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Encouraging people to explain down-votes

I am becoming increasingly frustrated with drive by downers.

Does anyone see any advantage to someone having to comment or answer the question before they can down vote?

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    Here we go again... Sep 8, 2009 at 16:54
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    lest you be accused of drive-by posting, you should search for similar questions: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/135/…
    – akf
    Sep 8, 2009 at 16:59
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    And you know that you have just asked for several down votes without comments for yourself, right?
    – EBGreen
    Sep 8, 2009 at 17:00
  • and 10 years after the fact I still get downvoted on this LoLz
    – Crash893
    Mar 12, 2019 at 17:51

2 Answers 2


I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around why an up-vote is valid while a down-vote is somehow an invalid expression of their opinion (except here where up-votes are invalid).

Look at it from a different angle: If I disagree with something you say and somebody else up-votes it, why don't they have to publically explain their up-vote to me?

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    I don't think its productive to tell someone they are wrong with out saying why they are wrong. The entire point of this SO SU SF is to help people with problems and learn.
    – Crash893
    Sep 10, 2009 at 16:00
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    Depends on the situation. Maybe someone else already commented on the problem I had and I don't feel the need to be repetative. Maybe I simply disagree with someone's opinion and am registering my "vote" against that opinion. Sep 10, 2009 at 17:58
  • I just -1 this answer because the different angle you suggest: if a down vote costs rep and an up vote doesn't then it means there are differences between up votes and down votes. An up vote for a question is not usually because the question was well formatted but in the mean time lots of down votes are because of bad format. Code examples are another thing, you don't give +1 because the question has a code sample in it... but it's missing you might. what do you think? Nov 19, 2014 at 14:18

Down votes cost rep. If a person feels so strong about a question/answer to downvote and get the rep hit, then let them have it.

Also, keep in mind that the cost of down votes might increase in the short term.

Anonymous votes are a cornerstone of this site. Non anonymous downvotes could lead to retaliation wars. Almost as fun as edit wars, but more damaging.

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    I think you missed a small wrinkle in the my plan. I didn't say you have to comment on why you voted down. I was saying you can only downvote if you post a comment/answer. That keeps it fairly obscure with out linking it directly to a user for retaliation.
    – Crash893
    Sep 10, 2009 at 16:03
  • I don't think that the reason that down votes cost rep should be the (only) reason why not to have the comment/answer that the op suggested. Nov 19, 2014 at 14:21

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