This is a group of philosophy. Made by and for philosophers. Philosophy means a taste, a fondness for knowledge; a will to go out and seek knowledge.

So, if someone downvotes the question or answer of someone else, he/she should: 1) justify why he/she did so, or 2) upvote another justification he/she agrees.

If you think the other is wrong, tell us so! Explain! Help him/her to raise consciousness of the world. Engage in discussion, maybe YOU are the wrong one.

So my question is: should commenting (or at least upvoting another comment) be mandatory if someone downvotes at philosophy.stackexchange.com?

PS: Read somewhere else that "We will never be able to require explanations for downvotes"

"Never" is just too much time. Of course it's possible, it's just a matter of collective will.

  • The reasons given there are not satisfactory. Nor the explanation given in the question.
    – Rodrigo
    Apr 1, 2015 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


Upvotes and downvotes are designed to let good content rise to the top.

I don't think it would be a good idea to have the system force you to explain downvotes. There are several reasons for downvoting that are obvious and should not need an explanation - they may not be that prominent on this site as we're relatively small and still in beta, but on other sites these problems really exist:

  • Too much bold / capitals / etc.
  • Troll
  • Spam
  • User repeatedly posts similar posts and the reason is already explained elsewhere

So, the only thing left is to encourage people to explain their downvotes. This has already been done, but maybe not enough. Yes, I do think that often it's good to explain downvotes. I do not think it doesn't happen enough on this site.

  • Some people don't want to lose the debate, but they don't have arguments. So they hide behind secret downvotes. And I think that's just despicable.
    – Rodrigo
    Apr 1, 2015 at 14:44
  • 1
    @Rodrigo so what is your suggestion? And could you give some examples? Because as I said, I don't have the idea this is an issue here.
    – user2953
    Apr 1, 2015 at 14:46
  • Also, philosophy have far more subjectivity than stackoverflow will ever have. There's no need for both sites following exactly the same rules.
    – Rodrigo
    Apr 1, 2015 at 14:46
  • My suggestion is that commenting (or at least upvoting another comment) should be mandatory if someone downvotes at philosophy.stackexchange.com.
    – Rodrigo
    Apr 1, 2015 at 14:46
  • @Rodrigo how would you approach the four situations I mentioned then? And, again, could you give some examples of posts that were downvoted and where an explanation is required?
    – user2953
    Apr 1, 2015 at 14:48
  • If I was the first downvoter, I would just state the reason for the downvoting, whatever it was. Examples: philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/22397/4686 philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/9566/4686 philosophy.stackexchange.com/a/10332/4686 Looks like sometimes the person just don't think the answer is useful. But sometimes the answer goes against some hard held beliefs, and the downvoter may be ashamed to assume it. But this is a philosophy site, not a religious one. Right?
    – Rodrigo
    Apr 1, 2015 at 15:30
  • @Rodrigo on the first I can understand the downvote, but an explanation would've been good indeed. The second didn't get a downvote. The third question should never have been answered because it was primarily opinion-based, and then you can kind of expect downvotes... but you still received two upvotes there, so not really a problem. Yes, sometimes things go wrong. But based on these examples I don't think it's necessary to call for a site-wide attitude change. That's just my opinion though, you may have a completely different one.
    – user2953
    Apr 1, 2015 at 15:39
  • I received the upvotes after I have received downvotes, in 2 of the 3 examples. This shows the downvotes were possibly not honest, after all.
    – Rodrigo
    Apr 1, 2015 at 15:40
  • @Rodrigo with more reputation you can see a split vote count (upvotes and downvotes separately). So I can see that the second link did not receive any downvotes (or they removed it within 5 min or so). Also I doubt that it would mean anything.
    – user2953
    Apr 1, 2015 at 15:42

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .