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Lets see how a downvote without a comment explaining the reason, is like a critical sneak attack:

  • We don't know who did it.
  • We don't know why they did it.
  • The target can't defend him/herself.
  • The target can't adapt and learn from it.
  • The target can't improve what he/she was doing.
  • The one who attacks isn't challenged in absolutely any way.

"Valar másino ēdruta sagon lykēdan" :P

"Forcing a comment will end in even worse results." at https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/2373/222324
why? how? ppl doing the harm will complain more? how can that be bad??? less worse than not knowing why we got downvoted, that's for sure.

So I request this alternative message and feature:
"If someone, that downvotes, comment in the next 2 hours, all downvotes will be kept, otherwise all downvotes will be cancelled." (this refreshes every 2h after a new downvote)
Now that is a great incentive to let someone take an honorable action!

Dup-friend of this +-10 year old question: Encouraging people to explain downvotes
Related to A Better Downvoting System, and possibly to also all the ones heavily down-voted and linked from it :P


hot tip:

If you readed til here, make it sure to further read this BEFORE creating your equivalent/duplicate question about this same subject (I wont edit above to keep it as raw as I used to think :))


(Suggestion) Btw, from the comments I came to this:

I think the "taking the downvote personal" instead of being "about the question/answer itself" problem arises from the fact of the personal penalizations we receive (or we see others receiving) when we have little points on that account, like we cant do many things when we have little points.

If we could, for ex. vote something up/down but that vote be "ignored" by the system until we reach a minimum score to validate these votes we cast (so it would keep the votes we cast and our effort on reading and understanding and voting wouldnt be discarded), it would lower the side effect of personalizing the downvote, helping on keeping the feeling about the downvote limited to the question it-self, instead of a personal practical/usage kind of punishment.

In short, let newcomers do all basic things, but only make these actions available to everyone after we have enough points to grant what we did has enough quality to be made public. What would be a further incentive on contributing for sure :)

Obs.: I just found an answer deserving a downvote.
The user had just a few points above 100.
If I downvoted him, he would be prevented from several actions in the network.
I saw other of his answers, they were ok, had effort on it, but I couldnt upvote any of them yet.
If I had downvoted I would help the network itself what is good, but I would mess his usability of the network what is bad.
So, we that care not only for the network but also for the ppl using it (what is the network w/o ppl? nothing) are thrown in a dilemma.
If I downvote he will be forced to put more effort on his answers, what is good, but can he? does he have such time/energy/knowledge? how long his actions will be limited on the network? will he simply giveup?
So, I wont downvote his answer right now, and that is bad for the network, but I know (I feel) I am doing the overall right thing, and that is what matters to me.
Also, that subject had more than 11K visualizations, and NOBODY downvoted it! someone should begin trying to really understand why as apparently my argumentation is not enough.


(Suggestion) about possible anonymous comments:

I think, if comments could be made anonymously (may be only for ppl with enough score to do so), then they would be more willing to provide help about their downvotes w/o fear of retaliation.

