It's not the first time that happened, but for example yesterday I answered a question. It was accepted with 3 upvotes. Someone ask to get some explanation so he can learn from it. I edit my post and gave an explanation. Since I edited my post I got a downvote with no explanation.

Is this the right way to encourage people to share knowledge?

What can Stack Overflow do to prevent such things, or force people to explain why they downvote?

It's very discouraging.

Edit: As referred to in an answer or in a comment I have misunderstood the downvote and a removed vote by a user.

So the interesting discussion in Encouraging people to explain down-votes.

closed as off-topic by gnat, Ward, Glorfindel, Robert Longson, Meta Andrew T. Nov 9 '18 at 14:58

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If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • which question? – giorgian Mar 9 '10 at 8:49
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    There will be jealous people on SO, just as there are jealous people in real life, but I don't think they're a big problem in SO. For a discussion on encouraging people to explain down-votes see my question here - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/135/… – ChrisF Mar 9 '10 at 9:04
  • +1 @ChrisF thanks for the usefull links to another discussion – user143906 Mar 9 '10 at 9:10
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    There are no downvotes on that answer – HAL 9000 Mar 9 '10 at 9:18
  • @Yacoby Thanks i haven`t see the difference between a removed vote and a down vote – user143906 Mar 9 '10 at 9:26
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    Possible duplicate of Encouraging people to explain downvotes – Robert Longson Nov 9 '18 at 7:54

That answer doesn't have any downvotes at all - it has two upvotes and no downvotes. Looks like someone who previously upvoted you removed their upvotes.

  • +1 Didn't see the difference. Thanks. – user143906 Mar 9 '10 at 9:22
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    @user It's also possible that the user that upvoted you deleted their account (or it was automatically purged), removing the vote - not necessarily someone deliberately removing the vote from your answer. – Jared Harley Mar 9 '10 at 9:47

Are there jealous people within Stack Overflow?

Of course. Stack Overflow, just like Soylent Green, is made of people.

  • 5
    And just like Soylent Green, both are delicious... – Adam Davis Mar 9 '10 at 15:05
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    +1 - My uncle was an extra in that movie (one short scene did a close up of a bearded long haired guy with bulging eyes, that was him). – Tim Post Apr 9 '11 at 12:04
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    @Tim I vote you find the scene, screen cap it, take a picture of yourself making the same face, and post both online for our amusement. (tl;dr pics or it didn't happen) – Adam Davis Apr 9 '11 at 13:14
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    that comment was very reddit-oriented – juan Apr 9 '11 at 15:58
  • and it's only 11 years to go until solyent green time (movie set in 2022).... – user147272 May 12 '11 at 23:15

We're all, to various degrees, jealous of Jon Skeet. But it's not his reputation that we covet, it's the bunny slippers of doom


Yes, of course there are.

People like votes, points, badges... I'd like a ton of points, but I know I don't have the time or expertise.

I'd've liked it if my first answer had've got accepted, but it didn't. I've reached 92 votes, and I'm jealous of people who have answers with 100. I'm not going to downvote others unless I have a technical reason. But some might, and such is life.


Not just jealous people. One time when I asked a question I got downvoted from one or two, and then they said you said something wrong in the question.

Then right after I had proven what I said was accurate and showed them a famous answer from another question, one of them went and downvoted an old question of mine. Yes, it happened right after.

Sometimes one person start with a single downvote with no explanation, another see one downvote and they make it too in no time. It turns to a rain of downvotes.

It's a bollox that this network is so strict about rules and what you are limited to as. Yet, with all these restrictions, they do not want to force people to explain their downvotes.

It will be like this:

-1 I downvoted this question because I didn't like another question of his


-1 I saw people downvoting this so I thought I might join in

If you are forcing me not to ask a question related to the same field then force anyone to explain their upvote and downvote to reveal fake downvotes and appeal against it if it makes no sense and ban those who upvote or downvote for no reason. Then these people will think twice before using this downvoting if you really care about the quality of the site and its content.

Another thing: They downvote if they do not understand you.

I am an Arabic native, so I speak language more difficult and different than English and it's even written from right to left. My questions make sense in my mother tongue and very specific, but since I have to speak in another language, another issue arrives; it's called a language barrier. I find it difficult to explain a question in a way that you understand. You know I can use English, but I cannot speak like a native speaker because I speak in my mother tongue on a daily basis.

Some people may think themselves so smart, but they are not smart enough, nor open minded to consider language barriers. They are like I Do not understand so let's downvote. So far I have not downvoted questions or answers that I do not understand... so far.

I saw a question of someone and people were like: Can you explain? And I didn't need him to explain anything; I understood his problem and I gave him the answer he needed while others are like: please provide us with more links!

