In comments, some people voluntarily write "+1" or "-1" to indicate what they did vote-wise on the post. But when people want to say that they weren't the person who downvoted, there's no way to really say that concisely. So I propose "±0", which would function the exact same way but mean that the commenter did not vote on the post.

I see this inconvenience usually when a post has a negative score and someone has some normal comment but doesn't want to be mistakenly identified as the downvoter.

As an example of what I think is a nice easy way to convey this,

(I didn't downvote btw) Could you please clarify the problem you're having?

could become

Could you please clarify the problem you're having? ±0

I think it's a lot simpler. I know, it's Unicode, and not everyone can get with that. I guess "+/-0" would be the normal text option.

Does anyone have any input on why this would or would not be a good idea?

Note: I'm not proposing that people be required to do this for their votes. I know you guys hate "make votes require a comment" posts, but don't worry, this is just about how commenters can indicate this voluntarily, like they already do for their upvotes (and sometimes downvotes).

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    We already actively block comments containing the text "-1", and moderators already zealously delete "+1" and "-1" comments in response to flags. So...I think it's pretty established that this is not a good idea. Your idea is even worse, as a "+0" comment would literally convey no information. That's the worst kind of comment. Apr 13, 2019 at 5:40
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    @CodyGray Really? Moderators actively remove comments containing "+1" or "-1"? Is that sitewide policy or does that vary by site? Also, it would convey information, as it lets people know what you didn't do so they don't assume it.
    – user45266
    Apr 13, 2019 at 5:49
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    I usually see these in response to "why the downvote" comments. Someone else will provide a guess (or two) as to why the post was downvoted, and usually include ways it can be improved to remove those reasons. The "I didn't downvote" clarifies that it is a guess. The +/-0 would just add to the confusion. Apr 13, 2019 at 5:53
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    @user45266 Not only that, the software itself actively blocks instances of -1 it can recognize.
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 13, 2019 at 11:14
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    @MaikaSakuranomiya I'm pretty sure everyone read what the OP wrote. Unless comments are deleted the current visible ones seem to explain short comings of what the question is about. And some of those comments seems valuable, even for the OP. To me those comments server their design goal and they all seem to convey factual information that is not present in the question itself. Stil, if you feel some of those comments cross a line, do flag them for a moderator. Moderators are ruthless towards anything that is not nice.
    – rene
    Jul 12, 2019 at 5:46
  • I've dug through these two meta questions which now invalidates all the answers, and I recommend you to look at those.
    – user447378
    Nov 25, 2019 at 10:21
  • @user45266 - After you read the two posts, I'll have to suggest you to mention them in your post so it can be clarified.
    – user447378
    Nov 27, 2019 at 2:59
  • @Maika_Sakuran0miya I think the intent of this post has already been achieved quite clearly; the community has spoken pretty much unanimously. Thank you for the links, but I'll not be needing them.
    – user45266
    Nov 27, 2019 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


Votes are meant to be anonymous, as would be the lack of votes.

In addition, we're adding an informal, not very clear shorthand a new user to SE would not get, for a problem a new user might face. In short, your target audience would not understand what ±0 means. Asking for clarification without mentioning votes is entirely fine, and works just as well.


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