I know this point is apparently already treated in this question.

Being the second time I get downvoted with an answer containing the same amount of informations of another answer which get upvoted (and "heavily"), I began to think that the idea to be forced to explain a downvote is good.

But in an environment frequented also by poor-minded people (retaliators, friends-cluster and alike), and thus hostile, I understand downvoters prefer to stay secret, if they want, like explained in comments.

While this saves good downvoters from silly persons, on the other hand protects also bad downvoters and does not help improving answers, nor the OP to evaluate answers and decide which is better (supposing the OP is a good honest OP).

So the modified idea is: downvoters must give a reason, but this reason can be read only by the OP who made the question and it is likely interested in having more clues to evaluate the content of an answer (I think this is more important for beginners who sometimes choose as better answer one that seems to solve their problem, but indeed it will be a source of other problems, while other more correct answers are not taken into account since seen as "too complex"). (Extra idea: the OP can remove the downvote if the reason does not satisfy him/her, e.g. a reason containing just "a reason", just to fill it, is not a good reason... or maybe the OP can give a vote to the reason, and we could think about mechanisms where votes for the reasons influence someway the reputation...)

Of course, people with imagination can imagine evil scenarios where it is not desiderable th OPs have such information (e.g. there's no way to avoid they share it at least outside SO), but these scesarios are side by side with those where, say, upvoters vote up answers given by high-reputation guys (since they trust them) without reading the answer at all, and downvoters vote down since the answerer had commented "against" their comments or answers... (and many more, like clusters of friends voting each other answers)

  • Unfortunately you don't link to the answer in question. But sometimes answers get downvoted when it seems like, that they were copied from another answer and don't add anything of value. I also get frustrated by downvotes with no explanation. My solution: I take downvotes with a comment 100x more serious than downvotes without a comment.
    – Lucas
    Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 10:53
  • About reasons: on the Meta site, people downvote feature requests just to show disagreement with the idea.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 11:18
  • 1
    Also, duplicates: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/30066/…, meta.stackexchange.com/questions/22934/… and in general most of questions on the downvoting tag.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 11:20
  • 1
    @Lucas I do link to the question. I won't never do a Q on SO, likely. While on MetaSO, I did since thought it was about talking of stuffs like trying to make the place better. If I'd do a Q on SO, I would upvote any answer silly downvoted (like:there's a similar A upvoted),and however I would like to read why an A on topics I can't fully evaluate is downvoted.And about duplicates:are you saying they already proposed to add a reason to downvotes so that the reason can be read only by the OP (who made the Q)? This makes me think, none of you and exp @Gnoupi, read the Q for real Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 11:32
  • ... and that to people used to make a lot of Q on SO(or wherever) there's no use in knowing why answers to their Q get downvoted. So, Gnoupi, since you linked to "duplicates", can you, explain what the idea I proposed in the Q, and if you take it, and considering my forewords («I know this point is apparently already treated in this question», which, again, is linked), can you explain me then the meaning of "duplicate"? Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 11:36
  • 4
    Actually, they meant that you should link the answer that you got downvoted on. You don't have any answers on Meta under the account you posted this, so we still don't have a link.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 11:43
  • Oh, no sorry. I say in general, the Q where I get downvoted is not interesting. I have many downvotes on SO, complained (in comments) only to one case, and now indirectly doing this Q complained to another(the same kind of downvotes: another A with the info appeared, and got upvoted a lot). The idea here explained is born from these cases,but knowing them is not interestin. The point is: is doable/interesting to force a reason for downvoting that can be read only by the OP (who made the Q)? This could make people think more before dv,and do not open "retaliation" Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 11:58
  • 2
    Why would you answer with the same content as another answer?
    – juan
    Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 13:47
  • 5
    @Shin: You made a claim here that your answer that was downvoted despite "containing the same amount of informations of another answer which get upvoted". You'll find the crowd on meta to be nosy and critical about claims like that. We want to see for ourselves, and then either give you advice on getting a remedy (if deserved), or give you advice on why your answer might not have been as good and how you might do better in the future. Otherwise known as "Links or it didn't happen!". Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 15:27
  • 1
    -1 (well, not really), reason adfdasfadnisopgfnaeirogpnadfg.... Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 21:15
  • @Manuel it seems like you never have done answers. It works like this: you push Answer, and there are no still answers. Then you take your time to write a good answer (maybe doing tests with compilers or whatever, standing up to take a cup of water if you get thirsty in the meantime...); the bar N new answers appear, but you are concentrated writing your own, so you do not push "see them", or maybe the difference in time is too short and the bar did not appear at all; the you post your answer. You've done your job; later you'll compare yours with the others, maybe, if u have time Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 9:10
  • ok, this was the question and the ans can be easaily found, I've get +1-1, to be compared with another that says basically the same; maybe his english is better, but my "pic" makes it easier to understand what's going on Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 9:16
  • 1
    @David Thornley: recently I've read a comment reporting the fact that SO is not only about doint Q and giving A, but readers can use it like a "manual" and to find solutions to their problem. If I were such a user, I would like to have an explanation why an ans have +N while another as 0, while I, in my ignorance, can't grasp the difference. Your virtual -1 comment, does not add Any Kind of Help to future reader, but awareness of the fact (that we already know) that silly people that would act that way exist. Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 9:25
  • «This question covers exactly the same ground as earlier questions on this topic; its answers may be merged with another identical question.» LOL the answers can be merged simply since basically they don't answer my Q! If they did, and the As would be merged, a reader couldn't understand them, without reading my original Q! Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:39
  • 4
    I down-vote duplicate answers. Don't expect me to bother commenting on that - if you can't bother to read other answers or notice that you're just posting redundant information, why should I expect you to read my comment?
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 15:26

