[Meta] Hiding negative karma notifications by default

A few weeks ago we launched karma no­tifi­ca­tions, and I’ve been over­all pretty happy with the fea­ture. How­ever, we and many other users no­ticed that while the cur­rent sys­tem treats up­votes and down­votes as sym­met­ric, hu­mans tend to definitely not per­ceive those two as sym­met­ric and so the lived ex­pe­rience of hav­ing a sin­gle day with a slightly nega­tive karma to­tal tends to out­weigh many days of strongly pos­i­tive karma scores.

I also no­ticed that this ex­pe­rience has back­prop­a­gated into me be­ing much more hes­i­tant to down­vote users or even to re­move my up­votes since I know they will per­ceive this as a down­vote and if they are not a fre­quent user might feel quite pun­ished as a re­sponse.

As a con­se­quence, we de­cided to hide nega­tive karma no­tifi­ca­tions for users by de­fault, though you can change that in your set­tings. My cur­rent model of users sug­gests it is very un­likely for users to not no­tice if they are get­ting sig­nifi­cantly down­voted, so I am not very wor­ried about that in­for­ma­tion get­ting lost, and I ex­pect it will over­all make peo­ple’s site-ex­pe­rience bet­ter (and their be­liefs about the value and re­cep­tion of their con­tent more, not less, ac­cu­rate)

For some more con­text, see this dis­cus­sion on my short-form feed.