I recently received my first down-vote and am still reeling from that stinging feeling. Seems silly to care but for some reason I do. What is more frustrating than getting a down vote is that whomever gave it didn't have to identify themselves, nor did they have to give a reason. Does this make sense to anyone? It doesn't to me. If the purpose of a down-vote is to let people know your answer wasn't helpful, then perhaps it should be required that, at the very least, you have to give a brief explanation for why you think it was unhelpful.

As for that stinging feeling, well I'll get over it I'm sure but now I will be much more reluctant to respond to a question in the future. Is that what this site is really about?


Don't take it personally; a down vote is not a reflection of you as a person or as a developer (unless all your answers get down votes).


I think there are 2 issues here. If someone has asked a question, or added an answer that?s obviously off topic, unwarranted or just insulting, then a downvote is probably all that?s needed. But if there downvoting because they feel your answer is incorrect or not relevant, then it really would be polite and helpful to leave a comment to explain their reasoning, to help us learn and realise what was wrong. I feel it also makes downvoting seem less painful if someone will explain their reasoning, rather than seeming like a personal attack (which it usually isn't!)


It depends on the reason for the downvote:

  • A downvote for an erroneous answer is perfectly OK but you should probably say so;
  • An incomplete but reasonable answer sometimes gets a downvote and I don't like that if the answer is given in good faith; and
  • Sometimes you get what I call "tactical downvoting" where other people vote your answer down to put their answer higher up int he order.

Personally I think you should be able to see who downvoted a question.

Edit: And just now I got 2 downvotes for pointing out a question is a duplicate and linking the duplicate question. How does that work?


I'd prefer it if people left a comment to say why; but apparently you can't force people to leave a comment.


I've also been downvoted a few times and I would have liked to have an explanation, so I can edit the post and remove whatever ambiguity that caused someone not to like what I said (or remove my post altogether if I was way wrong). I think the pros would outweigh the cons, since I think that most regulars here wouldn't mind writing a sentence or two when they downvote posts.


Sometimes downvotes are just expressions of opinion. But when they are assertions of fact ("you are wrong") then an explanation would be helpful. Whether or not you are wrong, an explanation gives everyone the opportunity to interact and learn.

In one case I gave an answer regarding Views in SQL Server that I knew to be correct but quickly received 4 downvotes. One of the people casting a down vote took the time to explain why he thought I was wrong and a conversation developed that helped guide me in finding documentation to prove my point and to eventually receive the most points (he rescinded his down vote as well, I think). Without this interaction, my answer would never have been fleshed out in the detail that I eventually gave it. This was very useful for everyone interested in the answer.

The others simply clicked and left...not so helpful.


I have no problem if one of my answers is downvoted for a good reason. But whenever this happens, I would like to know what the reason was. A short comment would be very helpful and would allow me to learn and improve.

Therefore I think it should be a "best-practice" to always comment a downvote.

There are several suggestion on uservoice, that a small message should be displayed to the user who downvotes an answer (e.g. something like "Please consider leaving a comment, why you downvoted..."). But unfortunately, these suggestions were declined by the stackoverflow team.


A reason would help. Things can be edited to make them more useful.


I've had a downvote for a totally acceptable answer. Lo and behold, on seeing it downvoted, other users upvoted it which in the end gave me a lot more reputation than I would've got had it not been downvoted.


Don't forget that a downvote may not necessarily be based on good judgement of the downvoter.


I totally agree with you, I think everyone should have a pool of downvotes (which increases as long as you have earned more reputation) so people would give downvotes when really needed, and also downvotes should have an explanation (but be anonymous, otherwise people might revenge their downvote). This way, IMO, voting would be more objective.


If we aren't careful we will end allowing votes on whether downvotes (and up votes?) were correct. Maybe ten downvotes on a down vote and it gets recinded?
My opinion:
Politeness says if you downvote you should leave a comment, if people don't then it isn't the end of the world. I don't think SO should be changed becuase of this.

PS. I got downvoted a couple of times, with out any comment being left. I won't do it to someone else now!


I feel there should be followed one of these two solutions:

1. If someone downvote any answer, the downvoter should also mention the reason for this. And there should also be voting on this "reason comment". If voting on "reason comment" is not matched with the criteria (for example: 5 upvotes are required to approve), downvoting should be undo. And a good reason is always welcome by me.

2. The names of DownVoters and UpVoters should be attached to the answer. It is followed on facebook when someone click 'like'. I think there should be two links with each answer.

for example:
<a href='likersListPopup.htm'>[10] People upVote this answer</a>
<a href='dislikersListPopup.htm'>[2] People downVote this answer</a>

If I want to attack someone personally, I can create many fake accounts to Downvote someone. So please atleast attach names.



Just get over it. And admit that you've been wrong in some ways to some people. And maybe it just doesn't even have to matter.

Take it as a chance to obtain the "Peer pressure" badge!