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Stack Exchange allows users to both upvote and downvote posts, but how this is implemented right now is a double-edged sword.

If a user received too many downvotes in a period of time they will be blocked from posting.

Some users, aware or unaware of this, will downvote any post they disagree with. This doesn't mean the post was made with poor intent or effort, but simply that they don't share the same view.

The thing is that, for example on the Unix & Linux Stack Exchange, the ratio of downvotes I'm getting myself is extremely high compared with those on Stack Overflow or Ask Ubuntu in the same topics.

On those sites I have quite good reputation, where in Unix recently it got so low I can no longer post questions.

I suspect some users there are purposefully downvoting anyone they disagree with as a means of silencing them. They are taking advantage of the capability of the downvotes to censor.

And there's nothing you can do about it. Since all your replies are legit, there's no way you could improve them and unlock your account. The ban is, in practice, permanent.

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    "If a user received too many downvotes in a period of time they will be blocked from posting" it's not that easy. You need to have a bunch of bad questions already *and you get a warning from the system before getting a question ban. – VLAZ Mar 15 at 22:37
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    I'm not really seeing a question for us to answer here, and I'm really only seeing you rather broadly accuse users on Unix & Linux SE of "downvoting anyone they disagree with as a means of silencing them" without much evidence. Is there a particular change you would like to propose, or a topical question you'd like addressed? – Spevacus Mar 15 at 22:38
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    "I suspect some users there are purposefully downvoting anyone they disagree with as a mean of silencing them. They are taking advantage of the capability of the downvotes to censor." I suspect your suspicion is unfounded. Sure maybe some users vote on disagreement but it's more likely that your posts need to be improved. – VLAZ Mar 15 at 22:39
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    "The thing is that, for example on the Unix & Linux Stack Exchange, the ratio of downvotes I'm getting myself is extremely high compared with those on Stack Overflow or Ask Ubuntu in the same topics." you've had four downvotes over three posts. Two of the posts even have comments pointing out what seems like valid issues with the post. It doesn't seem like an attempt to "silence" at all but an attempt at judging the quality of a post. This is what votes are for. – VLAZ Mar 15 at 22:50
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    There's not "excess" downvotes but few positively recieved posts, and your courtesy reflected in your comments there that's the issue: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/21705/… and unix.stackexchange.com/questions/21705/… - and the necessity to repeatedly explain the same things again. --- Each site is a little different, as a minimum; and many vastly different. --- If you are being prompted to make a correction you can heed it, or ignore the advice. – Rob Mar 15 at 23:13
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    Mentioning a specific site does not mean that it's specific to that site! The q and a bans are network-wide. – Catija Mar 16 at 13:26
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    That is true @Catija, but this looked much more like a support question regarding their U&L profile then anything else, seeing that is tagged with Support and that there is no real question here. – Luuklag Mar 16 at 13:27
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In your case, most of your downvotes came on two questions - both were very much open-ended and not well-suited to this platform... but, in general, your remaining questions have not been poorly received.

While this isn't always the case, I'd say that your situation is more that people don't seem to be upvoting your questions, even when those questions are answered (and those answers are upvoted) and not closed. I'm not an adequate judge of quality on U&L specifically so maybe others can weigh in on that but, while I understand your concern and situation and - in some cases, I'd agree with you - I think people not upvoting is more of an issue than people downvoting.

Now, that said, both of your poorly-received questions were asked in 2019 and that is something that I wish we could take into account - while I wouldn't want to age out these early questions entirely, I do think that it'd be nice to weight more recent questions so that users who do show improvement can more easily escape the sometimes hard-to-escape pit of 2-3 bad initial questions that were years prior. If the questions users ask when they're allowed one question every six months are still low-quality, then they will remain limited but if they show improvement, then maybe we can give some amount of amnesty.

All of that's to say that I'm on board with revisiting how we rate limit and when we apply long-term question bans but we need to do this carefully and that requires the staff to do it since the community doesn't actually know the rules that are used to determine bans.

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