When I first came across this question, it was closed only temporarily and I assumed that it was not a duplicate (otherwise it would have been closed as one). So I went on and did my research and posted an answer. But then a rushing mighty wind came and I was downvoted because the question WAS a duplicate. [I don't see why this other question was not considered as a duplicate, when it was asked on two sister sites. This matter was addressed here on Meta.]

After less than half an hour, after a little discussion in the comments to my answer, the question was closed as a duplicate.

While I understand why a duplicate question is closed, I still wonder: is this enough reason to downvote an answer that is perfectly correct and upvoted by others?

  • 1
    I did. Thank you, I agree this needs to be addressed. It would be a shame for this site to be even slightly clouded by unnecessary negativity. Downvoting should stimulate, not "teach a lesson".
    – fev
    Dec 23, 2020 at 18:47
  • 3
    It would be a far bigger shame for this site to be clouded by mediocrity. There are those who do not seem to care about checking they're not adding bloat. The 'duplicate' CV-reason is there to keep the site reasonably scholarly and credible; there are those who never seem to bother. I've deleted my own answers when someone else has pointed out the question was a duplicate. Dec 23, 2020 at 20:48
  • 5
    Upvotes as well as downvotes don’t require any disclosure by users, and the reasons why users upvote and downvote are rational as well as emotional. Don’t take single downvotes too seriously, unless there is evidence of serial downvoters that harass you.
    – user 66974
    Dec 23, 2020 at 20:55
  • It is not the only time this has happened. But this is not necessarily about me, or about this particular question. I am just trying to understand the principle here so as to be able to follow it.
    – fev
    Dec 23, 2020 at 21:05
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    @EdwinAshworth: I hadn't looked at things that way, you have a point. There is difference between carelessness and lack of awareness. Thank you for making me aware.
    – fev
    Dec 24, 2020 at 10:39
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    @EdwinAshworth, it often happens that a newly posted question duplicates the substance of an earlier one, while being formulated very differently. In such cases a simple search of the site will not reveal that it is a duplicate, even though long-term contributors, who happen to remember the earlier question, may recognise the sameness of what the questions are really about. Also, in some cases, one can realise that a question is a duplicate of an earlier one only if one has at least some inkling as to what the answer might be.
    – jsw29
    Dec 26, 2020 at 16:32
  • @jsw29 in such cases, I'll CV the question as a duplicate, but only DV the answer if it is given after the duplicate has been announced (the Q not necessarily closed at this point). A claimed duplicate isn't hard for a contributor to find. // I sometimes check an 'answer' I've posted by retro-checking a word/term I've suggested. If I then see the question is a duplicate, I'll CV, and delete my answer. // On the odd occasion when an earlier Q was answered inadequately IMO, I may vote to close there instead. Dec 26, 2020 at 16:59
  • The tooltip for the downvote button says This question doesn't show any research effort. If you consider searching on the site for a similar question a research effort, then yes, the downvote makes sense. There isn't an objective method to understand when a question should be downvoted. There could be users who tend to downvote more than other users, and quicker, but there isn't a way to say when it's wrong, as long as the votes are for the question and not the user asking them.
    – apaderno
    Dec 29, 2020 at 10:33
  • @kiamlaluno: Yes, there certainly are users "who tend to downvote more than other users" (one in particular has a better than 4-1 ratio of downvotes over upvotes), which would seem to indicate a desire to punish rather than inform.
    – Robusto
    Jan 3, 2021 at 15:52


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