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This is something I've been noticing lately. I see questions getting downvoted and fail to see a reason or an explanation - until I see the asker's accept rate. So, have you noticed that people with low accept rates get downvoted for no reason? Or is it just me?

I think this is discouraging for new users. It's a lot more friendly to post a comment telling them to work on that accept rate.

Examples:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3485872/
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3490395/
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3490492/

They are not best examples of this phenomenon, but it's all I can remember.

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I have not noticed this... –  Shog9 Aug 16 '10 at 4:37
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Your third example is a great illustration of a comment used to tell the poster to accept answers. All 3 of those questions are borderline at best. The first and last are really hard to understand. –  Peter Ajtai Aug 16 '10 at 4:49
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@Peter at the same time I think it'd be less likely for an asker with high accept rate to be downvoted that badly. –  NullUserException อ_อ Aug 16 '10 at 4:58
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Those examples all seem to be low-quality questions to me: Little effort displayed by the OP, important information missing, not much use to others with similar problems. And the questions were even more atrocious before others cleaned them up for the OP. –  Awesome Poodles Aug 16 '10 at 4:59
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3509033 has a user explicitly saying

-1 low acceptance rate - (Username removed to protect the innocent)

If you're going to downvote on the basis of not accepting answers, it'd be more useful if you downvoted the questions you think ought to have accepted an answer!

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But the same question also has "+1 to counteract ridiculous downvote". Is it not also more useful to upvote answers you think ought to be accepted instead of the question? –  Dour High Arch Aug 18 '10 at 16:31
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@Dour: The +1 didn't exist when I posted this answer. Also, do you mean "instead of downvoting the current question?" rather than "instead of [upvoting] the question"? –  Andrew Grimm Aug 18 '10 at 23:14
    
I don't expect anyone to predict the future. In fact I agree with you; people shouldn't downvote questions for reasons which have nothing to do with the question. I am only claiming it is equally bad to upvote questions for reasons which also have nothing to do with the question. –  Dour High Arch Aug 19 '10 at 17:38
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I think this is anecdotal at best.

I suspect the reasons users with low accept rates might tend to get downvoted is because they tend to ask low quality questions in the first place.

Can you provide an example of a good question where you suspect it is getting downvoted purely because of the asker's accept rate?

(also, do familiarize yourself with the accept rate display rules).

  • Questions must not be community wiki.
  • Questions must not be closed.
  • Questions must be more than 3 days old.
  • Questions must have at least 1 answer.
  • There must be at least four eligible questions as determined by the above rules, otherwise the statistic will not appear.
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Examples have been added to the question. –  NullUserException อ_อ Aug 16 '10 at 4:45
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Funny, I would use these questions as examples of a different claim; that people are deliberately upvoting bad questions.

Consider your first example, a question near-incomprehensible until Shog9 spent the time to edit it into something at least answerable. The initial question got 7 downvotes, for a rep of -14. After the question was fixed, it got 5 upvotes for a rep gain of 50. Net effect, a rep gain of 36. Note that the original poster got all the rep, not the person who actually fixed the question. The lesson we are teaching is that asking crap questions wins you rep, and fixing bad questions gets you nothing.

If you think that people with low accept rates are being penalized unfairly, then encourage such people to start accepting answers. Do not reward them for a low accept rate, that only perpetuates the problem.

If you think a question is badly asked, then improve it, or ask the questioner to improve it. Please stop upvoting questions simply because they're crap!

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There's no way to know whether the up/down votes were a result of the question being fixed or not. –  NullUserException อ_อ Aug 18 '10 at 17:05
    
FWIW: I just removed a couple of lousy tags. The real work of knocking that question into shape was done by Gert G (and NullUserException himself) –  Shog9 Aug 18 '10 at 17:06
    
"fixing bad questions gets you nothing" -- We get nice shiny badges if we do it enough. But, I would love to split any upvotes after I have edited someone else's question! :) –  Awesome Poodles Aug 18 '10 at 23:24
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