This may be more of a rant, but hoping it sparks a discussion. This may be related to this question, but I'm wondering what people think about questions that contain "questionable" ethical material and users voting based on their opinion of that material.

For example, I answered a question about Facebook recently that had been voted down heavily because (seemingly) users felt that what the user wanted to accomplish was some kind of abuse of their privacy. I felt it was a valid question since it is part of the Facebook API. One of the answers that was actually an incorrect answer was voted up 6 times (now thankfully others have voted it down 4 times) just for the poster's opinion on the topic, not for his/her answer. My answer was voted down as well even though correct.

Interestingly enough, seems like the question now has -6 votes and +6 votes, so maybe this is a moot point and it'll all equal out when the initial troll/flaming votes die down.

I'd love a way to "flag" an answer to be "Plain Wrong" and if it got enough votes, would be removed or marked as "wrong" in some way. Maybe that's a bit fascist. Donno. Thoughts?

I guess votes based on "liking" something versus it being "correct" annoy me. And posts that contain XKCD comics. That's all.


2 Answers 2


A well stated argument, even when in support of an incorrect conclusion, has a serious advantage over any other argument. Further, appealing to popular opinion often allows total disregard for logic.

My advice would be to counter popular misinformation with a solid, well put together explanation. In this case, it would also help to add a disclaimer about privacy concerns, to avoid any misunderstanding.


Down votes are plenary: people can cast them for any reason (or indeed for no reason).

Now, I would always comment if casting a down vote to mean "you shouldn't do this" rather than "this is not right", but that is still my privilege.

In any case, there is only one downvote there, so it's not like you got hammered. Just move on...

  • I'm not concerned about my rep at all. Was more concerned for the poster who got initially hammered. Was concerned that a great question could get buried with -6 votes (I personally usually skip reading a question if it has tons of negative votes). May 24, 2010 at 16:43

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