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Supposedly someone gives a feedback on MSO pertaining to SE web-application (addressing to SE developers). Then other MSO users think that its not constructive or not worth the effort, they will show their concern (with snarkiness or otherwise) in the comments. They might down vote OP and move on.

If the disagreeing user happens to be more credible than the OP, most of the visiting users will follow his/her lead and start down voting the OP (probably just for the fun?). Moreover, it seems like the forthcoming users won't bother to read the comment/justification by the OP (even if the OP is able to addressed the concern or even negate the critic's point-of-view with proof). They will just shoot -1 to OP and +1 for critic's comment.

In other words:

Mr.A has identified and reported a legit problem in SO system.

Mr.B thinks, its not necessary due to XYZ reason ("its very petty/its very unlikely/its a waste of time and effort"), so he post a comment and down vote.

Scenario A:

Mr.A argues with ABC reason which evidently answers the XYZ ("here is a solution, it requires a very less effort probably a copy/paste").

Mr.B never admitted or denied, but the following visitors will follow the set pattern, downvote Mr.A (until his negative scale is exhausted) while upvoting Mr.B's comment even he was owned by Mr.B.

Scenario B:

Mr.A considered Mr.B's point is valid and closed the question.

Normally feedback is supposed to be 'either take it or take a pass'. Exploiting and start bashing the person giving feedback and convert it into a dispute (or even personal vendetta) is certainly not a very sane idea and it looks very unpleasant unless it is so affirmative that "if someone doesn't agree with your idea, then you can't argue with them unless you are equally reputed (here on meta)".

To avoid this puzzlement/ugliness, should there a separate view for the feedback posts with no negative vote option? In my opinion, when the dev team members review and decide that a feedback's worth a try or not (on the basis of feedback itself, votes-if-any, comments and justifications), they may update its status (probably by tagging it?) accordingly; Active, Under Review, Started, Closed, Won't Fix.. (similar to uservoice.com?)

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If there's no negative voting, how to you express disagreement? What makes you think the average meta user is just a sheep with no will of his/her own? –  Mat Jul 27 '12 at 4:39
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Feedback as in glitch or discrepancy in the existing system is meant for the stack-exchange developer, not the average meta user. If its a feature request then its a separate thing. What do you think? –  vulcan raven Jul 27 '12 at 4:52
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So only for [bug] (and [support]) posts? Do you have any data that shows that these posts are "unfairly downvoted"? (The asker is expected to do some research before posting in these cases. Question clarity etc. also applies.) –  Mat Jul 27 '12 at 5:07
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Feedback item. Not necessarily a bug. Lets say someone suggest SE devs that in the html/css/javascript file, on line#x you have this statement X which can be replaced with similar and logically equivalent statement Y. Where statement Y follows the preferred standards and best practices or conversely statement X is depreciated. For this kind of feedback, do you think it would impact the community standards or negative voting would help if masses don't agree that its necessary? Ofcource its not breaking the application but as a developer we know statement Y is the correct one to have. –  vulcan raven Jul 27 '12 at 5:24
    
your example reminds me this question: Browser sniffing on Stackoverflow.com –  gnat Jul 27 '12 at 5:42
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@gnat, yeah is it so wrong to suggest good practices? Where I work, crew always talk about the right way and the best way of doing same thing. The other day, I experimented a new javascript diagnosis tool on SO website and posted my results on meta with a suggestion or two. It turned out ..so wrong! :-) –  vulcan raven Jul 27 '12 at 5:48
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@vulcanraven well yeah treatment of your prior proposal smells like pack voting to me. Why worry about improvements when feedback is dumbvoted into oblivion. –  gnat Jul 27 '12 at 6:16
    
I feel that it is necessary to mention: meta.stackoverflow.com/faq#vote-differences –  Robotnik Jul 27 '12 at 6:31
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@gnat, and this is exactly what I am planning next! –  vulcan raven Jul 27 '12 at 6:42
    
@Robotnik well, in the case you refer to, Meta voting differences somehow failed to do their usual trick to me. I am well aware of these and I typically feel it justified - even in large amounts - but in this case, it looked more like, y 'know, like smashing someone in their face while smiling and saying "just kidding, just kidding, don't worry, don't worry..." –  gnat Jul 27 '12 at 8:53
    
@Mat (et al.) "If there's no negative voting, how to you express disagreement?" Write or upvote a valid counterargument comment! Read about how to disagree like a man. Downvoting is like name calling. It's just a punishing tool for coward people to throw shit on others. A retractable upvote system would be better. But the current broken system cannot be changed because the site thrives on authoritarianism and reputation, and big boys of this playground desire to show the newcomers who are ruling the roost. Scaring away potential new contributors. –  Calmarius May 29 at 11:55
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2 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I assume you are talking about your first Meta question.

I agree getting downvoted massively for a well-meant technical suggestion stinks, but then, MSO is somewhat of a special case because it's populated by developers who may have their own opinion on technical issues.

