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What is the justification for having downvotes and not just close votes - on questions?

How can a question that fits within the remit of the site, have -ve value?

I'm not being facetious, I just don't get it.

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  • THERE ARE NO BAD QUESTIONS ONLY POORLY ASKED QUESTIONS
    – user6917
    May 13 '15 at 23:52
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On meta

a heavily down-voted question or answer is not worth the time to read, while one with up-votes might well be worth a look

Despite the triviality of this answer, it does show how downvotes on questions are a means for the site to quickly assess a question's worth to its users. Without downvotes, only questions asked at the same time can be ranked in terms of how good they are, if they should be read and answered.

But don't most people use the site in that way - looking at new questions?

Perhaps not...

But I do feel that the downsides of doing so might on some subsites (a culture of recrimination, unhelpfulness, etc.) outweigh that positive.

At a minimum, if people can downvote questions there shouldn't be such a stigma attached to questions that are poorly received - at least ones that make sense, are on the right board, etc. (all closable offenses). IMO, though of course you're welcome to disagree.

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    Heavily upvoted but with too many opinion based answers or a no response from the answerer himself question are same not worth reading too in terms of it being equal to one characteristic of mobocracy.
    – user13955
    May 14 '15 at 0:03
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Close votes don't affect a user's reputation. There needs to be some stimulus to not post all rubbish you can think of.

Downvotes on questions are meant for unclear questions, or questions that don't show enough research effort. I think it's reasonable to get a downvote in such cases.

Also, I don't see what problem not having downvotes would solve.

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  • there are other incentives to write not rubbish questions (like not wasting your own time if they're just going to be closed). i was suggesting that it would encourage a culture of helpfulness.
    – user6917
    May 14 '15 at 5:41
  • @Mathematician I don't see any problem with our current hospitality. Also, consider that most people are reluctant to downvote new users.
    – user2953
    May 14 '15 at 5:43
  • unclear questions should get closed. whether something is poorly researched is actually quite a difficult call
    – user6917
    May 14 '15 at 5:43
  • i didn't say hospitality, i said helpfulness
    – user6917
    May 14 '15 at 5:44
  • @Mathematician that is the reason that downvoting is a privilege, and requires more reputation than upvoting.
    – user2953
    May 14 '15 at 5:44
  • well i never know what my downvotes are for, of course - but i suppose not being "useful". i find that strange, my questions are legit imo
    – user6917
    May 14 '15 at 5:45
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    @Mathematician I'm not going to explain that to you again.
    – user2953
    May 14 '15 at 5:47
  • ok well why not remove the "usefulness" tag and leave it at unclear or poorly researched - which are legit IMO. saying a question isn't useful - seems only to pander to the site rather than its users
    – user6917
    May 14 '15 at 5:51
  • @Mathematician the point you quoted in your answer here is also important to me. I'm sorry, this is my opinion. You may disagree, of course.
    – user2953
    May 14 '15 at 5:54
  • i would humbly suggest that the site would improve
    – user6917
    May 14 '15 at 5:55

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