I am just concerned because people downvote and for no reason, I don't understand this rule, should people downvote and take off running or should they give a reason for doing so? I'm confused.

  • Related - movies.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1969/…
    – Paulie_D
    Mar 20, 2017 at 10:23
  • As a note, voting is different on Meta. Downvotes show disagreement, not necessarily lack of research or quality... so a downvote here would be (probably) because they disagree with your question title.
    – Catija
    Mar 20, 2017 at 21:28

4 Answers 4


Stack exchange does not force people to explain their down votes. It's just how things are on this website. It helps prevent antagonistic confrontations between users.

  • 4
    Good answer. This explains exactly how the voting system works. Thank you for stating your concern regarding confrontations between users. Another good thing to remind the community about is to not constantly complain about receiving down votes. Mar 21, 2017 at 7:10

Every downvote does have a reason even if it's not stated explicitly by the voter.

It's right there when you hover over the down arrow

This question does not show any research effort, is unclear or not useful.

If the voter feels it meets one of these conditions then no explanation is necessary.

I will grant that commment would be a nice addition but it's not, never has been and, based on many previous responses from moderators and SE employees, never will be mandatory.


The second the site requires comments for downvotes, is the second the site gets filled with comments that read:

stgouihj nwet gpojaygh-90i1248y 28iujtgoiwjrg0913 2glkjngopw
Because I have to
Blah blah blah blah

Forcing them to comment doesn't guarantee that you'll get a useful comment. It also invalidates the SE belief in private voting. If you're forced to comment when you downvote, everyone now knows that you've voted on the question.


Yea - people being accountable on the internet for their actions and opinions, like in real life. Imagine it!


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