When downvoting on meta I get a "please consider leaving a comment on how this can be improved" message.

In meta votes mean different things, so I think this isn't relevant. Can it be removed?

Another reason for this change could be that most people on meta know that (when to comment) already.

Note that this might only appear for users with lower rep.

See my comments on kamui's answer for further explanation as to why I think comments aren't needed in the majority of cases.

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    -1... nope I don't see anything. Oh well. Nov 24, 2011 at 13:04
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    I don't get prompted here so maybe its been done. Having said that I am comfortable with the idea of a downvote here meaning just 'I disagree' but I see nothing wrong with being prompted to explain why you disagree...
    – Rob Moir
    Nov 24, 2011 at 13:06
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    @Rob I do get prompted. I believe it is tied to reputation, probably 1000 points.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Nov 24, 2011 at 13:15
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    Fair enough, like I said, I don't think there's much wrong with leaving the reminder in meta rather than just downvoting, because its helpful to discuss why you disagree with someone rather than simply clicking an arrow and move on.
    – Rob Moir
    Nov 24, 2011 at 14:05
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    @RobMoir: I'd argue that in meta you're encouraged to post your opposing view in an answer, or upvote one that is the same as yours. Nov 24, 2011 at 14:08
  • @GeorgeDuckett and I'd agree that's the ideal response. But a comment is much better than nothing. I originally entered my explanation for disagreeing as a quick comment because that's all I expected it to need. And now here we are... ;-)
    – Rob Moir
    Nov 24, 2011 at 14:14
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    @RobMoir: Good points. Maybe it should check for upvotes on answers, or the user posting an answer. My other argument is that on meta, because mostly we know what we're doing, you won't get nothing (we know how to vote up opposing answers / how to comment when needed). Nov 24, 2011 at 14:18
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    I'd rather try to overhaul this de facto voting standard. I think any suggestion about the site should be appreciated; even discussing why an idea is bad tells us what we want the site to be like and hence is helpful and shouldn't be punished/downvoted. To find out if a suggestion is good or not, answers in favor or against it can be upvoted. This would keep the atmosphere much more positive on here. I imagine new users often are strongly discouraged by aggressive downvoting, just because they had a near-sighted idea. I'd like to reward or acknowledge that they cared and not punish that.
    – doncherry
    Nov 24, 2011 at 16:54
  • What is your source for "lower rep"? I just got this notification on a beta meta (Workplace) with over 1000 (closer to 2k) reputation (and at/near the top of the participation-sorted users list). Not sure that statement holds.
    – yoozer8
    Jan 2, 2013 at 3:31
  • @Jim: My source is the comments above, it might well not be quite right. Jan 2, 2013 at 14:46
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    @doncherry I totally agree with you there. I even tried making a proposal about it on meta, but it only got downvoted so I guess the MSO community doesn't agree (Change the meaning of downvotes on meta, or make it more apparent to new users that they mean something different?)
    – Rachel
    Jan 2, 2013 at 14:51
  • @Rachel, I've heard talk of splitting meta into a meta for SO and a meta for the SE network. I'd imagine that might be a good time to make that chance (if there ever is one). There would obviously be quite a period of confusion for a while though however/whenever/if the voting on meta was changed. Jan 2, 2013 at 14:55
  • This seems to happen on MSE but not on MSO. Jul 22, 2014 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


There is still a reason for leaving a comment when downvoting, even on meta. Yes it does mean something different here but if you get a downvote for something you would hope for a reason why so you can edit your question/answer to clear up any confusion.

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    I don't think it applies in as many cases here though, often you're just saying "I don't agree with your suggestion" (whereas on the main site you're saying "this is a bad question", which needs a why in most cases), perhaps you'd also upvote an existing comment that points out reasons why. My point is, on meta, we know when to comment, and I'd say the ratio of cases when you should vs. when you shouldn't is much lower so i don't think the blanket "you should probably comment" is needed. Nov 24, 2011 at 13:26
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    Also, note that you've posted the "why" you don't like my suggestion (and presubably downvoted it) in an answer, which is appropriate. Others can upvote this and downvote me, which makes more sense than leaving a comment IMO. (or of course they could answer with their own reason why they don't like the suggestion) Nov 24, 2011 at 13:28

The current message when downvoting on meta sites doesn't reflect that votes mean different things. But instead of removing it should be changed.

Instead of  "please consider leaving a comment on how this can be improved" it should be something like 

"if you disagree with the suggestion, please consider to vote one of existing answer or add your own. If suggestion can be improved, please consider to leave a comment"

Application can be smart enough to suppress the message, if the user already either voted one of the answers, added a new answer or left a comment.

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    Sounds like you want downvotes <= votes + answers to be true. Way disagree.
    – djechlin
    Apr 5, 2013 at 20:46
  • We really don't want to encourage every voter to add an answer. If there are existing answers they agree / disagree with we probably want them to also vote on them, not add yet another one.
    – yannis
    Apr 5, 2013 at 20:52
  • @Yannis, thanks, Updated to cover "vote one of answers" case Apr 5, 2013 at 21:03
  • @djechlin, I only want to make more clear currently confusing message, that appears when downvoting. Apr 5, 2013 at 21:07

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