This might just be me over-reacting, so I wanted to post it up here quickly to see what everyone else thinks.

From time to time, we might see what's regarded as a "bad" answer to a question. Something that's considered poor advice, incorrect code, or just a poorly thought-out answer. In my experience, it's best to down-vote those answers and also say why you down-voted.

Today, though, I responded to a question about the default sidebar meta widget. Someone else responded with a solution and suggested editing a core WP file. My immediate response was to say "no, this is a bad idea! You'll lose your changes in an upgrade" and down-vote the answer.

The commentor's reaction was to immediately down-vote my answer (which was already accepted by the OP). It looks odd to see a green checkmark next to a -1 ... and you can tell from the comment chains on both answers that it's becoming a personal issue. So I'd like to remove myself from that particular conversation and ask the community, what do we do with situations like this?

5 Answers 5


There's not much you can do if the user just give you a downvote back.

Also just because your answer was accepted doesn't mean that it's any good. OP could have accepted the other answer thinking this works great not knowing the dangers.

Forums and such will always have users that will get offended if you think they made a mistake etc. To win, don't get personal.

In cases like this let the community judge. If your answer was good other poeple will upvote it and one single down vote won't matter. There is no reason to overreact being downvoted back. It's happens but it's no big deal.

The system protects against serial downvotes. But remember just as you thought what he did was a bad idea, he had the right to think the same about your answer, right or wrong.

Like I said one vote won't matter, the community will make sure the best answer(s) get voted up.


As googletorp said, don't worry too much about it. The worst thing that can happen is that you get one downvote, compared to all the upvotes you can get from the rest of the community.

The other answer and comments are removed (by a moderator or the original poster?), so it's hard to tell now if someone overreacted, but even if that happened: don't skip sleep on it. You're a human moderator, you can make mistakes. Tomorrow is a new day.

Maybe the remaining comments could be removed too, they are a bit useless now. Unless it is explained why messing with core code is something for a complete idiot: not every newcomer might know why that is not a good idea. Maybe that's a good idea if you end up in such an argument: don't try to persuade the other side, because that won't happen. Write for the other people that will read this question, that's also easier to stay objective in your language.

  • Hi @Jan: The original poster deleted his own answer, it wasn't moderated. Good point about the remaining comments; I think I'll do some moderating on them too Commented Sep 10, 2010 at 1:15

Hi @EAMann:

Trust the community. I totally agree with you and as you noticed I backed you up rather strongly, and it worked out as you've now got a +2 (+3-1). The community's voice spoken louder then the one dissenter.

That said, I know I'll feel totally frustrated when the same thing happens to me (and I'll look for yours and others support too. :)



Its crowd-sourcing. Statistics benefit from larger samples. Actively promote the question to get more voices and make the down vote weigh less on the average.


Here's another example: Showing a list of posts when homepage is custom

(Hope that works out for him. But for the sake of the OP, if anyone else agrees that his answer is wrong - which is why I downvoted it, with explanation - I'd appreciate an upvote for my answer. I've seen too many times where people run into problems when they conflate "home" and "front" pages, and mix up home.php and front-page.php template files.)

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