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This may sound like a silly question but I believe it is not. I recently deleted a question in order to rewrite it, as there were (a lot of) concerns regarding the definitions used and more generally its tone and clarity. But the system has no way to tell if I intend to undelete at some point or not.

Anyway, after I deleted this question that received 4 downvotes, I was the proud receiver of the badge « peer pressure ». And maybe I am too of a free spirit to value social pressure and think of it as something desirable, but I fail to see why I would receive a badge because I deleted a question. I read more about badges and see they are intended to be sources of encouragement and recognition that I understand the rules of the site.

But I would like to know if everytime I receive downvotes I am supposed to question myself only and delete my questions. In this case, I think it was more important and useful that I would obtain an explanation about the downvotes and try to fix the problem

However it appears that the system does not encourage justification of question downvotes nor discourage them by a reputation cost either. This is unlike downvoting an answer. Is there a reason for this disparity and isnt this a de facto encouragement to light heartly downvote questions?

Of course this long post can be considered a result of bitterness and if I say it is not, it won't change a thing. But I must say that during my short existence here I have seen a considerable number of questions (not mine) left downvoted without a single comment caring to explain why. So how is this productive in any way?

Again, I am new to all this and I like to understand things (which is visible in the number of questions I ask, I assume).

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    $\begingroup$ Probably more of a question for Meta Stack Exchange than here $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos May 9 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ Will do, I didn't know about it. $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 9 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ Well I cannot post a question there, not sure why not. I click ask, a page of explanations appear with a button Proceed at the bottom. I click it and am sent back to the same page again and again. $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 9 at 21:53
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    $\begingroup$ I'd guess it would probably be marked as a duplicate of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/231270/… or meta.stackexchange.com/questions/251431/… there anyway. On that note, the answers to those questions might be useful to you. $\endgroup$ – Chris May 9 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris: I read those but they do not overlap with the rest of my explanation and request for explanations of the way the system encourages downvotes. They are related questions, not duplicate. $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 9 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ “It appears that the system does not encourage justification of question downvotes nor discourage them by a reputation cost either.“ I believe a downvote costs 1 reputation point. $\endgroup$ – G. Smith May 10 at 5:21
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    $\begingroup$ Please keep comments civil and related to the question asked. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 May 10 at 7:43
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    $\begingroup$ @G.Smith Downvotes on answers cost 1 rep to the downvoter, but downvotes on questions don't. (source.) $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty May 10 at 8:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Exocytosis You're over-thinking this. It's not that big of a deal. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty May 10 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding this, have you created an account at MSE yet? i.e. does this link take you to your profile page there? (If not, click "join this community" or "log in".) If any of that functionality is unavailable, use a desktop browser; there is no guarantee of full functionality on the mobile site and mobile apps. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty May 10 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Emilio: today it does and now I can ask question. But I gained the network trust in between (+100 everywhere). In any case, problem solved. $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 10 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding "comment on downvote": Why isn't providing feedback mandatory on downvotes, and why are ideas suggesting such negatively received? $\endgroup$ – Andrew T. May 11 at 6:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Andrew T: That was interesting. But actually the answer that was given has visible flaws. They write of downvotes "they are a way of communicating to future readers". If, like me, you are relatively new to SE, the said communication is excessively misleading: it is by no means clear that a downvoted question happens to be so just because it is not asked properly. It seems more intuitive to consider it underrated for other reasons (lack of interest, or disliking the topic itself). $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 11 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ physics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11309/… $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 11 at 23:57
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But I would like to know if everytime I receive downvotes I am supposed to question myself only and delete my questions. In this case, I think it was more important and useful that I would obtain an explanation about the downvotes and try to fix the problem

The alt-text over the downvote button reads This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful (I think most people also add "is off topic" to that list of downvote reasons, though it could be part of 'not useful"). When you receive downvotes, I think it would be wise for you to question yourself as to whether the post is of low quality /, as indicated by the alt-text, and try amending it. But, ultimately, whether or not you delete the post is up to you.

However it appears that the system does not encourage justification of question downvotes nor discourage them by a reputation cost either. This is unlike downvoting an answer. Is there a reason for this disparity and isnt this a de facto encouragement to light heartly downvote questions

This disparity is covered in depth here: https://stackoverflow.blog/2011/06/13/optimizing-for-pearls-not-sand/ and probably in several posts in Meta.SE.

But I must say that during my short existence here I have seen a considerable number of questions (not mine) left downvoted without a single comment caring to explain why. So how is this productive in any way?

We're not required to leave comments (also discussed at length of Meta.SE), so it's not a surprise that you're finding it happen. Is it constructive? Maybe not, but I think most people would very much prefer the anonymity in voting (due to "revenge" votes?) than not having it at all. That is to say, the want for anonymous voting is greater than the want for explanations of downvotes.

In general, it's probably safe to assume that your question, if downvoted enough, is low quality in some manner (is homework, asking for non-mainstream physics, not researched enough, etc)--a single downvote probably doesn't indicate much, though.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, your answer is quite clear and complete. $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 10 at 14:07
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The badge is there as an award for helping keep the site quality up.

The notion being that you've accepted the judgement of your peers that the post is of poor quality and deleted it. That is why it is listed among the "Moderation" badges.

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  • $\begingroup$ So I should not delete if I disagree, OK. $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 9 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ it seems to me you read the question title only, or maybe you don't want to answer my other questions. But I am wondering why downvotes are not encouraged to be more talkative regarding their motivation. And I also wonder if one should always trust majority. $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 9 at 22:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Exocytosis Of course you shouldn't blindly trust the majority. That is a very very different thing from what happened, which was four people straightforwardly pointing out flaws with your question. $\endgroup$ – knzhou May 9 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Exocytosis Very often we get people saying you can't trust the majority when really they're saying "a lot of people told me I was wrong, and I can't reply to any of their arguments, but I want a cheap way to dismiss them all out of hand". That's not being brave, or nonconformist, or a free spirit, or whatever, it's just being dishonest. $\endgroup$ – knzhou May 9 at 22:31
  • $\begingroup$ @knzhou: whatever. What you write does not correspond to what happened in the background (see my link in response to your other useful comment above). $\endgroup$ – Exocytosis May 9 at 22:50

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