If you do not understand don't do anything. There are other people who will understand so let other people who understand an answer instead of starting with a stupid downvote.

To developers and moderators: If you do not understand a question, and if you think it's vague, then it may be vague to you, but not necessarily to me, so it's your problem that you do not understand it is not mine.

Language may shape the way you think. Linguistics know this, and I got close to people from many nations, English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Africans, and Indians. Do you think they think and talk the same? Absolutely not, and this makes sense.

If you want to talk to people of your native culture who thinks like you then the Internet is not for you. I may understand that people hate people from other cultures, so they will downvote if they think you are not native English and you can know this by the way they type. It's called racism, but none of this shows unless they forced people to explain their upvote or downvote.

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    It's a bollox that this network is so strict about rules. The strict rules are exactly what sets this network apart from all the others and has been proven successful in the first 6 to 8 years of its existence. Maybe changes are needed, I'm not convinced relaxing the rules should be part of such changes. Oh, one down vote on this answer is mine. – rene Nov 4 '18 at 19:30
  • read the rest of sentence , shall we " Yet with all these restrictions, they do not want to force people to explain their downvotes" – ma1169 Nov 4 '18 at 19:36
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  • I can explain logically & in detail if needed duo to limit heres short answer for da 10. for a community who like are anti vague question it's ironic to read this "In the vast majority of cases, nothing needs to be clarified. The tooltip on the downvote arrow already explains what a downvote means" is this specific? isnt this vague! if you read number 3- i said ban these people from voting if they said gibberish comment on downvote. #5 is not valid and against logic. #6 agreed #8 is bullshit #9 is not true, #10 should we we are not going to make an effort to accomodate everyone – ma1169 Nov 4 '18 at 19:52
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    I am a caretaker: meta.stackoverflow.com/a/252077/578411 – rene Nov 4 '18 at 19:58
  • haha, I see touche. – ma1169 Nov 4 '18 at 20:00
  • I assume you are interested in improving. See e.g. run-on sentence. – Peter Mortensen Nov 4 '18 at 20:31
  • It is my impression that most ESLers don't make any effort to write properly (say, someone from central Europe, Belgium, Germany, or Austria (all Germanic languages, very close to English)) - either the result of minimum effort or of deliberately writing in a hard-to-read style (not appropriate for technical writing). I don't believe it is a matter of ability (but it is an often-used excuse). This is not about you, but a general remark. – Peter Mortensen Nov 4 '18 at 20:33
  • (The first sentence of my last comment should be qualified with "who ask questions on Stack Overflow".) – Peter Mortensen Nov 4 '18 at 20:47
  • @PeterMortensen My English teacher lost hope before the completion of my course. you should see my handwritings it's like hieroglyphs. to write in proper English, it takes a long time to reach acceptable level but she never liked it anyway. I used to think bad of my English until I went to the UK to study. I saw people who can't even make a full complete sentence, and they are legal resident or those who refer me as a she and they say like "she said" while pointing at me and I am a guy!! and natives with bad English too according to other natives. atleast I am ESLers who lives in Egypt – ma1169 Nov 4 '18 at 20:48
  • I can't believe anyone would ever type out your examples of downvote explanations, except as a joke. The software can require explanations: it cannot require them to be honest. And the more honesty it tries to induce, the less discretion voters have, and the more chilled they feel. – Nathan Tuggy Nov 4 '18 at 21:42
  • @NathanTuggy well it's mix of sarcasm and truth. so these examples happened or i feel like it happened but I said it in sarcasm kinda way. we talk like this in Egypt a lot. just because it sounds like a joke, it doesn't mean it is a joke. – ma1169 Nov 4 '18 at 21:53
  • @ma1169: I'm not saying no one would ever vote for those reasons. They have, do, and will, as unfortunate as it is. I'm saying there's no way you could get them to admit to that, and thinking you can use forced explanations to reliably rat out tactical downvoters is naive in the extreme. It's the old evil bit problem. – Nathan Tuggy Nov 4 '18 at 22:17
  • @NathanTuggy then they dont want to force it and if downvote and upvote can be exploited and it can easily be, then it is not smart to have a system like this cause plenty to the account it is related to. where is the logic in that. – ma1169 Nov 5 '18 at 6:34
  • @ma1169: But the reputation model is central to the sites' design. (And there are safeguards to make it harder to get away with tactical downvoting and revenge downvoting, even if they don't catch all the bad behavior.) If you don't want up- and down-votes to affect rep, you don't actually have any rep, and you don't have Stack Exchange. – Nathan Tuggy Nov 5 '18 at 6:36

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