I recently saw a review of a first post that only consisted on a downvoting without saying why.

Due to it being the first post I would suggest to not be able to cast the first downvote without leaving a comment to explain why. Or a reference to the help page why it is a bad question.

  • 3
    That would prevent way too many bad posts from getting downvoted at all.
    – Oded
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:26
  • Well then at least the first downvote
    – llrs
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:27
  • 13
    "Welcome to Stack Overflow. This post is bad." — ah, that was helpful.
    – slhck
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:27
  • @slhck But this doesn't help them to improve
    – llrs
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:27
  • 3
    This will just cripple the whole idea of review. First post might be good and might be bad, we should have the tools to handle both. Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:27
  • 3
    Exactly. That's the point. It doesn't help anyone to improve. But if you force people to leave comments, they can just enter anything to justify their downvote.
    – slhck
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:28
  • Well if the first one explains why it is down voted, the rest of the people doesn't need to justify anything
    – llrs
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:31
  • ^ But one might not agree with others' explanation/justification. And there might be more than one possible explanation of why it was down voted. Not to mention, members/users will try to improve that explanation if it is unclear and/or confusing.
    – 535441434B
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:51
  • If you don't agree with the reason of the first down vote and don't want to explain don't do, but at least the person who posted the question have some clue of how to improve this question.
    – llrs
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:58
  • 1
    More then once I've attempted to leave positive critisim to on posts only to be met with anger and accusations of trolling. Much better to downvote/edit ect.
    – asawyer
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 15:38
  • And more than once they have edited the question or answered with more details, haven't they?
    – llrs
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


On Stack Exchange, it should be the quality of a post that counts, without preferential treatment.

I've seen both good and bad posts in the First Post review queue. Some deserved an upvote, some needed a little help on how Stack Exchange works, and some were just bad enough to deserve a downvote. For example, people who just bluntly copy-paste their homework assignments, or "give me the codez" questions.

It has been discussed to require a comment when downvoting, but in general it's considered a bad idea. It will break the anonymity of voting, and it will lead to people just typing 15 characters so they have added the required comment.

That being said, I do believe that when reviewing a new member's posts, we should lean towards guidance rather than downvoting. But we should never be forbidden to downvote just because it's a new user, or required to comment.

  • And then how can we improve the review for the firs post? People want to improve and do better reviews see this post.
    – llrs
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:53
  • 1
    Yup; this. Guidance is very important, and I know I can sometimes be slower to down vote a new user, but sometimes, a down vote is just plain "required". ;) Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 14:53

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