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A downvote on a question generally means that the quality is low and should/can be improved.

However questions tagged have a different meaning as per the help center

On posts tagged feature-request, voting indicates agreement or disagreement with the proposed change

That being said, when a question is downvoted the following tooltip is displayed (I guess only for low-rep users like myself)

enter image description here

I think the tooltip should be changed to something different that states clearly the difference between a feature request downvote and a "normal" one.

Also I believe the tooltips displayed when hovering the up/down arrows should be changed accordingly to something like I don't agree with this proposal / I support this proposal

enter image description here


There's was a similar proposal a couple of years ago (Change upvote/downvote tooltip on meta sites) but it was about changing the tooltips on every question on meta and it has been rejected.

I instead propose to change the behavior only in questions tagged as , as this difference is clearly formalized in the site description.

The motivation behind this proposal is that being an experienced StackOverflow user but sort of a new user on Meta, not later than today I was very confused by the meaning of a downvote, until someone pointed me to the help center.

  • 2
    It's true, it does feel like this comes up on most feature requests with downvotes. – Dennis Meng Oct 24 '13 at 1:02
  • I honestly think that line in the help center just made the "[dis]agreement" problem worse... Voting does not indicate agreement - it's an extra factor. It certainly doesn't only apply to feature requests. – animuson Oct 24 '13 at 1:09
  • Just as a side thought to this feature-request, what if a question not tagged feature-request before but after reading the question, a higher rep guy, edits the question and adds the feature-request tag? And vice-versa? So, is this changing the tooltip text going to be dynamic?! – SudoRahul Oct 24 '13 at 6:44
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Your proposal assumes that feature requests can only be down-voted because people disagree with them. This is not true at all - a feature request could still be formulated poorly, lack research, be unclear, etc. Likewise, people could disagree with a bug report (they can't reproduce it, or they don't agree it's a bug), or with a support request (they don't agree that the user should be wanting to do whatever they're asking about). Of course all three can be down-voted for quality reasons too, and if you change the text on the tooltip, then it becomes misleading in those cases instead. You haven't solved anything, you've just shifted the confusion to a different scenario.

Like any other element of the site, a tooltip is only going to help so much, even if it were easy to make the text dynamic in the way you propose. When people have this confusion, we can direct them to the help center, just like we continue to argue with people about why their shopping list questions are off topic or why their question does need to be closed as a duplicate.

  • sure, good point. Still I feel like we should somehow state the difference in those tooltips. They're meant to help new users and I personally find them confusing as they look totally similar to StackOverflow. There's no clue of the meaning of a feature-request downvote. – Gabriele Petronella Oct 24 '13 at 1:09
  • Someone's gotten into the FGITW habit ;] – Aza Oct 24 '13 at 1:12
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    @Emrakul actually no, I think my first two sentences would have been a sufficient answer. But I thought more about it after I hit submit. – Aaron Bertrand Oct 24 '13 at 1:13
  • I kid, I kid. L: – Aza Oct 24 '13 at 8:05
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I think the spectrum is already encompassed by "does not show any research effort," "unclear," and "not useful."

If you disagree with a feature request, you likely1, by extension, think it is unclear or not useful, or some variant. The change you've suggested would limit the definition of the downvote tooltip, not expand it.

1: To some degree. Please don't pick nits over absolutes.

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