-14

In order to understand my question better, consider the following scenario

OP asks a question, makes it clear specifically what he/she is looking for. Gets say 5 answers, 4 of them were irrelevant and asked him/her to compromise on requirements. One is exactly what he is looking for, and is complete with detailed information.

The person who submitted the correct answer gets accepted, but that person also commented on other answers telling them that OP was looking for something different.

Now those other answer-ers get defensive and gang up on that person, and downvote the answer submitted by him (and accepted by the asker). They also invite their troll friends to join the force in downvoting, and the accepted answer becomes a -10.

Now, the person who submitted the accepted answer could take those downvote with a grain of salt; but for future readers who are looking for exact same thing when they land on that question's page will not bother reading the accepted answer (most of them if not all of them) because it has been downvoted too much.

What would be the best way to prevent the above scenario? One way I could think of is, we edit the accepted answer; add bold NOTE on top stating that users should not bother the downvotes, this answer works.

Question is complete. Here are a few more variables that were not provided.

  1. Answer-er had commented to those users asking about their objections. Only one of the downvoter responded and nitpicked the answer asking the solution to be utopial. Answer-er to which complied; but that one person would still not take off his downvote.

  2. In future, people might find it helpful and upvote it, but most people won't bother reading it. I and a lot of my friends tend to jump to the highest rated answer.

  • 1
    -1 just for "invite their troll friends" - I don't care about the rest here. This proves your wrong base assumptions. (e.g. that downvote is trolling) – ShaWiz Jun 9 '16 at 11:38
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard I respect your opinion. Downvote is definitely not trolling. I apologize if that connotation was sent across. Downvote I think is a useful and helpful tool. But mass-downvoting is definitely not helpful. – fahadash Jun 9 '16 at 11:56
  • OK, that's good to hear. But still, your assumption that user invite "troll friends" is just way off. Even if a user mention in chat "Please take a look on that question and the answer", each person taking a look has his/her own opinion and won't just downvote because being asked to. – ShaWiz Jun 9 '16 at 11:58
  • @ShadowWizard If you think my question is not a helpful topic that anybody could benefit from. Feel free to refer my question for removal. I am a new user and may not be able to. – fahadash Jun 9 '16 at 12:06
  • This got nothing to do with helpful/useful/good/bad. This isn't Stack Overflow here. Here in Meta we vote based on opinion i.e. if we agree or disagree with what the question is about. So I disagree with your assumptions, hence my downvote. (and probably others as well) – ShaWiz Jun 9 '16 at 12:21
  • @ShadowWizard I don't think I am getting much of any helpful answers either. Just one guy accusing me of lying and still getting upvotes while I am facing a tough scrutiny for suggesting some downvoters might be trolls (not blaming you for that). I would delete this question if I could, I am not getting any helpful information. – fahadash Jun 9 '16 at 12:41
  • Users around here like life. So when somebody comes along and asks, "how do I pull the trigger on a shotgun when the barrel is in my mouth?", we tend to want to refer that user to resources where they can get help for their real issue--mental health professionals, counselors, financial support, etc. When someone like you comes along and tells them to get a long stick, we're going to downvote you. You are helping someone harm themselves, rather than helping that person solve their real problem. Also, that makes you a bad person. Downvote 4 u. – Won't Jun 9 '16 at 13:05
  • @Won't Too many assumptions and flawed analogies in your comment. I choose not to comment on it. – fahadash Jun 9 '16 at 13:42
  • Yet you did. I think it hit a little close to home. – Won't Jun 9 '16 at 13:55
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    @Won't Unless you were referencing the policy on suicidal questions, I think your choice of example was poor. – Laurel Jun 9 '16 at 20:58
  • @Laurel Don't take analogies literally. – Won't Jun 10 '16 at 13:10
  • What purpose is there to tell other answers see you were wrong I am right? Accepted does not always mean right. If they want to follow up see if another answer was accepted they may. – paparazzo Jul 15 '16 at 19:31
6

Now those other answer-ers get defensive and gang up on that person, and downvote the answer submitted by him (and accepted by the asker). They also invite their troll friends to join the force in downvoting, and the accepted answer becomes a -10.

