On chess stack exchange, I recently received several downvotes without any reason I can think of.

What should I do ?

Should I flag the questions ? Ignore the downvotes ?

The problem with the latter is that many forums punish users for downvoted questions no matter of the reason why they are downvoted.

  • 2
    Actually posting here is probably the best thing to do, to bring it to the attention of moderators.
    – Herb
    Feb 26, 2017 at 4:56

1 Answer 1


Downvotes should always be accompanied by a comment explaining why. If there isn't you should post a comment or make an edit asking for an explanation. The main problem then being that there is no way the downvoter will see your comment except by chance.

Perhaps downvoters should be automatically notified if a downvoted question/answer is edited?

  • 2
    The down vote reasons are given in the tool tip on the down arrow. If every voter would leave a comment, the comment list would become a mess very fast. Comment only if you have an actual request for clarification.
    – fuxia
    Mar 25, 2017 at 23:28
  • 1
    @toscho " If every voter would leave a comment, the comment list would become a mess very fast." Can you explain to me how you get from my "every downvoter" to your "every voter"? Does the phrase "strawman argument" mean anything to you?
    – Brian Towers Mod
    Mar 26, 2017 at 16:14
  • I meant downvoters. :) These comments also tend to be rather … suggestive, attracting more down votes until the author loses any interest in fixing the post.
    – fuxia
    Mar 26, 2017 at 16:40
  • Downvoters do not need to defend themselves. Vote anonymity is a voter privilege, and this cannot simply be "revoked" only because your ego got hurt. (And if I see someone commenting on his own post that he thinks his answer has been unjustly downvoted, I usually downvote just for that.)
    – TMM
    Jun 19, 2017 at 2:05
  • 1
    @TMM: Why would you downvote just because someone thinks their answer was unjustly downvoted? That just seems unnecessary and counterproductive, since the person commenting doesn't even know how they can improve, because they asked why they got downvoted.
    – Qwerp-Derp
    Oct 7, 2017 at 3:27
  • First, assuming that the downvote was unjust is a sign of arrogance - as if your answer cannot be wrong, or that people cannot have valid reasons to disagree with what you said. Second, like I said, voters do not have to "justify" their actions, to you or to anyone else. Voting was intentionally made anonymous - otherwise they would have put a public list for each question/answer showing who voted up/down. (It is somewhat similar to Clinton calling Trump voters "deplorables" - it's just a bad idea to attack anyone who disagrees with you.)
    – TMM
    Oct 7, 2017 at 17:31
  • @Qwerp-Derp And of course I won't downvote everyone who wants to know why he received a downvote, but in my experience these comments more often than not come in the form of such an a priori attack on the downvoter, without even knowing his/her motives.
    – TMM
    Oct 8, 2017 at 11:08

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