36

Because other Meta sites in the network don't have their own reputation (instead relying on the reputation of their parent sites), there is no reputation penalty for downvoting answers on those sites. This is a good thing: Meta sites invite robust debate and discussion where ideas, in the form of answers, can be voted up and down freely.

However, on MSE, there is a reputation penalty to downvote an answer. This is problematic for two reasons:

  1. People likely avoid downvoting answers to avoid losing rep. It certainly crosses my mind when voting, especially when I'm near a milestone.

  2. People who use the network but don't actively ask or answer on MSE can't downvote more than 2 answers before they lose the "vote down" privilege.

I'd suggest that this be removed for MSE specifically in order to match the system in place on other Meta sites.

14
  • 4
    I agree. (+1) This would be a fairly logical implement because downvotes on Meta.SE are supposed to imply disagreement with a said post or topic (e.g feature request, new badge, etc). I would find it nice for consecutive downvotes in a very short time period to deduct the -1 (or a bit higher, it is consecutive downvote privilege abuse) reputation, if somebody was abusing their voting privileges. But come on, someone with 100+ rep should be smart enough to avoid such measures.. :p
    – user988720
    Sep 9, 2021 at 22:30
  • 2
    @ᴅᴀɴɪᴇʟッ You'd think. But you'd be wrong. :) It happens often, both here and across the network (for both up and down votes).
    – Catija StaffMod
    Sep 9, 2021 at 22:35
  • @Catija I understand that, as upvoting is a low reputation privilege. Most users I see, including myself, have a vote ratio with more upvotes than downvotes. But I find it incredibly weird that someone would continuously downvote someone with a reputation cost over, say.. a small argument?? lol
    – user988720
    Sep 9, 2021 at 22:38
  • 2
    @ᴅᴀɴɪᴇʟッ Investigating and invalidating targeted downvotes is part of my job. We get several reports of it per day, though many more are automatically invalidated by our system with no intervention necessary.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Sep 9, 2021 at 22:40
  • 34
    Survey: Upvote this comment if, because of the reputation loss, you've ever not downvoted an answer on Meta.SE that you believed should have been downvoted.
    – Ryan M
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:39
  • The vote down privilege was already lowered; those with an Association Bonus (and thus active somewhere else) do have plenty of downvotes before they run out. See also: meta.stackexchange.com/q/273000/282094 meta.stackexchange.com/a/271317/282094 - this suggestion puts the lowest rep. (and thus involvement) users on par with the highest rep., for voting down. --- It would be more in line to remove the downvoter penalty for users with a silver tag badge, that still allows 100 DVs for otherwise active users.
    – Rob
    Sep 10, 2021 at 2:56
  • 17
    @Rob "those with an Association Bonus... do have plenty of downvotes before they run out" As noted in the question, they have 2 answer downvotes, because a user with the association bonus has 101 reputation. Subtracting 2 brings such a user to 99 reputation, removing the privilege. I wouldn't describe 2 as "plenty."
    – Ryan M
    Sep 10, 2021 at 4:09
  • Ryan, yes; if they earn it here and have Meta expertise before going elsewhere. Otherwise they're an expert at tiddlywinks.SE and unfamiliar with the main Meta.
    – Rob
    Sep 10, 2021 at 6:20
  • 7
    @Rob I'm not sure what that has to do with what I said. Is the argument that two downvotes is "plenty" if they don't have MSE experience?
    – Ryan M
    Sep 10, 2021 at 6:21
  • Ryan, much as reputation and what one is expert on isn't transferable between sites (despite numerous suggestions here that it's a good idea) people's voting patterns and knowledge of appropriateness doesn't transfer. See Voting on: tex.SE: UV: 2,593,846 DV: 36,486 (0.014%) - meta.SE: UV: 2,549,328 DV: 713,631 (0.28%) - SO: UV: 156,604,311 DV: 20,558,382 (0.13%) - incomparable.
    – Rob
    Sep 10, 2021 at 8:44
  • Take the most popular comment on the least popular answer here, an awkward attempt at: "There are no foolish questions." (not something I agree with), but the point being is that everything is a learning experience (also with which I disagree) - but your idea is not hold the voter to account but hold the voter blameless (no loss of rep). --- Were that a good idea surely a downvote would gain 1 rep (and cost the voter 1) while an upvote would gain 10.
    – Rob
    Sep 10, 2021 at 8:51
  • 3
  • 1
    @RyanM up on your survey, but, it was because I didn't have rep to spend, more so than that it would reduce my rep.
    – Kevin B
    Sep 10, 2021 at 16:07
  • From my perspective, the rep penalty doesn’t dissuade me at all from casting a downvote. Not on MSE, not on SO, not anywhere. It can only prevent me from casting one if I don’t have the rep to do it. The only feature that makes me actually decide whether or not it’s worth casting a vote is the 40 vote limit.
    – Kevin B
    Sep 10, 2021 at 17:43

