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This question already has an answer here:

New text: in hope to be clearer and better explained...

After using Stack Exchange for many years now, having received absolutely great answers and hopefully asked some good ones. I consider that some of the greatest comments I kept in mind are not the ones in direct regards to my questions but general comments from peoples who tell users, mainly me, on how to act properly on Stack Exchanges websites. Some peoples who have taken times to bring me in the right direction to improve my question and/or clarify it. Those who took time to tell me rules and/or good advices.

Based on that, I want to reiterate a very common suggestion. Although it is a redundant subject for which I already asked a question. I feel there are few huge differences between now and 2 years ago when I asked something similar which worth another try:

  • My state of mind.
  • My experiences based on many interactions with peoples here and on other websites.

The question/suggestion is about forcing down vote with comment. I got more experience to express my thought clearer, with less offending text and being more positive. I do not pretend to have the perfect solution, I simply express a problem I see and a potential solution:

My experience shows me that there are some peoples who think they can down vote and go... I’m not really agree with that. There is my main reasons:

  • It could kill a new question. For example: for a new complex question, some peoples will read it with the intention to answer but they do not have the full knowledge to answer or just don't understand fully the question. They could become disappointed and/or frustrated. Some of them will just vote down that new question. A question with "-1" or less is likely to have a lot less attention and lot fewer chances to be answered appropriately... All of that for a user who could have taken an action just a little bit too quickly.
  • For a new user to Stack Exchange, which does not know all rules, he could have more chances to be a little off when asking a question. Having some feedback would help him a lot to improve his questions and increases chances to have better one in the future. He will learn rules quicker and better.
  • Many users do not have English as their first language (like me) and does have some difficulties to express themselves as clear as those which have English has their first language. Some question is very good but just misses come clarity. Lots of persons who are not English born users could benefit from feedback to improve the way they ask and/or express themselves. Those peoples are also essential because they could bring nice answers too.
  • Voting down is often perceived as a violent act that attack anyone who asked a question the best as he can with the best intention. It could stop him/her to ask any further good questions or just leave Stack Exchange. It could also lead to lose some good answers, in the meantime.
  • Peoples do not always read question entirely. Some questions take all their meaning when they are fully red. Some author intentions are hidden in the last lines of their questions. Some peoples vote down too quickly without taking time to read everything.

The BUG:

But there is a problem when we add comment actually when we vote down: comments are actually signed. Comments could not be anonymous. Because it is often perceived as an attack to the author, there is always a risk of vengeance. I understand that people could be reluctant to add a comment when voting down in order to not being attacked back by a frustrated author being voted down.

The solution I see: Voting down could require a comment, but not a regular comment, a special comment in a special place: an “Anonymous” comment. It could be either visible or hidden by default but always accessible to anybody. Forcing a comment should not prevent vote down. It should have a very little impact and should be mainly due to the time required to express the reason to vote down.

What does forcing a comment to a vote down will bring?

  • Respect. Peoples will be less prone to vote down a question quickly without ensuring it really worth it.
  • Community improvement. People will improve themselves quicker due to feedback.
  • Website improvement. Because Stack Exchange peoples will improve themselves, asking better questions and giving nicer feedback to users, the overall website will just get better.
  • Increase the chances to improve awareness of people to reading completely in order to justify their down vote. It could by the way, slightly prevent some down vote.
  • Add some time between the intention and the action which could help prevent some decision done too quickly.

At last, if not forcing anonymous comment when down vote, perhaps just adding the possibility of doing so, without forcing, would also help have better questions and answers?

Original question text...

For those who like to down vote. Stop reading and down vote now... it is quite faster that taking time to read.

For all others... Based on When is it justifiable to downvote a question?, There is many of you who think you can down vote and go... All of that based on either your opinion or the StackExchange rules.

There is a difference between the 2. But on the name of respect and to improve the quality of this website and its children, I think you should never down vote and go.

If it is based on StackExchange rules, close vote it. It will automatically help the author the understand its mistake. It will also help to clean and improve this website.

If it is based on you own opinion or your not sure which StackExchange rule apply, then take the time to write a comment, or vote up somebody who write a comment that fits your idea before voting down. It will help the author to improve both its actual question and the next one.

In any cases, before down voting, always ask yourself, what was the intent of the person. If it was not really bad, does that person really deserve a down vote without comment. Always tell you, if that person would be my son, my daughter trying to learn something, what do I show when I down vote without comment? I don't say to not down vote, I say to be indulgent and vote down only with comments.

Anybody being really malicious will never survive any longer here anyway. But really malicious people are rare, really rare.

Why StackExchange don't prevent people from voting down without comment?

What a vote down without comment would bring to the community?

