You know what it's like on Amazon and Goodreads. The rating system that makes me thankful that I don't write OF. It has a point there, despite the potential for abuse (I've heard of authors using socks to rate their own stuff up, of enlisting friends to do it, and of people who don't like the author one-starring out of malice). You check out the ratings and reviews before you shell out hard earned cash. All of the logic.
Thank god this built in rating system will never be a thing on AO3, those who decide these things having rejected that particular new feature proposal in part due to the potential for abuse.
No one has to pay to read fic, therefore there's no danger in flouncing after the first paragraph if a fic is not to your taste.
I occasionally look at bookmarks of my own stuff on AO3. I like to read the comments, I get all fluttery and excited when someone ticks the rec box, and I look for tags they've applied that I might like to add to the fic.
And I wander through other peoples bookmarks, looking for their recs and comments and often add things to my TBR from there.
From time to time I see readers using a rating system in their bookmarks. I'm not particularly precious about my work, I think I've been doing it long enough that I know my limitations and I know that most of what I post (especially lately) is seriously lacking in one way or another. So when I see a low rating on one of my own personal faves, and one of my highest kudos'd works, I can shrug it off without too much of a hit to my ego.
I realise that most of the time these rating systems have little to do with the quality of the work and more to do with the readers own tastes, and for many are likely only meant for the readers own reference. I keep a rating system of my own, but I keep it in Calibre, safely private on my own personal computer. There's no way in hell I'd let the authors of the works I read see those ratings, because they are for my own future re-reading reference, and have everything to do with my own personal tastes and almost nothing to do with quality.
I never see these ratings by a reader with any works of their own on AO3. It's only readers who make these ratings public. I won't say that before they criticise they should try writing themselves because IMO that's not what they're doing. I imagine that the majority of them simply have no concept of how hard it is to create something and share it.
To all those non-writers who use a rating system: Fic authors (and artists, and podficcers, and all the creators in all the media) put hours upon hours of their own time, and blood, and sweat, and tears, into creating fanworks and then share them for free, for love. It's a very vulnerable position, and particularly for those new to sharing, one knock is all it takes to make them not want to share again. Imagine if this happened to your favourite author way back when they began. If they simply gave up before they'd really started, before they had a chance to hone thier writing. Imagine how little fic we'd have to read now!
AO3 is not Amazon, and it's not Goodreads. Public ratings don't belong here.
If we got paid for this shit it might make public rating systems easier to take, but we don't. All we get in return is a few kudos or comments. Personally, I'm happy with that. I don't want to get paid for writing fic, because this way I get to write whatever the hell I want to write, I don't have to please anyone but myself, and I write to my tastes.
And for those readers who choose to rate to their tastes, that's fine, too, but you should keep it to yourselves. Don't put it where the author is highly likely to see it, in places like public AO3 bookmarks.
The ridiculous thing is that it's very easy to make ratings and comments in an AO3 bookmark private. All you need to do is tick the private bookmark box! Unless you're intentionally trying to make the writers feel bad, but that's kind of an asshole thing to do.