In recent years I have noticed that comments which have the slightest political overtones, especially those that support the Republican government, get moderated down as "troll", "flamebait", or "overrated". Once a comment has a zero rating, most readers will not see it because the default settings skip over zero and -1 comments.
This is a form of mob rule and censorship that is inappropriate for a public forum. I know of no other internet forums that allow anyone to effectively censor my comments. A real moderator who is fair and dedicated to preserving quality discourse is much preferable to the haphazard system which Slashdot has become.
I have also noticed that informative comments are sometimes attacked by ignorant moderators who either failed to understand what the poster said or mistakenly thought it was a duplication of another post.
Clearly, people given moderator privileges are using them to attack those with whom they disagree rather than to improve the dialogue. I have started metamoderating religiously and I will moderate as unfair most attempts to censor legitimate comments. Unfortunately, an army of one is a bit outnumbered in this war.
I think it's time for Slashdot to move to a better system; it was an interesting idea nine years ago when online discussion forums were just getting rolling, but today Slashdot seems clunky and dated, its moderation system strange and ineffective. You can't post and moderate in the same topic, which today seems like a pointless limitation given the tremendous abuse of the moderation system.
Comments are welcome!