This is an idea I have seen around, but I have not seen a feature request for it, so here it is.

Downvotes that have no comments are frustrating and difficult to manage. This is a way to help improve that:

  • Have a downvote initially cost more to cast for the downvoter (5 points for example)
  • When a comment (from the downvoter) on the downvoted question/answer gets an upvote, you get your points back.
    • All points (ie all 5) could be refunded or just up till the traditional -1 that is in place now (ie 4 points refunded).

This would encourage good comments and downvotes for real reasons. (Because comments for questions/answers that are bias related will not get the upvotes as readily.)

This could/should be limited to non-subjective tags. (ie tags where a downvote just because you "don't like it" is not appropriate.)

  • 2
    this has been discussed before... multiple times.
    – fretje
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:21
  • Is there a denied feature request for this?
    – Vaccano
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:22
  • 2
    related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7322/… has been [status-planned] for quite a while though
    – fretje
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:23
  • kind of dupe-ish: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19940/… and indeed [status-declined]
    – fretje
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:25
  • While about downvoting, nether of those requests discuss having a downvote cost more then refunding some/all of the points when a comment gets an upvote. (Though the comments of the first does discuss this idea, it is not the focus of the question.)
    – Vaccano
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:26
  • also related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/30066/…
    – fretje
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:27
  • Related true, but does not bring reputation into the equation
    – Vaccano
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:28
  • LOL, two downvotes because there are questions that discuss comments and downvoting? Read the request, if there is another that is the same then post it. Otherwise, why the downvotes?
    – Vaccano
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:29
  • 4
    Requiring a comment to explain a downvote is a bad bad bad idea, as discussed in the URLs listed above. It doesn't matter what the reputations are, it's still bad. Changing the value of downvotes has been discussed and is ostensibly in the pipeline, so we'll just have to wait and see for that.
    – Ether
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:31
  • @Vaccano: Sure, your feature request is just another way for encouraging people to explain their downvotes. This is what has been done: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/135/…, and I don't think much more will be implemented any time soon. Nothing personal. Just what I feel from the other discussions that have been going on.
    – fretje
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:31
  • 3
    Don't think so highly of yourself. Downvotes on feature requests mean "I don't like it".
    – random
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:32
  • @Æther: I disagree. A comment can often make a downvote be thought out better. Bringing rep into it and requiring an upvote on the comment would prevent the stupid comments (like "aslkjfda")
    – Vaccano
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:34
  • @random: true, downvotes on a feature requests are just so (I don't like it indications). However, for Stack Overflow that does not hold true. (Which is why I put this request out there.) I a bit to my request about it only applying to non subjective tags.
    – Vaccano
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:36

1 Answer 1


If this happens, I won't downvote anymore... and the system needs downvotes.

  • 5
    I would have downvoted you if I knew I would get my rep back
    – Antony
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 0:54
  • 3
    +1, I completely agree (no, this isn't to hide a downvote without losing rep, what are you talking about?)
    – Gnome
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 16:36

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