I'm not complaining about being downvoted, I won't care, but I'm just curious if this is allowed when the site is proposed to reward correct answers and not competition.

My answer just got downvoted for a tactical climb, is this allowed?

My answer got a +1/-1 being the oldest one, while the answer with (+3/0) provides the same solution than mine but lacks content.

Is this kind of tactical downvoting allowed?

  • 3
    You just take it for granted the author of different answer downvoted you, while it's really not obvious. Good chance the downvotes are from ordinary users who just came to the question and went over the answers. If the author of that other answer scored higher than yours would leave comment admitting he's the one to downvote it's a different story but that's not the case here. Dec 23, 2013 at 12:54

3 Answers 3


It's not tactical at all.

Your answer is being downvoted since folk have since realised that it's incorrect. (See the comment appended to your answer).

The Stack Exchange sites are not social networks: they aim to build a library of questions and answers.

  • 1
    No - the OP's answer is the same fix as the highly up-voted answer. Dec 23, 2013 at 12:35
  • @Duncan: that may well be the case but I'm not talking about the highly upvoted answer. I'm postulating about the OP's answer, which is not correct.
    – Bathsheba
    Dec 23, 2013 at 12:38
  • Well... it is correct. Have you even tried it? It works perfectly. Dec 23, 2013 at 12:42
  • If it is correct (it looks to me like the numbers are just appended to the file) then perhaps the answer can be salvaged by editing.
    – Bathsheba
    Dec 23, 2013 at 12:46
  • I suspect it was briefly incorrect (within the five minute edit window), attracting a comment and a down-vote. I've edited the text in the hope of making it slightly clearer. If you doubt the answer is correct, you should test it. Dec 23, 2013 at 12:49
  • I didn't edited my answer at all, it could be checked by revisions stackoverflow.com/posts/20743306/revisions
    – RamonBoza
    Dec 23, 2013 at 12:55
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    And now the answer is correct. So +1. Both the editing and the attention that this question has gained on this site means I have a hunch that the answer will, in the long term, attract the most upvotes. Was this the plan all along ;-) That would be tactical.
    – Bathsheba
    Dec 23, 2013 at 12:58
  • @RamonBoza Ok, then the down-vote was quite likely erroneous. But note that edits made within 5 minutes of posting your answer don't appear in the history, so pointing at the revision list isn't actually proof of anything :-P Dec 23, 2013 at 12:58
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    @Bathsheba, then if you found his answer is correct you should edit this answer. Dec 23, 2013 at 14:03

Anyone is free to vote posts as they please. If they think a post isn't useful or helpful, they can downvote it. The reason your post got downvoted is because your answer doesn't explain much and/or the downvoter thinks it's wrong. Your answer tells the OP what he's doing wrong but fails to explain why it is wrong.


I don't understand the down-votes, personally. Your answer is correct. Don't assume it's tactical though, people vote for all sorts of reasons and rarely leave comments explaining why.

I find the higher-voted answer easier to read, but that's a personal thing. That would probably cause me to up-vote that answer in favour of yours. But I wouldn't down-vote yours for that reason.

  • 1
    Agree here completely. I can imagine why two people (as of this moment) down voted it either 1) believing it to be incorrect or 2) thinking it not so clear, but I wouldn't have. But doesn't seem malicious at all. Dec 23, 2013 at 13:52

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