We've got some updates for you after our recent change (you know, that one where we stopped displaying inaccurate upvotes and downvotes and broke a bunch of bots by accident). We've been listening to what you all had to say about it, and there's been some very legit concerns that have been raised. Thanks for the feedback, it's been a lot but it's been tremendously helpful.
First: We're trying out a simple controversial indicator on comments that hit a threshold of up/downvote balance.
It's a typographical dagger, and it looks like this: http://i.imgur.com/s5dTVpq.png
We're trying this out as a result of feedback on folks using ups and downs in RES to determine the controversiality of a comment. This isn't the same level of granularity, but it also is using only real, unfuzzed votes, so you should be able to get a decent sense of when something has seen some controversy.
You can turn it on in your preferences here: http://i.imgur.com/WmEyEN9.png
Mods & Modders: this also adds a 'controversial' CSS class to the whole comment. I'm curious to see if any better styling comes from subreddits for this – right now it's pretty barebones.
Second: Subreddit mods now see contest threads sorted by top rather than random.
Before, mods could only view contest threads in random order like normal users: now they'll be able to see comments in ranked order. This should help mods get a better view of a contest thread's results so they can figure out which one of you lucky folks has won.
Third: We're piloting an upvote-only contest mode.
One complaint we've heard quite a bit with the new changes is that upvote counts are often used as a raw indicator in contests, and downvotes are disregarded. With no fuzzed counts visible that would be impossible to do. Now certain subreddits will be able to have downvotes fully ignored in contest threads, and only upvotes will count.
We are rolling this change a bit differently: it's an experimental feature and it's only for “approved” subreddits so far. If your subreddit would like to take part, please send a message to /r/reddit.com and we can work with you to get it set up.
Also, just some general thoughts. We know that this change was a pretty big shock to some users: this could have been handled better and there were definitely some valuable uses for the information, but we still feel strongly that putting fuzzed counts to rest was the right call. We've learned a lot with the help of captain hindsight. Thanks for all of your feedback, please keep sending us constructive thoughts whenever we make changes to the site.
P.S. If you're interested in these sorts of things, you should subscribe to /r/changelog – it's where we usually post our feature changes, these updates have been an exception.