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I am a user of BSE and very interested in Blender (#1 this week; yay). However, I have never asked a question on META, so bear with me.

A Quick Intro to my Situation

I just recently passed 1000 rep, and I have gotten to that mark very quickly after letting my account sit around for the first three months after my first question. Now that I'm here, I'm noticing a new phenomenon: People who downvote perfectly fine answers.

Now it isn't that big a deal; it is only -2 rep, but what gets to me is the negativity behind it. I woke up the other morning and found one of my answers downvoted for no apparent reason and with no comment explaining why.

My Question

Does anyone know if Stack Exchange people are planning to add a function where downvotes can be flagged and considered worthwhile or not? Does anyone think such an idea might be useful?

Any thoughts appreciated!

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  • $\begingroup$ Related: meta.blender.stackexchange.com/q/488/599 $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 May 30 '16 at 2:37
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    $\begingroup$ I think it has something to do with wanting to earn the "critic" badge...you have to cast a downvote. In my opinion, it is difficult to find a question/answer on this forum that really deserves a downvote, so people might just randomly pick something to downvote so they can move forward in badge-earning. $\endgroup$ – WishyQ Jun 1 '16 at 1:21
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    $\begingroup$ @WishyQ Haha. Ouch, but probably true. $\endgroup$ – Shady Puck Jun 1 '16 at 2:00
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    $\begingroup$ "...the negativity behind it?" How do you know what's behind it? I know it feels bad to get a downvote on an answer you took time to craft so that it would be worthy of SE, but there's no way to know WHO downvoted, let alone their intention. If there's a problem with a good question or answer getting lots of downvotes, there is already a mechanism in place for handling it... it's called "meta.blender.stackexchange.com" $\endgroup$ – Matt Jun 1 '16 at 21:32
  • $\begingroup$ I totally agree that a DV without a comment is unhelpful, but assigning motive to it is less helpful. It's just a critique... not an insult. $\endgroup$ – Matt Jun 1 '16 at 21:34
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    $\begingroup$ What I used to do in my early days was whenever I got a dvote was to read my post again and see if anything could be improved. Sometimes you are not in the wrong but you can use it as a positive "growing" experience. Flush out your answer more, throw in a blend, link to relevant articles etc. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Jun 3 '16 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ I've been down voted few days ago, and looks like the person who down voted my answer (I think) didn't read the answer well enough! He even decided to Bounty the question (even though it's not his question) and that brought me more votes. Yet in other cases, it appeared to be my mistake, when I read the question again, I gave the wrong answer, irrelevant to the question, and I deserve that down vote. $\endgroup$ – Georges Jun 7 '16 at 19:34
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Short answer: nope.

You will probably never see a "flag the DV" type of thing for a number of reasons.

  1. All votes up or down, are completely anonymous. So it is not as if a mod could do anything to a user who casts a "bad" DVs.
  2. Votes are very subjective; and most of the time* there is no way to say definitively that a vote was "bad". What may be helpful and a good answer or question to you, may just look like a low effort link only answer to the next guy. Further more some "noob" questions tend to get DVed just because they are so simple, but everybody's knowledge of blender (and the SE system) is very different; so what may be "duh" for gandalf is a huge stumbling block for this new guy.

  3. DV's can help a new user learn the SE system, and what and how fits in this site.

While commenting after you DV a post is nice (and very encouraged) it is not required. However when you DV with no comment (like what prompted the OP to ask this here) it leaves the OP in the dark, and most of the time he will not learn anything from it.

I too have had many of my posts DVed for no apparent reason; don't worry about it. There is always a chance that you beat somebody to answer the question and now they're mad, or some other dumb and petty reason.
If you wrote a good answer and you know what you are talking about (not one of those "maybe you should try X" sort of answers) then don't take a stray DV to heart.

If you point me to your answer that was DVed, I may be ably to guess as to why it was DVed.


* There is a thing called serial voting, and several variants, such as bullying, and serial down voting, for things such as those the system and us mods can and do do something.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you very much! $\endgroup$ – Shady Puck May 28 '16 at 12:14
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    $\begingroup$ For the record, I don't normally go around downvoting beginner questions.. (I even upvoted this one!) $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 May 30 '16 at 2:30
  • $\begingroup$ @David Hey, I was just wondering, do people not earn reputation on meta? $\endgroup$ – Shady Puck Jun 1 '16 at 2:03
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    $\begingroup$ @ShadyPuck nope, all site metas do not have rep, it is directly linked to your main site account. However you do get separate badges on metas. $\endgroup$ – David Jun 1 '16 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ @David Would it be possible to add a function to the site: when a downvote is cast, a box will pop up in which the voter can explain briefly the critique, and the downvote will not be registered unless a reason is given ? This would be very helpful. I noticed that when I added a question, "Why are you downvoting this?", to my downvoted question, the downvotes ended. $\endgroup$ – WishyQ Jun 2 '16 at 1:12
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    $\begingroup$ @WishyQ Nope, this and many, many, many variants have been proposed for several years on meta.stackexchange, not likely this will ever happen. Safest way to avoid downvotes is to ask "good" questions and write clear answers. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Jun 3 '16 at 1:02

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