What are your opinions on Slashdot style nuanced voting system?

As a community grows in popularity, it often shifts from hosting insightful discussions to attracting memes, funny, and low-quality content. This change appeals to a larger audience interested in such content, creating a vicious cycle where valuable discussions are overshadowed and marginalized by the platform's primary demographic.

It's the pendulum swing of pretty much every community on Reddit.

  • Community starts out with a small group of users dedicated to quality content related to the topic
  • Community growth reaches a point where the most popular posts begin to trend outside of the community
  • New users join the community after seeing popular posts show up in their own feeds. Growth accelerates
  • Community becomes "popular" enough that posts regularly trend outside of the community
  • New users flood in
  • Users flood the community with low-effort content to karma farm
  • Community now sucks.

It happened to basically every big sub on Reddit once reaching a large enough size.


As the platform grows, it becomes increasingly important to have a system that differentiates between different types of content, such as insightful discussions and humorous posts. Without such a system, there is a risk that the platform could become dominated by low-quality content and memes, burying meaningful discussions and discouraging participation from users seeking more substantive interactions.

To address this concern, I propose implementing a nuanced voting system inspired by Slashdot's approach

this was something I loved about slashdot moderation. When voting, people had to specify the reason for the vote. +1 funny, +1 insightful, +1 informative, -1 troll, -1 misleading, etc.

That way you can, for example, set in your user preferences to ignore positive votes for comedy, and put extra value on informative votes.

Then, to keep people from spamming up/down votes and to encourage them to think about their choices, they only gave out a limited number of moderation points to readers. So you’d have to choose which comments to spend your 5 points on.

Then finally, they had ‘meta moderation’ where you’d be shown a comment, and asked “would a vote of insightful be appropriate for this comment” to catch people who down-voted out of disagreement or personal vandetta. Any users who regularly mis-voted would stop receiving the ability to vote.

I don’t think this is directly applicable to a federated system, but I do think it’s one of the best-thought-out voting systems ever created for a discussion board.

edit: a couple other points i liked about it:

Comments were capped at (iirc) +5 and -1. Further votes wouldn’t change the comment’s score.

User karma wasn’t shown. The user page would just say Karma: good. Or Excellent, or poor, or some other vague term.


Normal, Offtopic, Flamebait, Troll, Redundant, Insightful, Interesting, Informative, Funny, Overrated, Underrated

Slashdot had this covered years ago, literally decades.

  1. Upvotes limited to +5.
  2. Votes categorized: funny, informative, insightful, etc.
  3. Number of votes limited per time frame and user karma.
  4. Meta-moderation: your votes (up/down both) were subject to voting (correct/incorrect). good score == more upvotes to spend.

It's a pity that Reddit and other sites didn't follow this model.


I'm thinking this seems pretty similar to post tagging. Perhaps both could be implemented with the same feature? Post tagging usually needs to be objective but that's indicated in the guidelines, perhaps there could be some subjective tags users could vote to sort the posts based on those tags.

Wikipedia — Slashdot Peer Moderation


rimu, (edited )
@rimu@piefed.social avatar

there is a risk that the platform could become dominated by low-quality content and memes, burying meaningful discussions and discouraging participation from users seeking more substantive interactions.

While I like the idea Slashdot style voting, currently PieFed is less than 1% of the size of Lemmy, so if we do anything incompatible with Lemmy's voting system it won't be meaningful.

There are a lot of ways we can tackle low quality content, while maintaining compatibility with Lemmy's voting system. As a demonstration, go to https://piefed.social/ in a private window (so you are not logged in). No memes. Compare that to https://lemmy.world which is 50% jokes and memes.

That way this is achieved is simple. In PieFed, admins can choose whether a community shows up on the default anonymous home feed, or not. I've excluded all the meme communities. They can also be excluded from https://piefed.social/popular and https://piefed.social/all in the same way. All it takes is a bit of discernment. I decided to let meme posts show up in Popular and All but other instance admins could choose to hide them completely.

Also upvotes in meme communities (there is a 'low quality community' flag, manually designated by the admin and automatically applied to any community with the word 'meme' in it's name) do not increase the author's karma. However downvotes still decrease their karma, as usual. So over time the people who only ever post in meme communities end up with lower and lower karma, eventually getting a red warning triangle next to their name, drawing extra moderator attention to them.

We could do more to decrease the discoverability of meme communities, scale their voting weight, etc etc. But ultimately if people want to subscribe to that content then Ok, that's their choice.

If these measures fail to scale or get overwhelmed, we will try other things but completely rebuilding the voting system is going to have to wait until PieFed is the dominant platform.


A similar system was used on Plastic, it was useful and perhaps encouraged voting on posts in a way that simple up/down voting didn’t.


Oh right: tildes has a system like this - I didn’t know it was (probably) inspired by Slashdot.

Adding federation into the mix certainly complicates things though.

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