Once a question has -8 votes, that's it - it disappears. Perhaps we might discourage users from downvoting more at that point(i.e once it hits -8), because any more downvotes are functionally meaningless, while an upvote may help salvage something. But once it's at, say, -10 or -15, any downvote behavior is merely a wasted click. Unless that user truly wants to downvote it, which leads to the idea of:

How about making a bold generic downvote symbol once a question hits -8

What about if we said, OK since it's -8, let's delineate that by marking it so and keeping it fixed at -8 even if it gets ten more downvotes( which still reflect on the reputation, even though for newbies and drive-by's they get stuck at "1" rep anyway ).

Related: How many down-votes is enough for a user to understand their problem?


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    How about improving the question? – Bart May 8 '13 at 16:45
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    "any downvote behavior is merely a wasted click" -- not necessarily; if I understand correctly, a question ban is partially determined not by just the number of closed/deleted questions, but the number of downvotes as well. – LittleBobbyTables - Au Revoir May 8 '13 at 16:46
  • @LBT - Ah, OK - I didn't know that, thanks! – Adel May 8 '13 at 16:47
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    What problem are you trying to solve? What benefit is there to preventing more downvotes? – djechlin May 8 '13 at 16:47
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    because any more downvotes are functionally meaningless. They are not; users that more than 18 points of reputation that ask a question worthy of 8 or more downvotes will loose reputation still; reputation is a rough measure of community trust and asking such bad questions should be reflected in that trust metric. – Martijn Pieters May 8 '13 at 16:48
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    This sort of happens by itself already. Once a question is downvoted past a certain threshold, it disappears from the front page. The reduced visibility usually means less pile-on downvotes once that happens, especially the on smaller sites where people use the front page more than specific tag views. – hammar May 8 '13 at 17:02
  • The one problem with that @MartijnPieters is that downvotes, especially on answers where they're rarer don't cost enough rep. – ben is uǝq backwards May 8 '13 at 17:06
  • @hammar - Good point, well Ok I'll reconsider the whole idea. thanks everyone – Adel May 8 '13 at 17:21
  • @djechlin - Hmm, I guess it saves a few seconds of time. I.E many newbies barely read a question, but mght downvote just because of "pile-on" effect.. otherwise, yeah. – Adel May 8 '13 at 17:23
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    I find it ironic that this question is currently at -12, 4 votes below the threshold at which the question's suggestion is to have it disappear. – rgettman May 8 '13 at 19:49
  • I wonder if people downvoted this question just to make his point :-) – Jonathan Jun 25 '14 at 17:09

We shouldn't do this because there isn't any problem it's solving. There's nothing wrong with a question having -12 or -20 downvotes instead of -8 identified. Plus this serves the benefits of

  • drawing attention to delete questions and making it easier to delete
  • being factored into user ban algos (we assume)
  • punishes users for asking REALLY poor questions, via a larger rep hit and more ugly downvotes
  • encourages self-deletion or improvement of really poor questions, especially as the rep continues bleeding

The last point (in bold!) is the important one - stopping the bleeding is the responsibility of the person who asked the poor question, in this case. That's exactly where we want the onus.

Furthermore this would add weird and unnecessary complication of business logic. Voting is how individuals express their own opinions. Individuals who show up earlier get to vote and those who show up later don't? If I were going to be the 9th downvote and another user removes his or her downvote, should I check the post again to see if it's finally my turn to vote? Maybe we can build some system to queue downvotes until they become the 8th downvote... except we do that, the queue starts at the 9th downvote.

  • Thank you, I understand & I stand corrected! – Adel May 8 '13 at 17:38
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    @Adel yes, it just occurred to me this was a valid answer instead of just a comment. It's sometimes tricky to find the line on meta. – djechlin May 8 '13 at 17:40
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    In addition, downvotes are part of the metric used to ban folks who consistently post poor quality questions and answers. – user102937 Sep 30 '13 at 23:54

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