Possible Duplicates:
The answer to tactical downvoting problem?
What should be done to people who downvote strategically?
Disallow downvoting other answers if I’ve posted my own

This is just tossing an idea out there to see what the SO swarm thinks.

The idea is that you would be prevented from downvoting any answers to questions where you have your own answer. It seems to me that this would prevent the mini-wars I've sometimes seen and be fairer on all involved.

You could either choose to answer or choose to vote. You can't upvote your own answers, why should you be able to downvote "competitors"?

Obviously it's needs some more thought with regards to what happens when you vote, then answer, for example. And I realise it might cause some angst for questions you've answered where the other answers are absolute rubbish. But I believe I would be happy just to point out the problems with the answer (in a comment) and let the swarm decide.

Any thoughts? Am I just spouting rubbish?

  • Good catch with that second one, @mmyers but I'm surprised the question checker didn't throw it up when I asked. Guess I should have used "downvoting" Voting to close as dupe since I can't delete.
    – user14860
    Mar 19, 2010 at 15:40
  • I see at least a few edge cases here: vote before answering, vote while answer is deleted (then possibly undelete it), "low volume" subjects/tags or off-peak hours where there really isn't a swarm, and "non-competitive" answers (where you want to add something significant that isn't appropriate for a comment and probably linked to another answer from yours).
    – Gnome
    Mar 19, 2010 at 15:48
  • I tried the built-in search for four or five minutes before trying Google and finding those on the first page.
    – mmyers
    Mar 19, 2010 at 15:50
  • @paxdiablo, in addition to what said above, it's sometimes necessary for a person to clean up a backlog of ancient questions and do all at once: editing, answering, voting... That's already a thankless job and should be rather rewarded than made harder. meta.stackexchange.com/a/254753/248268
    – Nemo
    May 8, 2015 at 6:53

1 Answer 1


(I think this is probably a duplicate, but it would be tricky to find.)

Absolutely not. If someone writes a very definitely wrong answer, I'm likely to downvote it and write an answer which addresses the original question and goes into the details of why the wrong answer is wrong. I'd definitely want to be able to cast that downvote, even if I'd also leave a comment explaining the wrongness. That downvote would be to say "this is wrong, don't listen to it" rather than to try to float my answer higher and get it more votes.

Do we think this is really a problem? Are people really downvoting competing answers that they don't think are wrong on a regular basis?

  • 2
    "Are people really downvoting..." - I've no idea, I'm not privy to the database. I have seen people arguing where they've clearly downvoted each other but I couldn't say I've seen a lot.
    – user14860
    Mar 19, 2010 at 15:38
  • I got a "badge" for up-voting many "competing" answers. If I'd known that I could get such a thing, I could have "tactically" gone around up-voting everything in sight. So we could disallow that because we disapprove of "tactics". But on the other hand, I have a life, and also for some odd reason I care about what I vote for. Aug 14, 2012 at 16:53