Sometimes it happened to me to see questions/answers downvoted without a comment about it.

I think it is more useful for the user who gets a downvote to understand why he/she got it instead of just loosing reputation points. In this way that user can understand what was wrong with the question/asnwer he/she posted and avoid to make the same error again, whereas at the time being the downvote is useful only for the readers to understand which quetions/answers worth the reading.

So my question is: is it possible to add a rule about this? I mean, make the comment mandatory in case of downvote to explain what was wrong with it.

  • $\begingroup$ Note that in Meta, by convention, downvotes indicate disagreement with a proposal and are not an indication that a bad Question has been asked. (Yes, I am your downvoter.) $\endgroup$
    – hardmath Mod
    Nov 25, 2014 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ Yes thank you, I knew that...I had some readings before posting my question to be sure it has been not already asked :) $\endgroup$
    – Rhei
    Nov 25, 2014 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ This is possibly one of the most discussed topics on the meta SEs, and the answer is invariably that it's like this by design and SE is not going to change it (and I agree with them in this case). Don't take downvotes personally; go on and ignore them. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2019 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


On the one hand, I agree that it is bad form to downvote without leaving constructive criticism. On the other hand, forcing down-voters to leave a comment also exposes the identity of the voter. Voting is intentionally designed to be anonymous to avoid many other potential pitfalls. See these posts for more details:

Is down voting supposed to be anonymous?

Why are votes anonymous? Let's make with the transparency and have them publicly attributed

  • $\begingroup$ Is it not possibile to find a way to hide the name of the author of the comment related to the downvote? $\endgroup$
    – Rhei
    Nov 22, 2014 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ Not to my knowledge. $\endgroup$
    – Paul
    Nov 22, 2014 at 19:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ In biology SE we generally discourage downvoting without providing a reason at least when voting on newbie questions. Most of the times a new user is not aware of the scope and rules of the site. $\endgroup$
    Feb 17, 2015 at 6:37

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