like or Dislike but maybe a 3 or 4 star rating system. 1 star means you may dislike or disagree and on up to 4 stars which means you really like it. It gets rid of the negativeness that is associated with the Dislike button but will still keep the debate going and give people a more exact way of judging the comment or domain.
    One of the reasons the dislike button was used is if you make a comment and the next person who comments may dislike your comment but that person answered to your comment possibly in a way that I agree with than I wouldn’t make a comment saying what he already said but I would just dislike your comment as a form of answering the same thing that had already been written. Obviously your goal is to get more people involved in the conversation but I think one of the biggest reasons the conversation would continue is when a comment would get disliked because that would spark the debate even more. By removing the dislike button I believe you will get fewer comments.
    Life doesn’t always smell like roses so if someones feelings get hurt by a Dislike button they got a whole lot more issues going on. They need to grow some fu@#ing balls!

    1 star dislike or disagree
    2 star I don’t fully agree but I don’t dislike it. May like some of the comment and may dislike some of it.
    3 star You are definitely on the right track with your thought and agree with most of it.
    4 star I 100% totally agree with you

    • Todd there’s no meaningful distinction between merely allowing a new form, such as an anonymous “one star,” and it poses the same defects and potential pitfalls of the current dislike button. Also as I covered already there can (and in my view generally are) various reasons which can be bad for all of us, the industry, and the topic in question why some like to pour on the dislikes, and this really has nothing whatsoever to do with hurt feelings. 🙂 I also disagree completely with your suggestion that it would lead to fewer comments; instead I believe it is likely to encourage even more. The “dislikers” will be forced to either put up or shut up – either they really have a substantive reply that is ready for possible discussion, or all they’ve got is snide comments, their own agenda, etc. Others with “positive energy” and a genuine desire for genuine dialog would still be so motivated, and be encouraged to continue, especially as they see they don’t have to expect to be inundated with potentially misleading or “mis-influencing” dislikes not supported by any open comment.

  18. Maybe trial losing the dislike button for a week or two. Then ask everyone for their opinion again. Kinda feels like a victory for the haters!…(and if that’s true, this post will get more ‘likes’ than usual)…

    • I think Elliot has already expressed a very sound and sober decision, 3dprintman, and imo allowing the anonymous dislike button would really be a “victory for the haters.” Your suggestion also puts quite a burden on people to continue focusing on this and “lobbying,” and also creates an opportunity for the “haters” (or whomever) to artificially pump up any vote count to try to get what they want.

  19. “Others with “positive energy” and a genuine desire for genuine dialog would still be so motivated, and be encouraged to continue, especially as they see they don’t have to expect to be inundated with potentially misleading or “mis-influencing” dislikes not supported by any open comment.”

    Healthy debate is never between those filled with positive energy. Without Yin there isn’t Yang without positive there isn’t negative without Democrats there isn’t Republicans. If everyone is only talking in a positive light healthy debates would never occur.
    You keep talking about agendas but it seems the only agenda someone has here is you. There is no comments from you until the Heritage Auctions were talked about here and if it’s the slightest bit negative about HA you come running in to save the day. I would bet you are probably the same “John” that works for Heritage but unfortunately in an anonymous world you could be anybody and Elliot will never tell.
    Elliot has had these likes and dislikes buttons for many years and I have never heard anybody complain about them in the comments section except for you and then within a few days they are gone. That’s pretty odd but it’s his blog and he makes the rules.
    This post has 37 comments and I bet this will be the last post you see here with that many comments except for the brokerage listing but that doesn’t count because they are not comments those are domain listings.
    You say more people will comment without the button but I believe it will be the opposite. That button would spark the debate lots of times and I believe without it this will become just another blog.

    • “Positive energy” = (including but not limited to 🙂 ) genuine constructive commenting, advocacy, honestly and in good faith, fair and honest debate on the merits, etc. Can also include intense and even sharp reason-based disagreement. It’s not about “talking in a positive light.”

      Negative = (including but not limited to 🙂 ) little or nothing to contribute except snide remarks, nastiness, personal attack and personal animosity, especially without even regard for the actual topic; attacking a topic merely out of selfish ambition and selfish agenda regardless of tactics, at the expense of others or without regard for anyone’s interests but one’s own; commonly includes extreme pretense, manipulation, disingenuousness, “mob” formation, flat out lying, etc., or perhaps – aggressively pursuing or “pumping up” items like visible “dislikes” for reasons and motives like the above rather than any genuine disagreement with the merits of the statement being made or position or person being “disliked.”