Proof or it didn't happen. How do you know who downvoted that post? Not even moderators can see who voted on what post, so are you using your crystal ball or something?

What would be the best way to prevent the above scenario?

If it really happened the way you described, the serial voting reversion script should to the trick and correct all bad votes. Otherwise a moderator could investigate the voting patterns and see if there was voting fraud going on. A flag could bring such cases to the attention of the moderators. We expect users to look carefully to the answers they use, so eventually users will come in and check and use the accepted answer. If it works for them, they will upvote that post, giving it a positive score.

However, I seriously doubt it went the way you described. I guess the answer wasn't that good, although it seemed that way to the user that asked the question. Expert users saw flaws in the answer, and downvoted it.

  • "serial voting reversion script should to the trick and correct all bad votes." - something that I'm not aware of. Could you elaborate please? – nicael Jun 9 '16 at 10:51
  • @nicael It should be able to detect voting rings too, so it could revert malicious votes. – Patrick Hofman Jun 9 '16 at 10:51
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    @Patrick It doesn't detect this way of voting... – nicael Jun 9 '16 at 10:58
  • @nicael How do you know. The script it sophisticated and it can check IP groups for example. – Patrick Hofman Jun 9 '16 at 10:59
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    @nicael Added flagging option in my answer. – Patrick Hofman Jun 9 '16 at 11:00
  • IP groups, probably, but I wouldn't think OP did mean a gang which has a definite locale. – nicael Jun 9 '16 at 11:01
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    @nicael But the mods probably know anyway: meta.stackexchange.com/q/146985 – Laurel Jun 9 '16 at 12:12
3

Assuming the situation happened exactly as you described it, I suggest commenting on the accepted answer. Something like

This answer has only been downvoted by other answerers trying to promote their own answers. It has been accepted by the asker, proving it works

However the situation you describe is highly unlikely. While tactical downvoting may occasionally happen, it is not common, and I would suggest that a situation where all the other answerers downvote a good answer to give advantage to their own is unheard of. What is more likely is that a simple and naïve answer, which "feels right" to the asker, is actually dangerous. Many visitors, including those who didn't answer, see this danger and downvote.

Consider someone asking a question about law or safety (can I get caught if I drink and drive, might riding a motorcycle without a helmet be dangerous, is it ok to eat meat that has been out of the fridge for 2 days) and many people answering "don't! you'll get caught/killed/sick" and one person answering "go ahead! I did it, I was fine!" This is not a good answer, it's not correct, and it deserves the downvotes it gets, even if the asker accepts it because they want it to be correct.

To see if that's what's happening here, consider adding a comment like

Downvoters, please explain what's wrong with this answer. It looks OK to me, am I missing something?

Some people don't like such comments, but if you really truly do not know why it's getting downvoted, and the only possibility you can consider is tactical downvoting, then I recommend you ask. It will be a learning opportunity. But be careful not to sound defensive, or as though you demand they justify their downvote. You want to learn what you don't know, so make that clear in your comment.

If you don't have enough rep to comment and it's not your answer or question, then you will probably just have to let this one go by, and perhaps in a few months or years you'll know what the issue was with the answer.

  • Accepted by user does not mean it works. I have seen many incorrect accepted answers. – paparazzo Jul 15 '16 at 19:29
0

Now those other answer-ers get defensive and gang up on that person, and downvote the answer submitted by him (and accepted by the asker). They also invite their troll friends to join the force in downvoting, and the accepted answer becomes a -10.

