Is there any possibility of implementing a rule that would prohibit downvoting of the new questions for a particular period of time, let's say a protection for 5-10min after the initial posting? Give the user some time to understand the comments made by the community and let him to improve the question? I just witnessed a question that was completely new (less than a minute) and already had -7! This is not very welcoming for new users.

Yes, I know that people should learn the rules before they ask a question, but hey, honestly, how many people really do that when visiting every new website and looking for help? I'm not saying, that we should ignore them and don't downvote at all. Downvoting is a mechanism that pretty much works, no dispute about that. What I am saying - give them a chance.

The question I'm talking about HAS BEEN improved because of the comments, but it already has 4 close votes and -10... Downvote ragers won't cancel their downvotes, because it's not what they do. They see a bad question and BAM. -1

And lastly, yes, I know that most people that will respond to this isn't probably are not like this I'm describing. I'm not asking YOU to stop that, because it's obvious that you care about this website and probably never done such thing. My question is this: Is there any chance of implementing a mechanism to prevent this offensive behavior that encourages many newcomers?

  • 12
    The problem is not being able to downvote so soon, but the lack of revisiting.
    – Rob W
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:03
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    "Downvote ragers won't cancel their downvotes, because it's not what they do." ... ... ... "They see a bad question and BAM. -1" Incidentally, that's what you're supposed to do. Apr 15, 2013 at 14:05
  • 2
    Link to the question ?
    – asheeshr
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:07
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    What about legitimate downvotes to really bad questions ? The same happened with this "question"
    – asheeshr
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:13
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    @walther: Do you understand that before anyone gets to ask a question, they have to go through stackoverflow.com/questions/ask/advice and explicitly tick the box saying they've understood? It's not like this no advice has been given. The user has chosen to ignore advice that they've confirmed they've read.
    – Jon Skeet
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:19
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    "But hey, honestly, how many people really do that when visiting every new website and looking for help?" And this is our problem because.....?
    – user164207
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:23
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    @walther: I don't read EULAs thoroughly, but I acknowledge that if I violate one I'm in the wrong. If I'm interacting with a website which explicitly takes me through an interstitial telling me how to interact well, I do read that, yes.
    – Jon Skeet
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:26
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    @walther: "This is only one example, but this is a wider-spread problem." We see this a lot - people give a bad example, but then insist that really there's a problem elsewhere. If this is such a common problem, you should be able to give a good example. There are plenty of closed-but-not-deleted questions - if you find examples where people haven't clearly been simply too lazy to do any research etc, provide those examples.
    – Jon Skeet
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:28
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    @walther With regards to that, you might want to read the Meta FAQ. meta.stackoverflow.com/faq#vote-differences
    – Bart
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:31
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    @walther - Voting is different on meta. If you had read the Meta FAQ, you would have known that.
    – user164207
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:31
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    @walther: I don't, but then I'm not protesting them being downvoted, am I?
    – Jon Skeet
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:33
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    @walther It would make your case a whole lot stronger. In the face of evidence, it becomes hard to disagree with you. So if you have it, provide it. And if not, make sure you get it.
    – Bart
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:34
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    @walther: Before asking this question, did you look at all the related questions? It's not like this is the first time this issue has been discussed.
    – Jon Skeet
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:43
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    @walther Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And that burden falls entirely on you. As you can see from the voting tooltips, even on Meta we require and appreciate research effort. Gut-feelings are nice, but they don't create anything constructive. That said, good luck. If you have something, by all means let us know. If there really is a significant problem, we'd love to know about it.
    – Bart
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:44
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    I have absolutely no sympathy for an example question asking about parameters in a PHP URL that's tagged C# and asp.net. C'mon.
    – Wooble
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


They see a bad question and BAM. -1

The point of down-voting is spotting bad questions/answers and preventing Stack Exchange users to get bad informations from the sites.

That being said, I'm not sure there should be a way of limiting down-votes, since a lot of these questions deserve those votes. If the new user (we're talking about +- 20 Reputation) gets all those down-votes, the penalty is not that bad since he can only lose a limited amount of reputation which is just perfect.

Also, the community is mostly helpful with the user by posting comments like :

Welcome to Stack Overflow, please refer to the F.A.Q section to know how to ask questions that fits this site's standards


Can you provide more information? What have you tried? What problems have you encountered?

Limiting the down-voting system would be, in my opinion, a bad approach since bad reviews are the best motivation to try and make better questions.

  • Even though I can agree with most parts (as I've said in my question), I'm not talking about the situations when the person is obviously some lazy moron who asks questions like "how do you create a website?". I'm talking about situations, when the question could use just some minor polishing and be perfectly valid, but the community discourages the person so he better deletes his question altogether. I can't agree with your conclusion, that bad review gives the best motivation. It depends on the person. Some people really suffer under such conditions and maybe won't post ever again.
    – walther
    Apr 15, 2013 at 14:52
  • I guess you're right but in that case you won't be able to please everybody since not everyone will agree on that subject. Questions with minor problems will usually get minor downvotes. If they get too much, the question is actually not good enough and should be deleted... Again, usually Apr 15, 2013 at 14:56
  • I agree with walther Apr 15, 2013 at 15:19

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