I noticed that it became common to see newcomer posts with negative votes, and no comments to explain it.

Sometimes i even wonder why some good questions get downvoted without reason.

Is there a way to add something like :

  • first downvote for a newcomer post requier a comment.

  • Adding for a new user post an automatic feedback on a downvote pointing to the help to explain which mistake has been made in the post (maybe a with a popin message option, to be even more accurate)

thanks for reading.

Some example:


  • Get the user informed on what he did wrong
  • Make the user auto correct his post easily
  • Prevent attacks against the first commentator about the down vote
  • Prevent ghost post (post who will never be changed or checked back by the new user)

Another Approach:

It seems like the main trouble is on the reading of the forums rules.

So what about:

  • If the time between the rules are displayed and user validation is lower than 15 sec, pop a message to warn the user about it ? (and restart the cool down to prevent click right after the warn)
  • 5
    New users are presented this page before they ask their first question. I see many, many posts from such users who apparently failed to read any of it, and as a result got a well-deserved downvote for their low quality question. The problem, as I see it, is not providing feedback, it's getting them to read it in the first place. Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 9:58
  • Maybe this will help them to read more about it ?
    – Froggiz
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 10:22
  • 3
    How far backwards are we supposed to bend over to accomodate people who can't be bothered to do any research before posting, or even read the page they've just confirmed they read?
    – MadHatter
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 14:08
  • Should i not try to find improvement for this site ? Around 95% of people who click "read confirmation" didn't made it.
    – Froggiz
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 14:25
  • 2
    Work out how to get them to read it before posting, and that will be a highly desirable improvement.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 14:26
  • Maybe something stupid like : If the time between page is displayed and validation is lower than 15 sec, pop a message to warn the user about it ? (and restart the cool down to prevent click right after the warn)
    – Froggiz
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 14:30
  • 4
    Honestly this is a question for the Stack Exchange meta. Extra coding for downvotes is not something that can be solved with the input of ServerFault users; you're just going to get our thoughts on why it isn't going to solve much.
    – Andrew B
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 15:37
  • 1
    None of the example people you show are new users to the SE ecosystem. They all have sufficient reputation elsewhere to have gained the account association bonus. As such they are considered experienced. The truly new people have their fist posts passed through the relevant review mine. People who work in those mines are encouraged to be helpful to them.
    – user9517
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 7:48
  • If you don't consider thoose who get 100 pts as reward new SE user, ok. Anyway that s the way it is, and i will do with it !
    – Froggiz
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 17:05
  • The association bonus isn't a reward for being a new SE user. It means that you've earned 200 points on at least one SE site, and therefore have enough experience to not require the same restrictions that completely new users are subject to.
    – Andrew B
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 17:13
  • Should i close this post, or wait to get more than 10 downvotes !? ^_^
    – Froggiz
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 17:27

3 Answers 3


Voting is anonymous and should stay that way. Requiring a comment would prevent this, so this an extremely undesirable feature in my view.

  • I understand what you mean, but i am talking about one special case, the first post of someone who don't have any experience on the web site, and will not understand his mistake if no one explain what mistake he does
    – Froggiz
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 9:32
  • There would be better solutions for this, like an automatic feedback on a downvote pointing to the help center or something like that. Again: Voting needs to stay anonymous.
    – Sven
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 9:43
  • Yup, maybe it is better to have something like that, i am mainly pointing the fact that actually it is difficult for a new user to understand why he get downvoted. I update my post then
    – Froggiz
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 9:46
  • 2
    I agree with Sven. The current system requests that the down voter consider adding a comment to explain. Too many people can't take the criticism and pathologically down vote the person who explains their vote.
    – Colyn1337
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 14:00
  • I was just making a statement on what i saw. most of the time no one want to comment this kind of post, because the poster will think the commentator down voted him. A généric message will prevent this situation for example.
    – Froggiz
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 14:18
  • 4
    A generic comment is added when a question gets closed, you would not believe the number of people who manage to miss that.
    – user9517
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 20:29

I never see anyone complaining when they receive an up-vote without an explicit explanation...

As Iain is fond of saying: "No one who needs to, reads anything least of all documentation."
Many first time posters skip actually reading the the site introduction and the how to ask pages and that is unlikely to change. In that light a mandatory/automatic explanation for a down vote will be mostly useless.

At best we remediate that for users who care, which is why I make use of the StackApps AutoReviewComments extension and insert the following comment whenever I see an user actively questioning the reason for a down vote:

By philosophy and design votes are anonymous and neither voting up nor voting down requires any mandatory explanation. The tooltip that appears when your mouse pointer hoovers over the down button states: "this question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful". Also questions can attract a down vote when not well written, not quite on-topic or missing details.

That minority might improve their current question or will ask better questions in the future.

  • Thank for the information, but all of this is theorical, i am adding some link to illustrate my post.
    – Froggiz
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 10:55

The point value of a downvote is negligible compared to the rep increases you'll get through normal use of the site. There's been commentary throughout the life of the Exchange on how to get rid of downvotes, but they're an important part of how the site works, as a method of easy communication.

Also, the point system exists to incentivize usage that aligns with the rules. When someone breaks the rules, a downvote alerts them to this and hopefully motivates them to improve their behavior. If the site required comments with downvotes, as you've suggested, the burden is being transferred from the new user (to read the rules) onto the experienced users (to explain the rules). You can see how, over time, this would bombard the experienced people with needlessly explaining themselves instead of spending their time answering questions.

  • can i still argument after all ? i will as stupid i am ^_^ : It is not about points, it is about being blame when you put a comment after someonelse set a -1, user that don't know how to correct them post if they only get -1, user that don't undertand why there post are considered as bad post when it is well formated and insteresting. But anyway, no one discussed about the last proposition which seems to be the best (about timer on rule validation)
    – Froggiz
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 19:28
  • I figure, nobody would respond if it wasn't a point worth discussing. ;) Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 20:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .