The following is a draft wiki to hammer out guidelines for both downvoters and downvotees, concerning "being nice to downvoters" (that is, best practice for rections when receiving downvotes and coping with perceived abuse for casting downvotes), to be included in the FAQ (or wherever we decide it should go). Feel free to add relevant information or queries/suggestions for relevant information that should be included. Some of this might already be in the FAQ, but the site-navigation is sufficiently cumbersome for me not to want to do this by myself.
Steps to take if you receive a downvote
If there is no comment with the downvote, take a deep breath. Take this as an opportunity to look at your answer again and improve it if it is not as correct or as clear as you would like it to be. Since you have no written feedback, that is the most productive course of action you can take. Do NOT decrease the quality of your answer by commenting negatively on the anonymous downvote, but feel free to politely request the downvoter comment.
If there is a comment explaining the reason for the downvote, you can either
- incorporate its suggestion in your own answer if it convinces you there is a problem with your answer. If the problem with your answer is insurmountable, you should edit it to indicate the problem.
- ignore the suggestion if its obviously incorrect, but do attempt to explain (in the comments or in your answer if appropriate) why the suggestion is incorrect. it in a comment of your own if the reasoning is incorrect.
- if the feedback is unclear, engage in polite dialogue with the downvoter to determine the nature of the complaint. Feel free to ask them for help if they convince you there is something wrong with your answer but you are uncertain how to fix it.
- do NOT hurl invective at the downvoter no matter how horribly incorrect you think their suggestion is or how mistaken you think they are in their understanding.
Steps to take if you are suffering abuse for using the downvoting mechanism, or generally for your participation on the site.
- If you receive abusive comments, flag them as abusive. What will happen is that a moderator will evaluate whether the comment is indeed abusive, and delete it if necessary. Your moderators are:...
- What if the abusive comment is from a moderator or high-reputation user?
- If you receive abusive emails, contact the community managers. These are:...