This might be my favorite post in a message board ever, and I've seen a lot of posts.
I consider myself a regular, and I don't consider myself an asshole (according to MG I'm probably a dickhole). I get thoroughly annoyed by some of the stuff that happens in the comments and it happens on both sides of the aisle.
Working for a company that sort of invented the online review, I really like the idea of voting on a comment as "adding to the discussion" or not. Maybe it works better win the viewers are in the millions vs. the tens of thousands, but there's no reason to believe this site isn't headed there.
The piling on is bad, for sure, but maybe less bad when addressing obviously offensive posts?
The thing is, you'll never please everybody. Example: I'd like to get rid of the whole "I'm going to quote you and rip you sentence by sentence because everything you said in that paragraph is stupid when taken individually" tactic. But that will never happen.