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Unfortunately I agree, it is no big secret that tech as a segment has a fairly sizable portion of it's population with smartest guy in the room syndrome. The problem with smartest guy in the room syndrome is they already know the answer. Therefore they are not information seekers and they disregard anything that is objective to their world view. It is what killed Slashdot and sadly it is becoming unbearable here. Self policing does not help with this personality type, because they have no vested interest in anything other than everyone seeing them as the smartest guy in the room. Their concern about the community only extends to their recognition. It is a self centered world view and therefore I don't think that self enforced measures will work on this personality type. I almost think a third measure is needed, like a flag as abusive. Knowing that they can be flagged as abusive (even if the system dumps the flag and does not use it in any calculations). Will cause them to reflect on the policy, as it directly threatens their ability to use HN as a platform for self glorification.

HN does have up votes, down votes, and a third flag option.

You have to view an individual comment to get the flag option. I'm not sure what the down votes are for. "This comment does not belong on HN", maybe.

I have no idea what the flag is for. "This content is so bad it needs to be removed, not just hidden", perhaps.

I agree with your post though! I'd be wary about having too many options for marking posts.

Currently downvotes are simply "I disagree" (causing plenty of good comments to pile at the bottom, side-by-side with spam/hate/douchebaggery).

"Currently downvotes are simply "I disagree" "

My observation is that downvotes also signify comments that have one of more errors of fact. Of course "fact" is also open to interpretation and not absolute.

You could say "you can only be President for two terms of 4 years each" but someone could dispute that because Roosevelt was President for longer or because in their country that is not the case. Etc.

A downvote because of inaccuracy without a comment isn't very helpful of course.

Originally a downvote meant that the comment was impolite, stupid humor, or way off topic. If it was incorrect or you disagreed, you were expected to say why. I personally dont like driveby downvotes.

I like this post a lot. It perfectly sums up why I quit reading Slashdot. There was a time when reading Slashdot posts could expose you to new ideas, real world examples of technical solutions, and other people trying to learn more. Now it's mostly pedantic sniping, and lame cliched jokes from socially frustrated wankers.

I do most of my reading on Reddit (front page reddits are just cotton candy, but there are good ones to be found). I only started reading HackerNews about a year ago, and mostly just for the articles from lesser known blogs that don't get posted on Reddit. Being something of a HackerNews newbie I haven't been around long enough to notice a change, but I hope it doesn't go the way of Slashdot.

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