In this question there was some ill informed views that cast it in bad light, namely suggesting the basic question was wrong and I should perhaps review the film and, also, that it was a possible duplicate.

This led to the question receiving down votes and it was closed. When I noted that my question was both correct and it was the detractor who was actually in error and also that it was obviously not a duplicate, it was re-opened.

However the down votes still remained on the re-opened question. Is this fair?

  • 3
    I downvoted this one for a few different reasons that haven't really been resolved, firstly that it's basically a duplicate and secondly because the thing that means that it's not quite a duplicate is very pedantic. Either way, I'm not seeing a good reason to reverse my downvote.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 15:49
  • 7
    Telling people who see something in a different way than you do, that it is "obviously" your opinion which is correct, is not a recommended approach to good communication; it just turns people off rather than encouraging them to see things your way. At least, that's how I see it. I have no opinion on the question, as I am not familiar at all with the work, but the attitude is, unfortunately, off-putting.
    – Basya
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 17:42
  • 3
    @Basya - It's also a key reason that a lot of people don't comment when they downvote, because they don't feel like getting yelled at.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 18:01
  • @Valorum if you can point out the duplicate question it will give me a chance to amend mine.
    – jim
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 18:55
  • 3
    @jim - If you recall, your question was originally closed as a dupe of this one. You pointed out that your question was different because your question was asking if James Cameron had ever been asked about that plot point at a science fiction convention which is a different (and non-duplicated) question.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


Downvotes are given for any reason the downvoter wishes (as long as not abusive, which AFAIK is defined as targeting a specific user, regardless of the quality of the question or answer).

See this meta question -- the consensus is clearly that:

Users Should Downvote However They Want

That said, after a user downvotes, if the question is modified, the user may or may not notice, and may or may not change their vote. Period. The system does not force them to.

If a post has been improved, generally there will be more upvotes at that point, whether or not the downvoters change their vote. If the total remains low, or there are more downvotes, the consensus is that the post is not high-quality,

regardless of the opinion of the poster.

This is how the system works. A posts quality is judged by consensus. Is the system perfect? No. Does it have to be perfect? Also no. Can it be perfect? Most likely not.

But if a member finds that one or more posts highly downvoted, this is an indication that the posts do not find favor in the eyes of the community. It is not personal, please do not take it that way. Either learn to write posts that the community favors, or find a different community which appreciates that style of post. No community appreciates everything.

Up and downvotes are not payment and debit. Don't take them to heart too much; they are just a guide.

  • "If a post has been improved, generally there will be more upvotes at that point," stack Exchange is a large site and I certainly don't pay much attention to those questions with low ratings. I'm sure most people don't either.
    – jim
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 18:53
  • 1
    I'm not sure that is true - the questions at the top of the list are often new questions that haven't been voted on much yet, and are often the ones a person will want to see whether they can answer.
    – Basya
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 6:07
  • so, what's the point of down votes if they are not meant to improve stack exchange? they do have consequences
    – jim
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 20:29
  • According to your link, the votes for "absolutely yes" was 34 while 31 thought it should be discouraged. Do you think your use of the term "consensus" is stretching this a little?
    – jim
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 9:54
  • @jim - The two top answers were yes, it should be allowed and should be encouraged and yes, it should be allowed but not encouraged. Note that neither answer suggests that it should be banned or prevented.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 13:58
  • @Valorum in the UK when a union calls a strike "The union can only call on members to take action if a majority of members who voted were in favour of that particular action. If both questions are asked on the ballot paper and members vote yes to both, the union can decide what industrial action to take." The views of 65 users surely cannot be said to be democratic and representative of the users.
    – jim
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 16:56
  • 2
    @jim - 65 votes is a fair chunk of the site's active users
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 17:12

Down votes seem to be given for three reasons:

  1. The question does not show any research effort. Clearly some effort was put in, source were reviewed, other questions noted.

  2. It is unclear. The argument that reading the question would have shown it was not a duplicate was presented.

  3. It is not useful. This is rather subjective. For example I can appreciate that some would not regard Professor Frinks questions to Lucy Lawless in the Simpson's Treehouse of Horror X as useful but others would not.

Given the following question it really would be useful for people to give some feedback when down voting so that the question can be improved and it should be the case that down votes are removed when the question has either taken the comments into account or the comments have been shown to be erroneous.

So, yes, I believe it is unfair that down votes remain for reopened questions (though I am rather biased).

  • 3
    Downvotes can be made for any reason, as long as they're not being used as a form of abuse. The fact that you've had six in fairly short order should be a sign that there's something majorly wrong with the question, not that there's something wrong with the downvoters.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 15:51
  • @Valorum So, you don't feel it would be helpful to improve the quality of questions asked if people are aware of what the problem is? I admit, when you voted to close the question it was because of your mistaken belief that it was a duplicate.
    – jim
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 18:48
  • 2
    As I said in my comment above, I voted to reopen it because I recognised from your comments that it wasn't a dupe. That didn't, however change my opinion that it's a bad question.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 18:52
  • @Valorum but what was the reason?
    – jim
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 18:56
  • The reason it's a bad question?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 1, 2022 at 18:58
  • 3
    I don’t understand the link you are making between open/closed status of questions and up/down votes. Should all upvotes be removed from questions that are closed? The score of a question (up/down vote total) has nothing to do with whether the question is on topic. Many closed questions have decent positive scores, and many questions that have never been closed have negative scores. Commented Jun 4, 2022 at 13:49

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