This question was asked by a stark newbie to wp.se. The question received about 3-4 downvotes before someone came in and pointed out to the OP what needed to be done. The question was subsequently closed as at -4 votes. Yet, everytime I've come around, the downvoting seems to not stop. The OP has long since gotten the message and has taken his business elsewhere (and acknowledged his misplacement in a comment on the question). Yet some users have taken it upon themselves to continue to downvote the question, eroding his rep further after the fact.

however this is the very first question the OP asked on Stack Exchange ever. Let's be a bit more thoughtful and welcoming in the future please, it's not that hard to check a user's profile, see that they have absolutely no familiarity with the network and be a bit more careful

The quote above is from a question by Yannis Rizos that I believe users here need to remember when administering the FAQ to first-timers, after the fact of closing a question

Is there some way we can protect or advise against this? Even a small FAQ entry to discourage such (to me) counter-productive downvoting?

  • questions like that are expected to be quickly deleted automatically or by moderators which will "clear" whatever downvotes are there. Meanwhile, community indicating that stuff like that is much inappropriate at the site, could serve as a lesson for the asker – gnat Nov 12 '12 at 8:51
  • 1
    From this question regarding question closing, I got this important piece "however this is the very first question the OP asked on Stack Exchange ever. Let's be a bit more thoughtful and welcoming in the future please, it's not that hard to check a user's profile, see that they have absolutely no familiarity with the network and be a bit more careful". "Serving a lesson" for the OP in this case is uncalled for. At least he can look forward to getting his rep back. – kolossus Nov 12 '12 at 9:04
  • 2
    well SO profile for asker says member for 1 year, 8 months. With 50 questions they asked at SO since almost 2 years ago, they hardly qualify for "the very first question the OP asked on Stack Exchange ever" – gnat Nov 12 '12 at 9:31
  • well yeah :). Newbie to WP. Cut him some slack – kolossus Nov 12 '12 at 9:33
  • @gnat There's quick and then there's too quick; based on guidance from SE, even if I'm the one who casts the closing vote, I want at least a day to delete it (unless the community gives it 3 delete votes) so that the OP has the opportunity to see what happened and doesn't just pop on and say "what happened to my question???". However, if lots of downvotes also happen, sometimes that doesn't outweigh the point of the guidance. – jcmeloni Nov 12 '12 at 11:41
  • @jcmeloni well for the question in question, its timeline spans Nov 10-12. As far as I understand that means more than 24 full hours (well over "full day" if you wish). Also question comments indicate that OP acknowledged the clarification on question being off-topic "yesterday". I am generally against mob voting, but given example honestly does not look like the case – gnat Nov 12 '12 at 11:47
  • 1
    Just add a comment/reason with suggestion if you downvote a "newbie" question. ie "Hey kolossus, this question will likely get downvoted because it does not meet the FAQ for the site - I suggest changing it to do XXXX instead" Granted this is a personal preference, so I can't FORCE people do to this, but this idea gets around your entire problem – enderland Nov 12 '12 at 16:59
  • What @enderland said. Downvotes don't sting so much when you're at least talked to like you're a fallable human being. To err is human. – jmort253 Nov 13 '12 at 5:07
  • 1
    Personally I find it easier to try and lead by example instead of changing the system. I don't think I've ever downvoted a closed question, although I will fairly often find myself leaving comments explaining the probable cause of a downvoted question since most downvoters are too inconsiderate to leave a constructive comment when downvoting a new user's question on SE. I remember being a new user and not understanding the SE sites not that long ago, so I can relate to their experience. +1 to this question though, just for bringing it up the subject – Rachel Nov 13 '12 at 16:53
  • +1 for you to stand with a new user. This user might be a new one in workplace. but he is a member of stack overflow for the last 1 year and 8 months. During this time, he asked 50 questions with upvotes also. So he could not be considered as a newbie in asking questions in stack exchange networks. he should be well aware of the fact that one should first read the faq's of the community before posting a question. I am not against the OP and i never even downvoted any post(just 3 at present).but still you have provided good suggestion to disallow downvoting on closed questions. – Sahil Mahajan Mj Nov 14 '12 at 9:39

There are assorted problems with this:

  • The content isn't locked, you can do anything with a closed question (vote, edit, retag, comment) except answer it. If it's been improved, it should be eligible for upvotes.
  • If it were only eligible for upvotes, not downvotes, that's hardly fair. Upvotes are not a "consolation prize" because someone's feelings might be hurt, either.
  • Votes are for content, not people. If the content is not useful or extremely off topic then it should be downvoted, period.
  • Downvoting a post to -4 removes it from the front page (-8 on meta). For posts that are never going to be on topic (as this post isn't), this is a good thing as it saves a lot of people from having to read an extremely poor or off topic question.

Based on all that I'm opposed to any actual system for preventing this behavior or any sort of social discouragement regarding the behavior.

It's also important to remember that features like voting and editing are allowed on closed questions because they're not "dead"; that time only comes when they're deleted. And voting can make a big difference in what stays and what goes. I'm much more inclined to delete an answered, closed question at -8 than I am an answered, closed question at +8. An upvoted, closed question might be a good hint the post could be improved (or has been), a downvoted closed post may well be a lost cause. Quality (votes) and topicality (close votes) are separate voting systems for good reason, too.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .