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I don't like seeing negative score as the value of a question. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but it just does not look good when a question has a -1 or -5 score.

This is especially annoying when someone adds a negative vote to your question. I even feel offended when my own question suddenly becomes a -1 or lower.

I have a feature request: Allow negative votes as before but when displaying a score, show the 0 score instead.

This may be implemented easily like score=max(0, score) or something like that.

The negative votes will still be allowed but will only affect questions that already have some positive score, will have no affect on 0 scored questions.

What do you think?

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23  
I think you're about to be very offended. Keep in mind this is meta though, a downvote could simply mean disagreement with your proposal. Nothing personal :) –  Brandon Nov 19 '10 at 20:45
    
Ok. No problem. But still, if I don't care about scores for the question at all, I think there should be some type of user settings where user can customize thinkgs like 'don't show question score' –  Dmitri Nov 19 '10 at 21:01
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@Dmitri - I bet you can write a greasemonkey script to do that. –  user27414 Nov 19 '10 at 21:03
    
For now I've found beautiful solution: I added the DIV[class="votes"] to my "AdBlock for Chrome" and now I don't see any of the scores on questions page. Simple and it does exactly what I wanted –  Dmitri Nov 19 '10 at 21:05
1  
This is interesting. In the past, there have been discussions about people who don't like negative numbers, but always in the abstract. Can you explain why you dislike negatively scored posts? And why you feel offended by them? –  Pops Nov 19 '10 at 21:08
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This is the opposite direction I want the site to go -- I think people's reputation should be able to go negative just like posts –  Michael Mrozek Nov 19 '10 at 21:09
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I think instead of lowering the score, a downvote should raise every other questions up by one –  oracle certified professional Nov 19 '10 at 21:17
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@oracle - I like that idea so much I think you should be promoted to mod. Of course, I think mods should have no powers and the existing mods should be promoted to "site-magicians". –  user27414 Nov 19 '10 at 21:22
    
This reminds me of playing sports where nobody wins and nobody looses. Don't take life so seriously. –  Beth Whitezel Nov 20 '10 at 3:59
    
@Michael I think one should be able to upvote or downvote people. –  Eldros Nov 20 '10 at 7:27
    
@Dmitri: Thanks for the idea. I strongly agree. In fact this is a long time passed since you posted this request. I should tell that I have came across the same idea and have posted that on the meta of serverfault (which later marked as duplicate of this request and moved to stackoverflow and I am here:-) ). I wanted to vote up our common request here but lack of rp, may be later. Thanks anyway –  alfa Jul 16 '13 at 4:29
    
1+ (I would try to upvote you but silly me, realize that I don't have enough grits to do that yet) –  Eliptical view Jan 7 at 20:29

3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

A negative vote is a signal that you need to change something to your question. Sometimes the question is vague and misunderstood. Or it is inapropriate for this site. Hiding those, makes you blind for that signal. Which is a bad thing.

Most downvotes are with comments. Read them, and if you agree, correct it, else you can put a comment back.

But in any case the downvote is not for you but for your question. We all get our share of downvotes. Don't be mad or sad, just watch and learn.

Please read the faq and ask questions if things are not clear. In the end we are all busy shaping this interesting part of the internet.

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2  
Do you have evidence to support the claim that most downvotes are accompanied by comments.? My experience suggests otherwise. –  Pieter Geerkens Mar 3 '13 at 23:39

It's not just you that feels offended by having negative score. However, that doesn't make it any wiser to do. Try thinking of the downvote not as being directed at you, but at what you just wrote. That won't work if you get worked up over a B- on an essay, though...

Being able to accept criticism is an important component of being active on the sites. People aren't infallible and downvotes are a method to guide people in the right direction. On the parent site, they point out flaws that you should be looking for instead of despairing. On the meta site, they point out disagreement, perhaps to think whether the feature is really a good idea.

To top it off, showing a 0 even for a negatively scored question is just a delusion. One which no one will learn from. 0 means "neutral", meaning there is ambivalence. But negative means "warning", and unless everyone else is wrong that means you have some wrongs of your own to be righting. Hiding from your errors isn't going to fix anything.

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Showing a negative score serves a purpose, just like a positive score does. When you're the poster, it tells you that you need to refine your question to make it better. When you're looking through questions, it tells you that a question is of low quality.

(and on meta it tells you that people disagreed with a suggestion)

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@user27414: I have to respectfully disagree. The coupling between loss of rep and loss of privilege is too great, which is part of why downvotes are taken so personally. Downvotes are personal, because of this tight coupling to loss of privilege. –  Pieter Geerkens Mar 3 '13 at 23:42

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