I honestly don't care a whole lot, but there are a few reasons I don't like the negative ratings: For one, if somebody hits "disagree" yet it's still a thoughtful post, it doesn't add to the discussion in any way because the person doesn't actually take the time to tell you why they disagree. And the poster doesn't know what part of their post they disagree with if there are several different points in the post. That is what a discussion is for. Two, it validates stupid posts. They more or less should just be ignored instead of people piling on negative rep. It might even encourage trolling if somebody gets a bunch of negative rep and then their goal from then on is to get more negative rep because they are pissed off or want to piss people off. They could become better posters if somebody responded in a constructive manner or they were encouraged by positive rep if it was a good post. But the really stupid, ignorant posts should be ignored or a mod should be contacted if it crosses a line. Three, I'm not even sure if that many people "abuse it" per say, but it's annoying when people give you negative rep for no reason. It's not that huge of a deal, just annoying. It's typically, if not always, newer posters that do that. Or if somebody gives you negative rep because it's a joke but they don't recognize it as one. Some of my sarcastic jokes don't come through quite right on the internet I guess or it's hard for people to recognize, even though we do a lot of joking on the site. That's about it. If you put an "old" rating on a post, it doesn't change the post. It's been done. And if a person deletes/changes it, it's already a waste and the rating doesn't come off. I don't think this system causes that big of problems and it overall works well, but the bad rating don't really solve any problems either.