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This question already has an answer here:

Why is that the person who downvotes an answer get a downvote himself? Isn't this unfair. I mean that the answer is not right or up to the standards so I downvote it but I also get a downvote but I never played a role in the answer. Why does this happen. Also I want to know that why was this idea introduced in the first place. This sometimes decreases your spirit of removing the answers which are not up to the mark in the fear of getting more and more downvotes

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marked as duplicate by quid discussion Mar 1 '17 at 18:20

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • $\begingroup$ "This sometimes decreases your spirit of removing the answers which are not up to the mark in the fear of getting more and more downvotes." this might be true for you, but is not true for e.g. me. I have now over 3000 downvotes cast, and I am still going strong. $\endgroup$ – Mister Benjamin Dover May 10 '15 at 13:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Herrmann the majority of your down-votes is not on answers though. $\endgroup$ – quid May 10 '15 at 13:41
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    $\begingroup$ @quid: fair enough $\endgroup$ – Mister Benjamin Dover May 10 '15 at 14:55
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It is the case that casting a down-vote on an answer costs one point (except if the answer is CW); it is not really a down-vote one receives though. Moreover, the point is returned when/if the answer is deleted.

The idea is to have a disincentive on down-voting to prevent down-voting in inconsiderate ways. It used to be the case that this applied to questions, too, but it somehow worked "too well," so this was changed at some point to encourage more down-voting on questions.

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