I asked this question: Order of join operations: would these two FROM clauses produce the same results?

The idea was that I wanted to improve a query that I didn't write into something better. My attempt to improve it probably wasn't very good, and I was getting some flack over how horrible both queries were. I responded to AaronBertrand by saying "I appreciate the condescending attitude, but clearly I'm here asking because I would like to do it better and not because I like it the way it is."

I should have had the wisdom to know that would just be pouring fuel on the fire, but I'm sure most people here can relate to why I said that (even if you generally have more restraint than I do to not say anything).

I don't have a problem with any of this, but what I'm not too particularly happy about is that I suddenly get another arrogant response from AaronBertrand on a different question (How to run a batch file in xp_cmdshell), followed by a downvote and a vote to close that question.

I don't know that he was the one that gave the down or close votes but I'm fairly sure it was someone who came from the other question, and who didn't come to the latter question out of any desire to answer it.


2 Answers 2


The title of your question says it all to me

What should I do when I feel someone is downvoting/closing out of spite?

The simple answer to that is, ignore it and move on.

When it comes to downvotes, you don't know who downvoted you. I have had several comments thrown at me along the lines of "thanks for the downvote", including follow up emails, when I left a comment critical of the post, but was not the one downvoting. And even if you're right in your guess about who downvoted you, users are free to vote however they see fit. If the votes fall within what is allowed (so no serial voting and such) there is nothing you can do about it.

As for close votes, your question needs 5 to get closed. So one vote out of spite will not mean a whole lot. If your question does attract the 5 votes however, don't assume they are all out of spite or caused by malicious users. Take a step back. Is your question really as good as you think it is? And if you can't answer that convincingly, take it to Meta. Ask us for our honest opinions. And believe me, you'll get them. Positive or negative. It might give you information on how your question is bad, or how the close voters are wrong and the question should really be reopened.

But that's all there is to it. Don't start guessing who voted on what. Don't waste your time arguing with someone you don't want to argue with. Take a step back, take the votes for what they are, and look for the constructive way forward.

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    Bart, you are a sage and a gentleman. And possibly, you might have a cool Swedish accent. May 23, 2013 at 22:15

Let's recap. You asked this question. Arguably too localized because it can take a lot of work to reverse engineer such queries. I commented that the queries were awful, but also suggested that you, yourself, could both (a) determine whether they were semantically equivalent and (b) determine whether they have equivalent performance, better than anyone else could at just a glance, and even told you how to do that.

In your second question, which I only came across to see if you had asked other questions like this in the past, you received a syntax error that should have been trivial to troubleshoot. This, too, is too localized. I voted to close this question because it is unlikely to help future visitors (while also leaving a comment telling you exactly how to fix it). It was a very simple "oops, I got my syntax wrong" question.

I have since removed all of my comments because you declared them as unhelpful. shrug Not much I can do about that.

Also note that I am not the only one that has voted either of these questions to be closed. Don't feel like people are targeting you, they're just targeting your bad questions. And when you give attitude to people who are legitimately trying to help you, even if they're not the most polite about it, you should expect that you might get some attitude back.

And finally, as a side note, be very careful about coming to meta and calling out users by name. People will be much less likely to help you in the future if they think that anything they say might come back to haunt them in a witch hunt here. People don't appreciate getting called out, and you could have established the context of your question without bringing in specifics. Of course, someone would have inevitably still begged for specifics, but you would have received answers without them, too. As a bonus, not naming me or listing the specific questions might have spared them from getting even more negative attention. I have often considered using a sock puppet account to ask questions on meta, specifically so that people can't track through my profile to find out who I'm talking about. No matter how much someone has irked me, it's just not worth calling them out, and it makes you look worse than them, every time.

  • No, your comment didn't tell me how to fix it. You made an incorrect assumption that I had changed the text for the example, but it is verbatim. And in response to your final side note, I actually asked you not to answer my questions anymore because I "don't" want your help. I'm not sure if you missed that or you just enjoy annoying people. May 23, 2013 at 21:56
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    @BrandonMoore - Aaron can answer as many or as few of your questions as he likes, and there is absolutely nothing that you will ever be able to do about it.
    – user164207
    May 23, 2013 at 21:57
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    And do you think I'm the only person who sees this post, who might potentially consider answering any question of yours in the future? Do you think meta is a different universe?
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    May 23, 2013 at 21:57
  • @JackManey I know, it was a response to his statement that I might turn away people who would answer my questions. I was pointing out that I'm actually trying to do so right now and it's not working. May 23, 2013 at 21:59
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    @BrandonMoore - You're admitting that you're a troll, then? Why, exactly, do you ask questions on SO?
    – user164207
    May 23, 2013 at 22:00
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    @BrandonMoore I think you missed my point. Bringing this nonsense to meta (and having your other ridiculous questions here revealed) is going to serve to turn away a lot more users than me from answering your questions or interacting with you in any way at all.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    May 23, 2013 at 22:00
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    @BrandonMoore top tip: keep things cool and neutral on Meta. Particularly on Meta.
    – Bart
    May 23, 2013 at 22:00
  • @AaronBertrand Don't worry, I didn't miss your point. May 23, 2013 at 22:04
  • Okay, carry on... <shrug>
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    May 23, 2013 at 22:04
  • @AaronBertrand If my question is so bad then why did it get reopened so quickly? Better get your little friends together and go close it again so you can feel like you're right and that it wasn't just closed out of spite to begin with. May 24, 2013 at 17:11
  • 2
    Because you got some sympathy from your little friends here. Duh.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    May 24, 2013 at 18:09
  • @AaronBertrand You honestly believe that the people who reopened it were only trying to show me their sympathy and that they weren't doing it for legitimate reasons? That seems a bit farfetched to me, but I can tell you definitely that they weren't my friends. However, I don't know whether they were little or not... that's a distinct possibility. May 25, 2013 at 21:58
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    @BrandonMoore shhhhhh, your bad, too localized question, still without an answer is still alive. If you keep yapping about it I think your luck might change. Did you check obvious brain-dead things like your file is called alert.bat.txt but you haven't figured out how to stop Windows from hiding extensions? Do you really think this question is going to be useful for anyone else? How is it possible that you still haven't solved this on your own, posted a self-answer, and let this bad question die? Can you leave me alone about it now please? What do you think you're accomplishing?
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    May 25, 2013 at 23:15
  • @AaronBertrand I don't have extensions hidden and I haven't figured it out yet because I had to switch to another project and I hoped I might get some help by the time I pick it back up. And there are tons of errors people post on here related to 'silly mistakes'. If this turns out to be one of those, that doesn't mean that I'm the only one who might run into the problem. Actually it means it's more likely others will run into it. If it doesn't turn out to be something silly, then it will underline how arrogant you can be in your responses. May 27, 2013 at 6:38
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    "too localized" does not mean "stupid OP". Where did you get that anyone was saying you are stupid? May 27, 2013 at 16:24

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