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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. – Cody Gray Apr 13 at 5:40
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    "+1 for a well-phrased post, -1 for an idea I disagree with" – Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog Apr 13 at 5:42
  • @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 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. – 1201ProgramAlarm Apr 13 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 at 11:14
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  • I was not aware that the system deleted comments automatically once they received a flag like that. My bad, I guess. – user45266 Apr 13 at 17:18
  • @user45266 - It's okay. I pretty much always write comments like this, and got no offense for it. Plus, I recently wrote +2 for an upvote + accept! I think the +/-0 is a good idea here. Keep it up! +1! – Maika Sakuranomiya Jun 4 at 12:45
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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.

  • User45266's propose is awesome, and I have no idea of why people would reject such. -1. – Maika Sakuranomiya Jun 4 at 12:49
  • I recently wrote +2 for an upvote + accept. – Maika Sakuranomiya Jun 4 at 12:50

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