If I downvote a question/answer should I say why?

+17 votes
136 views
I'll post my thoughts on this below. Feel free to chime in.
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
edited by Eowyn Walker
I would very much like to see how somebody downvotes a comment. :D  I for one had to just start leaving comments instead of answers because I grew tired of getting downvotes for my answers. :D  But I agree with you. Well said.
Ha, true. Fixed the comments comment :)
I just upvoted this because I think it is sooooooooo wonderful.

3 Answers

+17 votes
 
Best answer
My answer: Generally, yes.

WikiTree is all about communication and collaboration.  Sure, sometimes there's a really obvious question/answer that's usually very negative and it's obvious why people are downvoting it.

More often than not though, the poster of the question/answer is left wondering what caused someone to downvote it.  

I think it would be helpful and considerate if you are going to downvote a question/answer, to at least be willing to state why you felt the need to do so.  (This could all be said for upvoting a question too.)

If things are downvoted but no reason is given how can there be change and improvements?

I personally would hope that any WikiTree member who would downvote a question/answer would give the courtesy of explaning why.

I would also hope that any WikiTree member who downvotes questions/answers just for the sake of downvoting them and without legitimate reason would stop and ask themselves if that's really in-line with our Honor Code and adjust their behavior accordingly.

I'm so grateful that we have this forum and so appreciative of you generous WikiTreers who devote so much time to posing and answering questions to help improve the site,  lifting up others with your postiive friendly comments and helping others with their genealogy.  In my not so humble Forest Elf opinion - we have the BEST community on the internet :)
by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
selected by Mags Gaulden
Well said Eowyn!  Thank you for posting this :)
I just upvoted this because I think it, too, is soooooooo wonderful.

Yes, thanks Eowyn, well said - as is being affirmed beneath it is also about effective communication. Which is also about respect, feedback, courtesy ... being sincere. 

+3 votes

I thing explaining why you downvote a question may have a snow ball effect, let me explain, if I downvote your question and I explain that you must be a -derogatory term removed- to ask such a stupid question, I expect to get some downvote as well.

Ok, this would be an extreme case but you get the point I'm trying to make I'm sure.

Is there any guidelines to explain what kind of question/answer deserve a + or - ?

by Claude Emond G2G6 Mach 1 (15.3k points)
edited by Keith Hathaway

Hey Claude, like I would down vote your answer for the use of the word -derogatory term removed-.

I would like to up-vote Trudy :)
Keith, you didn't say why you'd like to up-vote Trudy's and this is the whole point of this question, I'm afraid I'll have to downvote yours :)
Thank You Keith.
You got me Claude... I smiled ear to ear.  Right you are :)

I'm going to up-vote your answer because I like that you are expressing your opinion and conversing.

I up-vote Trudy in general because she is awesome and shares positive thoughts.  Today I upvote her for defending the integrity of our forum by discouraging the use of derogetory terms.

In a "Peanuts" cartoon Lucy called Charlie Brown a blockhead and her brother Linus says something like, "you shouldn't call him that, he might actually be a blockhead!"

I have a very close family member who suffered a head injury and will always face challenges because of it... I would hate to discourage her or others in the same situation from asking questions here in G2G just because they are not as sharp as the average.

Spread positivity, joy, and happiness.... and feel good about it :)
I just upvoted this because i think it, too, is soooooooo wonderful.  In fact, I would like to give this one 2 upvotes because, not only the answer, but the entire chain represents such teriffic communication.
I used the term to make a point an even though sometimes I feel like using terms that would be innapropriate I refrain from it, mostly because usualy it doesn't help anyway.

But I'm only human (my mother had me tested) and if I fail sometimes, a downvote would be appropriate, knowing why, would be even better.
+3 votes
My understanding is that a down vote expresses a disagreement with a suggestion or a response. (And an upvote is expressing agreement with the suggestion or comment.) It does not mean that someone is saying you're stupid or offensive. If a post is offensive you should use the flag option.

In general, when I down-vote something, I usually add a comment or answer sharing my alternative opinion.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (765k points)
reshown by Eowyn Walker
Thank You Claude and Keith for the effective communication.
You are really good about that Jillaine.
sharing my alternative opinions, EL? ;-)
Ha! Well that too but mainly just that you always give the courtesy of explaining that you have an alternative view.  And I always appreciate that :)

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