I am sorry, but I find it utterly unproductive, meaningless for anyone to simply anonymously downvote, not just comments or answers, but also the very question in the post that someone is reaching out they need help with.

What does it suppose to mean to downvote a question? It can be interpreted in a hundred ways. I interpret it as: You are not wanted here. Leave. While not knowing why?

This is the strangest set up I can think of. It is routine on the Physics site.

I do not know who are the people that make such policies so a person can directly talk to see their reason. I have not found what the meaning of downvotes is.

I have heard it is supposed to encourage the person to do better. But that is vague. Do better with their English? Ask more complicated questions? Or what? Or is it just a guessing game?

It almost looks like a gang mentality to separate outsiders from the true initiates. So as to not impart knowledge and give it away to those others. As in knowledge is to be shared among the inner circle.

Anything can be read in all that negativity.

Even YouTube realized it was a bad way to go about things. They removed the dislike button.

There is no need for this type of approach to acquire knowledge and use it as a means for motivation.

In the old days... they practiced all sort of rewards and punishments. It appears that some have not gone beyond all that.

I'd like to know the details behind this policy.

  • 6
    There's a popup with a brief explanation when you hover over the downvote-button. For a clearer indication of how votes should be used see the FAQ, particularly the section on downvoting. They're there as part of quality assurance. Don't take it personally if downvoted, see if you can improve the Q or A, then or next time.
    – W.O.
    Oct 22, 2022 at 4:02
  • 1
    Cont.: You might start here by removing the [site-recommendation] and [feature-request] tags, as that's not what this question is about.
    – W.O.
    Oct 22, 2022 at 4:05
  • 1
    @W.O. Even this question got downvoted. Oct 22, 2022 at 4:08
  • 3
    You should ask about the policies specific to any particular site on that site's meta, not here on main meta.
    – W.O.
    Oct 22, 2022 at 4:08
  • 1
    @W.O. It says that question does not show clear effort plus it is not useful. Is that what the site says or what the folks that downvoted say? Who determines that the question shows no effort and plus it is not a useful question asked. However I am not supposed to take it personally. But doesn't cause all kinds of other problems for the person getting all these downvotes? Oct 22, 2022 at 4:12
  • 15
    We don't have forums, we have Q&A sites. Also the reasoning behind the voting system, including downvotes as well as why downvotes are anonymous are well documented in the help pages as well as this site. Quite a bit is also on the SO blog and for really old things Jeff Atwood's personal blog. I wouldn't blame you for not being aware of the blogs but I don't see the badge you get for skimming through the help center - so I would wonder what you have done to understand the way these sites work and what specifically is confusing past the help page contents? Oct 22, 2022 at 4:12
  • @W.O. Oh okay. So I should go to physics forum, each site has its own thing going on? Oct 22, 2022 at 4:13
  • 1
    @JourneymanGeek. Well I have not really explored this site. It looks rather pretty big. I have never explored, what is what or how any of it works to be honest. This is the first time it hit me to see how things work, who is charge, who calls the shot, who makes policy... o Oct 22, 2022 at 4:16
  • 7
    Go read the help pages and tour, the latter will get you an informed badge. That probably would let you at least grok the basics Oct 22, 2022 at 4:25
  • 9
    Ah, YouTube does have a dislike button...
    – Nij
    Oct 22, 2022 at 4:51
  • 4
    Re "YouTube ... removed the dislike button.": No, they didn't. They removed the (public) display of the downvotes, so the big brand advertisers, like Disney, wouldn't risk a huge number of downvotes shown in public on their 100% pure ad videos. For instance, the creators themselves can still see the number of downvotes in their dashboard (or whatever it is called). Oct 22, 2022 at 13:33
  • 1
    Re "...downvote, not just comments": No, comments can't be downvoted here (unlike YouTube comments). Oct 22, 2022 at 13:35
  • 1
    Quora will accept (nearly) any kind of question. Sometimes the answers can be surprisingly good (considering it has become Yahoo Answers mkII). Oct 22, 2022 at 13:44
  • cont' - Crazy moderation bots with unspecified IQ are now roaming Quora (the Stack Overflow podcast embarrassed itself by interviewing the creators). Even the sweatshop moderators of low quality became too expensive for Quora. Oct 22, 2022 at 13:46
  • @This_is_NOT_a_forum Quora was always just one big source of low quality contents, I never considered them even remotely good source, not even tiny bit. Oct 23, 2022 at 6:15

1 Answer 1

  • An upvoted post - this is a useful addition to our site's corpus of knowledge. Somehow we're never asked to explain that.

  • A downvoted post - the opposite. Perhaps you didn't look for obvious duplicates or break down the problem into its simplest form i.e. it's lacking in research effort.

We've explanatory tooltips on each button if you hover your mouse over them. We've also a help centre for upvoting and downvoting.

Let's say we didn't allow downvoting. There's a post that's been around a while. How would we distinguish between the following?

  1. Nobody has really assessed the post yet as to whether it's good or bad.

  2. This post is wrong (if it's an answer), or nobody can understand it or it's an obvious duplicate or it's a needle in a haystack problem and the author has just given us the whole haystack and made no attempt to narrow down the problem.

We really don't want 2 but 1 is just waiting for assessment.

If we find a question that has our problem but it has a whole set of zero scoring answers then we have to try them all. If one is zero scoring and the others are negatively scoring then the zero scoring one is the one to try because the others are likely wrong or bad in some way. Either way trying them is likely to be a waste of time. So why are you advocating wasting everybody's time?

You need to think about the site from the point of view of all those people looking at the answers, many of them may not even have an account even though they are the most numerous consumers of our sites, rather than just those few asking questions or the usually even fewer answering them.

  • 1
    I ask how would a physicist explain to a non-physicist spacetime interval, I get 6 downvotes. It made me dizzy looking at it. Maybe it is not a physics question. I don't know. Oct 22, 2022 at 4:25
  • 8
    Maybe it's unclear as to your level of physics knowledge or whether you misunderstood some particular aspect of Einstein's theories. Your research effort would be to read other literature and explain exactly what aspect you don't understand, perhaps with a specific example. In any case such a discussion as to why your question was poorly received is best had on Physics own Meta. Maybe they get your question every week. Oct 22, 2022 at 4:28

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