Since Politics.SE is heavily moderated, I don't think DV is needed.

Users have been abusing DV in Politics.SE in the form of serial-down-voting (which has not been reversed in my case) and targeted DV in the case of some specific tags (I am not mentioning those tags).

I propose restricting down-vote in one of two ways:

  1. Add mandatory fields to give a reason for down-voting, and let moderators check if those reasons match with the DV.
  2. Remove the DV option altogether.

Check the following :

I think this question is DVed only because it questioned a Western motive.

  • 3
    Unprincipled downvoting has been a problem across the SE (see, e.g., my post here), but it is certainly a bigger problem in Politics SE, since so many things here are matter of opinions/beliefs rather than knowledge.
    – Morisco
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 8:35
  • @RogerVadim The point of my vote is that no-one other than me has to agree with it. The principle is only that it is cast. If you want it to go one way or the other it is up to you to convince me, it is not up to me to just agree with you.
    – user5155
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 2:18
  • 1
    @JeffLambert I cannot convince anyone, who didn't explain their reasons for he downvote. And I am certainly not going to try to convince antone, who is uncapable to explain their downvote - this is not politics or social network - SE is for intelligent discussions, not likes/dislikes
    – Morisco
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 5:39
  • 1
    @RogerVadim Your opportunity for convincing people comes before the downvote and before you even post a question or answer. I as a question or answer reader have zero responsibility to explain myself to anyone. It would be nice if I did, but SE is explicitly not for intelligent discussions.
    – user5155
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 10:57
  • @JeffLambert SE gives clear guidelines for downvoting. It doesn't provide a mechanism to enforce that people follow these guidelines, but it doesn't mean that you do not violate them. So it is a matter of one's personal integrity. In your language: you have zero legal responsibility, but you do have moral responsibility.
    – Morisco
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 11:11
  • @RogerVadim I absolutely do not have any moral responsibility to inform anyone why I chose to downvote. Here is a case in point: I offered you feedback, and here we are now engaged in a running conversation. Should I have even bothered to comment at all if the point just seems to be completely lost? I should have probably just downvoted and moved on. (I didn't downvote here, but the point is you don't get to make any moral judgements about random people on the internet not offering you feedback).
    – user5155
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 11:40
  • @JeffLambert There is a well-known term for people who do not bother to do things that they are not obliged to do, but that decent people do nonetheless. But if I wrote it here, it would be considered offensive.
    – Morisco
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 11:54
  • @RogerVadim If the world could agree on what "decent" meant it sure would be a completely different place.
    – user5155
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 12:02
  • "I think this question is DVed only because it questioned a Western motive." May not need to be. It's also not too well presented. For example it could cite a source for the argument or motivate more why this is an interesting question. Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 13:12

4 Answers 4


Downvoting is a critical part of the stack exchange network and how people can signal that the is a problem with a question long before they have the ability to cast close votes. In addition requiring comments can just lead to more conflict as people dispute the reasons that someone downvoted their question.

Downvoting questions should stay exactly like it is now and there is good reason to not change it.

It should also be noted that downvotes allow people to signal an issue with quality for questions that do not meet the criteria for closure or other moderator actions.


In addition to Joe W's comments about downvoting, the moderator team would certainly not have the manpower to check whether the reasons behind every single downvote cast on the site are 'valid' or not, nor do I think this would be a desirable thing to do. It is an important feature of the community moderation policy of Stack Exchange that users themselves generally set the quality standards - in part, through the use of up/downvotes - while moderators are empowered to enforce these in exceptional circumstances. Downvoting is necessarily subjective and users are generally free to downvote for any reason they want, so long as their votes are based on the post content rather than the individual posting it, for example.

On the topic of serial downvoting:- if these instances aren't caught by the automatic reversal script which runs every 24 hours, then please flag an affected post for moderator attention and we'll take a look at it.


I've only looked at the Q now, but IMHO you've probably got some DVs because of the seemingly semi-flippant way in which you end your Q:

What are their respective problems?

Additionally, one might say answers to that Q were going to be pretty canned. I mean they fit just as well if you replace your question with something much more broad/generic: "why doesn't the West cooperate with Russia on [investigating] something-something"? Be that chemical attacks in Syria or what have you. So possibly some DVs were "because this is so obvious". (FWTW, a recent example of a Q that asked for some obvious stuff (in re Trump's legal troubles this time) that got heavily downvoted.)


The purpose of a system is what it does. If a system has existed for some time, and many people have had a chance to change it, but they have not, then the reason for the status quo is that people want things the way they are.

The people who have the ability to change things, not necessarily everybody involved.

So when there is an emergent behavior of a system (serial DV and targeted DV), and this behavior is widespread and frequent and unchanged over many possible change cycles, these are clearly desired features.

SE is not the type of place it purports to be in its documentation. It is the type of place it exhibits being. Its purpose is not to be a useful place for discussion, or a valued repository of knowledge. Because that is not what it does.

It would be difficult to change that. And it would require that people who want to change it reside in positions that could change it. These are unlikely conditions to arise any time in the future.

  • 2
    Serial voting and targeted voting are not desired and they have systems in place to catch this and reverse it. It doesn't matter if the votes are up or down votes.
    – Joe W
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 1:41
  • 1
    Stack Exchange does take measures against serial downvoting. There is an automated system in place which detects and reverts serial downvotes. The system isn't always foolproof. There are occasionally false-positives and false-negatives. Both can be reported to the community team who then look at the situation using more sophisticated tools and human intuition, and if they find that the automated system was mistaken they make the corrections.
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 17:51
  • 1
    More information about this system: politics.stackexchange.com/help/serial-voting-reversed
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 17:53

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