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A while back I saw a question (Q1) about why the unix command cat was called that and what was the use when you could simply use vim.
Question was well received and upvoted, but the actual reaction should have been, Asking "What research did you do ?", which is a general site-requirement.

I also saw a question (Q2) about tee which (the OP claimed) did nothing and why it was so named.
Again, Question was well received and upvoted, but the actual reaction should have been, Asking "What research did you do ?"

Now I see a question (Q3) in CSE titled "Control Flow Statements Explained" but the title is not accurate; It is about running an infinite loop with a finite number of transistors.
Instead of upvoting or answering, the question should have been edited for clarity, which is a general site-requirement.

Again, in Puzzling SE, I sometimes see questions (Q4) which have so many "correct" answers that OP keeps saying "Oh, that is right but that is not what I was thinking" and finally accepts the nearest to what he was thinking.
Here a site-requirement is that Puzzle questions should have only one correct answer. Hence question should be Put on hold (or even Closed or Deleted) until it is edited such that only one answer is possible.

I have seen many more such cases of low quality Posts getting upvoted and getting into HNQ.

All these questions are well received and upvoted, but the actual reaction should have been something else.

Meanwhile, I have see questions which follow the site-requirements, are clear and are well-researched, but get downvoted and deleted, or edited beyond recognition.

Why such arbitrary behaviour by community ?

Some thoughts on why this happens:
(R1) a new question gets a view from a random newbie who may want rep Points, so he is ready to answer silly questions which can be answered elsewhere, and his initial upvote draws in more upvotes which may lead to HNQ selection.
(R2) a new question gets a view from somebody who downvotes questions he does not like [I have seen such comments like "I downvoted because I feel others may not be interested in this"] and this downvote leads to more downvotes.
(R3) Some readers think that answering is easier than editing questions ( Newbies may not even be aware of editing ) ; Now the answers bring in more viewership and more answers.
(R4) Some times, I see the formation of cliques, who upvote answers by each others.

I may be partially right or even entirely wrong. Hence I am asking here.

I also suggest the following:
(S1) Maybe remove downvoting. Upvote good questions. Flagging of Bad questions is enough. Ignore questions you are not interested in.
(S2) Do not show downvotes or upvotes for X hours.
(S3) Let the site community select questions for HQN.
(S4) When a low quality Post is Deleted, inform (and may be Penalise) those who upvoted.

None of these suggestions will work, but maybe this Post will encourage thinking on this Issue (Provided, it does not get downvoted itself!)

marked as duplicate by gnat, DavidPostill, Sonic the Bracketed Hedgehog, PolyGeo, Nathaniel Nov 12 '18 at 0:56

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    I do not see how your reasons (R) lead to your solutions (S). If we’re letting in bad questions, we should encourage more downvotes and give more tools for quality controls, not remove or nerf the ones we already have. – Dan Bron Nov 11 '18 at 16:00
  • @DanBron , My solutions may not work, but I came to some silly questions through HNQ, hence S3 ;Also, silly questions (or good questions) getting upvoted is a herd mentality hence S2. Downvoting has a Penalty, but upvoting silly questions should have a Penalty hence S4. – Prem Nov 11 '18 at 16:04
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    I think your title doesn't align with your final question. Perhaps rewrite it to capture what you're actually looking to discuss? None of your reasons or suggestions have anything to do with accepting. – Catija Nov 11 '18 at 16:04
  • @Catija , I was using acceptance as in well-accepted question, not as in answer getting accepted. I agree with your observation and will make the changes. – Prem Nov 11 '18 at 16:07
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    S1 is an absolute non starter. The only way that suggestion can even be considered is if you remove upvotes, too. – fbueckert Nov 11 '18 at 16:27
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    Nonono it's much simpler than that: you and the community have very different ideas of what's good. That's it. – user392547 Nov 11 '18 at 17:12
  • @Chair , I see that you have answered a question about laws of Physics in other galaxies ; Suppose that same question had been heavily downvoted , would it be agreeable to you ? Meanwhile, suppose somebody asks a silly question "Is Newtons first law better than Newtons fifth law?" , and that question gets upvoted and answered as "there is no Newtons fifth law", and it shows in HNQ, would that still mean community is always right and nothing needs to change ? I have seen sillier questions upvoted ... – Prem Nov 11 '18 at 17:50
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    @Prem Though I answered it, I also downvoted that question; I hate it and I'm ashamed that it's my most upvoted answer. It was closed and then reopened, and though it has a high score, there are a large number of downvotes (I think 10 or so). I wrote that answer halfheartedly in 10 minutes and it took very little knowledge. – user392547 Nov 12 '18 at 3:37
  • Here a site-requirement is that Puzzle questions should have only one correct answer. Hence question should be Put on hold (or even Closed or Deleted) until it is edited such that only one answer is possible. — What? "One Correct Answer" != "One Answer" in any way. If a riddle were made where only one answer were reasonably possible, it wouldn't be a riddle. – TheWanderer Nov 12 '18 at 15:56
  • @TheWanderer , Check puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/5249/… , answer by frodoskywalker : "there should be exactly one interpretation which fits each clue given" & "....when presented with the solution, consider it the only correct one" – Prem Nov 12 '18 at 18:26
  • @TheWanderer , Check puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/5880/… , answer by xnor : "If there are unintended solutions that look just as good as the intended one when explained, you're no longer solving a puzzle, you're trying to guess what's in the mind of the asker." & ".... that's not a puzzle but an exercise in mindreading" – Prem Nov 12 '18 at 18:28
  • @TheWanderer , [ regarding "One Correct Answer" != "One Answer" in any way ] It is an elision in "edited such that only one answer is possible" where the word "correct" is missing. It goes with the previous "should have only one correct answer". If it makes any Difference , I can edit it to include the missing word. – Prem Nov 12 '18 at 18:32
  • @TheWanderer , One example of "mind reading question" with many "correct" answers is puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/73995/… , which has been upvoted well beyond its worth. – Prem Nov 12 '18 at 18:37
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(S1) Maybe remove downvoting. Upvote good questions. Flagging of Bad questions is enough. Ignore questions you are not interested in.

