I have recently had enough reputation on Stack Overflow to review posts, and it's super exciting. However, I am faced with a bit of a challenge.

Some posts do not meet community standards and require a downvote. Now, I do understand it is important to add a comment so that the person who posted the question or answer at least knows what they did wrong.

However, and in my case for instance, with some posts, there has already been a comment under it to correct them. So I would downvote the post and upvote the comment. For some reason, this still affects my reputation and am deducted 1.

Can someone please tell me why this is still so, and if per chance this has not been considered or noticed, we could consider doing a check after a downvote if any relevant comment was upvoted.

I honestly do not see why I should comment again. I might just end up saying the same thing. The votes are a way of showing approval.


Maybe we could have an extra review feature where vote reviews are reviewed again by people with a certain level of reputation in the community. Their review will be focused on the following after a downvote:

  1. Was there a relevant comment after the downvote?
  2. Was the comment upvoted?
  3. Could the reviewer have said something else? (This is to prevent people just voting down and voting up a comment to skip actually reviewing.)

Update 1

Turns out downvotes affecting your reputation score has nothing in particular to do with if the action was done in review or not. (Thanks to all the comments and answer that clarified for me).

If so, my question stil remains that;

  1. Are we then being "forced" to comment even if the conditions do not require further commenting? As in the case of a bad post when one person makes a comment to list out the problems. Shall we also comment and say "Yes he is right" or repeat and bash people? Wont that make the platform uncomfortable and unwelcoming for new people?

  2. If we are to return to each post we downvote to see if post is fixed, and if so, we upvote to get our reputation score back, how will someone with a daily 20+ genuine downvote decisions resolve?

  3. I understand without going back to the post to check, you get your reputation points back on condition that the post is deleted. What if it is not deleted? There is a number of downvote requirement before a post is deleted. what if it never got there?

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    You'll get the 1 reputation back when the answer is deleted (either by the author, or if it's a low-quality post by community reviewers). – Glorfindel Mar 10 at 8:39
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    and what if it is edited and turns out he/she listened to us and fixed up? – mw509 Mar 10 at 8:40
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    Then you can undo your downvote. – Glorfindel Mar 10 at 8:40
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    Meaning I have to keep a tab of all reviews I downvote? – mw509 Mar 10 at 8:41
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    The system does that for you: stackoverflow.com/users/current?tab=votes&sort=downvote – Glorfindel Mar 10 at 8:42
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    Always look on the bright side of SE @n8te .... – rene Mar 10 at 8:47
  • @Glorfindel I know that link but problem is it does not tell you if the post has been worked on. so considering I review several posts a week, I may just get in a long list trying to see who got their lives together so I can upvote. – mw509 Mar 10 at 8:47
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    @n8te What error? Someone makes a mistake, you tell them! what is wrong in that line of thinking? – mw509 Mar 10 at 8:48
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    @n8te Youth? Did I add my age and did not know? Maybe if you just said instead of being an old monk who wants the whole world to walk on coal and burn when they could just say and save us some burn.(No disrespect intended) – mw509 Mar 10 at 8:52
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    @mw509 To explain n8te's comments: some users refuse to add comments explaining their downvotes, out of fear that the OP will take offense and either lash out verbally, or revenge-downvote all their posts. I've heard anecdotal stories of users on Stack Overflow receiving abusive emails from people whose questions they downvoted or closed. – F1Krazy Mar 10 at 8:54
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    @F1Krazy, I totally understand that. What if there could be a new review column for review votes. so you have a group of people with certain reputations who can review the reviewers and if they did justice, they get their reputations back whether the post is edited or not. - Am adding this to my original post and opening for discussion. Unless it already exists and I do not know. – mw509 Mar 10 at 8:59
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    @mw509 People with reviewing privileges can already see the reviews of other people. They can (and should) raise a moderator flag if anything is amiss. – Mast Mar 10 at 9:11
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    @mw509 No, it's a manual action. https://<site>.stackexchange.com/users/<userid>/?tab=activity&sort=reviews. For example: mine. – Mast Mar 10 at 9:19
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    Got it! I do think still if this could be in a list of a sort. I will agree if this may not appear as a high priority request or suggestion but I know it has to be on the list somewhere. – mw509 Mar 10 at 9:26

So I would downvote the post and upvote the comment. But for some reason this still affects my reputation and am deducted 1.