4 Answers 4


Hmm... clearly the incentive Jeff provided for downvote comments hasn't worked well enough. I liked his solution at the time, and I still think anything more draconian is a bad idea. I don't think people should be forced to comment on a downvote, nor do I think the system should be rewired in the way you suggest to satisfy what I consider a niche concern.

I agree with @Gnoupi that the only real solution is to not get worked up about downvotes. They happen. People disagree with you or sometimes you really are wrong even if you can't see it. I know that's happened to me on more than one occasion; I posted something I was sure was right, then got sk00led.

That said... perhaps a happy compromise can be obtained. I counter-suggest the following feature:

Modify the current popup that occurs on a downvote such that it occurs for all downvotes regardless of reputation. Modify the contents of the popup to read "Please add a comment explaining why you downvoted this Question/Answer:" along with a text box that gains focus immediately. Two buttons complete the modification: "Submit Comment" and "Leave No Comment"; hopefully their functions are obvious from their titles. Finally, allow any click outside the box to close the box, along with a timer that will close it if no text has been typed into the box in, say, 20 seconds.

This makes downvoting a two step process, forcing every downvoter to consider submitting a comment while not forcing them to actually leave a comment.

Again, I do not consider this a high priority issue; I'm just trying to find some compromise that might work while remaining non-intrusive.

  • 2
    +1 for an excellent counter-suggestion. Commented Jun 30, 2010 at 1:01
  • +1 since you (likely) took into account my suggestion («nor do I think the system should be rewired in the way you suggest») even though en passant. But I stress the fact that what gave him a +1 for a counter-suggestion, if turned into a Q, likely would have been labelled as duplicate, and likely downvoted. I will wait a long time, then I will copy its counter-suggestion and I will see what happens. I think however people doing Q need help, so they should find interesting to read why an A (which maybe they considered good) was downvoted. Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 9:39
  • @ShinTakezou: yes, I was considering your suggestion to make such forced comments only visible to the person who asked the question. And I agree that my counter-suggestion would be closed and ignored if it were a full question, which is why I put it as an answer.
    – Randolpho
    Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 12:32
  • Heh... an anonymous downvote. Oh, how I wish somebody would tell me why they downvoted me....
    – Randolpho
    Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 15:32
  • (lol. I upvoted you) Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 18:31

Individual upvotes/downvotes are irrelevant. If the problem is the reputation lost, an upvote far outweighs several downvotes, so it's a bit silly to complain about that. If the problem is the possibility to be wrong and not finding out why, don't worry, if you really are and is enough activity in the question, you'll get your reason sooner or later. If the problem is the psychological impact of being downvoted, you need to grow a pair. Downvotes happen, and they might come merely because somebody didn't like your gravatar, or because they felt offended because you used a religious allegory or any other pity reason, as the people that vote upon posts is just that, people.

There is no way to catch "good" downvoters and "bad" downvoters, as there is no such thing. If your answer is good, it will garner upvotes fast enough, and even it might get a higher score merely because people that saw -1 ranked answers have the urge (IMO misplaced) to upvote.

