This should be discussed before, if not:

The basic idea of downvote here on meta, as I could come to know, is to express disagreement. That attaches a few doubts. Reps shouldn't be taken serious, more so at meta, but I feel a no nonsense approach would still be better.

  1. if downvote suggests disagreement, then why is downvoter's rep stripped? Is it wrong to have an opinion? [now applicable for answers].

  2. If downvote suggests disagreement, how do I downvote for inappropriate/duplicate/vague/nonconstructive/off topic questions/answers (which should actually get the poster lose more reps than for disagreement-downvotes in my opinion)

  3. If downvote suggests disagreement, why is the questioner/answerer losing just 2 points while an equivalent agreement-upvote helps questioner/answerer gain more than 2 points (5 and 10 respectively)? In other words why is disagreement and agreement treated differently? I find this weird.

  4. Does this agreement/disagreement style voting system hold water on questions that are not related to feature request and discussion?

I'm not here to say agreement/disagreement style voting system is not the way to go, I like it here on meta which makes voting different from SO. But its not a no nonsense approach in my opinion. An option would be to give the freedom for the poster to attach a poll along with his question and the normal SO like voting system persist with UP and DOWN buttons. I wouldn't want to request for that feature considering reps on meta are just a trivial aspect. But what I would love to have is to have more symmetry in up and down votes here on meta; like:

  1. No points stripped for merely disagreeing. But that can lead to flurry of disagreements, and I dont see a workaround sadly. But still its better to not strip reps for disagreeing.

  2. Equal point gained/lost for the poster with upvotes/downvotes respectively. Agreement and disagreement are equal and opposite.

At least to some extent it solves. Thanks. I would first put this up in discussion

  • 2
    why is disagreement and agreement treated differently? I find this weird -- as for me I somehow find different handling fair in this case
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 9:50
  • @gnat why would be that? I can agree with his view, or disagree both which should be given equal weight ain't so?
    – nawfal
    Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 9:58
  • 2
    As for reputation loss: consider supporting Meta Stack Overflow should not penalize downvotes.
    – Arjan
    Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 10:57

2 Answers 2


Most of your comments about the effects of down voting are adequately covered by questions about the overall reputation effects of voting on the main sites. The principle is no different on meta; down voting has the same effects on reputation, for basically the same reaasons.

As for your item #2 from the first list: would you not disagree with a post that was inappropriate, vague or not constructive, in your opinion? Down vote those, too, and flag when appropriate.

  • the effect is the same, but imho it doesnt justify for uneven weights for agreeing and disagreeing.. regarding the second stanza, I would disagree, but it cant be quantified as disagreement or flagging.
    – nawfal
    Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 10:47
  • 3
    @nawfal Then leave a comment expressing your disagreement. You are really way over-thinking this. IMO. Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 10:48
  • mm, an option.. but still..
    – nawfal
    Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 10:51

The tooltip for the button to down-vote a question is the following one:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful (click again to undo)

The same could be said for both the main site, and the meta site. If a question is based on wrong premises, it is not useful, and you could down-vote it. That is what you could do with a feature request you think it is not useful because, for example, resolve an issue involving a very restrict group of users.

Down-voting on a meta site is not much different than down-voting on the main site; the difference is the type of questions asked on a meta site, where some questions are about feature to implement on Stack Exchange sites, and other questions are about bugs found in the Stack Exchange sites. There are also questions that could be subjective.

To notice that it is only on Meta Stack Overflow where you get reputation for answering, and asking questions; on other meta sites, you don't gain reputation.

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