As the question suggests, names of the downvoters should be listed along with the voting arrows, because then anyone can vote however they want. Even if the question is good, due to hostile relations, he/she would downvote.

So who else thinks that this feature should be added?

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    $\begingroup$ "names of the downvoters should be listed along with the voting arrows, because then anyone can vote however they want." This doesn't make sense. If my name was listed whenever I downvote, then I would be discouraged from downvoting really terrible questions or answers because I would be afraid of retaliation. $\endgroup$ Sep 5 '15 at 14:07

Voting is anonymous. By design. That's never going to change. Should users wish to reveal how they voted on a post and why by commenting on the post, this is largely up to them. Even then, sometimes such comments are nothing but noise (e.g., "+1!!!!!!!").

As far as downvoting because of "hostile relations" is concerned, there are systems in place to check for (and automatically invalidate) "serial" voting, which generally indicates that one is voting for/against the author of a post, rather than the post itself. Additionally, moderators have access to some aggregate voting data which can sometimes catch serial voting which evades the automatic scripts. Though moderators cannot invalidate votes, we often pass our findings to Community Managers who have access to full voting information, and can do such invalidations should they deem it appropriate.

For information about what to do if you feel you are the victim of serial voting, see the aptly named


First, downvotes on meta indicate disagreement with the premise of the question. I downvoted here because of the concerns Joel Reyes Noche indicates. If downvoters were listed by name, there is a real concern that disgruntled posters would harass them or try to keep arguing the same points over and over. In some situations, the best option is to just downvote and move on.

Nevertheless, it is also important for downvoters to try to help posters know the reason for downvotes, especially when the posters are new users. This gives the posters a chance to improve their posts.

So it is a good practice to leave a comment when downvoting or voting to close. (Unfortunately, the review system does not facilitate this.) Sometimes, someone else has already left a comment, though, or the poster has enough experience to know the likely reason for the downvote. In such cases, leaving a comment could be a worse option than just downvoting.

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    $\begingroup$ I am talking about MSE. And there what about my concern? What if there is downvoting even when the question is good, or upvoting even when the question is bad? $\endgroup$ Sep 5 '15 at 14:18
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    $\begingroup$ Although they are far from perfect, there are system in place to detect if one user is downvoting many posts from a second user. Apart from that, what could be done? The notion of a "good post" is not set in stone, so users might disagree over the quality of a post. $\endgroup$ Sep 5 '15 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ Apart from that, the other thing to keep in mind is that one downvote has little effect in the end. One upvote adds more rep than several downvotes will remove. Just a few upvotes are usually enough to prevent a question from being deleted. The only time downvotes have much effect is when many users downvote the same post. In that case, there is a decent chance that there really is an issue with the post. $\endgroup$ Sep 5 '15 at 14:24
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    $\begingroup$ And can voters for upvotes be shown? $\endgroup$ Sep 5 '15 at 14:25

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