It's difficult to read [the comments at] a heavily downvoted answer. Improve it!

Heavily downvoted answers are styled such that they're less notable. This is a good method to separate bad answers from good answers.

However, comments are also blurred. Consequently, reading comments becomes more difficult.

Feature request:
The readability issue can be solved by applying either of the following solutions:

  1. Add a way to toggle the colour/opacity of (the comments at) a downvoted answer.
  2. On :hover, let the colour and opacity reset, in favour of readability.

Temporary solution
Currently, I'm using a Stylish stylesheet to apply solution #2 (remove downvoted style on :hover).

Example of heavily downvoted answer Can't read

  • 9
    [status-by-design]. Why do the comments have special importance?
    – user102937
    Dec 28, 2011 at 19:04
  • 3
    @RobertHarvey Comments can be useful. If I decide to read the comments, I shouldn't be hindered by the visual appearance. I have just created a stylish stylesheet as a (temporary) solution (:hover), but I'm probably not the only one who's suffering from illegible text.
    – Rob W
    Dec 28, 2011 at 19:07
  • I might go for slightly increasing the readability of such answers (and their comments), but as Robert notes, there's no reason the comments should be treated any better than the answer to which they are applied. Dec 28, 2011 at 19:08
  • 24
    The comments might explain why the question is wrong/ect, which is much more important than the actual wrong answer or the votes indicating the answer is wrong/poor
    – Ben Brocka
    Dec 28, 2011 at 19:11
  • 7
    I strongly agree with @BenBrocka. How about just hiding all comments on < -3 posts by default? So you have to click the "more comments" link. Then, when they expand, they are colored normally (rather than faded). Dec 28, 2011 at 19:19
  • A thought; perhaps high voted (>1 or top voted on answer?) questions could be shown in normal color to make them stand out or only show those comments on the answer, sort of like how how sort out just the top few comments when there are a lot of them. When I see a downvoted answer there's often a "Here's why you're wrong" comment with high votes.
    – Ben Brocka
    Dec 28, 2011 at 19:21
  • 3
    Nice; :hover seems like a smart solution to me, that could also apply to the post itself! (On mobile, that would need to be a single tap, I guess, just like spoilers work different there.) As an aside: the fading/transparency might have been caused by a tiny feature request I posted, Make links in downvoted posts be grey, just like the text, which got an insane number of 60 upvotes. WHY?
    – Arjan
    Dec 28, 2011 at 19:35
  • 1
    (An example everyone can see: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/104/…)
    – Arjan
    Dec 28, 2011 at 19:50
  • 1
    Downvoted answer that will never go away...regarding problematic question titles =) Dec 28, 2011 at 21:04
  • @jadarnel27 I updated the question with a link to the answer you linked here, since the originally posted answer is deleted, along with its question. Dec 28, 2011 at 21:56
  • I honestly dont think it is hard to read at all. It probably depends on the monitor and such.
    – caesay
    Nov 30, 2012 at 3:22
  • Agree that :hover is probably the best solution. Nice idea. Apr 30, 2013 at 21:39

2 Answers 2


Well, to me personally making grayed comments readable is a matter of a single mouse drag - selected text colors look quite readable.


  • 6
    +1 for the lulz. I can't tell if you're being serious or not =) Dec 28, 2011 at 21:03
  • 6
    Slightly harder to achieve on a touch screen... And no luck in Chrome on a Mac.
    – Arjan
    Dec 28, 2011 at 21:09
  • 4
    That's some damn fine free-hand writing. Dec 28, 2011 at 21:09
  • @Arjan: Pfff, Macs.
    – Someone
    Dec 28, 2011 at 21:16
  • 3
    Freehand FTW! Another option that works on many browsers: Control-A/Command-A to select all content on the page, thereby having (roughly) the same effect. Dec 28, 2011 at 22:08
  • -1 for being annoying
    – prusswan
    Dec 29, 2011 at 2:38
  • 1
    @Arjan a-ha! revenge downvotes are on their way!
    – gnat
    Dec 29, 2011 at 11:05
  • on second thoughts, maybe this: memegenerator.net/cache/instances/400x/6/6808/6972175.jpg
    – prusswan
    Dec 29, 2011 at 11:45

My current solution is a Stylish style sheet. Each property is suffixed with !important, because it would otherwise be overwritten by the page's CSS.

The style sheet is also ported to a Chrome extension: http://rob.lekensteyn.nl/StackExchangeStyle.crx

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document domain("stackoverflow.com") {
  .downvoted-answer:hover .post-text,
  .downvoted-answer:hover .post-signature,
  .downvoted-answer:hover .votecell,
  .downvoted-answer:hover .comments,
  .downvoted-answer:hover .comment-text,
  .downvoted-answer:hover .post-text a {
      color: #000 !important;
      opacity: 1 !important;
  .downvoted-answer:hover .comments {
      color: #444 !important;
  .downvoted-answer:hover .post-text a {
      color: #07C !important;
  .downvoted-answer:hover .post-text a:visited {
      color: #4A6B82 !important;
@-moz-document domain("meta.stackoverflow.com") {
  .downvoted-answer:hover .post-text a {
      color: #000 !important;
  .downvoted-answer:hover .post-text a:visited {
      color: #7E4848 !important;
  .downvoted-answer:hover .post-text a:hover,
  .downvoted-answer:hover a.comment-user {
      color: #6C0000 !important;
  .downvoted-answer .post-text a.moderator-tag,
  .downvoted-answer .post-text a.moderator-tag:visited,
  .downvoted-answer:hover .post-text a.moderator-tag {
      color: #FFF !important;

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