I recently noticed a quite reasonable question that was downvoted several times by SO users that thought the OP should first 'accept' a few of his formerly asked questions (he had an accept rate of 78%).

Always trying to look at things in an objective way, I revolted: the question as such was worthy enough to upvote, but there's no other means than downvoting for the community to indicate frustration over previous non-accepted questions.

Would it be a good idea to add a 'poke poster' button in order to distinguish downvoting the content from disapproving the poster's behavior?

  • 7
    Was the downvoting indeed a reaction to the OP's accept rate as opposed to the contents of the question? It's not clear to me.
    – Pekka
    Aug 29, 2011 at 8:58
  • @Eat more Twisters: that is, of course, my subjective opinion. It was a reasonable question (lots of answers were issued, by valued SO-ers, QED), yet it's vote count is still on +2/-5.
    – xtofl
    Aug 29, 2011 at 9:01
  • 5
    I don't think it was the accept rate that triggered the downvotes - it was rather that the OP asked a similar question an hour ago. (Whether the downvotes were deserved or not, I can't judge)
    – Pekka
    Aug 29, 2011 at 9:02
  • 1
    @Eat more Twisters: same issue. Apparently, he still didn't read his K&R book after getting answers from the first question? I thought up/downvoting is supposed to say something about the question, not about the poster.
    – xtofl
    Aug 29, 2011 at 9:08
  • BTW, 'similarity' is debatable here: the first question was about the OR operator, the second one about the SHIFT operator (although the title doesn't show that).
    – xtofl
    Aug 29, 2011 at 9:09
  • 11
    The question was downvoted (yes, I did that, too) because he throws code at us without further information, details or tries to explain his problem. This does not work, why? are not good questions, especially not with a big code-block and a one-liner-question. Aug 29, 2011 at 9:39
  • @Straitjacket: ok - that's reasonable. Personally I found the code block small enough to flick through, but indeed, OP could have provided somewhat more info, and have put more effort in responding to the comments, too. This reflects Bobby's comment, too (which was added half a minute ago)
    – xtofl
    Aug 29, 2011 at 9:44
  • 2
    Yes, it is a small code-block, but we should not encourage such behavior, neither in a small nor a big style (because otherwise we'd need to draw the line between a big and a small codeblock...and we can't do that). Aug 29, 2011 at 9:46
  • possible duplicate of Show alert for users with 0% (or low) acceptance rate Aug 29, 2011 at 9:49
  • 3
    From the comments on my question, it seems that the mere possibility to add comments to a question is enough 'bump/poke' functionality already.
    – xtofl
    Aug 29, 2011 at 9:49
  • 8
    I suspect anyone whose question title claims that a builtin operator in the C language "isn't working" is going to be downvoted regardless of their accept rate. People seem to get annoyed when your wording implies the compiler/language spec is at fault when you don't understand what your code is doing :)
    – Wooble
    Aug 29, 2011 at 11:33
  • @Wooble: Not really, but the question title of bitwise operator is not working shows a very big lack of research effort. Aug 29, 2011 at 12:26
  • By the way... Does this question lack research effort, is it badly phrased, or what? Or is the number of (down)votes a way to indicate the 'good(bad)-idea' factor?
    – xtofl
    Aug 29, 2011 at 13:16
  • @xtofl on Meta, it primarily indicates a disagreement with the proposed idea Aug 29, 2011 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


An accept rate of 78% is great. In fact, "anything at 70% or over [is] quite good". "Poking" is done through comments, but leaving comments about accept rate is always annoying - especially one as high as this.

A poke poster "feature" would be pointless since you can just comment and they will be notified, so no, it's not a good idea.

  • 3
    Indeed: a poke essentially says "I want your attention, but I have nothing to say, so I'll just poke you". Although there now is the minisite, IMNSHO it's not necessary to ape every feature of Facebook. Aug 29, 2011 at 14:50

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