Why does some questions with no code/effort shown (of the type - "How do i..") gets many up votes, while other questions gets many down votes, for example:

2 up votes. Calculate how many hours until 8 AM

6 down votes https://stackoverflow.com/questions/14145183/calculate-time-betwen-two-datetime-from-sql

Notes/Disclaimers: This is just an example - I've saw some more similar cases. I can understand that very complex questions are more likely to get positive feedback even if there is no code or effort shown, but i am talking about question that doesn't consider as most difficult.

  • 3
    One; from ages ago, other; from this year. Things change Sep 19, 2013 at 17:07
  • Also the meta effect will probably have the old one closed within minutes Sep 19, 2013 at 17:09
  • @Richard not so. I cast the first votes on both of those.
    – Cole Tobin
    Sep 21, 2013 at 20:29
  • @Cole, disappointing, my flag goes sad and unloved for days Sep 21, 2013 at 20:35
  • @Richard well, the second one is closed, but the first one remains open.
    – Cole Tobin
    Sep 28, 2013 at 19:14

3 Answers 3


There can be any number of reasons. Sometimes the questions are asked in different tags, which tend to have their own "communities" and voting practices. The time of day a post gets it's most attention affects the nationalities of the people most likely to be online. Sometimes it's just luck; the people that happened to choose that question were more inclined to vote one way or another. Sometimes the underlying concept of a question can be interesting/boring, and the votes will reflect that, regardless of the question's quality.

There can also be external factors; a post can end up linked from a blog post in which it's mentioned in a positive light; it could get a quality answer, and people are more likely to upvote a question that generates a quality answer than one that doesn't.

The quality of a question can still vary even without code. There can be great (or at least okay) questions without code, just as there can be terrible questions with/without code.

Voting cultures also change over time. One of your questions is very old, another is recent. A question might be hard to find an answer for at one point in time, but have easily accessible answer/solutions all over the place a few years later. The standards of the site even change over time. In the case of SO, they have largely gotten more and more strict.


Three reasons:

  1. The down-voted question was originally just one jumbled paragraph with five questions in it:

    How can I in C# calculate time difference between two DATETIME fields in SQL row? I have login_time (DATETIME) and logout_time (DATETIME) fields in MySql database. I need to return time difference between two DATETIMEs in hours. I write starting time and ending times into textBoxes, and want to insert calculated time difference into another textBox.

    1. How to read from textbox 1.
    2. How to read from textbox 2.
    3. How to write into textbox 3.
    4. How to subtract a datetime in either cSharp or MySQL (wasn't clear from the question).
    5. How do I get the hours portion from a date-time delta.
  2. Asking so many simple questions without providing any code makes it appear that you haven't put any work into your request.

  3. Phrases like "I want" and "I need" don't sound right to many people.

People vote for all sorts of reasons.

Most people "pile on" voting.

Some people vote based on how much rep the user has.

Some people vote based on what they had for breakfast.

Some people vote based on criteria which are completely random and inexplicable.

Some people vote because the sky is blue.

enter image description here

  • 5
    like why has this post downvoted Sep 19, 2013 at 18:47
  • What did you have for breakfast?
    – Jamal
    Sep 21, 2013 at 18:39
  • 1
    @Jamal pistachios. It was awesome.
    – enderland
    Sep 21, 2013 at 18:40
  • Good call on my premature upvote, then!
    – Jamal
    Sep 21, 2013 at 18:40

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