A number of users have observed that when people down-vote questions or answers most of the time they do not leave any comments. This is a problem because this does not give the user or who asked the question or gave the answer to fix the problem if there is one. So what I thought about is a feature that will activate when someone down-votes a post, when someone downvotes the comment feature automatically opens and says "Please explain why you down-voted". I found this in an answer on the OSQA meta site, I am not quite sure how it can work here, but perhaps it can be used:

 <script type="text/javascript">

$(function() {    var old_func = response_commands['update_post_score'];

function new_func(id, inc) {
      old_func(id, inc);

if (parseInt(inc) < 0) {;
          $('#comment-tools-' + id + ' .add-comment-link').trigger('click');

var $box = $('#comment-' + id + '-form .commentBox');
           $box.val('Please explain why you downvoted');           
      }    }

response_commands['update_post_score'] = new_func;  }); </script>

I do not mean to make it mandatory for a user to give a comment, no rather just give the option and the reminder.

  • 1
    Currently, downvoting brings up a popup that reads, "Please consider adding a comment if you think this post can be improved."
    – Aarthi
    Dec 27 '12 at 0:01
  • @Aarthi I do not see this pop up when I down-vote, nor do I see it when hovering over the down-vote button.
    – مجاهد
    Dec 27 '12 at 0:22
  • 1
    Hmm, it might be for lower-rep users.
    – Aarthi
    Dec 27 '12 at 0:50
  • 1
    @Aarthi well, I believe that it should be for all users no matter what the reputation is, everyone needs a reminder, it is the nature of human beings, I am not excluding my self.
    – مجاهد
    Dec 27 '12 at 0:58

The problem with requiring comments with every downvote is that you'd get the extremely "helpful" comments like "adfhaljsdfhklajdhflaj". In other words, people will do anything to get around a requirement.

Alternatively, it could discourage people from downvoting bad posts. We don't want to encourage people to downvote everything, but we also don't want to discourage downvotes in all cases either.

When it comes right down to it, people downvote for a lot of reasons. Most of them are legitimate (such as "I don't think this answer is useful"). We also have a fraud detection script running that reverts malicious votes that are targeting specific users. And beyond that, we show a pop-up encouraging folks to explain their downvotes up until they have 2,000 reputation in an attempt to encourage explanations on how to make posts better.

You can read additional discussion about this here.

Point being, most people, in our experience, downvote with the best intentions. Making comments mandatory with every downvote would be detrimental, and we currently have no plans to make it happen.

  • I do not mean to make it a requirement, what I meant is just the comment feature pops up saying "Please explain why you down-voted" perhaps something like (optional) can be added to make it clearer. I understand in your experience down-voting has good intentions, but here down-voting has good intentions but sometimes it is according to ones so called "Sect" so the down-vote is actually invalid because the answer or question is valid just from another/different view. So with this feature, the intention is just to remind/encourage, not require, people to add comment after down-voting.
    – مجاهد
    Dec 27 '12 at 1:41
  • and perhaps it might also lower down-voting of other views without a valid reason.
    – مجاهد
    Dec 27 '12 at 1:42
  • @AlUmmat Well, that already exists (albeit only for folks with less than 2000 reputation). Are you sure people are downvoting without reason? You might disagree with it, but that doesn't necessarily make it less valid.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Dec 27 '12 at 1:57
  • Yes, there are some posts here and there were I am almost certain that it was down-voted without reason, like this one. I do not understand why it was down-voted other than it is of the Shia perspective, it is a good answer.
    – مجاهد
    Dec 27 '12 at 2:18
  • @AlUmmat For what it's worth, even on sites with more clear-cut guidelines (such as Stack Overflow), there are sometimes downvotes that seem downright bizarre. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Upvote the answers you feel are worth it, and it should overall balance things out. Moderators can see malicious voting patterns and between them and the automated script I mentioned, we should hopefully account for the majority of improper voting.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Dec 27 '12 at 2:25
  • ok, thanks for your help :)
    – مجاهد
    Dec 27 '12 at 2:34
  • @AlUmmat Any time. :)
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Dec 27 '12 at 2:39

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