Moderators need to assess this situation, quickly. Do I have to relinquish my PC password to my former boss?

There are many decent, thoughtful answers with negative 2 to 4 down votes. That is highly anomalous.


2 Answers 2


The question has gotten almost 4k views in about a day. It's getting a lot of attention, and attention naturally leads to votes (in both directions). Moderators do not have the ability to inspect votes on individual posts; votes are private and Stack Exchange takes this very seriously. Sometimes we can learn about patterns of suspicious voting, but this involves many posts taken in the aggregate. None of that will help here.

Attention also leads to answers, lots of answers. The question is one that invites opinion-based answers, and some answers there are already annotated as needing to add support. Many of the answers are mutually repetitive, but it's hard to point to any answers that are wholly repetitive. (If we had that, this would be grounds to remove those answers as violations of "don't repeat others".) Some users are probably downvoting answers that they see as mostly repetitive, and some are probably downvoting for unsupported statements of fact (like "you have X right" or "they have Y right").

When a question becomes "hot" we tend to see unusual voting compared to other questions on the site. It's actually been something of an uphill battle to get people here to downvote answers, so what you're seeing may be that change starting to kick in.

So, general advice for questions like this (not speaking to your answer in particular):

  • If there are lots of answers already, make sure (a) you have something new to say and (b) it's major enough to rate its own answer. If there's already a good answer that covers most of what you would have said but there's just this one little thing, please consider proposing an edit to the existing answer instead. Readers will be better served by 5 well-developed answers than 20 smaller ones, each containing some nugget of information.

  • Be sure to support what you say. Don't just tell us what you know; tell us how you know it. The more attention a question gets the more likely it is that people will push back if you don't, so you may as well just do it up front. It'll make a better answer.

  • If the existing answers suggest that people are understanding the question in different ways (e.g. are we talking legal rights, ethics, typical practices...?), review the question. Is it unclear in some way? Should you leave a comment asking for clarification? Is there some edit you can make that will improve it for answerers? Or does it need to be put on hold?

Thanks for your efforts. I'm sorry this question is frustrating you.

  • 1
    Thanks Feral. (Now that you mention it, I remember seeing you elsewhere on the network a while back too.) The Workplace is having some growing pains and we're trying to collectively figure some things out. I have we can all do so with courtesy, patience, and goodwill, even though different people have different standards. May 2, 2014 at 1:49

There are many answers that are starting to be restatements of the same ideas mentioned by other, earlier answers.

I see one of your answers is in there, too. Chad makes a good point that not everyone has a regimented exit process for employees.

Also: just because your answer gets downvoted, it's not worth a meta post assuming there's something afoot. If you are that worried about your e-point level, delete the answer and move on.


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