What is the term to use for "likes" and "dislikes" on social networks? Are they marks or grades or rates or anything else?

My purpose is that I'm programming a system where I have a Post domain object. It can be liked or disliked (as in every social network). Than how should the enumeration type representing these two values be named?

13 Answers 13


Given that upvotes is roughly synonymous with likes, and downvotes is roughly synonymous with dislikes, I might just call the general class votes.

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  • nice! short, simple and precise – pkuderov Feb 25 '16 at 7:12
  • I probably would go with "rank". (or maybe "rate", depending on system.) That said, "vote" or "votes" is perfectly fine. – The Nate Feb 25 '16 at 21:41
  • @TheNate rank would be what you have after counting votes (up and down) and comparing other totals - rate would be a non-binary value, but you could still rank on the average of rate values – HorusKol Feb 26 '16 at 3:35

Generally speaking reactions would apply here and is used on the messaging platform Slack.

Whether it's a like, a dislike, a thumbs up, a heart or a pizza emoji, the users are reacting to the post, so it makes sense to record these as reactions.

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  • this is the correct answer. more commonly "reacts". – Colin Jun 22 '17 at 5:08

You could consider using rating which means:

A classification or ranking of someone or something based on a comparative assessment of their quality, standard, or performance

Rating is a broadly used word when evaluating movies and TV shows. I don't see any reason why it can't be used when ranking or evaluating a post domain object.

[Oxford Online Dictionary]

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    rating is calculated aggregation value over all votes done by anyone, but not the set of possible options which consists of like and dislike. – pkuderov Feb 25 '16 at 8:28
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    @pkuderov You rate the post by upvoting or downvoting in the same way critics rate a movie by giving stars. – user140086 Feb 25 '16 at 8:30
  • Ratings tend to be a scale, e.g. 0-5 stars. You could generate a rating based on up/down-votes, e.g. the percentage of upvotes. But the individual votes are not usually called ratings. – Barmar Feb 29 '16 at 17:58

The best term would depend on the type of feedback system being used, though a more general term can always be used in place of a specific one:

  • Likes only: like, preference, upvote, recommendation, etc.

  • Likes and dislikes only (not always subtracted from each other): vote, mark

  • Multidimensional feedback (eg like, lol, sad, angry): feedback, reaction (what Facebook calls them), opinion, etc.

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  • "mark" is quite a good suggestion – Fattie Feb 25 '16 at 15:18

If you wanted to refer to both likes and dislikes, and their equivalent on other sites that don't use those terms, you could refer to them as:

Positive and negative interactions on posts.

Actions could also be used in place of interactions and may be preferable.

Since they could also apply to comments, you could label comments as:

Positive and negative exchanges on posts.

to create a distinction between them.

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In a more generic sense, the term reputation as used by this site, is in the ball park.

It also yields some potentially fitting synonyms.

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  • I'd say reputation is a term for aggregation of likes/dislikes. E.g. field X = count(likes) - count(dislikes) for all votes on this post by users can be named as reputation, but it doesn't represent single vote. – pkuderov Feb 25 '16 at 7:03
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    I agree. I just wanted to log this one in the mix as food for thought. – mungflesh Feb 25 '16 at 8:12

When dealing with likes and dislikes in Social Media programmatically we generally referred to the term 'Sentiment'.

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Civilians might get a laugh to know


is sometimes used for this, on the inside of social media database and software engineering.

There's no really good word that perfectly characterizes like, not-like, dislike and not-dislike {noting that not-like may or may not be the same as dislike, depending on the milieu .. not-like'ing a like on a post is totally different from dislike-ing a post .. depending on various things like what history is tracked, etc etc.}



is the smart-ass answer IF, that's if, in terms of my pithy and critical comment above ...

@pkuderov a critical issue is this ..... do you want this term TO USE AS A CIVILIAN DESCRIBING THESE THINGS. Or, are you a software engineer looking for the best term to use literally as a Class name, Parse (HAHAHA) Class name or the like ? If the former, probably "vote", if the latter, perhaps "mark" since "vote" is a more general thing. But see my pithy answer.

... if you were asking about the latter.

If you're asking about the former, it would be pretty awesome if "Ike" caught on in general parlance. So ...

Check out this post, did you ike it yet? Which way?!

... sort of thing. My local sports radio channel often discusses social media posts, you can imagine them saying something like

such-and-such got thousands of ikes, but half are likes and half are dislikes.

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  • "I dislike Ike!" – 200_success Feb 25 '16 at 17:29
  • yay, I didn't know that :) makes sense and fits but can be unfamiliar too for all non-native-English teams. But still.. very interesing option, thanks – pkuderov Feb 26 '16 at 6:59
  • just a curiosity for you! – Fattie Feb 26 '16 at 11:38

This is feedback on the original post.

"Feedback" is a generic English term that means to give back to the author of some content an idea of whether you thought that content was good or bad. Typically seen as solicited by a service or product vendor (as in "send us your feedback; let us know how we're doing!") or as a categorisation term within software to describe mechanisms that allow users to rank or rate dynamically-managed content.

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I think they are a way to express preferences:

  • the selecting of someone or something over another or others.

(The Free Dictionary)

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    "Preferences", when used in software environments such as websites, is generally synonymous with "settings". As such, "preferences" would generally be used as the name of a section in which the user can make selections pertaining to many aspects of the software. – recognizer Feb 24 '16 at 21:44
  • +1 to @recognizer, I think preferences is too ambigous in almost any domain model – pkuderov Feb 25 '16 at 7:15

I would use the term "flag" and "flag setting" which is the terminology employed by the Drupal content management system (CMS) as it is generic and can be applied to systems that express preferences, but also to systems that record reactions, votes, and any other type of interaction regardless of context.

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Acceptance. It's a trait inherent to the object, not the observer, and it reflects a reaction of either approval or disapproval.

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    "Acceptance" indicates approval, so this doesn't fit the extension to dislikes. – Chris H Feb 25 '16 at 8:09
  • @ChrisH I'd say 'Acceptance' indicates whether something is accepted or not. But I agree it does suggest 'like' more than 'dislike' – ͢bts Feb 25 '16 at 10:39

If we were to use popular social media platforms as a reference, then what facebook has introduced in its latest offering is a set of reactions that you can apply to posts.

Given that facebook was among the first to introduce the 'like' concept, I guess it would be a matter of time before the term comes into mainstream usage.

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