I'm not a big fan of the new system, however I understand why they did it. The key to this site is COMMUNITY. People tend to snuggle into a clique that they feel comfortable in and don't branch out. I have all of 4 forum threads that I post in and monitor, and only the people that post and monitor those threads really have any contact with me. A website should give opportunity and guidance, especially to newcomers on threads and people they should friend, and the only good way of introducing them to you is by your association with people you've already deemed appropriate to friend.
When I first opened my account 6 years ago, I primarily did it to watch Season 2. I didn't post anywhere, and really had no association with anyone. This new system will help new users build a friend base by allowing them to see things that their existing friends like, thereby helping them become engaged in a community of individuals they have a connection with. RT, like every other site, has subsets of people, and to retain dedicated users the site has a short window of time to hook them. I am conservative, christian, and wouldn't stick around if all I could see were people who post in /r/circlejerk or /r/atheism, because visiting the site would seem confrontational at all times. BUT if you find one or two friends who fit within your self described subset, by seeing who they like you are able to flesh out a larger friend base and you increase contentment with the community.
Change is never easy. The people that are going to have the hardest time with this are the people who've been here for a while. People are going to think its a sell-out, or a Reddit clone, but at the end of the day, RT HAS to adapt and stay current, and they have to continually update their model to ensure user retention, not just of their product, but of their community because they understand that their entire business model depends on the community.
As an example- They talked a few weeks about Homestar Runner. HSR had a great product, but they didn't cultivate community well, and now nobody remembers it.
Tl;dr- The rating system which sends your likes to other's homepage is annoying but necessary to increase user engagement in the community. There should be tweaks to it, the mod points should come back, but it does need to retain the functionality of paring your likes with your friends.