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Mostly some people who closed my question are now following me around down marking all my questions, spitefully. What process do i go through to stop this?

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closed as not constructive by Mark Trapp, ChrisF, kiamlaluno, waiwai933, Cody Gray Jul 24 '11 at 3:43

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I very much doubt this. It's more likely that you've had some people vote to close your questions, and some other people vote down your other posts. Not much you can do about that. People are free to downvote questions for whatever reasons they like (or close them, for that matter, although that does require at least 4 other users to agree). Serial downvoting (or other actual abuses of the system) will be caught by an automatic script and reversed at the end of each day, so you really have nothing to worry about. – Cody Gray Jul 24 '11 at 3:45
Also, welcome to the Meta site! Please note that downvotes are different here than they are on the main site, so don't be too freaked out by the fact that your question is currently at -17. As stated in the FAQ, they just indicate disagreement. – Cody Gray Jul 24 '11 at 3:46

What process do i go through to stop this?

It's a relatively simple three-step process, but can require a bit of skill to execute properly so please read through all three steps before proceeding:

  1. Be polite and respectful to other users
  2. Accept that those who have been here longer may have a better understanding of the local attitudes and customs than you do, and strive to mind their advice.
  3. Work to write the best questions and most helpful answers possible.

I've found that, over time, this process has drastically reduced the number of down-votes cast on my posts.

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They didn't bother to read my question and closed it even though it was a software compiling related question. I wasn't the disrespectful one. I simply wanted to get my question answered.. someone did! I had to repost the question before someone was able to finally answer it and acknowledge that perhaps most of the people on the site are hobbyist and the problem was beyond their understanding. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 19:36
@Arian: There's a huge difference between understanding a problem and wanting to wade into diagnosing a mess caused by an improper installation (I'm not talking about Virtual Box here - you messed up the kernel source install). This was pointed out to you numerous times, in greater and greater detail, until finally Adam spelled it out and you got it. Meanwhile, you've busied yourself making disparaging comments like this one, no doubt discouraging the very folks who could have salvaged and/or answered your questions sooner. – Shog9 Jul 23 '11 at 19:40
Adam was the first to point it out. He is the only person who was able to answer me. As far as i'm concerned your opinion is irrelevant because you still don't address that if i have to use gcc, it's NOT an install. It's a compile. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 19:45
Ok, @Arian - I've gotta ask: are you new to Linux? Because that could explain a lot of your confusion. On most mainstream systems, compiling is something you do when you're writing programs... On *nix, it's also a traditional means of installing software! – Shog9 Jul 23 '11 at 19:48
this software is installed using yum. I had to break part of it off, edit a little of the source (look up centos and errno) and then attempt to run some of the commands manually. Also I'm the state programming champion. Got anymore questions? – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 19:53
@Arian: yes, you broke the install, I got it. It's still not a programming question, at least as written. – Shog9 Jul 23 '11 at 19:55
it is a programming questions because the install had nothing to do with what i was asking. I was asking where a particular source was and then why it was causing so many compile errors. You should look up the word compile. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 19:56
@Arian: downloading source packages and running make is not programming. – Mat Jul 23 '11 at 20:01
I was using gcc. Also i had to edit a lot of the source files. Did you not google centos and errno.h ? It's a pain. It's not an install if you have to edit source files and run gcc manually. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 20:09
@Arian: back when I started using Linux, chances are a "user" would be skilled enough to write or modify drivers in order to get his hardware working. Installation consisted of configuring (modifying headers and scripts) and then compiling everything from source, from the bootloader on up... After which you could dig in and start with the real programming. Congratulations on continuing this fine tradition, and best of luck getting an answer from the 'nix experts on our U&L site. – Shog9 Jul 23 '11 at 21:53

I'm feeling a bit of harassment on my questions, can i block people from my questions?

No. This is an open community, and we strongly encourage members to accept criticism with grace and consider changing so they fit in better.

