Simply put, all to often these days, stories on slashdot end up being neither news, for stuff that matters. They often seem more like the most sensational, most-likely-to-generate-comments-and-page-views tripe of the day.
The problem is that we slashdot readers are at the mercy of the 'editors' here. Unfortunately, a good deal of the value in slashdot, aside from the insighful, informed comments from it's readership, is that the stories are somewhat limited in number and somewhat pre-culled from the insanely large amount of information available on the internet. By having fewer, better stories, Slashdot has the ability to be better than user-story-moderated sites like the oh-so-frequently compared Digg, but unfortunately it doesn't appear to be working out that way. I like having fewer stories, but if they're dupes or trolls designed for page hits, rather than interesting, informative stories, it hardly makes for a website worth visiting.
What to do about this problem?
I'm not sure. Since we have no story moderation, really our only options are
(a) vote with our feet / pageviews. Go to some other site. I might. Don't tell me to "just ignore lame stories", sometimes it's hard to tell, and if I want to skim stories and pick the interesting ones, I can go to Digg or even Yahoo/Google/whatever news feeds...
(b) Complain in comments. A lot. That's what I'm proposing. If a story is a dupe, meaning NO new information is contained, or a troll, meaning it contains simply wrong statements made for no reason other than to inflame opinion ( you have to be careful there, but sometimes it's obvious ), hit "REPLY" and type the subject "mod STORY down". Don't just leave the comment blank, explain why the story sucks.
Maybe if enough people do this, slashdot editors will pick up a clue. Even if they don't, you and I will be able to check the comments of a story for lots of ( likely low-moderated ) "mod STORY down" comments and we'll ignore it, depriving the trolling slashdot editor of his page views.
Will it work? If not, at least we tried. Will our karma be damaged by well-meaning moderators or vengeful 'editors' ? Do you really care about your slashdot karma that much ? I'd really have a slashdot with decent stories, myself.
Oh, and by the way... do people submit stories knowing they're basically trolls? What kind of person would be so anti-social as to do such a thing ?
Well, look at this comment to find out. It appears to just be a game to some, even though it really kinda spoils slashdot for others. Dang, mean people suck, don't they?
While I like the idea of Foeing people who submit bad/troll stories, that means I won't see their comments... but will see their stories. The problem is that sometimes, though the stories are terrible, the comments are reasonable. For example, here is a post from someone who submitted a hoax story without a 'funny' category or other disclaimer. But it seems their comments may occasionally be worthwhile. We should certainly start a campaign to get everyone to foe Beatles Beatles, though, there does seem to be a consensus there...