(I'd post this on meta.meta.photo.SE, but last time I checked it didn't yet exist ;-))

The [latest Weekly Featured Image question][1] states:

The goal of this contest is to pick a winner that the community would like to see. It is NOT to vote photos that we dislike into oblivion. Art is a subjective thing and we need to be respectful of others tastes.

While I fully agree with this statement, I wonder where it comes from. How do other people interpret downvotes on the submitted photos? Is there some sort of consensus on the meaning of a downvote in this context? With regards to the phrasing of the statement, what exactly is "voting photos into oblivion" in this context?


4 Answers 4


I was the author of that statement. The point isn't to not downvote. (Because we can't prevent that.) The point is that you only need to downvote on photos that are 'still in the running' and you don't want to see. If there's a photo at -2 and two photos duking it out at 15, it doesn't help at all to pick a winner by further downvoting the -2 photo. If one of those photos at 15 you don't like, then downvote that.

It's not a contest to critique to the photos. Its contest to get a winner - not to rank the entries.

Folks were getting overly harsh in downvotes in regards to the goal of the contest. Not taking into account the fact that art is essentially subject and somebody liked the picture enough to post it. It's a request to be respectful of that somebody.


Its since been discussed that we're going to encourage upvotes only since we're still seeing photo's that end at negative scores.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That was a well written, eye opener post! :hattip: \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18, 2011 at 11:37

Normally downvoting on metas does not mean a lot:


However, this is a special case. I agree with the sentiment here -- for these particular posts, only upvoting the submissions you wish to win should be appropriate.

We can't enforce this, of course, but out of respect for your fellow community members, I would hope that there could be a generally accepted convention of strongly avoiding downvotes on the photo contest submissions.


Some photo submissions for past weeks have been heavily downvoted, including one of mine. The point is to upvote those that we want to see displayed, not to downvote the ones that we don't. Photos were being downvoted even when they were clearly out of the running, hence the remark above.


As a follow-up, since this week's thread, the question contains a detailed section which explains quite clearly that downvotes are discouraged and only upvotes should be issued.


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