I had asked this question today. Within 20 seconds someone had downvoted the question. Here's the proof:

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It's not possible for a person to read the whole question in 20 seconds. So why did they down-vote? Is it OK to down-vote like this?

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    $\begingroup$ That question can be read in 20 seconds. (I was not the downvoter. But the downvoter did nothing wrong.) $\endgroup$
    – G. Smith
    May 4, 2021 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


All disciplines have their specialised language i.e. terms that have precise meanings. Some of these terms my be unique to the discipline while others will be terms used in everyday life but repurposed to have a specific meaning that differs from the everyday meaning. This applies whether we are talking about physics or silkworm farming.

To people skilled in the discipline it is quickly and easily apparent when someone is using terms they don't understand. Whether "quickly" means "twenty seconds" is debatable, but it doesn't take very long for a physicist to spot that in your question you are using physical terms in an inappropriate way. I'm not criticising you for this because no-one was born knowing physics, but it does mean that your question is meaningless at first glance and that is probably why it attracted the quick downvote. It requires some effort to read through what you have written and try to work out what you are actually asking.

So the quick downvote doesn't indicate malpractice - just impatience.

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    $\begingroup$ I think sometimes people without the "close vote" privilege down vote instead. I don't think that's a good idea as down votes are a good deal worse than close votes. $\endgroup$ May 7, 2021 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenG I disagree, most people care more about getting an answer than rep, and closing a question directly prevents you from getting an answer. $\endgroup$ May 11, 2021 at 18:23
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    $\begingroup$ @EkadhSingh Down votes are worse for the prson being down voted. Apart from the morale hit they take, they can, AFAIK, be banned if they get enough down votes to a question. I reserve down votes for really bad questions or where the OP has clearly declined to make needed changes. Closed questions can be reopened (typically if edits are applied) and enough people vote to reopen. $\endgroup$ May 11, 2021 at 19:26

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