8 Answers 8

22

It's worth thinking about the fact that the downvoted user loses twice the reputation you do, and the 'cost' kinda acts as a check against blatant downvoting.

While our system does alright with serial voting against one user, sometimes we notice stranger patterns. This kind of removes one of the checks against downvoting for its own sake.

Most meta sites don't have reputation—we do. Having 'free' downvotes kinda turns it into something that could be used tactically.

I downvote—when I need to, and the penalty is an investment (that I may get back!) in showing my opinion on a post. I spend that reputation—in some cases to express my disagreement with a point of view. While as a moderator I don't downvote to delete I could.

Unless there was no penalty on both parties of a downvote it would put a significant advantage to the downvoter. While there's a daily voting limit, a canny downvoter could spend all their free downvotes across the site every day. While you're removing the chilling effect of downvoting on the reputation-sensitive user, we also have folks who're afraid to express their opinions in answers because "They would be downvoted"—and this would increase the chilling effect there.

I mean, in theory, in some cases the judicious use of community wikis (so 'free' downvotes) might help mitigate some of it and wouldn't be too drastic a change in the 'reputation economy,' but the proposal feels like it would tip things towards avid downvoters to a large extent as it is.

8
  • 4
    This (the chilling effect) is probably the most compelling argument against this I've heard yet. Thanks for raising it. Do you think there's a chilling effect due to question downvotes as well? Would the dialog on Meta be improved, perhaps, by addressing that somehow?
    – Ryan M
    Sep 10, 2021 at 4:27
  • 7
    Part of my concern is that the cost of downvoting restricts the group of people whose opinions we're taking into account on answers via downvoting to "MSE participants with enough rep not to care about losing some of it" (of course, individual users have different definitions of "enough").
    – Ryan M
    Sep 10, 2021 at 4:42
  • 3
    One idea that I haven't fully thought through yet: remove or reduce the reputation penalty to the user being downvoted, on MSE only. That way there's less "sting" to being downvoted, while still promoting robust, unbiased rating of content.
    – Ryan M
    Sep 10, 2021 at 4:42
  • 3
    Well Q&A is a series of interconnected systems, and something like this would be a substantial change to how we do things. As harsh as it seems - to me, one of the elements of being successful on meta is dealing with unpopular opinions and expressing them. The problem with removing the downvote tax is many of our systems of blocking low quality content depends on it. While MSE has a very relaxed Question and Answer ban system, reputation is part of the equation
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Sep 10, 2021 at 4:49
  • 4
    The answer to that is to make this site a proper meta site, with the dummy main site. Then it would work as an actual meta site, where anyone what's participated enough on the network can fully voice their opinion on matters that affects their site. Sep 10, 2021 at 8:34
  • 2
    Which has been proposed. You still need to work out the equivalent of reputation based previlages. Network wide rep gives SO a major advantage and dilutes the voice of smaller sites. And tbh if it actually matters people would speak up despite the potential loss of imaginary internet points.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Sep 10, 2021 at 8:38
  • 3
    I don't understand how that dilutes the voices of smaller sites. If there are 20K users on Stack Overflow compared to other smaller sites, that's the ratio. That all of them needs to post something, say on What's the best of Stack? saying "I just love the regex tag on Stack Overflow. It such a nice time spend on Sundays" is to me, quite silly. It would still make the ratio of users 20K to 1. Sep 10, 2021 at 9:31
  • 4
    SO kinda has a certain amount of reputation inflation due to size. I don't think getting 10k in say... pets is as easy. In the current system, your reputation is entirely based on your contribution here, and your MSE rep reflects your expertise on this site and its scope.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Sep 10, 2021 at 10:24
9

On most sites, people do not need to be an excellent speaker. They "just" need to be knowledgeable on the topic of the site to be able to participate. That grants them voting rights on policy on the corresponding meta site.

