Generally, I'm strictly a lurker. However, I will break from the trend to speak my peace...I truly feel there is some serious misunderstanding going on here.
1) Many of you seem to think that Mr. Fulp is wasting his time with recent changes, and that his resources would be better invested elsewhere. I don't know why so many people take 30% of what was announced and run with it. I wish more people would get into the habit of reading EVERYTHING that was said; they'd know that it is LilJim struggling with the new code, and not Mr. Fulp himself. Even if the founder was spending a lot of time making changes himself, he need not answer to any of you for it. He owes you nothing; the entertainment provided by Newgrounds is a completely free service...in short, he can do what he wishes. Nobody is trying to take your "rights" away.
2) Many of you also seem to think it's dangerous to vote a "0" on any submission. Again, this is an issue with people reading a portion of information, and ignoring the rest. Wade, Tom, and LilJim have repeatedly said that there is simply NO way that normal voting could be confused with abusive voting. If you watch 100 submissions, and vote zero on 100 of them, then you have a problem. If a movie deserves a zero, then VOTE a zero. Don't worry about it.
Do you actually fear for your "life" when you vote zero? Somebody said this, but...give me a break. Even if you are abusive with the system and you KNOW it, nobody will be taking your 'rights' away. You'll still be able to watch everything, post, and even VOTE.
You lose only experience points, and that's only after it's clear that you're voting a zero on EVERYTHING. Your account is still there, and you still have every bit as much freedom as you did. You're not losing anything. This is not some 'Orwellian' militarist move; they'll just keep your stupidity from having such an impact on a submission's score. It's your ill-gotten experience points that will disappear; not your account.
There's no way a fair voter can be mistaken for an idiot who goes through the entire Portal and votes a 0 on anything over 2 megabytes. It's that simple.
3) Many of you also seem to be under the impression that giving a negative review will garner you some sort of punishment. Even if you were COMPLETELY out of line and extremely abusive, NOTHING will happen to you. Your account remains. You can still watch submissions. You can still post. You can still vote. You can even still write reviews, for the Love of the Light! The worst that can happen is that little rating will show exactly what everyone thought of your review.
You still have every freedom to say exactly what you think, nobody is trying to take it away. You can review with nothing but "fuck you" every time. It's just that other people will be able to give a voiceless response to your review. To me, trying to squash the rating seems to be more of a repressive move than anything Tom has done. The rating is simply another manifestation of the voice of the people. Trust me, you have nothing to worry about if only 2/6 people find your review "helpful."
4) Just because you never read reviews before watching a submission does not mean that nobody else does.
It was always my impression, however, that the review system was supposed to be as much of a tool to the author as it was to everyone else. No matter how many nice things are said, it is always the nasty things that stick out. They burn brighter than anything else, and one hurtful comment will drown out a thousand constructive ones. If nothing else, the rating will show the AUTHOR that the view of an abusive reviewer is not the common one.
Newgrounds, as it exists now, receives its strength from the artists. The content comes from them. They ARE Newgrounds. If you are like me, and you are only a member of the "audience," well then...sorry to say it, but we're leechers. It's ridiculous to claim you're having you're rights taken away...you have NO rights. This is free. You are given REMARKABLE freedom to do and say as you wish.
I do NOT see how anyone has the audacity to whine because people can now "rate" whether or not what you said really helped anyone. To me, that seems like more of the peoples' voice...not less. However, because of this freedom, which you do STILL have, you can continue whining, so I will tolerate it.
Writing reviews that actually help the artists is a way to almost pay your keep. Bad reviews that don't tell them how to improve can only discourage them. Discouraged artists don't create anymore. Artists that don't create anymore = no more Newgrounds. This is a defensive maneuver. It's not a declaration of war.
For those of you don't have the patience to go through all of what I've written, just know this: Vote what you think a movie is worth without fear. Nobody will come crawling down your back. Say what you think. Just make sure to include WHY you think it. Or don't. It's still your freedom. Nothing has been taken away from you. So please....just shut up.