I am not a newbie at SE and SFF.SE. I know how and what to post here. But still, I am getting too many downvotes. Why? How to reduce that?

  • 3
    Ha.. Ha.. Got downvotes even on this..
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 7:11
  • Downvotes on meta simply mean "I disagree with you", and don't mean you're wrong, or off-topic, or anything of the sort :)
    – Andres F.
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 12:55
  • @Andres Are you saying that downvoters are not agree with me.. Means, I am not getting downvotes on main site.
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 13:10
  • 1
    I think it means that the question about the down items is trivial. Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 2:14
  • +1 Some users are very protective about some of the tags and topics. Whenever I ask or answer a question about a certain topic, I realised a specific user is downvoting my every move. That person also follows my every step even if it's a harmless comment and goes full berserk on me about sourcing and referencing about my claims. About a fictional topic. Even if you ask the perfect question for the perfect topic and everything looks perfect with your answers, some annoying weirdo goes after you. Just because he/she can and they want to be a chosen one. Forums don't have anything against it.
    – burcu
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 10:21

4 Answers 4


Let's have a look at the negative-scoring posts from the first page of your questions.

Now, the downvote tooltip is

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful

You have 3 duplicates, 2 thoroughly covered in canon, obviously those didn't "show any research effort." And I suspect some downvoting was for "not useful." And I think people give less slack to users who have been around a while than they might give a newcomer.

Finally, I hate to say it but it's likely some of your downvotes were because of your English. I know it isn't your native language, and I'm sure you try hard, but sometimes it can be hard to understand what you're asking. Users really should try to fix your posts rather than just downvote for this, but it doesn't always happen.

  • Next Q from here: meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/2139/…
    – user931
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 7:20
  • I've just laughed on your logic against Why was command of USS Enterprise NCC-1701 given to Christopher Pike from Kirk? ~> If you read the description, its not asked in backwards. I was asking for the logic how can you say TOS wasn't happened in new timeline. Now, explain close votes on it.
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 7:18
  • 2
    The close votes are for general reference, because the alternate timeline is a big part of the movie.
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 11:52
  • How does movie say that TOS wasn't from new timeline?
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 12:05
  • 2
    Re-read the comments on this answer.
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 12:27
  • That's the answer. Those are logically pulled from canon.. Don't use that to judge the question. Otherwise, all questions here would be poor.
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 13:14

I'm posting this as a 2nd answer because it's quite different from my first answer and it only occurred to me after re-reading your question for the fourth or fifth time. And this may be the root of the issue. The problem is I'm not good at sugar coating and this answer assumes that since you have asked for a critique of your posts that you're willing to examine what you're doing.

Look at two sentences in your question:

I know how and what to post here. But still, I am getting too many downvotes.

They're almost contradictory and that's the heart of it. I know you've been here a good while, but downvotes are the community's way of saying one's posts are less than stellar. So the very fact that you're getting so many downvotes is an indication you may not know how to post here. My other answer prompted you with some questions.

It seems to me if the community is voicing the opinion that your questions are not good, then you may feel you know know how to post, but you are missing something important somewhere along the line. While we have tried to say what it is, there doesn't seem to be one clear answer yet.

I would suggest taking the downvotes as an indication you are doing something wrong-- and you've started that process by asking for help here, so you're doing something good. But take it farther. Look at your posts, then start comparing them to posts with low votes ore multiple downvotes. Look at unpopular posts and see what makes them unpopular. Then compare them to your posts for common elements.

Most would say look at popular and liked posts and do more like that, but I find, in writing, I learn more from looking at bad examples and knowing what not to do than just reading what's good.

While I've learned a lot from reading Shakespeare, if I want to use all the rules he used, I'd be writing just like he did. But I can't tell you how much I learned from watching bad writing in Lost in Space and other shows I liked as a kid but now know are poorly written.

If you look at a great writer and try to be like him or her, you're just imitating, but if you look at bad examples and learn what NOT to do, that still leaves things open for you to find your own style that's good.

  • I want to find where I am wrong. Now, I am unable to visualize what's allowed here. Ignore downvotes on dups. and try answering it: meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/2139/…
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 7:01
  • Comment on your rants against this question: I have written I know how and what to post here because I get comments on downvoted questions around this. Its not that my questions are poor based on subjectivity, but on this: Speculative questions aren't allowed. Its poorly researched because its covered in canon. What's this?
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 7:10
  • 3
    I'm unaware of rants, whether mine or anyone else's. But that very comment seems to contain the seeds of the big answer for you: If you don't like advice or someone else's answer, rather than listen to what they're saying, are you blaming them or saying they're wrong? Is it possible the problem the problem might be that you insist you are right rather than accepting feedback you may not want to hear?
    – Tango
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 11:59
  • I didn't meant to say rant with its exact meaning. I was talking about your 2nd paragraph..
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 12:09
  • Still, it seems the community disagrees with you, which is why I said what I did and the rest of my last comment would still be something to think about.
    – Tango
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 13:53

It's been a while since I've had time to watch questions and answers closely, but a few general thoughts would include watching trends. Are some types of your questions getting more downvotes than others? And what is different about your questions, when compared to other people's questions? I don't mean in terms of subject matter, but in how you are asking them and what you say?


