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I'm curious and intrigued, not outraged. Has the situation on Is there an idiom available, that is exactly opposite to "Cake walk" or "Child's play"? happened before?

The accepted answer has a net of 47 downvotes (12 upvotes and 59 downvotes). When I first noticed it, it had been accepted and had a net 13 (or maybe 11) downvotes.

Many commenters disagreed; the user continues to defend his answer against all comers. I don't want to debate the virtues or lack thereof of the answer, nor ask what can be done, which is probably nothing. (The OP has left the planet.)

No, all I am asking is:

Is this a first?

I find it curious that the delta in the answerer's rep because of this question remains slightly positive (even without the +15 for acceptance) as the total number of votes increases, and wonder if anyone has any insight as to the psychology of the voters.

Addendum: I am starting to think of bear-baiting. It is time to discreetly offer the answerer an out.

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    It's adulting to think of an accepted answer that has had such an adulting time with downvotes. – Sven Yargs Feb 19 '17 at 21:17
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    I remember a question about craftsman, must find it somewhere... Gender-neutral alternative to “craftsmanship”? the top answer earned 229 because so many disagreed with the accepted answer, but that wasn't heavily downvoted. – Mari-Lou A Feb 19 '17 at 21:35
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    @Mari-Lou A: Good point about the effect an unpopular accepted answer has on the nearest alternative answer. Part of the psychology of voting here—especially (I suspect) on Hot Network Question questions—is not only to trash the widely disliked winner, but to elevate what may be very pedestrian alternative answers by way of widening the vote gap between the two. Of course, answers to single-word requests tend to be pretty pedestrian, since most of the legitimate possibilities are fairly obvious (although now and someone suggests something surprising and apt like "to pile Pelion on Ossa"). – Sven Yargs Feb 19 '17 at 21:58
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    Oh, Brad Thomas has just updated and edited his answer. Seriously 63 downvotes is a ridiculous number, it's not that terrible. – Mari-Lou A Feb 19 '17 at 21:58
  • I VTC it as being too broad, which it is. Let's get this off the HQN, the top answer isn't that great, users are just upvoting it because they want to make a point. @SvenYargs a touch of classicism, I thought wouldn't go amiss ;) – Mari-Lou A Feb 19 '17 at 22:05
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    @Mari-Lou A I just cast a VTC as too broad, but really on humanitarian grounds. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Feb 19 '17 at 22:18
  • It may well be the first time that someone has so stubbornly stuck with their answer and not deleted it allowing it to get so many down votes. – curiousdannii Feb 19 '17 at 22:34
  • @curiousdannii: As I detailed in a comment beneath Brad Thomas's answer, his answer is still net positive (+9 as I write this, down from +13 at the time I wrote my comment there an hour ago), so he doesn't yet have a rep-based incentive to delete. – Sven Yargs Feb 19 '17 at 22:44
  • @SvenYargs But he could get the Peer Pressure badge ;) And I think most people would be more concerned about the possible apparent shame of having such a downvoted answer on their account rather than the exact rep it's given them. – curiousdannii Feb 19 '17 at 22:46
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    @curiousdannii: What might do the trick is if Stack Exchange created a silver badge for closing a -15 answer (we could call it "ostracized") and a gold badge for closing a -50 answer ("pariah"). – Sven Yargs Feb 19 '17 at 22:49
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    @curiousdannii His answer is the accepted answer. Could he delete even if he wanted to? Would it not have to be unaccepted before he could delete? – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Feb 19 '17 at 22:49
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    @ab2 I just tried deleting one of my own accepted answers, and you're not able to. I'd assume the mods would delete it if asked by the author though. – curiousdannii Feb 19 '17 at 22:51
  • In one hour it has attracted a further three downvotes, now 66 DV against 13 UV. The M-W definition and link alone is worth saving. – Mari-Lou A Feb 19 '17 at 23:32
  • @Mari-LouA I thought it was funny that you added a full quote from the M-W because it directly contradicts the OP's definition! – curiousdannii Feb 19 '17 at 23:40
  • @curiousdannii the definition follows the one cited in Urban dictionary, if anything it implies that being an "adult" is not "child's play". So... it's marginally improved. – Mari-Lou A Feb 19 '17 at 23:54
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I think the answer to the ostensible question "Is this a first?" is "Yes, probably".

It's possible to view answers with lowest votes, and that answer heads — or ends — the list.

The "Cake walk" answer is currently the lowest-voted accepted answer by quite a long way; the next lowest is −25 for 'Enjoy the rest of your day'. What is the name for such expressions? which (at the time of this answer) last received a downvote in March 2015; since then it has received three upvotes. That answer's vote split is currently −30/+5. It's the accepted answer to the question.

