I think those people who just vilely down-vote a question and go away should receive some penalty on their reputation, because they do not deliver any knowledge to the community. It is a totally non-constructive "hate" position.

For example, I have some question EM-drive "like" question. I am not specialist in physics and in real confusion I just asked to help me find a solution and instead got an anonymous down-vote.

I think such a "hate" behaviour should be punished. What do you think?

  • 4
    Why would voting have anything to do with "hate"? No one is voting because their personal feelings towards you, they simply don't find your question helpful or useful.
    – Cai
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:21
  • They do not have personal feelings to me but they may have personal feelings to some position. Nazis killed jews not because they do not like them personaly but because they are jews. Dec 26, 2016 at 10:32
  • 15
    I think equating a single downvote on a question with Nazis killing Jews is a tad over the top...
    – Cai
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:33
  • The big is starting from small Dec 26, 2016 at 10:42
  • The big is starting from small. Firstly you considering confusing questions as "not helpfull" next you consider people which asking such questions as "not helpfull" and next you are dreaming how to burn them in hell. And one day dream is come true. Dec 26, 2016 at 10:46
  • 4
    I think my behavior should not be punished. Instead I should be rewarded for enduring this ongoing onslaught of my integrity by occasional visitors.
    – rene
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:47
  • 2
    Let me bite as well: What kind of punishment did you had in mind for me?
    – rene
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:48
  • 10
    1. That's not hate, it's just a downvote. 2. It shouldn't be punished, we want people to vote on content. 3. Your comparison is grossly inappropriate.
    – jonrsharpe
    Dec 26, 2016 at 11:02
  • 2
    Needed a bit of a pick-me-up after yesterday, thanks for the comedy! Godwin's law in your very first comment, that's got to at least equal a record
    – Clive
    Dec 26, 2016 at 13:30
  • 3
    I'm pretty sure that Googling 'The Holocaust' will not generate any references to 'Perceptions of malicious downvoting on Stack Exchange', or the like, on the first page. This post is an apallingly insulting troll and should be treated as such. Dec 26, 2016 at 13:55
  • But I am not sure who is actually thinking here Martin or Google? Dec 26, 2016 at 15:49
  • @Martin is thinking. Google is a tool he's using to demonstrate that your own efforts at thinking have gone terribly wrong.
    – Clive
    Dec 27, 2016 at 14:29
  • Marting used idiotic argument so I doubt that he is actually thinking. Googling 'The Holocaust' will not generate any references to 'Perceptions of malicious downvoting on Stack Exchange', Ok If I have internet link from 'banana' article to 'mars' should I consider that its is the same thing? Dec 27, 2016 at 18:58
  • Downvotes are not 'hate', they are quality assurance. Your analogy to the persecution of Jews by the Nazis is way off the mark - the only thing being 'persecuted' against are questions that do not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful, and rightfully so.
    – user347575
    Dec 28, 2016 at 3:57
  • 1
    @Clive Not a record. I've seen it in a question title before. But that doesn't take away from the fact that invoking it in the first comment is quite impressive.
    – Mysticial
    Jan 5, 2017 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


I think using words like "vile" and "hate" (and worse insinuations in comments) is completely over the top. Votes in the vast majority of cases are cast with no malice. Downvotes, as the tooltip shown when you hover over the downvote button says, are used when a user thinks:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

It's as simple as that. No hate, and no bad intentions.

You should take downvotes as a sign that something in your post needs improving, and try to act on that, with no resentment.

If you're getting a lot of downvotes, there is something wrong with your posts, use that information to improve them. If you're getting a few downvotes here and there on otherwise well received posts then don't take it personally, all it is is made up points on a website.

As for penalties; voting is an integral part of how Stack Exchange sites work, and we want to encourage that, not penalise it.

For further discussion on the topic see (amongst various others):

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .