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Should we force adding a comment with every down-vote?

Anonymous down voting is not constructive, and the individuals who choose to hide behind the click, most often never up vote a revised question or answer.

I think if you anonymously down vote a question and it begins to receive up votes, each up vote should cost you rep, because in that case, your down vote is standing against the reputation of your peers. Now that's community moderation!

I am requesting this as a StackExchange feature of community moderation. There are (known to me) individuals who's job performance ratings depend on their reputation. The lack of such a feature invites harassment, embarrassment, and defamation of character.

This should not go ignored IMHO. If this isn't something that can be implemented then the act of down voting should pop-up a comment box asking why the question/answer was down voted so that the proper course of action can be taken by the author, and anonymous down voting is rendered as an unacceptable practice.

Many community members have already taken to the (+1/-1) notation in their comments about voting. I find this to be acceptable, positively constructive, and a feature worth implementing.

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    Actually a big part of why we don't force people to post comments is because admitting you downvoted something often leads to harassment, embarrassment and defamation of character when the downvoted person decides to get "revenge" – Ben Brocka May 17 '12 at 22:40
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  • @MarkTrapp Oh... Well at least this one is less ambigous. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 22:53
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    @BenBrocka at least with this method it would be a two way street instead of a one-sided view. A knife that only cuts one way is only half as useful. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 22:53
  • It looks like I'm just going to have to forget about using any of the SE sites [full stop] – user54262 May 17 '12 at 22:57
  • @BenBrocka I often find myself wondering why these questions and answers are down voted. I guess the world will never know. Do take care. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 22:58
  • It's funny how this question got down-voted like hell without having anyone writing a comment explaining why :P In this case it is obvious and therefore no need for comments. – marco-fiset May 18 '12 at 13:29

Being able to downvote bad stuff without fear of reprisal from people who take it too seriously is part of what keeps the quality on Stack Exchange high: bad content gets quickly filtered out while good content gets rewarded. Any friction you add to that process threatens to harm what makes Stack Exchange so valuable in the first place.

Consider the following situation: there's a bad question written by someone who is outwardly confrontational and doesn't demonstrate any ability to learn. He picks fights with anyone who tries to explain what's wrong with his content and sucks them into arguments that go nowhere. What value is there in requiring people to engage that person in what will inevitably be a waste of everyone's time?

There isn't any.

And therein, I think, lies the problem: rather than forcing people to get into discussions about 2 measly reputation points, you'd just get a place where nobody downvotes anything just to avoid the pointless arguments with internet tough guys who browbeat anyone who dares leave negative feedback, however deserving.

No thanks: I'd rather people feel like their only duty here is to preserve the site's quality by freely voting, not to preserve their own sanity by not participating.

  • This catches my eye, and you've raised a valid point. But how could a browbeater be beaten on a site based on reputation? By revoking credentials for abusive/non-conducive behavior that can be reviewed on record. If the brow-beater wants to keep his community standing (and account) he/she will act accordingly. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:21
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    But I guess that just doesn't make any sense. I come here for peer reviews on my content. Not peer reviews on what the site thinks consists of a valid question. SE places too much value in questions, not enough value in content. You are more than welcome to agree/disagree as am I. I'll elect to find a more suitable method for engaging with more intelligent types. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:22
  • @TristonJ.Taylor No, it doesn't make any sense. There are too many users on the SE network to devote that much time and effort to every single post. It's hard enough as it is to keep up with the constant influx of new content that needs vetting. People are here, first and foremost, to ask and answer questions so they can get on with their lives, not to spar with others about votes. If you make that a requirement, people just won't do it anymore. – user8 May 17 '12 at 23:26
  • Are you a coder, or an analyst? LOL. Computers are made to work, but they don't work for us until we put them to work. That is the entire point of this FEATURE request. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:28
  • I'm getting no where arguing logic with opinions here. Please. Let it be. Be happy with your toy. I'm seeking new development methods. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:29
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    @TristonJ.Taylor Take this question, for example: it's exhausting trying to help you understand the negative feedback you received when you're so eager to tear people down with rapid-fire comments. Imagine having to explain to us ignorami what we did wrong on every single bad question you come across while we call you names: frankly, I'd imagine you'd have better things to do with your time. – user8 May 17 '12 at 23:31

You're showing your bias — There's nothing inherently wrong with down-voting. I could just as easily argue that unwarranted up-votes should receive the penalty you prescribe — Maybe even more so. After all, the pity up-vote (inappropriately saying something is correct and useful just to counteract a down-vote) is a much more nefarious "problem" than the random disagreement someone expresses on occasion.

Would you really go down this road where someone is penalized for disagreeing with the majority? That's not voting at all!

Voting is a personal preference, and we already greatly underweight the effects of a down-vote specifically to allay these kinds of disproportionate responses (-2 points for a downvote, vs +5/+10 points for an upvote).

When someone down-votes, we already do the "please consider adding a comment if you think this post can be improved" thing. If someone does ot choose to explicitly justify their judgement to you, that's their prerogative. Nobody's suggesting that you have to justify why you would up-vote this sort of thing … so I don't see the difference. I just don't buy the anonymous up-vote=good, down-vote=unacceptable argument.

  • "Would you really..." Yes. Its called democracy. If the community agrees and you disagree, the majority rules. I believe several opinions are better than one, and one opinion (when asked for) is better than none. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:03
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    an up-vote to a question should imply: I would like to ask the same question or hear an answer to this question. a down-vote should imply: this is not useful, needs work, closing, or possible deletion. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:05
  • @TristonJ.Taylor Majority Rule in democracy means "If you vote on the losing side, you don't win" not "If you vote on the losing side, we sting you up" – Ben Brocka May 17 '12 at 23:06
  • The concept of a vote on this site does not stand with what a democratic vote actually means. Yea or Nae. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:06
  • @BenBrocka I agree, totally, thats why I added the second provision to my feature request. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:07
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    @TristonJ.Taylor That's your view of democracy? "If you disagree with the majority, it should cost you?" I don't believe it for a second. I'm calling shenanigans... or trolling. I'm out. – Robert Cartaino May 17 '12 at 23:07
  • @RobertCartaino view above comment. – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:09
  • Second provision states: "If this isn't something".... – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:10
  • I give up however. I can always choose to not participate in the madness of fools. Most people are fools, only few of us are actually intelligent enough to have credentials on sites like this. Until next time.... – user54262 May 17 '12 at 23:11