40

Alright, everyone, I'm the bad guy: With 2314 downvotes I am the user on this SE with the most downvotes, not counting the Community bot. In only 10 months of activity I've cast more downvotes than any single one of you. I've also cast 1126 upvotes, for whatever it's worth. So I'll tell you why and how I vote, and you may decide if "we" are indeed overky ...


26

This isn't an answer, but I can't post it as a comment. Danu's comment "I think it's simply too little evidence to draw any serious conclusions from" reminded me of an earlier post on meta.tex.stackexchange. Evidence is pretty easy to get using the DataExplorer Query. Here are some statistics on questions: neg zero pos ...


21

In addition to what Kyle said, feel free to flag one instance for moderator attention with a custom flag reason. Giving us some links to the others in the flag is helpful. We'll look at them for: appropriateness to individual questions. the degree to which they might constitute spam. the possibility that if they really are warranted on those several ...


18

No, you have done the right thing. With some many questions on the site it's very easy to miss the fact that a duplicate exists, and to be fair the site search isn't as great as it could be. Don't attach too much significance to the downvotes. It's easy to feel that downvotes are a personal criticism, but really they are just a statement that the question ...


18

Well, there are a couple of things to say here: Assume good faith: Unless the user in question explicitly told you "I have downvoted your question and deleted my answer because you would not accept it", or something similarily blatant, we all should refrain from ascribing motivations to other users. In particular, since voting is completely ...


17

As far as I've seen, simple questions are not downvoted. One of our most upvoted questions is Don't heavier objects actually fall faster because they exert their own gravity? A simple question if ever there was one. And the all-time most up-voted question on our site is about the best way to cool a cup of coffee with a spoon. If posed right, the simplest ...


17

There are some effects of highly negative score not related to reputation: A question below -4 will be pushed of the front page (i.e. what visitors see at `physics.stackexchange.com? ), cf. this meta answer. Users with more than 20k reputation can vote to delete questions of score -3 or lower immediately after they are closed without the usual 2 day period ...


16

I also recall the question went to a net -2 score early on, hence my comment. I don't think it's any cause for soul searching though. All questions will have some site members who approve and some who don't. It just so happened that the disapprovers were first on the scene this time. It didn't take long for the rest of us to get there and start voting it up....


16

Part of the problem is that we are not always sympathetic to questions from the less experienced physics fans. In this case the question had attracted two downvotes and no answers by the time I added my rather brief answer. So it's no surprise that when someone took time to write a detailed and apparently considered answer that answer would impress the OP ...


15

That's... unlikely to happen, but it is ultimately not something this community can control. The core Q&A engine is managed by Stack Exchange an shared by the 150+ sites in the network, and this kind of change to the engine would have to be done centrally by them. If you want to suggest this change, then the central meta site, Meta Stack Exchange, is the ...


14

TL;DR: Voting is one of the things that makes the SE sites work (the review queues being another big one); if you aren't downvoting, you are not helping this place work; so downvote on the bad answers as you see them. What makes you avoid casting a down-vote or commenting on a bad answer? Interpreting "you" here as plural (rather than me specifically), ...


14

This request has a long history going back to the early days of Stack Overflow. You'll notice that question is marked as declined. It was actually status-pending for months before being declined and instead the question up-vote value was reduced to 5 (from the original value of 10 just like answers). I doubt the team will be willing to revisit this decision ...


13

As no single account can cast more than one down vote on any particular post it is clear that more than one person feels that some of your posts are not "useful and clear". If any one person is engaging in a pattern of arbitrary downvoting it will likely be reverse by an automatic process that exists for that exact purpose.


13

To be very frank: you shouldn't even be contemplating this questions; you should always vote the quality of the content and never the user who posted it. Nor will anyone tell you what the limits of the automated vote-misuse detection system are. That would rather defeat their purpose.


12

I'm not sure if you're trying to make a broader argument here, but I don't really see any serious issue with the question you've linked. It was only downvoted once, which may just as well be explained in a number of different ways (e.g. someone thinking dark matter is a myth, personally disliking the OP or other kinds of uninteresting stuff). I think it's ...


12

Yes, this downvoting peak was caused by the infamous (and very persistent) love spammer, who offered solutions to everybody's love lives, cf. records from May 7th, 2013. (Link only accessible to moderators and SE team). The spammer used multiple Phys.SE accounts, such as, e.g. this and this. The incident spurred this and possibly this meta posts.


12

Downvotes send a very clear message: this is not the kind of post we want on the site. (If downvotes outnumber upvotes that suggests the opinion is not that of one grumpy curmudgeon but is perhaps a consensus; if not then the user comes out ahead.) For answers that means posts that are wrong, muddled, head off on a tangent unrelated to the questions or are ...


12

A few things: The user you refer to has cast quite a few votes, but only about 81.7% of them are downvotes, not 90%. Call this pedantry, but I think it's important to distinguish between claims and facts. Vote on the posts, not on the person. Targeted serial voting like this is unacceptable and may result in disciplinary action. Stack Exchange does not ...


12

I would interpret the downvotes on the answers to both of those questions as saying don't answer this kind of homework questions and I agree with that perspective. Providing answers to obvious do-my-work-for-me questions only encourages more of them, and they are a clear drag on the quality of the site. This is a gray area, but if I see a Q&A pair ...


12

Users are encouraged to vote. You decide what are quality posts on Phys.SE and what are not. Voting should always be based on content, never on previous votes. E.g. comfort-voting is strongly discouraged. Downvoting is an important part of weeding out bad content.


11

Downvotes are an unavoidable effect of having an answer that is not accurate, and they should remain that way. Downvotes are not a criticism on the poster, they are the way to keep good answers on the top and inaccurate answers (duly indicated as such in the comments, ideally) further down; it's what makes this site good. One strategy to answer questions is ...


11

I will only address your last comment here. Grammar and formatting matter. It is important that you recognize this site not only as a place to learn physics, but also (primarily?) as a place to learn to communicate physics. It is not enough to have it clear in your own head, and you also need to communicate it correctly. An answer that has serious grammar ...


11

You lose 1 point for downvoting an answer and none for downvoting a question. This is because downvoting hurts the post's owner. We want you to only downvote when you seriously believe it deserves it. We don't want people to downvote simply because they feel like it or don't like the author or don't like that they used "your" instead of "you're" somewhere in ...


11

It's important to say up front that a downvote is not a judgement of you, it is a judgement of your question or answer. A downvote means the downvoter thinks it is not a suitable question/answer for this site, and that's all it means. Well, in theory. In practice it is very hard not to take downvotes personally, and I hate being downvoted as much as you and ...


10

I remember the question having a net -2 score early on as well. The initial question was in broken english, which I suspect added to the early poor reception. I knew the question had potential and was worried it was quickly going to get buried, so I edited the question for english grammar as quick as I could [14:58] and started working on my answer. It ...


10

Technically you can downvote for whatever reason you want. (Any reason based on the content of the post, that is. If you downvote because of who posted it, that's not okay.) So if you want to downvote a post because it doesn't use MathJax for the formulas, that is, strictly speaking, okay. It may or may not be a good idea, however. I think there is ...


10

The main mechanism for the reversal of serial voting is automated, because the moderators have access only to summaries of inter-user voting, (not to detailed records) even when our tools alert us to the existence of unusual patterns in voting. Alleging that the moderators aren't doing their job on this is simply silly: it's mostly not our job because the ...


10

This is by design: answers with scores below -3 get grayed out, to indicated that they do not have the community's endorsement.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible