Actually, I am not questioning the system. But I would like to understand the reason behind it.

When a question is tagged as bad question/opinion based etc etc. Then the answer to the respective questions also should get affected right.

If the question is invalid, then the respective answer to the question also should get invalidated. Answers of a question gets so many positive points and question becomes invalid.

How should I understand it.

Simple question is that, when a person is seeking help genuinely, how can we discourage him by negative voting and subsequently not allowing to post.

If a person is as matured as the answering person, then he will be also knowing the answer for the question he is asking.


Simply put, a question being bad doesn't mean the answer is also bad. That's why we have the reversal badge.

Negative votes a question gets indicate its quality by saying that it's

  • A curious call from someone who clearly doesn't know what they're dealing with, or
  • "What's your favorite toothbrush?" kind of question. (Which is proven a billion times not to be a productive one)
  • A question that has clearly many, many duplicates. (Which shows lack of friendship with Google)
  • unclear to the degree that makes unicorns cry.
  • etc.

While answering blatantly off-topic, unclear or octuplicate (questions that have been closed as duplicate) questions is very discouraged, sometimes one answers them in a way that you learn a lot from them.

For example, see the answer to this question. The answerer isn't answering for imaginary points, they genuinely want to help/teach someone else in need, with a comprehensive answer pointing out all the problems with their code/question.

This is an incentive we want to award. Thus the positive points and badges the answerer gets.

  • Side note: I'm not saying that all bad questions should and would get answers like those. Those are just someone going beyond the limits, bending down more than others and trying to pull up whoever is down there. Bad question doesn't mean the answer must be bad too. – M.A.R. Aug 27 '15 at 9:20
  • Simple question is that, when a person is seeking help genuinely, why should we discourage him by negative voting and subsequently not allowing to post. If a person is as matured as the answering person, then he will be also knowing the answer for the question he is asking. – Vishwamithra Aug 29 '15 at 7:12
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    @Vish downvotes shouldn't discourage you; they should make you think. They're not saying "you suck!"; they're saying "there's a problem with this question.". Last but not the least, Stack Overflow should be your last resort; when your search didn't help you. – M.A.R. Aug 29 '15 at 7:19
  • You have all rights. But, my suggestion is this, the down voting privilege to a question should be given to the person, who is answering. At times people who could not understand the question properly also down voting it. And there is a possibility for scam. – Vishwamithra Aug 29 '15 at 7:24
  • @Vish usually it's your duty to formulate the question in an understandable way. And feel free to request that on this meta as a separate question, but don't expect others to agree with you. Bad quality questions usually shouldn't get answers, and downvoting a question is also a signal to others not to waste their time on a bad question. – M.A.R. Aug 29 '15 at 7:27
  • @in Got the point. Help me. The current question got 4 down votings. What could the issue in this question. – Vishwamithra Aug 29 '15 at 7:31
  • @Vish don't worry about the votes in meta. Votes here just mean "I disagree with you." and they don't mean "the question is bad." People probably downvoted because they disagree with your third and last paragraph (last revision). – M.A.R. Aug 29 '15 at 7:35

First, understand that the vast majority of answers to bad questions are also bad and do not get a lot of upvotes. You have correctly observed that there are some "exceptions to the rule" where a question that is generally considered awful somehow gets an answer that makes the world a better place.

You say that you're not questioning this and just want to understand it, but you also say that it should not be this way. You're wrong to think it should not be this way. Sometimes it is this way - not often, but sometimes. It generally happens when:

  • the flaws in the question are ones of clarity (readability, completeness, having an actual question) rather than of scope (offtopic, sendmetehcodes, wall of code)
  • the missing information is easily guessable by someone who knows the area well, and appears unguessable to others. This will lead those others to downvote the question for missing vital information
  • the answerer is patient, gentle, and a bit of a psychic debugger, who not only solves the problem the questioner was facing, but explains what's going on in a clear and understandable way. Often, when you read an answer like this you find yourself suddenly able to understand the question for the first time

Going around trying to be this answerer is not a healthy strategy. Most bad questions are just plain bad and can't be rescued with a great answer. But once in a while, it happens, and we even have a badge for it - Reversal! Reversal is easy to get on meta sites, where downvotes have a somewhat different meaning, and answers can sometimes be "why I think this feature request would be bad" instead of a true answer. But you can find Reversal winners all over Stack Exchange - people who have somehow spotted the true question in a big pile of mess, and helped someone else. It's a rare but good thing.

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    Well said! Specially the third bullet point is something I couldn't say. – M.A.R. Aug 29 '15 at 7:21

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