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discourage downvoting

Please do something else to discourage downvoting. Maybe increase the cost to the downvoter (there's already a "declined" on force user to comment on downvoting).

This isn't about points. It's about participation. Downvoting should be reserved for nasty/offensive/stupid/poorly-thought-out/totally-off-base comments. If someone spends the time to make an honest effort to answer a question, but it's not that great an answer, just don't upvote them... Downvoting sends a message, "We disapprove. You spent your valuable time, but we don't care." It makes me think, why should I bother spending the time to write up answers for this forum?

I stopped posting on several usenet newsgroups because the major participants were just nasty and sarcastic. Don't let this happen to StackOverflow.

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    arghmanarghman shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →
    declined  ·  codinghorrorcodinghorror responded  · 

    total upvotes cast: 1,251,020 — total downvotes cast: 122,141. I think the data supports my argument that the current downvote cost is enough of a disincentive.

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      • Steve ShawSteve Shaw commented  · 

        Thank god for downvoting - it helps keep SO what it is, a *useful repository of knowledge*. On the other hand, I agree with your emotion - I personally *hate* being downvoted, when I've *done my best*. All I can think to ameliorate this dilemma is to add more reminders about how to react to downvotes. Maybe everywhere there is a negative vote, hovering over that would read "try not to take downvotes personally, see [url] for explanation of the role of downvoting". It still will feel bad, but at least one can learn why many experienced users consider downvoting an essential feature of SO.

      • MillionsMillions commented  · 

        @arghman: You don't get to tell me how to think. I don't care if the posts i'm down-voting are your most favoritest posts in the whole wide world; i don't like them, and down-voting is my prerogative.

        You know what happens when nasty, sarcastic users can't down-vote posts they hate? They post nasty, sarcastic replies. You don't want SO to be filled with nasty, sarcastic replies, DO YOU?

      • EBGreenEBGreen commented  · 

        @Arghman, no change to the voting system will ever prevent internet a**hats from being a**hats. It's the internet that's what they do. You can't fix social issues with technology.

      • RichBRichB commented  · 

        @arghman: Show us at least one example, please.

      • arghmanarghman commented  · 

        @knives: "Down voting sends the message "I disapprove. You wasted my valuable time with your drivel"."

        There's an awful lot of posts that aren't drivel at all, that have been downvoted, for reasons that seem to have no bearing on the usefulness of information in the post in question.

      • arghmanarghman commented  · 

        @dmckee: "When a downvoter leaves a comment they will often retract the vote if you fix the problem they perceive." I don't have a problem with that, that's useful downvoting if they point out a problem.

        Again: my complaint has *nothing* to do with the # of points. Make it -10 if you like. It's about negativity. There's too much gratuitous negativity. Several comments here are great example.

      • dmckeedmckee commented  · 

        Down votes are *good*. Don't take them too seriously. It's just StackOverflow rep. It doesn't mean you;re a bad person They can be abused, but there are mechanisms in place to help with that.

        When a downvoter leaves a comment they will often retract the vote if you fix the problem they perceive.

        To the admins: Please decline.

      • mezoidmezoid commented  · 

        While it feels uncomfortable when I get downvoted I still see the usefulness of it for ranking things on the site and identifing bad answers or lower less useful answers below a better answer. If anything downvoting should result in more of a sting because sympathy votes tend to give users reputation they don't deserve. Perhaps upvotes should only add rep if the current rank is 0 or greater.

      • cletuscletus commented  · 

        @jericson. Usenet is a cesspit. I also think downvotes shouldn't be anonymous. Interestingly a couple of weeks ago I suddenly got 2-3 downvotes on a month old answer that had previously been +8 or so. I went and checked... ah the OP had put a bounty on it. Quelle surprise. It seems the only encouragement to downvote is bounties (ie tactical downvoting). Its otherwise discouraged

      • MillionsMillions commented  · 

        Down voting sends the message "I disapprove. You wasted my valuable time with your drivel".

        Sadly, there's no way to down-vote UV posts.

      • jericsonjericson commented  · 

        @TheTXI: I agree that down voting too discouraged by the reputation system. But it does seem to work in terms of evaluating posts. Good posts are always > 0 and bad posts are <= 0. The only real problem is that bad posts often look the same as average posts, since they usually end at 0.

        Protip: Ad hominem hurts an argument. (Except on the playground. Zing!)

      • jericsonjericson commented  · 

        The nice thing about down votes is that it tends to avoid getting personal. I can click a down vote for _any_ reason and I don't need to tell you why. In Usenet, the *best* you can expect is a polite explanation of what you did wrong. Down voting makes SO *nicer* to bad answers and questions, not meaner. I can't think of a better way to show a user they made a mistake.

      • TheTXITheTXI commented  · 

        Downvoting is already weak as hell in the system anyway. It takes 5 Down to equal 1 Up in terms of rep change, and it actually costs the voters rep to down vote. If you nerf the DV anymore, you might as well get rid of it altogether.

        Protip: StackOverflow is not the Special Olympics no matter how many retards are running around. You don't get a medal and a pat on the back just for showing up.

      • RichBRichB commented  · 

        Not to mention the question pointed to is a classic case of an /exact/ duplicate! The poster didn't get the answer and he posted a duplicate question to clarify. Good lord, you could not have picked a worse example.

        Speaking of downvoting, why can I not downvote this suggestion???

      • RichBRichB commented  · 

        @arghman: We have a system for nasty/offensive/stupid/poorly-thought-out/totally-off-base. It is called the offensive tag. The downvotes are used for questions and answers that are 'Not helpful'. The question you point to is not downvoted as far as I can see, so I am not sure what you are complaining about, but that question deserves to be downvoted a lot more than it has.

      • gortokgortok commented  · 

        Arghman: If you have a better mechanism to separate the wheat from the chaff than downvotes, let's hear it. 'no vote' is too wishy washy.

      • cletuscletus commented  · 

        Downvoting is already pretty pointless. By this I mean that 9 time sout of 10 when you downvote soemthing that is bad advice or just plain wrong, the post will get a "pity upvote" so you're down 1 rep, the downvotee is up 8. So what was the point?

        A bigger problem I think is people using offensive flags as free downvotes (since they vote down 1 but cost nothing).

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