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Why do you cast downvotes on answers?

I have never down-voted any question yet, but I have seen many question down-voted, including mine, and I am little bit curious about the reasons behind down-voting. I just wanted to know your basis for down voting. What bad qualities do you see that makes you decide for down-voting the question?

I have received 10 down votes till today.
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marked as duplicate by Jeff Atwood Jul 1 '11 at 15:42

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.

Related: Why do you cast downvotes on answers? – Pëkka Jul 1 '11 at 7:00
+1. While we're at it: Why would a question tagged "discussion" and "support" be downvoted?? – Cosmin Prund Jul 1 '11 at 7:43
@pekka - Most of the points talks about answers only not questions. I think no now downvotes question if answer is wrong. – a5his Jul 1 '11 at 7:46

The down arrow beneath the score clearly states the reason for a down-vote:

"This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful."

I think lack of evidence of research effort is the most common reason, although you'll see plenty of unclear questions

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That's ridiculous @pavium. If someone is new to coding they might not even know the right question to ask. We should be not only answer questions, but helping people ask better questions. – ari gold Sep 10 '12 at 16:35

Re downvoting on Meta: See the FAQ.

Voting here works a bit differently from other Stack Exchange sites. On Meta Stack Overflow, voting is used to express agreement or disagreement, not to point out a lack of quality or helpfulness. Please don't be concerned if you receive downvotes – members of the community may simply disagree with your bug, feature request, support issue, or the nature of the discussion.

Re downvoting on SO proper:

You have received one downvote to date, which cost you 2 reputation points.

The one question that you got the downvote for is rails script console I can't judge on the quality of the question, but it looks fine. Maybe it was because of your (back then) low accept rate, I don't know.

I wouldn't worry about it. Everyone gets a downvote once in a while, and as far as I can judge, your contributions are of fine quality.

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-10 rep for downvotes? Shouldn't that be -2? – JohnP Jul 1 '11 at 7:06
@John argh, it's still early morning here. Of course. – Pëkka Jul 1 '11 at 7:07
The OP received a lot of downvotes on Meta questions though, which is what I suspect this is really about. – Tim Stone Jul 1 '11 at 7:08
@pekka - i am not worried about down vote but we really need to think twice while down voting for sure(my opinion which others might not have) – a5his Jul 1 '11 at 7:56

You can ask for reason in comment, BTW downvoter is warned Please consider adding a comment if you think this post can be improved but they do not need to do so. However, it's better if downvoter do comment your post with reason ... Nobody can force them

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While it's true that adding a comment about why you're getting downvoted is helpful, I suspect that one of the reasons why people don't leave comments is because they don't want retaliation from the person being downvoted, or don't want to get into a dispute with them. – user163250 Jul 1 '11 at 7:07
Well... You just hammered a nail into head! – genesis Jul 1 '11 at 7:10
Wow... Downvoter? Why? – genesis Jul 1 '11 at 7:10
Don't look at me, I didn't downvote this...also, the irony! – user163250 Jul 1 '11 at 7:11
Downvoter is already gone by the time you see the vote. Presumably if they'd wanted to say any thing they would have. If you want constructive criticism, then ask for that - leave voting out of it. – Shog9 Jul 1 '11 at 7:11
@Keoki: I know you didn't ;) – genesis Jul 1 '11 at 7:33
@genesis - i agree. – a5his Jul 1 '11 at 7:59

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