Or rather discouraging rude comments.
I've noticed that people tend to be quite polite in their answers. Perhaps because reputation is at stake.
It happens rather frequently that people tend to be rude or disrespectful in their comments. The rudeness is rarely enough to be worth a flag, but enough that it brings down the level of conversation. Rude comments tend to encourage other people to make rude comments or cause the target of the rude comment to respond. Rude comments rarely provide any value to anyone.
Perhaps people leave rude comments because there is no consequence?
I think it would promote politeness and civility if there was a way for people to vote to indicate that a comment is unnecessarily rude and have a consequence to the commenter, such as decreased reputation.
Here is one proposal:
- An icon can be added after each comment to allow a person to indicate that the comment is rude.
- For each person who does that, another icon will appear to show that a person designated the comment as rude (up to a maximum).
- After three people vote the comment as rude, the content will be removed (though it could appear with the show more comments link) and the commenter will lose one reputation point.
The idea is not to punish the rude commenter, but to give them some feedback and hopefully nudge them towards being more respectful to others.