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Today what seem to be the two most-ever downvoted questions have appeared:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions?page=7473&sort=votes

The questions are

Are the downvoters increasing, or do these downvoted questions get sucked into some kind of space-time vortex after a while, hence today's crop of unpopular questions appearing to be the worst ever? Or has it just been a bad day?

Edit

Nobody seems to have answered my question. I'm sure we all enjoy discussing our downvote policies and deciding which posts should be downvoted. But are these two posts really the worst ever or most downvoted ever answers, or is there some other explanation for two posts from one day dropping right to the bottom like that?

Edit 2

The Perl question has now disappeared (for me, anyway), so did Captain Kirk turn a phaser beam onto these low-vote questions or did the original poster delete it?

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4  
Boy, you're not kidding. Those are brutal. I don't recall ever seeing questions down-voted that much. –  Tim S. Van Haren Nov 13 '09 at 17:26
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You don't want to stir up the Perl hackers. ;) Someone jokingly made a comment that the best solution to a Perl problem once was to use python; the answer was accepted, then voted down around thirty times. Still, it floated at the top... –  Robert P Nov 13 '09 at 17:46
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And how can one defend/explain the upvotes on stackoverflow.com/questions/1642028/… We need way more downvotes. –  Sinan Ünür Nov 13 '09 at 17:52
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I think the same answer would have worked for both questions: "You should totally drop that and use jQuery" –  Adam Davis Nov 13 '09 at 17:53
    
The Go question was on reddit (I googled the title to see why it had 8k views). I don't know about the Perl question. –  mmyers Nov 13 '09 at 18:45
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@Rupert P: that was part of the problem. When the Python answer stays that high, it will be downvoted by perlers. –  perbert Nov 13 '09 at 20:22
    
@Sinan: Joel tweeted about that question, giving it quite a boost. twitter.com/spolsky/status/5663855845 –  Bill the Lizard Nov 14 '09 at 0:40
    
@Robert P: someone posted a similar comment on a question today about C and got ten downvotes in one hour: stackoverflow.com/questions/1748563/… I don't think it's just Perl people who react badly to this kind of thing. –  delete Nov 17 '09 at 14:00
    
Now this is the new recorder: stackoverflow.com/questions/3455660/single-layer-neural-network It doesn't appear to be deserving -72 for me... –  Calmarius Sep 21 at 11:43

7 Answers 7

This is why S&A questions need to be closed and deleted quickly...

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The sad thing is both of those questions probably received more up votes than any legitimate question on Server Fault.

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I think I am fairly liberal with downvotes, personally. I always have been- I like keeping the signal high. :)

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I think the 10K user mod tools help with downvotes and flags, especially as there are new 10K users every day (just about). When you can see a list of heavily downvoted or flagged quesitons, you're more likely to find them and downvote/flag as well. This is probably a good thing. Questions this bad need to go away.

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One question was extremely polarizing, the other was either a brilliant troll, or belies a complete lack of critical thinking skills.

People are right to downvote both of them.

How far they get downvoted depends on how long they stay on the front page.

The argumentative one got edited throughout the day, and so it went to the front page several times.

The troll one got answers because people were joking around with it, so it stayed on the front page, in addition to the edit made to the question that brought it back a few times.

Both were started during very busy times on SO (near the daily peak) so they simply got a lot more attention than most other really bad questions.

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A sound explanation. No comments on whether the downvotes were deserved or not, but that wasn't the original question anyway. –  Noldorin Nov 13 '09 at 17:59
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Keep in mind that there's a lot of groupthink with these questions, and recently people have taken a dislike to the idea that a question downvoted 4 times still gets a rep boost with one upvote. So people are overcorrecting, and seeing that there's 50 downvotes one might think, "Well shoot - only 5 people would have had to upvote them in sympathy to even them out. I better tack on an extra downvote..." –  Adam Davis Nov 13 '09 at 18:02
    
I would be very interested in seeing the voting record - it could well be that the original posters got a decent amount of reputation on them, and therefore kept them on the front page through edits and fanning the flames just to get that sympathy reputation. –  Adam Davis Nov 13 '09 at 18:03
    
Well, the GO question netted the user -118 in downvotes and 90 in upvotes, so they would have lost rep if they had any to begin with. –  Adam Davis Nov 13 '09 at 18:05
    
The perl question had -28 in downvotes rep and 10 in upvote rep before being made a community wiki, so we can't figure out how it fared after that, but I wouldn't be surprised if the upvote rep would have been close to or greater than the downvote rep. –  Adam Davis Nov 13 '09 at 18:08
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"People are right to downvote both of them." was going to be the entirety of my answer, so I'll just upvote you instead. –  Bill the Lizard Nov 14 '09 at 0:41
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I have a tendency to verbosely use significantly more words than is generally necessary for a given response. –  Adam Davis Nov 14 '09 at 1:35

I think it was a bad day.

The question about Go wasn't so bad in my opinion. Actually, I've found much worse ones than that. The user even updated the question. I wouldn't downvote it.

More interesting though is to see people upvoting 53 times a joke answer that's worth 392 reputation.

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3  
What do you mean "not so bad"? Go had been released 2 days before and he had already "searched a lot"... it wasn't a real question –  jmfsg Nov 13 '09 at 17:35
    
And more interesting is the fact that the joke answer isn't CW, so the user has earned more than 500 rep. points for such an answer! –  Moayad Mardini Nov 13 '09 at 17:37
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I didn't say it wasn't bad. I just don't think it's worth -49. The hype about this new language is even affecting SO reputation :) ? –  GmonC Nov 13 '09 at 17:39
    
That, actually, is a good joke. –  Pavel Shved Nov 13 '09 at 17:42
    
I agree. Those questions were penalised rather harshly, but the main problem here is stupid questions/answers getting serial upvotes. –  Noldorin Nov 13 '09 at 17:57

I hope downvoters are increasing, I love downvotes (people don't downvote as much as they should, it is, I believe, because it costs you rep to do it)

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2  
+1 for downvotes. –  XMLbog Nov 13 '09 at 17:29
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No, -1 for downvotes. +1 for upvotes. –  delete Nov 13 '09 at 17:30
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@Kinopiko: No. +1 because downvoting is good and I want them to increase. A lot of people are pansies about downvotes and want them nerfed or removed. -1 to those people. -1 to you, Kinopiko. -1 to you. –  XMLbog Nov 13 '09 at 17:31
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+1 : Downvotes should absolutely be encouraged. In the cases today, it's clear the community's disapproval of those questions. –  Robert P Nov 13 '09 at 17:45
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+1 to Kinopiko's comment. That gave me a good laugh. –  Noldorin Nov 13 '09 at 17:56
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@Noldorin: Congratulations on spotting the joke. –  delete Nov 13 '09 at 18:10
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I have to admit, since I've been hanging out on Meta, my downvoting on SO has seriously increased. I think there are a lot of days where my net rep is negative because I didn't answer jack and spent time DVing people. –  John Rudy Nov 13 '09 at 19:28
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So maybe you should change your name to Cigars and Bourbon and Downvoting are Good. –  delete Nov 14 '09 at 2:02
    
@Kinopiko: The name field has a max length. :) My original rename was going to be "No cigars and no bourbon make John Rudy something something." –  John Rudy Nov 14 '09 at 2:25
    
Illogical .. illogical ... must .. upvote .. your .. answer .. for ... downvoting .. yet .. should .. downvote .. [grinding noise and collar with the #2 on it goes dark] -- Norman –  Tim Post Nov 17 '09 at 9:55

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