Is it right to downvote questions only because they are a duplicate of another question? Shouldn't voting be based only on the relevance of the question?

  • 2
    How do you know that was the reason? There are many reasons that people downvote
    – user10893
    Jun 25, 2012 at 21:12
  • 4
    Voting here is not different from voting on a political candidate. It expresses a preference. It is not necessary to explain further.
    – MetaEd
    Jun 25, 2012 at 21:15
  • 2
    Downvoting can be for petty reasons like annoying everybody else by making them do work for you that you could have minimally done for yourself. Petty, I know. But playing well in the sandbox means not just not throwing sand on purpose, but also learning to not throw it accidentally.
    – Mitch
    Jun 25, 2012 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


A down vote on the main site means this:

down vote explaination text

So if a duplicate is displayed when a user is typing in their question title, or pops up while they're typing out the body of the question and they haven't checked if it is the same as their question, then some might argue that is a lack of research.

Down voting on meta is different and normally shows some sort of disagreement with the question at hand.

That said, if a meta question shows no research then it'll likely get down voted.

  • 1
    I'm not saying I've ever done it, but I see nothing unlikely (or even necessarily undesirable) in downvoting to take a pop at the questioner's carelessness/laziness, rather than the quality of the question itself. The eventual score of which is effectively irrelevant, since the actual question has already been asked and voted on before. Jun 27, 2012 at 1:09

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