A few minutes ago, a person downvoted my answer on Stack Overflow to one question, because the actual question is not suitable for the site.

I've never seen anybody downvoting an answer because such questions shouldn't be encouraged.

He said:

Downvoted because I feel such questions should not be answered. Answering these questions will only promote laziness and degrade the usefulness of this site, IMHO.

He flagged the question, but it didn't get closed yet. I don't know if it doesn't fit or not. In that case, how justified is it to down-vote an answer?

In the first place, is it acceptable to down-vote an answer stating that reason?

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    Users can downvote for whatever reason they like. If they downvote because the weather outside is frightful, there is nothing you can do about it. – Bart Jun 4 '13 at 10:23
  • @Bart but my question is this behavior accepted? is that the meaning of downvote? – user224347 Jun 4 '13 at 10:25
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    Good, honest explanations for down votes are rare. Right or wrong, just keep in mind some will vote this way, and post accordingly. It's not my favorite reason to down vote, but I can see the connection to a way you could interpret "not useful", per the down vote tooltip. – Andrew Barber Jun 4 '13 at 10:28
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    I do agree with the commented, in that answering off-topic questions just promotes more of them (degrading the experience for us all). Whether this is a reason enough to downvote an answer - that's a personal choice... – Oded Jun 4 '13 at 10:30
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    If a poor question is answered before it is closed then it makes it harder for that question to be removed in the future. The site suffers because of poor answers so downvoting answers left against poor questions may help deter people from answering such questions in future. It actually costs people reputation to downvote answers, people don't do it willy-nilly. – JonW Jun 4 '13 at 10:30
  • @JonW but most people think that it's down voted because it's wrong answer... – user224347 Jun 4 '13 at 11:10

In the first place, is it acceptable to down vote an answer stating that reason?

Users are not forced to provide a reason for their donwvote. And even if they do we cannot cancel their action because you think it's not a valid reason.

The question you answered was indeed lazy and I probably agree with the fact that it shouldn't have been answered. But I don't downvote for such reasons as the question (and answers) are probably gonna end up deleted anyway.

  • there is no difference between the two versions except the second version has the code formatted....it could be because new user is not experienced enough to post the code formatted – user224347 Jun 4 '13 at 10:53
  • @pinkpanther, there's a very important difference: the second and final edit has an actual question ("Can anybody explain to me what this means?") while the first one does not. – Shoe Jun 4 '13 at 10:54
  • there are only two revisions I could see and in first revision "Can anybody explain to me what this means?") this sentence was in first line while in the current version it's in the last line – user224347 Jun 4 '13 at 10:56
  • @pinkpanther, apprently you are right. I still think it's lazy though. – Shoe Jun 4 '13 at 11:04
  • then it's worth editing your mention "in it's first version" I assume :) – user224347 Jun 4 '13 at 11:05
  • and the down voter says question shouldn't be downvoted because the asker might get discouraged to post in stackoverflow in future... and the question asker not asking to debug his program... he is just asking what the specific error line means? it only gave 3 results in google for me... and all are from the stackoverflow about the same post – user224347 Jun 4 '13 at 11:26
  • @pinkpanther, I just saw this meta post. Anyway, what is the first result for this Google search for you? – Anish Ramaswamy Jun 4 '13 at 12:59
  • @AnishRam Well, I'm talking about this [google.co.in/… Google search) and I'm emphasizing that the OP might need interpretation that I provided in my answer – user224347 Jun 4 '13 at 13:01

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