I posted this question about whether a given main site question should be reopened because there was a debate happening on the main site and I wanted to take it off there and onto meta, which is the right place to decide these things. I voted to close the original question, and anyone who read the original question should have been clear that I was not in favour of reopening it.

I found that my meta question was getting downvotes, which surprised me, and I was told that downvoting a question is a normal way of indicating disagreement with the question. I'm not sure why that is the case. I would expect a downvote only if the question was a bad one. If someone thought the answer should be 'no', they could write an answer saying that, or upvote the appropriate answer if there is one.

Should this convention be kept?

  • Since the ups and downs on meta don't affect rep, I say yes, it should be kept. It is a very convenient way to gauge the community preference without reading all the responses. Ironically, I guess that means I should downvote this. I'll hold off on that.
    – user3961
    Commented Jan 18, 2014 at 18:50
  • 1
    +1 in keeping with meta norms: yes we should keep this convention.
    – Caleb
    Commented Jan 18, 2014 at 19:06
  • it's worth noting that the threshold for removing a negatively scored post from the front page of meta is a few votes higher than it is on main.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 1:36

1 Answer 1


Voting to express (dis)agreement with a meta post as an at-voter-discretion alternative to voting on the normally encouraged factors is a nearly universal pattern across all Stack Exchange meta sites (including Meta.SO where votes actually count for rep). At this point changing the culture is simply not feasible* and having a local site norm that is at variance with the network is not practical either. Just roll with it.

It it really bothers you, don't ask questions in a yes/no format. Anything that boils down to a proposed action and a "should we" question on the proposal is going to collect some of these votes. Instead you can ask "what should we do about situation x" and put your proposal in an answer.

* If you did, Meta.SO would be the place to start. There is already some discussion to this effect there, although the general consensus is that votes will always only mean whatever the voter had in mind and that will never be the same from voter to voter and that that's actually okay.

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