Possible Duplicate:
Encouraging people to explain down-votes
Down-voting on questions - Require a comment below a certain rep?

(It is not a duplicate of Why are people downvoting my question on Meta?)

I recently posted a question, Can we finally have some social-networking features on here? that was downvoted into oblivion but it had answers and a lively discussion. I felt that I was shouted down for unorthodox views. On Stack Overflow proper, down-voted questions are for lack of research, vagueness, or uselessness.

I think that down-voting on Meta has too much of a chilling effect on the community. There are a variety of opinions, but they're all smushed into a general category on the front page. I want my questions to shine but no one really criticize the question per se, just the subject of the question, which I feel should only be shot down in comments or answers not with an anonymous content-free vote.


1 Answer 1


I felt that I was shouted down for unorthodox views.

Voting on Meta is usually voting on the suggestion. Therefore, suggestions that don't suit the majority's taste are bound to get downvoted. I know from experience that doesn't feel nice but it's how the voting mechanism works.

I agree with you that this is somewhat unfair to good or even excellent suggestions whose only fault is that the community doesn't like them.

However, I don't see how your suggestion of asking for (or even requiring) an explanation for the downvote would fix that issue. What good would come from everybody having to spell out their disagreement separately, and their arguments for it?

Some kind of a separate "I agree / disagree" voting mechanism might address the issue.

  • It makes down-votes a constructive mechanism as opposed to something that's usually destructive. We're not children, we don't need to be shushed. Nov 3, 2011 at 15:45
  • 2
    @Mark Not sure I understand what you mean. A lot of downvotes isn't meant to shush anybody - it just means that a lot of people disagree with the suggestion. IMO the only thing that comes close to "shushing" is the fact that posts with more than 8 downvotes disappear from the front page. Is that what you mean?
    – Pekka
    Nov 3, 2011 at 15:46
  • Yes that is what I mean. I don't have a say on whether the question should be effectively removed from the site. It just goes away because of eight people I don't know. Nov 3, 2011 at 15:52
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    @Mark I would support a feature request about changing that on Meta. However, a downvoted question doesn't go away from the site - it just doesn't show up on the front page any more. It will be visible in the tag views, in search etc.
    – Pekka
    Nov 3, 2011 at 15:53
  • Please post it and CC me. I'm exhausted : / Archived questions are usually ignored. That's not what this site is for. Nov 3, 2011 at 15:54
  • 1
    @Mark yeah, I may do that later. (work)
    – Pekka
    Nov 3, 2011 at 15:55

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