Since I earned the privilege to downvote I used it when ever I saw a post of low quality and used this feature intuitively.

But when I asked myself today what exactly are downvotes meant for? Are they meant for incorrect content? Just for low quality? Or even for posts that are not helpful?

I went looking in the Stack Overflow helpcenter and noticed that there wasn't any information about it (expecting the little hint when you hover with your cursor over the downvote button). So maybe thats a good idea to add to avoid unintended abuse of downvotes?

Lets collect here some cases, what downvotes are meant to be used for and what not.

  • 1
    Put your mouse cursor over the voting arrow, and read the tooltip that pops up.
    – user102937
    Nov 4 '13 at 16:33
  • 1
    The whole point of being vague is because its up to you. You decide whats not helpful Nov 4 '13 at 16:34

Down votes are for what you consider unhelpful.

What should you consider unhelpful: Thats up to you. This is left intentionally vague. With the exception of voting fraud1 you are free to vote however you see fit

1: If you are voting for the person not the post you are likely commiting voting fraud, otherwise you are probably not

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