I am a members in a lot of Stack Exchange sites and in the Electronics there are people casting too many and too easily downvotes which doesn't happen in the rest of the communities! This doesn't help neither the site's quality nor the comradery between us. I am watching questions and there are a lot of people asking, not excellent, but good and on topic ones and they get downvotes, without anyone even commenting on them! This has to stop. No one should cast downvotes on questions or answers so easily. I have found in another SE site a flowchart that demonstrates how should someone think and do before downvoting and as the rules are the same I think that all of us should follow it. It is a great example. What is your opinion on this? Don't you think that something has to be done?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Whithout specific examples this is just pointless hand waving. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 6, 2014 at 13:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't talk about specific posts, I am talking about how easily people casting downvotes! It is ridiculous! I already got a downvote in that post myself without someone previously writing a comment and telling me why he thinks that I deserve a downvote! There are countless questions over time that get downvotes because they are simple elementary or for other reasons but abide the laws of questions of stack exchange sites. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 6, 2014 at 13:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ Relax. Downvotes on meta only mean disagreement, not that you're a dirtbag, a moron, and your mother was a chimpanzee, like they mean on the main site. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 6, 2014 at 13:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes I know that but I saw that in the main site in countless questions which I myself thought as decent ones and there was not even comments. There was also an answer that I gave that got downvoted by one person and although asking why he did that I got no answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is impossible, and therefore pointless, to talk vaguely about "too much" this or that. Without concrete examples where you feel things were done wrongly, there is nothing to discuss, making your post just a big whine. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 6, 2014 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is something that I have seen over time in many questions and answers so I don't have now specific examples. I just wanted to discuss that because it seemed to me extremely peculiar and rude and wanted to see what is the opinion of the users. I don't think that is whine as I haven't any downvoted questions myself. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 6, 2014 at 14:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Whether you downvoted or not is not relevant to this post being a whine or not. The fact of having been downvoted is more likely to be correlated to a whine. I'm not saying that it is, but perhaps you should not make such a big deal of downvotes, they're just one moer way to express an opinion. \$\endgroup\$
    – clabacchio
    Nov 6, 2014 at 15:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is an opinion in the meta site, not in the main site. In most communities as you can see from the flowchart it is a great deal being downvoted and one must be careful how he cast his vote. I am just trying to see what is the opinion of other users on this subject so this post is not a whine. I just saw a great number of downvotes which is really peculiar and I am wondering why, there is no reason to be "attacked". \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 6, 2014 at 15:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adam Have a look at this answer in an earlier similar thread. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 6, 2014 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question in the link is not only a great point itself but the comments also show that the community believe in the communication with the author of the question via comments before downvote him. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 6, 2014 at 19:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Couldn't help but notice that his question has 35 upvotes and mine 4 downvotes. The users get tougher by the minute \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 6, 2014 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ 7 downvotes now. Again, show a concrete example or two where you think things were done wrongly. Each case could be different. We can't discuss general trends because there is no way to measure how you versus everyone else peceives "too much", "too little", etc. Without solid cases as a metric, we can only conclude that your concept of too much or too little is off the deep end. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2014 at 13:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop just give it time the exact same question that is below mine has a lot of upvotes which happens because 1k people saw it. There has nothing to do with a metric, we all know what I mean as we are all active in the site. Also I sense a little hostility, there is no reason for this, we are all friends here and we just relaxing talking about a Q&A site we like. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 10, 2014 at 15:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ No, we don't all know what you mean because you refuse to give us anything we can measure it by. And yes, you perceived the tone correctly since you are being uncooperative, and your whole post is a typical rant from someone who hasn't bothered to spend the time getting used to how this site works. I suspect you are getting downvotes due to both these reasons. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2014 at 17:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 You need to filter the rude and offensive words out of Olin's stuff to get any value. I' \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon Mod
    Nov 24, 2014 at 1:12

3 Answers 3


I think you are missing the point of "community review". Each community is different, and you can't impose tight rules about "how someone should think" across all communities.

