Good day all

So I have been a member of the stackexchange site for sometime, about 2-3 years, having made a few contributions, asked a few questions and so forth, however I have noticed over the course of questions (and answers) is that each person, mostly moderators, are more focused on downvoting a question they do not deem fit for the site.

Now naturally, I can't ask a question about Newtons' laws of physics on serverfault, the same way I can't ask a C# question on Mathematica.

Here's the rub, take myself as an example, I am a university student 2nd/3rd year Bachelors in Computer Science, now I am still learning, about Mathematics, about coding methods, algorithms, etc. and say on the side I am trying to get to know Linux beter to migrate to.

Based on this, I might ask, how do I add a desktop icon in Linux Ubuntu Gnome or a similar question, but while asking the question, I find myself at a lack of the correct words, thus I am not able to make myself as clear as I would like.

Another example would be a problem who's answer is obvious to a mod/user but not to my will be downvoted.

I and many others (this is logical) would not ask a question if I do not know the answer to it, if I ask a stupid question, why downvote, I do not know the answer, so answer me. Else I will ask the question 3 times more, till I get an answer. That is what the site is for, right? Not downvotes, if I wanted negative feedback, I will post something depressing of facebook.

This here is a case, where I am not sure if I am making myself clear, but focus more on actual helping, instead of downvoting, since a 20k rating won't in any way help me with my question being answered!

UPDATE I like to compare life situation's to my time a primary school, since all of us have been there and all of us were equals there

All of you, even you new commers to this quesiton have asked a stupid question or something you didn't get but everyone else did.

Did you teacher/educator say, "Derp, go read you text book again",etc. or did he/she come and actually help you to find the answer to 5*7?

The purpose, for anyone and everyone is to help each other, hence the master-student parable, who are you going to be, a teacher that decides because this kid didn't get it the first time now he will be left behind or will you go and help this kid, and maybe, just maybe you could be of help to someone.

In the mean time, I'll go to yahoo answers from now on,

Thanks Stackoverflow, may you repository of real-world solutions lead man into a new age of thinking, hopefully where someone might show some kind of humanity to another!

  • 11
    Downvoting this because there is absolutely no way you can know that a mod is focused on downvoting you. Voting is anonymous, unless the voter leaves a comment stating why they downvoted (such as what I have done here). It seems you have a problem with moderators for some reason, more than with the voting. – JonW Dec 1 '15 at 13:45
  • 1
    I do not have a problem with moderators even though they are mostly, active, but i have a MAJOR problem with people more focused on not helping at all...just read my post again...you clearly do not understand what the reason is for the post. Help some, not downvote and walk away! – Cybex Dec 1 '15 at 13:49
  • 4
    I have read it. You're saying that people (mostly moderators) will downvote questions that are not on-topic for a site, even if the answer is obvious. Well I think that is an appropriate use of the downvote. You need to research for answers before posting questions. If the answer is obvious then it won't be hard to find the answer. And moderators are just as entitled to downvote as others. But you can't say it's mostly them, because you don't know that. – JonW Dec 1 '15 at 13:51
  • 1
    @JonW ok, besides the "moderator part", do you have anything else to actually contribute. Lots of questions end up taking this route, say 1 thing that people disagree on, I can jsut aswel delete the question and re-ask since no one is helping! Answering. Finding a solution to a problem. Please understand that JonW. That is the reason I am asking. Not to waste my time, if I wanted to waste my time, I would rather prefer a game of League of Legends. p.s. before I ask a question, I always search for an answer, just incase you wanted to argue about that! Just a reminder for future, HELP others! – Cybex Dec 1 '15 at 13:59
  • 7
    You seem to be missing the point of Stack Exchange, which is to build a repository of solutions to real-world problems. It does that by soliciting questions about real problems from people. That the Asker is actually helped is secondary. To that end, questions that don't seem that they'll be useful to the world at large tend to attract downvotes. If your question isn't clear enough for people to understand, it's not helpful. – ale Dec 1 '15 at 14:08
  • see update all! – Cybex Dec 1 '15 at 14:30
  • 2
    I've had this conversation once already today, but in essence; downvotes are not for you (the asker) - they're me signalling my view that the rest of the community might not want to waste time on this question, as it is not a good one. – Jamiec Dec 1 '15 at 14:30
  • 2
    Check out my answer here - In short, we want downvotes and close/hold votes so that the experts who are volunteering their time to help people out don't have to see a lot of questions which are not in their niche. The burden is on the question asker to find the right place and write the question well, not on the expert to answer every question, good or bad. – Pollyanna Dec 1 '15 at 14:32
  • 4
    Stack Overflow is not a primary school where you are spoon fed knowledge and have paid professionals to answer your questions. Folks here are (apart from employees of Stack Overflow) unpaid and volunteering their time and expertise for free. If you read meta.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask it says: "Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. ". Do that first and you are more likely to get answers. – DavidPostill Dec 1 '15 at 15:29
  • 2
    You were actually asking pretty decent questions. You spent enough time formatting them correctly, which suggests you are conscientious in your actions. Your first question is the only one (not deleted) that's downvoted, and probably because of the way you asked it ("Why doesn't this impossible thing that's easy to debug doesn't work" rather than "here's what I'm trying to do [blah] it's not working because [feh], what should I be doing here?"). I'd love to see the question that spawned this rant; I'd wager it would be simple to fix. – user1228 Dec 1 '15 at 16:56

What you're actually saying, when removing all the noise (which is 99% of the question contents) is that the downvote mechanism is bad, and should be removed.

And to that I do not agree. We should be able to downvote, to let others know "this is not a good post".

You will be surprised, but ordinary users, not only moderators, also downvote. So mentioning moderators is both wrong and unfair.

Last but not least, Stack Exchange sites are not, and never were, personal help forums. That's not the place for someone to come and say "it's not working, please show me how to make it work ASAP, thanks." Not nice, not ideal, but for this you have plenty of other sites around the internet.

  • I'm sorry, the past 3 years on the site has had me completely confused, what is this site for then if not to help people? And yet again, it is obvious that normal users can down vote, i have seen the down vote button, but never used it since, it does not contribute to getting a question answered at all! Don't you agree? – Cybex Dec 1 '15 at 14:20
  • see update all! – Cybex Dec 1 '15 at 14:30
  • 3
    This comment explains the point of Stack Exchange nicely. And no, I totally disagree that we shouldn't use the downvote button. Without downvotes, SE will be just a pale clone of Yahoo Answers and the like, and without a huge pool of funds like Yahoo, it will just be closed down. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Dec 1 '15 at 14:30
  • 4
    Saw the update. Thanks for the time you spent on SE, and good luck on other sites. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Dec 1 '15 at 14:42

a 20k rating won't in any way help me with my question being answered

You are absolutely correct. I've asked some questions that remain unanswered to this day, despite a relatively high reputation. Stack Exchange is not about being your personal assistant, homework tutor or general "how to" tutorial generator. It is here to help the person after you.

You, as the original asker, are here to ask a question. The idea is that you ask a question that another user - at some point in the future - will also have. Instead of that person searching for hours, they find your well written question and associated answer. We've now helped someone else, all because your question was well written, well received and answered today.

Downvotes help that process. They are used to signal that a question isn't "good enough" to stand the test of time. For whatever reason, the question just doesn't fit the goal of helping the person after you that doesn't even know they have a problem yet.

If you receive a downvote (or many), you are being told by the community that something is wrong with your question. You have the ability to fix it though. Edit the question with more appropriate terminology, better grammar, more detailed explanations of your issue or updates to what you've already tried. All of that information is relevant to getting your question answered. It's also relevant for the next user.

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