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The idea I'm currently investigating, in case anyone is curious, is that votes rather than comments may be the easiest place to attack this problem. Although snarky comments themselves are the most obvious symptom, I suspect that voting is on average dumber than commenting, because it requires so much less work. So I'm going to try to see if it's possible to identify people who consistently upvote nasty comments and if so count their votes less.

Interesting - also, if it is as you suspect and voting is easier and thus part of the problem, perhaps adding more friction to the process of voting would be useful. Something like having to spend karma to vote, or having a limited number of votes per day to spend.

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