Recently I had a bad experience on workplace.stackexchange.com where my answer got a couple of up, but in total more down-votes. Personally I think this is not because my answer is bad, but due to the fact I have a different perspective on the situation. The down-votes are from people who apparently deeply disagree with me and use it to express their opinion.
The original poster at one time accepted my answer, but after it started getting down-votes changed it to the one with the most votes. Maybe he changed his mind or buckled under the peer pressure.
I love to help and express my experiences. I do not care about the point system, but I do want to be a happy StackExchange user, and the down-vote commenting made me pretty frustrated. I felt like “I do not want to express my-self anymore and leave and hide”.
The down-vote system suggests you leave a comment to help the answer to be improved. When someone leaves a relative negative comment I have an urge to defend my-self and explain why I think my answer makes sense. This lead to frustration on both sides and resulted in a little flamewar, which would be far better suited for IRC or a forum.
This all leads to my question: Is the down-vote system really necessary, or can we just eliminate it?
Reasoning and or suggestions for improving the down-vote system:
- StackExchange tries to discourage answers based on opinions, but voting is primarily used for this on some StackExchange sites.
- Up-voting differentiates enough between good and worse answers and is much more positive
- If an answer or question is really unacceptable you can flag it and it gets moderated
- Increase the reputation cost of down-voting based on the user base-size and average reputation, to prevent people from down-voting just because they disagree
- Does the down-vote system solve a problem which cannot already be tackled other-wise