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Who exactly votes?

Ok trivial question but I have wondered for years.... who votes for "best answers" to hotline questions? Is there any rhyme or reason to the voting or even when/if a question gets "voted" on? As far as I can tell it has nothing to do with people using the "I agree" button. Sometimes best answer designations seem to appear within hours of a question being asked. Sometimes the polls seem to close very early.

asked by caninechef about 1 month ago

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15 answers 441 views
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BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 30 days ago

Hi, caninechef!
A number of weeks ago this was addressed on a another thread but I can't find it.
It's computer-generated. Has to do with how many times the question was viewed and how many 'I agree's' are logged which doesn't take many.

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cv
added 30 days ago

No, that discussion was about the "Popular Questions" designation in the right hand side bar.

Caninechef's inquiry is about which answer is labeled as "Best Answer", a totally separate matter. Re-read her inquiry again.

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cv
added 30 days ago

As far as I can tell, it is ***COMPLETELY*** tied to the "I agree" button.

An answer that gets three votes gets labeled as Best Answer, but if another answer is overtakes that vote tally, the new favorite will gain the Best Answer label.

From my observations, the polls are never closed. You can vote on ancient answers in five-year old threads.

The forum system forbids one from voting on any answer twice, but it does not forbid you for clicking on the "I Agree" button for two or more answers in the same thread.

The "I Agree" button is basically a thumbs up.

There is apparently no editorial intervention and there is no weighing to the votes. A longtime community member's "I Agree" vote is worth the same as someone who signed up two minutes ago.

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BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 30 days ago

cv, yes I read it. This question was within another thread. Lindsay-Jean responded and agreed it is computer generated. Maybe she can assist.

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Lindsay-Jean Hard

Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.

added 30 days ago

As has been surmised, it is indeed tied to the "I agree!" button. If you have questions or comments about the site itself, you can always contact us at [email protected], it's a more direct way to reach us and ensures we'll see it faster!

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cv
added 30 days ago

A few more observations.

Only registered users can vote, but as mentioned before the vote from an experienced longtime community member who has contributed a lot does not get weighed any more than a post-and-run, one-shot wonder who signed up ten minutes ago to leave a drive-by question never to reply, thank or contribute anything back to the community.

The "Best Answer" designation is really a misnomer in 2017. It might have been more plausible five years ago. The way the Food52 community has evolved in the past couple of years, "Most Popular Reply" would be a more accurate designation today.

I'm not calling out Food52 because it has happened in many other places, but online community forum systems written five years ago often have not evolved to adjust to today's Internet usage habits.

Topics for the Food52 staff to consider but I would be surprised if they haven't already discussed this at some point in a recent staff meeting.

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added 30 days ago

The only way to see how many "agrees" is to click the "agree" button.

anyway, I agree that just hitting the "agree" button isn't an indicator of how good the answer is. I don't think the "best answer" changes to another choice, or at least it didn't in the past (?) but I may be wrong.

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cv
added 30 days ago

'The only way to see how many "agrees" is to click the "agree" button.'

This is not true.

You can see the number of votes if you log out of Food52 and revisit the thread. If you are logged into Food52 and a forum reply has been voted as Best Answer, you can see the number of votes the "winning" answer scored, but not the tallies for any of the other answers.

Again, logging out will let you see all the tallies.

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added 30 days ago

I sometimes use it if I think someone gave a good answer to a question. Like if I'm about to answer a question, but someone else has already covered what I would have suggested - but I only recall doing this a handful of times.

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added 30 days ago

I would guess if it has 4 more people agree to that answer than to other answers?

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added 30 days ago

*or something like that. Now after I typed it I am not sure myself, but I know it is either amount of difference of #of people agree to 1 answer compared to other, or absolute #, or both after passing certain threshold - based from my observation.

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cv
added 30 days ago

The only criterion to obtain the "Best Answer" title is being the top vote getter with at least three "I Agree" votes (and no ties).

There are no best answers with only two votes and no ties.

There is one thread right now in the right hand sidebar Popular Questions that has four answers with two votes apiece. That thread has no Best Answer. If someone else presses the "I Agree" button on one of those four replies with two votes, it will get the Best Answer title.

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added 29 days ago

Well CV as the asker I am awarding you best answer, especially regarding info based on what I can only think is an unintended quirk in the software, that if you are logged out you can see the votes but not when you are logged in. At least I never see them when logged in and like creamtea normally only see them if I vote myself for a response. You are so right about the implications of this designation. It is something I have wondered about for a while but it was actually reading responses to a recent safety question that made me think the whole thing might be a bad idea.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 29 days ago

Caninechef -
Good point about popularity votes on food safety questions.
Maybe the editors should put a disclaimer on the hotline, as some books on medical topics carry near the copyright page.
See examples here:
http://thedigitalhippies...

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cv
added 29 days ago

There is a lot more misinformation in the forum discussions today compared to a few years ago in just about any online Q&A forum, not just Food52.

It is a particular shame to see it in discussions about food safety here at Food52.

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