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For example, look at Should I be able to cancel my up-vote on a comment?

This has a lot of support from the community, but is status-declined with no explanation.

It just brings back the memories of being a child whose babysitter doesn't know a thing about parenting, and just says things like "NO, end of discussion.". "But why?...", you ask? "Because I said so!" - or just silence, like we get here.

Reasonable people need reasons to remain reasonable!

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I think this is not really about introducing a rule, but about company policy. – Pëkka Jan 4 '11 at 11:45
Also relevant:… – Adam Davis Jan 4 '11 at 13:15
Relevant comment (about bugs, but the same general framework applies):… – Adam Davis Jan 4 '11 at 13:19

Your example question is pretty nice in that there are at least two dissenting opinions already:

Should I be able to cancel my up-vote on a comment?

Should I be able to cancel my up-vote on a comment?

So this is nothing like "Because I said so" it's more like, "After reviewing the pros and cons, we are choosing not to implement the feature."

But even if this were not the case requiring stack overflow internet services, inc to justify every decision they made is ridiculous. At some point a decision has to be made, and if they provide justification, someone will object to their justification and request further justification.

In other words, at some point users are still going to be dissatisfied with the answer - it doesn't matter that the dissatisfaction comes earlier in the process.

Further, it shouldn't be required for many of the same reasons moderators are not required to post a comment when they vote to close a question - check out those discussions for more reasons.

Lastly, the company should not bind itself to this feature request (to justify every status-declined) for legal reasons, so this feature request is dead from the very start.

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Those opinions are not really particularly dissenting... In any case, requiring the explanations for all declined features might indeed be impractical, but they could at least provide them for top 20 or so declined requests... – romkyns Jan 4 '11 at 17:31
@romkyns - The top declined requests can be found here: and it looks like Jeff has weighed in on a lot of them. Note that it takes over 25 upvotes just to get into the top 50 of this list, so your 20 vote example is not a very high priority, relative to all the requests that have been made over time and declined. – Adam Davis Jan 4 '11 at 17:36

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