I have a question about my English Language & Usage Stack Exchange post: Seeking clarification on the use of “They/Them/Their” as a personal gender pronoun

The title is the total question. I asked another question in Meta asking why my post was closed and how I can find feedback on why those who down-voted / set as 'off topic' did so. There was only one respondent, but that person stated that no actual feedback is given nor is any detail required to make the vote / call in the first place.

Surely that must be incorrect - or is it indeed true?

  • 4
    I said no feedback is required. That doesn't mean you'll never get feedback, nor does it mean you'll always get feedback. There's feedback in the close reason, but individual feedback isn't required.
    – user180866
    Sep 29, 2019 at 10:25
  • I said required too. Sep 29, 2019 at 10:47

1 Answer 1


Neither up- nor downvotes require a reason, and this, together with the anonymity of voting, is an important part of the Stack Exchange model. You can find a good number of discussions around this if you look, but there is no point arguing about it. Partly this is beacause nobody on the site has the power to change it, and partly because argument is itself alien to Stack Exchange; you can if you wish put forward reasons to support your post, but other people's opinions do not require your approval, and indeed a poorly-phrased 'justification' may be perceived as whining and inability to accept criticism, and lead to further downvotes.

Closevotes do require a reason, but one of the commoner reasons is "off-topic; not about English within the scope defined in the help center". If you had actually believed that and checked what the help centre says, you would have found that ELU (and other Stack Exchange sites) do not welcome discussions or "seeking clarification"; clear answers are given to clear questions, and, ideally, the correct answer is accepted. The reason you were given is thus sufficient.

  • 1
    " the confluence of wiki, discussion, blog, and reddit/digg ranking systems -- is a fair representation of our original vision for Stack Overflow". Take it from one of the founders (Jeff Atwood) what the Stack Exchange model is supposed to be: blog.codinghorror.com/…
    – user662852
    Oct 3, 2019 at 20:24

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .