I came across a question this evening which I thought was unfairly down voted. I instinctively up voted to counter the down vote, however this might not have been the correct way of handling this scenario. After a bit of thought it occurred to me that I probably should have flagged the question for the moderators.

I understand that what I may deem a good question others may not, but there are undoubtedly some circumstances where a down vote has been cast recklessly.

Does one counter the down vote with an up vote, or is the correct way of handling it to flag the down vote for a moderators attention?

  • 2
    Can you post a link to the question you are referring to? Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 21:14

4 Answers 4


The correct way is to vote based on the content.

  • Is it a good question? - Vote it up.
  • Is it a bad question? - Vote it down.

Don't just vote to counter down-votes.

There are two problems with flagging a question for moderator attention because of a down-vote.

  1. A moderator should not be there to judge a down-vote and invalidate it if he thinks it was not correct.

    It wouldn't be fair either, the down-voter may have a valid reason to down-vote something.

  2. Moderators can't see specific votes cast on each question and answer by individual users.

  • During my process as explained above I came to the realization that I should not have up voted because it was essentially just a vote to counter a down vote, so I have established that. The second part of the question still lacks an answer so I will try and clarify. If one comes across a down vote which is undoubtedly reckless, ie. doesn't make sense, should this be flagged?
    – kingmilo
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 21:19
  • Based on the edit to your answer I'm going to go with no If one comes across an unfair/reckless down vote it should not be countered with an up vote, and it should not be flagged, thanks.
    – kingmilo
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 21:33
  • 2
    @kingmilo No. It shouldn't. If it's good content more people will upvote it. A down vote is simply -2 points, an upvote is +5/+10 depending on the type of post. Down-votes are purposefully less to counter rage down-voting. However "unjustly" is an opinion, what's unjust to you is just to another, etc. Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 21:35
  • 1
    @Marco - Excellent, thank you.
    – kingmilo
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 21:37

Voting is probably one of the most important things you will do on the site. Either down and up it is important to do it.

The site works over time, you should never look as something that happened right now as important.

Vote up if you like, if there is effort and if the information seems correct.

Vote down if you do not find it useful or even logic as information, if its not correct, if there is not effort or if you think its dangerous and there might be better and safer methods of doing something.

Do not down vote or up vote as a feeling, do it just by the contents.

Votes are anonymous, either up votes and down votes. Do not flag a moderator about a down vote that you thing was unfair, if it was unfair the site will make sure that this is fixed with some time. Keep voting!


Tell me about it. I've had this happen to me many times. I got a downvote here for no apparent reason: https://askubuntu.com/questions/102396/connecting-to-the-internet-through-firefox/102410#102410. The person in question did not leave a comment. I have no problem when people downvote things, that's what the button is for. But please, always leave a comment explaning your reasoning before downvoting. As far as flagging the question for moderator attention, I wouldn't. The moderators have enough on thier respective plates already. Anyway, keep voting, and especially keep commenting.

  • Don't feel bad, it was a good answer and if you concern yourself with down votes like this you will go crazy =) Who knows, perhaps someone hit the wrong button ?
    – Panther
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:54
  • @bodhi.zazen Who knows. I don't feel depressed, I was just using it as case in point.
    – William
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 23:56

I understand the purpose of down votes, but I would also suggest that it is better to encourage people to improve answers then to simply down vote.

With that said, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and I think it would be futile to ask moderators to start reviewing the votes cast, let them spend their time on more important issues such as spam or disruptive comments.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .