I find it annoying when I get a down vote and there is no comment about why. If someone down votes a question or answer, then they have a reason for doing so, it it would help the poster improve.

First, is it possible to ensure a comment with a down vote?

Second, is this something that should be imposed?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Martin That's basically the gist of it, if you'd like to answer. I would only add that the unmasking of the downvoter can lead to revenge downvoting, which we'd like to avoid. I don't think we have as much of problem with that here, but it does exist elsewhere in the network. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 10:21
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    $\begingroup$ I think it's worth noting that a down vote already prompts a message box with the suggestion of leaving a comment. $\endgroup$
    – John Snow
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 6:18
  • $\begingroup$ BTW what @John says applies to users with less than 2000 reputation. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 16:33

2 Answers 2


I always try to leave a complaining comment when I downvote, except when the reason is already given as a comment (then I'll upvote that). I guess this is a best practice scenario though.
A one-paragraph answer, with bad writing and no, little or redundant information, however, I do not think deserves this comment. In these cases I often flag and downvote, too.
I have to admit, that I only comment, when I think a post can be salvaged through editing. (In that case I also want to be notified to retract my vote.) Some posts just need the down-vote to get them into the deletion queue.

This toppic has been deeply suggested and extensively been discussed on meta.se. From that post I drew the conclusion that the majority does not want to be forced to leave a comment. I would not want to be forced to do that either.
Also if a comment is mandatory it may lead to more cleanup to do, to filter out complete gibberish, that was only entered to fill the necessity.

Another point was mentioned by jonsca, that the unmasking of a downvoter may lead to revenge downvoting, which should be avoided. This may not be a problem on our site, but apparently other networks have this issue.

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    $\begingroup$ If the down vote was deserved, then there shouldn't be a problem of revenge. I've seen several down votes that doesn't seem warranted so I'm thinking someone is just doing that for kicks. $\endgroup$
    – LDC3
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ @LDC3 I agree and I am also open for any improvement, to change my vote. If I get a down-vote I usually would like to know to improve. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 3:18

The audience here is very less so we need to now actually have a mutually positive relations and help each other wherever we can, it might be frustating to write a cmment but it should be encouraged until some time Chem.SE expands and has many people to have varied opinions and people with the thinking of right, with very few people the majority of appraisers(upvoters) and the others might in cases reduce and the author of the post might get the opinionstic view of one majority group only untiil then in my opinion it should be strongly encouraged to add comment when downvoting and even upvoting, cause most people take the author in their calculation rather the content so that we help each other find our weakness and strengths.

Also there's no harm in it and it prevents revenge downvoting on someone back and that worsens the situation even much; somethimes to a level where the person who didn't even downvoted but was spotted nearby is targetted.

This might be extended to closed posts, where a strong reasons should be commented in detail.

Think and I think: I might have done wrong in the past but I have agreed to be more sensible and logical.

  • $\begingroup$ Hi, this post even after 6 years has relevance and lol...still the community is small with plenty of downvotes $\endgroup$
    – user96208
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 11:43
  • $\begingroup$ AND apparently no one can accept that they revenge downvoted even if they did...hence your answer has so many negatives $\endgroup$
    – user96208
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ Hilarious how many have downvoted this answer, without even telling the answerer why (PS. It's probably because of the bad punctuation, typos and lack of full stops, so try improving the grammar) $\endgroup$
    – Bongo Man
    Commented Mar 25 at 16:01

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