Simon, thanks for explaining the criteria for the like/dislike feature.
Simon (Q) " Would you be interested in having the ability to let your votes be seen?
The Rebel (A) Yes I would, or rather I would like the ability to explain why I gave a red flag. But i would prefer it being optional as I don't feel the same need to always clarify why I give green flags.
The reason I raised the O.P was because in my opinion discussion SHOULD ALWAYS be based on one thing OPINION, and no rating system should berate that. Yet I sometimes feel comments are down voted only because the posters option is disliked. Personally I have noted posters who make the most interesting comments receive unfair red flags.
So emotion rather than reason should not be a criteria to like/dislike posts.
My other concern with the like/dislike feature is that it can encourage group think.
However personally I believe the like/dislike is a valuable feature, and maybe a way to improve it would be to limit the amount of " votes" ensuring they become something valuable to the poster. I would suggest for every 5 posts that are made allows you one like/dislike.
A further observation if you give a red flag for content, it is often worth doing some formal research as sometimes the content that receives red flags is totally unwarranted.