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In order to be nicer to new participants I think it could be nice if they should not experience a negative vote total for the first question. I think it is one of the most discouraging things to experience if you are just entering the site. When we are new (and not so new) we tend to focus on the number and a negative vote total can make you feel like you have failed. And it is hard to write a Stack Exchange question.

So I think the we should be a little less strict to new users on the platform. And I think the quality/integrity of the site is not compromised by having some first question having a zero vote total instead of a negative vote total.

So to be clear I want to remove the downvote button for first questions only and only if the voting total is 0 (or less). If others have upvoted you should be able to downvote.

What do you think?

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    Actually, from what I understand, no feedback is more discouraging than negative feedback.
    – Makyen
    Mar 16 at 20:18
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    Voting isn't about the author of the post. It's about rating the content. It's entire point is to allow other people to rate the content, so that future visitors have a rough idea about what other's felt about the content of the post. Preventing people from down-voting posts by new users would significantly impact the quality controls upon which the Stack Exchange Network is based, just to make some people feel better. So, while I think we should do a better job of educating people about how to contribute and what votes mean, I don't think voting should be disabled on some posts.
    – Makyen
    Mar 16 at 20:23
  • @gnat I think the intension is the same I think the suggested solution clearly is different. I don't want to disallow downvotes on new users questions. Mar 16 at 20:34
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    Something similar to this was tested 2 years ago: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/390178/… and TMK no official results were ever released, but we did get this: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/393907/…
    – Kevin B
    Mar 16 at 20:38
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    "In order to be nicer to new participants" - Voting isn't about being nice to users. "So I think the we should be a little less strict to new users on the platform." - I disagree; I think every new question should go through a review process. Any question that would end up close would simply not be made public. "if the voting total is 0 (or less). If others have upvoted you should be able to downvote." - If a question has received a upvote it probably isn't going to receive downvotes so that limitation does not make logical sense and shows a deep misunderstanding of the voting process
    – Ramhound
    Mar 16 at 21:02
  • This could also have been an answer for this question. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3515/… Mar 16 at 21:08
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    The biggest problem with this proposal, IMO, is that if only the first question is docked to score of zero, then users will be even less prepared to ask their second question.
    – VLAZ
    Mar 17 at 0:15
  • "So to be clear I want to remove the downvote button for first questions only and only if the voting total is 0 (or less). If others have upvoted you should be able to downvote." wait, with this system, what happens if a question gets an upvote (+1/0) -> downvote (+1/-1) -> upvote is removed (0/?)?
    – VLAZ
    Mar 17 at 0:16
  • I would like to clarify my previous comment. I was actually being sarcastic. While I think low quality questions are a serious problem, not displaying them, isn’t helpful to the community. There also isn’t a database big enough to handle the review queue that be required to prevent those low quality questions.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 17 at 4:03
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    ' a negative vote total can make you feel like you have failed' well, if you post a bad question, get downvoted and feel like you have failed, it's your problem and nobody else can fix it. Mar 17 at 13:17
  • I mean, 'failed' at what? It is true that posting a downvoted question IS a failure to post a good question, by definition. Mar 17 at 13:20
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And I think the quality/integrity of the site is not compromised by having some first question having a zero vote total instead of a negative vote total.

Yes, it does. Questions with a negative score are automatically deleted after a while, even on sites where close vote reviewers cannot keep up with the review queue size. We (try to) optimize for good questions rather than for all questions.

And it is hard to write a Stack Exchange question.

Yes, it is. I've only started asking questions long after writing answers. Most questions can be answered either by sufficient Google skills or asking a colleague, friend or fellow student. We do not want people to just dump their questions here and expect volunteers to do their (home)work for them. They must invest in writing a question, and that is not easy.

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  • Maybe the criteria for automated deleted questions could be expanded to include first question with zero vote or some other criteria to remove the question. If we wanted to enable this. Mar 16 at 20:31
  • @Peter - No Thanks; Only downvoted questions should be deleted.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 17 at 4:01
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That makes poor quality posters second question a significant problem.

Think about what happens then, the safety harness is off so though both the first and second questions are equally poor quality the second question will end up negative but the first won't. The poor poster then wonders, what happened? My first question was OK, I've done just as much research, my spelling is no worse etc.

That doesn't seem to be a great user experience, for two similar actions to end up with significantly different results. We've also lost some of the educational opportunity from that first question.

We already insulate first questions by starting everyone on 1 rep and making that the floor, so no matter how many downvotes that question gets you stay where you are so you already have a first question safety net.

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    Rudeness should not be tolerated but voting isn't rude. If you see an unfriendly comment, flag it but that's all orthogonal to your proposal. Mar 16 at 20:37
  • What will probably happen, is the first question since it cannot be downvoted, will just be continually changed.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 16 at 21:02
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    ..or the issue of 'one account per question' deadbeats will get worse:( Mar 17 at 13:24

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