People are using these buttons to merely express agreement or disagreement with the posts -- they are NOT thinking of themselves as moderators deciding whether to censor a post which violates Michael's guidelines. I have no problem with voting up comments worthy of special notice, but I dislike the idea of censoring/minimizing those ideas with which one simply disagrees.
I see you've already considered this problem, and left a default mode where nothing is minimized unless the member enters a number in his "site preferences." Pretty good. But I have a hard time visualizing a situation in which minimizing a comment would be a good idea -- unless it were cleaning out content-free bumps. The problem is, if the system is established, there is no way to limit its use by wannabe censors.
Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose
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