Since voting on meta sites mean something different on the main sites, can you change the tooltip as well:

  • This question is useful and clear --> I agree
  • This question is unclear or not useful --> I disagree
  • This answer is useful --> I agree
  • This answer is not useful --> I disagree

...or something along those lines.

  • 44
    Vote can (and should) also have the same meaning - just because it's on meta doesn't stop the question being unclear and not useful - so the tooltip needs extending not just replacing.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Jan 15, 2011 at 11:58
  • 12
    Not all Meta questions are opinionated items. Sometimes, people just want to know what's going on.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jan 15, 2011 at 22:35
  • 4
    Is this not a feature request rather than a discussion?
    – razlebe
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 17:35
  • @razlebe: IMO, a feature request is asking for a change in functionality or for new functionality.
    – tshepang
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 18:05
  • 2
    Indeed. And you did, didn't you? "can you change the tooltip..."
    – razlebe
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 18:21
  • @razlebe: By functionality, I mean behavior. Changing text isn't changing behavior.
    – tshepang
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 18:29
  • Fair enough. Feels like there's a missing tag there, though. It should be valid to suggest small (but valuable) changes.
    – razlebe
    Commented Jul 26, 2011 at 10:36
  • 2
    If it requires a dev to do it, it's a feature-request. I've edited the post accordingly.
    – Dori
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 7:43
  • 1
    @Dori: That tag says nothing about requires a dev to do it. In fact, it is more in line with my argument... a change to functionality.
    – tshepang
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 7:59
  • 4
    I'm not referring to what the tag wiki says, I'm referring to SE workflow. How to make things happen: ① Let SE know there's something the community wants changed. ② SE decides if it's worth doing, and if it is, how a high a priority it is. ③ It eventually shows up on the top of someone's do to list. Result: Task done. But until/unless step 1 is complete, nothing ever gets to step 2.
    – Dori
    Commented Jul 30, 2011 at 8:12
  • 3
    Why can't Jeff understand this? As this would really help in many ways?
    – mtk
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 17:15
  • 2
    Errr... there are tooltips?
    – Dan Hanly
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 9:50
  • 5
    @ChrisF, "Voting is different on meta...On posts tagged feature-request, voting indicates agreement or disagreement" (emphasis original) meta.stackexchange.com/help/whats-meta Commented May 5, 2014 at 6:30
  • @Grace any chance for this to be reconsidered? Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 8:25
  • 2
    On both SO and Meta, IMO there still needs to be a clear differentiation between "I agree with this idea" and "This question is researched and clear". I still think people are voting with their gut-level agreements (and errantly downvoting merely because they disagree with the assertion made), and this is just piling-on sillyness. Here's a great example: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/248488/… . Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 22:21

4 Answers 4


Having just downvoted a feature request here on meta, I saw the tooltip and thought exactly the same. I'd go as far as to suggest that the content of the tooltip on meta sites should be contextual, based on the "special" tags such as that have been applied to the question.

I doubt that it'll ever be considered a high priority piece of work within the UI, but it would be a little bit "tidier" if the tooltip for a post downvote read something like "please consider explaining why you disagree with this feature request". One of the "last 1% polish" that the UI would need.

  • 20
    Personally, I think this is pretty important, since I found this quite confusing, and I think there are enough questions about what downvoting "means" on Meta to indicate that I'm not alone. Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 19:53
  • 1
    @KyleStrand, mine: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/231023/… Commented May 5, 2014 at 6:29
  • @Rob : make it more contextual. exactly what is being asked here. Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 21:37
  • 3
    I think making it contextual is super important - I didn't realize that the upvotes/downvotes work differently for feature requests and I depended on the tooltips to help explain it to me.
    – Kyle Pollard StaffMod
    Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 2:00

I agree with this proposal, and think the tooltips should be changed as OP proposes above. But Chris's comment was good, and I think it needs to be addressed:

just because it's on meta doesn't stop the question being unclear and not useful - so the tooltip needs extending not just replacing.

