OK so I have seen the following before writing this post:
I logged in today thinking more about how to contribute to meta & not just SO. My problem in the past was the issue of misunderstanding down votes here and taking offense. In fact I think once upon a time I got kicked out of here due to my responses because my reaction was like this:
"Oh wow, on SO I may have gotten 1 downvote ever and now the 1st question I ever asked is downvoted by 15. What the heck, these people are mean here!!"
So I realize changing the voting system here as opposed to SO may not be desired or feasible, but what if upon asking a question and having meta note that I'm under a particular rep line (i.e. below 500?), I would be explicitly informed on how to digest and interpret downvoting?
I realize the FAQ states this, but as pointed out before it may have not been read or not realized to have differences from SO. Especially with low rep users. I know it's just like documentation in software, people still ask questions that are already documented and it drives us crazy. But it's also a fact of life that people typically will not read something buried in long read paragraph formats as opposed to a small. explicit, blip of important information. Since the downvoting meaning on meta is fundamentally different than SO, it might be worth having it stand out better to lower rep users.
The implementation of this information is semantics. Upon pressing 'Ask Question' or 'Post Your Question' maybe one of the following could occur for the use case described above (not for everyone just lower rep users):
- Dismissable disclaimer explaining downvoting purpose on meta
- Contrasting color section on page with information directly from FAQ about downvoting
- Clickable link about 'What does downvoting mean on meta?' or something similar
The above are just brainstormed ideas. Again semantics on the implementation, but the purpose is to inform lower rep users on the process of downvoting. It might be a win-win situation, because higher rep users don't have to see the 'extra' information about downvoting, and the potential for lower rep users to be better informed about downvoting on the spot to lessen the occurrences of misunderstanding on meta.