In the last 3 or 4 weeks there are quite a lot of sandbox proposals being downvoted. A quick count in the first page reveals that 12 proposals are at -1 and 2 are at -2, and some of the -1s are neighboring proposals in terms of active time.

After several days of monitoring, I found that most of the downvoted proposals (including 2 of mine, I'd say) were downvoted only after several days of posting, and most if not all of them received no comments and upvotes during the first several days. On the other hand, if a proposal has upvotes, there will be almost no downvotes (except the Mountain Range Numbers one, which was -1 before posting to main and received upvotes in both main and sandbox afterwards.)

Moreover, the downvotes are, in my honest opinion, unattested without reason. This dampens the intent to post challenges, which could post a devastating threat to the site's health because the downvote may bring a negative meaning like the proposal is not suitable to be posted, etc (at least I basically won't post a challenge if the net vote is negative.)

So I basically would like to know what happened to the downvotes, and what we could do against those downvote floods.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The upvote on Mountain Range Numbers was mine -- I particularly liked the challenge and I didn't feel it was right that it had a downvote. \$\endgroup\$
    – S.S. Anne
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 21:28

2 Answers 2


Organize people to go through the Sandbox and upvote appropriately

In all of the downvoted Sandbox posts currently on the front page, it looked like there was a downvote but no upvotes. This means that the heart of the problem is not that downvoting is occuring on these posts, but that no upvoting is occuring.

Basically, we just need a person or two to go through the Sandbox and upvote the proposals they think look good. Or comment explaining what could be improved. This situation doesn't need anything more than that.

I just did so, please do so as well.


Could we require a downvote in sandbox be accompanied with a reason or explanation?

If a challenge is deemed unsuitable to be posted, there must be some reasons, for example:

  • Being a duplicate of other challenges
  • Having no objective scoring criteria
  • Not conforming to the ToS or community consensus
  • Unclear concept

But a downvote without reasons is just frustrating. We won't know why our proposals are disliked and what is missing in our proposals.

  • 10
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see how you could really enforce this \$\endgroup\$
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 3:27
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I think the generic objections to requiring comments for downvotes apply here too and make this a bad idea. And I'd be loathe to make a rule just for a single episode of downvoting, although protracted, from one or maybe two people. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 5:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor Oh I didn't know about that SO meta post. Well it's true that the downvote flood is just a single episode, but I'm afraid of the adverse effect it could pose. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 6:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShieruAsakoto I guess something that I'm not clear on is how this would address the adverse affect. I guess the idea is that the downvotes not having explanations would lead posters to conclude that they "don't count" and so be bothered less by them? I feel like this is already being mostly achieved by publicizing that there's a downvote spree. \$\endgroup\$
    – xnor
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 3:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor My thought was that typical negative net votes could be an indicator for a bad proposal, but the spree is indeed atypical. Anyway this post did the job to publicize the spree though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 3:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @xnor But downvotes are useless in the Sandbox if they're not paired with an explanation. At the very least the person who feels that it's unsalvageable enough for a downvote could say that. \$\endgroup\$
    – S.S. Anne
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 0:17

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