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> Firstly, the downvotes are a recent manifestation of creeping groupthink.

Political discussion has, for a long time, been discouraged on HN. Down-voting is one way to encourage people to stop.

This whole discussion is political. Downvoting mickey7's comments for that is extremely hypocritical, unless you downvote all comments and flag the submission.

That really is not true. I appreciated the post because it gave me a perspective on what life is like for people who aren't like me; it has nothing to do with politics unless you want to start arguing about politics.

I said the discussion, not the post (which in any case did have a political perspective on its second half). mickey7 was replying to jonhohle's post, who was already stating his opinion on politics.

Maybe some points of view are seen as trolling and not as genuine discourse?

That seems a very uncharitable position to me. I strongly disagree with her/him, but unless you consider any opinion that strongly deviates from the median to be trolling, I don't see why would it be.

I think it's more that his arguments didn't seem to have considered the situation he was addressing at all. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, but he provided no evidence or reasoning at all. His comments were not particularly more substantial than "I like pizza," though their implications were a lot more harmful. I understand that you don't like to see unpopular opinions downvoted, but at the same time, vapid comments should not be protected just because they express an unpopular opinion.

It's not just this instance, I've noticed in an increasingly broad variety of topics that when something goes against the accepted groupthink it is prone to silent downvoting. Even in the absence of ad homs, whining in general, etc.

Also you'd be pretty hard pressed to say that this question isn't expressly relevant to the original article being discussed, and isn't overtly political in the sense that noone is agitating for votes or any such thing.

I was muzzled for arguing that Craigslist middlemen are bad. Then again I did say some things so out-of-bounds they should not be heard:

"Do buyers and sellers go to this man the way people go to real estate agents for their services? What would Craigslist buyers and sellers think of what he does if they knew about it? Respectfully, I think they would strongly prefer he weren't interfering." http://news.ycombinator.org/item?id=3515735

... and:

"I doubt very much that sellers would appreciate this liquidity 'service' if it were spelled out for them. They would feel cheated, as would the buyers." http://news.ycombinator.org/item?id=3515689

Pretty outrageous, in retrospect.

That's exactly what I'm talking about, and the main comment I made that was at +4 when I went to bed last night is now at just +1 so I take it as fairly obvious that this people trying to muzzle well presented / supported positions that they happen to disagree with is really going on. http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3596880 also was in a tug of war between 0 and +5 for a few days but has settled now on +4.

Two in just the past hour with a quick look at recent comments + one 40 days ago where I noticed it first started happening;




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