Also, Meta holds SO's devs in high regard. They occasionally make mistakes and bad decisions like every one of us, but you can usually assume that if they do something in a certain way, they have thought long and hard about it. I think your post was interpreted as telling those experienced devs "You're doing it wrong!!!!1", mainly through some of your (possibly completely innocent) word choices. That was probably the main reason why your post attracted so many downvotes.

rather opening a faucet of downvots on the feedback itself, they can just change the status to Won't fix and put a stop on it because its not meant for discussion or debate with SE support.

That kinda already happens: at -8, a post disappears from the front page and will have a harder time attracting new viewers.

You were unlucky enough to experience a lot of downvoting on a technical suggestion in your first Meta question, and I agree that's not a great experience. And in general, this happens very, very rarely on Meta Stack Overflow and I don't think it justifies what would be a deep and massive change in the way the system works.

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And hey, even my first contribution to Meta‌​, which was meant as a completely harmless mention of a pattern with no political insinuations whatsoever, was at -8 at some point! The solution is to shrug it off and go on. –  Pëkka Jul 27 '12 at 5:59
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Yup or simply a small technical glitch? Almost like guy walking down the street said:"hey you have a spot on your tie".. "come on its a mere speck" or "thanks" the other person replied.. that kind of replies are common and predictable. Now if the other person starts a quarrel, stage a drama, gathering people "how dare he said that". just to prove his point that first person must take back his suggestion.. thats the kind of (duh!) attitude that most people don't expect. Does he has a "right" to stage drama? Yes, coz the other person started the talk. Is it civil/sane thing to do? certainly not! –  vulcan raven Jul 27 '12 at 6:37
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Thanks Pekka for your wonderful reply. I will shrug it off and move on... before this question reach -8 as well! (-8 –  vulcan raven Jul 27 '12 at 6:39
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While we cannot completely rule this out as a remote possibility, I'm almost certain that questions and answers that have significant negative votes have them because the community explicitly disagrees with the proposal or feedback, not just because those users get some sick sense of joy out of watching the negative number on your post get more and more negative.

Most, if not all, of the regular contributors to Meta sincerely want this platform and this network to continue to succeed. If a feature is something the community supports, it will get upvoted, and if it's not something it supports, the material will get downvoted.

What's most interesting though, and the point that should hopefully help clear up your doubts on this particular issue, is that there is quite a bit of controversy on Meta SO in regards to how we should do things. You don't have the established user privileges yet, as it takes 1000 reputation, but it's not uncommon for a particular post to have 20 upvotes and 20 downvotes.

This suggests to me that the people on Meta SO are voting based on how they feel about the issue, and there is no need to make changes to this part of the system that works so well, as it has been for almost 4 years.

Before you post feedback, consider the following guidelines:

  • Post a clear title
  • Include plenty of detail in your post.
  • Be objective and keep emotion and accusations out of your post. If you're negative in your post, you'll likely attract negativity.
  • Make sure what you write is clear and concise. Include just enough detail for clarity, but don't post a rant.

Many of the downvoted questions I see are rants, or contain negativity without an attempt to learn how the system works. If you avoid these pitfalls, the community will most likely respond to your feedback objectively, and with a positive approach.

Remember, Stack Exchange is run by the community, so what you're proposing would go against those very same goals.

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That's right. I do agree with respecting the community's opinion. All I am saying is, if the member of community and the dev team decides that a feedback item pertaining to web-app won't be entertained, rather opening a faucet of downvots on the feedback itself, they can just change the status to Won't fix and put a stop on it because its not meant for discussion or debate with SE support. Also, feedback for the SE application suite is not the only thing meta is meant for.. –  vulcan raven Jul 27 '12 at 5:11
    
The decision as to what to fix sometimes does depend on what the community thinks. Community feedback is factored in. Take away the voting system, and you lose that community response. Also, keep in mind that downvotes are different on meta. They're meant to indicate disagreement, not that someone hates you ;) Don't take it personal if something you suggest is downvoted, it just means others disagree. –  jmort253 Jul 27 '12 at 7:16
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You mean "its nothing personal". I love to believe that. The day I cleared the false claims, the other guy said "..you're trying to be smart... Have a good day" (coz after his long cool-sounding and ironic answer and my comment dismissing it, he couldn't admit that his assertions actually misfitting the scenario I am reporting).. After sometime I got downvotes on all the SE networks, even on old questions. I am not speculating (it could be anyone) but do you really think its a coincidence and a first-class example of on-topic mere disagreement? –  vulcan raven Jul 27 '12 at 8:45
    
Vulcan, you pose some interesting questions at an interesting time for us. As a community, we're trying to be more nice. Unfortunately, in large communities you're going to have all sorts of personalities. The best advice I can give you is to ignore those comments. Getting hung up on them is only going to make you more negative, whereas letting them go makes you part of the solution. Hope this helps! Good luck! –  jmort253 Jul 27 '12 at 21:03
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