Personally I avoid leaving comments when downvoting generally because most downvotable answers belong to users that complain, bitch and moan to you about that, sometimes following you or engaging in mass downvoting. Harmless, but annoying.

Also, even if you could "out bad downvoters", what would you do with that?

Simply take downvotes like rain, love and shit. It just happens.

  • 1
    +1, especially for "grow a pair"
    – Randolpho
    Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 14:32
  • Your point against no forcing people to give reason to downvotes area already treated in the Q I've linked at the very beginning of this. To prevent such impact (people bitching and moaning to you) I was proposing to let the reason visible only to the OP that made the question, as an help for him to learn more. You all have missed this simple fact, labelling this Q as a simple silly duplicate of another oneof those guys going bitching and moaning for downvotes. Still noone (but I have to read next new Answers still) has answered to this (and the Q ended to be labelled as dup) Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 9:31
  • @Shin: And what would you do if the the OP is a bitcher/moaner?
    – perbert
    Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 11:21
  • @perbert What do you mean? It does not changes nothing, since the PoV is elsewhere. If a downvoter-moaner makes a question (his own right),s/he has made a question,will receive answers,and if my system is in act,he'll read reasons for downvotes to received answers. There's nothing special to do. (Indeed I had another proposal, but I won't do it: OP can't upvote/downvote answers, they can only select the best answer) Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 18:30
  • @Shin With regards to your other proposal: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/48972/…
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 22:51
  • @Grance Note, thanks, but don't worry, I would have checked before to ask it! :D Commented Jul 3, 2010 at 15:52

Gnoupi and voyager cover the general case, so I'll tackle your "extra ideas". As for downvote explanations being shown to the question author only, I don't see it as being any different than the general case, a downvoter doesn't need to appeal their opinion to the author any more than to whoever is being downvoted. So I still redirect to Gnoupi.

Downvotes are an expression of the opinion of whoever cast them. An opinion does not have to be "satisfactory" to anyone in order to exist, so there's no reason the author of a question should be able to undo them. That's why, among other things, not even moderators can change votes. It's simply against the spirit of the system. This is also why the "reliability" of such downvotes is not of any concern to the author of the question. If the author wants to take downvotes into consideration, then the author should evaluate the answer personally. The author should be able to judge whether an answer is helpful to the author by merit of the answer itself, whether or not the downvotes are "reliably given".

As far as rewarding reputation for downvote explanations, there is no reason why a downvote explanation is worth more than, say, an upvote explanation, or any kind of fixer comment that isn't tied with a downvote. For example, there are often times that I will make comments, both here and on SO, which may sound like a downvote explanation (and the post is indeed downvoted), but I didn't cast the downvote. All I wanted to do was suggest some explanation why a downvote may have been, or point out a flaw in the post. And these may lead to the post getting fixed. The only way I'd receive reputation for this act, under your suggestion, would involve me downvoting, but I didn't find it necessary to cast a downvote. Is my contribution worth less because I didn't cast a downvote?

Ultimately, regardless of whether you are the author of the question or the author of the answer that got downvoted, there are two courses of action that you can take when you get a downvote without a reason, or without a satisfactory one. You can check to see if the answer is indeed flawed, and fix it appropriately. And if you don't see any flaws, then disregard that downvote, because a good answer will get upvotes from the people who responsibly analyze these things. But that person who downvoted you is entitled to their opinion exactly the same as anyone else is entitled to upvote you without reason.


Hooboy, you've given me a lot to have to respond to. Rather than worry about fitting it in comments, I'll just edit my post body. If you want to skip past all of the lengthy stuff, do so but please go to the last two paragraphs. Those are the most important ones here that summarizes the faults in your suggestion.

Addressing comments 4-6, that this is an "extra suggestion" is the reason I wrote my answer, I wanted to explicitly address your extra suggestions. You are casting the OP in some radiant light that implies they know absolutely what is good and what is not, which is entirely incorrect. The point of votes is to show the community's interpretation of an answer. Just because someone asked the question, it does not give them any right to decide whether someone's opposition to an answer is appropriate or not, no matter the explanation for that. And there is definitely no "moral binding" here. The question asker came to get an answer to a question, not to personally evaluate the opinions of others. The explanations of others is helpful in identifying how useful a particular answer may be, but it isn't the OP's responsibility to point out what is right and wrong in votes. Why should the OP have to judge this when the whole point of asking the question is to get a right answer?

