Someone is voting down questions without an explanation.
Very few questions are down-voted on this site and I am in favor of that. Inappropriate questions are flagged and addressed quickly by moderators. Poor questions are often the result of language issues or from new participants who appear to be quite confused by Drupal. In both the cases, I believe we should help out with editing and assistance. Some of these folks will stick it out and become contributing site visitors. They all came for help and assistance is the purpose of this site.
I think that some editing and guiding comments can fix most weak questions and help the asker to learn how to use the site more effectively.

A down-vote should not be the first action for most questions. A down-vote without an explanation is confusing to someone who is just starting out. It is also condescending and bad manners.


3 Answers 3


From https://drupal.stackexchange.com/privileges/vote-down:

When should I vote down?

Use your downvotes whenever you encounter an egregiously sloppy, no-effort-expended post, or an answer that is clearly and perhaps dangerously incorrect.

None of the questions I have seen down-voted today have fallen into any of these categories. In fact, I would have up-voted at least two of them anyway.

  • I have upvoted two or three in the past several days and all of them were reasonable. For instance this one drupal.stackexchange.com/questions/19553/…
    – Ashlar
    Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 17:57
  • I agree with the fact that you thought they should be upvoted. My questions is why were they down-voted to begin with? I want to encourage voters to explain a downvote since it is discouraging and confusing to new site users.
    – Ashlar
    Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 17:59
  • I wasn't down-voter. Just pointing out the criteria for down-voting; too much for a comment.
    – mpdonadio Mod
    Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 18:47
  • 1
    Is it possible to add a sentence or two to the vote-down link above that would suggest that the user add a comment on down votes?
    – Ashlar
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 15:11
  • @Ashlar The last sentence of the privilege page says: "If something is wrong, please leave a comment or edit the post to correct it."
    – avpaderno Mod
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 14:22

The tooltip for the down-voting button says, "This question doesn't show any search effort, it is unclear or not useful." Clearly, the down-vote should not be done because a missing period at the end of a sentence.
Votes are anonymous, by implementation, on any Stack Exchange site. Who vote don't need to comment on the reason why they did it.

I think it should be preferable to leave a comment about what is wrong with the question, even if I prefer not seeing multiple comments (i.e. more than three comments) when the question is down-voted from more users. It would be also preferable if the down-voter would remove the down-vote when the question is improved. There are probably some users that don't know a down-vote can be removed when the post is improved. The down-vote is not a punishment for the user who didn't write immediately a perfectly good post; it's a vote for the post, which can change when the post is changed.

Editing is only possible for specific cases. Editing should not change the meaning of the post, but improve it (even with links to related sites) respecting the OP. That is what the block shown to who doesn't have the privilege to edit other users' posts says:

  • fix grammatical or spelling errors
  • clarify meaning without changing it
  • correct minor mistakes
  • add related resources or links
  • always respect the original author

I think down-voting without an explanation is even worse with down-votes on answers, as the future readers are not able to understand if the question is not correct in any way, and—if the answer is partially wrong—which part is wrong.

That said, there is nothing that can force a down-voter to leave a comment; many suggestions about that have been down-voted, or rejected on Meta Stack Overflow.


tl;dr: In general, I think that encouragement and guidance are better tools than punishment. So upvoting good posts is better than downvoting bad ones. That said, I will confess to having downvoted without explanation.

I don't remember any specific post at the moment, but I don't do it because a beginner doesn't understand Drupal, or make grammar mistakes. I'm here, and in the d.o issue queues specifically because I enjoy helping, learning, and teaching. However, while rare, sometimes, someone posts a question that is just plain bad. It's incomprehensible, sometimes a wall of text as if volume makes up for precision, contains several more or less unrelated questions, etc. I don't hesitate to downvote such a "question". I do try to explan, but sometimes I just consider the poster to rude for me to bother with. Sorry, I'm just human.

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