Some of them you were just unlucky to encounter crabby users. E.g. people who downvote duplicate questions despite the fact that there doesn't appear to be an obvious way to have known it was a duplicate when asking. That's quite rude, IMHO but you can't escape it. Vote to close, flag, but don't mark it as a BAD question. (this is different if googling for question's title brings the SE dupe as first hit - THEN it's a bad Q).

Some of them are downvoted - again, IMHO, not very fairly, because "the answer is obvious if you watched the episode/movie". Again, I think that's both rude, AND wrong. The question's audience is not only those who have perfect memory or obsessively watched some episode 10x times. It could be someone who watched it ways back and doesn't remember details, or didn't watch at all. As I have previously commented to someone who was being an a-hole in the comments on a similar vein, many of THAT user's questions seemed way trivial and idiotic to people very familiar with the works. "Trivial" and "obvious" are too subbjective to be used as a valid reason to DV.

  • 2
    In general, while I totally disagree with Joel's Summer of Love as pertaining to StackOverflow (where most "rudeness" is due to evil leechers trying to use SO to do their work/homework); on SFF I feel that we do have a major rudeness and unfriendliness problem. Hell, I get random drive by no-reason downvotes all the time. Or obnoxious "you should have known that from reading the book" comments. Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 16:55
  • Why? You didn't read THE book? You should stop whining and read THE book instead. THE book is far better anyway!
    – DavRob60
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 19:17
  • 3
    Almost everything is subjective in the realm of SF&F. Like Jeff Atwood tweeted a while ago, almost every question on scifi.SE can be answered with "who cares?" :) That said, I hold the opinion that if the answer can be found watching the movie or reading the book. casually and without paying special attention to background details, then it deserves all the downvotes it gets. Example: if at any part of the movie/book there is exposition explaining that particular question, you deserve the downvotes. Double downvotes if googling brings the result in the first page.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 21:29
  • 4
    I make an exception when it's from a book, and the OP states he doesn't remember the book and doesn't own it, and googling the answer is not easy (e.g. because excerpts aren't searchable or movie clips aren't online -- if it's from a movie -- etc). To me, the downvote button means "this user is too lazy to do basic research and show some effort".
    – Andres F.
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 21:31
  • 2
    @AndresF. - Last time I checked, SE motto wasn't "we only accept questions with tricky non-obvious answers". See the whole Joel Spolsky and moving the turtle in logo thing. And that's in a very well defined area like programming. SFF is too subjective to honestly claim that something is trivial from just reading source material. As I noted elsewhere, ~50% to 80% of Harry Potter questions can be answered by easily remembered quotes from books. Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 21:44
  • 2
    @DVK Not sure what Joel said. Link? :) I'm sorry, but I disagree with you on this: nobody said anything about "tricky", but the downvote button does say "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful", and it's what I use it for. (PS: I'd downvote those questions you mention too, if the OP doesn't claim he/she doesn't currently have the books handy, and if google returns the answer in its first page. Or if it's in the first paragraphs of Wikipedia, too).
    – Andres F.
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 21:49
  • 3
    "the answer is obvious if you watched the episode/movie". Again, I think that's both rude, AND wrong. The question's audience is not only those who have perfect memory or obsessively watched some episode 10x times. - If that's supposed to be a reference to the comment of mine linked in the other answer, then I strongly disagree. Minor details? Sure, I'll agree, you're right. But in that particular case, it was the entire plot point of a large chunk of the episode, with the answer stated explicitly by Q multiple times: He's testing humans.
    – Izkata
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 23:02
  • @DavRob60 The book is very big. I didn't have time to read that..
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 7:24
  • 1
    @Andres Who decides what's the background detail...
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 7:26
  • @Izkata Do you think I was toying the community with that question?
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 7:28
  • 3
    @SachinShekhar The community does. Also, use common sense. You'll still get some downvotes -- after all, this matter is subjective. But don't worry too much: all of us get downvotes. Not paying attention in a movie or book is not a terrible offense, either :)
    – Andres F.
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 12:59
  • @Andres Alright. I agree. :)
    – user931
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 13:17

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