We get a lot of "why was my question downvoted?" posting on meta, but how do I find out why my answer was downvoted?

Very weird spontaneous disconnect for a System.Net socket

It was, literally, THE answer to the question. Granted, it was a tool issue, but the FAQ says that tools are a legitimate topic on SO.

Was it downvoted because I answered my own question? What's wrong with answering your own question - if no one else answers it and you discover the answer then to not answer your own question is to deny the community the answer. Answering it in a comment doesn't serve because people looking for an answer to a question are likely to skip over ones that show as "0 answers".

  • You might want to remove that last sentence. Your question is fine without it... (though without knowing the mind of the downvoter people can only guess). Jan 15, 2013 at 14:31
  • Biggest problem with the answer is that it assumes a difference between the Express and the full version of the debugger. There isn't any. Jan 15, 2013 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


It appears your answer was downvoted because it jumps to the conclusion that it must be a bug in the debugger, without incontrovertible evidence that that is the case.

Unless you're a member of the Visual Studio Debugger team, how would you be able to say with certainty that this is the case?

Remember: Select isn't broken.

  • That's too harsh. He didn't jump to the conclusion. He just said, "it appears to be". Regardless, the downvoter should have explained.
    – Masked Man
    Jan 15, 2013 at 14:35
  • 5
    @Deidara-senpai Then 'appears to be' isn't an answer, is it? Jan 15, 2013 at 14:35
  • Right, but unless the downvoter (now downvoters) explain we can only speculate whether it was this or that.
    – Masked Man
    Jan 15, 2013 at 14:37
  • 3
    @Deidara-senpai The problems associated with explaining downvotes far outweigh the benefits. I also personally like not having to explain downvotes, as it increases my self-awareness. "Hey, I was downvoted. Ok, let me look critically through my post and see if I can ascertain why." Not everything needs to be given to someone on a golden platter. Jan 15, 2013 at 14:44
  • I agree with that entirely, but how is the OP to improve his post if he doesn't know what is wrong?
    – Masked Man
    Jan 15, 2013 at 14:46
  • Exactly. I presume the point of downvoting is to improve the quality of the information on SO. So if the reason for a downvote is not obvious (say by reading the FAQ) then it provides no mechanism for improvement.
    – user316117
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:03
  • Re the "golden platter" - the point of downvoting is not to benefit the poster per se - it is, as I said above, to benefit the community as a whole by improving the quality of questions and answers.
    – user316117
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:08
  • I don't think Atwood's blog is applicable because the problem was only reproducible on the free, student version of the debugger, and not on the professional version. Atwood is saying "don't blame the tool because the odds are it's your code", my example is where one version of the tool is displaying bad behavior that another version of the tool isn't, with the same code.
    – user316117
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:18
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    @user316117 Just because a different version of the tool doesn't replicate the problem doesn't mean it's a bug in the tool; it could still very well be misuse of that tool. Until you know more about why it didn't work you have no idea which it is, and it's far, far more probable that it's your mistake, not the tools, so that should be the "default" assumption, unless you have reason to believe otherwise. It's also a highly localized answer unlikely to help others, since you never actually figured out what the problem was you have no idea if your "solution" would help anyone else.
    – Servy
    Jan 15, 2013 at 15:30

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