The way I see it, if there's drama centred around smites, the smites aren't the problem. They're merely a symptom of the fact that we've a number of passive-agressive dumbfucks in our midst. Getting rid of smites will do all of jack shit to address the real issue at hand.
I have to agree. I enjoy the applauds/smites, but they're not the problem, they're a tool. The ideal purpose of such is to give newbies some indication of who the well thought out posters are (Sandman) and who the trouble makers are. Maybe that was not the intention here, but I was active at another site that had them before joining and that was their intent. I think that if they lead a long time poster to post less, and even leave, then the people who smote said person should be taken care of because IMHO, that amounts to bullying and I'd like to think that this board is better than that.
Though, I think something should change. Maybe it should be made that smites/applauds are no longer anonymous (such as at the site I mentioned earlier). This way, if a poster has -2000, the poster as well as the board can see the main culprits responsible. The site I mentioned earlier also had a reason for smite/applauds, which some people here have shown interest in knowing why they were applauded/smote. This also reduces smites given to solely those who deserve it (in the poster's opinion) or given as a joke (such as I gave to Maybenever in the F&B thread, a few others gave me, or 95+ percent of Mlle's Antichrist's). This would also give various members who have been smote a chance to correct an offensive action if the choose to. However, I can understand that people may prefer to stay anonymous or this may cause further drama. If its not made public, then I think its best to be gotten rid of since smites&applauds have been and may be abused in the future.
In case anyone is interested, the site is Susans. Its a transgender support website.
ETA (after Art's post but not towards it): Though I will say this, I think that if we end up losing such a system because of a few posters, it really doesn't speak well of the board. FSTDT is supposed to be a site that mocks irrationality and stupidity and we hardly have the moral high ground when there are members who are too immature so as to spoil us having such a +/- system. Just my two cents on the whole thing. Also, I'm indifferent as to whether or not we keep it.