Once in a blue moon, I've wanted the ability to downvote my own answer to some question. (Here's one (admittedly silly) example.)

Obviously upvoting one's own posts is out of the question. But down is different. Voting my own answer down can help me improve the site by pushing my answer lower in the ranking than another answer with a better or more situation-appropriate alternative. It's not something I'd do often, but I would use this feature if it were available.

If implemented, I'd expect this feature to operate just like downvotes on other user's posts. That is:

  • I get a few seconds to undo the downvote;
  • I get to remove the downvote after an edit to the post;
  • I lose a point for placing the downvote (CW excepted);
  • I lose two points for receiving the downvote (CW excepted).

If you're noticing that I'd lose 3 points for downvoting my own non-CW post, congratulations! You can add!

I can think of a couple of potential downsides to this change. The first one may be a dealbreaker; the second is probably not that big a deal.

  • Strategic downvoting of oneself: since you can undo the vote after an edit, and you can always edit your own posts, someone could downvote themselves soon after posting (especially on a FGITW answer) to garner extra sympathy upvotes.
  • Badge collecting: the Peer Pressure badge just got easier, because if you have a -2 score on an answer, just downvote and delete for an instant badge.
  • 12
    the biggest downside is that this is totally unnecessary. It would only add complexity and incidental pain. No upside at all. Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 9:46
  • 1
    Better to focus on important things like making sure people cannot change their DisplayName more than once a month.
    – random
    Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 10:11
  • 2
    @random that was adding far too much noise to the system -- look at the trail of busted @crazyusernames in comments to see that. Noise = bad. Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 12:10
  • here's a good example of a Meta question that the asker might downvote: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/49412/… Commented May 11, 2010 at 9:36
  • 13
    What's wrong with delete, if your answer is wrong? Commented Aug 7, 2010 at 18:10
  • @Lady: That's fine as long as the answer is not the accepted one.
    – kennytm
    Commented Aug 7, 2010 at 18:31
  • 3
    @Lady, a deleted answer is not seen. One may want to post information that is a wrong way of doing something, and downvoting is a good way. I keep an answer of that sorts, and I still get the downvotes :-)
    – P Shved
    Commented Aug 7, 2010 at 19:25
  • 3
    Looks like you are abusing the system. You want to do gymnastics, while being dishonest at the same time. A downvote means the Answer is not useful. Why don't you just delete it then, and incorporate its valuables into the Answer you prefer?
    – tshepang
    Commented Jan 6, 2011 at 16:32
  • I want the ability to upvote myself too! :P
    – John
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 18:52
  • poke poke... its the new age now, sandbox test it Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 0:06

6 Answers 6


If you're posting answers that are noise, delete them. That's what that action is there for. Why do you want to keep around answers that you don't believe in?

If you want to downvote your own answer, it's a sign that it shouldn't be there. If it's an alternate viewpoint/solution than the majority would agree with, the votes will decide that.

  • 4
    hrm. i apparently need a good example. consider two answers giving separate alternatives to a general problem, but the particular problem under discussion makes one alternative a better choice. the other alternative is still valid; it's just not as good. if the question poster doesn't accept the better alternative answer, and the answers are equally scored, downvoting, not deleting, my own answer with the other alternative is better for the site. Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 9:13
  • 1
    (arguably, the same effect could be had by editing my alternative into the other user's "better answer", then deleting mine, but hey man that's like work...) Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 9:16
  • Could you not add a comment or footnote to the answer about why your answer doesn't warrant ranking?
    – random
    Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 9:17
  • 2
    yeah, comments are always possible, but can be ignored; and using a self-downvote as a means of ordering answers isn't a guarantee the answers will stay that way either. it's just another tool in the toolbox. Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 9:26
  • What if you wanted to keep that answer as an example to others what a "bad question" looks like, and that they shouldn't do it? And at the same the person wants to punish themselves for posting a terrible post? Commented May 31, 2017 at 8:32

That's what the edit feature is for.

  • 5
    This. Let the rest of us down-vote your mistakes - if you want to do something, then correct them!
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 7, 2010 at 19:13

This feels a bit like "feature for the sake of having a feature" to me.

I just don't believe it's a valid use case; users can't be objective about their own content and should not be allowed to rate it, period.

  • I bet you wish you could downvote this answer twice. Commented Aug 7, 2010 at 19:53
  • So any reason why not status-declineding this? Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 6:36

New Users can abuse this way, if it is get implemented.

  • 5
    You're forgetting those users who feel sorry for anyone who ever gets a downvote. A new user can post a horrible and/or vague question, downvote themselves and some idiot comes along with "+1 to counter the downvote" and boom! more instant pity rep.
    – random
    Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 9:20
  • Ah, That could make 1000 easily then :D
    – YOU
    Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 9:22
  • 2
    ok, so good worst-case analysis of the strategic downvoting of oneself vulnerability. "important safety tip, thanks, Egon." Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 9:24
  • this could be alleviated if the feature was added for users above some minimum rep. Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 9:49
  • 2
    That's a lot of editing for 300 points. At least the new user then knows how the site works!
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 10:27
  • @~quack, agree for min rep, but sympathy upvote issue is still left as random mentioned, meta.stackexchange.com/questions/38595/…
    – YOU
    Commented Feb 12, 2010 at 10:29
  • 3
    Re: Since he/she is rep 1, nothing lose. Don't you need reputation at least 125 to be able to downvote?
    – Martin
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 13:30

Voting is a judgement on another person's contributions. I don't think it makes sense to vote on your own. If you realize your own contribution is faulty, either improve it, or unaccept and delete it (I therefore support the linked feature request).

Edit: I suppose it might make sense on a voting site like Meta - you might realize that your own idea is bad, and downvote it. But on SO proper, I don't think it's needed.


I think this feature would make some sense on the metas of smaller sites.

For example, at times you have the situation that each answer to a question represents a suggestion as how to handle a certain issue and the answer with the highest score will be adopted. In this case, the number of people that agree with a proposal is assumed to be:

[number of upvoters] + 1,

with the +1 coming from the fact that the answerer usually agrees with their suggestion. However, the latter does not always need to be the case. For example, I am convinced by arguments that my suggestion is bad or another suggestion comes up that I prefer. While most of the times, I would just delete my anwsers, there may be situations in which this is not the best thing to do:

  • People have already voted on this suggestion and some people may still prefer it. Of course one of them could resurrect the suggestion but then people would need to repeat their votes and confusion would ensue.

  • There may be some valuable discussion in the comments.

  • The answer is accepted.

  • The answer is a community wiki and contains considerable work from others.

Now, downvoting my own post allows me to negate the implicit +1 to the above equation coming from me posting the suggestion and thus have the upvotes on the post represent its true number of supporters.

Still, such a feature may probably not be worth the effort.

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