There seems to be a very serious problem with certain power users on this forum and their cliques. If they don't like an answer they will attack the user and if the user isn't driven off they'll just bury your posts even if their own posts have the same features they criticized you for.

The reason for this seems to be so they can accumulate more prestige on the boards via reputation and badges and that's really lame because the website presents this system as a sort of meritocracy but clearly it's corrupted.

I trust there's a moderation team in place to handle this. But I see these sort of power users tripping on posts all the time and arguing for no valid reasons, just that somebody might have phrased something ever so slightly different than they would or might have included information they wouldn't have. These users seem to frequently upvote eachother just for sake of it.

They even seem to do this on answers that DO NOT give an answer to the OP's question at all. while criticizing others of doing the same thing when there's no way to answer because the information is obscure or the OP remembers a quote from the author or something that isn't real etc.

Why is this behavior tolerated here? It's not okay with most people in a real world environment, if you acted this way YOU would be rightly ostracized from social groups not other people who are just trying to get in on the conversation.

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    Do you have examples of the kind of thing you mean?
    – JRE
    Jun 4, 2018 at 14:39
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    Sure, but this is a general sort of thing and providing specific examples will most likely only lead to more bad-faith debates and deriding of users on the forum in arguments over whether it is an example of the thing I brought up here or not. Jun 4, 2018 at 14:42
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    @JacobAndrewHollander: It is impossible for us to help you unless you cite at least one specific example. Please feel free to dump a whole bunch of links, but currently my only alternative is to go through your history and look for the question/answer where you got downvoted. That is a rather undignified process because you won't be able to defend yourself as I am doing so, and the community as a whole is unlikely to learn anything from it.
    – Kevin
    Jun 5, 2018 at 0:36
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    Hazarding an educated guess, part of the complaint appears to center on this question, although I'm not sure I follow. The higher upvoted answer is from a user with fairly low rep on this particular stack; not much of a clique. It may be interesting to note someone else posted a very similar answer to Jacob's, which was also downvoted, I guess removed to avoid that. Not sure what the downvotes there are about myself; false premise is an answer.
    – Radhil
    Jun 5, 2018 at 2:10
  • @JRE I would guess these two examples (one of which has become viewable to mods only) are inclusive of what the OP is talking about, they can be found here and here. These may not be the only interactions but both times I was told to have been pushing my weight around on the site... [1/2]
    – Edlothiad
    Jun 5, 2018 at 7:13
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    [2/2] The first was referencing that it was hardly an answer to the question asked, and that the majority of the content was claimed by be (wrongfully) to be identical to the deleted answer, which I forgot the user couldn't see. The second was me addressing the fact there answer seemed to detour from the asked question referencing a random life debt, this was however clarified in later edits and the reasoning made clearer.
    – Edlothiad
    Jun 5, 2018 at 7:14
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    I wonder if thinking there's a "conversation" to "get in on" might be part of a misapprehension. My understanding is that SE sites are explicitly not about having conversations. They are about providing high quality answers. It is a fact of most (if not all) SE sites that precise wording is valued highly. If that's cliquey, then it's a clique of people who work hard to research and write up solid answers. Jun 6, 2018 at 4:15
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    @Radhil I agree that at first, the downvotes on the answer regarding what Lucas may have said at some point seem unusual. I did not downvote that answer, but re-reading it, the answer seems a bit... unkind. The phrases about "I know a lot of people blocked this stuff out but it's plain as day in the films" and "plainly obvious just watching the films" seem to (unintentionally?) imply that if you've seen the movies and you don't already know this, you're either an idiot or you weren't paying attention. If it's that obvious, a better answer would quote the parts that make it obvious. Jun 6, 2018 at 4:54
  • @Möoz - It's definitely closely related even if not duplicate. Jun 6, 2018 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


I think I can address a single point from the question (emphasis mine):

[The power tripping users] even seem to [upvote each other] on answers that DO NOT give an answer to the OP's question at all. while criticizing others of doing the same thing when there's no way to answer because the information is obscure or the OP remembers a quote from the author or something that isn't real etc.

