Several times in the past few days I have seen questions with answers that seem to completely miss the point of the problem being described in the OP.

I've down voted these answers and then put my own answer which solves the problem (and then goes on to be accepted).

However, on the down voted answer there is the comment by the poster "Who down voted and why?" so I replied to explain why.

Each time it comes with an instant down vote on my answer and no explanation other than something along the lines of "This isn't the right answer" from the person who posted the wrong answer.

Other than just anonymously down voting and not commenting, is there a way to avoid this behaviour? Like I said its happened several times this week and is very annoying.

  • 9
    A technique you can use is to imply you're guessing why other people downvoted. A little dishonest, but effective Mar 25, 2014 at 10:30
  • commenting but not answering? I do that often. Mar 25, 2014 at 10:31
  • 2
    I've frequently seen others avoiding conflicts by explaining the issues in extremely friendly tone. Hope one day I'll be able to be that patient too, but I am not there yet
    – gnat
    Mar 25, 2014 at 10:55
  • @gnat Even that won't help if they are looking for a fight. :(
    – asawyer
    Mar 25, 2014 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


With constructive criticism the best way to (at least reduce) the revenge downvoting is to seperate out the criticism from the downvote.

So don't write the following:

-1 you should foo ()


I'm downvoting because you haven't considered foo ()

Instead just put the criticism:

You may have missed foo(), consider what will happen if bah?

  • OK cool, I like this idea. Will definitely give it a go thanks :D
    – Fogmeister
    Mar 25, 2014 at 10:35
  • You may have missed to suggest "undownvote", consider what will happen if a user consider your comment and improve the answer after getting downvotes. This is also a good way to reduce the revenge downvotes. :-) Mar 25, 2014 at 10:41
  • 3
    @hims056 just as you can annonamously downvote you can annonamously undownvote. I think people are just as likely to reply saying "I fixed those problems you mentioned" whether you say you downvoted or not Mar 25, 2014 at 10:44

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