It seems like just giving an answer or asking a question someone doesn't like causes you to lose reputation yet the people who downvote are not required to list why they did so. At this point after only using the site for a day I am regretting signing up. Most people on here seem nice and provide awesome answers, they explain things don't just answer the question for you. Yet on one of my posts someone directly gave me the answer and I got down votes for it even though he walked through the problem in addition a question I asked got put on hold for seemingly no reason and none of the people who put it there would deign to answer the question of why it was put on hold if an answer hadn't already been provided I would have been extremely upset at the rudeness of not one but 5 people with apparently a great deal of experience with the site. In addition people seem to assume either the worst or the people who tend to vote questions down seem to only give them a cursory glance as such I really wish people would provide a detailed answer as to why they are voting it down instead of giving a stock message. I would like to point out that this question has been edited by a moderator I assume as I did not have the ability to check off on the edits. I would like to reaffirm the the political in the title and i dislike the inclusion of my as I was using those as examples however I have seen it happen to a couple of other questions as well. This is another example of what I don't like no comment left on the hows an whys for the change. This wa posted in the meta area and was tagged as discussion. It was neither harming nor damning, nor did it contain anything that violated the rules of the site but was edited without permission anyway. I understand this when it comes to the question part of the site but the meta side really?

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    $\begingroup$ Your question would benefit from appropriate paragraphing as well as some slight spell check. It's just easier to read that way. $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2014 at 13:14
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    $\begingroup$ If this question is any indication of how you wrote other questions, I can see why they collected downvotes. Poorly written text with many runon sentences and no paragraph breaks is annoying to read, so it should be no surprise if it gets downvoted. $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2014 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ Related: meta.physics.stackexchange.com/q/1372/2451 and links therein. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic Mod
    Mar 2, 2014 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ You probably don't have any idea how much a whiny rant like this diminishes you in the eyes of those who read it. I suggest you delete the majority of this post and start thinking like an adult. No one can offend you if you choose not to let them. Remember, when someone is rude to you, it diminishes them, not you. So, rather then become "extremely upset" at someone's behaviour here, smile at how small they've become in your eyes. $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2014 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ This is the culture of this website. You know physicists are very busy. I came very late though and you are no longer there :-( $\endgroup$
    – user31782
    May 1, 2014 at 7:15
  • $\begingroup$ I underestand your problems, most of the stackexchange sites (especially new, beginner users) are suffering as a result of this. $\endgroup$ Aug 9, 2016 at 16:53

2 Answers 2


Regarding your closed / downvoted questions, have a look at the banner below them

enter image description here

It links to this meta post, which explains why the question is off topic in great detail.

The reason the banner was put there is that closevoters need not explain themselves every time they see a homework question. If the post is closed with a banner, you are expected to read it.

Voting is for the post, not the user. Don't take downvotes personally.

Regarding the title edit, you're addressing a rather different issue than the one in the post, so the title was edited. There's nothing political here, the question was closed according to established policy. Talking about politicalness would spark unnecessary side discussions and derail the main point, so it was edited.

  • $\begingroup$ You are right it does say it all and there in lies the problem. How is someone supposed to learn what is correct when the someone leaves a banner that encompasses three distinct rules? $\endgroup$
    – user41607
    Mar 2, 2014 at 23:00

One situation when people vote to close without leaving comments is for homework questions. This site is not a homework help forum; it is a place to ask conceptual questions that are useful for future visitors, and homework questions are rarely that. You should really read our homework guidance on this meta site before asking new ones:

How do I ask homework questions on Physics Stack Exchange?

The reason few people comment on those is that (1) they are often trawling through ten or so similar questions I a review queue, and mostly that (2) the homework closure reason,

Homework-like questions should ask about a specific physics concept and show some effort to work through the problem. We want our questions to be useful to the broader community, and to future users. See our meta site for more guidance on how to edit your question to make it better.

which was painstakingly worked out over a long time, essentially says it all.

You should also note that there was recently a strong movement towards a much stricter (at least formally) policy. This is a long term, ongoing discussion, and you can find most of it easily by searching for the homework and discussion tags on this meta site.

This dislike of homework questions, and particularly of of those that look copy-pasted from a book or assignment, may explain the downvotes. Those are secret by design and schemes to force downvoters to comment have been brought up and rejected multiple times. If you ask politely for input on how to improve your question, in the comments, it will probably be enough for someone to stop by and help. Drive-by downvotes can be annoying to us all but they are a net positive feature of this site, as they are everyone's way of expressing that they found a question 'unclear or not useful'. Make sure that yours are not, and you'll be safer from them.

Regarding your comments about this meta thread:

Your question was indeed edited by a moderator, though 2k+ users also have the ability to validate edits.

I'm not really sure what you mean by "political" but the term has come to have very specific meanings on this meta, through many very ugly discussions which you probably don't want to get dragged into. Honestly, I don't see why you used the term at all. The moderator intervention was probably meant to defuse confrontations, though I agree that a message explaining why would have been helpful.

In any case, there is never any permanent harm done, as you can always re-edit. (On the other hand, avoid direct rollbacks without good reason and appropriate discussion.) I like your new title best of all three, in fact.


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