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VAMatt said:

What about just stopping the hiding of comments for a while to see what that does? This idea seems to have a lot of support, in this thread at least. Frankly, other than a bit of a bruised ego (which really shouldn't be a problem for the vast majority of participants here that seem to be grown adults), the only negative that comes from down votes is making it harder to see the comments. So if you take that away, a good chunk of the problem is solved right there. Also, it probably removes some of the motivation to downvote stuff, which addresses the other part of the problem..

That'd be an improvement, but getting downvoted seemingly arbitrarily would still feel annoying without much real benefit. Having a lot of downvotes feels like 'this comment is terrible', when a lot of the time it really seems to mean 'this comment contains a view not liked by many, regardless of its quality'.

Ka-pi96 said:

As for the topic, if you don't want to get downvoted then don't say stupid things. Simple.

I don't know what kind of stuff you post in comments, but most of the stuff I post that gets downvoted gets posted for entirely different reasons. Mostly it feels either arbitrary (i.e. no obvious reason why it got downvoted) or it's obvious some people really dislike my opinion despite it being a reasonable one. Some comments that get downvoted are just stupid, but a lot of them are reasonable, or at least reasonable enough to not deserve downvote bombing.