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    • CommentAuthorchiapas
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013
    I don't think force the users to give reasons why they downvote an answer, a question or a comment is a good decision. But I feel that downvote without reason is not constructive. Is there anyway to encourage users to give reasons?

    Perhaps these two methods would work (but they may be worse than un-explained downvotes): (1) complaining on meta about downvotes (2) asking in a comment, "why the downvotes?"

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013

    Two other ideas one simple one complicated: (a) include a suggestion (not a rule) to do so in the FAQs (b) stop harassing those that do leave comments (also, stop 'balancing' them when they are 'announced').

    @geraldedgar: Very strong agreement with your remark in parenthesis! In particular, regarding (1), and mostly for (2) too. As always there can be exceptions, say, if it is about a/the general matter as opposed to specific instances.

    (Slightly embarassing for me to already break my "promise." But for better or worse I already received a forceful reminder. [Please just ignore this if you do not understand it.])


    What's wrong with asking "why the downvotes?" in a comment?

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013

    @Todd Trimble: it also darkens the tone of the conversation (to borrow a formulation) as it feels often, though not always, more like petty complaining than an honest question; and in the end it is (perhaps not by intent but by effect) often times fishing for balancing votes that then (can) overcompensate by a significant proportion.

    In addition, the entire matter of this (recent) downvote (or even downvoters) "problem" seem mainly autogenerated. In my opinion, the couple downvotes here and there are a problem if and only if one likes to see them as one.


    A few days ago an answer I gave (and the question too) were downvoted. I inquired about that (politely, I thought) in a comment because I honestly wanted to know what the reason was. It was a somewhat low-profile question (I think), and there were no counterbalancing upvotes.

    I don't agree with your last sentence, or its dismissive tone. I don't think anyone "likes" to see a problem, and its possible that people who are asking about this aren't just imagining things. And besides, unexplained downvoting is a problem if it dampens one's enthusiasm to contribute.

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013

    @Todd Trimble: The tone was not so much intended as dismissive. Perhaps 'likes' would better be 'makes.' I am not sure what you refer to with imagining things. Yes, there are more or at least other downvotes now. I received some too, by the way. But then I fail to see the significant problem in it. (I can imagine good and bad reasons and neutral reasons for the votes; yet, had somebody something relevant to say with their vote they likely would. If they have not I prefer they do not construed some pseudo-meaningful reason.)

    However, if you remember the first time this somewhat recently came up I contributed (or at least so I think) in a rather constructive way to this debate. As it seemed to me there indeed was a (then surprising) phenomenon and so this matter was raised. Yet since it seems diagnosed as a somehow general and persistent phenomenon, now I really fail to see the point in following-up on various (isolated) downvotes.

    However, if you should feel specifically targeted you could (perhaps even should) email the moderators or flag for their attention.


    When I pointed out some inappropriate downvotes, in my opinion, with respected users spending their valuable time trying to answer question both with -1's, very quickly my meta post perhaps(?) corrected the problem. So that is one avenue toward correction. So this may be "the point in following-up on various (isolated) downvotes"...?

    I must admit my sensitivity has been raised by experiencing the downvotes myself on my various recent posts. So take this with an appropriate grain of salt.

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013

    @Joseph O'Rourke: I really appreciate your contributions to the site and I think we never got into much or any trouble on this site, but you insisting for the second time on the affected users being respected or long-time users annoys me to no end. (IMO, if anything, one might have to keep an eye on new users not being victim, or to correct it, of possibly spurious or somehow unjustified downvotes.)


    Aside: If you do suspect inappropriate behavior, it's a good idea to flag for moderator attention.


    quid: I think you're mis-representing the discussion. We did not talk about it being a persistent phenomenon at all. We were talking about a very isolated string of downvotes. There were many in a short period of time and quite a few people noticed. If anything, I thought you were taking the discussion off-track with generalities, when the posters in that thread were interested in discussing that particular chain of downvotes.

