Why do we have
total_downvotes as well as
score = total_upvotes - total_downvotes
Is this always true? If so, isn't it redundant?
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Comments have only
score. So this way comments,answers and questions can have the same field name. Of course a
downvote_count would still decrease redundancy.
btw. the fact that the API has
total_downvotes makes the fact that you need reputation to see those stats on the normal pages weird. (are there more of these kinds of stuff eg. where the API has some functionalty you usually need some reputation to have?)
At this phase, this is technically correct. Note that changes in the main site could break this assumption over the lifetime of v1 of the API (not to imply any such changes are in the pipeline - or even being discussed - at this time).
More significantly, I feel we're too close to a "RC" of the API to remove fields; so these are staying.