Select from list of reasons when performing downvotes
I have never had much reason to post on this site - this has probably been debated before, as in this thead, but I feel that something must be done about the down-vote system, now. It is broken and counter-productive as it is implemented today.
The following problems exist and cannot be easily solved through moderation:
- It is not mandatory to make a comment about a down vote.
- You only lose 1 reputation point for a down vote, which means nothing. I think plenty of users earn around 50 reputation in a day. Meaning that they can in theory spam 50 anonymous down-votes per day, all over the site, without any notable losses.
- People do "revenge votes" very frequently. They do this because they can down-vote anonymously, without any explanation given. But they can only do this if you left a comment explaining why their post was bad. So you get punished for leaving a comment. But if you were lazy and just down-voted without explanation, the current system rewards you, since you can't get revenge-voted back.
- Because of all the above reasons, the current system encourages impolite, off-topic flame wars and immature behavior in general.
In essence, an anonymous down vote in the current system, without any comment left behind, could mean one of the following things:
- "Your post is bad, but someone else has already made a comment explaining why, which I fully agree with."
- "Your post is bad in some way, but I can't be bothered to tell you why, because I'm lazy."
- "I don't like you."
I propose a change to the down-vote system so that it becomes similar to the vote-to-close system. When voting to close a post, you have to specify a reason why and it cannot be done anonymously.
What I would like to see is a system where you upon down-voting get a pop-up window, with a menu similar to vote-to-close, where you can either pick one of the reasons already posted by others, or if no such reason already exists, you are forced to type one. Possibly with a few default options such as "not a real question", "incorrect facts, citation needed" or whatever would be sensible default options.
If the users are forced to leave a comment, the down-vote system could remain anonymous, if that serves a purpose.
At the same time, the pointless -1 reputation hit can be removed as it fills no purpose.