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Possible Duplicates:
Meta FAQ page should include more verbiage about downvotes.
Why do people take downvoting on meta so personally
Why are downvotes different on meta?

Downvoting on Meta Stack Overflow should mean one of two things:

  • On feature requests/bugs, it means "I don't like your feature, I don't think it should be implemented"
  • On discussions - your question is really badly formed, gibberish, or plain boring.

(Enlighten me if I have missed something)

Now, several times recently, people have down-voted some "discussion" questions that I asked, that I don't think were badly formed.

My theory is that these down-voters mentally mistook my question for a feature request, and down-voted to show their discontent at the feature request.

Am I correct in understanding that questions that are closed as duplicates should not be down-voted just for being duplicates (rather, it should be closed as such)?

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marked as duplicate by Ladybug Killer, random Apr 12 '10 at 10:42

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Well, this was begging to be down-voted, I know, I know :) –  ripper234 Apr 12 '10 at 5:32
    
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downvotes on Meta tend to indicate disagreement in addition to the bad question and i'm bored meanings. that meaning isn't limited to feature requests. –  quack quixote Apr 12 '10 at 5:51
    
@random - actually, the first is not really a dupe, more a "consequence" of this question. –  Gnoupi Apr 12 '10 at 8:23
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This question has all the hallmarks of "Don't downvote my questions, no matter what you may think of them." @gno –  random Apr 12 '10 at 8:28
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Downvotes in part look to discourage bad behaviour. Asking dupes would be considered bad behaviour. –  random Apr 12 '10 at 8:50
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well, if it makes you feel any better, I did change the front page filter threshold on meta from -4 to -10 .. so any given question can survive a lot of downvoting before being banished away from the front page. –  Jeff Atwood Apr 12 '10 at 12:14
    
@Jeff - That's a quite useful, but are you sure about the -10? this question (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/46308/…) currently has -8 and is not found on the front page anymore. (or maybe this change occurred after the last edit, I don't know) –  Gnoupi Apr 12 '10 at 12:45
    
Irony overflow. –  MPelletier Apr 12 '10 at 13:28
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Funny, I was about to write up something calling for more downvotes on questions. –  Aarobot Apr 12 '10 at 14:04
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@Jeff: since meta is a low-traffic site anyway (where posts can survive for a day on the front page), and downvoted questions are still useful discussion topics, perhaps it might be easier and simpler to simply remove the front page filter for meta entirely? –  Ether Apr 12 '10 at 14:53
    
@random - see this question about dups and "bad behaviour" - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/46420/… –  ripper234 Apr 13 '10 at 5:47
    
Also, none of the supposed dups for this question are feature requests, so I don't understand how can this be considered a dup (well, except this one which is certainly not a dup to my feature request: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/15251/…) –  ripper234 Apr 13 '10 at 5:47

1 Answer 1

Besides the usual "voting is anonymous, and it's up to each individual to vote for whatever reason" yadayada, here are some typical reasons for downvoting on meta:

  1. On feature requests: The voter disagrees and thinks this would not be a good feature.
  2. On discussion questions: a) the question is a de-facto feature request – see 1.; b) the OP bases his question on assumptions that the downvoter disagrees with; c) the question is just a rant that's unhelpful or close to offensive
  3. On bug reports: a: lack of freehand circles in screenshots; b) bug is not easily reproducible
  4. On support questions: a) the question is a de-facto feature request – see 1.; b) it is an actual support question, but includes a "this stupid site doesn't work" outburst
  5. On any question or answer: a) the voter wants to call Commander Keen; b) the post mentions Commander Keen

Here are the data dump-based probabilities that you end up with a negative score on your question, based on the tag:

                 total count  with score < 0  percentage
bug              1392         38              2,73%
support          1613         71              4,40%
discussion       3808         364             9,56%
feature-request  2789         356             12,76%
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-1 for mentioning the C-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named... –  quack quixote Apr 12 '10 at 6:56
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@quack: updated; thanks –  balpha Apr 12 '10 at 7:12
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added 3b: bugs should be reproducible or we will downvote them mercilessly. –  Ether Apr 12 '10 at 14:55

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