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On main, I DV posts that are really below par, but not usually those that are in the grey area: I'm aware that up and down-voting helps good answers rise to the top and ultimately makes BH.SE a more useful place with a higher signal/noise ratio than other sites, but set against that is the knowledge that a DV can be taken personally and new users in particular can feel attacked when they are received, so I try and use discernment.

What about meta though? Should I adopt exactly the same policy here?

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Voting on meta is different:

Note that voting on Meta.stackoverflow.com works differently from the other Stack Exchange sites. Voting is used as an expression of agreement or disagreement on contributions here, rather than to point out a lack of quality or helpfulness. Do not be too concerned if you receive downvotes - it is possible that members of the community are simply disagreeing with what your contribution is suggesting.

In addition, and for this reason, voting on meta doesn't affect 'rep' at all.

Most folk who participate on meta already know the ropes on the main site and/or are active in chat, so it's easier to communicate the above to them. It's still helpful to mention this in a comment from time to time for new meta users, but generally you shouldn't have any qualms about down-voting answers you disagree with here.

If you are still not sure, consider that the folk who up and down-vote effectively have twice the say you have because they have twice the amount of influence on the way posts are sorted overall. And that's not very fair :)

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Take care to be judicious when voting on questions that are tagged . As the site grows and more people find it, you'll find people trying to use the site that aren't really network veterans with basic questions on why or how things work.

Even if the question is a duplicate, coming from an incorrect premise (such as someone thinking they've found a 'forum') or somewhat out in left field - be friendly and welcoming to the user when you can.

This isn't a problem now on BH, and I don't see it becoming one in the near future, but I've been leaving this guidance where discussions (especially FAQ-ish) about how voting on meta should work are underway.

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  • Excellent advice, thanks. Feb 10 '14 at 14:28

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