Why someone can be so frustrated to vote down a question like this:

I have some doubt about it:

  • It is not a valid question?
  • It is a span?
  • It is off topic?
  • It is too broad?
  • It is primarily opinion-based?
  • It is unclear what the OP asked?
  • Does someone write a comment to the OP telling why the question is not in good format?
  • The list can continue: it is not well written, it is not in English, it is duplicate, etc. But I don't want to be sarcastic (I already become - so, I will understand if this question will be voted down).

Of course, I'm aware that not every question is great. Many are simply middling: they don’t deserve an upvote, but also don’t deserve a downvote.

2 Answers 2


One of the things that takes a little getting used to is the whole voting on the SE sites. Everyone in the SE universe that has 15 rep or higher is allowed to vote up, and 125 rep for down.

In the beginning, when I first frequented the sites, I too would see what appear to be perfectly valid questions with -1 or -2 or even 0. Then I posted my first questions and eventually my first answers and would invariably receive up and down votes.

Then I realized, the votes are nothing more than signals. They are just a way for others around me, peers, to provide feedback, nothing more.

In the same way that a performer can get up in front of a crowd and do their thing, the crowd can either:

  1. clap
  2. do nothing
  3. boo

So too on the SE sites can the crowd do here as well. So my questions to you would be, as a performer:

  1. Do you perform for the claps, or do you perform for some other more self serving reason?
  2. If it is for some more fundamental reason, do you not continue to perform?

Do not let a boo perturb you from performing!

Ask the best questions you can, if it get's downvoted, ask for help. Leave a comment asking for someone to help you make it a better question. Leave a comment asking why it was downvoted, become better at your craft, but don't torture yourself wondering why someone in the crowd might have booed your performance, it will only drive you crazy, let it go!


  • Nice answer, thanks! I think it can help other users at the beginning. Vote up for the moment. Just one observation: only users with 125 rep or higher can vote down and indicate when questions and answers are not useful. Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:13
  • @RaduRădeanu - thanks, I meant to fact check that point and then forgot.
    – slm Mod
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:14

It's one downvote. Shrug it off.

A downvote doesn't indicate that a question is off-topic, too broad, primarily opinion-based or unclear. That's what close votes are for. (Unclear is also part of the guidelines for downvoting.)

People can vote for whatever reason they like. There is official advice, but the only actual rule is to vote for the post and not for the person.

P.S. In case it wasn't clear from the rest of my answer: I do not consider this meta question useful.

  • I was expecting to receive a down vote for this question... I asked this question only to draw attention at down votes without reason. ...So, what would you say if I will start now to down vote all of your questions because ...yes, "People can vote for whatever reason they like"? Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:02
  • @RaduRădeanu - I caution you to not use them as a weapon. They are a tool, and should be used as such. Obviously they are yours to do whatever you like with but, from my experience negativity gets negativity, whereas keeping things positive and moving forward is more productive for all parties involved.
    – slm Mod
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:16
  • 3
    @RaduRădeanu No, that is the one thing which is forbidden: voting for the person instead of for the question. It would be equally forbidden for you to upvote all of my questions. Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:21
  • Yes, it is forbidden in case of serial voting. But not in the case when you give 2, 3 votes per day (far away from me to do so). Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 10:25
  • 3
    It is forbidden to vote based on the user no matter how slowly you do it. This is automatically reversed if you do it fast. If you do it more slowly, you may escape detection for a while, but if/when found out, you will incur the wrath of moderators and the votes will be invalidated. Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 10:43

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