This just makes reputation points into a popularity-contest, simply suppressing dissension by opinions rather than facts.

  • 4
    This question isn't really specific to the History site, so it probably belongs over on meta.stackexchange.com
    – T.E.D. Mod
    May 18, 2020 at 17:39
  • 2
    I think that instead of "suppressing dissension" it wants dissension to be proved by research evidence.
    – gktscrk
    May 20, 2020 at 15:31
  • 1
    Disagreement is not argument.
    – Tom Evans
    May 28, 2020 at 2:18
  • Are you talking about this meta site? Or the main site? Is there a particular incident? Jun 5, 2022 at 14:25
  • OK, the OP has left the building ("Last seen more than 2 years ago"). Jun 5, 2022 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


The purpose of down-votes is explained in our Help Centre

Voting down, also known as "casting downvotes", is how the community indicates which questions and answers are least useful.

It is part of the SE 'gamification' model (searching for gamification on Meta:SE will give you more background about this model).

For questions, the reasons for down-votes are indicated by the tooltip on the down-vote button:

"This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful"

(place your cursor over the down-vote button to see the tool-tip)

Similarly, for answers, the tool-tip states:

This answer is not useful.

Of course, the 'usefulness' of an answer is almost always going to be subjective! As a rule, you can make answers more 'useful' by ensuring that all assertions are supported by citations from reputable sources.

Our Help centre contains a page, How do I write a good answer?, which you might also find helpful.

More specific to this site, you might find the information contained in the threads:

Why did my question get a downvote?


Why did my answer get a downvote?

here on meta to be helpful.

  • But reputation-points determine whether a person will be permitted to post on other answers, so it's just propaganda.
    – Tom Evans
    May 19, 2020 at 7:51
  • 5
    @TomEvans No. Reputation points unlock privileges. They limit what anyone is able to do on the site. In effect, they are a measure of trust from the community. As I said in my answer, you might find it informative to learn about the gamification model on Meta:SE. May 19, 2020 at 9:23
  • 1
    @ sempaiscuba By "trust from the community." you conformity to community prejudices. You might find it informative to learn about intellectual honesty and dogma.
    – Tom Evans
    May 22, 2020 at 4:33

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