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I got a chance to notice that some questions get different reactions over time. For instance, a question asked last year may have 10 upvotes, but a similar yet different question in the present may get 10 downvotes.

Not sure if the culture here has changed, but it seems like people gang up on questions. Kind of like on other forums where people get increasingly pretentious and snarky and elitist to new users over time. But the reason this is odd to me is because even questions already closed still have people voting them down.

I was thinking a solution to this would be to only allow a certain number of downvotes, and then only allow further downvotes from users with a higher rank.

here is an example:

first downvote - anyone can vote down

second downvote - anyone with 100+ rep can vote down

third downvote - anyone with 1000+ rep can vote down

fourth downvote - anyone with 10000+ rep can vote down


additionally, no ability to vote down a question with a total vote of less than 0 if it is already closed.

I am not suggesting any change to upvotes, as upvotes and downvotes are already not equals.

share|improve this question
I agree the culture has changed and that is sometimes unfair, but what if a new question simply is awfully, awfully bad? That's the majority of cases. What you describe does happen, but very rarely (in relative terms). Why would you take away the community's most important tool to fight crap? – Pëkka May 30 '12 at 15:41
The score of a post should indicate value. Naturally, the criteria for what is considered valuable change over time. You may consider this fair or not form the reputation perspective, but keep in mind that Stack Overflow is not a Role-Playing Game. – Dennis May 30 '12 at 15:51
@Dennis, yes. The only reason I care is because it can be frustrating not to get a reply but then you realize people have read the question and only anonymously downvote. Helping less people get a chance to see it. – CQM May 30 '12 at 15:53
@CQM: The whole idea of scoring is that a heavily downvoted post shouldn't be seen. – Dennis May 30 '12 at 15:54
@Dennis it is infinitely more helpful for a person downvoting to post HERE like you did. Instead of just downvoting. – CQM May 30 '12 at 15:55
@CQM +1 I agree that the culture has changed for the worse and that constructive discussion on how to improve the culture should be encouraged – amelvin May 30 '12 at 15:56
@Dennis: Users are already encouraged to leave a comment when downvoting a post. There have been several feature requests to make comments mandatory when downvoting, but all have been declined. – Dennis May 30 '12 at 15:57
+1 for the not allowing downvotes on negatively scored questions that are closed. They need to be improved and reopened – yoozer8 May 30 '12 at 15:59
@Dennis I think a condition will make more sense. like after 2 downvotes and 0 comments/replies, the next person must write something to downvote – CQM May 30 '12 at 16:00
Given that rep is restored upon deletion I don't see much of a problem with the current system of voting. If it's terrible it should be deleted or fixed, not encouraged to flounder around at -1 or similar. – Flexo May 30 '12 at 16:03
@CQM: There's no point in doing this, since people could post everything but an honest explanation to circumvent this. Also, if I agree with an existing comment, I usually just upvote that comment and downvote the post. – Dennis May 30 '12 at 16:06
Why wouldn't you apply this to upvotes? Upvotes get abused way more than downvotes do... – animuson May 30 '12 at 18:10

This would make it extremely difficult to drop downvoted questions off the front page; at -5 (-8 on Meta) a question disappears from the front page because it's so poorly asked, so off topic, so disagreed upon (Meta) etc. that it's not useful for most users to see it as part of the normal workflow.

Breaking that feature significantly harms the community's ability to moderate content, and it similarly breaks one's ability to "fade out" incorrect answers; at -3 answers are faded out and de-emphasized.

I'm seeing no benefit to this at all (other than some spared feelings) and lots of downsides like protecting low quality content.

share|improve this answer
okay, so the general idea can be tweaked. Lets say anyone can do it to -5, but then it gets tiered for -6 , -7 and -8. – CQM May 30 '12 at 15:52

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