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This is probably an outcome of the comment engine on this site, it could use some real work. If it worked a little more like Reddit, with upvotes and downvotes, then good, useful comments would bubble to the surface and negative useless comments would get hidden.



I think HackerNews exists largely because Paul Graham saw Reddit NOT working for what he wanted--it was (and is) extremely popular, but was shifting toward a snarky, depth-avoidant population. I'm guilty there--I upvote dozens of pics in a few minutes, while skimming past the insightful articles that take too long to read and evaluate.

It's worth noting, though, that HN does have up and down votes for comments, but only users with moderately high karma can downvote.

This might not work well given relatively quick growth. A small number of people consistently downvoting bad comments may be outvoted by a huge mass of new users who from time to time upvote. Maybe everyone should be able to upvote AND downvote, but experienced users get double weight.

Personally, I think we need something different than minor adjustments to the voting weights/allocations. Slashdot-style moderation? Revamped guidelines? Hard to say what will work and what won't.




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