I notice that when downvoting an answer, it says to leave a comment. I -already- left a comment before downvoting. So I don't. I then drop a point in rep.

I imagine that if i'd left a comment after the downvote, then that might not have happened.

Is this somewhat of a bug?

3 Answers 3


Down voting on an answer costs 1 rep irrelevant of whether you leave a comment or not. You are under no obligation to leave a comment. The losing of rep when down voting is to prevent abuse of the voting system.

  • It doesn't work on most sites in the exchange.... 'voting abuse prevention'. Unfortunately, there's no cash reward. So, it's like playing poker with potato chips.... "I'm all in." Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 11:06

You might want to read the Privileges page for downvoting.

For this specific question, see the section What happens when I vote down?, which I reproduce below for your convenience:

What happens when I vote down?

When you vote down, you are moving that content "down" so it will be seen by fewer people.

  • Downvotes remove 2 reputation from the post owner.
  • Downvotes on answers remove 1 reputation from you, the voter.
  • Downvotes on questions are free. (Why?)
  • You can vote 30 times per UTC day. You get an additional 10 votes on questions only. (Why?)

Voting down is not something we want you to take lightly, so it is not free.


It is in fact a good way of preventing abuse of the voting system, but how about high reputation users? They wouldn't care about losing 1 rep point... Is it because they're so trusted that they have the right to vote down without many consequences?

  • 1
    The punishment for high rep users is the same. Sure, they might not lose privileges as quickly, but they lose more powerful privileges (moderator tools access, the ability to delete stuff, etc.). And while 1/30000 isn't as much, percentage wise, as 1/30, these users also posted about 1000 times more stuff, and have been members for much longer (and therefore had many more opportunities to downvote stuff).
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 22:40
  • Well, it makes sense when it comes to how long they've been a user, I guess. That's when they could've been voted down themselves but they surely have a much higher than 1 up-vote/down-vote ratio on themselves... well, makes sense after all. Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 22:46
  • 1
    @the.midget you've been asking a whole lot of questions, which is great - we like to see new users getting involved. It's starting to get to the point though where a lot of it is redundant information which you might be able to find elsewhere. You should check out the detailed FAQ for Stack Exchange before asking any more meta questions - it might answer a lot of the questions you'll come upon.
    – nhinkle
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 23:52

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