I have relatively short experience on EL&U and I found some questions where every post was downvoted in a matter of one minute or so. I mean it is very unusual to see every single post in one question get downvoted and I haven't seen them very often since I joined EL&U.

When I first encountered it one or two months ago, I suspected it could be a pure coincidence where a few users are downvoting each of them almost at the same time. But I became a little more suspicious when I saw the following question whose posts were all downvoted, Do we use the present or the past after “when” in a conditional sentence?. Even the accepted answer received two downvotes.

This question, Is there a term for replacing name with a number/code? seems to have the same problem.

Now, I think the followings could be the reasons that triggered the multiple downvotes.

(1) The question is neither good nor on-topic enough (too basic or without context) for EL&U. The message is "You should not have posted an answer to this kind of question."

(2) All the answers are poorly written without good reference or research. The message is "You should not have posted such a low-quality answer."

What is your opinion on this? Is it constructive to downvote all the posts without leaving any comment? The two questions received a total of 13 downvotes and there is not a single comment related with any downvote.

Feature request: Is there any way that I can delete my answer which was accepted by the OP? Would it (deleting my answer) be possible if I flag my answer with in need of moderator intervention and state the reason? I am not talking about the answer accepted by the OP in the second link.

  • 1
    I'm afraid I take exception to an assertion that my answer doesn't have a good reference. (And I noticed that everything had been downvoted too.)
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 7:24
  • You want to delete an answer of yours that was accepted by the OP? I believe you can, it's not been upvoted, so one could argue that it is not an asset to the site. But why? You could instead really aim to improve it, or just forget about it. In less than a day it won't appear on the first page and users will have forgotten about that question which consisted of exactly eleven words, excluding its title.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 7:27
  • @Mari-LouA I am talking about another answer that was highly upvoted and downvoted at the same time. Can I delete any accepted answer if it is not upvoted? Actually the one in the second link received one upvote and one downvote.
    – user140086
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 7:35
  • 1
    @AndrewLeach I am not asserting your answer doesn't have a good reference. I was just guessing possible reasons for the multiple downvotes.
    – user140086
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 7:36
  • All those answers in any case could have been given in the comments and the question closed for lack of effort/research, or migrated to ELL, which I think is where it belongs. At the very least it is written in clear English; we have reached the point that users will now upvote any question that is grammatically correct...
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 7:46
  • @Mari-LouA I edited my question. I am talking about my answer which was accepted by another OP who posted a question.
    – user140086
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 7:51
  • @Mari-LouA The thing is the answer that I want to delete was heavily upvoted and heavily downvoted maintaining positive balance (+5). Do you mean as long as your net score is 0 (for example +1 and -1), it is possible to delete my answer even if it is accepted, right?
    – user140086
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 8:02
  • I think I know which answer you mean, you really should ask the OP first if he could unaccept your answer. He probably won't, knowing him. The mistake was his, not yours, as soon as you posted that answer it was accepted. Then users as a way to compensate, over-reacted and upvoted the "runnerup", which, you could say was the right answer. But no way did it deserve the number of upvotes it received. Leave your answer, it's not wrong. It's helpful, it has a reference, and the OP preferred it. Or, ask the OP to unaccept it, and then delete it, if you must.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 8:08
  • 1
    The short answer is "no" meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14932/… Note the author of the request, a certain Jon Skeet. A living legend on Stackoverflow. Take comfort in the knowledge that even the best sometimes get it wrong.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 8:15
  • @Mari-LouA Wow, Jon Skeet had a very similar situation to mine. I asked the OP already and you guessed it right. My post in question is even worse. It looks like I copied the runner-up's link to post my answer. I didn't mean it, but editing more than 10 times ultimately made it look like I am a copycat. I don't like it. Thank you for your comment.
    – user140086
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 8:45
  • @Araucaria I was referring to the second question (code), it should be migrated to ELL. As for the bottom answer, to the first question, (Do we use the present or the past after “when” in a conditional sentence?) it is downvoted, where's the problem? It has -2.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 9:26
  • 1
    @Araucaria SWRs are on EL&U because people want to know the word they are searching for, and you can't always find the answer in a dictionary. Sometimes a SWR can be a sincere and genuine need. Have you never asked a friend "What's the word for ....? It's right on the tip of my tongue." SWR I can live with if they're written well. I've asked a couple myself in the past, they can be fun.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 9:41
  • @Mari-LouA Oh, I agree that they're fun, and also that they can be useful and sincere too. Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 9:45
  • I looked at both and can, in both cases, see why the voting may have gone that way. People have differing opinions, and differing hot buttons. And on questions such as those, which are largely just opinion polls, people are more apt to vote their opinions and feel no need need to explain them.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 13:53
  • 3
    Both questions were posted by low-rep users with friendly female first names, and the first Q used marriage in the example. I'm guessing the downvoter is in the middle of a nasty divorce and is ticked off by all women and anything associated with women. This explanation is more logical than that he did it because he could.
    – ab2
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 20:04


You must log in to answer this question.