On a recent answer, which was quite poor, I observed the following statistics:

  • My comment stating that the answer is bad and I am downvoting it because of $reasons: 19 upvotes

  • Answer itself: 8 downvotes, 7 if you subtract mine

Only slightly over 1/3 [1] of people who obviously agreed that the answer needed downvoting, actually went on to vote the answer down.

[1] in all fairness, this assumes that all people upvoted my comment agreed with my assessment of "-1", whereas some people may have liked my critique/reasoning but not the "-1" conclusion I arrived at based on it.

Presumably, the -1 reputation cost is one of the reasons for this glaring discrepancy, though I don't know how to test if it's the main/only reason.

Downvoting bad answers is one of the most important mechanics of what makes SE sites in general, and especially Skeptics, produce good quality content.

Is there anything we can do to encourage more downvotes on bad answers?

1 Answer 1


The recent answer, I assume, is the one referring to users being forced to "recite Allah".

The thing is, that question went on the Hot Network Questions list, so the incoming visitors, who in large part have 101 reputation due to the network bonus rep, can only upvote and not downvote, which requires 125 rep.

I've noticed the same effect multiple times, and complained about it here: Prevent 101 rep users from voting and commenting until 105 rep


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