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Would it be too harsh to make anonymous postings starting at -1? I know some people cannot/will not register so I don't want to punish them but trolls also post this way and it's annoying to mod down an obvious troll when such points can be used to mode up people instead.
It's been considered. I don't think we'll do that. We've also discussed having posters with positive averages over a certain number of comments start with +1. That's more likely, but nothing is certain yet.
How about if you just have users who've been on the site for a while have a +1 and all else, including anonymae have a 0. Then make the default threshold 0. That way it only takes one point to knock out a stupid anonymae post, and users who have been here a while reguardless of how much others don't like them will have a better position..
There are people on the site who've got negative rankings when there posts really are positive to the site. I think that's something to address. I'd hate to see the site turn into a popularity contest, like *cough* slashdot. Usually they get them by either:
1.) Posting very strong views which make them look like extremists. Which of course is bound to offend someone, even if it may not be inflammatory.
2.) They get into heated arguments with other users. This is also bound to create an inflammatory remark or too. I've always believed that to be pretty forgiveable as we've all been in a discussion and strongly believed the other individual to be of other than sound mind.
3.) There also tends to be, because this is an english site, a bias against bad english speakers. It's hard to get across a good idea in a language that's not your own...
4.) There are also people who I think are simply going through and modding down one side of a debate. For example they'll go and mod down every strongly pro-linux, pro-microsoft, or pro-apple point. I'm sure you guys catch many of those... Either that or it's people who are simply aversed to debate and mod down every point which is actually asking for a strong discussion.
The site admins are usually pretty good about downmodding obvious anonymous flamebait, so it really may not be necessary.