This question already has an answer here:

Is there any way I can find the specific reasons my question is being down voted for?

I get it that I am not communicating my questions adequately but without specific feedback it is hard to improve.

Apparently down votes are not close votes.

Edit link

But where do I see the close votes?


My question is not about how do I work out for myself the problem with the question I asked. The question is about whether the reason for the down votes can be looked up. (They can't be as I explain below )

marked as duplicate by PolyGeo, TylerH, Nathan Tuggy, Werner, Mureinik Dec 22 '18 at 6:06

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.

  • 6
    If you don't get comments, the most you can assume is what's in the tooltip: "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful" – fbueckert Dec 17 '18 at 20:14
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    Chances are good the question being asked about is stackoverflow.com/questions/53822179/… – fbueckert Dec 17 '18 at 20:17
  • 4
    Ask yourself why this question is currently being down voted.... Have you provided any details? What type of question? Which site? Is it on-topic? Are there any votes cast to place it on hold? Is your question primarily opinion-based, vague (a bit like this one) or too broad (a bit like this one)...? Did you research? Is it interesting? Has it got value for other users? Is it based on a single blunder? Not my downvote but it was easy to predict. – Mari-Lou A Dec 17 '18 at 20:19
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    The code of conduct has literally nothing to do with voting. It's that kind of misunderstanding that will get you such a rough reception. Please, do some research beforehand. – fbueckert Dec 17 '18 at 20:29
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    They've only come in in the last 10 minutes or so, but if you look at your SO question, it now has 4 comments from one of the foremost C# experts in the world. Please check those out, they will probably help you. – Josh Caswell Dec 17 '18 at 20:32
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    Complaining about not getting feedback isn't going to go over well when your downvoted posts have lots and lots of comments on them explaining what's problematic about them and how to fix it. When people can see that you did get lots of feedback and, instead of fixing it, you just complained about there not being any... – Servy Dec 17 '18 at 20:34
  • In fairness, @Servy, most, possibly all, of those comments were not present when this meta post was made. – Josh Caswell Dec 17 '18 at 20:35
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    @JoshCaswell I'm referring mostly to this post. If they are in fact referring to that SO question (they never said) then they asked this within just a few minutes of it being asked and had no time for feedback. – Servy Dec 17 '18 at 20:35
  • You may get some additional info here: meta.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/close-questions – fbueckert Dec 17 '18 at 20:40
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    This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful. – Robert Columbia Dec 17 '18 at 20:55
  • You can't see close votes until a certain reputation level: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/81066/…, so called view close votes privilege that comes at 250 rep. – rene Dec 17 '18 at 21:53
  • @PolyGeo The question was not about seeking more feedback it was about how I could look up the actual feedback of the down voters. ( which can't be done) – kirsten g Dec 17 '18 at 23:47
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    @kirsteng A vote is just a vote; someone pushed a button. It's like pushing a button for the elevator. You push "up" or "down"; the elevator doesn't know why you want to go up or down, only what button you pushed. If you wanted to know why some guy pushed "down", the elevator could not tell you. So there isn't "more detailed" information on the button push to be had. Unless the person also commented, in which case, they information they give you in the comment is what you have to go on. – Dan Bron Dec 17 '18 at 23:55
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    So that's it. If no one comments, then "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful" is the sum total of all the rationale behind the downvote which is available to you. If they did comment, then you have the information they provided in the comment. And that's it, there's no other source of information about their rationale, and you shouldn't expect or go looking for any. – Dan Bron Dec 17 '18 at 23:56
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    @DanBron you put that well. Care to write it up as the answer? – kirsten g Dec 18 '18 at 0:00

There are several things you can do.

First of all you can make sure that your question is clear (has correct spelling and grammar) and is tagged correctly.

If your question was a then downvoted could simply mean people not agreeing with the feature and not wanting it implemented.

Another reason for downvoting is if you have shown no signs of making research. You can try looking at other questions and saying “that didn’t help me because of this” or something like that.

If the question is not on this site you can always ask on that sites meta why that specific question was downvoted.

Comments can also help. People can say that it isn’t clear and they’re unsure what you are asking.

The downvote tooltip says it all:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

  • There are only 3 possible reasons given by the tooltip. How can I find out more about why it is regarded as unclear or not useful? – kirsten g Dec 17 '18 at 21:34
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    @kirsteng Have you looked at everything in my post? If so try asking on the sites meta where it was downvoted – Daniil Manokhin Dec 17 '18 at 21:35

The technical answer is that I cannot get more information on why I was down voted because when the user clicks down vote (s)he is not prompted to enter a reason.

Thus I need to figure out for myself why the question is down voted. DManokin's answer provides helpful pointers on this.

I think I have asked a helpful question (this one) because when I receive a lot of down votes on my question, the first thing I ask myself is "Why was my question down voted ?" and the second question is more like "I wonder if the reasons are recorded somewhere handy."

If I had thought more deeply about how Stack Overflow is implemented I would have realised that it does not collect this information. I should know that because of occasions where I voted myself.

However in debug mode, my brain does not always work that way.

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