Here's a way reddit could fix the problem of repeat posts of the same story: introduce optional meta-moderation, a la Slashdot.
- First, the system would have to cache a copy of the target page of every link submitted to reddit.
- On regular pages, where lots of stories are listed, there could be a small text link on each story that says "report repeat".
- When you click it, the system would show you a list of all reddit stories that contained a link url that is the same as any link url on the target page of this story. You look through them and put a checkmark next to all stories that you think are basically the same as this one.
- On the reddit top-level menu, there is a section called "earn karma". When you go there, it shows you a list of stories that were checked as being similar by another user. You are asked to indicate whether the other user was correct (and the story is a repeat) or incorrect. You are not shown the user's name.
- If you indicate correct, the user gets a small boost in karma, and the original repeat submitter gets a small cut in karma; if you indicate incorrect, the user gets a large cut in karma.
- To prevent vandalism in the form of a mischievous user cutting others' karma, you are cut off from the "earn karma" section for a period of time if your rate of disapproval of others' similarity opinions is far above average.
- But if your ratings are more or less close to the mean, you earn karma which gives stories you submit a boost.
- And in the future, other fun ways to earn karma could be introduced to the "earn karma" page, perhaps randomized. Users would get addicted.
- users have an incentive to fairly rate others' reports of repeat submissions
- which means users have an incentive to report repeat submissions accurately
- which means repeat stories are detected
- which means users have an incentive not to submit repeats.
Best of all, such a system would be a great advertising trick to snipe Slashdot users away from Slashdot: no more dupes!