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Follow up on What would it take for the site to consider it a must to register a comment for a downvote?:

How does a downvote with no comments assist in shaping a great answer and contributing toward the aims of this site?

  • 1
    Considering your rough introduction to meta, I think it's probably worth noting that voting on meta posts signals something a bit different than it might on main. On main we discourage voting based on agreement/disagreement with the theology of posts. On meta votes usually do represent agreement or disagreement with ideas. They can also be about other things such as research effort or whatever, but here it's less about post quality than it is about agreeing or disagreeing on specific issues. Just because we all disagree with you on this issue doesn't mean it is wrong to ask on meta. – Caleb Aug 11 '14 at 6:07
  • @Caleb I can live with that because I now have a the picture which I said I will share. – user13992 Aug 11 '14 at 6:11
  • Can't shake the feeling that this must be a tool for those who do not want to change the system. – user13992 Aug 11 '14 at 22:22
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It's clear and direct feedback that (in the opinion of the voter) you're doing something wrong! Receiving enough of them should cause you to reflect on why you've missed the approval of the community with your post. Of course a comment or two could be a helpful part of the process, but considering (from the tour) the aims of this site include -

We're a little bit different from other sites. Here's how:

Ask questions, get answers, no distractions

This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat. (emphasis added)

Comments can actually work against those aims by distracting and provoking discussion/chit-chat. The onus is on the OP to write a good post, not the readers to write it for them nor should they need to invest time in guiding them to do so. If they do in fact do that, it is a courtesy for them to do it.

  • It's clear and direct feedback that (in the opinion of the voter) you're doing something wrong! How does that help with no comments? – user13992 Aug 10 '14 at 21:38
  • How does a downvote with no comments assist in shaping a great answer and contributing toward the aims of this site? This question is not answered! – user13992 Aug 10 '14 at 21:39
  • How it assists is covered in my answer. Didn't you read it? – Ward Aug 10 '14 at 21:59
  • Without a comment interpret a downvote as meaning that it is unclear, not useful, or lacks research effort. (I.e., what the tooltip for the vote arrows say!) – curiousdannii Aug 11 '14 at 2:36
  • "How does that help with no comments?" - it's a spur to further reflection/research towards a) coming to grips with the community standards & b) improving your answer according to those standards. Before you can shape a great answer, you need to realise if your methodology or understanding of what is acceptable continually leads you to shape poor answers, and if so be motivated to correct that - down-voting (with or without comments) is a big part of that process. – bruised reed Aug 11 '14 at 3:13
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You seem to be hung up on this issue, and I think the main reason is that you've mistaken the purpose of the voting system.

Votes are not primarily a feedback mechanism. In other words they are not primarily for you as a post author. If it was, you would have a point that it isn't optimized for that. But it's not. It's a signal you can use, but it's really for something else and the way it functions is for that other purpose.

The primary purpose of voting is to sort answers and signal site readers about the relative value of answers. It's a crowd-sourced sorting system amalgamating any number of factors about perceived relative usefulness, accuracy, etc. For various reason (that you should research on [meta.se]) for that to function properly the votes themselves need to be anonymous and are therefore strictly not correlated to other mechanisms such as commenting.

Votes are not meant primarily for you as a way to improve your answers. They are for everybody else. They further the aims of this site in that new visitors to a question find the best answer as ranked by the community at the top of the answer stack and less well received ones lower down.

  • Reasonable response. Thank you. – user13992 Aug 11 '14 at 5:53
  • From the understanding that the criteria a user votes +/- on answer is that the answer was useful or not, what would it take to ensure that downvoter leave a comment before their vote is registered? I believe I understood the aims of the votes. I am one of those readers. – user13992 Aug 11 '14 at 6:09
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Another reason why downvoting without comment contributes to the aims of this (and all SE) site is something I touched on in my answer to your other question:

Voting is already low across every established SE site that I follow.

Voting - up and down - is extremely important to the way SE works. The idea is that if lots of people vote, then the relative vote counts are a very good indicator of how good or bad an answer (or question).

Every site I'm active on has meta-discussions every now and then about how little voting there is, so an additional barrier to voting would actually hurt the aims of the site.

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