Image of Why does it cost 1 karma to upvote but 2 to downvote?

One of the problems with downvoting is that it’s quite easy to censor someone’s content if you just want to be a troublemaker (aka troll). Don’t like what a particular political candidate has to say? Downvote it. After all, there isn’t any cost to do so. Additionally, it’s somewhat easy to create “bots” that will automatically upvote or downvote content.

As a result, people can severely limit and/or manipulate what is seen by others without any cost to themselves. It can also negatively impact a content provider’s reputation. We think that’s a problem. Although we agree all content does not offer the same value, we want to discourage activities like “downvote brigades” that you see so often at places like reddit.

When you downvote content, it costs you two karma and the author one karma (1 karma = USD $0.01). As there is a cost, we expect this to significantly reduce behaviors like downvote brigades. We’re all for voicing your negative opinion on something, and that’s how downvotes are intended. But, as your actions cause the author to lose something of value (e.g. karma, reputation), we want you to feel strongly enough about it. In other words, we require you to put your money where your mouth is – and where your values are. If you’re not willing to do that, it must not be that important to you. Best then to just leave the other person alone and go your separate way.

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We’re not entirely sure it’s appropriate to call this the Frequently Asked Questions area as, candidly, we don’t keep track of how often these questions get asked. Consider this community as a place where we post answers to what we anticipate your questions will be. But, if our crystal ball is malfunctioning, feel free to post your question in /GettingStarted/Help. If we turn your question into an FAQ, we’ll credit you back the karma to post it. It’s the least we can do. We also welcome suggestions at /GettingStarted/SuggestionBox.

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