I think there should be a quota or similar system on downvoting. Numerous times my posts or questions have been downvoted, without a comment on how to make it better.

My suggestion is that after X downvotes the user is required to post a comment otherwise they are not allowed to downvote after Y amount of time.

Or another thought that came to mind is that when someone downvotes it takes one rep point away, well, what if the user got the rep back by posting a comment. And in order to encourage "quality" posts, if a comment gets removed (due to the lack of quality) then the user loses more than one point.

I am not saying that downvoting should be discouraged, because sometimes I am wrong and would like to told why I am wrong and what I need to change to make it right, but encouraging downvoting without a response only spells trouble in my opinion.

My two cents anyways.

  • Requring a comment will not work. People will just post worthless comments. meta.serverfault.com/questions/651/…
    – Zoredache
    Commented Aug 15, 2010 at 21:36
  • That is why I suggested if they post a "worthless" comment, then allow people to report it and take more than 1 point away (maybe 5?) if it is indeed found to be worthless. Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 11:52
  • Nathan - and then you're into defining what "worthless" means. If you disagree with a downvote or the comment justifying it does that make the downvote "worthless"? What if I disagree with you? Good luck making that one work.
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Aug 25, 2010 at 22:06
  • I'm not understanding the hostility here. Seems like meta is a 180 version of the respected site. In any case, I think there is a "lost in translation" going on here. So, lets say you downvote and are required to post a comment, and its like "I disagree". If X people downvote it, a "Bad Comment" button appears, and people will be able to flag it as such. You can disagree with me all you want, you can only downvote once. The only way I can see this "fail" is if you get a group of friends to downvote me as well. Disagreeing with someone is ok, but not creating a constructive response is foolish. Commented Aug 31, 2010 at 2:22

3 Answers 3


From the perspective of someone who views the rep system as maybe the 3rd-most interesting aspect of SF (to me personally) - I honestly don't WANT to have to wade through all that noise. If I'm reading a question, I'd like to see an absolute minimum of meta-discussion. I come to the meta site for that.

If you're downvoted, and have no idea why, post a question here with a link. I can almost guarantee you'll get some input. It doesn't take long to get the hang of it, really (provided you're trying to learn the system, and not change it). ;)

  • And of course, once you DO have the hang of it, but still think you have a good change to suggest, you can always post that here, too! Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 14:07

We each have 25 votes per day. I do believe that qualifies as a quota. I've just been going over some of your answers and so far haven't actually seen a problem in the voting. e.g. This answer got a couple of downvotes, complete with an explanation. Although you apparently don't accept that explanation it has been posted in is perfectly valid. ANY security software that hasn't been updated in 2 years is worthless.

Some of the reasons a comment should not be required for a downvote are:

  • It encourages retaliatory voting patterns
  • It would in many cases result in a whole lot of arguing, which is not what this site is about
  • Why should a downvote require a comment when an upvote doesn't?
  • An upvote simply means you agree or like the answer which generally I don't think warrants a comment (ie you wouldn't post "nice post d00d!"), but usually a downvote there is some reason you are downvoting it (wrong answer, incomplete answer) which in that case I think it would be beneficial for not only the SF like sites to know what is wrong about the answer, but to allow the poster to fix it. I mean, if someone downvotes an answer, and someone else discovers it through google or something - how do they know what is wrong with the answer? Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 11:56
  • A perfect example of why I would even concise of such a feature is this SF question: serverfault.com/questions/170601/170606 for whatever reason someone downvoted me yet the OP posted that the answer was "spot on". Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 12:01
  • @Nathan, you've given one example where the downvote was not warranted. This happens. Some people don't read questions or answers, they simply click buttons. Are you also going to get upset when people upvote your answers when that is unwarranted? That happens too, yet nobody ever complains about it. One thing I can tell you, based on observation, the more you complain about downvotes the more likely you are to get them. Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 21:35
  • Your response intrigues me, I can't tell if it is an attack against me or a rhetorical statement. In any case, your statement of "Some people don't read questions or answers, they simply click buttons." is exactly the reason why a quota system should be put into place. At least for the people who under a certain rep, are required to post a "useful" comment. I did watch a small portion of a presentation given by one of the creators of the SO system and they wanted to "encourage" a certain behavior with the way the site works and this would defiantly accomplish that goal, would you not agree? Commented Aug 18, 2010 at 3:29

I have to agree.

Also I'd like to understand, the guys with high scores can downvote the same posts many times?

---------- Update1.

Though take care I've got the 400% downvoting rate on my posts and suspesnion for such proposals ( + to prohibit downvoting without any comments. i.e. reasons)

  • 2
    This is not possible. Each user is only allowed 1 downvote per unique question or answer. A single user cannot, under any circumstance, downvote the same thing more than once.
    – MDMarra
    Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 12:44
  • How can this suspended user post an answer? Commented Aug 17, 2010 at 21:38
  • I believe this was prior to their meta suspension, which was 2-ish days after the SF suspension Commented Aug 18, 2010 at 13:33
  • @MarkM; technically there's a known bug that if you vote before a question is migrated to another site, you can vote again on the new site; but it's still limited to a theoretical 3 votes, and only on questions.
    – Chris S
    Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 16:01

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