The reputation system is flawed. It seems I can't downvote unhelpful answers on a question I've asked. Even if they are not relevant to my question. You should be able to downvote unhelpful or offensive posts in your own question, without a reputation requirement.

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    He's totally correct. The rep barriers for downvoting and commenting are stupid and unhelpful. – DeadMG Feb 16 '14 at 22:45
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    @DeadMG: regardless, there are ways of effectively and clearly expressing your opinion that don't involve such language. – Hovercraft Full Of Eels Feb 16 '14 at 22:46
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    Why not you focus upvoting good content? – Braiam Feb 16 '14 at 22:46
  • @DeadMG I think you would qualify that as historically incorrect if you had had the opportunity to witness SO without such thresholds. Also, this is ooooooooooooold hat – sehe Feb 16 '14 at 22:47
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    @jaclyn even though it's still not the best of posts, please have a look at the edit. Good luck. – Bart Feb 16 '14 at 22:47
  • ... or commenting? – Braiam Feb 16 '14 at 22:47
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    @Hovercraft: True. – DeadMG Feb 16 '14 at 22:49
  • @Braiam If I am to focus on upvoting helpful content, how am I to do this when there is no helpful content to upvote? – Jaclyn Feb 16 '14 at 22:49
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    @Jaclyn simply do nothing. If the existing content is really bad, others will downvote it for you – Guilherme Bernal Feb 16 '14 at 22:51
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    I think Bart's edit changes too much in the original post, and the intent of this post has been lost. ;) – Aaron Brager Feb 16 '14 at 22:55
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    @AaronBrager - Only if the original intent was to be closed and deleted extremely quickly. – Martin Smith Feb 16 '14 at 22:55
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    I was just making a joke, using the language from the "reject edit" dialog. (Although, Jaclyn is now gaining rep as a result; this question has gone from -5 to -2 since Bart's edit.) – Aaron Brager Feb 16 '14 at 23:03
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    @AaronBrager Here on Meta, we turn questions around. (Or try to, anyway - this one's back to -5.) – michaelb958--GoFundMonica Feb 16 '14 at 23:24
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    Revision history is priceless. – user231078 Feb 17 '14 at 0:02
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    @bart You should have left it as it was. I considered upvoting, until I read the edit and original ahem "approach". Sure it would have been removed in seconds, so be it! Because, Jaclyn, if you cannot be bothered to be civil and constructive, then you should be ignored. – James Feb 17 '14 at 0:11

Best solution in my view: stick around, answer questions, ask good questions and gain rep, it won't take long, and then you'll be able to down-vote to your heart's content.

  • One issue is to not allow folks who are very new and in the view of many as "untested" from down-voting, and while yes, this does inhibit you from being able to down-vote answers to your own question, its benefits out-weigh its down-side.
  • Another issue: if you are the one asking the question, and thus not an expert in its content, perhaps you're not in the best position to judge if an answer should be down-voted, especially if you are new to the site and don't yet fully understand what down-voting is for.
  • If an answer is off-topic or offensive, you can always flag it for moderator attention.

As an aside, regarding your original question, there are ways of effectively and clearly expressing your opinion that don't involve offensive language.


The concept is, you need to gain experience in order to be able to judge, which answer is helpful and which is not. Unfortunatelly, many new users are expecting questions giving them the fish instead of rod, so it's also a way to protect rod-giving users.

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    Whenever I ask a question, I have done as much research possible on my end before asking. Then if some idiot comes in and posts something that is completely unrelated to my question, I can't downvote it. That is the problem I have with this stupid rep system. – Jaclyn Feb 18 '14 at 17:29

Well I do respect your motive. But have you ever wondered what these badges and rep actually are?

When I joined this site. I had the same feelings as you have today. I did want to get help but I wanted to downvote those who weren't helping me out. That's sometimes rude. How? Well since you're a beginner you don't know how this network works. This isn't a forum or just a QnA site. It is a community. And people with enough knowledge around get more powers.

Forexample I am a 4k user on Stack Overflow thus I know what sort of questions are allowed there so they gave me the power (priviledge) to edit posts, vote to close or open, and some other cool powers. But here I don't know how to use this platform. Thus they don't let me do something I am not aware of.

It would be like:

Giving you a match stick when you're unaware of its bad effects.

You need to earn rep, learn how this site works, ask good questions, help others. Once you are trusted by community. On each step you will be granted a power and at the end you'll get the light saber (moderator tools at 20k).

Don't be rude and don't be in a rush.


I hate to go against the grain , but I think Stack needs to revisit this. There should be a loophole in the general rule that newbies can't downvote - allow them to downvote on their own posts.

The issue has come up at least frequently enough.

Also, what if I'm a 4000+ user who is asking from a library? You don't know, maybe that's the case ; and I want a quick answer so I make a guest account

  • Why would you be making a guest account? – scrblnrd3 Feb 17 '14 at 0:06
  • @scrblnrd3 - Because it's faster, no login – Adel Feb 17 '14 at 0:06
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    I can see where you (and the OP) are coming from, but I like the fact that users have to show a bare minimum of expertise on each site before downvotes are enabled. The OP can comment to explain why posts aren't helping him (her). For that matter, until they get a few rep their only voting mechanism is acceptance. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Feb 17 '14 at 0:09
  • I think it's an issue of trusting me , though. If I ask about XYZ, there's an implicit notion that I can give you feedback. I can see that there are cases where this restriction can be .. well, vexing – Adel Feb 17 '14 at 0:13
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    When somebody answers enough of simple questions (newbie questions?) becomes an expert instantly? No. Sorry this does not work that way... – Evil Feb 17 '14 at 0:55

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