I would like to understand Stack Exchange better and improve my questions' and answers' quality, and this is why I would like to ask the following:

Recently I asked a question here, on Meta, which is received so many downvotes. I would like the understand why, and how can I avoid this? Even better, how can I ask that particular question to receive upvotes? The question is this: Clarification on disdainful answers

I searched for answers here, on Meta, and I found Why was my question downvoted this much?, but it didn't help me to understand my problem.

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    meta.stackexchange.com/help/whats-meta – Oded Oct 21 '17 at 16:49
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    People disagree with your premise, so they downvoted the question. On meta, disagreement is expressed with downvotes. – Oded Oct 21 '17 at 16:51
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    I left a couple of comments on that question, asking for one single example so I would have had something to go on. Instead you evaded with ever more comments. That makes that question not very useful, not for you nor for future visitors. Down voting questions that are not useful is encouraged. – rene Oct 21 '17 at 17:14
  • @rene That's true. Thank you for your explanation. – SiGe Oct 21 '17 at 21:33

Some people may have seen your question as a rant or whine. I don't; to me it looks like a genuine question from someone who is trying to figure out what the community response to a question means. The community here can be a little weird for an outsider, and the signals sent to you are not always clear.

If you question is closed as a duplicate, you haven't done anything wrong. The Stack Exchange sites are designed so that the exact same question is not repeated multiple times, but instead new instances of an old idea are linked to the first one. This is what a duplicate is.

If you think the thing given as a duplicate is not really a duplicate, then elaborate on your question and explain the difference to the proposed duplicate. In my experience, insufficient explanation is what typically leads to confusing responses.

When you ask at meta about responses to some question you asked, please link to that question. People want to see with their own eyes and reinterpret the situation based on their experience.

Why did your question get so many downvotes? I can only guess and the downvoters are not obliged to explain (for a good reason!), but I see these reasons:

  • The meta question looked like a rant. (I disagree, but I believe many saw it in this light.)
  • You did not link to the specific question your experience was about.
  • Your question indicated a misunderstanding about the nature of duplicates. (This was a popular comment.)
  • Many sites have a mechanism for undoing wrong duplicates. I don't know about Stack Overflow, but I assume there is at least one dedicated meta post for this purpose.
  • The question seemed to concern only SO, not the network at large, so the question was somewhat off topic here. The SO meta is the place to ask about specific questions posted at SO.

I hope this clarifies the issue.

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