Why does LQ permit down-voting and up-voting with neither reason no identification?

It seems to me that IF a person were able to identify whom or WHY they down-voted, one could LEARN from that mistake and not do it anymore. In the instance of up-voting it would do the reverse and highlight the positives and show what others found useful.

In both cases it would socially mature the individuals and thus the community.

  • 5
    This has been discussed numerous times on the SE site. See this thread: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/135/… or this thread for how you should react: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/121350/…..
    – slm Mod
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 22:40
  • Don't forget to hit our tour page for an Informed badge, too! Welcome to the site!
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 22:41
  • To slm 's point, the voting mechanism is the same across all of the stack sites; it's no different here on Unix & Linux.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 22:43
  • I am new. Thank you both for th info. Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 2:44

2 Answers 2


I can see that you've received some down votes, and your question here is probably rooted more in your reaction to receiving these than anything. I think part of your frustration is that your answer was DV'd because it was a question in the answer section.

This DV was because you were using the SE site incorrectly. See the help section: https://unix.stackexchange.com/tour.

The SE sites are strongly structured in their model of Q&A with voting + comments. This is just how this particular site works and it's best to just adapt to it, if you want to participate within this community.

There are other forums that do things differently, but this particular site is structured like this because Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood were trying to achieve something new on the Internet by providing a place for others to participate in a manner where experts could earn reputation through their efforts.

The natural approach, IMO, is that if you provide users a method for earning something, means that you have to provide a method for taking that rep away, hence the voting structure.

When people vote either way, they can leave a comment explaining why they did so or not, but they are not obligated to do so. When someone DV's a answer, they are losing a portion of their rep (-1) when they do it so they typically must feel strongly to do so, to forgo some of their rep.



In addition to slm's excellent answer it is worth noting that U&L, and the other SE sites, operate differently to most other Q&A sites. First, this is a wiki, not a discussion board; the difference is critical to understanding how the site works. The community isn't up and down voting based on a discussion, but rather on the quality of the contribution to the page, which is a wiki for a specific question.

So, the onus is on the contributors to understand how the site works and to add to the wiki accordingly. There is no need to explain why you downvote something, in almost all cases it should be self-evident. There may be exceptions to the rule, in which case people will generally comment and give the asker or answerer an opportunity to correct their contribution before downvoting, but generally it is accepted to just hit the down arrow and move on.

If you find you are on the receiving end of successive down votes, read the help section and ensure that your contributions are consistent with the expectations that are set out there.

  • 1
    thank you as well! Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 2:42

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