There certainly are some questions on meta that are simple support questions—why did my upvotes stop giving me rep when I hit 200; why did a moderator delete my answer; etc. However, I think the majority of Meta questions, or at least the majority of the Meta questions that take up the most time are discussions and feature requests. It's these questions for which the new tooltips would make sense, and I think the system should be designed to facilitate these questions as much as possible.

It would be clunky to expand the tooltips to apply to everything: I agree, unless this is a support question, in which case this question is useful and clear. So why not change the tooltips so that they're appropriate most of the time, when it matters most, instead of now, where the tooltips are appropriate only rarely, when it matters least.

  • Oh you sneaky...
    – casperOne
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 19:48
  • @casper - I meant every word of that answer, but the thought of getting your 500pt bounty...wow...let's just say Peter Luger's would have a hard time beating it. Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 19:49
  • Right now, I hate you =)
    – casperOne
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 21:01
  • Boing!!! :-D _____ @cas Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 21:04

3.5 years after this request there is still the same debate. One could say that the usage pattern is more important than the correct naming of the tooltips. However there is the observation:

People also downvote feature-requests if they disagree with them regardless of what the tooltips says.

which we could change. The change would be to only agreement/disagreement vote on answers to feature requests. Either we just do it this way or we specifically change the tooltips so that tooltips of answers of questions on meta tagged feature-request read:

"This answer is useful and I agree with it" and "This answer is either not useful or I do not agree with it."

This would just describe what is lived practice for the last years. People mostly vote agreement/disagreement on answers of feature-requests. But it would have the additional chance to reduce downvotes on feature-request questions expressing purely a disagreement.

P.S.: Actually feature-requests should be formulated neutral ("What is the best way to...") and the first answer should be the proposal by the questioner.

  • Your answer mainly assumes or proposes a different approach to feature requests – which is not the topic of this answer. If you want this to happen, you should suggest this in a sperate question (or following your approach, in a self-answer to a new question) – though I doubt that you will find much support for this proposal.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 11:18
  • @Wrzlprmft Thanks for your comment. I see it not as a different feature request but as a partial yes, only for a certain situation. A compromise. I see it still sufficiently similar to the feature-request. A "yes, but" so to speak. Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 11:31

I don't agree with this request.

While "I agree" and "I disagree" is one way that votes can be used on meta, it is not the only way, and I don't want that indoctrinated into users as the "official" meaning of voting on meta.

The current tooltips are correct, and any further subtleties are covered in each meta's help center now:


  • 36
    I don't agree with this useful answer. What should I do? Downvote? Orthogonal-vote? Jump off the bridge? ;-)
    – Lukas Eder
    Commented May 31, 2012 at 14:59
  • 34
    Given that the agree/disagree behaviour is widely used and widely accepted on meta, I believe the tooltips on meta sites should include this usage - if only to stop the same pattern for every new meta user who gets a downvote, asks what is wrong with their question, is referred to one of many discussions that "votes are different on meta" and then wonders why it doesn't it say that on the button!
    – raveturned
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 13:39
  • 2
    I'm not sure why this was downvoted so much, as I think this is correct. Agree/Disagree voting is only supposed to be used on proposals or suggestions. Other posts, such as questions asking "Why was this closed" or "Is this a bug" should be evaluated the same way you would evaluate any other SE question. Is it well-written? Does it show research effort? Is it useful?
    – Rachel
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 17:02
  • 3
    There is no reason we can't avoid agreement-disagreement voting on any questions! Just do the agreement-disagreement voting on the answers! All it would take, for proposals, is a simple "Yes, this proposal should be accepted" answer for people to vote on. If the tooltips were changed, it would make it harder to move to this better model.
    – A.M.
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 18:02
  • 1
    I'd tried that and got burned alive. I was told "no polls please" not understanding that that's how voting worked on meta. Problem is down voting is also an anonymous way to say your question is many things. "It's downvoted because it's off topic." -quote from a moderator on Meta. (not necessarily their down vote, but who knows, right?)
    – Mazura
    Commented Aug 9, 2014 at 0:47
  • 1
    It seems a little ironic that your answer starts with "I don't agree with this request."
    – zondo
    Commented Nov 6, 2016 at 19:55

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