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Maybe I'm being paranoid but I found it impossible to build rep, because even when I answer questions with absolute precision and accuracy, high rep users will down vote, they even down vote perfectly good questions! I have tried to ask good questions and I have tried give good answers but there is always someone who seems to see your low rep and think 'I'll make there score lower!'.

We are told to include as much info as possible when asking questions but then some high rep user always says 'don't include more than you have to in your question, keep it concise' then if you don't include everything they say 'how do we know any thing if you don't post all the info?'

Like why would anyone down vote this question of mine? @xenteros thinks i need to learn to ask better questions but I can't for the life of me figure out what is wrong with the question

Do any other low rep users find this to be the case ?

  • 9
    they even down vote perfectly good questions, well not to their opinion. – Patrick Hofman Oct 21 '16 at 11:40
  • 5
    include as much info as possible, no, include as much as necessary to understand they question without crystal ball. – Patrick Hofman Oct 21 '16 at 11:41
  • so is it better to not include all the info and wait until some asks me to edit with more info or to include all the info and wait until someone says you've put more info than necessary? – Jackherer Oct 21 '16 at 11:47
  • No, think like you read your question for the first time. What do you need to answer the question? Explanation, a code snippet that runs and gives the error, etc. – Patrick Hofman Oct 21 '16 at 11:48
  • 3
    You should try to create a minimal example that reproduces the problem. I'd have to look into the linked question in detail, but I think the NumberTextWatcher class isn't part of the problem. So, you comment it out, and see if the problem remains. If so, remove it from the example code. If not, see how many of its methods can be emptied/removed. Keep cutting away until a minimal example remains. – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Oct 21 '16 at 11:51
  • @PatrickHofman Yes agreed so if you look at my linked question I included my full MainActivity.java and xenteros edited and removed all the imports but that could lead to people thinking that my error is due to not importing something. And in all fairness to think like you read your question for the first time. What do you need to answer the question? if I knew what I needed to answer the question I wouldn't be asking it in the first place :/? – Jackherer Oct 21 '16 at 11:53
  • @S.L.Barth cheers that's a good technique I will try that in future. – Jackherer Oct 21 '16 at 11:56
  • That particular error isn't caused by not importing something, so anyone that thought that, and submitted an answer should have that answer downvoted. In this particular case reasons were given for people's votes. – Ramhound Oct 21 '16 at 12:03
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    Not all downvotes come from high-rep users. You only need 125 to downvote. You can't know who is downvoting. – Chenmunka Oct 21 '16 at 12:05
  • 2
    You're welcome. Also - you seem to be very new to programming. You may want to learn some basic Java before continuing Android. (I'm told the "Head First" series is good, but I haven't read them myself). – S.L. Barth - Reinstate Monica Oct 21 '16 at 12:13
  • @Jackherer I casted the final close vote. That is way too much code to be useful for any future visitor. Above the links already provided you might find the question checklist useful . – rene Oct 21 '16 at 12:31
  • Note that you've lost a grand total of 2 rep from downvotes. Virtually all of the downvotes cast on you resulted in you losing no reputation as you were already at 1 reputation. Only 1 of the downvotes ever cast on you has ever affected your reputation. – Servy Oct 21 '16 at 13:06
  • 1
    I downvote when people post a link to an answer when they're referring to a question. – user1228 Oct 21 '16 at 16:37
11

I don't know why you're constantly speaking of high-rep-users, I'll just assume you mean anyone above 1k with that.


The biggest problem that StackOverflow is facing nowadays is the decay of quality. Most questions posted are either

  • completely unclear ("I need help!?")
  • not understandable ("中文文本")
  • code dumps (I'll spare you the 2k code I wrote up simply to use it as an example)

or duplicates of questions that were asked long ago, which one could find using either the search function or a search engine.

Let's call these things "taboo". Do one of these things, and you've f-ed up. The main user-base (read as "not the users registering to post a question, only to never be seen again") of StackOverflow nowadays tries really hard to maintain quality.

As such, they will very quickly downvote / flag / closevote questions they don't see fit for StackOverflow (I'm also one of those users).


