I was recently over at Daily Kos for the first time in months, looking for presidential coverage, and noticed something interesting. Daily Kos is perhaps the most prominent of the scoop engine powered sites. Go there, click on any subject matter with any large amount of comments, such as this one, and notice how all of the comments only sport a positive score, no negative scores, even though the scoring widget still indicates a negative value is possible.
This belies the fact that voting negatively was built into the code, but was disabled at a later point. This is obviously due to a realization at Daily Kos at some point that they were empowering the kind of mindless negativity that would destroy their site, the kind of mindless negativity that has already destroyed this site. Why is Kuro5hin not as successful as Slashdot, or Digg, or Fark, or even Daily Kos? Why is this site devolving? Why is the user base shrinking, where are the excellent front page stories of yore?
Simply because the mindless negativity here runs unchecked. Kuro5hin does not have the hardcore hard working (and paid) admins weeding out such trash as they do on other sites, and so here the ghetto has taken over, due to a flaw in the system. Back to 4chan with you, where /b/tards belong, you mindless legions. K5 has simply become a decrepit backwater where /b/tards who don't know how to use Microsoft Paint congregate.
So, the solution is simple enough, since it is a solution that a scoop engine has already deployed elsewhere. And as a programmer myself, I recognize that the solution is infinitely easier: it involves disabling and destroying code. This is orders of magnitude simpler to implement than writing new code.
So I call upon our benevolent dictator, Rusty Foster, to disable -1 votes in stories. As for grading comments, you once had a spread of 5 possible votes that you reduced to 3 in the past, correct? Well, how about you reduce that 1? Anyone else reading this story remember that ancient era of "high five"? Remember the amount of comments a story would get? Remember the quality of the front page stories then?
You can simply approve of a comment, or do nothing at all. You can either vote +1 for a story, or do nothing at all. A new, higher threshold for going section or front page is needed as well of course, but that is all. Such simple changes disempowers the mindlessly negative. A very simple, effective solution for reviving our community. Which at this point, is at last gasp.
For those of you still reading who like the way Kuro5hin is now, comment "LOL WUT?" and vote -1. For most of you who would do that though, you've already voted -1 and commented "LOL WUT?", and you've never read these words, and you never will.
And soon, no one ever will.