Many times we've seen this scenario happen - a question was posted and currently doesn't meet the standard or is unclear. A user with voting privileges sees the content, downvotes it, and moves on with their day. They were not obligated to make comments on their downvotes (they should, but they're not required to).

However some of these questions are redeemable - sometimes the original poster would amend the question up to standard per suggestions, or sometimes they want to clarify their position with the downvoters (especially on answers) but the downvoter is already long gone from the post.

My question is thus: should those who downvote a question/answer receive notifications on new edits and comments so they can review their decisions? I think it's beneficial because:

  1. Notifications can easily be ignored, so it's not an annoyance.
  2. It allows the downvotee a channel to reach out to the downvoter without pestering them.
  3. It would generally promote better voting ratio and reduce the view of "toxicity" on some of the communities.
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    Absolutely not. Should users also be notified when there are comments on posts they have upvoted? Why not? Why should downvotes be any different? – fbueckert Feb 5 '19 at 15:47
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    I've casted 10,000 downvotes. You don't think it is an annoyance if I get a small subset of those in my inbox every time a trivial edit is made? – rene Feb 5 '19 at 15:52
  • Thanks for the dupe link, I honestly couldn't find it... though I'm a bit sour that the dupe link had a general "okay" reception while mine is currently sitting at -4. – Idlehands Feb 5 '19 at 15:52
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    You're making it seem like downvotes are a bad thing, which shows a misunderstanding of their purpose. Downvotes are not toxic. Never have been. The dupe is asking for an option to be notified, which, while something I still don't agree with, at least doesn't force it down curator's throats. – fbueckert Feb 5 '19 at 15:54
  • @rene I would have suggested a "subscription" kinda feature where you can unsubscribe from a post you feel is irredeemable, but seeing the dupe link's comment I can understand why adding more layers of features on this is not ideal. – Idlehands Feb 5 '19 at 15:54
  • @fbueckert quite contrary, I think downvotes are a good thing. It helps promote what's good and what's bad content to the community. The problem as I feel is that once we downvoted on something, it's done deal unless you personally follow up with the post. I did see a few occasions where the questions/answers did redeem themselves but still sit with negative votes, and I feel that isn't fair to them either. I do concede forcing it upon the curator is not necessarily the solution, but I feel we should own our votes as well... at least an option would be nice. – Idlehands Feb 5 '19 at 15:58
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    Then why are you saying it would promote a better voting ratio and reduce toxicity? That shows you see them as a bad thing. The premise is very flawed. – fbueckert Feb 5 '19 at 15:59
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    Where is or who has expressed this "view of toxicity"? Don't tell me twitter or some blog post because I'm petty fed up with the group that like to share their opinion about me while I'm not able nor allowed to have a fruitful discussion with those individuals. I'm getting pretty toxic for being called toxic. – rene Feb 5 '19 at 16:02
  • @rene I frequent StackOverflow and as most developers know it can get a bad rep amongst other communities, and I feel that is an unfair representation of the site as usually people just misunderstands the purpose and fail to adhere to the guideline. Still though, I do see downvotes unnecessarily pile up on bad questions (that's a separate issue), and I feel at least being a bit more responsible with our votes can help the community own up to our actions. I'll admit it's not the prettiest solution. – Idlehands Feb 5 '19 at 16:05
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    ...What's wrong with downvotes on what you said are bad questions? That's...literally their purpose. To signal that this question isn't good. How is that in any way unnecessary? Users misunderstanding the purpose of the site doesn't mean their posts are automatically immune to curation or anything else of the sort. – fbueckert Feb 5 '19 at 16:07
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    I am responsible with my votes. Only a fraction of users cast down votes. Calling me and them irresponsible is rude. I use my votes for their designed purpose. It is not my problem that other users have different expectation of the site. – rene Feb 5 '19 at 16:08
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    If users that aren't even members of the community being upset at this community for having and enforcing quality standards is the cost of creating quality useful content, then so be it. But bullying content curators into not providing useful feedback on post quality by calling them "toxic" and introducing features to constantly annoy them and demand they put forth even more effort in order to curate content at all is not the way to create useful content. It's the way to drive away the only people that care about quality content. – Servy Feb 5 '19 at 16:10
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    See the most upvoted answer. It's not needless, it's not harsh, it's curation. If you believe a question deserves a chance, edit it. Don't expect someone else to fix it. Curation is just that; a post lives and dies as it stands, not how we think it might turn out. – fbueckert Feb 5 '19 at 16:10
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    If the content becomes good it will attract up votes. It doesn't rely on me undoing my down vote. I'm not the problem. – rene Feb 5 '19 at 16:14
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Idlehands Feb 5 '19 at 17:29

Notifications can easily be ignored, so it's not an annoyance.

If I click the notification button, and I see something worthless, I am annoyed. The system should only notify me about things that actually matter.

It allows the downvotee a channel to reach out to the downvoter without pestering them.

That is pestering them. I do not want a user whose post I voted on to be able to "reach out" to me. If I wanted that, I would have posted a comment or something.

It would generally promote better voting ratio and reduce the view of "toxicity" on some of the communities.

While simultaneously making the lives of users of the site worse. No, thank you.

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  • Fair enough, perhaps not a persistent notification, but maybe a subscription based model where each question can be unsubscribed when you no longer want an update. re: your second point though, I feel that's part of what a good voter should be doing - if you downvoted on something, perhaps it wasn't worthy of a comment, but I feel the downvoted person is fairly owed a chance to redeem themselves at least once. I do realize this is not the most ideal solution to heavy voters. – Idlehands Feb 5 '19 at 16:01
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    "It would generally promote better voting ratio and reduce the view of "toxicity" on some of the communities." It'll also make people downvote bad posts less, to avoid the annoyance, so it won't even accomplish that, it'll make the voting ratios even worse than they are now. – Servy Feb 5 '19 at 16:05
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    @Idlehands And what about all of the upvotes on posts that turn out to be problematic, or that cease to become useful over time for one reason or another? And why is it the voter's responsibility to constantly be re-evaluating their votes and updating them? That's a lot to ask of people that vote a lot. – Servy Feb 5 '19 at 16:07
  • @Servy perhaps a time-expiry on the vote notifications would help, e.g. only posts within a certain age would still notify the voters of edits/comments. Also the subscription model would mean voters can decide when they wish to stop notifications from a certain post. I do understand why this is unappealing to heavy voters however, so I'll just leave this conversation at this as it's not my goal to needlessly aggravate others. Just want to get a bit representation for those who are redeemable. – Idlehands Feb 5 '19 at 16:25

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