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Can I tell who downvoted one of my answers?

I was downvoted here. I want to understand if I was rude in my answer to correct my behaviour. Here is the link. How can I use Ruby to create an "EXE" like DropBox used Python?

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marked as duplicate by Piskvor, Time Traveling Bobby, kiamlaluno, JNK, Anna Lear Jan 3 '12 at 15:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
I don't believe you were rude, though Jason's comment may have implied that. I'm with xiaohouzi79 on the overall quality of the answer. –  Michael Petrotta Jan 3 '12 at 4:41
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I gave a -1 here. The reason is that I want to discourage you coming to meta to ask about downvotes in the future. Read the FAQ, ask for clarification in the comments, and search for general commentary about downvotes and what they mean. Generally speaking, we dislike short answers that simply link offsite and are prefaced with "I don't know." Those are perfectly good comments, but we want answers to be authoritative. "This is right and here's why..." –  Anthony Pegram Jan 3 '12 at 4:44
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I have no idea if discussing such issues in the comments was kosher. Why so much grumpiness about asking questions? –  viyyer Jan 3 '12 at 4:53
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@viyyer I think the only grumpiness here is in being offended at down votes. –  Andrew's a Unitato Jan 3 '12 at 5:23
    
@AndrewBarber I guess I should accept that. Well, I also deleted my comment as per xiaohhouzi79's suggestion. Thanks –  viyyer Jan 3 '12 at 6:28
    
I upvoted your question, not because I felt it is a terrific question but because I felt it didn't warrant any down votes. :) –  Dr.Dredel Jan 3 '12 at 7:13
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2 Answers 2

up vote -9 down vote accepted

Having posted many questions and answers over the last 3 years I can say with some confidence that the overall attitude on this site has gone dramatically towards pettiness, fan-boy(ism), and a general disregard towards good manners.

I won't comment on the nature of your particular downvote, but I am frequently downvoted not because my answer is "wrong" but because my answer rubs someone the wrong way. Just try suggesting that jQuery may not be the best solution to all javascript related problems and see what happens.

As a general rule I never down-vote anything unless an answer is actually misleading or completely incorrect. Don't take it personally. The down votes don't cost you any substantial points, and if you point out that you got down voted for no obvious reason, you'll usually get up-voted again, which will actually get you MORE points.

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wow that was quite deep. Thank you. –  viyyer Jan 3 '12 at 7:03
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Downvotes are an opportunity to consider if a post needs to be improved. People who are sensitive about anonymous down votes are often even more sensitive (and reactionary) when someone actually takes the time to explain why. –  Andrew's a Unitato Jan 3 '12 at 7:04
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Also, I was going to down vote this until I got to the final paragraph. I would up vote if it weren't for what came before. –  Andrew's a Unitato Jan 3 '12 at 7:05
    
I'm not clear on what it was that came before that would warrant a down-vote. Like I said, it's one thing to disagree (in which case just let the answer be), it's another when the answer is factually wrong. What is there to down-vote here? I'm expressing an opinion about the nature of the community as it has evolved. And as to downvotes being an opportunity, that's not unlike saying "punching someone in the nose is a great way to teach them how to block punches to the nose". Are most people coming back to revise their vote after an edit? I suspect not. –  Dr.Dredel Jan 3 '12 at 7:09
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Voting works differently on Meta. I would down vote because I disagree with what you said in your first two paragraphs. Down voting because you disagree is exactly one of the valid ways to vote on Meta. –  Andrew's a Unitato Jan 3 '12 at 7:12
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If you equate a punch in the nose to a down vote, might I suggest this isn't the site for you? Down votes aren't anywhere near so harmful. –  Andrew's a Unitato Jan 3 '12 at 7:13
    
I am using hyperbole to convey that your example of how down-votes are used is not applicable. People down-vote left and right and aren't inclined to come back and revise their vote if an answer or question have been edited. Furthermore, the vast majority of the down-votes that I see are entirely frivolous and arbitrary. This wasn't the case in the past. Just recently I posted a question asking for advice on the pros/cons of python vs. node.js. for specific server side tasks. It was downvoted and closed as speculative! This would not have happened 2 years ago. –  Dr.Dredel Jan 3 '12 at 7:18
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In that case, you've made my point. Being punched in the nose is a great way to learn to block punches in the nose. Or, you can complain that your MMA opponent keeps punching you in the nose... –  Andrew's a Unitato Jan 3 '12 at 7:23
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Being punched in the nose is a great way to get a nose bleed. If you aren't given explicit instruction on punch avoidance, there's no reason to believe that you'll just stumble upon the best technique, no matter how many times you get hit. If you simply down-vote without explaining what specifically you're criticizing, then you're mostly just being mean. The reason people don't (generally) comment with their down votes is that they usually have no good reason to do it and if they had to articulate one, they'd come up way short, as you did in your reasoning for down-voting this question. –  Dr.Dredel Jan 3 '12 at 7:30
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"The reason people don't (generally) comment with their down votes is that they usually have no good reason to do it..." [citation needed] –  Time Traveling Bobby Jan 3 '12 at 8:11
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Not everyone is your boxing instructor. Not everyone should be expected to take their valuable time to explain why they did something that is specifically supported by the website they are visiting. Why don't you demand explanations for all up votes? After all - how will you know what they think you did right? –  Andrew's a Unitato Jan 3 '12 at 9:02
    
"[Citation needed]" The downvotes for this question is point to case. –  viyyer Jan 3 '12 at 9:47
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@Dr.Dredel - As I mention in this Meta answer I used to leave comments with every downvote, but quickly found that most users didn't learn from those comments and instead responded quite negatively to them. I didn't vote down this question, but I did vote down your answer because I disagree with your fundamental premise. If anything, I think that the overall quality on the site has improved significantly over the last year with the addition of bad question blocks, increased flagging of non-answers, and other measures that have been implemented. –  Brad Larson Jan 3 '12 at 16:15
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The site is set up to provide good quality answers. The asker is after someone who knows Ruby and you begin your answer with "I don't know much about Ruby".

If you are not providing an accurate answer you are not being helpful. Your answer is also making it harder for someone reading this question to find the best answer.

Voting is useful in discouraging people from providing answers which are not helpful.

If you cannot provide an accurate answer I would suggest not adding one and would suggest removing your current answer as it is likely to attract more down votes.

You should focus on questions where you can provide a detailed answer with accurate information.

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