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I know this topic is not new and the downvoting in general is addressed in:
Why do you lose reputation for down-voting? - In essence to encourage up-voting, and avoid malfeasance. I would point out though that that post is 3 1/2 years old - when Stack Overflow was only "a couple of months old" !

I am finding that, as an experienced SO user, sometimes I would be tempted to down-vote so that we have the best questions and answers possible. But I care about my points as do most of us and so I (sometimes) think, why bother with the loss of a point and I move on.

Given all the 'rules' that can be applied -a certain number of points, or a certain badge and/or a certain number per day, it seems that, for experienced users, down-voting really ADDS value to the question and helps make the right answers stay at the top.

As with other senior level privileges, we trust that users that reach those levels would not run around 'downvoting everything in sight".

One feature that I would suggest, if this was implemented, would be that you cannot 'upvote' and 'downvote' on different answers within a question, or maybe you can but that's when you get the penalty point, because if you have up-voted an answer, there is a little bit of an implied "mini down-vote" of all the other answers, given that you can only accept one.

Maybe the negative point goes away at 10,000 points but you still have only 2 down votes per day. That compares to the 50 total votes... Or only 2 down-votes without penalty (though that seems a little bit of a overly complicated rule).
There's a lot of ways this can be done and I'm sure others have good solutions.

The essence remains that it just seems unnecessary sometimes to an experienced user and it means we lose some potential 'value' that could be added.

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2 down votes per day?! –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 25 '12 at 18:53
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What do you mean by the down vote is not done? –  Dennis Apr 25 '12 at 18:57
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once you have 10,000 points (or in fact far less than that) you won't care about the point it costs you to enter a downvote once in a while. –  Kate Gregory Apr 25 '12 at 19:00
    
@KateGregory Or a few times a day :p –  Andrew Barber Apr 25 '12 at 19:09
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One feature that I would suggest, if this was implemented, would be that you cannot 'upvote' and 'downvote' on different answers within a question mind. blown. –  Won't Apr 25 '12 at 19:24
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I've tried 3 times, but I still don't understand your title. –  Cody Gray Apr 25 '12 at 19:59
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Avoiding downvotes isn't a valid close reason –  RivieraKid Apr 25 '12 at 21:32
    
True. I was just accepting the communities collective dislike of the question. I kinda preferred actual answers over downvotes but oh well. –  Michael Durrant Apr 25 '12 at 22:25
    
Downvotes are different on Meta to begin with. And destroying your question by replacing it with a single line is not a good approach either. –  Bart Apr 26 '12 at 2:50
    
Well I guess I will just have to watch my entire points get wiped out by 1 question. Not very nice really. Perhaps someone could close the question at some point? –  Michael Durrant Apr 26 '12 at 3:15
    
Why though? It's a feature request. People disagreed, so they downvoted. Usual behavior on Meta I would say and no reason to close the question. Meta rep is not that meaningful anyway and if it's so precious to you, don't make feature requests. I wouldn't let a loss of Meta rep stop me though. –  Bart Apr 26 '12 at 3:25
    
Honestly, meta points don't mean much. Just ask a question and add pics with narwhals, ponies, and freehand circles to illustrate. Hell, go answer my question here and add an awesome pic as described in the bounty message. I'll give you 500 points when the bounty is up. –  Won't Apr 26 '12 at 3:46

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I am finding that, as an experienced SO user, sometimes I would be tempted to down-vote so that we have the best questions and answers possible. But I care about my points as do most of us and so I (sometimes) think, why bother with the loss of a point and I move on.

I suppose you know that downvoting questions is free.

Downvoting answers is also free if the answer eventually gets deleted. There's a badge for deleting a heavily downvotes answer, so it's encouraged.

Given all the 'rules' that can be applied -a certain number of points, or a certain badge and/or a certain number per day, it seems that, for experienced users, down-voting really ADDS value to the question and helps make the right answers stay at the top.

Of course it does. Downvoting is explicitly encouraged (there's even a badge for it).

But when there's too much downvoting, users be discouraged from posting new answers. That may only apply to new users, but every user was new once...

As with other senior level privileges, we trust that users that reach those levels would not run around 'downvoting everything in sight".

I know at least one counterexample for that claim.

One feature that I would suggest, if this was implemented, would be that you cannot 'upvote' and 'downvote' on different answers within a question, or maybe you can but that's when you get the penalty point, because if you have up-voted an answer, there is a little bit of an implied "mini down-vote" of all the other answers, given that you can only accept one.

But more often than not, there's also a right answer when there's a wrong one.

If there's only one answer, voting doesn't really sort them.

Maybe the negative point goes away at 10,000 points but you still have only 2 down votes per day. That compares to the 50 total votes... Or only 2 down-votes without penalty (though that seems a little bit of a overly complicated rule).

Two downvotes per day (on answers, I suppose) is far to restrictive.

Two downvotes per day without penalty is better, but it seems quite pointless. That's just 2 points you would save.

There's a lot of ways this can be done and I'm sure others have good solutions.

I'm honestly not sure about this.

If downvoting doesn't hurt in some way, there will be too much of it. Any type of restriction (rather than a penalty, like we have now) seems artificial and probably won't get the job done.

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+1 for "I know at least one counterexample for that claim." Reputation is not always a good indicator of responsibility or maturity. –  jadarnel27 Apr 25 '12 at 19:07
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Yes I have completely changed my mind and I have been well convinced by all the great arguments. Unfortunately I am not able to delete or edit my own question, it's locked and just out there for everyone to downvote. If I even comment I get negatives sigh. –  Michael Durrant Apr 26 '12 at 4:09
    
Well right now I'm losing points for down voting. It is not free! –  Antarus Mar 12 at 5:09

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