Related: Downvoting is good for you (and for the site)!

This meta-post says the following:

Oh, and leave a comment explaining why you downvoted. With luck, the author will learn from this mistake and correct his post or write better answers in the future.

Can we add this to the FAQ somewhere? I get "drive-by downvoted" (just coined that term) sometimes and it's perplexing and frustrating. It just happened on a recent question of mine.

I searched the FAQ and see no mention encouraging commenting to accompany downvoting, and I'm not sure who ventures over to meta frequently enough to read a post like the one linked above.


  • Don't mean to sound heartless, but drive-by downvoting is a fact of life on SE. Happens all the time. It sucks, and is unfair and rude. But the only way to deal with it is the way you do with bird droppings on windshield. Wash them off and forget they happened. Sometimes whining helps, as it gets you sympathy upvotes :)
    – user5341
    Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 16:58
  • @DVK: for sure. though the answer helped; I was mainly doing this to see if we could reduce the occurrence with some sort of solution. It turns out that there already is one. Thus I think your answer is the best one. It just happens, despite attempts to prevent it. Oh well.
    – Hendy
    Commented Dec 23, 2011 at 23:10

2 Answers 2


There is already a popup notification when downvoting if you have below 2k reputation

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  • Well, that handles that and explains why I don't see it. Too bad the recommendation still isn't followed.
    – Hendy
    Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 21:54

We could add some canned reasons to the downvote that could include

  • Not referenced (please add references)

  • Disagree with the position taken

  • references do not back up claims made

  • will comment

  • prefer not to say

The not referenced down votes could be cleared by a moderator after references are added automatically which would encourage more answers. Because once your answer has hit -3 there is no incentive to make it better.

  • This has been proposed countless times on Meta Stack Overflow
    – Borror0
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 22:34
  • @Borror0 - It seems that it has been well received by the community now too. Is there a reason that it has not been implemented?
    – Chad
    Commented Dec 15, 2011 at 14:33
  • @Chad - Borror0 wouldn't know, he's a moderator, not a SE employee :-)
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Dec 27, 2011 at 17:00

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