Horrible idea. No one sees this button, no one knows what it does, and upvotes definitely should have that effect.


Agreed. I upvoted AND boosted your comment for redundancy.


They're not redundant functions. They're... Mixed up on kbin right now, because things were originally built with the up button boosting content, but that's incongruent with how Lemmy does it, so it was changed.

But boosting isn't really about sorting at all. It's about republishing content, so that it can be sent out to instances that have started following a group after the content was originally posted.


I believe it is more akin to 're-tweeting' for your followers.

All boosts you boost are not private and everyone can see everything you have boosted


This makes sense — but if nobody knows it there is lots of room for confusion.

“Boost” seems more like “updoot” than “retweet“. Perhaps more importantly why would one retweet a comment? Rather than a post?


Perhaps more importantly why would one retweet a comment? Rather than a post?

The way content propagation works here is that someone using Website A follows a remote content source (either a user, or a group -- aka a "community" or a "magazine"), and the remote hosting website (let's call it Website B) sends all subsequent content from that source to Website A, where the requesting user can then view it. If someone from Website A was already following that content source, then they get to see all of the content that Website A had already received, and benefit from earlier users efforts. But if that person was the first from Website A to subscribe to that content source, then they only get future content.

It's very similar to a, well, a magazine subscription in that way. NatGeo isn't sending you their 150 years worth of back catalogue when you subscribe in 2023 (not that you should bother subscribing to NatGeo in 2023).

The 'boost' button republishes content, though. Posts, comments, whatever. Hitting 'boost' on a comment republishes it, and once republished the group actor (the little bot-like construct that functionally is the group) sees it as new content, and pushes it out to everyone following it. This means it will reach websites that started subscribing to the group after the comment was originally posted.

Boosting is how older content (where older basically means "from anytime before literally right now") spreads through the fediverse.


Thank you so much for this explanation, it really helped some of this click for me. I don’t use kbin, so the boosting isn’t so relevant to me, but I’m beginning to understand some of how the federation works together.


I'm not sure how Lemmy syncs and backfill, but under its hood, I imagine it's doing the same thing, just automatically. Lemmy groups are really spammy with boosts when viewed from Mastodon, for instance.


So this is one of those things like git, where you can't explain how it works on the surface to a normal person because it barely even makes sense if you don't know about the underlying plumbing. :\

Not awesome, but I guess that's what you get when you graft a reddit-like experience onto a fediverse that was more or less invented for microblogging.

Kichae, (edited )

How it's interpreted it is entirely up to the UI layer. On microblogs, it's surfaced as a retweet-like behaviour, but it's not surfaced at all here, really, except on kbin where it's used to report who has reboosted something.

At its core, it's a republish button, and just as if you were to republish someone else's blog post on your own blog, people can see, if they look closely enough, that you've done it.

artillect avatar

If you follow someone on kbin, and they boost a thread, it'll show up in your feed. It's sorta like crossposting to your user page on reddit

density avatar

is following individuals a common thing on lemmy/kbin?

on reddit ti was possible but virtually nobody did it. all about the community not "influencers".

What I want to do is sho approval to the OP and make the post more likely to float to the attention of someone who will want it..


I second this. It should be a simpler UX


Yea, i'm working on my own Fedi software and i'm struggling with the point of boosting in the link aggregator context. It's an odd overlap with Reddit-style reposting to appropriate subs, but based on the user.

It makes sense in the Twitter UX, but i struggle to find it's place in the Reddit UX.


I think boosts have potential to be used for crossposts, and the current implementation are just crossposts to your profile. Though they're likely here right now just because Kbin is a mix between thread and microblog software


yeahhhhhhh if boost came with like a menu: "Boost to: -Your Personal Microblog -Magazine's Microblog [pick] -Magazine as Article [pick]"

then the feature would be pretty baller

(actually im not sure if your personal microblog exists so...maybe just the other 2)


Boosting is super important in all contexts in the Fediverse.

When am instance subscribes to a content source - be that a user actor or a group actor - on behalf of a user, it only requests future content. Back catalogues are not fetched by default. Boosting re-publishes the content, so that it is received by new followers.

With a group actor, the boost triggers the actor to reboot the content itself, sending it out to new subscribers to the group, and filling in that back catalogue.

blazera avatar

if old content isnt fetched for a newly subscribed instance to see, how are users going to boost that content in the first place?


Users who can see the content need to boost it?

Users who use the website that the community is hosted on have access to the full library of it. They need to boost stuff. And people who subscribe from remote sites need to boost older content that they've seen.


This seems needlessly convoluted.


