Should we drop the ? reaction?

These are the current set of emoji reactions one can give on a post:

:heart: :classic_smiley: :bluethumb: :party: :question: :eureka: :totally: :fedora:

I intentionally chose to not have any negative reactions, hoping people will follow the classic advice of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I think this has generally worked. There’s not really any significant difference in meaning in most of these, but they’ve got a little bit of flavor.

However, :question: is a bit different. I meant that to mean something like “sorry, I don’t understand”. But, it can also be seen as more negative — “what the heck are you talking about?”. I’m not sure it’s really particularly useful in either of those senses, and I’m thinking we should just drop it. What do you think?

Straw poll:
  • Keep :question:
  • Drop :question:
  • Don’t care.

0 voters

I voted “drop”. If a post inspires a :question: reaction, then the person should ask the question instead.

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@castrojo I was wondering who would be the first to do that!

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I used this reaction to emphasize questions asked by others, but it appears to be confusing.

I typically use it when I am curious or unsure about something. The question mark is ambiguous, but I wouldn’t mind substituting it for a :thinking: reaction.


I don’t see how :thinking: is any different than :question: . In both cases, it doesn’t tell the poster what you find confusing or what you’re unsure about. Asking a clarifying question helps. The reaction, in this case, doesn’t contribute anything.

Then I am +0 to this change :slightly_smiling_face: The :question: is the reaction that I use the least.

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When the ? is followed by a reply asking ‘could you care to explain what you mean by that?’, I reckon that is recommended manners in any discourse users. I think ? is better than ignoring thread even though you see a problem with that. Did ? create many bad actors in our community?

There are certainly posts where the :question: reaction has been used to mean, “What is this nonsense?” or some other similar negative connotation.

However, I don’t think it is a major issue either way. That being said, I don’t really see a way in which it could ever be helpful.

As someone who accidentally made an online situation weird, I agree that :thinking: can be a bad idea, lol.

(To be clear, I’m using :question: ironically.)

okay, keeping ? is a minority stake. I’m not too keen on it. But could we have an alternative neutral emoji to signify ‘curt but effective’ naysayers? It is much less damaging than down-voting or ?.

I was thinking about reactions more. I concur that the :question: reaction is not helpful…

However, while we are thinking about reactions, there are some I wouldn’t mind adding. They could be informative in many ways. These were reactions we used on a forum I used to moderate years ago, and as a frequent poster and active moderator, I also found them helpful for promoting quality content:

  • :wrench: for “useful”
  • :information_source: for “informative”
  • :hugs: for “friendly”
  • :white_check_mark: for “agreed”
  • Etc.