I recently submitted an MSO discussion question. In very short order it has been downvoted to the point where it appears on the rogues gallery of downvoted questions (i.e. the last page of questions sorted by votes, with 50 per page). It also has by far the worst net-votes-to-total-views rating of all questions on that last page, which could be worst of all questions. Finally, although I can't see up/down vote totals for other questions with my rep, the fact that the question only has one upvote probably puts it in the running for worst up/down vote ratio amongst high net-downvoted questions.

While there are a few questions on the last page that might cause me to view my membership there as a badge of honor (e.g. Should we have a policy about "too much downvoting"?), I would, if possible, like to "improve the question". After all, that's how the system is supposed to work, right? I know I shouldn't radically change the question as that would violate SE's rules of integrity, but wanted to get your thoughts on the reasonableness of any of the following:

  • Change the title to fit MSO's convention of highlighting the key change under discussion rather than the twisted form of maintaining the status quo that is there now (ironically done in an attempt to avoid controversy)
  • Remove the update about "agreement voting" not being allowed for discussion questions on the grounds that people don't like being lectured to, particularly from a relative newcomer and particularly about something that's been accepted practice for a long time
  • Add an update which summarizes all the reasons why the embedded idea was a bad one
  • Include a link to the popular Encouraging people to explain downvotes to emphasize that I've read that post as part of my research
  • Leave the question alone and let it die, on the grounds that any more modifications at this point would be viewed as pandering and would be considered unwelcome
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    Leave the question alone and let it die, on the grounds that any more modifications at this point would be viewed as pandering and would be considered unwelcome
    – user102937
    Aug 19, 2013 at 16:01
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    I think your question is where it is because the change proposed is widely viewed as bad, so without the radical question change you rightly rejected, it will remain extremely downvoted no matter what changes you make. I would leave it alone and chalk it up as a learning experience.
    – jball
    Aug 19, 2013 at 16:20
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    Thats a surprisingly large number of downvotes on a discussion, even for Meta. While there was a implicit feature-request, the response seems overly critical.
    – asheeshr
    Aug 19, 2013 at 16:37
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    I think the reaction was definitely extreme. Between the odd phrasing of the title, the implicit feature request, and the edit that appears to read "don't downvote because meta policy says you shouldn't vote for disagreement on discussions", I think that could help explain the negative reaction to the post. Aug 19, 2013 at 17:56
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    As a general rule, telling people not to downvote your post makes people want to downvote it that much more. It just doesn't help.
    – Servy
    Aug 19, 2013 at 18:48
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    I am one of the people who downvoted that question, and I do feel bad that it's become one of the most downvoted questions of the week, and I do think you're a useful contributor here, but I'm not going to change my vote. I don't think I should, my opinion on that question itself hasn't changed. The comments so far have hinted at some of the reasons. Namely, whining about downvotes tends to attract downvotes. But more importantly, I strongly oppose anything like what you're suggesting there, and even a whiff of such a feature request is something I'd like to make clear I oppose. Aug 20, 2013 at 6:23
  • But it is nothing personal. All of the veteran contributors have made unpopular suggestions that have been heavily downvoted. It's part of the nature of the game. Please don't let it get you down. I don't know that I agree with Robert that any further edits would be "pandering", but it may be best to just let it die anyway. The point is not to get discouraged at participating just because you've made one or two unpopular suggestions. If you want to restore your rep, stick to answering questions where you're in agreement with our customary policies. That's a quick shot in the arm. Aug 20, 2013 at 6:24
  • "It also has by far the worst net-votes-to-total-views rating of all questions on that last page..." Nah, don't worry, there are quite a few questions which have 100+ downvotes, they're just not in the list anymore. Aug 20, 2013 at 8:19
  • @M.NightDemonbobby And they're not in the list because they're ... deleted? Aug 20, 2013 at 12:43
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    @PeterAlfvin: No, the list only goes to -50, everything beyond that is hidden...but now that I look for them, seems like the mods have cleaned most of these questions up. Too sad, but this gem is still here. Aug 20, 2013 at 12:45
  • @Cody, can you help me reconcile your statement that you downvoted primarily as an expression of disagreement and you don't think you should remove it with your recent answer about use of the feature-request tag (meta.stackexchange.com/a/193943/216381) and you're awareness at this point of the policy against agreement/disagreement voting on anything but feature-requests? Do you really think I mistagged it? Or is this just a matter of the policy being more of a "guideline" (i.e. Pirate Code type of thing)? Aug 20, 2013 at 12:52
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    I profoundly disagree with that characterization. Perhaps that is the root of the problem. I don't think that downvotes are anything like knives, bullets or anything else lethal. I never understood why people take this view of downvotes, yet don't apply the same logic to upvotes. You don't think upvotes should be reserved only for posts to which you want to confer a special reward, do you? No, you just upvote posts that you think are helpful, clear, and useful. So why the higher standard for downvotes? That just leads to vote inflation. I can't balance upvotes by abstaining. Aug 20, 2013 at 13:13
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    Lots of writers have influenced my thinking about feedback, particularly Deming, but my favorite is David Rock, who has studied and summarized recent brain research. See youtube.com/watch?v=isiSOeMVJQk for a short intro. Aug 20, 2013 at 13:44
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    @gnat Interesting that the highest upticked comment/suggestion on this question (do nothing) is fundamentally at odds with the highest voted answer on the "dup of" question (edit it). In any event, thanks for the reference. I hadn't thought of the "community wiki" approach. Aug 20, 2013 at 14:33
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    @gnat Thanks for the follow-up and the reference to your answer in particular, which I frankly had only skimmed previously and now consider particularly thoughtful (and will upvote). :-) Aug 20, 2013 at 15:07


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