Proof that the moderation system on HN is in dire need of an overhaul:|
In context, the comment is polite, informative, and insightful, yet the HN crowd blasted it, apparently because it dared to use Jobs' words to defend RMS (issue de jour was RMS supposedly saying he was glad Jobs was gone, which was a misreading of what he did say). (Edit: the comment and the account are currently dead but at the time this was written the comment was 'merely' heavily downvoted (March 2014))
Moderation is too trivial here - it is totally costless to do - just one mere click. No time invested, just an "I DON'T LIKE YOU!" vindictive stab. All it takes is one single effortless dissenter and already your words on the page are diminished.
There's no reason required for downmods (or upmods) - something I find useful on another forum, both because it raises the effort bar a bit, and because it informs as to why the comment has been downmodded.
Similarly downmods are anonymous - there is no trace of you downmodding, so you are utterly free to go about stomping on other people's comments just because you don't like them, and no-one can ever stop to ask you why.
The net result is a commentary system that is highly unfriendly to folks who hold valid, polite, insightful, yet unpopular views. It is a tyranny of the masses, which seems odd in an outfit designed for the self-appointed maverick.