Downvoting Mischief

Sergey Brin gives $500,000 to help Wikipedia

I was reading comments to this piece of news on Hacker News, to see if I could spot an objection I was considering. I had to search for a % sign to sieve through all the comments.

Close to the end of the page, I found a comment by ajross, that was basically my objection. The only strange thing was it was almost transparent, nearly impossible to read. In fact, on Hacker News comments can be downvoted, causing them to fade out.

Downvoting is a feature created for fighting spam (and troll) contributions to user generated content sites. Sadly, it’s mostly used as a censorship means in all sites allowing it.

I think downvoting couldn’t be expected to work differently than that because it is quite easy (and often right) to interpret upvoting as agreement, and by contrast, downvoting is seen as disagreement.