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Is it now discouraged to ask for reasons for downvotes as a comment?

I see many comments asking for downvoting explanation being flagged.

I understand those comments could be interpreted in two different ways:

  • Plain whining and/or complaining, usually due to frustration
  • An earnest of the poster's desire to understand the post flaws

As the three words "Why the downvote?" are not enough to fully understand the poster's intentions, I guess one should be consistent about flagging (or not) this kind of comments, (almost) irrespective to any other consideration.

I am curious about how the community manage this.

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marked as duplicate by random Mar 18 '11 at 22:48

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.

    
Maybe we need a way to flag invalid flags (o wait two weeks early with that one). –  Toon Krijthe Mar 18 '11 at 22:38
    
what is the duplicate question –  D W Apr 7 '11 at 20:11
    
Could I get a link please –  D W Apr 7 '11 at 20:12
    
@D W Theoretically this one meta.stackexchange.com/questions/74559/… –  belisarius Apr 7 '11 at 20:29

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I would not view such a comment worthy of a flag if there has a been a downvote without some comment as to why the post was downvoted. We've long held that downvotes ought to be accompanied by an explanation that helps the poster learn from the experience. Asking for an explanation seems to me to be a request for understanding and greater knowledge and shouldn't be flagged as inappropriate.

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4  
Down-voters aren't notified of comments. If they felt like commenting, they would have done so when they down-voted. –  Shog9 Mar 18 '11 at 22:54
3  
Interesting enough, this post has been closed (righteously) as a dup. But the original post got answers favoring the flags .., life is difficult :D –  belisarius Mar 18 '11 at 23:07

Well, there is possibly a misunderstanding with comment flagging.

Questions and answers can be upvoted, downvoted and of course flagged. But comments can only be upvoted and flagged. Maybe some users treat the flag as a downvote due to misunderstanding of the system.

Luckily several flags are needed for a comment to be removed. And these suspicious flagged comments seldom got more than 1 flag (as far as I have seen).

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