Have a look at this question. It got down-voted for reasons known only to Gandalf. At least I would like to know why I got down-voted and what can I do to improve it?

  • 5
    I just edited it - and one thing from that edit should stand out: we'd like to know what you're trying to do before you dump a ton of system information on us. If I have to read half of a long question just to even figure out what you're trying to do, I'd consider that a poor question.
    – muru
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


Downvotes are by design anonymous and do not require comments. Some people will leave a comment anyway, out of the kindness of their hearts, but it's not required or expected. However, when you hover over the downvote link, it will tell you the standard reason for downvotes: "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful".

In the case of your question, you have made the effort to post a lot of information. But you've missed the most salient point, which is the error message you included and which tells you exactly what the problem is. Your question does not show any attempts to troubleshoot based on that message, not even the basic "does the file actually exist or not". I would guess that this is the reason for the downvote.

  • The container I'm trying to run is from an image published in the default docker registry with all the files packed inside. When I tried to run it in a different linux distro it worked. Not sure what's going on here though. I've done a lot of research and salient point analysis before asking this question. The problem may not be in the container image, it may be with some configuration in the Alpine linux disto which is what I was trying to uncover. Commented May 13, 2018 at 10:38
  • 11
    My point is that the research you've done should be included in the quesion - as should the information that the image works in other distros.
    – Jenny D
    Commented May 14, 2018 at 7:52
  • @JennyD As a minor counter-point to "the research you've done should be included in the quesion" part, I've often seen my questions get ignored b/c, in attempts to add what you've done to avoid downvotes, people just see "This is too long; I'm out" and so, you may not get a downvote, but you don't get help either.
    – code_dredd
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 22:33
  • @ray how do you know that’s how people react to such questions? Commented May 23, 2018 at 15:42
  • @StephenKitt As I stated in the comment itself, "I've often seen my questions" go through it. I've had meta discussions about it where people pointed out they thought there was too much info in the post, and so on. Yet, when I've tried to write shorter ones they sometimes get reqs for clarification in comments (that I would've normally addressed before publishing the post) and some simply dv and move on.
    – code_dredd
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 16:11
  • @ray I’d seen the part about this happening to your questions, but that doesn’t imply that people had actually told you their reasons; thanks for the info. I do agree that longer questions tend to get less attention. I get the impression though that the deciding factor in a question’s popularity is its title — a detailed question with a catchy title will often do better than a short question with an unremarkable title (on similar topics). Commented May 23, 2018 at 18:02
  • @StephenKitt "that doesn't imply [they] actually told you their reasons" That seems to assume that those who did must've lied. While you may generally be right w.r.t. popularity, I've also seen very poorly worded questions get attention, too. I think it's more likely that people will pay attention to a question if they think it's an easy one to address. In any case, we're going off-topic, so I digress.
    – code_dredd
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 18:41
  • @ray I wasn’t implying that anyone was lying, I was just saying that nothing in your initial comment suggested (to me) that anyone had explicitly told you what their reasons were, that’s all. Commented May 23, 2018 at 18:54
  • @StephenKitt Oh, I see. Since you had said that after I mentioned I had had meta discussions about it, I thought you were trying to say something else. I must've misunderstood that part. Sorry about that.
    – code_dredd
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 18:56

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