By the time they cast their votes a moderator will catch on. Ganging up on someone like that will quickly raise flags and alert moderators assuming they really are troll friends. Now you have to realize that these friends have to have 125+ rep to do so thus this situation, assuming it has happened, will be very risky on dealing with the mods. But this situation would probably never exist. Seriously, four users calling upon six other people, who gained 125 rep in what seems to be in mere minutes, to downvote a single answer.

Now, the person who submitted the accepted answer could take those downvote with a grain of salt; but for future readers who are looking for exact same thing when they land on that question's page will not bother reading the accepted answer (most of them if not all of them) because it has been downvoted too much.

Not necessarily. The person with the accepted answer can easily argue back that they are incorrect as he owns the correct answer with the checkmark: which means the OP must have thought that the answer correctly answers his question. No matter to what extent the others complain, the OP can and has accepted an answer that has correctly answer his question to the point that he feels it is the correct answer. Period.

What would be the best way to prevent the above scenario?

Do what I said above: comment saying that the OP marked the answer as the best answer as it was seen as the best answer in the OP's opinion, not the other users' opinions. Maybe even alert the OP to help out with the situation but it is not the community's job to decide the best answer. They can help with upvotes and positive feedback.

0

There are two different aspect in your question.

The first one is a "rant aspect". I won't judge your question based on this but know that, correctly, or incorrectly as it may be, a question like your is going to be seen as yet another users "crying" about getting downvoted and trying to have the votes reversed. Again, this may be not your case but know that as it is the question probably will be seen as such and downrated just for this, even if it may actually point to some valid issue. Also notice that this isn't valid just for your question. Any question that seem to be just a rant about the system may risk to gets its hidden value unseen if people are distracted by the rant.

Another point to consider is the actual issue you describe: voting and scores that weren't given base on actual posts quality and value but on arbitrary reasons that may end up hurting the overall utility of the site. There are actually two considerations that should be made. As far as the system goes, blatant vote abuses will be reverted, but it is possible that single "troll" votes may slip in because an automated system has really no way to catch those. This should cover up users from getting hit by massive arbitrary voting (up or down it doesn't mater - don't focus your view just on downvotes. Serial upvote is a thing, too). So, with the ones providing the contents at least partial covered, the other aspect you may want to consider is how the readers will be covered.

As the tour page says:

Good answers are voted up and rise to the top.

You may see the great value in this line, and yet how easy it is for it to fall short. Stack Exchange whole visibility system is centered on people voting based on quality. The more the quality of a content, the more votes it gets, the move visibility it will have (forgive me for simplifying the system a bit, I won't consider things like flagging, content deletion, and such here... let's keep things simple). Sadly, the strength of this model is also it main weakness in a way - it requires votes, both in quantity, and quality. If the votes are few or they are given randomly, just to win a hat or a badge, the quality won't rise and our goal of "making the world better, one answered question at time" will fail too.

So, what can we do? Many "solutions" to the "low quality_votes/noise_votes" (most time attributed to the "unexplained downvote" issue but actually a wider problem, think for example at very low traffic sites where posts gets 2-3 votes at best) ratio has been discussed in the past

Encouraging people to explain downvotes Should basic netiquette dictate that we post reasons for downvoting? Allow users to leave an anonymous comment when voting

I suggest you start by reading these if you are interested in pursuing this discussion further, to give you an initial idea of the many viewpoints the community have about it.

Just please bear in mind the mayor point here. The issue should not be centered on the fact that "you" are getting downvotes that aren't rating quality but are instead given or reasons different from the original intended use. That will move the focus on you instead that on the site and will end up probably regarded as whining.

If you really care, focus your points on the damage those noise votes (and again, I repeat, this include noise upvotes too) are causing to what should be our mission all along.

Make that good content rise to the top.

  • Hey there, what happened to @Derpy? – ShaWiz Aug 16 '16 at 21:32
  • @ShadowWizard - I am currently pretty busy, some house works going on (repainting mostly) that are eating up most of my time. Will probably be more available next week. – SPArchaeologist Aug 17 '16 at 7:06

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