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Encouraging people to explain down-votes

As a new user, I'm still learning the "dos and donts" of posting on here. I've seen many questions from new users get downvoted with no clear explanation as to why.

I think it would be very useful if it was mandatory for a user to provide a reason when they downvote a question/answer. This would enable the OP to get a better understanding of what they did "wrong" and to help them learn how to do it better next time.

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marked as duplicate by ChrisF, Lance Roberts, Brandon, random Sep 20 '11 at 14:41

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

please note that downvotes here don't mean you have a bad question merely that users disagree with your post – mcgrailm Sep 20 '11 at 14:33
in this case the downvotes are probably for laughs? – jrturton Sep 20 '11 at 14:35
@jrturton no - it means people don't approve of the request. Also, been asked many times. – Sathya Sep 20 '11 at 14:42
I find the tooltip of the downvote button pretty clear enough. If it would need further clarification, I usually add a comment. – BalusC Sep 20 '11 at 14:51
@Chichiray Isn't that a generalised reason though? I'm sure that's not the only reason people downvote – peachy0685 Sep 20 '11 at 15:02
@mcgrailm I don't really see how users disagree with a request for help (I'm referring to the stack overflow parent site)? – peachy0685 Sep 20 '11 at 15:06
@peachy0685 i was only noting that down votes on meta overflow mean the users disagree – mcgrailm Sep 20 '11 at 16:00

I would support this action but I would insist it be anonymous to prevent retaliation from users. that said I'm not sure that could be done. currently users are encouraged to give a reason but it is not mandatory

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I support this. Especially for newcomers the downvotes are frustrating. There is no learning curve if there is no reason. Personally, I don't care if the comment was public or anonymous. If I have an opinion, I can stand for it and don't fear retaliation. – kongo09 Sep 20 '11 at 14:36

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