      As for me, I have no association whatsoever with HA or Elliot. Elliot should almost certainly have no idea whatsoever who I am, or if he does that would certainly be impressive and I would expect he may work behind the scenes for an agency like the NSA, at least part time. 🙂 His blog post happened to catch my attention because it was a topic of interest to me, and it seemed like it would be ok to post here. If I wanted to go to DNF or NP or DS I would, but I have no desire to discuss this there and as far as I’m aware Elliot’s blog was where any real action on this topic was even happening (the HA auctions) except for Ron Jackson’s nice coverage at DNJ.


    • “I think it looks weird alone, so I am going to bring the dislike button back.”

      No reason to continue this discussion because the buttons are coming back.


  20. Wow.

    It’s like DC politics these days. People express their vote in a poll. Majority votes to keep the Dislike by a significant margin. And majority loses??? LOL then you shouldn’t ask your loyal readers opinions if it won’t matter.


    • Ohhhh a double wow! 🙂

      It’s not a democracy unfortunately and I want to try something that would be more of a compromise.

      I think it looks weird alone, so I am going to bring the dislike button back.

    • Well I hope you are only:

      – joking (best), or;
      – merely back peddling (bad, but not worst);

      But I hope you are not:

      – having just played us, especially those who advocated so well for ditching it, which even you did in a sense and to some degree (very bad);
      – merely giving in to peer pressure whether in the open or behind the scenes (still quite bad)

      I suppose it doesn’t matter much for me personally, although I imagine there is likely to be more action here in the future on HA auction type topics, in which case I would probably want to participate again. Oh well, you had it right the first time, but it’s your blog, and maybe some better action will pop up somewhere else eventually on the auction topic…

    • …of course, it’s possible other topics could have interested me here as well for posting, but the “dislike” button or any new version of it is likely to “disincentivize” just as the trolls were such a turn off at the famous forums of yesteryear, so perhaps it’s time to say so long…

  21. “especially those who advocated so well for ditching it”

    The only person who advocated to remove the buttons was you John everyone else merely gave their opinion.

    Keep the buttons 68.82%

    Remove the buttons 31.18%

    Almost 100 votes so it’s a pretty clear landslide.

    • >>”Almost 100 votes so it’s a pretty clear landslide.”

      Lol, yeah right. And aside from possible “pumping,” how many of those – the ones who really are genuinely different individuals, that is – do you think even read all the arguments on the merits instead of just making a quick vote? And even if it’s possible the vote is completely clean (lol), does that always prove what the best move is? Hmm, do we need to look at history for any lessons on this? But it’s a moot point anyway, as Elliot has already dispensed with the democracy myth. Not that I don’t support being experimental, decisive, entrepreneurial, etc. – I certainly do, and Elliot is to be commended for having tried a “dislike” button when it’s something you practically never see, but the extreme defects are obvious, and when a big fish like FB, for example, still refrains from including them, I think it’s wise to consider they may have a very good reason for doing so that is also applicable here.

  22. >>”Thanks for all the feedback.

    I am going to remove the dislike button.

    If you don’t agree with what someone posted, you can write a comment and share your rationale. If you agree with what someone posted, you can “like” it passively.”

    6 likes, 3 dislikes – 2 to 1 against keeping the dislike button. That may be a little more honestly telling than this supposed “vote” which strangely enough doesn’t even resemble the actual likes and dislikes people clicked and flatly contradicts it. Hmm…

    • Well for a moment I wondered if #2 was just a dose of sarcasm, but now I see you may have been completely serious about that:

      I and the others fought the good fight. I’ll keep posting here out of my self-imposed domain discussion quasi-retirement as long as I’m interested and you don’t block me, lol. Maybe it did actually look a bit strange alone, I don’t necessarily disagree with that (or dislike it, lol), but in lieu of dislike I would have simply suggested something completely new to replace a stand-alone “like it.” Frankly, from what I just read it seems you may still be in jeopardy of an FB issue though perhaps it may be unlikely they would ever care enough, or “like” to pursue that ( 🙂 ).

      “Poster” below, though, certainly = “Trolls Triumphant,” but that’s nothing new. What I would suggest, however, is that people be true to themselves and never be swayed from “liking” something when you honestly like it if you happen to see “dislikes” already there. From day 1 in the HA auctions threads, for example, we already saw one of them admit to having his own personal agenda and self interest in mind above all regardless of anyone’s support for “the cause,” including your own. Like I said before, this kind of forum really can be a sort of contest of ideas as to what is best for everyone in the industry, so imo it’s important that methods and policies promote the cleanest possible participation.

      Cheers and happy holidays.

      • I think the risk was low, but because of the first reason, it made no sense to take that risk. In addition, it seemed that people voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the buttons.

        I wouldn’t block you. I only block people that are abusive or are spamming.

  23. I actually just searched for this since I finally noticed you took the like/dislike away. I like that you took it away. It actually bummed me out a little when I got a couple dislikes with no explanation on my first comment here.

    I figure if you dislike someone’s comment and you want them to know, then you should be able to express your opposition in the form of a reply.

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