I have posted different suggestions in the recent days, that many users didn't like. Although some are common practice in other forums, and some even if you don't agree are true (ie, new users get "bullied" by higher rep users many times).

I see that if users with a different way of seeing things, come and ask something here, and it gets downvoted, how is this different way of seeing things will ever affect this forum? I have been downvoted so much, I have each time less "voice" in here. I am not sure even if you can run risk of being banned here.

SO is a highly developed site, many things already implemented, it is hard to suggest something that everyone that has been here for long while will agree, something ground breaking. I suggested things that I as a responsible SO user, but with low reputation, I haven't asked many questions.

I think people on SO should be nicer to new users, I am not saying to allow them do whatever they want. Just be nicer.

So what should I do —

  • Quit in my attempt to participate in Meta because I will continue being downvoted?
  • just never propose any new idea, try to harvest Reputation by posting bugs, trying to answer things that are not too controversial so I don't get downvoted? Then when I finally have tons of reputation I can go and shutdown the reputation of new users that suggest new Ideas.

I think it is fine not to agree with me. But why do I lose reputation on meta because of a question that is proposing something new? If most people deem something not good for SO, well my question was useful. I mean my very downvoted ideas got attention, it was a useful discussion. The result was "we don't want that here", but it was useful, in the future other people won't need to ask the same. So is it really right to lose reputation because of that?


I am adding this, because I think that by putting myself as example my point was a bit lost.

The FAQ says:

Are upvotes and downvotes different on meta?

Voting here works a bit differently from other Stack Exchange sites. On Meta Stack Overflow, voting is often used to express agreement or disagreement, not to point out a lack of quality or helpfulness. Please don't be concerned if you receive downvotes – members of the community may simply disagree with your bug, feature request, support issue, or the nature of the discussion.

Some people in the comments have stated they don't even look at the reputation because of this very reason, which totally makes sense. But basically it means they are ignoring a part of the website's functionality, because it is not useful for that.

So does it make sense to lose reputation for something that people doesn't seem to consider?

I mean it is not the same to be downvoted on SO for posting "nonsense" and to be downvoted here for posting something others don't agree with. And I am not even talking about me, I am sure this has happened to everyone.

If it worried me that I am losing reputation, as it is I would have deleted the posts that are making me lose reputation. That is not my point.

  • 2
    I think this is the only meta that even has a separate reputation system. However, I for one don't even look at the reputation of a user when evaluating their question/answer. – J. Steen Mar 22 '13 at 13:22
  • 2
    I'd go with number 2. Well, actually I am following number 2 right now. – nhahtdh Mar 22 '13 at 13:23
  • 7
  • 2
    @J.Steen maybe you don't look at that, but I was referring mostly to the fact that by loosing reputation here you loose privileges here too. My ideas even if noone agree, were not offensive, and were trying to deal with an issue. I that was so downvoted, for example. At this rate, will never be able to downvote others :P – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 13:28
  • 2
    @Dzyann Ah! But unless you're actually banned, you never lose the privilege to question or answer. Which are the most important, no? ;) (I do, however, agree. Actually requiring reputation for things like disagreeing is a bit... hampering.) – J. Steen Mar 22 '13 at 13:28
  • 2
    How do you have less voice in here by being downvoted? – Pekka Mar 22 '13 at 13:30
  • 2
    @Bart the post you mention, in the section if you are new don't post new Ideas. Well I don't have much reputation, but I have been working with devs for a while, that is why I suggested some things. If people should not post new questions because they are new. How will you get new ideas and get the site to evolve? Isn't that a common problems of many companies even? People that have been around a long time fail to see out of that known world, that kills innovation. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 13:32
  • 5
    @Pekka I can't downvote. I have a question, that was downvoted and commented wrongly by people. It is fine if they don't agree, but if they disagree because they don't understand the question, I can't downvote, and when someone is dowvoted is easier they will get downvoted, if they are upvoted it is easier they will be upvoted. So I loose in all ends, a sort of "mass effect" – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 13:35
  • 2
    I have been 'bullied' by a high rep user who shall remain nameless. On all my posts he constantly critisied me and never answered. I am actually scared to post now. – imulsion Mar 22 '13 at 13:35
  • 4
    @Dzyann New ideas are welcome. But keep in mind that disagreement might be expressed in downvotes. And you're participating in a community consisting of people who have seen all ideas and discussions come by before. People who have discussed all these ad nauseam. People who in their head have all the pros and cons which came out of earlier discussions. That is what you're "competing" against. If you do your research, and abandon the idea that downvotes are something terrible, you'll be just fine. Not all of your ideas are going to be cheered for. Some might. – Bart Mar 22 '13 at 13:35
  • 1
    @imulsion I think it's entirely irrelevant to this question then. But if you're being bullied, flag for moderator attention. (Flag one of the posts the users participated on for example. Explain your situation in the "other" flag's text box) If there is some action that needs to be taken, a moderator will take it. – Bart Mar 22 '13 at 13:40
  • 1
    @Bart what if the bully is a moderator himself? – imulsion Mar 22 '13 at 13:41
  • 3
    @Bart that is my point, if my way of seeing things, differs with the people active at the period of time I can post things then I will be get downvoted forever. And although my question it is useful in the sense that it was stated "we don't want this in SO" for future reference. I will be banned :P – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 14:49
  • 4
    ok, I agree that loss of the "vote down" ability is a problem. – Pekka Mar 22 '13 at 15:52
  • 2
    @Bart if I would worry about the reputation, I would have stopped by now. I would have deleted the question that is downmining my reputation. I don't care about reputation, I just say for example. If everyone can disagree with me, could I disagree with others too? Everyone can downvote me, I can not downvote others, and it is because of the reputation. And that post was just an example. I got downvoted making a good question. And I have seen way worse getting upvoted. Btw Nicol answer doesn't make sense to me, because I opened that post precisely asking, It is not a feature-request. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 16:32

