We recently got feedback about votes on Canny being too simple a mechanism. We've gotten this feedback before so it might be worth explaining our point of view.
Simple experience = more feedback
"There is no quota system. There is no downvote mechanism."
The reason we don't have these extra inputs or constraints is because it makes the end-user experience much more complicated. A more complicated feedback experience means less feedback. By keeping Canny as simple as possible, we're ensuring that teams get as much feedback as possible.
However, there may be cases where the benefits of a new input can outweigh the benefits of simplicity. In these cases, we try to put that effort onto the company instead of the end-user.
Votes are only one signal
"It is clear that many users come to the site and just scroll through the feature requests - upvoting everything they see."
We use Canny ourselves. The great thing about building a tool that we use ourselves is more empathy for our customers.
If customers spammed us with upvotes, it wouldn't really change anything. Votes are very helpful for bubbling good requests to the top. However, when we prioritize, number of votes is only one part of the equation. More importantly, we look at who is voting, the comments, and weigh in other signals like effort and our own vision.
Inform product decisions
"They have a very biased view of the community's desires if only looking at votes."
Teams should not only look at votes. If it was as easy as that, product managers would be out of a job!
Ultimately, the team still has to figure out what to prioritize. Just because something has the most votes, shouldn't mean they must do it. The list of people who vote have expressed basic interest in a feature. We'd recommend teams reach out and engage with customers who vote or comment to understand use cases and opinions.
Voters is a really handy list to have because it has many dimensions worth looking into. Not all votes are created equal. By knowing who is voting, you can find their monthly spend, company size, etc.
Canny attempts to make prioritization easier by surfacing organized feedback and insights to the team. New features are a huge effort so teams need to be informed when making big product decisions.