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This question triggered my thoughts, but it is surely not the "best" (or I should say, worst) example out there. At the moment of writing, this question has 4 downvotes and 1 upvote. It is obvious that this question is of very poor quality, as it shows no effort and basically just says, "I want to do X with Y". It does not even ask a question.

(To avoid misunderstanding in case the question is edited, copying below)

I want to record voice through microphones and store on local disk.

This should be done using C# in a Windows application.

There seems no good reason why anyone would upvote this question. (To obtain a badge, maybe? But that's not a good reason.)

Do you think in such cases, there should be a penalty for upvoting? This would deter people from randomly upvoting without really understanding what upvote means.

I understand there would be some issues to consider. For instance, how do you decide what is a very low quality post? Too many downvotes could be one criteria, but then being in the minority does not always mean you are wrong.

Does the system already handle this situation? If not, can something be done about this?

share|improve this question
I agree dumb upvoting is a problem, but penalizing voting isn't going to work.... – Pëkka Jan 24 '13 at 11:21
@Rory I had to pick the closest match. This is the last time I make any suggestion to improve this site, so I hope it is not too much of a problem. – Masked Man Jan 24 '13 at 14:36
@Deidara-senpai no I was just wondering how a feature request was gathering too localised vote-to-close votes, doesn't really make sense to me. Also, just double checking that you know votes are taken differently on meta – Rory Jan 24 '13 at 15:04
@Rory In that case I do not want to waste any more time here. What's the point of trying to improve the site if the community admonishes anyone who thinks out of their comfort zone, and basically doesn't want to listen to anything which challenges status quo? I will just stick to the main sites. Goodbye. – Masked Man Jan 24 '13 at 18:40
Admonish? Not listening? I'm sorry, I just happen to disagree with what you propose. That is the "danger" of a proposal. And if you're worried about the downvotes, those are often used to indicate simple disagreement here on Meta. You win some, you lose some. If that bothers you, yeah, perhaps don't make feature requests. But I wouldn't let that stop me if I had an honest idea. – Bart Jan 24 '13 at 18:43
Fine. I won't make any more feature requests. – Masked Man Jan 24 '13 at 18:48
Suit yourself. I think it's a shame though. Don't get too hung up on an idea not being well received. And you received 2 upvotes as well. Against 9 downvotes. In the greater scheme of a million(?) users that doesn't mean a whole lot. – Bart Jan 24 '13 at 18:51
Haven't you heard? All feature requests start at -100. (besides, upvotes on crap are inevitable...just look at some of the top 50 questions on SO) – user7116 Jan 24 '13 at 19:16
must... resist... temptation... to upvote – Doorknob Jan 24 '13 at 19:25
9 downvotes, and how many cared to explain why they don't like the idea? "I don't like your idea, but I don't know why. But I don't like it." Either agree or disagree with someone, but let it be your own opinion. Don't just follow the herd having no clue why you are doing it. – Masked Man Jan 24 '13 at 19:32
Their explanation might be given by the upvotes I received. Downvotes happen. Get over it. – Bart Jan 24 '13 at 19:41
No downvoter is under any obligation to leave any explanation for their downvotes whatsoever. – Jack Maney Jan 24 '13 at 20:21

Except for issues falling under vote-fraud, users are free to vote however they see fit. If they find a question to be helpful where the general community does not share this point of view, they should not be penalized for that. Voting is anonymous and the reasoning behind a vote (up or down) is entirely free to the user.

I see no reason to change this at all. Overall the community tends to settle on a reasonable total, and I don't think that the problem you address is so significant that it needs such a drastic solution.

If you think a question is poor, downvote it. If you think it should be improved and you can do so, improve it. If you think it should not be open and you can vote to close, by all means vote. Address the question, but don't interfere with the voting behaviour of other users.

share|improve this answer

Actually, I'm with Yannis (whether he was serious or not): let's "penalize" -- charge rep for -- all upvotes. I believe that the original impetus for making downvotes cost rep was that they should be taken seriously and used with care and thought. The same reason applies equally to upvotes, so let's make them cost some rep too.

share|improve this answer
Retroactively, even. Eeek! – Josh Caswell Jan 24 '13 at 18:56
Only on answers then? – Bart Jan 24 '13 at 18:57
@Bart: I'm more interested in questions, actually, like the OP here. We could make it mirrored -- answer: upvote free, downvote -1; question: upvote -1, downvote free. – Josh Caswell Jan 24 '13 at 19:00
Oh sure, you just want users to safely upvote your proposal here without retroactively losing their rep in the future. :p Interesting idea though. – Bart Jan 24 '13 at 19:02
Blast, you've seen through me! – Josh Caswell Jan 24 '13 at 19:04

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