What is our overall policy for voting?

  • 1
    How do we handle contributions that suggest a course of action that we feel is potentially dangerous to the child? I'm thinking along the lines of this question parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/889/… although no down-votes were cast in that particular case (it might have been different if the question hadn't specified that safety was a concern). Do we treat contributions that we feel reflect a potential danger to a child as a "disagree" (i.e. don't vote)?
    – user420
    May 16, 2011 at 14:34
  • I know HedgeMage has a different take than me on disagreement-based downvoting. I'm looking forward to her view, which might exactly address what you're asking for. May 16, 2011 at 15:00
  • 2
    @Beofett, I don't think we want to discourage people from asking questions that might raise safety concerns. My opinion is to upvote answers to those questions that point out the safety concern, or add one if it doesn't exist, and downvote with a comment those answers that advocate something dangerous, but let questions stand to educate others, upvoting or downvoting on other criteria. Also keeping in mind that "dangerous" is often in the eye of the beholder (e.g. vaccines), so try not to downvote answers if you know the safety of something is hotly debated. May 18, 2011 at 0:31
  • 2
    @Karl I agree 100%. I hadn't really considered what you said about not down voting questions, but I think it is a good idea. As for answers, well, personally I've upvoted a number of answers that I fundamentally disagreed with, simply because they were well-reasoned, and presented reasonable supporting evidence.
    – user420
    May 18, 2011 at 0:45
  • I've revised the proposal to include my understanding of the common opinion on disagreement-based downvoting. May 23, 2011 at 7:19
  • 4
    I really wish "If an answer seems sound, but doesn't agree with your parenting style, don't vote on it either way." wasn't removed, I think that middle ground is vitally important to point out.
    – cabbey
    May 24, 2011 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


This topic defines the policy that users can refer to when deciding if a contribution merits a vote. This will ensure that high-quality answers that have community support bubble to the top.

upvote Upvote a high quality contribution.

High quality means that the contribution addresses the question well, is well worded, and adequately comprehensive. Bonus points for background information, relevant personal experience, references and hyperlinks.

novote Don't vote if an answer seems safe and sound, but doesn't agree with your parenting style.

downvote Downvote:

  • a low quality contribution, e.g. if it contains items that are verifiably incorrect or unsafe, and add a polite comment with a solid reference. If the error is inconsequential to the author and not likely to upset anyone (e.g. citing the wrong author of a book), then just edit the contribution directly.
  • a contribution that does not directly answer the question. We seek answers to the posed questions, not soapboxing. E.g. if someone asks, Is it normal for a newly-circumcised son to experience mild swelling then answering don't circumcise because medical argument XYZ simply doesn't answer the question. But it would be a great answer to a question that asks for arguments for and against circumcising.
  • when you strongly disagree, and add a polite comment explaining so, or even better, provide an alternate answer that describes your perspective.

flag Flag offensive contributions (including comments) and let the moderators sort it out. Never participate in personal attacks. Remember that you can also use the chat to send messages to individuals in order to discuss a topic.

(Sources: Several earlier discussions about what should be the proper practise for voting. )

You must log in to answer this question.

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