Originally Posted by Midnite
I am against removing either parts of the rep system or in its entirety.
I like letting people know when I genuinely like their posts, find it funny, or very interesting. I don't particularly like but am still fine with the value of the negative repping system. It allows users to send a message stating their obvious dislike of a certain message. The user who was neg-repped then has the ability to either use this information as constructive feedback and learn and grow from their ways, or become enflamed at the situation and respond in like.
That's the argument I've made, and I don't think it's completely without merit even now. Of course, given recent activity with my account, it may look like this is a sudden 180 intent on covering my ass or blaming the rep system for my actions.
I can't say a whole lot more than, "it's not" because any explanation I give can be seen as trying to cover up an answer that amounts to little more than that. The truth is that this is one of those cases where I feel my personal experience has invalidated my prior stance. Something that can be easily abused, regardless of how often it actually is, isn't a very valuable feedback mechanism. I think, at the very least, it may be time to establish a solid vision for what the reputation system is intended to be.
Why are we even considering it's removal? Are we so immature that we can't even control our own actions? If somebody you hated was walking in a dark alleyway, would you go and stab them knowing full well you won't get caught? Probably not if your base emotive substance is for living a life of positivity. Probably yes if you just don't care or you have absolutely no control over your emotions.
That sounds good on paper, but it does leave a lot of room for careless actions which get blown out of proportion. I'm not advocating taking people's toys away because they keep hitting their siblings with them, I'm thinking that there are enough other feedback mechanisms that nothing is lost without negative rep. That, and PMs or public posts are more likely to result in a dialog, which is ultimately more constructive than a one-time comment the other person might not even see for a while.
For me, neg reps are always accompanied by that anyway. I find when they aren't, whether I'm giving it or taking it (no homo), nothing really comes of it. So what, exactly, is it accomplishing?
As I said above, it looks like this might be a good time to discuss what we actually want out of the rep system. We have a pretty good handle on how people see it but what should we expect from it? That's a line of reasoning I haven't seen in these particular discussions and I'm curious about where it would lead.