In response to What word means "explicitly forbidden by the most fundamental laws"? I posted what I thought would be a winning answer, but yet was "rewarded" with a downvote for no apparent reason, was given no explanation, and ran into an apparent refusal, by anyone, to communicate. Could/would someone please apprise me of the reason for this seemingly rude behavior?

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    "Why was my question downvoted on StackExchange" is a perennial and inherently unanswerable question ;) . The best and only advice is: don't sweat it. Ignore it. Votes are anonymous, by design, and don't require explanation, by design, and that's not changing. The only person who knows why your answer was downvoted is the person who downvoted it, who manifestly had no interest in explaining the vote. No one else knows or can answer for that person. It's when several people, in aggregate, think your post is worth a net negative score that you have to look at it again with a critical eye. – Dan Bron Jun 17 '15 at 17:35
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    PS: I didn't downvote your question on Main, but I did downvote this one, because it's unvarnished complaining and gives us (the Meta) community nothing to work with or consider (we can't explain the vote, you know we can't explain the vote, and the post here doesn't even bother to defend the value of the original answer). In other words: it's noise. There, a downvote with an explanation! Happy days. – Dan Bron Jun 17 '15 at 17:38
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    @DanBron: Would you have preferred varnished complaining? And why the snarky attitude? I merely asked a civil question and - instead of a civil answer - I received an unwarranted pejorative rebuff. As to the validity of my answer, why would you think an explanation was necessary when the meaning of the proffered phrase: "inherently unrealizable" should have been abundantly clear to even a casual observer? – EM Fields Jun 17 '15 at 18:06
  • @DanBron: The other side of the coin, and the most disquieting, was that my answer - which was a better answer than most and clearly met the criteria outlined by the OP - received not a single upvote. Curious... – EM Fields Jun 17 '15 at 18:09
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    Seriously, Fields, if yours was the best answer, it would have received some upvotes. I mean, you can only reasonably assume that a certain percent of users are incompetent judges. You're assuming that 100% are. Nope, nope, nope. Attitude, sir. (response is to unedited comment.) – anongoodnurse Jun 17 '15 at 18:09
  • @medica: I'm assuming nothing of the kind, and if you think my answer shouldn't rate at least one upvote, I'd appreciate it if you'd be kind enough to explain why not, if you please. – EM Fields Jun 17 '15 at 18:14
  • Mine is not to answer why, mine is but to do however I see fit. I owe you no explanation, regardless that you added "please". People have the freedom here to vote up, down, or not at all without accounting to overweening posters. (and, yes, you are assuming something of the kind.) – anongoodnurse Jun 17 '15 at 18:20
  • @medica: The "if you please" was used in order to acknowledge the nonexistence of debt and to politely ask for a response to the request for an opinion. Methinks you'd rather not put yourself in a position where you might have to defend a position you took and, instead, prefer to banter. – EM Fields Jun 17 '15 at 18:32
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    @EMFields Just as for downvotes, no one but the individual can explain to you the reason someone withheld an upvote. The Meta community cannot explain the voting patterns of others to you. All we can tell you that for every individual person who did read your answer, none of them thought it worthy of voting up; that's all we know. I'm not sure what else you're looking for here? Maybe the answer isn't as outstanding to others as you believe it to be? If that's the situation, perhaps that's an indication you may need to make a stronger case for it, rather than just offering it baldly? – Dan Bron Jun 17 '15 at 19:51
  • Try ngram with some answers. Thanks. – user98955 Jun 18 '15 at 2:11
  • @Amphiteóth: Illuminating; thank you, :) – EM Fields Jun 18 '15 at 12:35
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    @DanBron: You're probably right about making a stronger case for it, but at this point I'm not going to try beating a dead horse back to life. Food for thought for next time, though. Thanks. – EM Fields Jun 18 '15 at 12:53
  • Welcome to StackExchange! – Asker123 Jun 18 '15 at 19:59
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    @EMFields I did not downvote your answer on Main, because I think inherently unrealisable works relatively well (though not necessarily better than some of the higher-voted answers). I can see why it received more downvotes than upvotes, however: there is no explanation, no background, no examples, no sources—no nothing. Simply posting a word as a solution is not generally considered a Good Answer on SE sites. Similarly, if someone asks whether a particular structure is grammatical, a simple “No, it’s not.” does not constitute a Good Answer, even if true. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 21 '15 at 10:29
  • @JanusBahsJacquet: Thank you for your considered opinion, but without some concrete evidence supporting that opinion, I fail to see why what you think you see is germane. Your position is interesting, and seems to echo the posit that guilt is presumed until innocence is proved, which is anathema to the premise of individual freedom. – EM Fields Jun 22 '15 at 0:54

The reason why your answer was downvoted was that some person thought "This answer is not useful". Who do you think has a duty to explain further, and why?

Also, exactly why do you think disapproval is "rude"?

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    Actually, Tim, it wasn't the question that was downvoted here which is in question, it was an answer on main, and if it was deemed unuseful, then the reason for its uselessnes should have been stated, just as a common courtesy. I don't think disapproval is rude, but I do think that, reductio ad absurdum, "Off with his head" as a mere convenience, is. – EM Fields Jun 18 '15 at 6:17
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    This seems to be the core of your complaint: that anyone who diapproves has a duty to explain why. Such has been suggested ad nauseam on this site, and the answer is always 'Nobody has a duty to explain an opinion, whether positive or negative'. I recommend you also see How to guarantee anonymous downvotes. – Tim Lymington Jun 18 '15 at 8:56
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    Thanks for the link, Tim, but you (and others) seem to misunderstand; the issue (non-issue?) isn't about downvotes, it's about no votes at all and Amphiteóth seems to have hit the nail on the head. In any case, I've learned a bit about the personality of this group from you all and I thank you for that. Goodbye for now... – EM Fields Jun 18 '15 at 12:41
  • I think, in part, the problem of anonymous downvotes stem from our childhoods. Whenever we handed in assignments, we would later receive a grade; we would "see" where our errors where. I don't think I ever got a grade (or mark) w/o some comment from a teacher. We are so used to that idea of a teacher correcting mistakes, that anything that deviates from this behaviour, seems to us illogical and unfair. Is not a downvote akin to losing a grade? – Mari-Lou A Jun 19 '15 at 11:48
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    (cont'd) Newcomers need time to get used to the system. It is not that users keep asking the same trite questions, but that we keep getting the same questions from new users. – Mari-Lou A Jun 19 '15 at 11:49
  • @Mari-LouA: I think you are right that newcomers see a downvote as akin to "Do this again" without saying what is wrong (and the problem is worsened by the educational subculture that believes criticism is always harmful). But actually that is not the meaning of downvotes, as a quick browse through meta would have shown. Every new user who asks the same question will get the same answer (unless we construct a canonical "Downvotes do not need explanation" question and close all such complaints as duplicates: I think that would be a bad idea for several reasons). – Tim Lymington Jun 19 '15 at 12:03
  • Yes, but who browses through meta before asking their first question on any SE site. If you come from Overflow etc. you know the voting policy, and you accept it as part of the rules. If you are a complete stranger to SE, and there are a few of us, then it can be quite upsetting and quite an abrupt shock the first couple of times. It's the school child syndrome, "Miss doesn't like me because she gave me a C" – Mari-Lou A Jun 19 '15 at 12:19
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    @Mari-LouA: as philosophical musings go, that's quite interesting. As suggestions for the future go, it lacks a certain something. – Tim Lymington Jun 19 '15 at 13:37

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