I am not sure whether this is a help request or a feature request, so I'm (at first) asking for help.

Often, when I downvote a question/answer and a message "Please consider adding a comment if you think this post can be improved." appears, I see there is already a comment explains why this question/answer is not good.

What should I do then? If I will ignore the pop-up, the user will not be able to understand the reason for my downvote. But duplicating the comment is not acceptable, of course. The best I can think of is upvoting the comment, but this does not clearly explains the correlation between the two.

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    You do not want to do this! Deliberately, and publicly, linking yourself with a downvote can lead to bad things:( – Martin James Jul 26 '20 at 7:30
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    @MartinJames So you're proposing to remove this message – Chayim Refael Friedman Jul 26 '20 at 7:32
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    Not necessarily. Just because it's a bad idea does not mean that the Q&A does not contain useful information:) – Martin James Jul 26 '20 at 9:06
  • @P.Mort. It's worth pointing out that "How to" questions are all over the Internet, and especially composed by native speakers, not just learners or people whose 2nd or 3rd language is English. When I read "How can I…?" I sense a note of exasperation and urgency in the speaker's voice, as if they have tried multiple times to resolve the problem but have always failed. Why not use the auxiliary "do" as in How do I associate...? The OP is asking for instructions. – Mari-Lou A Jul 26 '20 at 10:08
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    If I decide to both vote and comment, I make sure not to mention voting in the comment; I just keep the comment squarely focused on the issues I found with the post itself. That way you reduce the chances the OP focuses on the voting rather than on addressing the issues found, and you can always reach for the “please don’t assume that the person leaving a comment is the same person that voted.” response. However, know that you are never required to comment and if there already is a comment there there is no point adding another saying the same thing. – Martijn Pieters Jul 26 '20 at 11:14

You're under no requirement to explain your downvote in any case. The popup is a suggestion, telling you that you can explain your downvote if you think that the post can be improved. If someone else has already covered why it's downvote-worthy in a comment - great! You don't need to comment.

It's also worth bearing in mind that leaving a comment saying "I downvoted" can attract revenge downvotes at times. While this is kinda against the rules and grounds for a suspension, it still sometimes happens and doesn't get caught. (If you see it happening, though, flag for moderator attention.)

So... if you think that there's a real chance that someone will edit their post into shape as a result of your comment - great, go ahead! Leave a comment. In any other case? It's usually not worth it. But don't take the popup is a message saying that you have to leave a comment or somehow associate a comment with a downvote. (They're not linked in any way by the system.)


In such a case I think you should ignore the pop-up, and upvote the comment which matches your reason for downvoting.

Both upvoting and downvoting are intended to be anonymous, and so I do not think there is any need to try and link a downvoter or upvoter to their vote.

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