Lobstrosity wrote:Karma would require that the moderators do too much and would just result in forcing the style and content of posting to conform exactly to their personal preferences. How else would they know when to take away a karma point? What if you make a little pointless one-line post meant as a joke and they fail to see your humor even though others on the forum might still find it funny? Should they dock you a karma point for making what they see as a "useless" post? In my opinion, for a Karma system to have any value, it would have to be something that the whole forum could utilize. Anyone who likes your post can give you a Karma point and anyone who doesn't can take one away or just leave your damn Karma alone. Then make it that Person A can only touch Person B's Karma a maximum of one time a week (to prevent flame-warish Karma destruction or friendly Karma inflation). Finally, make it so that Karma doesn't mean diddlycrap. In that way, you have a popularity contest that actually represents popularity rather than the views of the mods (you know, assuming you want a popularity contest; I don't see a Karma system really being anything more than that, anyway) AND we aren't augmenting the level of dictatorship under which we all reside.
I'm of the opinion that public karma systems are shit. As an example, I'll point you to the gamefaqs forums (which are admittedly pretty shitty to begin with, but hear me out). They have a public karma system so a lot of their posts end up being too moderate and filled with disclaimers of "I don't mean to offend you, but..." bullshit so as to prevent people from dropping their karma. You make a good point about the moderator karma, Lobstrosity. What if the karma system was intended for moderator use and could also only be seen by the user himself and the moderators? Note that this implies that the karma system would actually mean something.