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Despite the tag, this is a serious feature request. Once in a blue moon, I've wanted the ability to downvote my own answer to some question. (Here's one (admittedly silly) example.)

Obviously upvoting one's own posts is out of the question. But down is different. Voting my own answer down can help me improve the site by pushing my answer lower in the ranking than another answer with a better or more situation-appropriate alternative. It's not something I'd do often, but I would use this feature if it were available.

If implemented, I'd expect this feature to operate just like downvotes on other user's posts. That is:

  • I get a few seconds to undo the downvote;
  • I get to remove the downvote after an edit to the post;
  • I lose a point for placing the downvote (CW excepted);
  • I lose two points for receiving the downvote (CW excepted).

If you're noticing that I'd lose 3 points for downvoting my own non-CW post, congratulations! You can add!

I can think of a couple of potential downsides to this change. The first one may be a dealbreaker; the second is probably not that big a deal.

  • Strategic downvoting of oneself: since you can undo the vote after an edit, and you can always edit your own posts, someone could downvote themselves soon after posting (especially on a FGITW answer) to garner extra sympathy upvotes.
  • Badge collecting: the Peer Pressure badge just got easier, because if you have a -2 score on an answer, just downvote and delete for an instant badge.
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7  
the biggest downside is that this is totally unnecessary. It would only add complexity and incidental pain. No upside at all. –  Jeff Atwood Feb 12 '10 at 9:46
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Better to focus on important things like making sure people cannot change their DisplayName more than once a month. –  random Feb 12 '10 at 10:11
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@random that was adding far too much noise to the system -- look at the trail of busted @crazyusernames in comments to see that. Noise = bad. –  Jeff Atwood Feb 12 '10 at 12:10
    
here's a good example of a Meta question that the asker might downvote: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/49412/… –  quack quixote May 11 '10 at 9:36
9  
What's wrong with delete, if your answer is wrong? –  Ladybug Killer Aug 7 '10 at 18:10
    
@Lady: That's fine as long as the answer is not the accepted one. –  KennyTM Aug 7 '10 at 18:31
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@Lady, a deleted answer is not seen. One may want to post information that is a wrong way of doing something, and downvoting is a good way. I keep an answer of that sorts, and I still get the downvotes :-) –  Pavel Shved Aug 7 '10 at 19:25
    
Looks like you are abusing the system. You want to do gymnastics, while being dishonest at the same time. A downvote means the Answer is not useful. Why don't you just delete it then, and incorporate its valuables into the Answer you prefer? –  Tshepang Jan 6 '11 at 16:32
    
I want the ability to upvote myself too! :P –  John Aug 30 '11 at 18:52

6 Answers 6

If you're posting answers that are noise, delete them. That's what that action is there for. Why do you want to keep around answers that you don't believe in?

If you want to downvote your own answer, it's a sign that it shouldn't be there. If it's an alternate viewpoint/solution than the majority would agree with, the votes will decide that.

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2  
hrm. i apparently need a good example. consider two answers giving separate alternatives to a general problem, but the particular problem under discussion makes one alternative a better choice. the other alternative is still valid; it's just not as good. if the question poster doesn't accept the better alternative answer, and the answers are equally scored, downvoting, not deleting, my own answer with the other alternative is better for the site. –  quack quixote Feb 12 '10 at 9:13
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(arguably, the same effect could be had by editing my alternative into the other user's "better answer", then deleting mine, but hey man that's like work...) –  quack quixote Feb 12 '10 at 9:16
    
Could you not add a comment or footnote to the answer about why your answer doesn't warrant ranking? –  random Feb 12 '10 at 9:17
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yeah, comments are always possible, but can be ignored; and using a self-downvote as a means of ordering answers isn't a guarantee the answers will stay that way either. it's just another tool in the toolbox. –  quack quixote Feb 12 '10 at 9:26

New Users can abuse this way, if it is get implemented.

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4  
You're forgetting those users who feel sorry for anyone who ever gets a downvote. A new user can post a horrible and/or vague question, downvote themselves and some idiot comes along with "+1 to counter the downvote" and boom! more instant pity rep. –  random Feb 12 '10 at 9:20
    
Ah, That could make 1000 easily then :D –  YOU Feb 12 '10 at 9:22
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ok, so good worst-case analysis of the strategic downvoting of oneself vulnerability. "important safety tip, thanks, Egon." –  quack quixote Feb 12 '10 at 9:24
    
this could be alleviated if the feature was added for users above some minimum rep. –  quack quixote Feb 12 '10 at 9:49
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That's a lot of editing for 300 points. At least the new user then knows how the site works! –  Arjan Feb 12 '10 at 10:27
    
@~quack, agree for min rep, but sympathy upvote issue is still left as random mentioned, meta.stackexchange.com/questions/38595/… –  YOU Feb 12 '10 at 10:29

stop hitting yourself!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CFzCBbOXKc

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did anyone else see an unstoppable soup ad at the beginning of that video?? –  quack quixote Feb 12 '10 at 9:36
    
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Don't those fiends know the perils of unstoppable soup!?!?! Why are they advertising it??? –  ErikE Feb 12 '10 at 18:31

That's what the edit feature is for.

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1  
This. Let the rest of us down-vote your mistakes - if you want to do something, then correct them! –  Shog9 Aug 7 '10 at 19:13

Voting is a judgement on another person's contributions. I don't think it makes sense to vote on your own. If you realize your own contribution is faulty, either improve it, or unaccept and delete it (I therefore support the linked feature request).

Edit: I suppose it might make sense on a voting site like Meta - you might realize that your own idea is bad, and downvote it. But on SO proper, I don't think it's needed.

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This feels a bit like "feature for the sake of having a feature" to me.

I just don't believe it's a valid use case; users can't be objective about their own content and should not be allowed to rate it, period.

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I bet you wish you could downvote this answer twice. –  Evan Carroll Aug 7 '10 at 19:53

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