If a question is asked that meets all other site criteria and survives any 'deletion review' process (not an obvious troll attempt, but a genuine question) yet for whatever reason receives multiple down votes, the asker should get a badge.

By the same measure, an answer that is correct, accurate and supported but receives numerous down votes because it's 'unpopular' to those few who read the OP should get a badge. The old saying holds sway; If you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question.

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    The way the system should work, a question should be able to survive the deletion review queue regardless of whether or not the downvotes are warranted or not. – phantom42 Apr 23 '14 at 17:38
  • @phantom42 Isn't that what I said? – Morgan Apr 23 '14 at 17:41
  • I'm not sure that your criteria are sufficiently clear to be programmable/testable. – Donald.McLean Apr 23 '14 at 17:45
  • The point is that there is no way for the system to distinguish whether those downvotes were "warranted" or not. They can both get through just fine. – phantom42 Apr 23 '14 at 17:50
  • @phantom42 Granted, neither can the system distinguish whether upvotes are warranted. The system only knows that they exist. – Morgan Apr 23 '14 at 17:56
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    Yes, and that's why this idea would never work. – phantom42 Apr 23 '14 at 18:14
  • Looks like I'm on my way to earning the new 'contrarian' badge. Well on the way to 'obstinate' rating. – Morgan Apr 23 '14 at 22:37
  • @phantom42 BTW, is there a record somewhere for the most downvotes? I've seen -12 so far and I've hit -6 twice. – Morgan Apr 23 '14 at 22:58
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    I'd check the data explorer. – phantom42 Apr 24 '14 at 0:16
  • @phantom42 Sadly, I have no computer chops... seriously. I'm literally not much better than a monkey with a stick, so telling me to check data explorer is like telling that monkey to put the car into gear. He may stumble upon it but would have no clue how or why. Ironic that I should find my way to this place, yes? – Morgan Apr 24 '14 at 0:51
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    Turns out you don't need to. You can just sort the questions by votes. -14 is the current record. – phantom42 Apr 24 '14 at 2:05
  • Regarding your edit... I assume you're referring to the "unwarranted negative votes" your question here has received? If so, are you aware that downvotes in meta are not the same thing as downvotes on the main site, and merely indicate disagreement? – Beofett Apr 24 '14 at 17:34
  • @Beofett- A good question/answer IMO brings up valid and salient issues or answers. When that question elicits pertinent, thoughtful and edifying answers, how then can it be voted down as a bad question/answer? It seems you're saying that if people don't like the 'implications' of a question/answer they down vote it regardless of the truth or accuracy of it. I thought this place was created so people could get the 'real' answer to questions. I've seen one answer getting up votes for promoting the 'healing properties' of bacteria laden saltwater on wounds. What?! – Morgan Apr 24 '14 at 19:50
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    @Morgan You need to read what he said more carefully: downvotes on meta don't mean the same thing as on the main site. For a question - like yours - that proposes something new, downvotes mean "I disagree." Your post says, "there should be a badge for..." and the downvotes mean multiple people don't think there should be such a badge. It's got nothing to do with truth or accuracy. – Ward - Reinstate Monica Apr 25 '14 at 4:13
  • @Ward Yes I got that. I didn't know that about meta before. This is all a new experience for me. In one area the votes mean something different than in another. I'm learning, which I believe is the point here in this place. – Morgan Apr 25 '14 at 4:26

I've seen good questions being downvoted on other SE sites. I've seen a high-rep user on another SE site actually edit a question to make it off-topic, then VTC it. Thankfully the latter kind of thing doesn't seem to have happened here; hopefully it never does (I mention this as an example to show that downvotes are far from the worst that can happen).

This is all rogue behaviour and there shouldn't be any sort of reward system in place for it; neither for the rogue user nor for their victim. Putting a reward system in place is a way by which we accept rogue behaviour, and we shouldn't be doing that. There are plenty of "flag for moderator attention" links all over the site, and that seems a more appropriate way to deal with this behaviour. Don't accept it and risk making it part of site culture: stamp it out.

  • So you guys are saying that creating a new 'contrarian' or 'obstinate' badge that defies 'popular' opinion by answering correctly regardless of 'peer pressure' would actually promote bad behavior from a certain type? In this autonomous computer world, I can actually understand and agree with much of that sentiment, to a point. – Morgan Apr 24 '14 at 23:29
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    More that SE is not a popularity contest. In an ideal world we should be recognising good questions and correct/comprehensive answers. If either of these gets downvotes there are other tools for dealing with them. If we recognise popularity, or lack of popularity, on it's own merit we're on a slippery slope. – user8719 Apr 25 '14 at 0:17
  • I think this question needs a couple more down votes. If nothing else it serves as a bad idea lesson for people to learn by. I would down vote it myself but the system won't let me. – Morgan May 2 '14 at 5:17

I don't see any need for this, and I don't see how you could define "meets all other site criteria" and "a genuine question."

Both processes - downvoting and voting to close - are in place for good reasons. Downvoting to indicate that people don't think the question is good, and voting to close to indicate that it needs substantial work or doesn't belong here at all.

Your first paragraph posits a case where the question is bad enough to be downvoted and to have some close votes thrown on it, but somehow it'll be found to be worthwhile enough to give someone a badge for it. Maybe there's the odd question that fits that description, but you'd have to point out a bunch to convince me.

Similarly for your second situation, you'd have to cite some examples of answers that are accurate and supported yet received downvotes due to unpopularity.

And for both examples, you'd have to cite examples where the net votes are negative, not just an answer that's not as highly upvoted as a less-correct one and not answers that received a few downvotes along with a bunch of upvotes. Again, I think there are very few of these, so what's the need for a badge?

  • I agree with this answer, but I'd like to add that just because an answer is accurate and supported does not mean that it is high quality or not deserving of downvotes. Sidebar commentary, irrelevant and/or inflammatory opinions, or a generally hostile or offensive tone all strike me as potentially valid reasons to downvote an accurate and supported answer. – Beofett Apr 23 '14 at 17:59
  • @Beofett those are good points worth considering. – Morgan Apr 23 '14 at 18:31

I think there's a confusion here which could be clarified: the voting process, the acceptance feature, the closing process, and the deletion process have little overlap in terms of purpose or criteria.

It's generally okay for a post that meets all the site's guidelines to still be downvoted, because voting should have nothing to do with "meets basic guidelines for acceptable contributions." It doesn't automatically mean people are abusing the voting process, nor does it mean the close/delete systems have failed. (Similarly, no one should ever feel pressured to accept the highest-voted answer to their question, because accepting an answer means it's the most useful to the querent, which is a totally subjective and individual criterion.)

Now, there are ways to abuse these features, and I suspect this idea for a badge came about because some few people are abusing the downvote system. That should be addressed. But it's inappropriate to respond to an abuse of the system by instituting pity prizes for those who suffer because of it--it'd be a tacit acceptance of the misbehaviour. If this is the level of desperation our citizens have come to in their search for redress, that is a major problem.

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