7 reasons why i thumbed you down on stumbleupon

when i’m in the mood to stumble, i usually go through hundreds of pages and photos in a sitting. it’s easy because a lot of the content i see on stumble, i have already either read in my rss reader or from digg/propeller/reddit. that said, i try to make a conscious effort to stumble my friends’ pages (by using the friends toolbar setting) as well.

here’s a look at some of the pages that always get a thumbs down from me regardless of how good the content is and who stumbled it.

1. pay-wall: if a page you have stumbled displays a pay-wall or expects me to register to view it, it gets a thumb down.

2. page no longer exists, has moved: this just makes sense because i don’t want my friends and followers to be spammed with pages that are no longer there.

3. other social submissions: stumbleupon is a site for sharing content. what this means is stumbling the pages where the content originated, not stumbling pages from other social sites (digg, propeller, reddit, sphinn) where you have submitted the original content. if you want me to vote on something that you have submitted on one of those sites, send it to me without submitting it to and clogging up the stumble index.

4. duplicate submissions or repurposed content with no insight: if you’ve just regurgitated information from elsewhere, please don’t submit it to stumble. it’s not always wrong to post some latest developments to your blog but if you haven’t added any insight, please stumble the original source and not your post.

5. improperly categorized or tagged content: i’ve set my preferences so that i only get pages and pictures, however because people incorrectly tag pages, i often get audio, video, or pdf files. i generally try to report these pages as incorrectly tagged and stumble them down.

6. auto-playing audio or video: one of the most annoying things on stumble is when people incorrectly tag audio/video and then have it play automatically as the page loads.

7. porn, la-la la-la, etc: posts where you are asked to thumb up if you want them to include adult video, or pages that say ‘end of the internet’ are submitted too many times and are equally annoying each time.

what are some of the pages that you thumb down?

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31 thoughts on “7 reasons why i thumbed you down on stumbleupon

  1. Mike

    I’ve with Lyndon on this. I don’t recall ever using the thumbs down. Having read this I guess I need to reconsider. As you say, it helps to protect my SU friends as much as anything.

  2. Tal Siach

    Hi Muhammad!
    First of all I really like your criteria for Thumbs downing pages. I found it very irritating as well when I stumbling and seeing a site with a movie that starts automatically, its so annoying!

    I personally thumbs down pages that are advertisement traps for the users like those that have pop up windows and URL redirection, sometimes even the content is changing frequently on the same html page, that really bothers me and just like the golden rule states: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” I will not want my friends or other users on StumbleUpon to see sites that I myself am annoyed and disturbed by.

  3. Chris Baskind

    That auto-play audio always earns a thumbs-down from me.

    Here’s another: the site resizes my browser page. Grrr …

    It’s not rude to thumb down if there’s a specific reason you don’t like the site. As ms points out, it trains SU not to deliver similar pages. Perhaps more importantly, it makes it less likely the page will be delivered to people in your network.

    Something which doesn’t particularly interest me, but is well-written or nicely presented? I may just stumble past. Bad? Certainly gets a thumbs-down, with a brief, polite explanation.

  4. BarbaraKB

    One needs to both thumb up or thumb down at SU. You can just skip if not sure. But you have to *show* Stumble what you are interested in seeing thus thumb up and down.

    And *that* my friends is the beauty of Stumble Upon and why it reign as the absolute best social news site for me. Plus, the visuals are just wonderful and *most* people are just so nice and open and sharing.

    Unlike some other social news sites…


  5. Maki

    I thumb down obvious stumble bait created for StumbleUpon traffic (I love SU blah). I hate em.

    I thumb down sites with stolen content, people who spread disinformation and occasionally, people I don’t really agree with or like.

  6. Andy Beard

    Mu I have seen the devastating effect of organised thumb down on a post someone thought was spam.

    thumb-down isn’t just personal selection, it prevents other people who might enjoy something benefiting from it.

    there wsn’t any visible sign of the thumb downs I received, they gave another site a thumb down, and then in the review of thet site linked through to posts from me and Maki.
    As it was someone with a power account with a lot of power and followers, it received a fair number of visits directly from the person’s SU blog, and at least one SU group.
    I could see the visits coming in directly, and it killed traffic dead.