For an answer to have received such a negative aggregate in four days is probably unprecedented. Unfortunately, plotting the timing of votes on posts is horrendously expensive and difficult: it's possible that there have been other posts which went downhill very quickly and have since been redeemed by upvotes to wind up further from the end of the voting list. It's difficult to tell.

As far as psychology of voters is concerned, I can only speak for myself. J.R's comment is apposite and I upvoted that when I downvoted the answer.

Just because adulting is hard doesn't mean adulting means hard. "This task is really adulting?" Oh, please. Adulting is hardly "exactly synonymous with ... strenuous".

The answer doesn't answer the question.

  • If the answer is so horrendous and so terribly wrong (I did not cast any vote) and the OP has accepted it, this means it is now at the top of the page, wouldn't it be better to delete it altogether? What I find particularly strange is that everyone is eager to DV the answer but not the OP who accepted it. – Mari-Lou A Feb 19 '17 at 21:34
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    If the community wants to delete it, fine. Those who can vote to do so can vote to do so, but I don't know if that's possible for an accepted answer. Moderators won't delete an answer simply because it's wrong -- it has to be seriously faulty (eg wrong and a one-liner) for that to happen. Votes indicate its relative worth. It is unfortunate that the SE model puts accepted answers first -- it may be a potentially useful adjustment if that didn't happen where other answers rank above the accepted answer by a certain margin. – Andrew Leach Feb 19 '17 at 21:44
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    @Mari-Lou A At first I thought: "Brilliant!" But the question isn't all that bad. And there are some good answers, one of which is within 7 votes of a gold badge. I prefer to keep it in all its mind-boggling weirdness and see what eventually happens. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Feb 19 '17 at 21:46
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    @ab2 are you talking about the answer adulting or the question itself? The Q is fine, but now 29 answers is too many, the idea of suggesting something opposite to cakewalk and child's play was abandoned pretty quickly and other solutions offered. Brad Thomas's answer is the only one which has the word adult and that seems to be the only criteria that drove the OP to accept that answer, which is illogical and nonsensical. But oh, their question, and their right to choose the answer they prefer. – Mari-Lou A Feb 19 '17 at 21:52
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    I think voting on that answer should be locked. I mean 63 downvotes, it's herd mentality, it's mean spirited, it's past the "this answer is incorrect" stage. Can't the mods remove it from the HQN circuit? – Mari-Lou A Feb 19 '17 at 22:02
  • @Mari-LouA Have you tried to delete-vote it? – tchrist Feb 19 '17 at 22:09
  • @tchrist no, because I don't find it so horrendous. I think it should be unaccepted, then BThomas can do what he wants with the "answer". Anyway... can users vote to delete an accepted answer? EDIT: apparently the delete button is in view, it is possible. If Thomas expressed the desire to delete his answer, I'd help him out—like putting a horse out of its misery, but he seems pretty convinced that the answer is acceptable. – Mari-Lou A Feb 19 '17 at 22:12
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    @Mari-LouA Well the edit isn't enough for me to retract my downvote. Suggesting adulting is still wrong. – Andrew Leach Feb 19 '17 at 22:14
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    @Mari-LouA There's no way to vote to unaccept it. You can voted to delete it though, I'm pretty sure. Oh, and it isn't even on the Hot Network list right now. – tchrist Feb 19 '17 at 22:16
  • @Mari-Lou A By "brilliant" I meant your comment to delete, but then I thought it should not be deleted because it is of historical interest. I still think it is of historical interest, but I think the question and all the answers should be frozen, if that is possible. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Feb 20 '17 at 0:08
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    @ab I also suggested that voting should be locked That is something only the mods can do. – Mari-Lou A Feb 20 '17 at 0:11
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    @Mari-LouA I don't see what the problem is. People are voting the way they feel. It is certainly an outlier. But that's what the HNQ list gets you. Why close/lock/delete/mod involve/etc.? The OP is not complaining. Nobody is losing money or health on this. – Mitch Feb 20 '17 at 0:40
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    @Mari-LouA Sure, but why is any action desired? – Mitch Feb 20 '17 at 0:55
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    @Mari-Lou - I'll repeat what I tried to convey in chat: I don't think the answer itself – adulting – is all that bad. However, I wonder how many of the downvotes came when the readers saw this: For those who disagree that adulting implies "difficult" I reference M-W's definition which says "adulting is hard". I know that was the main impetus for my downvote, and 30+ people have upvoted my comment which said as much. (The original edit said "means" instead of "implies;" while "implies" is a small improvement, I still think that one line might be the culprit for much of the downvoting.) – J.R. Feb 22 '17 at 18:35
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    (cont.) Also, when an OP says: "because I'm in 'profit' on this answer ... the systemic structure of this site seems to indicate that [deleting it] is not what I should do..." I think a comment like that probably invites even more downvoting – at least until the profit dwindles into a net loss. That could be what happened in this case. – J.R. Feb 22 '17 at 18:40

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