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I think there are many people around here who downvote questions and answers based on there mental state, to relieve their frustrations or because of personal hatred or something.

For example, I have received 4 consecutive downvotes to my popular questions and answers a few minutes ago and all within 2-3 minutes. Which makes it clear that someone is deliberately downvoting my popular posts by visiting my profile.

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If those downvotes are genuine, I strongly welcomes it and it will be appreciated if comments about the reason of downvote will also be posted so that I can improve the posts or improve myself when I post a question or answer next time.

So in my opinion, commenting reasons should be made compulsory, so that then only a community member can understand their mistakes and improve themselves. IMO a huge number of downvotes without any comments (reason), will never help the community users or the community to get better. They will only get frustrated and lose their confidence by this kind of action. But if the reason is also provided. That will let them understand their mistakes. Otherwise, they will think this place is not for them and people are deliberately downvoting them and eventually they will stop contributing to the community.

A related meta question: Can we comment the reason for downvotes? For a few days at least?

But my suggestion is to make commenting the reason compulsory for downvoting.

Note: Feel free to edit and improve.

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    $\begingroup$ That kind of systematic victimisation of a specific user using down votes isn't allowed. The system should automatically detect it and reverse the downvotes in a day or two - if not then it's worth paging a mod on chat and asking for assistance. $\endgroup$ – A E Dec 9 '14 at 8:07
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you AE. But what I meant is, it will be better if the commenting option is compulsory to downvote (a popup field to enter reason or something as a confirmation step, when downvote is clicked), it will definitely help improving the community. $\endgroup$ – AeJey Dec 9 '14 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ This seems to have happened to Joe as well: puzzling.stackexchange.com/users/2518/joe?tab=reputation. The four downvotes are from an hour ago. $\endgroup$ – xnor Dec 9 '14 at 8:17
  • $\begingroup$ And also to me: puzzling.stackexchange.com/users/4551/xnor?tab=reputation $\endgroup$ – xnor Dec 9 '14 at 8:19
  • $\begingroup$ @AeJey Do you think explaining upvotes should also be compulsory? $\endgroup$ – xnor Dec 9 '14 at 8:24
  • $\begingroup$ @xnor: I think explaining upvotes should also be compulsory? So that members will get idea about how to ask good questions or post good answers by going through it. But I will give more priority to making it compulsory for downvoting. Since I think improving from bad quality to standard or acceptable quality is more important than the other. $\endgroup$ – AeJey Dec 9 '14 at 8:31
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    $\begingroup$ Same with close-votes, please :) $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Dec 9 '14 at 8:41
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    $\begingroup$ @avigrail: I think it's already there for close-votes. ;) $\endgroup$ – AeJey Dec 9 '14 at 8:43
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    $\begingroup$ But it is not valid imo. There shouldn't be a list from where you can pick you reason... $\endgroup$ – Avigrail Dec 9 '14 at 8:44
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    $\begingroup$ Yes. It will be better if there is a field to explain the reason if none of them in the list are perfect. $\endgroup$ – AeJey Dec 9 '14 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ And it should be displayed. $\endgroup$ – AeJey Dec 9 '14 at 8:47
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    $\begingroup$ -1 for suggesting compulsory downvote comments for the 303rd time on the SE network as a whole. $\endgroup$ – Set Big O Dec 10 '14 at 2:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Geobits Counted 303 or a guess? But I agree. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Dec 10 '14 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest 303 pulled from nowhere because it sounds better than "umpteenth". It could be higher (or lower, tbh) than the actual number. $\endgroup$ – Set Big O Dec 10 '14 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ If so many people have wanted it, then why is it not considered more seriously? $\endgroup$ – JLee Mar 25 '15 at 19:41
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There are two different issues at hand here. The first is whether downvotes should have to be explained, and the second is serial downvoting. Both of these have been discussed extensively elsewhere on Meta Stack Exchange, so I'm going to post a short summary here and a few links.


For the first case, downvote explanations are not going to be required. This is primarily a matter of anonymity: voting is anonymous, and a downvoter will easily be ousted for their vote and personally targeted. This is for the protection of the voting populace.

The second issue is that voting is used to determine content quality, and we want people to be able to vote as freely as possible. Downvotes on questions actually used to cost rep, but that was changed early on in Stack Exchange's history to allow easier sorting of content.

The third is a point that's significant, but minor in comparison. I've given almost 600 downvotes at this point - if I had to leave a comment on each one, how many do you think would be constructive, versus "-1, don't think this post is good"? I'd grow pretty sick of it after a while.


The second case is serial voting. Serial voting isn't acceptable anywhere on Stack Exchange (see the above link), and will be automatically reversed. That's what looks like happened here, so expect those downvotes to vanish mysteriously without a trace sometime in the next 48 hours. If they don't, and you're still pretty sure it's serial voting, flag a mod and we'll poke into it further.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you. I am satisfied with your answer regarding the serial downvoting issue that I have faced. But about downvoting, I still think making commenting the reason compulsory (even if it's anonymous, that is the reasons will be displayed without the name of the user who downvoted in the comments section or as a separate section) will be great to improve the community and the contents. $\endgroup$ – AeJey Dec 9 '14 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ For example, downvote reasons can be showed as "Reasong for the downvote - Downvote Reason" or in a separate section titling 'Downvote Reasons' and listing all the reasons. This will not only help the OP to improve, but also all the community members who will get tips and points by reading the reasons. $\endgroup$ – AeJey Dec 9 '14 at 8:26
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    $\begingroup$ Or "-1 because waffles," or "-1 because asdfghlkjwriunwhogo," or "-1 because reasons," or... $\endgroup$ – Doorknob Dec 9 '14 at 12:39

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