I've heard various ideas such as limiting it only after mods have expended their points (this will require implementing a cooldown to prevent a user from getting points again too soon). I want to hear your feedback, and I'll roll together something for the next major update of the site. Leave your comments
One added feature of this to be considered is that down mods have more effect for "up leveled" users.
Let's consider an example: "Jane Moderator" has ten points... She sees that "George Shiny-Karma" has made a bad comment... She down mods him... she does not know he is a "leveled up user" [this is a reason why public ranking might be discouraged... Karma is personal and does not need to be advertised if a person has good Karma it will probably be obvious to other members of the community]. But here is "Shiny-Karma making a bad comment-- so She gives "Shiny-Karma" a down mod... but the effect on Shiny-Karma's points is in proportion to his karmic level.. so if he has hit the 100 point level, the down mod costs 2 points rather than 1 one point... if he is above 200 points in costs him 3 points and so forth...
The idea here is that a "good" user will pay more heavily for bad behavior... but not terribly so unless the behavior continues. The net effect here is to try to suppress bad behavior at "high levels of Karma" while continuing to reward for good behavior... other added bonuses might be allowing high karmic users able to vote on the inbound article queues or other things that "proven good community member" can be "trusted" to do.
Think of this "software project" is an "open source news and idea stream". How would you want to reward "commits" and discourage code trash and commentary sludge? Rewards for good behavior should be as good as punishments are bad.
The trick here is though that if we have uncapped karma, you'd still need one hell of a hit to make it work, and if someone is vidictively downmodding, it could be UGLY.
My thought here is to have a second "recent karma" value that goes from -10 to 10, and caps at 10. At 5, you get the +1 bonus, at -5, you post at 0, and each period of aging (once a week?), the value moves closer to 0. This allows a disruptive user to get squelched, and allowed someone who's been vindictively downmodded to recover without loosing months/years of progress.
if someone is vidictively downmodding, it could be UGLY
Is it possible/feasible to prevent someone from modding the same user account more than once with the same set of points? I generally prefer the idea of making downmods "cost" more, or restricting them to only one or two downmods per set of points, but limiting downmods to a user could also be considered.