You should accept that your idea might be agreed with or not. You are welcome to post them. But reputation on meta should not be taken so serious. And you being downvoted has nothing to do with your reputation here in meta.

But keep in mind not to post just any stupid idea that comes to mind. If you really think it is helpful - post it.

And even if your suggestion was downvoted - a future visitor might wanna suggest the same, searches the site and find it not accepted by the community.

  • 7
    Well It is not that I take reputation in a way that i feel very depressed over it, or such. I am saying I see the current system makes very hard to people with a very different way of seeing things to get at any place here. I have mentored new people at work, and I know how new people sometimes act. That is the reason of my latests suggestions in Meta. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 13:24
  • 2
    Sometimes it's useful to post radical and probably wrong ideas, to see what people think of them. With that said, I strongly agree with the part about not taking reputation on MSO so seriously. @Dzyann Even users who post a lot of unpopular ideas almost always gain reputation quickly, if they're pretty active. The amount of reputation loss from downvotes is just not that high. With that said, it would probably have been better of MSO had been designed from the beginning to be reputationless, like the Meta 2.0 sites (the per-site metas other than Meta Stack Overflow). – Eliah Kagan Mar 22 '13 at 13:26
  • @EliahKagan if you happen to be of a very different point of view that other people it is not true that you will gain reputation. From what I gather people here seems to be highly against any "protectionism" idea towards SO new users. They base their ideas on that people tends to be malicious instead of thinking that new people is just that, new, and will make mistakes, and SO downvoting system it is "negative reinforcement" when abused, which happens a lot. And if I keep attempting to suggest ideas to improve that, will keep loosing reputation. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 14:03
  • 2
    @Dzyann: New user make mistakes. But do you really want to lower the quality of the site because of new users? It is just fair to handle all users equal – juergen d Mar 22 '13 at 14:06
  • @Dzyann An upvote on a question gives 5 rep. An upvote on an answer gives 10. A downvote on either takes away 2. If even a small percentage of votes on your posts are upvotes, you'll gain reputation. Furthermore, one can gain reputation by posting good answers to support questions (or questions that are similar in nature, where someone is asking how to do something). So that's a source of reputation on MSO even if everyone else in the entire community disagreed with all your expressed opinions about everything. – Eliah Kagan Mar 22 '13 at 14:06
  • @juergend Would radically altering the reputation system actually decrease quality, though. The meta 2.0 sites (meta.X where X is an SE site other than SO) tend to have high quality questions and answers, and no reputation is gained or lost through participation in those sites. – Eliah Kagan Mar 22 '13 at 14:08
  • @EliahKagan Reputation on MSO is largely a historical thing. If the site ever gets split off into Meta SE and Meta SO, perhaps this will change. – Bart Mar 22 '13 at 14:15
  • @juergend I think the quality of the site is lower than it could be because people abuses the downvotes for whatever reason. And if you get discouraged by this behaviour. The site looses good people. Everyone Looses. If we can not delay then there has to be something else to do to fix the problem. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 14:45
  • 1
    @Dzyann: You haven't proven that there's a problem. You haven't proven that a significant number of people are abusing "the downvotes for whatever reason". Your personal belief that this happens is not proof. And until you provide at least some evidence that this is a non-trivial problem, proposing a solution is premature. – Nicol Bolas Mar 22 '13 at 15:36
  • @NicolBolas what would you consider proof enought? – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 15:43
  • 1
    @Dzyann: Considering that you've not put forth any actual evidence for your position, anything more than you've currently done would be an improvement. – Nicol Bolas Mar 22 '13 at 15:48
  • @NicolBolas Your answer is not constructive. Proof is that if you look around the forum this problem has been stated in different ways and with different suggestions many times. And all of them some users downvote it extremely. So since you suggested that proof is required, I seriously asked what would be required, so with time I can gather it and then post it again. Could you answer this? – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 15:58
  • @Dzyann: Are you asking me to explain what "proof" means? Facts which support your assertion and necessarily deny the possibility of alternative explanations. You have to provide some of that. Different people have different assertions; most of the problems "around the forum" are about negative comments. Your issue was with downvotes, which are a completely different issue. So you can't just piggy-back off of what other people are saying. – Nicol Bolas Mar 22 '13 at 16:04
  • @Dzyann: And BTW this is no forum, this is a question&answer site and that is why this place is so much different from other sites. – juergen d Mar 22 '13 at 16:08
  • @NicolBolas since this is a social context, it can not be proved for everyone, I mean do you expect me to read all the posts of the forum and show you all the cases where it happens?. I think and have seen that it is a problem, what would be for you proof enough? That I gather 100 posts where this is happening? or that I gather 1000? That is what I am talking about, what would you consider proof enough. I am not piggy backing, I gave an example so you can tell me what you consider proof enough. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 16:09

