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Update to Downvote mechanics

Hi community!

We really appreciate the discussions that help make our forums healthier and more useful! Recently there’s been chatting about downvoting, and our team took some time to look into viable solutions from our side. We came up with a lot of long-tail items we’d like to address, but we wanted to make some tweaks in the near-term to address the pain points we’ve been hearing about.

First we’ve decreased the reputation punishment associated with a downvoted post. A downvote now removes 2 rep points instead of 6. ''I know downvotes can seem threatening and disheartening, but keep in mind that the vote is associated with the text “this didn’t help me” which we think is still a valid option to give people. In the future having reasons associated with votes would be ideal, but we’re not able to implement that any time soon.

Second we’ve decreased the number of daily downvotes allowed to a single user. A user can only make 5 downvotes in a day instead of 15. As Mods use the site on a more frequent basis, and have been proven and vetted, they are able to distribute downvotes as needed beyond that quota. We know you’ll be responsible ;)

We haven’t seen that downvote abuse is restricted to a specific account age or reputation range, and we’d like to enfranchise as many voters as we can to keep our community open and able to express themselves. As such the imposed limits affect the impact of downvotes themselves, they do not limit user access to the system. We believe this is the best way to correct downvote abuse as quickly and fairly as we can. Ideally the system will keep improving. In the meantime, if specific users continue to abuse the system, let’s deal with them individually, either with temporary bans or punitory rep removal, before we limit the ability of the community at large to vote.

Let us know if we did a good job! (If we didn’t do a good job, maybe wait til I’m out of the office) Of course I kid. Let the discussion begin! And happy (imminent) weekend!

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Thanks @sam - I think that's a good start.

Hope all of you are safe from the fires.

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Thanks, Dan! So far they're well north and south of our office, only a day or so of very light smoke earlier this week... Fingers crossed, we do have some remote folk evacuated, so we're hoping for less wind and more rain! =(

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@sam - All of you stay safe!

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3 Replies

While the point deduction helps things a lot as my main issue was 6/downvote was a bit much (especially since the malicious ones can do some damage in mass), I think the way forward next is a comment tied to the downvote.

If you remove the comment, you lose the downvote and points as a way to punish the user for trying to bypass it. Ig you want to keep the points, the only way is to remove thr vote and then comment. Ran into an issue where I got a phantom downvote on an answer I really needed to know why. It was on this one: https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/4834...

I am aware the blown KNOX flag probably isn’t common, but it’s still a valid thing to mention as a check point.

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Nick, I have addressed this down vote on the Q&A in the question. Please try to confine your post to the issue at hand. I'll forgo the down vote on this for now, please try to restrain your self to the actual issue at hand ;-)

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@mayer I see that. When I mentioned it here I did not. My bad.

I mentioned it and the scenario that I don't care as much as an example on why these quiet downvoes are useless. I'll adjust this to not drift too far from the discussion even though my intentions were good by mentioning why it may matter.

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If I disagree on part of this but agree on others parts, should I upvote it first and then down vote it or just grin and take it?

BTW thakes for taking the time to carefully consider the issue,

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Well you'd be in my shoes if that's the case! Definitely not the perfect solution, but we're tryin'! Feel free to abstain, but I can take a downvote if you want to register that, too =)

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@sam looks and sounds agreeable. Thank you for hearing and acting on our concerns.

I think it would be good etiquette to always leave a comment when downvoting an answer but we are just not there yet. If Mods do not do it how can we ask this from others…..

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Sam Goldheart will be eternally grateful.
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