You specifically suggested that the OP be able to reward a good explanation for a downvote with reputation. Your exact quote is "maybe the OP can give a vote to the reason, and we could think about mechanisms where votes for the reasons influence someway the reputation". Since these OP-only reasons only show up for downvotes, this is very much going to reward people for downvoting and explaining rather than those who just explain flaws, so I'm not wrong there.

I agree that the OP can always benefit from explanations of downvotes. In fact, anyone who has the same problem can benefit from it. But you're casting such things in such a positive light without paying heed to the problems that arise. If, for example, only the OP can see a particular comment explanation, and someone gives a reliable sounding explanation because that user, as they understand the answer, believes there is a fundamental flaw with the answer, the OP can consequently choose to follow that advice and avoid that answer. However, that user may be completely wrong about the answer, and if the OP doesn't know this, then there is no way for anyone to explain that. So an otherwise perfectly serviceable answer can be overlooked because of "reliability". Ultimately, the reason that a downvote is an "opinion" and not a "fact" (which the fact that answers are facts is completely irrelevant) is because it can only be given in the experience that the caster has. There are cases where someone can be 100% certain that their downvote is appropriate based on their knowledge, even when the answer may in fact be useful. And the OP, who let's not forget is asking the question in the first place, may not know this. This is why the most important thing a user should do is evaluate answers. Explanations for downvotes help, but they are unnecessary, a good evaluation of an answer can identify the flaws if they exist. And if they don't exist, then you don't need to understand why one user thought it wasn't useful to know that you yourself found it useful.

You also make a faulty assumption in the end of your comment stream that upvotes are always about correctness and rightness. A lot of people also give upvotes for reasons like "It's a good thing you suggested this particular method for this part". Not all questions and answers are clear-cut one-part solutions. Or maybe "Oh, hey, I was investigating this other problem and it turns out that this component you used was helpful to me". These answers were useful to people, but not necessarily to the author. There are also upvotes for friendliness, pity, and other less reputable reasons, just the same as there are bad reasons that people downvote. Upvotes are no more sacred than downvotes are.

The ultimate thing to draw from this is, requiring comments does not actually strengthen the system. The reasons that it, in general, is not useful is explained by all the other answers here. Making it visible only to the OP also doesn't necessarily strengthen it - the OP, just like the people who cast votes in the first place, is no less prone to incorrectly understanding things. So there is no ensured benefit to this. Anyone who would give good explanations for downvotes doesn't need to be forced in the first place, and certainly doesn't need to reserve it for just the OP.

It is fundamentally better that such reasons be out in the open to all users, so that anyone can evaluate the reason and, in the fact of downvotes made on faulty assumptions, correct the comment with their own knowledge contribution. This kind of thing will actually benefit the OP far more than just letting them see one user's opinion. Which is why the score of a post is the votes cast by the community.