This is why the functionality was hidden behind the upvote button initially, but people wanted the arrows to match the arrows on Lemmy.

blazera avatar

but relevant users cant see it, its never fetched for them to see it. Sure users on the home instance can see it, but they're on the home instance, it's already fetched for them. Ive run into this problem on here, where there is a lot of content on other instances that isnt visible from kbin. I have the option of visiting the home instance to see it, but it takes me completely off of kbin, I cant boost it from that page.


Someone just needs to follow. The community owner either needs to seed the community to big instances using accounts on them, or people who find the community via other instances need to subscribe and know that fresh content will come. Then they can boost older content from the hosting site.

Things take some conscious effort here. That isn't necessarily a bad thing.

blazera avatar

"Then they can boost older content from the hosting site." No that's the problem. Like you yourself said back catalogues arent fetched. They can't see the older content to be able to boost it, they'll only see new content.


If my instance follows a community at time t = T, and your instance starts following it at time t = T+10, I can boost content posted between T and T+9 so that you can see it.

Meanwhile, if people on the hosting instance boost things posted from times earlier than T, we both get to see them. Then, once they're visible to us, we can continue to boost them for new instances to see.


If boosting is meant to be a solution to the back catalogue problem, then it's a horrible way to do it. You'd have to go through and boost every single post from before the hosting instance was followed, and then it'd only show up the user page of the guy who went to all of that effort? (or, realistically, bot).

If what I'm saying is accurate (and I'm still not sure because this is admittedly a bit too complicated for me) then it doesn't sound very useful since individual profiles aren't nearly as important in a forum context when compared to something like twitter, and especially when you can just upvote something and have that show on your profile. Unless I'm mistaken and anything you've upvoted doesn't propagate to another automatically instance while boosts do... but I don't think that's a big enough distinction to have two different buttons? You could just have an upvote also do that.


then it'd only show up the user page of the guy who went to all of that effort?

Where are you getting that impression from?

aidan avatar

I like this comment but I don’t know what im supposed to do about it


Boost things.

FaceDeer avatar

I see it as similar to the "save" function on Reddit, except it's public. I've started using it on things that I think I might like to read again later (and so by extension anyone who's "like me" would probably want to read it too).


I literally do not see this boost button anywhere. I just spent 2 minutes mousing over every button around your comment and I cannot find it.

artillect avatar

Boosting is only available on kbin


Should they? It seems to me that we should have way, way more control over how we choose to sort things.

That should be one of the options, of course, but we can have so much more here.

theodewere, (edited )
theodewere avatar

i disagree, it's a great functionality that people should learn.. and here's the simple point.. you can BOOST a comment you disagree with, so that your argument AGAINST the comment will get more visibility.. reddit is dysfunctional, and this mechanism can help fix one of the problems reddit cannot get rid of.. this mechanism can help discussion, and fight against things like brigading..

think about it a minute.. someone makes a really TERRIBLE point that you can dismantle easily.. tear it down, and BOOST the hell out of it.. reddit cannot accommodate that.. keeping those two functions separate is critical..

this will help keep every thread from becoming a popularity contest that is entirely predictable, once people figure it out

edit to add: i've only been using this platform for a few days.. but i promise you, it works the way it's supposed to.. try it out..


"Boost" comes across as a bug, not a feature. People should have one vote, not two.

Calcharger avatar

Ernest is likely working on it


But is he... earnestly working on it?

@pruwybn@discuss.tchncs.de avatar

Hopefully. I’ve heard being earnest is important.



@melroy@kbin.melroy.org avatar

well he did fix the reputation calculations.. https://codeberg.org/Kbin/kbin-core/pulls/462

theodewere avatar

that would be disastrous, and just serve to make sure this platform ends up like reddit


We talking P. Worrell or the developer guy?

Calcharger avatar

Developer guy

DpwnShift avatar



I'd give anything to have Ernest P. Worrell back and on the case.

FaceDeer avatar

I somehow feel like any software he wrote wouldn't work very well.

discodoubloon avatar

He has to do a physical side-quest every time anything breaks.

numbscroll avatar

@tryplot oh for real? I had no idea. My brain said “looks like Reddit upvotes, must work the same way”. The up/downvote buttons are placed prominently in a way that suggests they are impactful, whereas boost is just kinda tertiary / seems less important.


Agreed, location of voting and boost should be swapped, at least until voting means something.


They were swapped before, and were recently changed to this for Lemmy compatibility, but things like the algorithm and reputation counting haven't been updated yet.


Lemmy aint got no boost button that I can see


What does the upvote/downvote do, could someone kindly explain?


The upvote button does nothing, but the downvote button subtracts reputation.

Fiddler54, (edited )

The upvote/downvote tells you how many users upvoted/downvoted. Take care!