Some things to consider...

  1. Your problem is only true of Meta Stack OverFlow since the other meta sites inherit their rep from their main site.

  2. If you earn 200 points on any other site you can get the association bonus of 100 which is plenty to get your voice heard even with plenty of downvotes.

  3. Big positive as well as big negative reactions are a mainstay of meta. So it's pretty easy to overcome a lot of downvotes.

  4. This site is like most communities on the interwebs. Its an echo chamber. If you want to disturb that, you need to be very persuasive and be prepared for the negative response.

  • I really like your answer, because at least for me It could solve the problem and be done with it. But I was just asking in general, because it doesn't make sense to have a functionality like that where people overuns it like that and ignores the reputation because it doesn't have a real meaning. I think that it is not bad if people can see that most of your ideas have been rejected, I just think you should be able to function normally despite that. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 17:01

Here's step one: stop trying to make suggestions until you know there's a problem.

Consider your heavily downvoted question here. On the basis of two questions, you claim that "There seems to be a high level of aggression towards new users." The first question you mention is a terrible, low-effort crap post that amounts to little more than "debug my code for me".

I see no reason why that question should not be downvoted and downvoted immediately.

That is simply not a good enough justification to go making a major change on. The more radical a change you suggest, the more extraordinary the evidence you need to present to justify it.

First, ask if there's a problem. Ask if others see something as a problem. Ask from a neutral point of view, without opinion on whether you personally see it as a problem. Once you get the sense that people on the site have about something, then you can decide whether you should offer a suggestion for improvement or whatever.

  • The question had comments for improvement, I was just suggesting give time to the person to improve the question with the suggestions. Many questions can be solved if you keep working on them until you solve them, that would ban most of questions from here. I will say the same than before. There is proof already that there is a problem, since many times suggestions like this have been posted. And you contradict yourself, where I am going to ask if others agree with it if not here? – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 16:03
  • 1
    @Dzyann: You didn't ask if others agree that there is a problem. You posted a specific remedy for a problem that you haven't proven or even provided evidence exists. Do you see the difference? First, you collect evidence, then you put forward suggestions. Ask if people think early downvotes are a problem. If people think that they are, then you can suggest what to do about it. – Nicol Bolas Mar 22 '13 at 16:06
  • And it is good if my justification it is not good enough to implement my suggestion. I can add to it, but most post suggesting things dont have to give a long list of justifications, they just suggest something, is the nature of it. All those cases people just bans the question with a ton of downvotes and that it is. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 16:21
  • Well I asked others to agree or not that is why I oppened in Discussion and not as feature request. Isn't that the whole point of discussion? And besides my post says "Could we put a delay.." It is a question, sorry I forgot the "?" – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 16:28
  • @Dzyann: "they just suggest something" And their suggestions get upvoted/downvoted accordingly, just as yours did. "Could we put a delay" is not asking about whether people think that there is an epidemic of mean-spirited downvoting. It's asking for peoples opinions on a particular solution to that. These are two separate questions: one is a question about whether a problem exists, and the other is a question about whether something is a good solution. – Nicol Bolas Mar 22 '13 at 16:31
  • I am not saying I don't want to be dowvoted, I am just saying that I don't see why people should have less privileges here because other people doesn't agree with their suggetions. I didn't did offensive suggestions. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 16:43

