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On Meta, Downvotes signify disagreement and not necessarily low quality

So if an answer or question got downvoted on Meta - should the owner remove it or leave it? And is there a difference for questions and answers?

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If the UI allows me to delete it, and if deleting my post is what I want to do, that's what I would do. If the community largely believes an idea to be bad, why add to all the noise by still keeping it around? ;) –  ArjunShankar Aug 1 '12 at 15:12
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Don't know about the rest of the jackals here, but have been downvoting based on quality all the same. None of this summer of disagreement baloney –  random Aug 1 '12 at 15:12
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The quote is "On Meta Stack Overflow, voting is often used to express agreement or disagreement, not to point out a lack of quality or helpfulness." Emphasis mine. So it doesn't always indicate disagreement. –  Bart Aug 1 '12 at 15:16
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I've deleted one question on meta. It was a feature request that was met with overwhelming resistance. It had a duplicate and someone posted a trivial workaround I was able to employ immediately, so there was no reason to keep it around. –  Aaron Bertrand Aug 1 '12 at 15:27

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I have asked (successfully) for one of my answered questions to be deleted. It was a bad (silly) idea, and it was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, so it was no great loss to the site to have it deleted.

Many ideas are not intrinsically bad, but the community rejects them anyway. For those questions, I think it makes more sense to keep them as a record of what the community thinks of a particular idea -- it avoids our having to rehash discussions in the future, as re-proposals of the same idea can be closed as a duplicate.

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Does a restaurant remove unpopular cuisines from its menu? No, there are many opinions and there is room for all of them.

As long as some people agree with you there's really no need to "hide your shame" by deleting the post.

Also, even a downvoted feature request might still have some value and eventually get implemented.

Of course, if you get ten downvotes and zero upvotes the above isn't relevant and most likely there's no point leaving it around but I am referring to the common case of mixed voting resulting in a negative score.

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The point you make about mixed voting is important. +1. –  ArjunShankar Aug 1 '12 at 15:32
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Restaurants do, in fact, remove unpopular dishes from their menus. –  Al E. Aug 1 '12 at 16:13
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If you watch any restaurant renovation show, they always dump the non-selling and unpopular items –  random Aug 1 '12 at 16:18
    
@TartLevee maybe so, but not right after presenting the new dish; they give it some time. :) –  Shadow Wizard Aug 1 '12 at 18:42
    
It depends, I think. If customers don't know about it and so don't order it, then they give it time. If customers order it, spit the first bite into a napkin and then never order it again, they probably pull it pretty quick. –  Ernest Friedman-Hill Aug 1 '12 at 18:52
    
@Ernest but if other customers love the dish? That's my main point here. –  Shadow Wizard Aug 1 '12 at 18:56

If the UI allows me to delete it, and if deleting my post is what I want to do, that's what I would do.

About 'bad quality' vs 'disagreement':

  1. I would feel free to delete when I believe a post is of low quality and there's not much I can really do to fix it. Why add to the noise by keeping it around? (Although, I expect meta posts are usually of good quality, because people who turn up here are more likely to care about quality)

  2. I would feel free to delete when I see that the community dislikes my idea in general. Why add to the noise by keeping it around?

Now, if I see a reasonable negative score on this answer, I'll delete it because its clearly bad advice. Why add to the noise by keeping it around?

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