Adding a 'reputation' rating
One way of reducing this problem is by introducing a 'reputation' rating, which some other forums have. Where members see comments they like, they have the facility to award 'positive rep' which improves the posters 'rep' rating and vice versa. By introducing such a facility, I find on other forums that the more inflammatory, outlandish, and silly comments made by the trolls is deluged with 'neg rep' and that they soon start moderating their language/comments. You can also colour scheme it as well (e.g. green for overall positive rating, red for overall negative rating). The worst trolls would end up in the red and this would enable other members to quickly recognize them as a troll and ignore them. Moreover, fear of going into the 'red' would encourage the trolls to keep their comments fair and balanced.
Originally Posted by dorispulaski
Wicked Yankee Girl
We have considered your suggestion, and have decided not to implement it for bandwidth reasons.
I never liked those. In my experience, these systems tend to decrease expressions of unpopular opinions and unusual perspectives as well, since people risk damage to their "rep." People who often do this can end up "in the red" even if they're adding interesting content at times and not trolling anyone, and they end up seeming less credible for no good reason. The reverse can be true to a lesser extent: people can earn high reputations just because the majority often agrees with them. Plus, you start to see more butt-kissing as well as outright asking for reps and offering reps to someone who will do such-and-such.
I don't mind the feature where posters can like or dislike certain posts, rather than an overall rep score for each poster. I've also been on a forum where you can send private, short comments to a certain poster through the rep system, but there's no overall rep score that gets increased or decreased. But I guess bandwidth would be an issue with those too.