Where the design community meets.
7 years ago from James Lane, UI Designer [Moderator]
is (edit: used to be) a thing on DN, but only if you have over 100 karma. IMO, that's the way it should be. There's an inherent respect for the community after you've made 5+ submissions, and people won't simply downvote content they disagree with.
Reddit has a big problem with users downvoting content they disagree with instead of it's intended purpose (unnecessary/irrelevant/spam), and I think DN's 100 karma threshold is a good way to solve that issue.
If you don't like something, don't upvote it. If it's spam, report it.
BTW, with regard to if DN should be be invite-only or open registration: my vote is for open registration. (Not relevant to my reply here inherently, but didn't feel like making another post.) The small spam problem here can be solved in alternative ways.
The biggest problem I see there is that these voting rings will give themselves karma and the ability to downvote everyone's posts, therefore promoting their own.
Perhaps you are referring to flagging? I have more than 1,000 Karma and don't have that option to downvote a comment or a post, but can flag them for mods.
I have 50 karma and can flag, that isn't it. I'm definitely sure downvoting was a thing over a certain amount of karma (which I believe to be 100), but perhaps they got rid of that in the design overhaul?
If it has been removed, it could be re-introduced. It won't solve the spam problem singlehandedly (which I believe all of this stems from), but it'll help.
I think because the Karma system is still something that needs tweaking and can be gamed far too easily, it's not quite ready yet to be the measuring stick for something like this.
My gut tells that something based on the time you've been an active user might be more appropriate. This way people invested in the community are weighted a tad bit more than spam accounts or people who post a couple times and don't really contribute.
It could be something as simple as everyone who's been active over a month gets the ability to down vote ONCE per day. 6 months, twice...and maybe cap it at 4 down votes a day for 1+ years. This way it can't be overly abused, but the users most invested in the community have a bit of sway to push down things they as a member of the community find spammy, not helpful, whatever.
Downvoting must work somehow because this post was on -1 as of me writing this. I dunno how it works, but it's there.
Some communication from the admins about how downvoting works here would be helpful.
Down voting exists at an admin/mod level for all comments. In the example above, they dinged me. Not sure why, but I don't take any offense to it. Because there are so few admin/mods out there, down voting a comment can't really skew anything.
As far as I know, the admins are constantly discussing between mods and themselves different ways of combatting spam. But if you do have any ideas, feel free to use the little guy in the bottom right corner, they do get seen by the admins themselves.
Where the design community meets.
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You could add a down vote option, and when a certain amount of down votes are reached Mods are prompted to review the offending author. If they're consistent offenders then their account is disabled and can only be reactivated after a telling off.