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013 edited

    @Ryan Budney: Antons Petrunin's answer Joseph O'Rourke mentions was given yesterday the string discussion started more than a week ago. Todd Trimble's two downvotes (as far as I can see from his userpage) happended significantly before and after, resp., this oroginal string. Please reconcile your comment with these observation or refute them, or kindly take back your comment.

    Added: and to avoid confusion the first discussion I referred in conversation with Todd Trimble is not the string discussion.

    Added 2: To make the point clearer. Since weeks there is persistent talk on meta about "unjustified" downvotes; some part of a string various others not. Thus, it is manifestly a persistent phenomenon. (In addition I think there were a couple other string-like events to, though I did not pay that much attention.)

    Added 3: And, I would like to draw particular attention to the early, predating my longer ones, contributions in the string-thread of Todd Trimble (referring to answers, not his, downvoted days before said string [time stamped bound as by comment of JDH], [Edit: something removed as by somebody's request] [Incidentally, I complained in passing about this generalization in the string-thread, as there was a genral one lsightly before.]

    So, it seems the discussion in the string thread, first, was soon more general than just this string, and second it was not me who started this more general tone. In any case, the string discussion was already the second discussion of this type.

    • CommentAuthorquid
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2013 edited

    This is mainly a back-up copy (it will soon be removed from main [Added: meanwhile removed]) from comments under an answer on "digit theory". It could however be interesting as it expresses a somewhat different view on the subject of leaving comments. (The copy is split in two, the more interesting beginning and the end possibly to be ignored):

    Downvoted. You can have an explication if you like. – quid 2 days ago (one upvote)

    Upvoted! Because sometimes quid goes too far. – wccanard 2 days ago (three upvotes)

    @wccanard: could you please elaborate what you mean precisely in this case. (Perhaps on meta.) Thanks in advance. [Added: it is really completely unclear to me what is is the issue here, the only thing I did is downvote an answer, and deanonymise my vote, offering, if it should be desired, a more detailed explication for my reasoning for the vote. Really, the only issue I could see is if ine misunderstands the 'explication' as not referring to the vote but something else. However, this would be misreading of my comment.] – quid 2 days ago

    I don't object to the downvote -- I object to the completely unnecessary drawing of attention to yourself! You usually fight to preserve the original goals and objectives of this site, and in general my beliefs about what should be here are very much in line with yours. However your comment above most definitely does not fall within these goals and objectives. It contributes nothing, is not about mathematics, and I am wondering whether anonymity is perhaps going to your head a little bit now. I urge you to delete your comment and then I'll delete mine and the site will be a better place. – wccanard 22 hours ago

    To avoid any problems for the other user, I stress here they cannot be the origin of the many downvotes for simple reasons of absolute count.

    For completeness the rest:

    @wccanard: Thank you for the explication! This is however based (at least in this case) on a misunderstanding. I have to assume you do not read meta. Some consider it a not minor form of misbehavior to downvote an answer without leaving a comment. Even more so, myself having a 'competing' answer I really felt I could not possibly downvote without saying I did so (under unfortunated circumstances I think this could have gotten me suspended). However, I have a real problem with this answer and wanted to express this. So a downvote with an essentially void notice seemed like... – quid 21 hours ago

    ...the best way to express it, still complying to some unwritten rules, yet not drawing to much attention to it. If or if not your general assertions have some truth to them is hard to tell for me (from the inside). In any case (conciously) I really do not like the feeling to be somehow well-know on the site (and I significantly reduced my involvement in the site lately, see on my user page my recent activity to see the steep decline during the last ten days). – quid 21 hours ago

    Final question: would you mind me copying over this exchange to meta? (See link at the top.) I think it could be quite interesting for some; but I do not want to draw attention to it if you do not want. We could then delete it here, to keep the main site cleaner. – quid 21 hours ago

    Yes delete all this nonsense from here as it adds nothing to this site. I'll delete my comments too. – wccanard 2 hours ago

    @wccanard: I will copy and then delte my things within some hours (so that some might have checked the authenticity of the copy). – quid 2 mins ago

    Downvoters can't get it Up!