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Yesterday, there was a very open question in which the user hadn't shown his/her attempt. It is always expected that the person posting a query shows their attempt which will help others in the forum to answer the same.

I answered this question with 2 potential solutions. From an algorithm or implementation point of view, I feel that the solution is fine, which has been validated by me before posting the same in the forum.

However, someone has down-voted my answer and I don't know the reason for the same. I would be happy to know if someone felt that my answer was inaccurate, so that I can correct myself. How can I know why someone down-voted my answer?

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Actually, looking at that question, the other answer was down voted as well –  davblayn Apr 7 '13 at 3:13
    
@davblayn.. Yes.. Which lead me to think that some expert in the forum felt that both of us answered a bad question. –  Ganesh Apr 7 '13 at 3:14
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Must... downvote... other... answers... reputation... more... important... than... ethics... –  Emracool Apr 7 '13 at 3:20
    
@Telthien.. I didn't this last comment.. If someone down-votes, I presume, their reputation also takes hit. So I couldn't get your statement.. sorry –  Ganesh Apr 7 '13 at 3:25
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@Ganesh I was being facetious :P See: tactical downvoting, then it should make sense. –  Emracool Apr 7 '13 at 3:28
    
@Telthien.. Thanks.. Today I learnt a new concept of tactial downvoting.. thanks a lot –  Ganesh Apr 7 '13 at 3:34
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

People can downvote for any reason they want. If someone wants to tell you why, they are welcome to leave a comment (there already is one).

They are also welcome to not leave one.

One downvote is not a big deal, and each unexplained downvote does not need an accompanying meta post. Just forget about it and move on if you see nothing that can improve your answer. Besides, the question will likely be deleted in time.

Likely reason for your downvote: Honoring a bad question with an in-depth answer. Personally I dislike spoon feeding and do what I can to discourage it.

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@mog.. Thanks.. I understand and appreciate the objective especially the spoon feeding part. However, one question bothers me: Shouldn't a bad question be answered at all? What if the user is a rookie who is starting programming? What is the best way to handle this kind of scenario? –  Ganesh Apr 7 '13 at 3:12
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You're welcome to do whatever you like, but don't be surprised if the OP never comes back or starts hammering you with endless followup questions. Typical response from me is: drop a comment with a hint to get started, cast a close vote, and move on. –  Wesley Murch Apr 7 '13 at 3:14
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Don't read too much into a single downvote. Often, the downvoter doesn't bother to read fully, doesn't understand, misclicked, etc. Definitely rethink your solution once you reach around -2. You still shouldn't totally ignore a -1, though you can probably forget about it if you've reread your answer and you think it's right.

There is such a thing as tactical downvoting, but when this happens, it's best to just let it go and move on. If you think this was tactical, then I suggest reading this before anything else.

That being said, your answer seems to be a perfectly valid solution to this open-ended question, so I'm going to upvote it.

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The asker of the question may have downvoted your answer because of your comment at the beginning of it...

It is definitely recommended to show one's own effort while asking the question.

You had a good answer and you worked well with what you were given, but that comment may have annoyed the asker of the question (that's my guess)

However, on a more general note

People can downvote a question or answer if they want to, they can leave a comment explaining why if they want to but they don't have to. That's the point of down voting, you can show others that you don't like a person's answer or question while remaining (sort of) anonymous.

Down votes don't really matter, it's a small dent in your rep and it just makes your answer sink a bit in the list. Don't worry about it :)

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@davblayn.. Thanks.. I can understand :).. however, just to clarify, I added this statement after my answer was down-voted. So my guess wasn't on the requester of the question –  Ganesh Apr 7 '13 at 3:14
    
Ahh, I was wondering why that was up there (I thought you were trying to pick a fight :P). Generally, if you don't ask a specific question, you won't get the answer you're looking for, that's probably why you were down voted –  davblayn Apr 7 '13 at 3:16
    
@davblayn.. Last thing on my mind is to pick a fight :) on this knowledge forum.. definitely not my objective –  Ganesh Apr 7 '13 at 3:23
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@Ganesh, you know that, Joe Random Reader doesn't... and he might be after a good fight. –  vonbrand Apr 7 '13 at 3:33
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