Sometimes, when we are clueless as to why a downvote has been cast on one of our posts, we post comments under that post like "Why the downvote?" Resaon for the downvote?" etc.

My question is are such comments flagable for deletion (as no longer needed may be)? Or are such comments allowed?

3 Answers 3


Asking "why downvote" is allowed, but not recommended, especially for the experienced users. For the new users, asking for feedback may turn out to be constructive.

The similar question from the main meta:
Is it now discouraged to ask for reasons for downvotes as a comment?

One of the main moderators considers such comments as noise and flaggable for deletion:

I flag them on sight. IMHO, they are noise at best, and potentially harmful at worst.

However, that answer is based on the assumption that the user may have written bad contents. But when someone writes something good, and still receives downvotes, then the user may tempted to ask, "Why"!
In such case, in the same post another good answer states:

Given that the comment has no way of notifying the person who down voted, if the down voter didn't feel the need to add a comment when they voted initially, the chances of them just strolling by later on, seeing that the answer author posted the comment, and thinking "Oh, I should leave a comment" are pretty slim.

Hence, in either case, such comments are not useful and should be avoided.

Also see, from the SO meta:
flagging “Why the downvote” comments [duplicate]

  • But if such comments are allowed why will Mods delete them if flagged?
    – Rickross
    Sep 4, 2018 at 13:01
  • @Rickross, such comments are "allowed" -- means, they are not considered as spam/rude/unfriendly etc.. However, they are "not recommended" -- means, that it's expected from the [especially experienced] users, not to leave such comments. Because if downvoters indeed wanted to put a comment, then they would have put it already. Victim putting "Why downvote" will not notify to anyone. Hence, other users may flag it as "no longer needed". Whether should they be deleted or not, depends on Mod's discretion, on case to case basis. But most likely they will delete it, as agreed in the main SE.
    – iammilind
    Sep 4, 2018 at 13:15
  • They are not unfriendly or rude but No longer Needed. They add nothing to the post. Moderators on our site also go with the SE rules and delete them. The post you linked is from 2011 when MSE was MSO. It changed a lot since then. Sep 4, 2018 at 16:41
  • Another thing, moderator's actions should not and will not affect if a flag/post is from an experienced user or a new user. They treat based on posts's merit and flag's merit. So, special treatment for new users and old users comments rules out. They can be deleted after letting them know such comments are not useful. That's how they learn and become experienced. Sep 4, 2018 at 19:36

Yes, they are flaggable as "It's No Longer Needed" and will be deleted. Go ahead and flag. See a canonical post When does a comment become unnecessary? for more unnecessary comments. Under this answer, the same question question was asked to Shog9 and he replied,

Those sound pretty unnecessary to me, @sinister. Let your conscience be your guide. – Shog9♦

I have done it many times and they were approved by our site moderators because they add nothing useful to the post.

The reason why they are no longer needed is we don't know who voted and whom we are asking the reason. who would answer that question? Others who would reply would only speculate or assume the reason which would not be true. The one who voted would give reason would give it any way. This doesn't apply for a close vote because anyone who knows site's scope can answer such query why a question got close vote or it deserves it or not. Such comments help in reviewing the item in review queue.

Sometimes, they wouldn't explicitly say "-1..." but point out some mistake in the post. One major drawback I saw in mentioning -1 is it is taken negatively by the users and seen as who downvoted rather than why downvoted. After some time, I received some downvotes on my posts too. Some also mistake when a downvote and comment comes simultaneously and post negative comments on users.Coincidence. We should try to see how we can improve from the feedback.

But a point a remember is it is highly recommended to give a reason while downvoting but as an OP we should not expect a reason every time. We have already discussed this in early days Comment after you downvote and stop commenting +1 after you upvote


As mentioned in other answers, flag those comments as "It's no longer needed". Comments like "why the downvote" are chatty and may even lead to intense debate.

Since Comments are often used to ask for clarification on, suggest corrections to, and provide meta-information about posts, it is ok to ask for suggestions and corrections to the answer in comments.

As said by Shog in this answer, focus should be on content, not on voters or voting of users. He gives some examples of comments which are good and bad.


Can anyone suggest improvements or corrections to this?


@Downvoter, please leave a comment. Rawr!

Stupid anonymous down-voting cowards!

Why the downvotes???

You must log in to answer this question.

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