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  • 7
    ^ There, I "commented". Now how does the system know my comment was actually explaining my downvote, and wasn't just some random keyboard-smashing? It's too much of a hassle to bother doing, plus, one could upvote an existing comment explaining why it was DVed by another person, etc. – Jenayah Jan 26 '19 at 20:53
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    In your scenario does my down vote still count as "this content is not useful for future visitors" or are you more worried about the "attack" argument that is often used and repeated by those that want to get rid of down votes? – rene Jan 26 '19 at 20:54
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    Also it is worth mentioning that it still is, despite popular belief, much easier to get an unaccounted upvote on a post then it is to get a downvote on a post. – rene Jan 26 '19 at 20:56
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    I downvoted because we are not playing Game of Thrones on SE (and yes, we hate fun). – Meta Andrew T. Jan 26 '19 at 20:58
  • @Jenayah for example, that kind of comment would be punished with many negative points, the system doesnt have to be so automatic, users must behave :) – Aquarius Power Jan 26 '19 at 21:48
  • @rene the moment you comment "this content is not useful for future visitors", I can further question you: "why? how?" and even if you do not answer, someone else may do it! – Aquarius Power Jan 26 '19 at 21:50
  • @andmyself very nice link thx! when I was creating the question, this could have been suggested: meta.stackoverflow.com/a/357437/1422630 – Aquarius Power Jan 26 '19 at 21:58
  • Unfortunately the site doesn't support cross-site duplicates nor does it do network wide title matches. – rene Jan 26 '19 at 22:01
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    With my down vote you can already ask your self "how" and "why". My comment shouldn't be instrumental to that. – rene Jan 26 '19 at 22:02
  • @rene nah it's ok, that link accepted question is very good as it is based on practical results and the fact this is a complicated problem to be really solved in the best way possible to everyone contentment. Now, "cross-site duplicates" and "network wide title matches" would be an amazing new feature I guess. – Aquarius Power Jan 26 '19 at 22:05
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    It would be highly confusing when asking a question on Ask Different to get titles from Seasoned Advice ... not all apples are equal ... – rene Jan 26 '19 at 22:17
  • Hai, I believe that honorable actions are the incentive, we don't need to bribe people to do them, the reward is seeing posts/rants like this go *poof* – FreezePhoenix Jan 26 '19 at 22:45
  • Also, what's wrong with a sneak attack on a bad post? Hm? – FreezePhoenix Jan 26 '19 at 22:50
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    True revenge down-voting will get noticed by the system, and reversed. – FreezePhoenix Jan 26 '19 at 23:57
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I think a major problem is that we assume downvotes are an attack rather than a defence. I think about half the points you made are still worth addressing

  • We don't know who did it.

By design - some folks take downvotes personally. It should be about the post not the person

  • We don't know why they did it.

Granted - assuming its not a fundamentally flawed question that would be covered in the help, or just a simple question with no research.

  • The target can't defend him/herself.

Downvotes are a means of quality control - that folks care about imaginary internet points and curation helps ensure quality posts, and lets us curate things. Downvotes are defence not offense.

  • The target can't adapt and learn from it.

While I take exception to term "target" - in many cases its pretty self explanatory. Outside gimmethecodez type questions I suppose, If someone feels its worth their time and effort to do a teaching moment, they will, and many folks do

  • The target can't improve what he/she was doing.

Well, sure they miss the direct feedback if no one comments, but there's a whole Q&A site of non downvotes questions. Our poor quality question mod message suggests folks look at highly rated questions in a tag

  • The one who attacks isn't challenged in absolutely any way.

There's no attack. That said, there's a small rep penalty for answer downvotes.

If one intends to defend against downvotes, one needs to prepare their ground. Do their research, show what you've tried. Provide folks with as much information as possible...

1
  • The personalization is the real problem. A simple way to understand is: the ones that receive downvotes also need questions/answers with many upvotes to solve their problems, what should be enough to accept a downvote w/o complaining and use it to learn to question/answer better. I added some other thoughts about personalization and a suggestion on a way to solve that problem too on the OP, thx! :) – Aquarius Power Feb 18 '19 at 19:49
3

Votes are not only for the person who wrote the question or answer. Vote counts show anyone/everyone who sees a Q or A what the community thinks of it. A post with many downvotes means the community doesn't think it's very good. Many upvotes means the opposite. A few votes one way or another can be an indicator of which way the community is tending...

When you look at voting this way, you see that it's got nothing to do with the person who wrote the post - it's not in any way an attack that needs to be defended or penalized.

1
  • I think the "taking the downvote personal" instead of being "about the question/answer itself" problem arises from the fact of the personal penalizations we receive when we have little points on that account, like we cant do many things when we have little points. If we could, for ex. vote something up but that vote be ignored by the system until we reach a minimum score to validate these votes we cast, it would lower the side effect of the personalization of the downvote,keeping it limited to the question it-self in a practical/usage way,so in the way we feel the downvote affects us directly. – Aquarius Power Feb 18 '19 at 19:33
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I have the following reactions to your points:

  • Voting is anonymous, and always will be.
  • They don't need to share why, Freedom of Speech goes both ways.
  • The target shouldn't need to defend themselves - the system automatically detects and corrects and reports abnormal voting behaviors.
  • The target can adapt and learn, if they aren't, they definitely didn't try to make their post as good as they could, if they had, even an opponent would likely upvote.
  • They should not be challenged. Doing so results in fear of downvoting, which is a fear of making the system work.

In addition, the feature you request would be a direct violation of fundamental human rights. You can't make someone talk, that is a right. You can't make someone explain why they did something, they have no obligation to do so.

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  • Technically it wouldn't be "mak[ing] someone explain why they did something"; it would be bot letting them do something if they won't explain it. – Alex Jan 27 '19 at 0:12
  • A -> B is the same as !A -> !B... – FreezePhoenix Jan 27 '19 at 0:14
  • The difference is that while freedom to not speak might be a right, freedom to perform actions on Stack Exchange is not necessarily a right. – Alex Jan 27 '19 at 0:16
  • Freedom to not perform actions on SO is a right. You don't have to explain why you downvoted. You downvote, you don't have to explain why. Stating why you do something is not allowed to be a criteria of doing it. – FreezePhoenix Jan 27 '19 at 0:17
  • Therefore since explaining why you downvoted is not a possible requirement of downvoting, nobody can force you to explain. – FreezePhoenix Jan 27 '19 at 0:18
  • Under the proposed change you still won't have to explain why you did something. You just won't be able to do something if you're not willing to explain it. Whether "explaining" can be a criterion for "acting" is the very question under discussion. I don't think it automatically follows from the "right to not explain". – Alex Jan 27 '19 at 0:19
  • Right to not have to explain an action -> not having to explain an action you would make -> you can't be forced to explain an action -> You can't be required to explain before making an action – FreezePhoenix Jan 27 '19 at 0:22
  • That's only true if the reason why you can't be forced to explain an action is that you have the right to perform unexplained actions. But if the reason why you can't be forced to explain an action is that speech cannot be compelled then what grants you the right to perform an unexplained action? – Alex Jan 27 '19 at 0:24
  • You literally just said "if <x> is true because of <y>, then what says <x> is true?" – FreezePhoenix Jan 27 '19 at 0:25
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    There are two separate groups. One is your rights relating to speech and the other is your rights relating to actions. Your rights relating to speech may include the right that you cannot be compelled to speak. Your rights relating to actions may include the right to perform unexplained actions. But the latter does not necessarily follow from the former. It is possible that you have the right to not be compelled to speak, yet do not have the right to perform unexplained actions. In such a case you can elect to invoke your right to not speak, but that might entail giving up the ability to act. – Alex Jan 27 '19 at 0:30
  • The latter does follow from the former! If you are not required to do A when you do B, then you are allowed to do B without doing A! – FreezePhoenix Jan 27 '19 at 0:31
  • Forcing someone to explain an action is in of itself forcing them to speak. – FreezePhoenix Jan 27 '19 at 0:31
  • It's not forcing them to speak, because they can choose the option of not speaking and not acting. – Alex Jan 27 '19 at 0:32
  • But by stating that they cannot do the action which in of itself is a form of expression...? You are requiring that they make themselves a target of retaliation. – FreezePhoenix Jan 27 '19 at 0:33
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    "In addition, the feature you request would be a direct violation of fundamental human rights. You can't make someone talk, that is a right. You can't make someone explain why they did something, they have no obligation to do so." Those aren't rights at all. Courts around the world can and will force you to talk, or to explain your actions. The exceptions are things like the American Bill of Rights, which specifically provides that no one can be forced to testify against themselves. (But anyone given immunity to prosecution for their testimony can still be compelled to speak.) – Nathan Tuggy Jan 27 '19 at 5:22

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