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https://workplace.stackexchange.com/users/40274/jack-d-ripper

This user was not attempting to ask bad questions or question on how to exploit or get around the system. He was asking questions about understanding how to negotiate some difficult situations. I see no reason for the excessive down voting of the duplicates. That they are duplicates not bad questions. It is a testimony to the way the system works that we already have answers to many of this users questions. But I do not see anywhere that was a serious attempt to explain to the user how to use the system to find the answers, or to explain to the user why their other questions were being closed or how to ask better questions.

This has resulted in a user that appears to have abandoned SE all together. One thing that stands out to me is that most of the comments, lacking any ability for use to read actual emotions, could easily be taken as dismissive, uncaring, and snobby. We missed the mark on the "Be Nice Policy" with this user at every turn.

So what can we do to improve here? Is there some way we can make the site more friendly to new users?

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I see no reason for the excessive down voting of the duplicates.

I've never understood the motivation for downvoting in many cases. But I don't see this series of questions as any more excessive than others.

Perhaps the OP's attitude came across as negative to some folks. Or perhaps the OP's use of the term "rude assholes" in his profile angered some. No way to know.

This has resulted in a user that appears to have abandoned SE all together.

I believe the "Done" quote was posted in the profile before some of the questions were asked, so I'm not sure "abandoned" is the correct term here.

So what can we do to improve here? Is there some way we can make the site more friendly to new users?

I wish I had an easy answer here.

I thought things got pretty bad a while back (last year?). It seemed that folks were competing with each other to be the first to declare a question a "duplicate" or "off-topic". Then it seemed to ease up. The snark factor seemed to decrease at least for a while. Perhaps that was just my perception.

I suspect these things go in waves. Perhaps we are in a wave where newbies are asking lots of duplicate and off-topic questions and folks that were flagged before are deciding to do the same to others.

I don't know for sure - perhaps there are trends that could be spotted in the data...

Maybe a general reminder from the Moderators to "be nice" is in order yet again.

Obviously, the questions about how to treat new users, and how often downvotes should occur have been asked and answered many, many times. For example:

Can we make the Workplace exchange less hostile to new users?

We need to downvote answers more (even mediocre ones)

A few searches here in Meta will turn up many more.

  • The profile part happened after the rest. It was not there during the Downvoting. I dont have a problem with the duplicate flags... they are pretty accurate. Its the downvoting with out trying to help that I have an issue with – IDrinkandIKnowThings Sep 8 '15 at 16:08
  • I'm pretty sure I saw the profile quote before the most recent question. No matter - I have no idea why people ever downvote any question. Something about the question or individual they don't like, I assume. – Joe Strazzere Sep 8 '15 at 16:11
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    I can verify that that comment was in his profile at the time the user posted his most recent question. In fact he responded there around 6 hours ago. – Lilienthal Sep 8 '15 at 16:16
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    I don't think we should be downvoting questions just because they are duplicates. I do downvote questions that are poorly asked -- one-liners, clear discussion/opinion questions, those that are wildly off-topic, etc -- because such questions show a lack of effort. I haven't downvoted the specific questions being talked about here. – Monica Cellio Sep 8 '15 at 17:46
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    @MonicaCellio "I don't think we should be downvoting questions just because they are duplicates." I agree, but I suspect that is indeed the source of a lot of downvotes. I'm guessing some folks feel that not searching for an existing question/answer before posting demonstrates "a lack of effort". – Joe Strazzere Sep 8 '15 at 18:39
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    To clarify, I've summarised the questions for the user being discussed in chat along with up/downvote counts. I wouldn't call a maximum of 6 downvotes "mass downvoting" and there's little point in speculating which particular reason users had to downvote these questions. I think we can objectively say that the questions showed a lack of effort so downvotes for that reason would, in my opinion, be legitimate. – Lilienthal Sep 9 '15 at 8:09
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    I don't believe I downvoted any of these questions, but the only times I give a downvote purely for being a duplicate is when the question is very common and already exists in many forms on the site. It shows to me that the poster has put extremely little effort into researching and searching for the question. Though often those questions are also poorly written, making me more likely to downvote. – David K Sep 9 '15 at 13:35
  • Sorry for necroing this thread, but don't questions with scores of -5 and no answers get closed automatically? This is why I downvote duplicate questions. – puzzlepiece87 Aug 15 '16 at 15:23
  • @puzzlepiece87 no, questions are never automatically closed. Downvoted unanswered questions are eventually deleted (as abandoned) by the system; perhaps that's what you were thinking of. – Monica Cellio Mar 6 '18 at 21:06
  • @MonicaCellio Thanks for clearing that up! Yes, that's what I was thinking of. – puzzlepiece87 Mar 6 '18 at 21:24

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