The problem I see it that on meta.stackexchange one needs to be able to be a good speaker and also have a popular opinion in order to successfully participate. I find that to be a strange requirement just be to able to properly vote on policy that affects the site one wants to participate in.

I don't want to write this post. But I want to downvote Makoto's post. It's sitting at +5/-5 and that score looks like people are evenly divided in their opinion about it. They're not. I'm certainly not in agreement with it at all, but I didn't vote on it, because I only have two downvotes. I'm saving them for when something worse comes. Like "I agree with the removal of <some> feature too".

The original post at the top is sitting with a total of 31 votes (-23/-8). I'm going to guess that I'm not the only user that upvoted that, and therefore not the only one that also wants to downvote one or more of the responses.

Answer scores will, with the current policy, be deceptive. They'll look better than the actual opinion of the users reading them.

The irony of this is that as soon as a downvote comes in on this post, I'll lose my ability to use my two downvotes on other posts.

4
  • 1
    I've often talked about effective use of meta - both site and main as an acquired skill. While my account is old, I didn't become active here until after I became a site moderator. That the articulate and convincing have influence is both natural and kind of by design. Voting is also just one of many mechanisms one can influence the community and effect change. There's few who can drop into any community and work with them. It does actually take a lot of work and effort.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Sep 10, 2021 at 8:47
  • 4
    @JourneymanGeek It does take work and effort. All I wanted to do was downvote some Answers I strongly disagree with that affects the policy of the site where I belong. Now I've spent two hours on one downvote. And on comments that went missing. Sep 10, 2021 at 8:49
  • 4
    It looks that now you can downvote > 100 answers :)
    – Rubén
    Sep 10, 2021 at 14:55
  • 1
    @Rubén Yes. It was not so this morning. I plan to spend them all ;) Sep 10, 2021 at 14:58
8

I have more than once "spent" reputation on Meta posting something I knew would be an unpopular opinion just to get people talking about a particular aspect of something or let people vote on that perspective without having to stick their own head up for the Meta whack-an-opinion game.

The solution (in my opinion) is to create a better mechanism for gathering feedback on meta sites than abusing the Q&A format of the main sites. What does that mechanism look like? I dunno, but we should end the cycle of endlessly discussing the same incremental changes to "fix" things that we are using in ways they were never originally designed to be used. At some point we have to stop saying "ignore the tooltip—a downvote on Meta means you disagree with the post, except sometimes it doesn't." and start thinking about how we can accomplish what we're trying to do more effectively.

The improvements to the election questionnaires is an example of what I mean. It's not a completely foreign UI, but it's not a baling wire and duct tape change either.

3
  • 6
    I totally agree, the main sites' Q/A model definitely isn't a good format for Meta. All these discussions about having rep on Meta are IMO part of a bigger problem: the fact that we're using the wrong - or at least not the ideal - tools/mechanisms here.
    – hkotsubo
    Sep 10, 2021 at 15:46
  • 4
    @hkotsubo One problem I've had on site metas is that someone posts something that is a discussion that would be good for the community to have (so I want to upvote it) but it makes assertions I disagree with (so I want to downvote it) or its tone is ranty (so I want to downvote it) but I don't want it to disappear off the front page because I want others to see it (so I don't want to downvote it). A better design wouldn't cause me to be so conflicted over how to vote on something.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 10, 2021 at 15:50
  • 1
    That happens to me too, in many of those cases I usually don't know how to vote and end up doing nothing...
    – hkotsubo
    Sep 10, 2021 at 15:58
6

This is a good thing: Meta sites invite robust debate and discussion where ideas, in the form of answers, can be voted up and down freely.

I'll argue that downvoting isn't nearly as important on this site (and perhaps other meta sites) as people like to think it is. On main sites, downvoting helps in pushing bad content to the bottom of the page, and a negative post score is a requirement tied to some community clean-up privileges, like being able to vote to delete not-an-answers. To that extent, downvotes here on Meta.SE serve a double purpose: They are used to voice disagreement, and to unlock those clean-up efforts.

For a robust debate and discussion, you don't need downvotes (or upvotes), because "voting" is a stage that happens after debate and discussion. On meta sites the two are often concurrent to an extent, but you can't have debate and discussion using only votes. "I agree" and "I disagree" isn't a discussion, it's a poll. For a debate/discussion, you need multiple posts that set out arguments, some which are arguing for something, others which are arguing against that same thing. And, this aren't only going to be answers: A question can just as well argue for or against something.