  • «a downvoter doesn't need to appeal their opinion»; often SO answers are not about opinions, but facts. If a OP asks "how do I write a sum of a and b in C?", and As are,say, a+b, a + b and a.plus(b), and a + b takes +2, a+b -1 and a.plus(b) 0, the OP should be interested in why there's -1 (spaces are significant in C?) in the second one while the first took -1; and why third have 0? A downvoter forced to explain his/her -1 should say "not C at all, see e.g. LinkToExtRef". So no matter the final 0, OP can evaluate the third as wrong. Now let's look at the others both right but... Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 9:49
  • ... but with different votes. The maybe only downvoter to a+b had to explain; his/her explanation could be "hkashds", and in this case OP knows that he has not to consider seriously the downvote, or maybe it could be "a + b is more readable than a+b"; in this case the OP knows the -1 is an opinion about aesthetic, but it is correct as a + b (I would upvote a+b too). I start from the believing that more info is given to the "illiterate" OP, more the site can sound useful to him/her. Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 9:53
  • «An opinion does not have to be "satisfactory" to anyone in order to exist» which is the opinion about the ans? It is "-1 means I dont like it" (the info is not useful at all in any Q/A site); "-1 means it is wrong in my opinion"?? There are Q where answers can't be "right or wrong according to someone opinion": they are right, or they are wrong; one can talk about the quality (and upvote one since is written better, and downvote another since it is hard to be understood, even though it is not wrong, and explaining my -1 being not a "right-wrong" judgement could be important to the OP) Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 9:56
  • «no reason the author of a question should be able to undo them» it was just an extra suggestion, not "strict" for my Q. I think that if the system would admit ever forced reasons to downvotes, and OP reads a reason like "dfsddsfdfsd", then s/he is "morally" bound to nullify it (of course, s/he would do it in a "short" amount of time, or never); my normal behaviour is like yours: I prefer commenting, even being "rude", instead of downvoting; I prefer to explain what I see missing in the ans, to become better, or because I see it wrong. I downvoted only once, since that A was selected>>> Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:01
  • >>>was selected by the OP as better answer, but it is indeed the worst answer you can find for that Q (I am not saying mine is the best, I am saying all other answers are better than those and explanations are not always subjective matter, unless you think that executing 10000times an assignment with a const can be considered good by some programmers). Explained that in comment of course, and 15-2 > 10 anyway, ... if the A would not have been selected as the best, I would have done the comment, but not downvoted. Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:05
  • «The only way I'd receive reputation for this act, under your suggestion, would involve me downvoting,» wrong. Why do you think so? You are still free to comment freely, and not downvote. But if you downvote, you have to explain to the OP... and this however does not stop you from leaving a public comment anyway if you want and think it can make the A you're dealing with better Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:06
  • «And if you don't see any flaws, then disregard that downvote, because a good answer will get upvotes from the people who responsibly analyze these things.» I switched from other Q/A sites because very fer people "responsibly analyze these things". Thought SO could be someway better, for the kind of people it is frequented by; but even this Q shows that a lot of people reads superficially (how many comments was needed before someone focused on the "innovative" part of my Q, I can't know... and what if I would have not commented?closed sooner?and however it was closed as dup, and it is not) Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:12
  • and I would add, people seems not so often interested in helping OP doing Questions, or evaluate seriously others's answers. My drastical suggestion would be to eliminate reputations and votes... but indeed they are an help, imperfect and perfectible help, but they are an help anyway, to increase a bit the quality and the fun frequenting the site Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:16
  • About no-reason upvote, it's a different fact. Most of the "reasons" could be simply and correctly "it is right" or, for subjective questions, "I agree". No reason at all, can be interpreted this way. The explanation of why it is right can't exist, unless you point what it would have been wrong: "it is a+b, since it is not a.plus(b)" is not logically correct, while it is ok "a.plus(b) is wrong, in C it is a+b" (which contains also the answer in this case) or "a.plus(b) is not C" (see other comments I've done trying to explain why OP could be interested in a reasonable reason) Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:22
  • ... But pointing what woild have been wrong is a long list, since given the right answer, all the rest is wrong (so, or the answer is right, and you upvote it, or it is someway wrong, and you downvote and explain what is wrong). This is the reason why upvotes do not require a reason. Still, the asymmetry indeed gives a "bias" on right answers with a lot of upvotes and right answers with few or none upvotes. But I am not saying my suggestion solves or treats all the problems. Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:26
  • 1
    My goodness. Such monologues are really illustrating why these sites are not made for discussion.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 12:27
  • we call it debate. Since I have to do it in comments, it looks hard. For people not able to debate, at least. A monologue is when you are not replying (and I am replying to the answer) and expect no replies, not if your reply is long and people have to read it before being able to reply at their "turn". Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 19:12
  • @Grace Note, I am writing the reply, I won't post it here, I'll drop a link when finished (soon or later; in this exact moment I have to stop, but I will have more time the following days). Likely I'll do a day a post on my blog collecting and reorganizing the material (comments, answers, question). Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 19:15
  • @Grace Note, my answer, but before start reading, reread the Gnoupi comment above (My goodness)! Commented Jul 3, 2010 at 15:55

It's a duplicate It's not an exact duplicate, but these points still stand:

  1. Downvoting is good 95% of the time. It helps separating bad answers/questions from the good ones. Adding a constraint to downvoting will decrease downvoting as a whole.
  2. The remaining 5% are due to silly revenge votes, but honestly, who cares. Had 2 ones last week, I'll live. If the phenomenon is wider, like a large number of downvotes in a short time, it will anyway be reverted by an automatic process, every night.
  3. Forcing people to add a comment won't prevent them from putting "blablabla -1". Nothing will. If they don't want to explain why they spent one point of their reputation to downvote you, they won't, even if forced.

