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Why are people so eager to exercise downvotes? Isn't Meta supposed to be a more general discourse on a broader range of topics? Isn't it an opportunity to exchange dialogue with the SO community?

Edit: yes but unfortunately, practically it's the same users, as SO, so it ended up being the same culture, by default, rather than by reflection.

I read a relevant post on the subject, but again, what I see is very different. There is no open platform for discussion on general user points without incurring downvotes.

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I'll share my point of view as a long time member here on Meta.

Votes, both up and down, are the way of expressing yourself without having to use words. When you see idea you either agree with or disagree with, you vote.

Now let's assume there will be no votes on Meta. People will have to write in order to express themselves, many times having to repeat what others already said or just write "yes, I agree" or "no, I don't agree" which will cause huge clutter and tons of noise, not to mention privacy is gone.

Think that's enough reason why votes are important here on Meta, no less than they're important on the main site.

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    And even so, we're generally not at a loss for words here. :) – Bart Aug 29 '13 at 19:27
  • @Bart very true, but many posts (both Questions and Answers) end up with lots of votes and few comments. – Shadow Aug 29 '13 at 19:30
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    Oh sure, votes tend to outweigh contributions. Sometimes significantly so. But silence or lack of points of view is rarely the case. (Not that you were implying that). – Bart Aug 29 '13 at 19:32

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