Sure, in the end you want to see which people like the most, which arguments the most people agree with, but that can be achieved with upvotes only just as well as with downvotes. You vote for the things you want to endorse, and you don't vote for the things you disagree with. If there is a healthy discussion going on, there will be a question or answer to upvote, without needing to downvote to show what you agree with.

If there isn't anything on a meta post yet that you can agree with, try to explain why! For a healthy, robust debate and discussion, the explanation, the counterarguments, are much more important than a downvote. If there is a question arguing for something, I can write an answer to explain why it shouldn't be done. And then people can either upvote the question, or upvote my answer, or upvote another answer.

It is easy to downvote answers without having to come up with a counterargument. But, given how easy that already is, I often personally feel it gets more in the way of people actually discussing things. People already sometimes state they don't write posts on meta sites, because their posts will be downvoted, and that doesn't seem to depend on a 'reputation penalty'. MSO has/had a bad reputation for that too, and it doesn't come with reputation at all.

I'd suggest that this be removed for MSE specifically in order to match the system in place on other Meta sites.

In this case, I would argue against doing only this. Removing the reputation costs for giving downvotes to answers only will skew an already sub-optimal system further. Also, it won't 'match the system' in place on other Meta sites, because other meta sites don't come with reputation for anything. And, like I wrote above, it may actually get in the way of discussion because people get even more afraid of receiving downvotes and as such there won't be debate and discussion anymore.

There's a whole discussion that can be had about how to improve the system, I'm not going to argue against that. Maybe one day we'll get rid of reputation here, find some other way to dole out the privileges that come with community moderation on this site...

If we're going to discuss changes to that system, with the intent of giving more people a voice, I'd rather see changes that focus on actually encouraging discussion and debate, and the giving of actual arguments, over changes that focus on making it easier to poll for agreement or disagreement. Sadly, at this moment, I too don't know what those should specifically look like... but I do know making downvoting others easier while the other problems still stand doesn't seem to match that direction.

2
3

Meta sites are exception and Meta SE is the the epitome of the exceptions on SE, anyway, while Meta SE sticks to the SE model I think that we should handle the problems not by removing the downvote cost (-1) but by other means. ​i.e. lower the reputation required to downvote.

The above is just an example of alternative ways to allow low rep users to express their opinion by means of voting (+1/-1) which is a way better than forcing no-so-low rep users to post a comment.

12
  • What's the problem if downvoting still requires 125 rep? I'm unclear on this point.
    – Makoto
    Sep 9, 2021 at 22:55
  • 2
  • 1
    So it's already lower than other main sites! Huh. So, my question would remain - what's the problem if downvoting still requires 100 rep? I'm unclear on this point.
    – Makoto
    Sep 9, 2021 at 22:57
  • 2
    @Makoto The problem was explained by the OP
    – Rubén
    Sep 9, 2021 at 22:59
  • The OP only mentions there being a problem with losing reputation while casting the vote, not that they do not have enough reputation to cast it in the first place.
    – Makoto
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:00
  • 6
    @Makoto If someone with only the association bonus casts two downvotes on answers, they will lose the privilege to cast more.
    – Ryan M
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:01
  • 2
    @RyanM: So what? This is a novel argument since Meta Stack Exchange is the only site on the network that offers this circumstance; someone who wants to downvote on three answers can't because they're... (checks notes)...not asking questions, editing questions or answers, accepting answers...Right, got it. Basically they're not participating on the site and they should still be afforded the privilege of moderation. That argument doesn't hold water.
    – Makoto
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:04
  • 11
    @Makoto But they're participating in the network. They had to do so to get the association bonus. They have a stake in the outcomes of discussions here. And accordingly, we do afford them the privilege of moderation by downvoting...unlimited questions, but only up to two answers (at which point they're no longer allowed to vote on questions). That certainly seems like an odd policy.
    – Ryan M
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:08
  • 2
    @RyanM: Just because you know how to answer a question about a triple integral does not mean you know or understand or comprehend anything about what content curation is on Meta Stack Exchange. You have to participate on the site to understand it. Maybe this is a good rationale to raise the rep limit instead.
    – Makoto
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:11
  • 2
    Regarding this solution: I don't think this addresses point 1 of my reasoning: people are deterred from downvoting things that they believe should be downvoted due to the reputation loss.
    – Ryan M
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:41
  • 12
    @Makoto I reviewed almost 4000 posts on another site. Why must I post here to be able to vote on the review announcement? Why would you even think to say that I'm "not participating". Or are you saying that in order to have influence about how reviewing works on the site where I review I must also give my time here. Posting what? Chat-chat posts about "What motives you to keep answering posts on your favorite site"? Those seems to get people lots of reputation points.. :O Sep 9, 2021 at 23:56
  • 1
    @Unconsidered: I've responded to this directly on my updated answer.
    – Makoto
    Sep 10, 2021 at 3:11
3

