As per Paul Graham:
I think it's ok to use the up and down arrows to express agreement. Obviously the uparrows aren't only for applauding politeness, so it seems reasonable that the downarrows aren't only for booing rudeness.
Forcing users to publicly display their opinion on a person's comment would be negative for many reasons, especially on a site like HN, where many people choose to be eponymous.
Also, note: most of the comments on the first page of your profile seem to be in the black, which means they weren't controversial enough to receive many (if any) downvotes.
I responded very matter-of-fact, pointing out that the sharp edges of Tesla's cybertruck are something that makes it more dangerous to pedestrians. I didn't add any flourish or snark or whatever and yet it went into the grey. That kind of voting behavior just gives me a giant question mark.. why would anyone be hostile to explanation via fact?
IMO any site with a voting system should attach a heavy cost to downvoting:
1. each downvote you do costs more - with a slow backoff timer
2. the more points you have, the more it costs to downvote
3. the more downvotes a comment has the more points it costs
This mirrors the real life cost in social interaction:
1. you can't constantly be negative to everyone
2. high status people can afford to do that more, but not infinitely
3. you can't pile on one person (or rather, with each person adding it nears the threshold of "wow, maybe that's enough, dude")
(Yes, I know, talking about voting vis-à-vis HN is discouraged, but it apparently does bother a rather large contingent of users)
I think 'dang has already elaborated as to why this is a bad idea, but:
Hacker News depends on downmods for community moderation. Discouraging them would lower the quality of the site.
Not to assume bad-faith, but this was a joke, wasn't it? A bad comment should be downmodded more, and users should not be penalized for that. Flagging, too, should happen if it's extremely bad.
If a person is only posting negative content, it makes sense that they would get downmodded more often: active users of the site will often see these people's comments more than others. Should they get punished for keeping the quality of the site up? I don't think so. That seems unreasonable.
That's completely unreasonable: if a comment is bad, it should be downmodded.
> "Are trucks more likely to hit pedestrians? I was not aware of big vehicles being more dangerous."
Its pretty blindingly obvious what I answered.
> Hacker News depends on downmods for community moderation. Discouraging them would lower the quality of the site.
But attacking facts literally lowers the quality of the site
> Not to assume bad-faith, but this was a joke, wasn't it? A bad comment should be downmodded more, and users should not be penalized for that. Flagging, too, should happen if it's extremely bad.
And yet you also want to prevent echo chambers. So many people just blindly ram the downvote button on a grey comment. Or a comment that goes against one of the big names on HN, even if that comment is right.
Your responses to 2. and 3. (and 1. too) basically all come down to "downvoting is amazing, we need more of it!"
I don't really know how to respond to that. Are you completely oblivious to echo chamber effects..?
Edit: the fact that you downvoted this immediately only strengthens my point, dude.
I have some posts where it’s simply not clear why anyone would downvote it, and some of my downvoted comments spawned huge sub threads, so clearly not everyone thought they were downvote worthy.