Vote Links

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Specification 2005





Public Domain Contribution Requirement. Since the author(s) released this work into the public domain, in order to maintain this work's public domain status, all contributors to this page agree to release their contributions to this page to the public domain as well. Contributors may indicate their agreement by adding the public domain release template to their user page per the Voluntary Public Domain Declarations instructions. Unreleased contributions may be reverted/removed.

  • Tantek: I release all my contributions to this specification into the public domain and I encourage the other authors to do so as well.
  • Kevin Marks: I release all my contributions to this specification into the public domain and I encourage the other authors to do so as well.


This specification is subject to a royalty free patent policy, e.g. per the W3C Patent Policy, and IETF RFC3667 & RFC3668.

Inspiration and Acknowledgments

Thanks to everyone who has given feedback on VoteLinks. Thanks especially to EtanWexler, who provided the first really good documentation that VoteLinks should be using 'rev' instead of 'rel' (see VoteLinksFAQ), and John Allsopp who similarly challenged the use of 'rel', and helped co-author the RelFAQ exploring questions and issues about the use of the HTML4 'rel', 'rev' attributes and linktypes in general.


Indexing and tracking applications treat all links as endorsements, or expressions of support. This is a problem, as we need to link to those we disagree with as well, to discuss why.


VoteLinks is an elemental microformat, one of several microformat open standards. We propose a set of three new values for the rev attribute of the <a> (hyperlink) tag in HTML.

The new values are "vote-for" "vote-abstain" or "vote-against", which are mutually exclusive, and represent agreement, abstention or indifference, and disagreement respectively.

A link without an explicit vote 'rev' value is deemed to have value "vote-for" or "vote-abstain", depending on the application.

Additional human-readable commentary can be added using the existing 'title' attribute, which most browsers show as a rollover.


<a rev="vote-for" href=""  
   title="Melt the cheese!">Do it!</a>
<a rev="vote-against" href=""  
   title="Don't melt the cheese!">Don't do it!</a>

Deprecated: Using 'rel' for VoteLinks

A previous draft of the specification used the 'rel' attribute instead of the 'rev' attribute. Analysis and feedback has demonstrated this to have been inappropriate use of the 'rel' attribute, when the 'rev' attribute was much more important. See the RelFAQ for more details.

Implementations MAY support links with the VoteLinks values in the 'rel' attribute for backward compatibility with any existing VoteLinks content.

Authors MUST NOT use 'rel' for VoteLinks values.

XMDP profile

The following is an XMDP profile for the vote-links specification.


This profile is hosted as a separate XMDP file on


Profiles are referenced in (X)HTML files in the <HEAD> tag, e.g.:

<head profile=''>


<dl class="profile">
 <dt id="rev">rev</dt>
   <a rel="help" href="">
     HTML4 definition of the 'rev' attribute.</a>  
   Here are additional values as defined in the
   <a rel="help start" href="">
   vote-links specification</a> 
   <dt id="vote-for">vote-for</dt>
   <dd>Indicates agreement with or recommendation for the referred resource.</dd>
   <dt id="vote-abstain">vote-abstain</dt>
   <dd>Indicates abstention or indifference for the referred resource.</dd>
   <dt id="vote-against">vote-against</dt>
   <dd>Indicates disagreement with or recommendation against the referred resource.</dd>


This section is informative.

  • Wordpress VoteBack (vote-link aware pingback and trackback) plugin is in testing at VoteBack (Steve Ivy) - looking for testers!
    • Any examples of WordPress sites running this? - Tantek 23:42, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

past implementations

The following implementations went away or stopped working at some point:

  • - Apache test page (2012-07-30). Was: using VoteLinks to vote on the World Cup 2006
  • - "jyte is sleeping" (2012-07-30). Was: Following a vote-links claim Brian Ellin implemented vote-links on Jyte within less than 30 minutes.
  • site is unresponsive. was: Paolo Massa created SemanticLinks, a small Firefox extension that shows vote-for, vote-against links information. (Note the download links for SemanticLinks have been removed by the author.)

Examples in the wild

This section is informative.

The following sites have implemented VoteLinks , and thus are a great place to start for anyone looking for examples "in the wild" to try parsing, indexing, organizing etc. If your site marked up with VoteLinks, feel free to add it to the top of this list. Once the list grows too big, we'll make a separate wiki page.

  • LikeOrHate uses Vote-Links all over the site, to rate anything, items, comments, users. Valid votes are Like, Hate, Whatever ("vote-for", "vote-against", "vote-abstain"). CSS is used to "check" votes so logged users can remember them later.
  • Web of Fate Web of Fate publishes Vote-Links for prediction probability scoring. Users can vote Agree, Disagree, Witness ("vote-for", "vote-against", "vote-abstain")
  • Tom Morris has vote links on links (based on tags "vote-for", "vote-against" and "vote-abstain").


Normative References

Informative References

Related Work