A short comment discussion just prompted me to ask this.

How come there are down votes on a question in meta seeking clarification about this website?

As far as I can see it a question is not a statement one could agree or disagree with.

A question in meta is asked to seek knowledge and understanding about how something works here or why a certain procedure is in place or was decided upon.

While there surely are other uses of meta, I'm interested in down votes (or up votes for that matter) considering only the questions of the nature mentioned above.


Up and down votes on Meta aren't necessarily as quality related as they are on the main site.

People often vote on Meta questions/answers because they like/dislike, approve/disprove of something, or agree/disagree with someone's point of view.

If you've ever visited Meta.SE you'll see this behaviour to a greater extent.

Ideally, voting should be backed up by words, but some people don't do that because whatever they're feeling has already been stated by someone else, or they're just being Negative Nancys.

In the Meta question you're referring to, people saw that you answered a question in an inappropriate manner and judged you on that (also that you claimed to have 10 upvotes on that answer where you really didn't). Catija has explained this to you, which is why that answer has been upvoted.

And if you state something in a post mistakenly, there's nothing to stop you from editing the post to correct your mistake as long as it doesn't significantly change the premise of your question/answer.

  • 1
    thank you for answering.I actually on purpose didn't refer to a question to keep this separate but the points you make about mine are incorrect.the votes I counted were what I had listed in my activity at the time,NOT a mistake on my end.I had a comment discussion with Catija on that.It may have been a bug or a fluke but when she asked me to do a screenshot if I still see it "now" I refreshed my page and it was suddenly changed.Maybe the system updated or someone fixed something.Also,the majority was actually agreeing with me,which is also why the question to which I answered got deleted. Aug 16 '18 at 8:22

This looks like an example of the Obvious Answer Downvote Pattern (OADP). Questions that have a supposedly "obvious" answer tend to attract a lot of downvotes.

While users are free to vote as they please, downvoting only because the answer is "obvious" to them stretches that freedom too far in my opinion. Occasionally, one of our regular users notices this pattern and posts a comment reminding people that what is obvious to them may not be obvious to everyone else. Not surprisingly, that usually reverses the voting trend.

To be fair, one could argue that a certain interpretation of the tooltip on the downvote button encourages OADP:

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


In your specific case, and others I have seen, when someone uses meta to asks for an explanation for why something happened, such as a question being put on hold, people who agree with the action then down-vote the meta question. I think they want to indicate the meta question shouldn’t lead to a reversal of the action.

In your particular example there were down-votes but no comments therefore you couldn’t know if people down-voted because they agreed with the original decision or they had some other problem with the question. That is why I questioned the down-votes.

We could suggest that they way people down-vote meta questions to indicate they don’t want to overturn the the action is not good use of down-votes. I think that would be futile since its is working again an established convention and human nature. I do think when people come asking for an explanation of an action and they receive down-votes they are owed an explanation for the down-votes.

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