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Considering the number of increasing down-votes across all SE sites (and especially StackOverflow), it really makes me wonder how many users who just "casually" down-vote other's answers know this fact that it takes down two points from their own account.

If you consider my own example, I usually never down-vote unless there is something totally wrong with the concerned answer (though I've had others down-vote my own answers for no apparent reason). But since I came to know this fact a few days ago, I've stopped doing that too. Why should I down-vote to improvise someone else's situation, if it affects my own reputation too? Isn't that a fair question?

I think we should advertise this fact more and more that down-voting actually costs the caster too. We will surely see a reduction in those "casual" down-votes cast just because someone had a fight with spouse at the morning breakfast.

Update

Okay, I did not know that the single negative point to the caster is only applicable for answers, not questions. Otherwise, I would not have asked this question in the first place, in a forum that allows the whims of anonymous users to overwhelm a question with downvotes. Had downvoting this question cost you a point, I bet you wouldn't be doing that.

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@Pralad: You know that comment is a standard invitation for heavy downvotes? –  Deduplicator Jul 6 at 22:07
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You might not think there's any apparent reason when others downvote you, just as they don't think there's any reason why someone would downvote them. But there are, and they do. –  random Jul 6 at 22:11
    
Yeah, Thanks for commenting! I did not know that meta is full of anonymous cowards who just enjoy downvoting others without even explaining why they do so. I still don't get it whats wrong with this question. –  Prahlad Yeri Jul 6 at 22:13
    
Votig on meta express disagreement and doesn't always mean that your question is wrong. –  nicael Jul 6 at 22:14
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Maybe you're getting downvotes because there's something totally wrong with the concerned premise –  random Jul 6 at 22:14
    
A on-topic question should not be down-voted. The querer, by definition, may not know whether the premise is right or wrong, thats the reason he is asking the question in the first place. –  Prahlad Yeri Jul 6 at 22:17
    
    
How will users know they are wrong unless they are told they are wrong? –  random Jul 6 at 22:24
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Also, it's generally a good idea to get a feel of how a community works, rather than attempting to push your ideals onto it. Especially one that's been discussed to death such as, "down-vote only with comments". There are many reasons why comments aren't necessary. –  fbueckert Jul 6 at 22:30
    
True, but there is certainly something wrong with a model that allows someone's reputation to get damaged at the whims and fantasies of anonymous voters. –  Prahlad Yeri Jul 6 at 22:43
    
If you apply one negative vote to the caster on answers, why don't you apply the same to questions? Isn't it evident that in both cases, the rep damage to the caster's target is equal? –  Prahlad Yeri Jul 6 at 22:44
    
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Because the quality of the content is more important than ensuring every user gets help. The primary focus of SE is to build a repository of high quality information. You might help users in the process, but that's just a beneficial side effect. Content > users. –  fbueckert Jul 6 at 23:03
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There is a massive amount of discussion about this. We are not obligated to re-hash it to the satisfaction of everyone who asks. I would highly recommend doing some research about how and why SE works the way it does before you go attempting to criticize the methodology. And, really, we get something like two users a week suggesting making comments mandatory for downvotes. It just gets tiresome. –  fbueckert Jul 6 at 23:08
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The breakfast effect, @PrahladYeri :P –  brasofilo Jul 7 at 12:02

2 Answers 2

Why should I down-vote to improvise someone else's situation, if it affects my own reputation too?

You should not. If you do not believe that voting on a particular post, up or down, is a good thing to do, you should not vote. If 1 point of your own reputation is more important to you than the quality of the site's content, you should not vote.

Users who do vote are aware of the consequences of their action. When a user acquires a privilege to vote down, they receive a notification with a link to Help Center page which explains the rules.

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Your question is based on a false premise.

Down voting questions doesn't cost you, the caster, anything.

Down voting answers cost you one reputation point.

The recipient of the down-vote loses 2 points in both cases.

This is well known by regular users of Stack Exchange.

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I've removed the linked question and edited, so it falls in the correct premise now. –  Prahlad Yeri Jul 6 at 21:56

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