One of the privileges we have as 20K+ users is that we can vote to delete poor quality answers or anything posted as an answer that is not actually an answer. This all great, but there are some issues, like the answer need at least a score of -1.

If the answer does not have at least a score of -1, we cannot cast delete votes, so:

  1. We have to rely on the moderators to delete the post, which causes issues for some moderators as I have been told many times that this site does not need moderators to moderate the site, we as users should moderate the site

  2. Downvote the answer in order to open up the option to cast a delete vote, which in turn, is a crappy welcome present to new users. This does not really fit in with the be nice policy.

The only time we can really cast delete votes without the answer having a minus score is to cast a delete vote once we find it in review queue as low quality.

So my question is, why do we get these special privileges if we need to go against policies like the be nice policy in order to use them. Do we really really have to downvote honest mistakes from new users in order for us to moderate a site that is supposed to be moderated by the community. The user does not loose any reputation or anything from this downvote, but it really is a shitty welcome.

Can the admins come up with a better way for us to treat such posts and still cast delete votes without the crappy downvote system

1 Answer 1


I think you are taking Be Nice policy to mean something it doesn't. It's not meant to stifle criticism. Quoting from the Help Center, What kind of behavior is expected of users?

Be honest.

Above all, be honest. If you see misinformation, vote it down. Add comments indicating what, specifically, is wrong. Provide better answers of your own. Last but not least, edit and improve the existing questions and answers! By doing these things, you are helping keep Stack Exchange a great place to share knowledge of our craft.

While you’re doing all of those things, we also require that you...

Be nice.

... [very important things, but nothing about downvotes]

This is quite explicit: "above all, be honest". If something is worth deleting, it has to be worth downvoting, too.

You may also be interested in a blog post by Jon Ericson, Stack Exchange Community Manager:

one of our designers, asked the community team about design decisions that encourage empathy. Paradoxically, I immediately identified one of the most reviled features on Stack Overflow: downvotes.

On the practical side, delete votes by 20K users rarely make a difference for answers: most of the time, it's 2K users in the Low Quality Review queue who process the deletions. (For accepted and positively scored answers, the decision of reviewers still has to be reviewed by a moderator.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .