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I and my friend used to ask programming questions on Stack Overflow, until we saw that 90% of our questions have at least 1 downvote and nobody cares to explain or at least give a clue why.

For example:

It seems to me like you're allowing this kind if mingebag-ish behavior on purpose.
Is it fun to click on a good question's vote count and see like +5/-3? Does it seem right to you?

It definitely doesn't seem right to me or my friend, who quit this website because of this.

Don't you think this must be stopped, possibly now?

You know, my problem here is that, when a question gets a downvote first (has overall negative reputation), it ceases to get views and thus less chances to get an answer.
I came to stack overflow to get answers on my questions, not to have their quality or reason questioned.

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Could you provide some examples? – Chris Frederick Sep 8 '11 at 23:41
link link link – Vercas Sep 8 '11 at 23:48
By the way: it's traditional for meta posts complaining about down-voting to be down-voted. It's also traditional for me to shave my head in July and tip my hat at passers-by. Gotta love tradition, eh? – Shog9 Sep 8 '11 at 23:49
@Shog9 It's only good for your self-esteem. – Vercas Sep 9 '11 at 0:02
@Vercas: it's also good for keeping your head cool! – Shog9 Sep 9 '11 at 0:02
Ask good questions, and it will stop happening. – meagar Sep 9 '11 at 0:08
RE: "I CAME TO STACK OVERFLOW TO GET ANSWERS ON MY QUESTIONS, NOT TO HAVE THEIR QUALITY OR REASON QUESTIONED." That's nice, however Stack Overflow doesn't exist exclusively for your own amusement. Stack Overflow, the community, has downvoted your content, indicating that your content is wrong for this community. Don't take it personally. – meagar Sep 9 '11 at 0:18
I don't care whether you came here seeking critism, you're going to get it. You don't get to say "nobody can criticize me". Nobody gets to say that. Either adjust yourself to meet the standards of the community, or continue to be rebuked by the community. You are in the wrong here. Fix your attitude and get on with your life. – meagar Sep 9 '11 at 0:21
Who's joking, @Vercas? I answered your question - if you don't like the answer, I can't really do anything about that. Every question you've given as an example was answered, so I'm not sure what your complaint is here. – Shog9 Sep 9 '11 at 0:22
God's balls man, Stack Overflow is a programming Q/A site. We are not a self-help group, or a support therapy group, but some of us are very good programmers. I'm not trying to be supportive, I'm trying to tell you how to assimilate into the community, and calling your critics mingebags isn't helping. Ignoring this question and any further @ replies, there is no value in helping one who won't be helped. – meagar Sep 9 '11 at 0:32
Well, there you go. Assuming the worst of people who have already proven otherwise rarely ends well. – Bill the Lizard Sep 9 '11 at 0:34
@Vercas: Whenever you get into the situation where everyone else seems to disagree with you, you might want to consider the possibility that instead of no-one else "getting it", maybe you're the one who needs to adjust your thinking. – Jon Skeet Sep 9 '11 at 6:22
@Vercas: The part about wanting explanation for downvotes isn't wrong. What I object to is your "I came to get my questions answered, not to have their quality or reason questioned." I'm not alone in disagreeing with that attitude, but you're still going ahead and insulting anyone who disagrees with you: "I feel surrounded by blind people. Come on, put your neuron at work. You can't be that stupid to miss the point." – Jon Skeet Sep 9 '11 at 12:21
This reminds me of the joke about a man who is driving in the wrong side of the highway, and who listen to the radio, "Be careful, there is a man who is driving in the wrong side." He thinks, "I have already found many people driving in the wrong side of the highway." – kiamlaluno Sep 9 '11 at 14:02
I was referring to what said by @John Skeet: "Whenever you get into the situation where everyone else seems to disagree with you […], maybe you're the one who needs to adjust your thinking." Then, if somebody thinks that your question doesn't show any research, or it is not useful, it is probable you will not get any comment about the down-vote. – kiamlaluno Sep 10 '11 at 13:01

It seems to me like you're allowing this kind if mingebag-ish behavior on purpose.


Is it fun to click on a good question's vote count and see like +5/-3? Does it seem right to you?

I rarely bother checking vote counts on questions unless they're severely overrated. It's not my place to say how anyone else can vote; I cast mine, and go on about my business.

Don't you think this must be stopped?

No. Let's think about your example: at +5/-3, that question would sit at a +2 rank, which is respectable. The asker would have hopefully gained some useful answers to go along with the +19 reputation points he received for asking. A satisfactory outcome, I would say.

Far more troubling are the questions that don't get voted on at all - up or down. Is the asker doing well? Doing poorly? Are these questions useful to anyone else, a credit to the site, or localized eyesores? Hard to say... Which is why I'd rather not see anyone discouraged from voting.

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Look at my questions. How many have 0 votes? MOST. So I am doing poorly :P I wouldn't discourage voting, I would encourage thinking before voting. – Vercas Sep 8 '11 at 23:49
@Vercas: I can't know other users' thoughts, or determine how long they agonized over the decision before clicking that button. Voting is fundamentally a personal matter; each reader acts according to his own judgement. – Shog9 Sep 9 '11 at 0:00
Concerning your final paragraph: There are just loads of questions which are well-posed and easily answerable, but which are not interesting or relevant at all - anyone with a manual or five minutes on Google could have found out. So definitely no downvote, but also no reason to upvote. (I think that includes 90% of all PHP and MySQL questions ;-).) – Kerrek SB Sep 9 '11 at 0:10
@Kerrek: these may well fall into the "not useful" category; it's hard to be sure at times. – Shog9 Sep 9 '11 at 0:14
@Shog9: Well, they're certainly useful to the asker, and often they're perfectly reasonable questions... I've been trying to vote a bit more on questions, but I'm really finding it pretty hard to vote either way most of the time! Down is easier than up, I guess, if you just pile on all those 1-rep-user questions... maybe I'm misunderstanding upvotes, though. – Kerrek SB Sep 9 '11 at 0:21
@Kerrek: the core advice (seen in the little title tips when you hover over the vote buttons) is up == useful, down == not useful. Obviously you don't have to vote, but if you do the advice is there. "Useful to the asker" isn't a terribly good reason to bother featuring it / keeping it around though, unless it's useful to someone else. – Shog9 Sep 9 '11 at 0:26
@Kerrek I don't mind 0 votes. I am mad about downvote-and-run... – Vercas Sep 9 '11 at 12:07

You call the downvotes "random," but I can see a pattern from your sample questions: Two have comments indicating that they are possible duplicates, and one was closed as off-topic. These are all valid reasons for downvotes.

share|improve this answer
Was any of them actually duplicate? – Vercas Sep 9 '11 at 0:00
Off topic posts get an automatic downvote. – Rick Sladkey Sep 9 '11 at 1:17
@Rick OK. The off-topic did deserve a downvote, or 5 as it has now. – Vercas Sep 9 '11 at 12:35

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