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Downvoting Just Arrived Users Questions: A Good Welcome Message?
Tell new users when they get downvoted and suggest ways to improve

Yesterday I saw a basic question without any research effort, eligible to be closed, and promptly got closed in 2 minutes. It also got down voted around 7 times, and some down vote was after question being closed. I am only asking about the down voting part.

The Original Poster then reacted such a way that, he/she edited the question , removed the entire body of the question, that it is no longer useful. This is a screenshot of the question after that edit. I cut the OP name and title part out.

enter image description here

You can still find this question with a google search, but it is of no use now (unless someone edit it and revert it to its original form). It is as good as spam.

I am not asking about the OP's reaction, but about the down voting part.

1) Should there be a down voting limit on questions?

A new comer might never turn back if he sees his question got attacked like this(trust me I know a man like that). In the above case, the OP was a somewhat experienced and already has some reputation to lose. And he reacted like this. What about putting a down vote limit on questions, say 3 down vote maximum? Or in other way, upvote count - downvote count should not be less than -3. I know by down voting you are saying this question is bad (or not fit enough), but should 20 down votes make it better?

2) Should down voting a closed question should be allowed

What is the purpose of down voting a question if it is already closed? I know you get reputation for up vote even if your question is closed. Say user made a mistake by asking a wrong question (or a question wrongly) that promptly got closed. But whoever seeing that question can down vote it without a moments thinking, and he doesn't loss reputation for it because no reputation lost on down voting questions. And unfortunately there are lot of people in this site who impulsively down vote a question/answer if it is already down voted. If a question is not good enough, you can close it, and that should be it.. No more down voting/up voting on a closed thread.

PS : You can down vote/close this thread if it is a duplicate. My googling didn't reveal me anything related.

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I struggled a bit with tag's in meta, eventually settled in feature-request. Some one retag the question if it is incorrect. –  Krishnabhadra Dec 27 '12 at 10:50
    
Ya I saw that thread, and I am not saying about down voting new user questions.. I am saying about the trend of impulsive down voting, or say down voting just to be in a group.. –  Krishnabhadra Dec 27 '12 at 10:59
    
I agree that gang-downvoting new users isn't nice and shouldn't happen but the community, in general, disagrees and it's been gone over before. I don't think any of your proposal's are the way to stop this. –  ben is uǝq backwards Dec 27 '12 at 10:59
    
@benisuǝqbackwards yes. your second link seems to be similar, but I couldn't find it in search.. –  Krishnabhadra Dec 27 '12 at 11:00
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You should roll back to the most recent sane version if you have sufficient rights - otherwise any viewers lose context over what the question is and whether it needs down voting/editing etc. –  slugster Dec 27 '12 at 11:14
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Let's clarify a thing: This is not a new user. (The OP of the linked question) This is a user of 500+ rep, 11 months of participation, 34 questions and 44 answers. The user should have known better than this by now. –  Bart Dec 27 '12 at 11:36
    
Linked question?? oops so much for my taking screenshot and cut and paste.. Ya I know he/she is a SO regular..And I also think his/her question should be better.. –  Krishnabhadra Dec 27 '12 at 11:42
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marked as duplicate by ben is uǝq backwards, gnat, hims056, Martijn Pieters, Bo Persson Dec 27 '12 at 11:55

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.

2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If a question is Bad you should feel free to downvote it, regardless of what the current score of the question is. If you feel the situation hasn't been explained to the newcomer adequately, leave a polite comment explaining what they got wrong and how they can improve the question.

Needless to say, a negative reaction to this indicates they are averse to critical feedback, which is pretty much the foundation of how we curate content. If this is the case, it is not very likely that they will enjoy SE, and it is probably best to let them make up their mind about whether they wish to stay.

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This is more of an answer, I agree with the OP's negative reaction part. But again.. –  Krishnabhadra Dec 27 '12 at 11:27
    
@Krishnabhadra Look, a negative score on a question isn't a death sentence. Sure, it stings a bit; maybe makes you question your ability to communicate effectively. But isn't that sort of the point? The OP is free to take feedback positively, ignore feedback entirely, or get mad and leave in a huff. That shouldn't really affect our QC processes. A bad question's a bad question. –  Asad Dec 27 '12 at 11:31
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What is the problem with having a lot of downvotes on a crappy question?

A new comer might never turn back if he sees his question got attacked like this

If a question gets -8, it usually happens for good reason and chances are we don't want the OP around.

The community usually already shows the restraint that you're asking for to be imposed automatically. Most bad questions will only get -2 or -3. It's the truly terrible questions that land at -8 or more. There are occasional unfair gang downvotings (and I kinda agree the example you show is one of them) but I dare say they are not the norm.

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Disagree.. I don't think by down voting 8 times we are saying we don't want the OP around. We are saying we don't want this kind of question around. But it is not what happening right now –  Krishnabhadra Dec 27 '12 at 11:02
    
@Krish why not? –  Pëkka Dec 27 '12 at 11:02
    
Well I need some clarification on this.. I can't believe the site want an OP around simply because he asked a question which doesn't fit the site.. I think there will be thousands of existing SO user whose first question got trashed like this. (Asked after seeing your why not?) –  Krishnabhadra Dec 27 '12 at 11:07
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Let's put things in perspective here. It's 8 downvotes out of how many hundreds of thousands of active users? The message will be clear to the OP. It's not great to get 8 downvotes, surely, but it's not a drama either. –  Bart Dec 27 '12 at 11:10
    
@Krishnabhadra I'm guessing Pekka is not saying we want the OP to leave because of a single downvoted question. We don't want users to continuously do so however. -8 sends a message. If he improves from there on, he's more than welcome and a better user for it. –  Bart Dec 27 '12 at 11:13
    
Hmm, Agree with everything except saying -8 sends a message.. I don't think there is any difference whether his score is -2 or -8 as long as it is negative.. agree that we don't want to users to continuesly do so.. –  Krishnabhadra Dec 27 '12 at 11:17
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It's only -8. Stop sweating the downvotes, start improving. You'll get over those faster if you do. And if that is enough to discourage a new user from participating altogether, then they have bigger issues than the programming problems they face. –  Bart Dec 27 '12 at 11:22
    
I don't think down voting a question 10 times, helps the OP or site anyway. I don't think a user will try to improve a question which has score of say -8. –  Krishnabhadra Dec 27 '12 at 11:28
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@Krishnabhadra the thing is, the community usually already shows the restraint that you're asking for to be imposed automatically. Most bad questions will only get -2 or -3. It's the truly terrible questions that land at -8 or more. There are occasional unfair gang downvotings (and I kinda agree the example you show is one of them) but I dare say they are not the norm. –  Pëkka Dec 27 '12 at 11:34
    
@Bart agree, running away from site is not the correct attitude.. also agree you can easily get back those reputation. Still I don't think there is any positive for scaring people away, and nothing funny in seeing a question which is getting down voted (it is -12 now)like this... Anyway I am accepting Asad's answer, which I feel more sensible even though I do not agree 100 percent... BTW I am not that unlucky OP, if anyone think it is me.. –  Krishnabhadra Dec 27 '12 at 11:38
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