My issue: I am a new member on English Language & Usage. The day before yesterday I asked a question (Nice came from nescius meaning stupid?) here. I then closed out the site as I was busy. Yesterday I saw that someone had answered my question. There were two answers to my question. One of them was pure copy paste from Google but I thanked the answerer twice and apologized to him twice for not accepting his answer. I did so because his answer had more votes than the other answer, if I didn't let him know, he would feel bad.

He had copied his answer from the first two results from a first google search. Here is the search link (https://www.google.com/search?q=origin+of+nice&oq=origin+of+nice&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60l3.1745j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8). He had copied and pasted from the first two links in the above google search. (1. https://www.etymonline.com/word/nice 2. https://www.dictionary.com/e/nice-guys/). Before asking my question I had already read these. If I needed these easily available results why would I ask my question on Stack Exchange?

I apologized to him twice for not accepting his answer. He told me something I don't remember but I apologized again. He said "read the facts". I in turn told him "read the facts". I confess it was rude but I had apologized twice. After a few minutes minutes, he deleted his answer and I got "-14" on my question. I had asked a legit question and apologized to the answerer for not accepting his answer yet he gave me -14 in no time. Is this supposed to be normal? Did I do anything wrong? I am sure there must be something staff can do to see the deleted comments and answer. I told him I couldn't accept his answer because I had already read that. I was invited to Stack Exchange by my friend and he told me that answerers give excellent answers and are nice to questioners. But I didn't see that. I got offended in my first days.

I knew about -14 in my profile. Now it is -16.

Are other new members also treated the same? Should I move on and keep accepting such kind of answers?

I asked this question here https://meta.stackexchange.com/ but they didn't want it there and downvoted it immediately. I hope THIS is the right place now!

  • You can flag any suspicious or rude behaviour to a mod. There is an empty box for any problem that is not already listed. I wouldn't say the deletion breached the code of conduct but if you suspect someone downvoted the same post more than once (09.31 and 09.32) then that indeed is against SE policy. – Mari-Lou A May 24 '20 at 21:07
  • I got 2 downvotes on my answer too but I don't mind. It's normal, you'll get used to it. – Decapitated Soul May 26 '20 at 8:47
  • Nobody can down-vote the same post more than once. Two users can down-vote the same post, but that is something allowed, except in the case the same two users start down-voting posts because the users who posted them. – apaderno May 26 '20 at 9:01
  • Anyway, the reputation page is clear: There is an unupvote and a downvote, which means a user who first up-voted your question then down-voted it. – apaderno May 26 '20 at 9:06
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    @kiamlaluno there are two downvotes. One user reversed their upvote, and presumably the same user, downvoted the OP's question. Then at 09.32 there was another downvote, which could have could been from a different user or from the same user but with a different account. – Mari-Lou A May 26 '20 at 12:55
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    That is what I meant by my earlier comment: the same user but with two different accounts – Mari-Lou A May 26 '20 at 12:56
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    I agree entirely with @Mari-LouA. If the downvoters were two different members, then why did I get two downvotes at the same time??? (My answer was on the same post.) – Decapitated Soul May 26 '20 at 14:49
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    It's easier two different users down-voted than a single user who logged in, changed vote, logged out, and logged in with a second account to down-vote. Anyway, two down-votes aren't sufficient to say I am target of down-votes. – apaderno May 26 '20 at 17:18
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    @DecapitatedSoul If they were really at the same time, that would be a demonstration that two different users voted. It's not so unusual that two users vote 1 minute after the other. – apaderno May 26 '20 at 17:20
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    @kiamlaluno It's not so unusual that two users vote 1 minute after the other. it is when the same two users (if that were the case) downvote the top answer. And note that your comment has been upvoted twice, coincidence? I think "coincidence" would be unusual. Also note that the downvotes coincide precisely with the time a certain answer was deleted (timeline visible to 10K users). – Mari-Lou A May 27 '20 at 5:54
  • Thank you @Mari-LouA for reading and understanding my problem – user385888 May 27 '20 at 14:01
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    @Mari-LouA You are seeing plots where there aren't. Keep in mind that the user who posted the question is notified of my comments, in the same way the user I reference in my comment. Also your comment has two up-votes. Does that mean anything, or is it better to ignore that because it would mean that two up-votes on a comment don't mean anything? – apaderno May 27 '20 at 14:46
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    How do you know who down-voted the top answer? Not even the moderators can see that. With all the users on the main site, you cannot understand who voted on any post, given that the number of votes for each user isn't updated in real time. – apaderno May 27 '20 at 14:49
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    @Mari-LouA That still means you don't know it. Two down-votes on a question aren't revenge down-voting. While users should know there is a system to detect revenge down-voting, and actions are taken for those cases, we should not make them think that two down-votes are necessarily a suspicious situation. – apaderno May 29 '20 at 8:49
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    It is possible that a previous upvote was automatically disallowed when the question was merged with a duplicate. Note that the full question at the duplicate is 'But what are the origins of this word? What did it originally mean? Why has the meaning changed so much through the years?' – Edwin Ashworth Jun 6 '20 at 16:11

If I needed these easily available results why would I ask my question on Stack Exchange?

Well, this shows me that you’re already in the the right mindset to be here. (You might be surprised how many people don’t put one modicum of effort into asking a question and don’t even search beforehand.) You should just include more of the results you found as you ask your question and then you’ll get better answers (or maybe just prevent answers telling you what you know). Of course, writing the perfect question is something that comes with experience.

You’ll also probably find that searching ELU for the answer before asking will be good (sometimes answering your question and other times leading you to unrelated albeit interesting questions), though the site search is somewhat unreliable so YMMV. It’s not a big deal to have a question get closed as a duplicate as long as it’s not happening to many of your questions.

Your question has a net positive score so I wouldn’t worry about the reputation. (Note that the -10 was from an unupvote which means that someone who upvoted previously undid their vote — unusual but you can just think of it being like they never upvoted at all.) It seems like no matter how good a question is it will still get at least one downvote (at least on ELU), so it seems likely to me that the downvotes are real and came from different people (also it’s against the rules to use multiple accounts to vote for someone).

I looked at the comments (as any user with 10k+ reputation can do) and I feel you’re thinking it’s a bigger deal than it actually is. Nothing there looks even remotely offensive or problematic to me. Also, you don’t need to explain to anyone why you didn’t accept their answer (or how you voted) and you’re not obligated to accept an answer at all.

It’s not really worth taking any further action against the comments there (especially since they’re on a deleted answer). If you encounter an offensive comment in the future, you can always flag it as such and a moderator will see if it needs to be removed.

Hope this helps!

  • Note that the -10 was from an unupvote which means that someone who upvoted previously undid their vote — unusual but you can just think of it being like they never upvoted at all. It appears that the unupvote was converted to a downvote. More than unuusual. It appears that the top answer was also downvoted twice, quite unusual but not surprising. – Mari-Lou A May 27 '20 at 11:07
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    Thank you @Laurel – user385888 May 27 '20 at 14:02
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    Sometimes people click the wrong arrow, then undo it and click the right one. It doesn't have to be anything nefarious. – Davo May 29 '20 at 13:32

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