When I see a question or answer that has a lot of votes but not too many comments, I have the impression that something is not working on the system.

I would prefer to see a comment explaining why the vote has been cast.

Would such a system be worse or better? Why?

  • I think you are getting carried away by the heady airs of meta - one or two questions a week is about the accepted standard (apart from the waffle brigade, of course). And anyway, this is a dupe. – nb69307 May 4 '10 at 23:37
  • This is at least related to, if not a duplicate of: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/135/… – Bill the Lizard May 4 '10 at 23:45
  • @Neil Assuming the questions are not dupes, users should post as many questions as they have. Each question makes meta a little bit fuller. – devinb May 5 '10 at 7:17
  • @devinb Why is being "fuller" a good thing? – nb69307 May 5 '10 at 8:27

No, votes are anonymous for good reason. Besides, there's an implicit "this was helpful" that goes along with every upvote.

  • 13
    +1 THIS WAS HELPFUL! – Jeff Atwood May 5 '10 at 0:39
  • 1
    (+1) I don't think this was helpful, but I like your avatar. – devinb May 5 '10 at 7:18
  • +1 Just to bump the next answers down, unintended, so I +1 the next answers as well. – Tamara Wijsman Jun 25 '12 at 12:52


That is intended. Comments are meant to be lightweight, to be a rather simple way to have a back a forth in the open between the asker and the answerers, so they can understand each other. They also work as a way to point specific points of answers as wrong or unusually right. Nothing more.

Also, you should know that comments happened even in spite of the site founder, as he was rather vocal against having any kind of comment system in place, as the meat of the sites, the most important thing, were and are, Questions & Answers.


something is not working on the system...

On the contrary, a question or answer that receives lots of votes but no comments is a good question, because it doesn't generate a lot of clarification questions or "belongs on career overflow"-type commentary. It implies the question is complete, self-explanatory, and relevant, and that the answer is complete and correct.


Though I agree with most answers and comments (and the general idea behind not linking comments and votes down) I also can't agree with the question.

What about people with a really high reputation and really bad day? Minus two for votedown is absolutely no penalty for them. How do you want to track down that someone voted down ten or twenty times a day, just to give himself a little bit relief of frustration?

This (current) situation is a specially painful, in a "conflict" of people with a really low reputation (like me) asking question and giving answers, that gets votedown virtually by no reason. This doesn't happened (yet) to me, but just a minutes ago I saw a few answers to few PHP questions, a really good answers, that were voted down for no reason and of course, without any explanation.

Is there anyone out there, that thinks similarly to me, that people with small reputation, after being voted down to many reasons at the beginning of their journey with StackOverflow, will simple resign from contributing?

SO is really big. I've been using much smaller contribution systems up until now. But must of them, after a period of feeding questions like this with similar answers, like here, ended up with introducing system that requires a comment to vote done. Simply, because it isn't fair to get vote down without reason and without any explanation.

  • Peer pressure. It's not about being unfair in any way, questions yourself why your posts are getting downvoted. Just delete those that get downvoted and post only if you think you can get a chance on being upvoted and there is no reason for people to downvote you; in any case, I'm more worried about a downvote now than I was years ago simply because it would tell me I'm doing something wrong... So, I can learn from that and improve. – Tamara Wijsman Jun 25 '12 at 12:58
  • @Tom Wijsman: Then again. What about answers that doesn't look bad and still are being downvoted? Again: I'm not concern about me, but by other. I've just run into good looking question that was downvoted five times (for me: without reason) followed by a good looking answer that was downvoted also without reason (at least for me). I'm not talking about bad questions or answers, but about those that really seems, that has been downvoted, because someone got up on the wrong feet or on the wrong side of the bed (or from the wrong bed at all! :]). But, OK, I see your point. Cheers. – trejder Jun 25 '12 at 13:10
  • Are you talking about SO or Meta? Because the voting on Meta is quite differently, here it is mostly based on (dis)agreement whereas on SO it is based on usefulness. Do you have an example link? – Tamara Wijsman Jun 25 '12 at 13:12
  • I'm talking about SO only. I need to search for a link, if you wish, but I believe that there are many examples of such on SO. – trejder Jun 25 '12 at 13:20

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