Yes, Absolutely, Without Reserve.
First of all, at the risk of repeating myself:
Users Should Downvote However They Want
Downvoting on Stack Exchange is anonymous for a reason. As long as a user is not abusively downvoting (that is, they are targeting a specific user, and not the questions themselves), SE has always quite openly asserted that users can ...
It is allowed, but probably not to be encouraged
Outside of certain prohibited voting patterns (for example, those that target certain users), people may use downvotes however they choose.
On the other hand, there are certain guidelines for upvotes and downvotes, as conveyed in the Help Center and tooltip.
As noted in your question, the Help Center ...
According to Stack Exchange network policy, yes this is reasonable.
See Should one downvote answers to off-topic questions? on main meta. The top answer says yes because answering bad questions encourages people to ask them. The second answer provides a more technical explanation for why to downvote such answers: because it might help the question to be ...
I've forked "Most Downvoted Answers" to show the most downvoted questions.
The top 5 (at the last edit)
1) What is “DON'T PANIC” a reference to on the dashboard of Elon Musk's car? (71 downvotes)
2) Is Captain America gay? (48 downvotes)
3) Has George R. R. Martin described the color of Daenerys' pubic hair in any book? (40 downvotes)
4) What is JK ...
StackOverflow Meta - Why do you lose reputation for down-voting?
Main points of top answer copied here:
The motivation behind it is to put emphasis on up-voting or not voting at all. This way, down votes will carry more weight and it will also prevent users from abusing the system by down-voting excessively.
According to what Jeff/Joel discussed on ...
The simple answer to why they get so many upvotes is that they're correct. These upvotes are usually either from people who agree with the identification, or who come in after the OP has accepted it.
They may not be very good answers by the standards we try to encourage here, but they did help the OP with his question, which is not an insignificant metric. ...
We established quite a while ago that fanfiction is on-topic.
Yes. And that's probably why the question has not received any close votes at this time.
are these downvotes undeserved?
Whether or not the post deserves downvotes is a matter of opinion. Voting is in the eye of the beholder. It is well-established on the Stack Exchange network that voting is ...
Voters should be able to change their votes, even if it requires the answer to be edited. But those edits must have some value.
To be frank, I've never been clear on why votes need to be "locked in" after a certain amount of time and if I feel, upon later reflection (or if I learn more about a particular canon) that my vote needs to change, I've never had ...
This smells too much like 'gaming the system'.
Votes for closing or reopening are supposed to be based on community policies - these questions are on-topic, those questions are off-topic, maybe there's some grey areas which are worth discussing more. (This is in contrast with upvotes and downvotes, which may be based on personal preference.) If a question ...
You can use the Stack Exchange Data Explorer to do this kind of thing:
SELECT TOP 10 PostId, COUNT(*) AS [Count]
FROM Votes v
INNER JOIN Posts p ON p.Id = v.PostId
WHERE v.VoteTypeId = 3 AND p.PostTypeId = 1
GROUP BY PostId
ORDER BY 2 DESC
The most heavily downvoted question (that has not yet been deleted) is post 114500 with 40 downvotes; that post is:
The whole point of the voting system is to identify good and bad contributions. Good contributions should be upvoted and bad ones should be downvoted, regardless of whether they're from new users or more experienced users.
It's fine to go looking for good contributions from new users to upvote, but giving them a "free pass" on off-topic or otherwise bad ...
Yes, based on your description, it's almost certain that you've been the recipient/victim of a serial upvoter. My guess would be that given your proclivity for solving story-identification questions, someone you've helped has decided to reward you.
Unfortunately, it's very likely that those rep points will be nullified when the serial-upvoter script kicks ...
For the record, I down-voted each question due to lack of research. I would expect your question was down-voted by others for similar reasons.
Furthermore, you asked a second question asking who the smallest force user was, again with no research involved. While each question I am sure has a reasonable answer within canon, the posts come across as mere ...
The publicly available information certainly looks suspicious: your posts were downvoted at 03:29:28, 03:29:32, 03:29:35, and 03:29:59 this morning. They were all questions (which are free to downvote), and there's not much of a link between them - particularly the Buzz one - except that they were all posted by you. This makes it look as though someone was ...
Guidelines? We don't need no stinking guidelines!:
I think this question (and some others here recently) misses the point: voting is a mass activity. If lots of people vote based on their own understanding of what "clear, useful, and well researched" mean, then the net score is a measure of how good the question is.
To me, statement made in one of sample ...
You are absolutely correct re: upvoting. People upvote for wrong reason as Matthew stated (for the record, he's a mod on another site and generally knows very well how SE is supposed to work). It's not nearly as bad here as on StackOverflow though :)
Having said that, it's also possible that many people use favorite feature as a "bookmarking" facility - e.g....
The vote limit is more complex than a simple "40 votes per day." There are a number of meta questions about it, including this one and this one.
The basic idea, though, is:
You get to vote 30 times in a given day.
Every time you vote on a question, you get an extra vote, up to 10.
As soon as you hit your limit, you're locked out until the next day, even if ...
Let's take a step back for a moment. The OP of this meta thread has a problem: they got downvoted. Instead of trying to answer the question as asked, I think it would be more helpful to focus on solving that problem.
(Given some of the other stuff going on with this user, I'm sure some of you feel I'm beating a dead horse at this point, but I think we can ...
Found an answer on main meta that links to an answer on another question by Jeff Atwood, where he suggests:
If you have doubts, reserve your vote.
If you feel so strongly that you've made a terrible mistake with your vote, earn 2k rep, edit the post, then change your vote.
While Atwood is basically Word of God status, note that the answer is very heavily ...
Vote up anything you want to see more of. Vote down anything you want to see less of.
The purpose of voting* is content curation. Voting something up makes it more visible, while voting something down makes it less visible. This is true of both questions (which rise and fall on the hot tab, and highly upvoted questions get free advertising on HNQ and ...
This Q&A here explains a bit about the serial voting reversal script and links to the more detailed post on meta.SE:
Is this serial voting?
A script runs every day and looks for patterns of multiple votes that are inappropriate. The details of what qualifies as inappropriate are secret, but the script catches both serial up- and down-voting. The ...
It marks the question as a favourite.
If you hover your cursor over the star (assuming you’re using a device that has a cursor to hover), you’ll see the description:
This is a favourite question (click again to undo)
All this means is that you found the question interesting, and want to follow it. It has no impact on reputation. You can see all your ...
You are using the system as intended!
However, note that there are a lot of other factors at play.
People who don't know how voting is supposed to work
People who don't care how voting is supposed to work
Questions get varying numbers of views and, thus, varying numbers of votes
Certain demographics may be more or less likely to vote and questions they see ...
I must disagree with @Pearson's answer.
Closing means that you think that the question violates the site's "willing/able to answer this in SE format" rules, some/many established by community.
Voting means you like the question.
Therefore, if you are a genuinely honest person with integrity, and do NOT like and disagree a specific closing rules, it is ...
It's possible to downvote without being unwelcoming.
The motive behind your question is a good one, but your suggested solution is wrong. We should be welcoming to new users, yes, but not at the expense of sacrificing quality. Bad answers should always be downvoted, and non-answers should always be deleted, regardless of who posted them. The Stack Exchange ...
Edits should only be made if actually improving the post, not just to change your voting.
One thing I would consider while doing this is what is your end goal?
If the answer you are wanting to change your voting on is already highly scored (at least relative to the number of votes on the question and other answers) your edit is likely to cause to receive ...