I do agree with removing the rep cost specifically for MSE, but I think it'd need to also come with an added restriction that reduces the total votes you can cast in a day. Effectively, change it such that the "cost" is using up your ability to vote, rather than rep.

This would effectively even out the penalty across the board rather than giving people with a steady rep income free reign to vote on everything with impunity while those without are steadily moving toward not being able to downvote at all. MSE is slow enough that being limited to, say, 20 votes a day rather than 40 would still let most people vote as much as they normally do.

1

This separation has existed since the early days of Meta Stack Exchange being Meta Stack Overflow.

Even after the split, it's more a main site because Meta Stack Exchange doesn't have a corresponding Meta site associated with it (there's no Meta Meta Stack Exchange for example), and the formal "Stack Exchange" site is just the network landing page.

Interactions on this site should behave just like other main site interactions, because while the scope of the topics is different, most of the fundamentals do not radically diverge for that of any normal site.

Downvoting an answer should have an associated cost with it. If you're just able to do it for free, then you don't have any real gate or check on whether or not someone took the extra 10 seconds to panic about losing a unicorn point before clicking the button, or better yet, if they really felt like the answer was not that great.


Since some folks think this is more opinion more than informed conjecture, I've got some literature for y'all.

First, this is literally how downvotes work. You lose 1 reputation for downvotes and the poster loses 2. The rationale is clearly spelled out here by Jeff Atwood - you have to do something to stop people from going downvote-happy.

Quote of a quote inbound...

Please do something else to discourage downvoting. Maybe increase the cost to the downvoter (there’s already a “declined” on force user to comment on downvoting).

This isn’t about points. It’s about participation. Downvoting should be reserved for nasty/offensive/stupid/poorly-thought-out/totally-off-base comments. If someone spends the time to make an honest effort to answer a question, but it’s not that great an answer, just don’t upvote them… Downvoting sends a message, “We disapprove. You spent your valuable time, but we don’t care.” It makes me think, why should I bother spending the time to write up answers for this forum?

I stopped posting on several usenet newsgroups because the major participants were just nasty and sarcastic. Don’t let this happen to Stack Overflow.

[...] The problem isn’t downvotes, per se, but encouraging responsible downvoting.

So yes, from around the very beginning of the site, downvotes being at least not free was considered a key value of the network. Downvoting is still an important thing, and to be blunt, very few things in life that are important are free or should be taken for granted.

If you're too worried about losing reputation when downvoting, perhaps you shouldn't be downvoting.

Second, the original Meta Stack Overflow always had separate reputation from Stack Overflow, which was always unlike any meta site. This behavior was intentionally preserved as Meta Stack Exchange became its own site which serves its own role as a kind of catch-all arbitration ground for network-wide impacting things, such as themes, or generic discussions around things like Beta status or general questions about the network-at-large.

Not knowing this background about the network and wanting to insist that it change to suit your perception of what Meta sites are is short-sighted at best. While I won't deny that some of the company's decisions can make absolutely no sense, and can be incredibly arbitrary for no clear reason, if nothing else, the decision to penalize you for downvoting a question because you felt like it is still useful to prevent you from going completely unrestrained on downvoting questions because you didn't quite like its shape.

I mean, all it takes is for you to get a single upvote on a question or answer nowadays, and with that association bonus, you can downvote a whopping 11 answers.

This is not a hard hurdle to cross.

Don't make it seem that way.

To reply to some thoughts in the comments:

@Makoto I reviewed almost 4000 posts on another site. Why must I post here to be able to vote on the review announcement? Why would you even think to say that I'm "not participating". Or are you saying that in order to have influence about how reviewing works on the site where I review I must also give my time here. Posting what? Chat-chat posts about "What motives you to keep answering posts on your favorite site"? Those seems to get people lots of reputation points.. :O

There is not and never has been any magic bullet to address this concern. The thought of saying that someone who is well renowned in one part of the Internet automatically meaning that they can be successful or can contribute at a high level in another part of the Internet has always been a problem that the site has struggled with.