There is nothing wrong with upvoting answers that don't answer the OP's question. That's explicitly allowed and part of the Stack Exchange system. This is why there are many accepted answers (accepted because they answered the OP's question) that do not have the highest votes.

An answer can be upvoted for any reason at all, but there are reasons that we are encouraged to upvote answers, and one of those reasons is if the answer is "helpful". I will absolutely upvote a high quality answer that has interesting information that I didn't know even if it doesn't directly address the question.

I will also downvote answers that are both speculative and do not address the question. Speculation that is plausible and addresses the question but has no quotes or support behind it will get no vote from me.

As far as I know, I'm not in any kind of clique or group of power tripping users. Some newcomers might feel like 2k+ rep is a lot, but compared to the people here who know everything about Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter, I'm not even a guppy. I'm like an amoeba. But I was able to earn a score of 52 on one answer because I have a digital copy of Star Wars (the novel) and I searched it for a phrase and I did it before anyone else. Then, when the user who almost certainly is included in the alleged "power tripping" club who knows about billion times more about Star Wars than I will ever dream of commented, I folded that comment into the answer, because hey, that was pretty cool to comment on my answer instead of writing his own answer.

Then another probably-alleged-power-tripper answered from Legends canon that contradicted my answer. I upvoted that answer because it was helpful. And none of these "power users" downvoted my answer, and I know this because I have no downvotes.

So as a complete small fry who just happened to answer first, and was treated very well by the biggest fish in the pond, I have never felt like there was a clique here or anyone power tripping or whatever.

Maybe that's because I don't mess around when I'm posting an answer. If I don't know (which is 99% of the time), I don't post. If I do know, I post, but I don't just type up something as quick as possible, I take my time, get sources, links, images, quotes, whatever. Or I lay out my case for a plausible supposition. Then I let the votes fall where they may.

And maybe most importantly, when someone comments critically, I give myself time to get over my frustration at their obvious ignorance of my genius, and I try to look at it from their point of view. And a third of the time, I back up my position, a third of the time, I edit my answer to make it better, and a third of the time, I ignore the comment. The comments I don't ignore are meant to help make my answer better, so I take them seriously in that vein. Comments that are not productive I can ignore (or flag if they are seriously rude) because comments won't live forever and someone else will come around and clean them up or even defend my answer if any comments are really off.

That's a bit of a ramble. TL;DR: I'm no insider, I'm no power user, and I don't have much rep, and I'm not seeing what you're seeing. That doesn't mean it's definitely not there, just that it can't be that huge - I'm here every day and I don't see it.

  • +1 Especially your comment about not being condescending when answering. Also to get better response from community, the first line of the answer should usually contain the direct answer. Use rest of the paragraphs to say why you think that is the answer with reference or inferences. People should not have to skim through paragraphs of words to search for an answer. Jun 6, 2018 at 5:29
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    I suspect that part of the problem (and I can only base this on the interactions I've seen OP have over the past few days) is that they seem to be extremely prone to taking offense at non-offensive things, seeing "power-tripping" where you're seeing helpful advice.
    – Valorum
    Jun 6, 2018 at 6:22
  • @Todd! You're over 2k?! You have so much rep! #highlevel Jun 7, 2018 at 16:45
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    @DCOPTimDowd - I feel threatened
    – Valorum
    Jun 8, 2018 at 13:22
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    @Valorum Oh you've been in my crosshairs since the beginning! It's only a matter of time. Like... four decades or so should do it. Jun 8, 2018 at 14:20
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    @ToddWilcox - When I joined they said that DVK was "uncatchable"...
    – Valorum
    Jun 8, 2018 at 15:25
  • @Valorum If that was a reference to The Long Run, by Daniel Keys Moran, then I should have been on this Stack a long time ago. Jun 8, 2018 at 15:29
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    @ToddWilcox - DVK/Trent the Uncatchable
    – Valorum
    Jun 8, 2018 at 15:45

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