Looking through your meta questions you have two that have been heavily downvoted. Neither of them are new or innovative ideas. Both of them are very common suggestions that have been brought up and discussed before in either exact or very, very similar forms. They have also been very conclusively addressed, as you have seen in the comments to your question.

In other words, you weren't just downvoted because people disagreed with your suggestions (although I'm sure a lot of people do disagree with them, and some may have downvoted for that alone). One of the main reasons that they were downvoted so heavily is that you didn't do your research before asking. You posted suggestions that have been covered very thoroughly. You didn't address what makes your suggestions different from the other very similar suggestions that have come before it, and you have not addressed how those changes in the suggestion will address the reasons that the previous suggestions have been rejected.

I'd also like to point out that you have not lost any privileges, or even any noticeable amount of reputation, as a result of these questions. You have just a small handful of upvotes on those two quesetions but since upvotes are worth so much more repudiation than downvotes each one has offset the reputation of multiple downvotes. Yes, you still did lose reputation, but you lost very little.

In the future if you want to propose new suggestions take the time to look for previous suggestions. Consider very carefully the comments and answers posted in suggestions that are even similar to yours and preemptively explain in your post how those problems have been addressed.

And, at the end of the day, if people still just really don't like the suggestion, don't get too worked up over it. You are not being downvoted maliciously. People are not out to get you, or punish you, or to make you unhappy. They are merely expressing their opinion, and the negative effects of the downvote on your account are very minimal. You need to learn to accept the feedback and either address the concerns or move on. When you lash out at the community for providing constructive negative feedback it will not end well; you'll only end up with more negative feedback.

  • The questions that have been downvoted are different than the previous ones. There have been other similar suggestions, I made a different one and it is fine if is downvoted. And I took the time to look over them. For you is the same to Force an user to acept with "suggest"? For me it is not, even remotely. Can you tell me how is that i am lashing out?. The one issue I see is about being able to disagree with others. And I was not even talking just about myself, I can see this happening to others, others have the right to disagree with me, I don't. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 16:40
  • 2
    @Dzyann I made a specific point of including "very similar" posts, not just exact duplicates. Both of these topics are general topics that are brought up a lot. You seem to think you've come up with a truly innovative and completely out there idea. You have not. It has all of the same issues that the other very similar suggestions surrounding the same functionality have. As for you lashing out, that wasn't so much directed at you as addressing the question in general. Lots of people who have their suggestions downvoted/rejected do lash out and take personal offense. – Servy Mar 22 '13 at 16:47
  • I don't think I came with something super unique, and I am not even talking about myself, I am talking about the mechanics of it. I gave myself as example. – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 16:51
  • @Dzyann And I think that this answer tends to apply to more than just you. I've found that truely innovative ideas, even ones that aren't all that likely to work out or have major flaws, tend to not get all that many downvotes, if it's made in good faith and a well written/explained post. The suggestions that get lots of downvotes on meta tend to be the ones that are just repeating an old suggestion or a minor rehash of some other idea (or not intended to be constructive). This is not adding value to the community (generally) so that is reflected in the votes on the post. – Servy Mar 22 '13 at 16:55
  • As much as people like to say that downvotes reflect disagreement, it's not actually the case as much as (even many regular meta users) seem to think. – Servy Mar 22 '13 at 16:56
  • But then the faq is wrong. From your comment I see that it is obvious that 2 different things are gathered with the same index, deeming it useless. People ignores the reputation because it means "disagreement/agreement". – Dzyann Mar 22 '13 at 17:16
  • @Dzyann 1) People don't ignore it, they just give it less weight; it means less but not nothing. 2) It has been discussed multiple times how the fact that votes mean different things in different contexts is both confusing and lessens the value of rep/votes. This is certainly true, and as seen in point #1, does indeed lessen the value people place on rep/votes, but doesn't mean that it's useless or means nothing. It still helps, it just helps less than it does in non-meta sites. There does need to be an effective and concise means of expression opinions to suggestions. – Servy Mar 22 '13 at 17:19

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .