After I asked an unpopular question on Meta, my inactive question on the main site received some downvotes; it seems that the downvoters wanted to remind me of the fact that my post was too unpopular and so its author deserved to experience some severe punishment.
I mentioned the above instance to show that some people downvote some posters rather than their posts. To confirm this harsh and irrefutable claim, let us review the following excerpt from a heavily upvoted comment:
Questions are illigiitmately upvoted for reasons unrelated to the quality of a question. A very poor post answered by 5 separate users may very well get five upvotes. Friends upvote friends, admire certain users, etc.
As we can see, unfortunately, posters are voted. In this post I will make a suggestion confronting such an unacceptable behavior.
As we know, there is a thread devoted to requests for reopen and undeletion votes. I think it is not a bad idea if we devote another meta thread to requests for upvoting posts which are treated unfairly.
Some people may disagree with this suggestion because they think that an uncontrollable number of users would request that their low-quality posts should be upvoted, claiming that they were treated unfairly. However, I think such a case would not happen because when people see a low-quality post, it would likely receive more downvotes.
The following can be regarded as some advantages of the suggestion:
- High-quality posts would retain their reputations and ranks so that they can easily found in search results, as explained in this post.
- Users would not be discouraged from continuing posting high-quality posts.
- (The most important) when people abusing their downvoting privileges see that their actions backfires, they would stop their bad behaviors.
Some people believes that "this suggestion is not appropriate because targeted voting is not allowed in this community and if one sees some unfair targeted voting then one should raise a flag for moderator attention". However, let me somewhat disagree with the claim due to the following points:
- This suggestion has nothing to do with "targeted voting" because in targeted voting some posts of a user are voted by some people in a short while. However, this suggestion says that when a user sees that one of their post was downvoted unfairly, the user can post its link in the thread so that the community evaluate quality of the post to see whether it deserved to receive such votes or not.
- The nature of this suggestion is similar to that of the thread requesting for reopen and undeletion votes; if this suggestion is a kind of targeted voting, so is that thread. For that thread posts are targeted to get reopen and deletion votes.
- As this comment stated, targeted downvoting happens in CURED (related). If such a kind of behavior violates the community norms, is it not better first to find a solution for that room?
- As far as I remember, some users complained why their flags related to some targeted downvoting were declined, and the moderators responded that they cannot do anything for a few downvotes. When the community can easily handle such situations, why should invoke moderator tools, regarding that moderators here are too busy, while "The ideal moderator does as little as possible - that’s the true art of moderation"?
Some people believes that "there is a huge difference between asking for reopen/undelete votes and up/downvotes: the former is much more essential than the latter and that we need a reopen-undeletion thread because there is a lot of such requests." However, let me somewhat disagree with the claim due to the following points:
- Besides the mentioned modest differences between downvoted and upvoted posts in this thread, one should be concerned about "the most important" advantage mentioned above. Quantity of such a behavior should not be considered as the main issue, but its nature; the spread of such a behavior would be harmful to the spirit of the community.
- If there are not many meta requests complaining of unfair downvotes, this does not mean that the occurrence of such a behavior is low. Many users are not optimistic about expressing such requests (and other problematic issues) on Meta; such requests would usually be heavily downvoted, closed, and deleted (In fact, they would be called "rants" by active meta users).