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On the new review tab and while reviewing 'First Posts', there's a line inviting to vote up or down.

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I did vote down a bad answer, and left a comment. I was surprised to see my rep go down one point. Not that I care too much about rep, but for doing my civic duty as reviewer, I expected a free ride.

I propose to eliminate the reputation fee when downvoting on the review tab.

Edit - Addressing criticism:

A downvote = a downvote = a downvote

No it's not. To be able to do a review, you need at least 2K.

Review tab

Also, for reviewing, you receive a 'Custodian' badge. It's like a peer reviewer on a scientific magazine. You'd expect, at least, a free copy of the magazine you helped to peer review (not sure if that happens).

You can trick the system

What? How? The revisable items are picked by the system, so you cannot target one specific person.

Rage downvoting

I don't expect 2K users to do that, but it would be a good idea to have a filter or a threshold in place in the review tab. So, if somebody hands out 10 or 20 downvotes in quick succession, in review, these get flagged or something.

Why bother for only one point?

For >2k users, one point shouldn't be a deterrent, so it may not be worth the hassle to program the exception into the system. That's a good point, IMO. I'm not saying this should be high on the priority list. But I don't think we should think for others (the stackoverflow team) when making proposals. If the proposal is worth it, it'll be done, in due time.

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A vote in the review queue should cost the same as any other place, I'd say. – Martijn Pieters Sep 28 '12 at 20:16
Even if it was a good idea, this would be too easy to game. – asawyer Sep 28 '12 at 20:19
@MartijnPieters, as I said, doing a civic duty shouldn't have an associated cost. You can only be a reviewer with enough rep, so you are supposed to be a responsible member of the society. For instance, on MSO, I cannot review. – GUI Junkie Sep 28 '12 at 20:23
@asawyer, how would that be so? – GUI Junkie Sep 28 '12 at 20:24
One is "doing their civic duty" when voting at all, including down voting; whether or not it is via the Review queue. The cost for down voting is to make someone think twice about it. That applies no less for things in the Review queue. In fact, it might apply more, since there is even more of a reason to want to do 'something'. – Andrew Barber Sep 28 '12 at 21:33
Its true that once you start reviewing is you will be exposed to more posts that will deserve a down vote so I understand why it feels like you're being taxed, but I wouldn't want a way to make it easy to rage downvote a bunch of random users for free. – Some Helpful Commenter Sep 28 '12 at 22:13
@SomeHelpfulCommenter, I guess that's what I'm after, but I don't think anybody with enough rep to do reviews would do that. – GUI Junkie Sep 28 '12 at 22:53
Review.Post == Normal.Post ! – Marko Sep 29 '12 at 0:33
@Marko, no it's not – GUI Junkie Sep 29 '12 at 8:11
up vote 13 down vote accepted

A downvote on an answer is a judgement, it forces the poster of the answer to reconsider his answer and either stand by it or change it (by either adapting or removing it completely), as such a cost for the downvoter is necessary to keep a certain balance of power in check: it discourages to downvote willy-nilly on whatever answer you find that you think is wrong.

It's a litte "are you really sure that this answer isn't good?" hurdle that you must cross to make sure that the cause you're rallying behind actually is the greater good as opposed to randomness or worse personal gain.

Could you downvote other people's answers to better your first impression to the asker? Yes, of course, you still could but that will only get you so far. The community will upvote the better answers, you'll not get much rep if your answers aren't good to begin with which puts an automatic limit to how disruptiveness you can throw in the mix around you.

The -1 penalty will not limit your rep earnings: good answers will earn you reputation much faster than you will realistically dole out the downvote on an answer that hasn't yet received one. It will however put a halt to wider spread 'abuse' for personal gain.

(the following is my very unfounded personal opinion:) Downvote abuse is something I imagine is primarily done by new people with a lower score to begin with, it would be cool to have statistics on that though somewhat nebulous since it hinges on perceived intent, I doubt people would even still care after xK rep, so it really does make sense to curb that unwanted 'enthusiasm'. For a lower starting reps a -1 is the perfect hurdle whereas the experienced and high rep users won't care that much if at all anymore being moved to action purely for the good of the cause as opposed to piddly personal gain.

Good things at times require a sacrifice.

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"Tactical downvoting" isn't really an issue for people who are reaching bad posts through the review queue. Good post overall, though. – Pops Sep 28 '12 at 20:53

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