If a story is mostly downvoted it doesn’t show up on the front page. If a story is heavily-downvoted but upvoted more (say +10 -8), it stays in the front page. These posts usually seem to be incendiary, controversial flamebait that end in everybody getting mad at each other, which generates more “discussion”, which keeps it on the front page longer, which means more arguing.
Some tags have a “hotness mod” which pushes them off the front page faster. I think it would be a good idea if stories get a hotness penalty if they’re heavily downvoted, even if overall they’re still positive rep. That way the people who want to keep fighting can keep fighting but everybody else can get fresh stories on the front page. Thoughts?