VIVA LA SEGUNDO REVOLUTION!!!
In all seriousness though, spot on Coop. It's a crying shame and a poor reflection on us as a userbase. Newgrounds has, is continuing to, and will in future provide us with a lot of FREE entertainment. All that is asked in return is that we as a userbase act as quality control on the Flash Portal, by filtering out the crap from the gems.
We are failing. Miserably.
The minute that points come before quality, is the minute the system fails. If you vote based on the author, the author comments, the description, or the fact that it's a new contributor, and not on the quality of the flash itself, YOU are the problem. YOU are what's wrong with the Portal. YOU are the reason why promising young Flash artists are scared away for fear of being blammed indiscriminately, and why all a spam crew has to do is have coherent author comments and a half-decent preloader to pass, without even needing to mass vote. Fact is, the majority of voters do it for them.
I put it to you, why do this? What's that you say, you want to increase your rank so you have more voting power and have more influence? WHY BOTHER if you are just going to waste it by voting unfairly?
The B/P ranks were created to reward those users who spend their time on the Portal voting on flashes. It was a sort of covenant of trust; the more you vote on, the more power to influence a flash's fate you were entrusted with. But most voters have betrayed that trust.
Many users are fed up with the status quo. The Newgrounds Police Department and Elite Guard Barracks clubs (of which I am respectively an ex-member and current 2nd-in-command) are tireless in their efforts to provide a united front against spam and mass voting. We do everything in our power to provide an example, of how EVERY flash, irrespective of author, irrespective of what day it is (Clock Day very much included), irrespective of all other factors, DESERVES a fair vote. Some users have gone as far as to protest this current state of affairs...
SlashFirestorm (who wrote some thought-provoking pieces on the Portal
here), a former EGB leader, a former Supreme Commander, has recently done what many of the savewhores on this site would find unthinkable: he got the admins to reset him to 0 B/P, as a protest to the current state of the Portal. More than 30,000 points, gone. He felt not all of them were merited; he occasionally didn't vote fairly. So he started from scratch, giving every single flash the vote he felt it truly deserved. I can only hope that others start from scratch in a sense, perhaps not to the extreme he has, but that they can go back to basics, realise that points are just numbers on a website. You owe no debt to NG, it provides much and asks for little. The least you can do is treat it with enough respect to give submissions a fair score, so that the system works.
A sea change is needed, a really fucking big one. It could come from the admins; they could revamp the system so that we as users are strongarmed into behaving in an appropriate manner. However, I cling to the faint hope that they don't need to. We CAN change things. As a collective, we can spread the message of fair voting to as many people as possible. It takes 200 votes to pass a submission. At the moment, I doubt half of the votes the average flash gets are "fair". If we could get to a stage where 150 of every 200 votes were fair assessments of the flash's quality, we would outnumber the savewhores 3:1! It can be done!
On that point, stop overusing 0 and 5. That's one of the reasons why things are the way they are. Save 0 for something of absolutely no merit: a picture, a blank screen etc. 5 on the other hand should only be used on something of outstanding quality, perhaps once a day or week. Look at the Tank Award nominees. If you consider it on that level of quality, 5 away. If not, the 1-4 buttons aren't broken. Use them.
To conclude, not to be cliché, but great power does come with great responsibility. The admins do not have the time to check every submission that comes into the Portal, so they trust us to do so for them. Betray that trust no longer. Forget the points. Watch the flash, make an honest judgement on whether you enjoyed it or not, and vote accordingly. The Portal is broken, but if we unite as a userbase, it CAN be fixed.
The change starts with you. So, the question is, are you in?
TL;DR - if you need this, then you are just the sort of person who should read this.