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The easiest one would simply be removing the down vote mechanism. If with an existing site then can compare with the years' prior stats - assuming they've been recorded; I don't know if HN does. There are a number of things you could monitor - would be interesting to see if any sets of people with the same behaviour change their behaviour more than just down voting, like if they stay on the site more or less, if they comment more or less; perhaps doing word use analysis on these different sub sets before and after the down vote change, what language are people who are prone to down voting using vs. those who only comment or only up vote but don't down vote, etc.

No downvotes == youtube. People as a whole are too fucking immature and stupid to work in this kind of system because there is no negative feedback for extremism (one-sided views without nuance).

People knee-jerk upvote just as much as they knee-jerk downvote and eliminating one half of the knee-jerks has nasty side effects.

That's a good point regarding people knee-jerk upvoting too. I wonder if A/B testing to see whether there's a difference if weighting upvotes higher from people who comment more and probably taking comment length into account - and perhaps factoring in the upvotes of their comments to the weight of their upvotes.

So like Facebook or YouTube comments (downvotes on YouTube don't really do anything) ?

Do you have evidence for this? It doesn't change the publicly displayed number, but I was under the impression that it does change the ordering. That did seem to be the case last time I experimented with this. On a video with only a dozen or so comments I downvoted a comment with no upvotes, and then opened the video page in an incognito tab, and the comment I downvoted was right at the bottom. Could have been a coincidence, but the probability of that seemed low at the time.

I think his point might be that a YouTube downvote really does do something; it creates in the downvoter an emotion that the point has been addressed and can be discarded without further thought.

You’ve got an old and wise account, but for me, hacker news is a place I can’t downvote.

Upvoted you to counter whoever downvoted you. Do you mind explaining why HN is somewhere you can't or won't downvote but other places you will?

My account can’t downvote on HN.

Some people say it gets unlocked after 500 karma, others say they can do it before then which makes me think a mod can activate it for an account.

It was ironic and surprising to see all these high karma accounts discuss a theoretical forum where users can’t downvote without discussing HN’s existing rules.

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