Does anything other than appearing lower on the page happen to downvoted answers?

I had thought that sufficiently downvoted answers get set to moderator review or get hidden altogether, but I haven’t been able to find any indication that this is the case.


2 Answers 2


Nothing Particular

If an answer is downvoted so it has -3 score or less it becomes greyed out, reducing its visibility. If nothing else happens to it nothing more will happen. There's no review queue for low scoring posts, but the lowest scoring answers are listed in the 10k moderator tools.

If the answer has problems which warrant removal, flag it as such. Say for being spam, rude/abusive or for not being an answer at all. If there's a more complex reason something should be done to it, raise a custom flag clearly explaining your concern. If the answer is merely incorrect but a genuine attempt to answer, don't flag. Leave a constructive comment pointing out the inaccuracies and/or downvote, and move on.

Negatively scoring answers are also counted against a user for things like answer bans and don't prevent a question from being automatically deleted if the question is closed (this process also checks other things).

  • Not accurate. Enough low scored answers will result in answer ban, on sites where such ban is enabled. Also, answer with score of -1 or less can be deleted by ordinary (high rep) users, while otherwise only moderators can delete answers. Jun 28, 2020 at 17:25
  • 4
    @ShadowWizardWearingMask That's arguably something that happens to the user and not the answer, but sure, I can address that. Jun 28, 2020 at 17:27
  • Once a post reaches −3, users with sufficient reputation can vote to delete it. I believe it's if 3 people vote to delete it that it's then removed. (Even if not by a moderator or the person who wrote it.) Jun 28, 2020 at 22:50

Downvoted posts do not get automatically reviewed or deleted just for having a low score. After an answer reaches -3 (lower on Meta sites), it is grayed out, but this only affects appearance. It remains a first-class answer that may be voted on, accepted, flagged, edited, cited, filed, stamped, or numbered.

Our criteria for deletion do not have functionality to automatically delete individual answers solely on the basis of score and/or score plus the passage of sufficient time. The Roomba scripts (see the link above) do provide for automated deletion of a question, and a low scoring answer can be one of the criteria used, but never the only one. A question will never be deleted just because it has a low-scoring answer - the question itself must also meet criteria for auto-deletion.

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