The downvote function was a sensible feature that served some useful purposes as others have described above.
Sadly, it was irresponsibly abused by a number of people. To cite a few examples of senseless/trollish downvoting:
- There was a long period during which Alien/Ishmael would automatically get voted down every time he so much as stuck his head above the parapet.
- Jokes were frequently downvoted (leaving aside my own which may well have deserved it), lending a grim cast to the forums.
- Perhaps the quintessential case was a while back when @bilingualexpat got net -4 votes simply for writing “Most importantly, who knows what sorts of burden and anguish they bear in life? We need to be kinder to each other."
And perversely, even as the downvote system failed to deter trolls from plying their trade in the forums, I suspect it kept away some kinder people because its abuse fostered a climate that could come off as negative and intimidating.
So on balance, I am not sorry to see downvotes go.
I was walking through my xiaoqu tonight when I saw what I thought was a big tomcat trotting along in front of me. I got closer and thought "That is the Incredible Hulk of tomcats," and then it dawned on me that it was no cat.
I didn't get a look at its face, but I think it was a raccoon dog. Has anybody else seen one around?
Grace is staffed by American doctors and, in my experience, provides the same level of expertise and standard of care that you would expect to find in a good clinic in the U.S. I highly recommend them.