Let's get to the question you posted. I will use the original version (revision 1) for this:

I am a java noob (but learning fast), and i have been trying to introduce code snippets into my MainActivity in an android project.

That, right there, is the definition of noise. It doesn't matter if you're a noob, almost noone cares. The same goes for stuff like "Hello", "Thanks", "Nice weather", "C# > Java" and so on, everything that doesn't directly help with understanding your question / problem is noise.

My problem is that i have two onCreate(bundle) lines that are conflicting, other answers say to just delete one! when i comment out the top one most of my code throws errors, when i comment out the second one it causes an error on the snippet i was using i.e it stops the setOnClickListener which i assume is a listener on the button i will using to select an image.

The spelling is lacking. That's the first thing most users notice, and that alone is often an indicator of very little effort, which many users adress using downvotes. Also, it's not really good to read.

(Wall of code follows...)

That's an actual no-go. We have a guideline called "MCVE" (Minimal, Complete, Verifiable Example), which basically says that you should reduce your code as much as possible without affecting the ability to reproduce the problem.

Maybe one out of a hundred users looking at your question will actually be okay with digging through code like that, but one out of a hundred is a pretty bad cut, especially considering that you're concerned with reputation. Most of those 99 that won't bother reading through the code will most likely bother with downvoting before leaving.


Conclusion: The high-rep-users are not the bad guys. They're trying to keep up the content-quality of StackOverflow by downvoting / closing / deleting the low-quality-content. Try to improve on the points I've mentioned, there are a lot of guides on MSO, i.e. this one.

Also, always use the search function, regardless of wether you want to post a question or an answer. Asking duplicate questions won't get you reputation (you'll probably lose some instead), and answering duplicate questions certainly won't get you any reputation either.

  • What is with the 1K mark? down voting privileges start at 125, flagging for closure at 15 / 50 rep – rene Oct 21 '16 at 12:59
  • @rene I don't know, it was just a random guess, based on the fact that a lot of users around that mark (and above) are often seen downvoting & commenting on new questions / answers. :) – Seth Oct 21 '16 at 13:01
  • @rene Just 15 rep (it was changed recently) – Servy Oct 21 '16 at 13:05
  • @Servy thanks, I checked the help which wasn't conclusive, then found this meta from Shog9 himself and I assumed he was right, silly me. – rene Oct 21 '16 at 13:18
  • @rene Like I said, it was changed recently (long after that post was made). – Servy Oct 21 '16 at 13:19
  • @Servy this is that change, right? – rene Oct 21 '16 at 13:26
11

I felt the same way and sometimes got frustrated when I joined SE around 13 months ago. The reasons for the feeling were generally (based on my personal experience)

  1. I didn't know how to ask a well-researched, clear and useful question.

  2. I didn't know how to answer with the right research and make my answer clear and useful.

  3. I didn't know people would downvote when I thought my post was perfect.

  4. I didn't know people would downvote my post when I included everything I could.

It is better to raise this issue on each site's Meta with a specific example which you think deserves more upvotes or doesn't deserve any downvote. Other more experienced users will give you a detailed answer about what's good and wrong with your post. Also, there are other questions related with downvote. You can learn how a specific SE site works this way.

I am a very aggressive downvoter as I always try to maintain 50:50 up / downvote ratio. I don't care whether a user is new or old. I just downvote when I find a post under-researched and not useful.

You will learn it as time goes by.

Why does it seem that high rep users pick on low rep users to stop them building rep?

  1. You don't know who are downvoting your post. You can't be sure they are high-rep users. As long as you have 125 reputation points (100 here on Meta SE), you can downvote any question without losing a point.

  2. Most of users are casting much more upvotes than downvotes. You will get more upvotes than downvotes down the road.

Note: You need to have five reputation points to ask a question on a site's Meta, unless you're asking about one of your own questions.

  • Ah, do you remember the big argument we had when you first joined EL&U and posted answers I didn't like? How times have changed. Glad you stuck around. +1. – Dan Bron Oct 21 '16 at 15:15
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    @DanBron Yeah. how can I forget that? You are the one who made Rathony on ELU. – Rathony Oct 21 '16 at 19:42

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