Since (earlier last month) I have joined chemistry SE, I have gradually found it to be a very interesting than other QnA sites. But, of late, I have become a little bit concerned about the usage of Downvoting privilege. Yes, this privilege should obviously be there for certain reasons, but isn't it being used too frequently? As far as I understand, this privilege is for closing or giving hint for correction to any post (question/answer) which doesn't comply with the norms of posting in chemistry SE. But won't a comment pointing out the mistake(s) or suggesting a correction be more helpful than a silent downvote? Yes, if even after the comments the author remains stubborn to h(is/er) thoughts, then I think it will be the best and high time to cast your Downvote. Won't it? Please be sure that I am not talking against Downvoting rather Silent downvoting! And I am seeing this mainly against the newbies. It'll be unfair to expect that every new member will go through all the norms of SE and then will post a question! I think a huge number (even a little 2-3 for the initial times) of downvotes may discourage them to post further freely! So, I'm just requesting to all the members of this community to have a thought on this. I mean C'mon Curses(downvotes) can't bring the best out of anyone rather Prizes(upvotes) or Praises(comments) can do P.S.- If you feel this post useless, you are welcome to downvote, Silently =D

  • $\begingroup$ related chemistry.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3138/… $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Jun 1, 2017 at 21:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not just related, but the answer is there. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 1, 2017 at 22:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron yes related. But I am not asking for any rule that commenting should be made necessary before downvoting. My concern is that our main aim is to enlarge our community and receive more conceptually productive questions, right? Now, if we don't point out the mistake in anyone's post and just downvote and move on, then how are they supposed to understand their fault? That's why I just requested to point out the mistakes and if you wish to downvote even after that, yes do it. But please do comment something so the author can understand their point(s) of mistake(s) to improve further! $\endgroup$
    – chail10
    Jun 1, 2017 at 22:12
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    $\begingroup$ What you can improve in this post: reduce bold, remove incorrect capitalisation, use paragraphs. Also there's description when you hover mouse cursor over downvote button so they aren't exactly silent. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Jun 1, 2017 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ Got your point @Mithoron =D. But I am not asking for every post, I mainly emphasizing on those post which can be improved logically or conceptually and I think orthocresol has aptly pointed out the gist of my this boring large post. So, I hope you'll get my point. $\endgroup$
    – chail10
    Jun 1, 2017 at 22:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I guess I maybe went deeper than you. There's no point in talking with guys who pop in here only once, for their homework done, but new, real users like you should get support. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Jun 2, 2017 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


I agree that leaving a comment is always more helpful than a silent downvote. Yet, there is no way to force people to do so. So once that's out of the way, we come to the idea of encouraging people to leave comments (instead of forcing).

Many of the regulars here try to help as many people as possible, but you must remember that all of us have real life to deal with and we can only leave so many comments. If you see that something gets silently downvoted and want to help, then you can always leave a comment yourself - help to make the change that you want to see.

I will mention though that very few people have lots of patience with posts that grossly violate site policies. Technically, all site policies are available to browse on the help centre, and it is on the asker to read these before posting a question.


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