We all work within the same SE guidelines, but an engineering/science site like EE.SE has very high standards on what constitutes a "good" question. If we're not quick to downvote and close "bad" questions, they would quickly overwhelm the site, obscuring the repository of helpful information that we're trying to build up.

Most of the questions that get downvoted without comment are so obviously in violation of the site policies that it's clear that the user hasn't read the guidelines or even done a basic search for existing information on the topic either within EE.SE specifically or in Google generally. And a lot of these questions come from one-time visitors who never come back to get feedback or to participate further in the site. After a while, it seems pointless to go to the effort of writing a comment; we're just preaching to the choir anyway.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your answer. I totally agree with most things, but I think that we should just inform, for instance there was a question yesterday asking the use of inductors in a circuit (if I remember correctly) and although it got a nice answer it got downvotes for no apparent reason. I don't mean questions that are in clear violation of the rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 6, 2014 at 13:57

I thought it would be interesting to write a voting statistics for 2014 query and run it against the top 15 sites by questions asked which was enough to cover Tex and EE. Like all data explorer queries this will exclude deleted posts:

Site                  Upvotes   Downvotes  % Downvotes (rounded down)
Android                 18963     7428     28
Apple                   59142     8479     12
Ask Ubuntu             239954    43263     15
Cooking                 22676     2374      9
Database Administrators 37924     4932     11
Electrical Engineering  72041    11018     13
English                  5801     1111     16
Gaming                 102122    26889     20
Math                   680340    78341     10
Programmers            133274    36991     21
Server Fault           133899    30979     18
Stack Overflow       11670423  1692553     12
Super User             259184    39205     13
Tex                    262476     4130      1
Unix and Linux         147922     8918      5
Average                                    13

So Tex is very much the odd one out and I don't feel that flowchart is representative of how the users of most Stack Exchange sites vote.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As it says the flowchart was composed based on how they should vote. And personally I think that you owe to the person that asked a question to tell him what you think before downvote, so to give him a chance to either "save" his question or delete it. Not be so quick to turn him down. Also from my experience in Ask Ubuntu, Math and TeX when you see a downvote in a question then it must be completely off topic, which is not the case with this community. But thank you for generating those statistics. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 10, 2014 at 11:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Adam: No, diapering and burping those that can't be bothered to write decent questions just noises up the site. We get plenty of traffic here. There is little upside in trying to "save" bad questions. Effort is much more productively spent instead on writing good answers to worthy questions. You also don't want to teach that sloppiness works by giving slobs the desired result. Tarring and feathering them is more efficient, discourages them from coming back and doing it again, and puts everyone on notice what happens when you're sloppy and disrespectful. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2014 at 13:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop new users need a little diapering. They are in a new site and no one ever reads neither the rules nor the posts about asking a proper question in the beginning. You must show them that the community is friendly and helpful so to stay and become active members. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 10, 2014 at 15:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adam: No, we must show them that it's unacceptable to barge in here without first learning the rules, and then abiding by them. And no, I don't want them to stay if they can't be bothered with this basic homework. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2014 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop someone visits this community when has a problem. He will not read anything. The same goes for every forum and Q&A site. We must welcome them in the beginning. Then everyone will learn the rules by using the site. New users must come always, which won't happen if they are intimidated in their first question. Also the site itself has algorithms to "throw away" users if they remain "bad users" in the long run. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Nov 10, 2014 at 18:10

That flowchart is just terrible. If I read it correctly, it tells me to leave an outright wrong answer up-voted for days, letting other people think it is correct.

One key difference between EE and e.g. programming is that there are no "compilation errors" in electronics - a circuit will not tell you it's "wrong", it will work anyway, possibly producing sparks and smoke instead of its intended function. If bad answers are not down-voted right away, users may not have the hardware to try good answers on.


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