I've recently learned about "Help Vampires" as a concept. It's something that's easy to forget about until I see a -1 attach to a question I ask on Stack Overflow, and I instantly feel the blood in my mouth.

I assume most down-votes are good faith indicators from peers that I've asked something inappropriate, poorly worded, or poorly researched, and will delete the question if I see more than a few.

But I wanted to ask here, is that appropriate behavior from me? It's not a selfless act, having a poorly received anything sitting on the internet is stressful and removing it is a quick escape. I want to believe it undoes any damage upon the community by de-cluttering it, but I always worry that someone may be in the midst of typing something important and I'm rudely cutting them off.

Is it a problem at all to delete a badly received question very quickly?

  • 3
    If you're worried about a question ban, then deleted downvoted questions will count against you. But I'm not sure if that's what you mean?
    – bobble
    Jul 15, 2021 at 4:21
  • @bobble - Oh, I didn't realize that was a metric. I guess that answers my question then, if there's an entire system in place for it.
    – Anne Quinn
    Jul 15, 2021 at 4:24
  • 2
    @ Anne, it's mostly to catch people who repeatedly make bad questions which are downvoted/closed/deleted. Not for someone who made a mistake once.
    – bobble
    Jul 15, 2021 at 4:30
  • If a question can be fixed with edits then that is always preferable to deletion. I supposed you could delete it, edit it into shape, and then undelete it as long as you do it within 30 days. (After 30 days, you no longer have a link to deleted questions from your profile.)
    – BSMP
    Jul 15, 2021 at 5:33
  • 3
    Given the meme of the lost key I wouldn't bother too much about a single downvote if you verified your question is clear, well-researched and useful for future visitors. Besides the help center and the checklist you might check what the downvote ratio is for the tag you posted on. Rumor has it that every other Go question on SO gets a downvote. That is great for the tag (high quality) but might leave some OPs disappointed. If you get close votes, that is better addressed instantly with an edit.
    – rene
    Jul 15, 2021 at 6:53
  • @rene I've downvoted posts by accident a few times. I do retract the vote within the grace period. However, there are also posts that get deleted almost immediately after a downvote. Often I'd start a comment to explain something wrong in the post and it gets deleted because it receives a downvote. From me or otherwise. I fear that some day I'd downvote by accident and the post will be deleted before I can retract that vote...
    – VLAZ
    Jul 15, 2021 at 10:03
  • @VLAZ don't worry, glad you told us. Going forward we will assign all blame to you for questions that got deleted after a downvote ...
    – rene
    Jul 15, 2021 at 10:06
  • @rene Thanks...I choose to view this as being promoted to Tim's keys. Feels like a step up.
    – VLAZ
    Jul 15, 2021 at 10:09
  • Isn't the HV word now officially taboo (not a rhetorical question)? Wasn't there some MSE post about it? I couldn't find it. Jul 15, 2021 at 10:13
  • @P.Mort.-forgotClayShirky_q no, I don't think so. You're confusing it with the term used for users that focus on gaining as much reputation as possible, whatever it takes.
    – rene
    Jul 15, 2021 at 10:18
  • @VLAZ I tried some stats on deletion at the same day a question also got a single downvote: data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/query/1435517 given the size of SO that number doesn't seem very high. So I wouldn't get too much focused on preventing your accidental dv to lead to a delete vote.
    – rene
    Jul 15, 2021 at 10:21
  • @rene I'd prefer if people didn't delete their questions almost immediately after one downvote. As I said, sometimes I've literally been in the middle of writing a comment that might have lead to an improvement.
    – VLAZ
    Jul 15, 2021 at 10:23
  • @P.Mort.-forgotClayShirky_q maybe: meta.stackexchange.com/a/315721 ?
    – rene
    Jul 15, 2021 at 10:23
  • @VLAZ yeah, order is important: comment first, dv later.
    – rene
    Jul 15, 2021 at 10:24


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