I am a newbie, I stumbled upon this site yesterday.

In a question I gave a perfectly correct and valid awnser, yet two people downvoted the answer and one downvoted my profile, and no explanation was given.

Why is this allowed? If I did something wrong, I should be told what I did wrong, and if I did not, why the hell they are downvoting me?

  • 3
    How can anyone downvote your profile? Can you link to the answer so we can see what you're talking about? Also, this discussion might be relevant: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9953/… – alex Feb 11 '10 at 6:27
  • My awnser here got upvoted twice, then suddenly downvoted twice. Then upvoted again. But noone explains why I was downvoted. stackoverflow.com/questions/2242593/… – speeder Feb 11 '10 at 6:38
  • Don't forget - if you downvote someone else's answer, you lose a point; that will show in your profile. – Jonathan Leffler Feb 11 '10 at 6:40
  • 2
    The only answer you have with a downvote is stackoverflow.com/questions/2242589/… - and the comment given 1 minute after you posted the answer gives you a clear reason why someone downvoted you - they believed you were giving an answer that goes against best practices. Do you have any examples where you believe you received a bad downvote? – Pollyanna Feb 11 '10 at 6:40
  • 1
    Your sentence in that answer is garbled, not very clear and generalistic on performance issues without backup. – random Feb 11 '10 at 6:41
  • 3
    The question you linked to, stackoverflow.com/questions/2242593/… has exactly one upvote and no downvotes. If someone downvoted it earlier, they removed it. Notably, it is wrong in one small particular - you suggest that using < or > is slower than using == but the reality is that using both < and > as in the example the OP gave may be slower, but individually they are as fast as the comparison operator. It's nit-picky, but people have downvoted for far less imperfections. – Pollyanna Feb 11 '10 at 6:45
  • It raised to 2 votes, then the 2 votes disapeared and 2 points too (I had 108, I downvoted a guy and went to 107, then the question went to 0 and I went to 105) – speeder Feb 11 '10 at 6:47
  • 2
    Further, you don't answer the complete question - he asks about integers first, but then asks about floats, while your answer only addresses one situation. – Pollyanna Feb 11 '10 at 6:48

Why is this allowed?

Because voting is anonymous. Forcing voters to leave a comment may often result in retaliatory downvotes, etc.

If I did something wrong, I should be told what I did wrong, and if I did not, why the hell they are downvoting me?

Ideally they will leave a note, but if not then you can assume:

  • Maybe they don't think your answer is altogether wrong, but are simply nit-picking one thing. Some people downvote for simple spelling or grammar issues.
  • Maybe they think you are wrong, but you are right and they have a misconception. Mistakes happen.
  • Sometimes when others answer a question, they downvote other answers because they feel their answer is better.
  • It's quite possible you are wrong in a significant way. If you can, leave a comment asking why people are downvoting your answer. Otherwise, consider revising your answer with proof, either to documentation, or with a code example that proves your point.
  • It could be that they simply don't believe you, but rather than take the time to disprove you they simply downvote without really knowing whether you're right or wrong.

But the bottom line is that people can and will downvote for any and all reasons, good, bad, or ugly. If you know you are right, just shake your head at their stupidity, and move on to answering the next question.

If you feel you are being unfairly targeted, and no one is responding to your requests for reasons why they are downvoting, link to your answers here and we might be able to help you understand whether there's a good reason to downvote you or not.

| improve this answer | |
  • Indeed, seemly they picked my bad english (I am not native english speaker) that resulted in a confusing awnser. – speeder Feb 11 '10 at 6:49
  • Down-voting without leaving a comment is not constructive. – user6039980 Oct 11 '19 at 18:24


According to your referring answer in the comment

There is no downvote at all, only 1 up,0 down now, it's mean that people upvoted you first and then they found a better answer, and withdraw their upvotes, that's all. It's fair enough, in my humble opinion.

Old answer:

There is only one downvote in your 13 answers, so I will assume this is the one you mean.

You've got +2 and -1 in that post, and there is a comment for that.

In my humble opinion, the answer is not well explained and needs code formatting.

And up/downvoting is not to a person, it's for a particular question or answer.

So, let's agree to disagree with respect to each other.


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  • So, why the downvoter did not told me this? I have no idea on how to use code formattings... – speeder Feb 11 '10 at 6:48
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    @speeder some things you have to learn for yourself. You can't take each new user and show them how the system works. Things move at a really fast pace, you don't always have time to sit down and explain to someone what they did wrong. You'll see, if you stick around for long enough, you'll also stop commenting on downvotes. It's more or less inevitable. – alex Feb 11 '10 at 6:54
  • @speeder, I understand your feelings, please just don't take it serious friend, think like up and down votes are just some measures of detailness of the answer. You did the great job within a day actually. – YOU Feb 11 '10 at 6:56

It's not possible to "downvote a profile", however your profile page does show how many votes you have made. If you downvote somebody else, then the downvote counter on your profile increments by one.

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  • I see. So I downvoted only one person ever. (and in that particular downvote I explained why I downvoted... why other experienced users don't do that?) – speeder Feb 11 '10 at 6:37
  • @speeder: Just read a bit about down-voting and commenting here on meta. You'll soon see why. Generally, people don't comment to prevent repercussion, also commenting or complaining about down-votes is generally "frowned upon" by the community and can lead to more down-votes (which it didn't in your case luckily). – fretje Feb 11 '10 at 10:14

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