    It has now accumulated 8 reviews and 30 thumbs up, and no traffic – it is buried.

  7. Gerard McGarry

    I’m noticing a lot more image posts with a load of advertising on page with not much navigation. I’m assuming that “made for stumbleupon” is on the rise – if you give them nothing but adsense and no navigation, they’ve got to click on the ads, right?

    That’s gaming, and it sucks, so I thumbs down every time. Likewise on blogs where I get a title, then a huge block of AdSense before the article. It’s obvious these types of blogs are all about traffic and advertising dollars and the people behind them don’t care about any audience they might have.

  8. engtech

    slow load

    If the site doesn’t load in a reasonable time then it gets the thumb down. I’m not waiting.

    I think I need to find my zen and exhibit some patience 🙂

  9. Julian

    I’ve been thumbs downing anything I wasn’t into with the idea that it would help stumbleupon bring me pages that I like, as Muhammad commented, but now I feel bad after reading some of these comments so I think I may reserve it only for things like those appearing in Muhammad’s list.

  10. Urbanist

    I agree with these except that thumbing down a page that isn’t working at the time may or may not be a good idea. In actuality, sometimes pages are just lagging or whatnot. Unless I’m sure the page is down for good I don’t thumb it down, but that’s a fine point. Anything I think someone else might enjoy though I don’t I leave alone, unless it is obviously only copied content (see: Linkinn) without attribution.

  11. Yuri

    Thumbing down does prevent the page from being shown any more. I think they could slacken this influence a tad.

    Other than that, I think I’ve thumbed down only a couple of times, when the content was pure cr@p, spam or advertising. And yes, it is too much of an effort. Junk doesn’t get thumbed up anyway.

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  13. lucia

    I don’t hit thumbsdown a lot.

    I’ve used thumbsdown for PayWalls. If you have to register or pay to see the site, sorry, that doesn’t belong on Stumble. (When I used to write on a political blog, I googled to find another news source rather than link a for pay site).

    I’ve also hit thumbsdown if I can’t see any content above the fold. (For example, I can’t see any John Chow content above the fold.)

    I haven’t actually done thumbsdown for the other cases, but I’d be tempted. Poor tagging I’d rather correct– I figure that’s just a mistake. As for regurgitated: it depends. If I know it’s scraped, absolutely. But if there are any original insights, I won’t thumbs down something someone else Stumbled.

    I would thumbsdown mis-classified porn in a second.

  14. JOANNA

    I thumb down this stupid cats or anything mocking those stupid cats. They are stupid and anyone who thumbs them up should be shot on sight. Thank you.

  15. Rose Sylvia

    I’m with those who believe in focusing on what they like (thumbs up) and giving none of my time and energy to whatever I do not desire in my life. This is the Law of Attraction in action and it works very well in my life.

    Whatever you resist, persists. Whatever negative energy you put out will continue to bring more into your life. There was a recent incident at Sphinn where an unfortunate exchange continued long after it could have easily died out because those involved could not let it go.

    Tolerance is an admirable trait. I have no desire to censor content for others that is not my cup of tea; knowing full well it may be theirs.

  16. Adam Snider

    I tend not to use the “thumbs down” button very much. If I don’t like the page I’ve stumbled upon, I’ll just hit the stumble button again. It has to be truly awful for me to take the time to give it a thumbs down before I hit the stumble button again.

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  18. Simonne

    I’ve just realized reading your article, that the SU toolbar contains a thumb down button! It’s funny, I never thought to use it, although I agree with most of your points on why some posts deserve thumbs down.

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  21. Lalla Mira

    Oh! I’ve always thought giving thumbs down to someone’s blog decreases their popularity, if any…
    Now I’ll go ahead and do that every time I don’t like what I see. 😀

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  23. chris

    i thumb-down alot lately. lol-cats, demotivational posters, horrible or stolen jokes, sales pitches, personal searches,(i.e. Avril Lavigne lyrics) all get the auto ‘thumb-down’ -no questions asked


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