Downvote of an answer "costs" 1 reputation point.

This is totally independent, and not related to review, comments, or anything else. Once you cast a downvote, the rep point is deducted from your account.

I did not understand your suggestion or how it's related to what you ask, so can't reply to it.

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  • Am not sure about downvotes having nothing to do with reviews. Reason is even on meta, when I download posts, I do not get it deducted. This only happens to me at review. Although I have had some rare cases where I loose reputation for marking a post down out of review but its mostly been at review. If its meant to be at all downvotes, then I think there may and I put emphasis on "May" be a bug. On my suggestion, I will edit my question and try to clarify it better. – mw509 Mar 10 at 10:50
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    @mw509 never said downvotes having nothing to do with reviews. I said the cost of 1 rep has nothing to do with reviews. The cost is fixed and you don't get to downvote "for free" just because you do it from review. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 10 at 10:57
  • Right! But isnt that forcing everyone to be nice and lie? If all my downvotes must cost me a point I will not do it at all I will just upvote or do nothing. and if I have to add a comment to downvote, we will be repeating same thing to users and that can appear as bashing. Imagine 10 downvotes and 10 comments saying "You are a terrible question "asker" " if that is not discouraging... – mw509 Mar 10 at 14:44
  • @mw509 But why would you ever want to add a duplicate comment instead of upvoting an existing one? – TooTea Mar 10 at 15:28
  • Did you read my post and comments very well? Because that is not what am doing, planning to do or ever done! – mw509 Mar 10 at 15:29
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    @mw509 As a matter of fact, yes, I have. Both your question and your comment above suggests adding "10 comments saying [the same]", without any explanation as to why do you think such a behaviour is wanted. Yes, you get a suggestion to add a comment when you downvote, but that's just a friendly reminder and upvoting an existing comment is just as fine. Either way, it has absolutely nothing to do with losing 1 rep for the downvote, as this answer says. – TooTea Mar 10 at 15:32
  • @mw509 as TooTea said, what you say is not relevant. Guess it's some kind of language barrier, so I can't explain myself any better, sorry. (Since you appear to not understand what I'm saying) – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 10 at 16:07
  • Either one of us is not writing in English or its rather a "Communication" problem. Isnt this the exact problem? downvotes are expected to come with comments and there is not always the need for a comment. Shall we then ignore bad posts? Read over again and take your time! – mw509 Mar 11 at 7:37

Are we then being "forced" to comment even if the conditions do not require further commenting?

You aren't forced to comment at all. You can upvote, downvote, closevote, review, edit, without ever leaving a comment. Period.

If that is helpful for the people you are (indirectly) interacting with ... most likely: not so much. So ideally:

  • When there is already a comment that fully addresses the problem that you see, too ... then simply upvote that comment. No need to put a "yeah, so true" below it.
  • When there is already a helpful comment, upvote it. If you think some important aspect needs to be mentioned: write an additional comment.
  • When you find a comment that is not helpful, not needed, ... consider flagging it. Or answering to it, to the let the corresponding author know about your stance.

Meaning: it is great that you take the time to improve the content by voting and review work. In order to get the most out of it for everybody, it is essential to help the OP, for example by telling them: "X is a problem, because it does Y. Please consider improving it like ...". Something like that.

The second updated point ... I do not understand.

For the third point: there are three delete votes required to delete a question or answer. You need -3 on a new question to be able to delete vote. But it can be voted for deletion later in time even when it has more than -3.

And yes, your downvotes on answers might stick. That is how the system works. That often leads to people downvoting questions, but only commenting on bad answers.

In other words: for good or bad, there is a cost associated to answer downvotes.

The solution to that: spend some time on making enough reputation. So that it really doesn't hurt to leave 1, 2, 5 downvotes to stay in place.

But look at this way: unless you downvote all the time, such votes don't significantly impact your overall reputation growth. Now: what is more worth? A lot of reputation on community that isn't respected much, because quality doesn't matter there ... or slightly less reputation on a community that is well respected, because its members are willing to sacrifice a bit of personal reputation to uphold overall quality?!

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