Addendum to 1: if you force people to input a reason, it is a constraint, and it will reduce the number of downvotes in general. There are many cases in which I will quickly downvote, to show disagreement, without time to explain why. There are times when the reason was told by someone else, in which case I downvote and upvote the comment. I don't see why i should be forced to write "like this one said".

Besides, if you force people to put a personal comment, read only by the OP, then they won't write it in public under the post. Which means someone else coming after will most likely write the same, etc.

I agree, everyone agrees, that getting a downvote on what seemed valid without a comment is harsh and unpleasant. But it's really an edge case, and forcing people to comment won't solve the problem, only make the system less pleasant to use.

The only solution is to care less about downvotes.

  • I explain you why your's a bad A: Q it's not an exact duplicate, so it is no a duplicate at all; 1) downvoting is ok; I do not say to remove it;to you "thinking/pondering more about something", that slows down for sure, is a bad thing?! And you say downvoters are mostly like a machine-gun, that won't help separating bad A/Q from good ones if people up/downvote without thinking; 2) I explained in the Q a reason why the OP can care of 95+5% of the downvote; 3) people putting "blablabla -1" ("a reason" in my Q) could cause suspect on their reliability on the OP Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 11:44
  • for linkers maniac, this pointer «a reason containing just "a reason", just to fill it, is not a good reason..» shows that I've treated already the point 3 in my Q, with an extra-idea, but the "non-reliability" issue could be enough to stop many silly downloaders. Good downvoters will put a good reason; bad downvoters will be caught, since they put blablabla or silly reasons, that could be caught, or anyway slows down the silly-downvoter. Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 11:49
  • 2
    @Shin - "that could be caught"... And then what?
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jun 29, 2010 at 15:20
  • It is an easy conseguence of what I've already explaned, your comment 2-times upvoted looks silly: OP won't take into account the downvotes with blablabla, and so he have a clue about evaluating the answers (even though downvoted by those morons), and moreover he will consider the downvoter not reliable, and this will have an impact in general making the "quality" of the site grow, and better the significance of the reputation (since the OP will tend to not upvote answers by the silly downvoters). You can disagree with the picture, but "and then what?" is lack of imagination. >>> Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:31
  • >>> .... and being not an exact duplicate, means it is not a duplicate at all, and the "possible duplicates" do not cover my themes. Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 10:36
  • @Shin - "OP won't take into account the downvotes with blablabla". I stand by what I said: "And then what?". Why would you take into account downvotes with no comment, then? If someone tells me what is wrong, I can improve, if someone just downvotes, I don't care about his vote. No need to force someone to write "blablabla", the result is the same. You agree yourself, the solution is to not care about downvotes which don't provide an appropriate explanation.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 12:26
  • @Shin - and linking quality of the site and "identifying a moronic downvoter" is silly. These sites are not about people, but about the content only. I don't care if someone wrote 5 idiotic comments. If he posts a correct and well written answer to another question after, I will upvote it. Because I will judge the answer, not the user.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jul 1, 2010 at 12:30
  • @Gnoupi You have not get it still. It is not about you that made the downvoted answer. It is about OP who made the question. It can be very interested. «Why would you take into account downvotes with no comment, then?» You who (which role I am playing with "you"?)? «tells me what is wrong, I can improve, if someone just downvotes, I don't care about his vote» in my idea,you get no reason, OP who made the question gets it.You don't care the downvote,but people can use downvotes to judge themselves, being "ignorant" about the argument,the answer.So it is SO interest to make it better. Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 18:57
  • @Gnoupi «You agree yourself, the solution is to not care about downvotes which don't provide an appropriate explanation» but SO does, since X-votes answer is on top (more "important", "more right", whatever) of a Y-votes answer, when Y < X. While again, unknownledged people can be "driven" by votes, so it is SO interest to limit silly downvoting (and upvoting, but this is another tale, and why it is asymmetric it is already explained in other comments) Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 19:00
  • @Gnoupi if the sites are baout content, not people, they should try at their best effort to stop people concentrating on people and not the content; and it is what indeed happens when you give a reasonable answer but it gets downvoted because of "revenge" or whatever judgement made not on the content only. Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 19:02
  • @Gnoupi final part still takes the role of the answerer / aware reader, not of the person that is trying to extract by answers on an unknown topic a usable knowledge, as likely the OP making the question is. Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 19:04

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