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To me down votes and up votes should be earned at the same time, but I want to know what the rationale behind them being different.

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This is answered in the privileges section of the help center.

The up-vote privilege comes first because that's what you should focus on: pushing great content to the top. Down-voting should be reserved for extreme cases. It's not meant as a substitute for communication and editing. (Emphasis mine)

In addition to the thresholds being different, there's also a penalty of 1 rep for downvoting answers. The rationale for this is described in this Stack Overflow blog post.

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  • $\begingroup$ I read them and it didn make sense to me $\endgroup$ – Luna Jan 23 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ but thank you for explaining a bit more $\endgroup$ – Luna Jan 23 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ also why are some people harsher than others when up/down vetoing $\endgroup$ – Luna Jan 23 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Luna A lot of that is because people have different reasons for downvoting. For instance, I downvote almost all questions which I flag/VtC on the main site, so I have a large proportion of downvotes. physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/6754 expresses a lot of different opinions related to this subject, in the question, answers and (most importantly) comments. $\endgroup$ – user191954 Jan 24 at 4:22
  • $\begingroup$ ok that makes sense thank you explaining $\endgroup$ – Luna Jan 24 at 19:29

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