The blunt reality is that sites across the network - even if they feel similar - really are different. To get reputation on one site, you have to earn it. To earn it, you have to participate on the site you want to participate on.

I have heaps and heaps of reputation as well. Doesn't mean I'd be valuable as a reviewer on a site like Judaism or Chess because I wouldn't be as in-context to what everything is.

I don't see why having an opinion (disagreeing with a post) should result in a reputation removal. Considering here on Meta.SE, downvote typically means disagreement, not somewhere like SO or Anime.SE (or most SE sites in general) where downvotes imply a low quality or incorrect answer.

No one's taking your opinion away. Your opinion just doesn't get to be free, but it is at least inexpensive to express. Maybe this gets at the heart of "responsible" downvoting - I have an opinion on a lot these days and while I could downvote almost every answer, I've more or less matured to the degree that I prefer having sensible discourse and talking about why I disagree with something in a separate answer while also expressing how I really feel on a question or answer.

9
  • 8
    On Meta.SE, answers and questions are used a lot more interchangeably than on other main sites. Both are used to request features, propose changes, report bugs, etc. (see, for example, the answers on any new feature announcement). Why should there be a cost for downvoting one, but not the other?
    – Ryan M
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:09
  • @RyanM: The convention for all main sites is to allow for free votes of questions (something not all that valuable in the grand scheme of things) and require some small cost on downvoting answers (the really important and valuable thing). I'm unpersuaded by your arguments that would suggest that we shouldn't have some kind of cost to downvoting on answers because your position is that it's like other Meta sites when it very, very much is not.
    – Makoto
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:15
  • 8
    Your Answer reflect an opinion that this should be the same as for any other main site. It's not a fact that can be verified or not. The fact that you can even post something here that's not verifiable is a strong indicator that is isn't like a normal main site. Policy is determined here, and everyone should be able to vote. Sep 9, 2021 at 23:20
  • 2
    I respectfully disagree. Although this is not explained by the OP themselves, I mentioned in my earlier comment that a way to "nerf" this, if you will, is to have a reputation subtraction if this feature is abused, for example, casting an insane amount of downvotes (say, for someone youve been arguing with) in a short period.
    – user988720
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:22
  • 15
    I don't see why having an opinion (disagreeing with a post) should result in a reputation removal. Considering here on Meta.SE, downvote typically means disagreement, not somewhere like SO or Anime.SE (or most SE sites in general) where downvotes imply a low quality or incorrect answer.
    – user988720
    Sep 9, 2021 at 23:25
  • 1
    @user988720 Is me. Sep 9, 2021 at 23:36
  • @ᴅᴀɴɪᴇʟッ: I've responded to your concern. You can have an opinion, but now you get to be careful about how you express it. Or, you can, y'know...participate on the site so the fear of losing reputation isn't that large?
    – Makoto
    Sep 10, 2021 at 3:12
  • @Makoto Thanks, that clears things up Sep 10, 2021 at 12:07
  • @Makoto In that case, how would that clear downvote spam? I know there's a system in place, but what if it is bypassed somehow? Sep 10, 2021 at 12:18
-3

One problem with removing the penalty is that unpopular posts are needed to make a good discussion.

If you remove the DV penalty you are effectively increasing community censorship. That will tend to pile on authors whose opinion diverges from the majority. As others have said, as long as there's a reputation system on MSE the downvote penalty levels the field - however slightly, more than it constitutes a barrier to participation.

3
  • So an opinion that differs from the power-meta-users can be stomped and that's totally okay? An opinion can be supported by anyone but only people who have previously expressed supported opinions are allowed to oppose them?
    – Nij
    Sep 11, 2021 at 11:07
  • @Nij that's you misinterpreting what I said. MSE is a lot more forgiving than MSO for example. The few posts here that aren't well received tend to be tolerated with a moderate negative vote sum. So your stomping argument doesn't really hold on this site.
    – bad_coder
    Sep 11, 2021 at 11:26
  • @Nij besides, you argument is a fallacy because you are advocating for more downvoting of the random kind. Not less.
    – bad_coder
    Sep 11, 2021 at 11:36

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