On main sites downvotes are usually used to show that answer is incorrect.
On meta sites downvotes are used to express agreement or disagreement.

On main sites downvotes cost reputation so that people downvote only posts that really worth it as it may give bad feelings to answerer.
But it can't be a reason on Meta as it's explicitly said that votes mean another thing here.

So why downvotes cost reputation on Meta?

  • 7
    Meta reputation is the absolutely most pointless metric on the Internet. Yes, it's even worse than the TIOBE index. Stop worrying about it.
    – yannis
    Aug 11, 2012 at 11:26
  • 3
    @Yannis That's true until you accidentally get below 100 on here like me and you can't DV anymore...
    – jrh
    Jan 17, 2017 at 16:44
  • 1
    I totally agree. I only downvote answers on Meta when I strongly disagree with them. The only times I downvoted answers on MSE were here and here. There are a lot of answers that I disagree with (for example the answer to this question) that I didn't downvote because of the reputation cost. I also strongly disagree with this, but I didn't bother downvoting it because others have already done so. Sep 13, 2017 at 8:58

1 Answer 1


That FAQ is generally considered to be referring to questions, not answers. We downvote questions to indicate we disagree with the ideas they imply or propose. For example, you're proposing a change to how meta.se should work, and I am going to downvote to indicate that I don't like the idea. Note that question votes do not cost reputation on any SE sites.

We don't usually downvote answers to indicate disagreement; contradictory answers can all be voted up on a discussion question, because there can be several valid points of view. But people will downvote my answer if they think it is factually wrong, and upvote it if what it says is factually correct; those are the same reasons for which answers are upvoted or downvoted on the main sites.


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