Mostly some people who closed my question are now following me around down marking all my questions, spitefully. What process do i go through to stop this?

The automated voting anomoly process runs on the site occasionally and detects patterns of downvotes that appear to be one user singling out and attacking another user. If there is one person downvoting all your posts, the votes will be reversed.

This probably doesn't apply in your case.

You posted a message to meta asking for more attention on your questions, and you got it.

But just like asking a teacher to regrade your test, they don't just look at the one question you have a problem with, they re-grade your entire test.

So too, on meta we attempt to look for patterns, and in doing so we evaluate more than the one question that you're interested in discussing.

While your question involves a compiler, the reality is that what you need help with is software installation. Lots of software installs use compilers, but they aren't programming related.

Your question cannot be solved merely by changing some source code, so it's not a programming question.

Now, this site is run by the community, and if you really want to change it and get others to allow software installation questions on stack overflow, you are welcome to try.

But there are thousands of people on here who are experts at programming - not software installation - and they don't want to see such questions on a programming website. To them, it's noise.

So on the one hand you can respect that and use SO only for your programming questions, and find other sites for your software installation questions.

On the other hand you can try to change stack overflow.

I can tell you from experience that the latter is much, much harder than the former.

Please keep in mind that people aren't attacking you - they are attacking your questions. Don't take it personally - due to the early days of the site being too full of off topic questions, the community has grown a very, very strong allergic reaction to questions that are even a little off topic.

Your questions are real, important, and they deserve a solution. However they are not a good fit for the experts here - which is really the crux of the matter:

Thank you for your confidence in our abilities! But have you read the Stack Overflow FAQ?

We get a lot of IT/network/computer/technical questions on here, but Stack Overflow is meant to be first and foremost a programmer's resource.

Yes, someone here might be able to help you, but you'll find that other forums more focused on your topic can give you a much better answer than a bunch of programmers. It's likely that your question will be downvoted, closed, and in some cases marked "offensive." It's not that we hate you, it's just that we're programmers and we like to keep our corn pops separate from our cocoa puffs.


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If the person who closed my inital answer hadn't been lazy and suggested something I perhaps would have gone along with it. But i felt, they were being lazy (20k rep is a lazy person who isn't at work much) and closed me with out justice. So yes, i got my answer and i always get what i go for. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 20:07
@Arian If your opinion of people with lots of rep is so low, then why are you asking for their help? I even answered your question for you here and yet you are coming back at us and telling us that we don't know what is right for our community? I spent a good bit of time trying to help you understand why others were so antagonistic against you, but it appears that my time was wasted. I'm am truly sorry to have bothered you with it. – Adam Davis Jul 23 '11 at 20:12
because you guys are so narrowminded you won't look at a programming question inside of an install. I may never come here again and i'll shut down my other account i have moderate rep with from answering other people. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 20:14
@Arian I think you have a basic misunderstanding of what reputation is. I have 30k rep on stack overflow. This means I've contributed well over 1,000 hours of my time over the last 3 years to helping people, like you, who have problems. Most of those people are grateful for the help. A few, as you demonstrate, are not. When you have answered over 500 questions on stack overflow then I will take your opinion on how the site should be run into account. Until then you are merely an ungrateful and ungracious leech. – Adam Davis Jul 23 '11 at 20:15
you do understand why i call you lazy then? If you're on this site for 1000 hours, what is going on with your work? My problem is being so brilliant it's impossible to communicate effectively. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 20:17
*"I may never come here again" If that's the case, I do hope you find a community where you fit in better. If not, you are always welcome to hang out here, but my experience has been that if you want to fit in with a group, you hang back a bit, learn how the group operates, then after some time participate, then after you fully understand how it works try to change its direction. I honestly don't think you really have a good grasp right now of the community that we've developed. Your ideas about how the community could and should change may not be wrong, but the way you present them is poor. – Adam Davis Jul 23 '11 at 20:17
I assume people are going to make all the leaps in logic i did. The fact is, you aren't capable or you wouldn't have retorted the way you did. You basically reaffirmed my point. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 20:18
@camccann come back in a month, reread your comments. See if you (to yourself, you won't have to admit it) still think you are articulate and well-mannered. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 20:19
@Arian: I probably won't be able to, since the comments, this answer, this question, and probably your user account will all be deleted by then and I won't have enough rep on Meta to view deleted posts. – McCannot Jul 23 '11 at 20:21
"you aren't smart enough to grasp what i'm saying" Ah! In that case, I will consume no more of your time. I wish you luck in all your future endeavors. Perhaps, if our paths cross again, you will find me better company than at present. – Adam Davis Jul 23 '11 at 20:21
@Arian You speak of logic, yet your replies are constantly moving the goalposts once someone has proven you wrong. It's very amusing. – Jeremy Banks Jul 23 '11 at 20:26
This is a little late, but does anyone else find it hilarious that he has 10K mod rep on his "other account." – Mick MacCallum Aug 17 '12 at 6:00

