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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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    @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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  • Guys, guys, GUYS, I'm not trying to be rude, but please stop with your comments. The OP already had written, "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)." So I don't think it's necessary for you guys to write comments like "-1 comments are not recommended here." Plus, the OP is a relatively new user. Be nice to him/her, please. – Maika Sakuranomiya Jul 12 at 3:15
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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 at 5:46
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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.

0

This post seems quite interesting for some users, but proposing ±0 and making a set of -1, ±0, +1 comments isn't really a good idea.

The reason is because comments like +1 or -1 are not recommended here, and moderators have such comments to be deleted pretty much all the time. So a ±0 comment only makes the issue even worse.

You've posted your own example of a ±0 comment:

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

This is similar to the following:

  • "That is so brilliant, man! I never even thought of that! +1"

  • "This whole post is a piece of junk: -1"

+1 or -1 comments are restricted here because they likely can involve simple compliments or offensive language, which would give no effect to the posts.


Instead of ±0 comments, you can simply write comments like:

"Could you please clarify the problem you're having?"

This is the proper way to do so.

As it is written above, writing -1 comments on posts are frowned upon. Instead, you can:

  • Downvote the post.

  • Add a comment if you think the post can be improved. But remember, be nice.

  • Flag the post if it contains serious problems.

If you want to write a +1 comment, this is what you can do:

  • Upvote the post.

  • If you are the author of a question, accept the best answer.

  • Award bounties to answers if you think it is very good.


If you want more information, you can go to the help center.

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