@melroy@kbin.melroy.org avatar

That is the beatify of open-source. Just look at the code people! https://codeberg.org/Kbin/kbin-core/src/branch/develop/src/Repository/ReputationRepository.php#L67

@KoboldCoterie@pawb.social avatar

Upvote/Downvote does what you’d expect it to (and works as expected for users on Lemmy), but Kbin doesn’t respect the upvotes when displaying posts. It’s a Kbin bug, and will be fixed at some point.

Seraph, (edited )
Seraph avatar

Of course, allow me to illuminate for you what it actually does: Nothing.

Edit: Wow thanks so much for the upvotes everyone that's really productive! Hahaha



Alexmitter avatar

that is currently the situation due to boost and favorite being switched to make kbin more compatible with lemmy, but post and user reputation are currently still counting boosts.


What's the difference between upvoting and boosting?

Alexmitter avatar

Upvote is akin to "favorite" on ActivityPub, Boost is akin to reblog on ActivityPub.

Teal avatar

As it stands now the upvote works as a favorite or like, downvote lowers reputation, boost raises reputation. It's a bit confusing and there's an open ticket on this. I'm not sure if all old actions will carry over or when the operations change it'll get reset.

blazera avatar

if it works as a favorite where do you go to see your favorited content?

Teal avatar

If you look to the hamburger icon in the top right of the screen next to your username that's the channel selector. Favorites is the third one down in the list.

aidan avatar

Is this a UI issue or a fundamental flaw of the Fediverse? In other words, is this only confusing because of how the UI and thread display logic respond to the data they’re getting? Is this just an issue of how the comments thread is ordered, and the fact that it isn’t what the user would expect? (I only ask because I’m curious and want to know how this place works)


I'm reading this through Lemmy any I don't even have a boost button to click.

Bluskale avatar

To the best of my knowledge, this is a temporary kbin-specific thing. Pretty sure I saw Ernest mention there is a change in the works with the next update... in fact: https://kbin.social/m/kbinMeta/t/116811/PSA-every-interaction-you-make-with-various-posts-on-kbin#entry-comment-462816

Teal avatar

As Bluskale mentions it's a Kbin UI thing but it will be changing in the future.

@Amir@lemmy.ml avatar

On Kbin, this doesn’t exist on Lemmy

ike, (edited )
  1. I know you're boost mining with this post😉

  2. Boosting makes me feel good


I guess that means I haven’t contributed in any way because I can’t boost from lemmy lol


WTF is a boost button? Have never seen anything like that on here.

@simple@lemmy.world avatar

It’s something on kbin, not on Lemmy. You’re seeing this post coming over from the kbin website.

Coelacanth avatar

Makes just about as much sense as communities being called "Magazines" and threads being called "Articles". There is a lot to like about Kbin but also a lot that boggles my mind.


No, reputation on your profile is just bugged.

Upvotes are upvotes.

Stop spreading this please.


So I'm on the liftoff app, and can't see any boost button?

VerifiablyMrWonka avatar

This isn't the case though? Upvotes (aka favourites everywhere else) are what affect the "algorithm" the functionality thats broken is Karma tracking.

Teppic avatar

I think actually it's both.

I think Hot and Top are sorted according to upvotes + boosts (weighted x2) less downvotes. I think the plan is reputation will work the same way (once it gets fixed).

...but reading this thread I wonder if that needs a rethink - people seem to boost rather more liberally than expected/intend in order to game this algorithm.

It was thought/expected that, since boosts effectively retweet the comment, they would be used quite sparingly - this is why they have a relatively high significance.

We could probably do with some clarity on all of this because this line of discussion has been repeated many times and there is quite a lot of hearsay and misinformation being parroted. @Ernest ?

Untitled_Pribor avatar

...but reading this thread I wonder if that needs a rethink - people seem to boost rather more liberally than expected/intend in order to game this algorithm.

I think it's because of all of the posts that say "boosts are upvotes", and people are just confused, so they use the boost button alongside the upvote button. Once this gets fixed, the amount of boosts will probably go down

Teppic avatar

And this exchange is already out of date!
I'm enjoying being on a platform where improvements are made daily!

VerifiablyMrWonka avatar

Boosted and upvoted because I think you're right. 😀

cacheson avatar

This isn't true. Posts and comments are sorted by upvotes, downvotes, and age. The place where wires got crossed with regard to upvotes and boosts is "reputation" on your profile. Boosts are supposed to be like retweets.

Xeelee avatar

That's one thing I don't like about kbin. I'm used to upvotes and downvotes and trying to be Reddit and Twitter at the same time just doesn't work. I think we should leave microblogging to Mastodon and concentrate on link aggregation.


I went with Lemmy because I wasn’t interested in the Mastodon integration. I hope Lemmy focuses on link aggregation too.

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