I, and I am sure many others as well, am becoming tired of seeing people post comments/questions/answers only to have them downvoted without cause or explanation.

Now if the comment is rude, irrelevant or had been previously discussed on the same page then that is one thing. However, to give an example, I recently replied to somebody asking about a translation, specifically why that sentence could not be translated as:

  • My shoes are dearly

And gave my reasoning that "dearly" is an adverb and so could not be applied, however "dear" could. For this attempt to help somebody I was downvoted.

No explanation was given for the downvote and so nothing at all was gained, I almost considered simply voting myself back up (though I elected not to).

This is not the first time I have been downvoted, and on one occasion by multiple people, without receiving a single word of explanation. This reddit attitude towards downvoting is at stark odds with Duolingo's instructive purposes. Nobody is taught anything, nobody understands what they did wrong and more importantly nobody is going to change their view just because they got downvoted.

Too Long; Didn't Read:

Stop downvoting comments without providing a reason; it achieves nothing and is unhelpful and confusing for new users.

August 31, 2013


[deactivated user]

    People are people. Welcome to the internet.

    There will always be people, who downvote for no reason. Asking that of them here won't really help.

    A downvote doesn't actually have a meaning, just negative connotations. You could've been downvoted because someone couldn't find any milk for their cereal, and just wanted to lash out.

    By the way, if someone downvotes you for genuinely helping out with a CORRECT answer, chances are they are not the type of person to listen to your plea.

    Too Long; Didn't Read: It's not that deep bro.

    It does affect how high up a comment shows in the stream though

    Ah, true, true.

    I have no real emotional problems with being downvoted. The point Sergeant made is one aspect that bothers me but also if a new user is looking at the comments they might see my response with a negative vote count and assume I am wrong even if the comment I make could be very helpful to them.

    You're right, of course, that the people who downvote for no reason will likely not be the people to listen to the point I am making here, but I hope to encourage people generally to provide reasons for their downvoting or even to explain why they think others have been downvoted.

    Maybe someone didn't like the way you answered the question or maybe you answered it wrong. I've seen people give incorrect information and have down voted them for it. The downvotes help in giving less credit to bad information.

    That's a good point.

    EDIT: although that kind of goes back to the OP's point. If you disagree with a comment or feel it is incorrect, it's probably more helpful to point out why, rather than just downvoting.

    Yes, I noticed in one case when I revisited it a month later that I had mis-interpreted the comment I was responding to and so my answer had been quite unhelpful. I corrected my answer immediately, I would have corrected it as soon as I was downvoted if I had been told what was wrong.

    I have no objection to being downvoted, just downvoted without explanation.

    From some discussion posts that I read when I started DL a few months ago, I think that some of the 'down votes' are in error. That's because some people mistake the 'down arrow' for a 'heart' and think (mistakenly) that they are voting something "up".

    Yes! I did mistake it for a heart!

    While I agree that the upvote/downvote behaviour isn't always "just", my impression is that it works rather well in general. Usually the most helpful and correct posts raise to the top and the most unhelpful ones descend into oblivion. So from a functional point of view I'd argue that the feature works as intended. From an individual point of view, it's understandable that one might feel frustration when trying to help and receiving a downvote in return. Just don't take it personal. [And if you don't understand a downvote, just ask. Maybe you'll even get an answer :) ]

    Haha, always ask, never get an answer.

    It seems I have poorly conveyed myself here. I have no person problem with being downvoted, none whatsoever, my feelings are not hurt and I am not offended on any level.

    My concern is purely educational. I don't expect to change every downvoter's mind, I just wish to encourage positive and useful contributions to and by the community through 'proper' use of the comment voting feature. This applies to everyone, not just downvoters, if people see a comment that has been downvoted repeatedly without explanation and it doesn't seem justified I'd like to see more people try to explain to the commenter why it was, even if they did not cast a vote on it themselves.

    Some people dont like being downvoted it makes them sad

    How about removing downvoting altogether and only having upvoting? Good comments would still rise to the top and it might be a better fit for the Duolingo community.

    I thought about that as well, however downvoting does allow the community to hide (with 3 more more downvotes, if I'm not mistaken) comments that could be considered trollish, abusive, or just really unhelpful, without the need for a moderator to get involved.

    True, but that could still be possible by allowing only upvotes and "flag as inappropriate". A flag option like that would be a higher threshold than a downvote-option, and I think it would still be effective.

    Upvotes alone are in my opinion enough to separate good comments from 'normal' comments.

    'Flag as inappropriate' requires action from a moderator. Comments being hidden below a certain threshold don't.

    Not necessarily, it could be made so that a certain amount of flags is enough to take action. Comments with a lot of flags could be removed automatically, other comments would indeed still be checked by a moderator.

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