|This is, as always, a tricky one for sure.
First: we filter out downvotes from most members if their vote is too far off the general consensus. Drive-by's shouldn't actually affect your score after more than 10 people have voted. However, if a high ranking member downvotes you, their vote, as a trusted member, sticks.
Making votes public is something we've toyed with forever (and we have the code ready to rock and roll) but we've always felt, based on past behaviour, that the tit-for-tat voting wars would just get silly.
So: we could switch to a model where you only get the good votes and no one, not even high ranking members, can downvote anyone's article. That's very easy to do (flip a switch, more or less) but what do we do about poor articles? How do we surface the good articles?
One possibility is that you show the articles with the most "thumbs up"s first, but this doesn't reward quality, it rewards an article for being old (which is the last thing we want).
So taking all that into account, and wanting something that
1. Says "thank you" to members
2. Helps sort the wheat from the chaff
3. Doesn't favour old over new
4. Provides trusted authors with more say
5. Minimises drive by's from new members
we've ended up with our rating system that has exponential voting weighting based on level, auto-filters out outliers, provides a relative (/5) score, and can identify the good and the bad.
The biggest issue (I think) is that a downvote is considered judgement. An upvote is a thanks and a pat on the back and a great dopamine hit. We want the latter but not the former.