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First of all: this question is not about reasons for downvotes (although it implicitly refers to this).

The definition for votes on Stackoverflow is:

Good answers are voted up and rise to the top.

There is a guideline when asking a question what to consider (doing your homework, research first, choose right tags, etc..). But still this is not exactly making clear on which reason giving upvotes / downvotes.

This platform has plenty elaborated features but this one is still missing since I have seen lots of questions / answers which were down/up voted for unknown reasons, and especially lots of questions / answers with zero votes although it was a regular and certainly good contribution to this platform.

Why not giving a selection of references when to down/up vote the same way as guidelines asking / answering a question? In my opinion everybody would profit from that because things are getting more transparent.

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This may help out - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/76293/… –  JonW Jun 21 '13 at 9:31
    
Well I'm talking about something like a dropdown menu when hitting the button to vote which may be as well visible to the one who receives this vote. –  fiscblog Jun 21 '13 at 9:36
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There are far too many reasons why people downvote - "your avatar is ugly", "this question has already been asked", 'you wrote "alot" instead of "a lot"', "you've not done any research", "your haven't formatted your code"... That would just make it unfeasable to have to select a reason. –  JonW Jun 21 '13 at 9:41
    
Exactly that's the problem: it is not transparent and therefore not helpful in this way! –  fiscblog Jun 21 '13 at 9:44
    
When you downvote you are prompted to leave a comment against the post should you desire to, so that is already in place. But just because you're prompted to explain your reasoning doesn't mean you have to. Voting is anonymous and people can vote in whatever way they choose. However with the number of users on the site any random bad vote will be outweighed by the majority voting more sensibly. –  JonW Jun 21 '13 at 9:46
    
Voting should remain anonymous! people can vote in whatever way they choose- I disagree. That's poor quality for a site with many helpful features. majority voting more sensibly - proove that, please. –  fiscblog Jun 21 '13 at 9:50
    
Well you can judge that for yourself. highest voted questions vs Lowest Voted Questions. Are the high voted questions good, and are the low voted questions bad? I would say yes, that is the case. –  JonW Jun 21 '13 at 9:54
    
@JonW Your comments should be amalgamated into an answer, your arguments are very clear. –  vascowhite Jun 21 '13 at 10:03
    
possible duplicate of Encouraging people to explain downvotes –  vascowhite Jun 21 '13 at 10:54

1 Answer 1

Your votes are yours to cast as you see fit.

There can be many reasons for casting a vote and multiple reasons for any single vote. Choosing one from something like a drop down would be very restrictive. People being people, many would just choose the top one.

If you wish to explain your vote you can do so in a comment; that will always be much more representative of why you actually voted than some pre-configured wording in a menu.

Free, anonymous voting is, IMHO, one of the many strengths of the StackExchange sites.

Your comments would imply that your question is really about encouraging people to explain down votes. That is a topic which has been discussed many times, there is no need to rehash it here.

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I was never saying that your votes should not be anonymous - only that everybody should be aware WHY somebody has voted up/down. many would just choose the top one = many don't know why they voted and is poor for this strong platform. –  fiscblog Jun 21 '13 at 9:47
    
I know you didn't say they shouldn't be anonymous, I just wanted to be complete in my description of voting. I imagine most people know why they vote, they just don't want to say why for whatever reason. –  vascowhite Jun 21 '13 at 9:50
    
And this is a leak, imo. Learning from errors means knowing errors. –  fiscblog Jun 21 '13 at 9:52
    
This has been discussed to death on meta already, there is not and never will be a requirement to explain votes on SE sites. –  vascowhite Jun 21 '13 at 9:53

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