Maybe not. Voting is the key concept of why the content you find on SE sites is so great. Remove voting and you remove its soul. Without voting we can as well sell out to Yahoo Answers. Flagging can in no way replace voting. You flag stuff that needs to be deleted from the site, you vote on stuff to indicate its usefulness.

(S2) Do not show downvotes or upvotes for X hours.

Visitors have the right to know what the community thinks about the usefulness of a post. That allows them to either edit posts into shape or not spend on them answering. Removing that feedback loop to visitors is a disservice and will hurt the quality of the content which is the main reason the sites gets visits and is high ranked in Google.

(S3) Let the site community select questions for HQN.

The community already selects the questions for the HNQ list with their votes and answers. I give you the algorithm might need tuning but let's try that with the mechanisms we have, not by throwing a whole new feature at it. Also given that at any time a hot question will turn out to be controversial making it explicit that a community selected a question will only stir-up emotions even more.

(S4) When a low quality Post is Deleted, inform (and may be Penalise) those who upvoted.

Deletion of content is relatively hard but once that is done I don't believe we have to blow the horn about it. The down voters of low quality answers are already compensated by getting their 2 reputation back. I don't think anyone should be penalized for how they used their vote. If users are < 10K they can't see deleted posts so informing them is kind of useless, there is nothing they can act on. Worst that will happen is no more upvoting. And with that you turned the Q/A site into a traditional forum.

  • Thank you for the great response ; S1: It will allow good questions to move up; flagging a bad question is an indirect downvote. S4: ok, no need to inform, but when downvoters get compensated on deleted questions, why should upvoters not get Penalised on the same ? [ While these suggestions may not work, I am still unable to reconcile why some low quality questions get upvoted, and why some better questions get deleted, and why HNQ sometimes leads me to silly questions. No solutions in sight ! ] – Prem Nov 11 '18 at 18:03
  • S2: Not showing votes for X hours, you mentioned "that feedback loop" ; this is exactly the problem. One upvote will get more upvotes, one Downvote will get more downvotes. By hiding the votes initially, we break that feedback loop and all votes are based on the merits of the question. Currently, there is a tendency for herd mentality. – Prem Nov 11 '18 at 18:10
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    But the feedback loop is needed for both the OP and visitors. Let's not lie to anyone about the quality of the content they just posted. – rene Nov 11 '18 at 18:15
  • Oh, OP can get the feedback immediately ; Only the visitors see it after X hours. – Prem Nov 11 '18 at 18:17
  • Oh, Similar Problems have been around for ages [ meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9731/… ] and there has been no response on implementing any of the various solutions suggested. I guess we have to endure it ! – Prem Nov 11 '18 at 18:34
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    You don't have to endure them, there are other venues ... – rene Nov 11 '18 at 18:46
  • haha, I think I know what you mean ! – Prem Nov 11 '18 at 19:50

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