I received a downvote on this question, and added a comment that said "Downvoter, care to comment?" -- a convention I've seen hundreds of times (on SO) attempting to learn from the downvote.

The comment appears to be deleted now. Is it a bug, or did someone delete the comment?


Just to show an example where an author of an answer asks for a reason for a downvote, and subsequent comments indicate disagreement with the downvote and that they provided an upvote, see this answer on SO.

  • JYelton, I do remember seeing that comment, and I'm not sure why it was deleted. But please try not to lump it in with the other deleted question, which was the original poster's doing. While I don't have an answer to this one, I highly doubt it was malicious/censorship related. I've seen nothing like censorship on this site and the mods tend to leave gray-area questions open for the community to close. Just my opinion. I'm also curious as to where your comment went. AFAIK there was nothing wrong with it and I agree that downvoters should comment (and that you're welcome to ask that). Mar 2, 2011 at 20:38
  • @stephen This is on a different question from the one (about cooking and clothes) that was deleted.
    – JYelton
    Mar 2, 2011 at 20:43
  • I know, that's what I was saying. :) Please don't lump this deleted comment in with the deleted clothes question. The clothes question was deleted because the OP deleted it, not because the mods were censoring it. I doubt this disappearing comment was a moderator action, but even if it was, it was independent of the clothing question being deleted. What I mean to say is that although you noticed two things were deleted today, one was the original poster, not a moderator, so it's not fair to chalk that up to censorship, that was the OP's action, not a mod's. Mar 2, 2011 at 21:23
  • @stephen Gotcha. I'll edit my question accordingly.
    – JYelton
    Mar 2, 2011 at 22:28
  • 4
    FWIW, I compulsively flag comments addressed at down-voters, both here and on SO (though I don't recall seeing your comment). Regardless of your intentions, the down-voter isn't notified of your comment, and would presumably have already posted an explanation if he had reason to - even at best, such comments are pure noise.
    – Shog9
    Mar 4, 2011 at 19:02
  • I don't think anyone disagreed that people sometimes ask why there was a downvote. However, as Hobodave explained, it was deleted because of the number of flags. I don't even see your comment, so I can't even tell who flagged it. The community decides these sorts of things, and there's really nothing we can do if there are a number of people who flag these comments regularly.
    – yossarian
    Mar 10, 2011 at 18:37
  • 2
    I also agree with @Knives. If they didn't comment when they provided the downvote, they're highly unlikely to come back and comment because you asked. In fact, you're much more likely to see a bunch of "awww, I don't know why they downvoted. +1 for you to counter act it." In my mind, it comes across as a little whiney. Why do you even really care that someone downvoted you? If it's a single user, it's not much more than noise. Now if you got 7 downvotes and no comments, then I think it's a valid question (assuming the reason isn't blindingly obvious).
    – yossarian
    Mar 10, 2011 at 18:39
  • 2
    It also comes across as a little bit of vote whoring. Based on the response that's more likely (sympathy +1s), it's almost like asking people to upvote you to cancel out the downvote, which due to relative weight is actually a net positive. BTW, I'm not saying that you are actually whiny or a vote whore, just that it can be perceived as such by anonymous internet users when devoid of context, tone, etc.
    – yossarian
    Mar 10, 2011 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


Comments with no upvotes are deleted when they receive 3 flags. The actual formula is: 3 + number of upvotes = flags required to delete.

I did see flags on your comment yesterday, so it was deleted by the community as noise. Presumably the downvoter would have left a comment if they felt inclined to do so.

Everything you could want to know about comment voting FAQ is available on meta.SO.

You should also be aware that the "noise" reason was added to the comment flag tooltip specifically for addressing comments that don't add value. This is encouraged by Jeff in this meta answer.

  • So I can infer from this that comments asking a downvoter to provide some feedback are "noise."
    – JYelton
    Mar 3, 2011 at 15:24
  • 2
    @jyelton, technically, all you can infer is that at least 3 people thought it was noise.
    – yossarian
    Mar 3, 2011 at 21:13

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