Flagging Rule-breaking posts is great, It helps the mods keep this place clean of spam and off-topic discussion.

However, sometimes, you might not want to wait for a moderator to log on and handle your flag, and sometimes, the question might just be a little bit low on the quality, but not so bad that a moderator will actually delete it when you flag it.

So, I'd like to share with you this little-known feature that you can use, to sort answers you disapprove of, such as incorrect or incomplete answers to the bottom of the default sorting order.

In order to use this feature, you have to click a button that appears to the left of the post. The button looks like an arrow pointing down.

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We call this feature a downvote.

I get the sense that multiple users are unaware of this feature, because although they seem to know of the ability to flag a post as "not an answer" or "very low quality", posts with those flags will too often have no downvotes on them at all.

So, please downvote posts that you have a problem with. It's actually a very effective way to keep people from writing a post they're not confident in. You can even down-vote a post that you've flagged, and if that post ends up getting deleted, you get your 1 reputation back.

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    I'm half-tempted to downvote this purely for the ironic value. More seriously, this post can actually be improved by explicitly outlining what the benefits of downvoting a post are. – user4012 Mar 9 '16 at 21:21
  • @user4012 I did say that it sorts bad content to the bottom. It also helps because of classical conditioning. It feels bad to get downvoted, and if mostly unhelpful content gets down-voted, then people will begin to fell self-conscious about how helpful their content is before they submit it. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Mar 9 '16 at 21:26
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    I've seen that button somewhere... – Geobits Mar 10 '16 at 0:16
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    Question: would you say that a close vote/flag is always worthy of a downvote? I tend to only downvote if the question uses bad English, is too biased or similar. Questions which might be good questions elsewhere but are off-topic tend not to get my downvote (I might even upvote if it's genuinely a good question). – PointlessSpike Mar 10 '16 at 13:53
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    @PointlessSpike I don't always downvote every question I close. If a question is clear and concise, but is off topic somehow, I usually don't down-vote. However, for "not an answer" answers and "very low quality" answers, I can't imagine an answer for which those flags are valid, that I would not downvote. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Mar 10 '16 at 15:26

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