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I like the poll option of making the flag button more powerful, but it wouldn't do enough on its own. In addition to that, I'd like to dock karma when a submission gets flagged: -1 karma for each user who upvoted, -10 karma for the submitter.

There are no repercussions for upvoting or submitting questionable content at the moment. While my proposal is only a small penalty, hopefully it gets people to at least think before actions that potentially increase noise.

Edit: I meant "when a submission gets successfully* flagged", ie killed. Thanks davidw for pointing out the ambiguity.

> There are no repercussions for upvoting or submitting questionable content at the moment.

This is a huge factor, IMHO - a much higher signal/noise ratio in the articles on the front page would probably set up positive feedback, helping with other issues. Unfortunately, there are positive incentives for being the first to submit anything that could potentially be voted up, drowning out interesting content.

I like the flag penalty a lot, and would only suggest that the penalty be sharp. 10? How about 100?

Of course... you'd want to look and see how that could be abused as well. A pisses off B, so B looks for A's recent submissions and flags a few.

One way around that would be that if a story is killed, then and only then does the penalty occur, and it's sharp.

Yeah, I'm saying, when a story gets flagged off. It's a good point.

Ok. The problem then becomes: the 'mob' seems to like lots of these stories, thus making them difficult to flag into oblivion. Once something has hit the front page and is rising rapidly, only PG and the moderators can well and truly nuke it.

I think it really comes down to a human solution to a human problem: tech only goes so far to fix problems like these.

Docking karma from everybody who upvoted a flagged->killed submission is harsh, but brilliant. I really wonder how that would play out!

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