I am getting serially downvoted now. Five questions were downvoted in short order. Are the answers I gave so bad?


Links to the answers:


No, you should not take serial downvoting to indicate anything about whether your answers are bad. This type of downvoting is often targeted at the person and does not reflect the quality of the answer. (Which, by the way, makes it not a legitimate reason to downvote.)

  • $\begingroup$ It's now 7 questions... Someone is working hard... $\endgroup$
    – user207455
    Jul 28 '19 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ The question asks "Are the answers I gave so bad?," but this answer only talks in general about serial downvoting. As I read the question, the OP is asking for others to look at their answers and say whether the downvotes are completely unjustified in this particular case. $\endgroup$
    – user4552
    Jul 30 '19 at 21:16
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    $\begingroup$ @BenCrowell I read it as "Are the answers I gave so bad [that they justify serial downvoting]?" I wanted to make the point that serial downvoting is not justified, and furthermore that that fact is independent of the quality of the answers. That's why I chose not to discuss the actual answers. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Jul 31 '19 at 5:54
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    $\begingroup$ Though, of course, several downvotes don't necessary qualify as serial downvotes - see e.g. Ben Crowell's answer, who downvotes several answers after reading them. I think it is not uncommon to visit several questions/answers by a user once you see a particularly bad (or good) question, to see if there is some pattern behind. $\endgroup$ Jul 31 '19 at 20:28

Looking at the four answers that I was able to find from your screenshot, it looks like there is a definite pattern, which is that someone asks a question, and you reply very rapidly (5, 15, or 30 minutes later) with a very brief answer (1 or 2 sentences). Then, hours or days later, others come along with longer and more detailed answers. I actually agree with the downvoters in the examples I saw: the answers were not very good. Sorry, but seeing this on meta prompted me to read them carefully and then downvote three of them.

Note that at least one of these answers already had a comment explaining why they didn't like your answer. I added a comment to one of the others explaining my downvote. By the way, I don't have any impression of you as an individual, especially because your username is just a string of digits, which I haven't memorized. So, speaking only for myself, this is certainly not a personal vendetta.

I would suggest that you take more time to compose more detailed answers. People will respond when they see you putting in time and effort. Even this question on meta shows sort of a similar lack of effort. You posted a screenshot, which made it a hassle for other people to look at what was going on.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, the account was deleted and so that's why the name shows up as a string of numbers. It was a recognizable display name, prior to that. At any rate, at least your answer will stand for others who have similar questions. $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Jul 30 '19 at 21:29
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    $\begingroup$ That should have probably been accepted as the answer to the question (but it seems that it's not possible since the OP's original incarnation doesn't exist anymore). $\endgroup$
    – Helen
    Jul 31 '19 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ I like your answer Ben. But there have been times when I had a strong feeling that I was being down voted multiple times by a person whose answer I down voted and let the person know it was me and the reason for the down vote. I don't, of course, have data to support my feeling since down voting is anonymous. That brings me to another point after being on the exchange for 13 months. What good does down voting achieve? Unless the reason is given voluntarily, we never know the reason, so we can't learn from it. There needs to be a mechanism for conveying the reason without identifying the source $\endgroup$
    – Bob D
    Aug 9 '19 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ @BobD, I'm skeptical that anyone would learn anything of value from such a mechanism if it were to be implemented. Also, it's not clear to me that downvoting creates significant value. Still, on the non-zero chance that there is some associated value creation, I do downvote if I judge the question or answer clearly calls for it and, almost always, I leave a comment why. $\endgroup$ Aug 11 '19 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ @BobD Upvoting: The answer is good. Downvoting: The answer is bad/incorrect. $\endgroup$ Aug 12 '19 at 21:58

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