Notes:

  • As additional reading... For those who think that anybody read all the StackExchange rules before asking question, you should read that: Myth #1. People learn this website rules by their previous experience and trial and error. But nobody like to be voted down. No one, particularly when the did their best. Any well constructed comment will help the author and probably few other to improve them self.
  • The reason of this question is based on this question, down voted quickly without any answer or comments, leaving an empty question with -1. If you wonder if I'm frustrated, yes! Like many others who's wrote a question the best as they can, after many hours or unsuccessful research on the web and being down vote without any comment. That kills a question straight and that does not bring anything useful to anybody.

marked as duplicate by Kate Gregory, Robert Longson, Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard, Servy, S.L. Barth Sep 24 '15 at 15:20

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    The intent of downvoting is to indicate to other readers that the question or answer is not useful. That the OP may dislike it is beside the point. The downvote tooltip already provides an explanation as to why questions are downvoted. – Robert Longson Sep 24 '15 at 14:49
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    @EricOuellet Sure I did, you didn't research the topic though, your arguments are expressed weekly here with various slight differences and result in downvotes because you didn't do prior research. The question you reference has no steps to reproduce the problem and no simple testcase reproducing the issue. It will now be the subject of the usual meta effect because of that. – Robert Longson Sep 24 '15 at 14:52
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    I downvoted. Please don't ban me. – James Sep 24 '15 at 15:00
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    Man, if we could go one day without talking about this idea, that would be fantastic. – patricksweeney Sep 24 '15 at 15:05
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    @patricksweeney, When you really think something is wrong. I think that it really worth it to fight really hard to improve a situation. In fact, I don't think. I'm sure I'm right. Just apply the same rules has when you raise kids... it's exactly the same !!! – Eric Ouellet Sep 24 '15 at 15:10
  • @Kate Gregory, Thanks a lots. You are right. I didn't saw it. But I really appreciate your comment and when there to comments at many places. – Eric Ouellet Sep 24 '15 at 15:12
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    If you've explained to your kids 100 times not to play in the road and they go play in the road do you a) treat it just like the first time they played in the road and explain patiently from first principles why they should not play in the road or b) wish they had listened to the other 100 times you explained it? You are the 101st kid this week to play in the road without reading the warning signs (aka previous questions and answers). – Robert Longson Sep 24 '15 at 15:13
  • @James, Thanks for your comment. Not really useful but really funny :-) ! – Eric Ouellet Sep 24 '15 at 15:13
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    This idea is LITERALLY talked about almost every single day. The community has shot it down EVERY SINGLE TIME. You obviously didn't do a search to see what the community thought of it, and that will rub us all the wrong way. You really need to understand downvotes are a GOOD thing - they convey whether a question is even good enough to spend time answering - they help the signal to noise ratio. – patricksweeney Sep 24 '15 at 15:17
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    asdfasdfasdfasdfasdfasdfasdfasdfasdfasdfsabutthurtasdfasdfasdfasdfas – Won't Sep 24 '15 at 15:20
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    Excellent work there @Won't, no ban for you. – Robert Longson Sep 24 '15 at 15:20
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    Eric for people with less than 2k rep, a message appears encouraging to explain the reason of the downvote; as explained in the linked dupe. We can't and won't oblige something like this. 'Nuff said. – Marshmallow Sep 24 '15 at 15:23
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    @EricOuellet Not trying to be mean here, but I can't understand what you're going on about with that last comment. If you want to propose things on here, first step is to be able to be clear about it. Then, when it's repeatedly been shown it's not a good idea, just take your lumps and move on. – patricksweeney Sep 24 '15 at 15:27
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    As a sidenote, your argument that we should go easy on new users because they don't read the rules is putting the onus on the wrong people; if people can't be arsed to read the rules, they deserve the rough welcome they get. If they take it personally and leave, well, good riddance to them. – fbueckert Sep 24 '15 at 21:59
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    My experience shows me that there are some peoples who think they can down vote and go. - They can. It's 100% okay for them to do that. It is by design. We can not force people to explain downvotes. Nothing you have said changes that. – Catija Dec 12 '17 at 18:24
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Just some feedback on your specific points, as this general issue has been debated a lot already.

There is many of you who think you can down vote and go... All of that based on either your opinion or the StackExchange rules.

I have a right to downvote without leaving a comment, just as you have a right and freedom to voice your opinion in your question here.

But on the name of respect and to improve the quality of this website and its children, I think you should never down vote and go.

So every single downvote should have a comment? Every single one

Avoiding the side of this you obviously hate, which is our freedom to do so, what about the fact that questions and answers would be flooded with nonsense and useless comments, aka "noise", which detracts from people leaving useful comments "Hey your answer is good but typo in your code XYZ" or "In your question do you mean XYZ or ABC"?

If it is based on StackExchange rules, close vote it.

Close and downvote are not the same thing, whatsoever.
Not sure if you've missed that they're two entirely different functions, or if I've misunderstood you.

Are you suggesting we do away with downvotes(?).

If it is based on you own opinion or your not sure which StackExchange rule apply, then take the time to write a comment

No, I do not want to, nor do I have to.
How about you take the time to do many things I want from you? Not fair? Of course it wouldn't be, that's why downvotes do not need a comment. We're all a big group of people. I'm sure you do things which others do not like. Perhaps comments that they did not like, or a question someone found pointless. Live and let live a bit.

What about crap questions or answers? I have to comment to say "I feel this question/answer is not very good"? You do realise people here are doing all this for free right? My time is worth money, it's precious, as it is to many people. I'd rather downvote to make a post be lower down in lists, and spend my time on helping someone else with an answer or whatever. Or doing something in my own personal life.

