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Earlier today, I was on the site of a Stack Exchange community that I have joined, but don't yet have 125 reputation, so I can't downvote. I wasn't thinking about that when I tried to downvote an answer, and this banner was displayed:

Downvote Banner

I think the phrasing used in this banner is misleading and should be changed, for two reasons:

  1. The phrase "publicly-displayed post score" implies that there is some kind of hidden score that the vote does count against. As far as I know, there is no such thing.

  2. It makes it seem like the 125 rep requirement applies to all votes, when it should distinguish between rep requirements for upvotes and downvotes. A new user may be confused about why upvotes change the score, but downvotes don't.

I suggest something like the following:

Thanks for the feedback! You may upvote posts, but downvoting requires 125 reputation.

If I remember correctly, the banner used to say something like this, so I believe the current phrasing is a fairly recent change (within the last few months). Unfortunately, I can't find a blog or meta post that mentions the change.

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The phrase "publicly-displayed post score" implies that there is some kind of hidden score that the vote does count against. As far as I know, there is no such thing.

It is stored and used, in some, mysterious unicornical way.
You can read more here in this answer and comments.

Q: And the feedback is actually recorded?
A: Yes, yes it is. You can even find it recorded in the data dump and SEDE within the PostFeedback table.

The answer was by a Staff member.

It makes it seem like the 125 rep requirement applies to all votes

Not really, it's pop-up message which applies to whatever you clicked.
Click upvote and you get a different message, click add comment and you get another, etc.

A new user may be confused about why upvotes change the score, but downvotes don't.

Possibly, but a new user can potentially be confused by a lot of things if they don't read welcome advice.
That doesn't mean we shouldn't make improvements where we can, but I think it's logical to get a specific message based on what you click on.

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  • There was an answer to this recently, am still trying to find it. Hehe me too!
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 15, 2015 at 19:42
  • @inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M Too slow ;)
    – James
    Jul 15, 2015 at 19:46

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