There is no process. It is always possible for angry and spiteful people to go to your profile and downvote everything. Since votes are anonymous, moderators can't track it and fix this sort of thing.

There is one method of prevention, though: don't cause people to be angry and spiteful.

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you know that's not an acceptable answer. My question was valid. It's not my fault that some of the people on here can't control their emotions. I refuse to accept that. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 19:34
@Arian Most users don't have the trouble you're having because they don't repeatedly post that other people are idiots. Learn to communicate civilly, then try this site again. – Jeremy Banks Jul 23 '11 at 19:37
I didn't say they were idiots. I said they were jackasses for not reading my question. Yes, it said i was installing virtualbox but the part i wanted help on involved gcc. If i am typing gcc, i am coding. If i'm coding, it's legit. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 19:40
It is indeed not your fault if people cannot control their emotions. People can be irrationally angry and have a twisted enjoyment in petty retribution. This is the internet: be careful what you say, or people won't like you. However, I am sure that if you had acted somewhat more diplomatically than you did, you would not have so many downvotes. – Peter Olson Jul 23 '11 at 19:40
Furthermore, no one told me to repost on ... i wouldn't have reposted if he had the courtesy to leave a comment and wasn't just out trolling for rep. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 19:42
@Arian You keep saying people are "trolling for rep". You get no rep for closing posts. – Jeremy Banks Jul 23 '11 at 19:44
@Arian You lose 1 rep for downvoting. – Peter Olson Jul 23 '11 at 19:47
I guess people are trolling this because as soon as i said i was gonna email joel my rep went up – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 19:51
it's too late, I already emailed him. – Arian Jul 23 '11 at 19:51
@Arian It's funny that you say "it's too late", when we're all eagerly waiting for them to show up and get rid of you. – Jeremy Banks Jul 23 '11 at 19:57
@Arian Yes, you've made it quite clear what you think, and everyone who knows how this site actually works has made it quite clear that you're wrong. – Jeremy Banks Jul 23 '11 at 19:59
@Adam: You mean devs can see votes, not moderators, I think. – Josh Caswell Jul 23 '11 at 20:31
@Josh Ah! I stand corrected. – Adam Davis Jul 23 '11 at 20:31
@JostCaswell, Moderators can look at the total votes a user has made and see if any odd correlations appear. The spam of downvotes the system will remove automatically if one user is clearing downvoting everyone of another user(upvotes also) – Kortuk Jul 23 '11 at 20:51
Minor nitpick: Moderators can see suspicious voting histories, like if one user is "trolling" another user's posts, and they do have the ability to take action on this. As well, there is an automated script that runs periodically to reverse serial downvoting and other blatant abuses of the voting system. Bonus points for keeping your cool throughout all those comments, though. I doubt I'd be as disciplined. – Cody Gray Jul 24 '11 at 3:49

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