I got a disproportionately large number of downvotes in the election primary
(+810, -100; more than twice as many downvotes as other popular candidates).

What do people have against me or object to?
How can I make myself better?

  • 17
    You've heard of sympathy upvotes? Meet her evil twin.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 2, 2011 at 18:47
  • I wouldn't worry about it. Consider how many people voted. Obviously the community at large likes you. I honestly think it was an attempt at voting strategy.
    – jcolebrand
    Feb 2, 2011 at 19:03
  • 7
    I would have asked this after the election, in either case. (I'm not down-voting) but I don't really like it.
    – Trufa
    Feb 2, 2011 at 19:16
  • That is an [slaks] tag!
    – Aryabhatta
    Feb 3, 2011 at 2:15

4 Answers 4


I don't know about the other 99 people. But I think I voted against you. It was nothing personal, but the candidate I wanted was behind you and voting for them and against you was almost like voting for them twice.

  • Hahahahahahaha, awesome! Feb 2, 2011 at 23:46
  • But voting twice is illegal. Therefore, you cheated!!! no i'm kidding. Jun 30, 2011 at 4:59

I didn't downvote you, but one area for improvement that I can see is more participation here on Meta. Some of the other candidates are on the front page of users here.

Also, you may have suffered a few downvotes just from being too good at answering on SO. You were the highest ranked candidate if I remember correctly, and some people may just simply think that your time is better spent answering questions. I know many people voiced that opinion about several candidates during the original moderator elections.

  • the lizard, if it helps, I have a lot of participation on meta, and I garnered a lot of downvotes myself. Feb 2, 2011 at 21:25
  • All of the heavily down voted nominations seemed to share one of two things in common: A seemingly 'fake' nomination, or little / no participation on meta.
    – user50049
    Feb 3, 2011 at 10:22
  • @Tim: Yeah, the 'fake' or little effort nominations really took a pounding. I was glad to see that, even though I thought one of the 'fake' nominees would have made a fine mod otherwise. Congratulations on the victory, by the way. Feb 3, 2011 at 12:11

I believe a significant number of downvotes may have come simply because of the brevity of your campaign statement. For the ten final candidates, the number of words in your statement vs. downvotes looks something like this (sorted by words in your statement):

Candidate            |  Words   |    Votes       | +/- Ratio
George Stocker          97           +321 / -62    5.18
SLaks                   111          +810 / -100   8.10
Robert Harvey           220          +680 / -39    17.4
Dave DeLong             222          +390 / -90    4.33
Michael Mrozek          222          +533 / -41    13.0
Paul Dixon              332          +311 / -37    8.4
Lasse V. Karlsen        381          +570 / -42    13.6
Justin 'jjnguy' Nelson  456          +525 / -45    11.7
Kev                     833          +449 / -55    8.16
Tim Post                858          +512 / -36    14.2

You, George, and Dave were the three most downvoted of the top ten primary candidates, and all three of you had among the shortest campaign statements.

Perhaps people didn't feel that those with short statements were as serious about the process, or that they couldn't learn enough about what would make you a great moderator from just your profile or a link to your activity on Meta. I know that I wouldn't want to browse through every answer someone had given on Meta to understand their philosophy, I'd rather just have a handwritten summary (even with simple bullet points).

Unfortunately, many of the things that would make someone a great moderator are hard to extract from profile information. Therefore, it's important that you make a case for yourself in your campaign statement.

  • I think you're missing something very relevant here. SLasks got most upvotes than anyone. The fact he also got most dv only means more people know him. Over all he's 60+ beyond he's closer candidate Robert Harvey, which by the is third with less words in the statement. He is also 180+ the 3rd candidate. So, comparing George with SLaks, the difference of words is only 14, while the diff in upvotes is 451. In conclusion, I don't think the number of words in the statement is relevant here.
    – OscarRyz
    Feb 2, 2011 at 21:46
  • 2
    @Oscar: I'm not so sure that downvotes scale with upvotes at all. If you look at these numbers, you see that downvotes seem pretty consistent among all but three candidates. Those three have three out of the five shortest statements. Robert and Michael may have avoided this by having more of their words directed at moderation topics, rather than their question / answer track record or other information. Feb 2, 2011 at 22:19
  • 1
    The irony of that is that TL;DR comes into affect if they get much longer.
    – John
    Feb 3, 2011 at 2:34
  • @John: I'm a member of a giant coop - the Mountain Equipment Coop. I used to vote in the annual elections (not any more). The set of candidates was always full, they always all had a lot to say. (It was all good ... and all the same.) I used to vote for those with the shortest manifesto -- they were wasting the least of my time. I see a thesis coming: Optimum Manifesto Length, by John (and maybe Martin). :-)
    – Martin F
    Mar 21, 2015 at 23:25

My guess is that it's just tactics.

If they have another favourite they can give them an extra edge by voting for them and then downvote you.

  • That wouldn't explain the disproportionality.
    – SLaks
    Feb 2, 2011 at 18:53
  • @SLaks - What disproportionality. You don't think that 100 out of 900 might reason like jzd
    – Nifle
    Feb 2, 2011 at 18:55
  • I got more than twice as many downvotes as most other popular candidates. These tactics should apply to all candidates equally.
    – SLaks
    Feb 2, 2011 at 18:56
  • @SLaks - That statistics makes me believe in my tactics suggestion even more. Don't worry, You'll make a great moderator. (You got my vote)
    – Nifle
    Feb 2, 2011 at 18:59
  • 3
    @SLaks you were typically the leading candidate, therefore you were the target of most other candidates followers therefore a higher proportion of down-votes.
    – jzd
    Feb 2, 2011 at 19:02
  • Why? Why would everyone pick on me? (I'm not resentful; just curious) EDIT: @JZD: I see. I hadn't thought of that.
    – SLaks
    Feb 2, 2011 at 19:03
  • 8
    I would have downvoted the people in 2nd and 3rd place. You don't have to be faster than the bear, just the other campers. Feb 2, 2011 at 19:05
  • @SLaks: Actually, I'd expect it to scale with how far you were ahead from their first choice, and scale with the total number of votes received (100/910 isn't too far from the others' ratios).
    – yhw42
    Feb 2, 2011 at 19:05

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