In any cases, before down voting, always ask yourself, what was the intent of the person.

This is just making sure the downvote is valid. It is no argument for a mandatory comment.

If it was not really bad, does that person really deserve a down vote without comment.

Yes, they should not post "really bad" things. Why don't they take the time to make a decent post? Why should I have to spend my time advising them when they couldn't be bothered to extend the same courtesy to me in the first place?

Always tell you, if that person would be my son, my daughter trying to learn something, what do I show when I down vote without comment?

Of course family gets different treatment, we're not all family and never will be. And this has no bearing on whether a post should be downvoted or not. Would I downvote a family member? Depends, but possibly, if I felt it was deserved and the content should be moved around accordingly to make it fair on others who spend more time and effort writing better content.

I don't say to not down vote, I say to be indulgent and vote down only with comments.

It's been debated to death, had you bothered searching, but simply put, mandatory comments when downvoting causes masses of noise, and will lose us a lot of downvotes because people do not want to or cannot be bothered to downvote.

The reason you find good content is because people downvote and allow the good upvoted stuff to float to the top. Be grateful of downvotes, they're usually justified. Even the odd one here and there which is not is just "that's life".

Anybody being really malicious will never survive any longer here anyway. But really malicious people are rare, really rare.

So someone who doesn't comment when downvoting is malicious? You must mean this as this is your entire topic. It is nonsense to use such words with this topic.

Why StackExchange don't prevent people from voting down without comment?

It should prevent people from asking dupe questions too, but hey, freedom to post I guess, like you have exercised by posting this dupe ;)

What a vote down without comment would bring to the community?

Content is ordered by quality by downvotes, with or without a comment.



A downvote does send a message - "this is bad, fix it". On that basis, I ask you - is a comment "necessary"?

  • I did not say that people who down vote just to make trouble to somebody else is rare. Usually when people vote down they have a good reason to do so (at least in their head). It is rare that somebody will vote down to for wrong reason (malicious). – Eric Ouellet Sep 24 '15 at 15:39
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    Maybe it's rare people downvote for "malicious" reasons, but I doubt it's rare people downvote for "wrong" reasons, whatever the wrong may be (wrong tab open, disliked someone from previous discussion, bad judgement on the post, etc). the point is, forcing people to comment doesn't resolve anything, and would introduce more problems. Mandatory comment on downvote would just be messy at best, but likely the site would lose a lot of members, or a lot of downvotes, possibly a bit of both. Which is not good for the site. – James Sep 24 '15 at 15:42
  • Honestly, a lots of people like you would have been chosen as the proper answer. You did a good effort. I asked 2 questions. The 2 ones with question mark. 1 - You said "... I guess". It does not answer the question. 2 - The other you explain a fact but did not answer the question too. It happen exactly what happen in most too quickly down voted question. The question is addressed to a very little portion of knowledgeable people and then it frustrated some people without that knowledge and they vote down. – Eric Ouellet Sep 24 '15 at 15:45
  • You are right that it could prevent some down votes. But less down votes would not necessarily be a bad thing if it only removes those who down vote without comments. That is a question of respect. If some peoples quit because the cannot down vote without comment (could be anonymous), then they don't deserve to be here. – Eric Ouellet Sep 24 '15 at 15:50
  • You didn't really ask a question which can be "answered" directly, you suggested we introduce a new system function, and I "responded" based on my thoughts from experience etc. Have a read of the other duped questions like yours, there are a lot of good points made about this request. And is why I didn't spend a lot of time answering, and was really just courtesy to give you some feedback on your specific points as I've already read and thought about this proposed feature. :) – James Sep 24 '15 at 15:55
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    Less downvotes would be a very bad thing, there are not enough as it is. Spend some time on Stack Overflow on the popular tags, like PHP, and you will soon get sick of seeing poor questions with not only a few downvotes only, but upvotes and answers :). I'm not saying we should mass downvote everything which is not perfect, but "very poor" things are not downvoted enough. – James Sep 24 '15 at 15:56
  • I saw few questions (between 5-10) that had already been down voted or closed for any reason where I thought that there were very good reasons to keep them open. Not so often but it happen. I don't want to be the judge to say that a question is totally useless for everybody on earth. – Eric Ouellet Sep 24 '15 at 16:01
  • @EricOuellet Give me 1 example question, I bet it was closed for a good reason :) – James Sep 24 '15 at 16:15
  • Some were close because the do not suit actual rules. Questions like was is the best..., others were close for duplicate where they were not exactly and they bring additional information. But I did not track them. – Eric Ouellet Sep 24 '15 at 16:42
  • Well, that sounds like good reasons they were closed. Dupes are dupes, if they're not vote to reopen. Whether a dupe brings new info or not, it's a dupe. A user might find Q1 and go away with their answer, others find Q2 and a better answer. The question being duped and all answers in 1 Q means all users find all answers and get the best info they possibly can – James Sep 24 '15 at 19:11
  • Sorry about the chat link, that's been a feature request for ever too. – James Sep 24 '15 at 19:12

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