I've posted an answer that I think that is as valid (or more) than it's companions. It was downvoted 2 times and up voted zero times. Why is happening this?

Link: https://askubuntu.com/a/609136/387382

Update 1: Downvoted 3 times.
Update 2: I edited my code to be better yet (or that is what I think).

  • 2
    Please add a link to the post you are referring to.
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Apr 18, 2015 at 15:39
  • @ByteCommander: Added!
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 18, 2015 at 15:42
  • 2
    The post has 0 downvotes. Are you sure that is the correct link?
    – Seth
    Apr 18, 2015 at 15:47
  • @Seth: Sorry, I messed up my post and made 2 versions, later deleted one... Here you're the new link: askubuntu.com/a/609136/387382
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 18, 2015 at 15:53
  • 1
    I suspect every time someone tried it and it didn't quite work for them they downvoted. Happens a lot. Apr 18, 2015 at 16:01
  • 2
    Yep, there is no answer without a downvote, one with 1 and two with 2. Somebody had fun on annoying all answerers there...
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Apr 18, 2015 at 16:03
  • Not sure why this question was downvoted also =) . Downvotes are no fun, I try to leave a comment when I downvote, but not every one does. As a result, we would be guessing the reason
    – Panther
    Apr 18, 2015 at 17:38
  • 2
    I can't deny my first reaction on an obviously unjust downvote is WHAT?? Then after five minutes: pffff, who cares? It appearantly happens to practically all of us. Apr 18, 2015 at 18:00
  • @hbdgaf: It works correctly.
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 18, 2015 at 18:12
  • after your update: that's ugly, upvoted! Apr 18, 2015 at 18:17
  • @JacobVlijm: Thanks, however, if I have 3 downvotes may be a reason to do it (or anybody that seen two downvotes put the third)
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 18, 2015 at 18:24
  • 2
    Good chance you are right. Don't forget when you run into occasions like this, it only takes one or two (in this case three) people, down voting for dubious reasons, while the vast majority here are constructive members of the band. Apr 18, 2015 at 18:28
  • I updated the answer... Now I don't expect more downvotes...
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 19, 2015 at 16:15

4 Answers 4


The general

Reasons a post could be downvoted include, but are not limited to:

  • Somebody hates you.
  • The user who downvoted always downvotes on the first Thursday of every month.
  • Someone misunderstood your answer.
  • Someone dislikes your avatar.
  • Someone hates bash, why are you using bash?
  • Someone is having a bad day
  • Your answer has errors.
  • You left a comment complaining about downvotes, that's a good way to get more downvotes.

Basically, downvotes can happen for any reason. Yes, they often indicate there's something wrong with your answer (more on that later) but they just as often are random events and complaining about them is pointless. Just shrug it off and move on.

Leaving comments like "Why was this downvoted" is doubly useless since the person who downvoted is not going to be notified, therefore the comment just adds noise to the site and makes you sound like a whiner. On the site I moderate, I always delete such comments.

The specific

In this particular case, your script has a few issues. Though I, personally, wouldn't have downvoted, I didn't upvote either. Some things you can improve:

  1. There is no need for touch file. Printing to a file will create it if it doesn't exist.
  2. You are checking for the alias's existence only in the (as far as I know, Ubuntu-only) ~/.bash_aliases. What if the alias was defined in ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_login or ~/.profile or even /etc/bash.bashrc or any of the other init files?
  3. You have put all the comments on the far right of the line. This means that I can't read both the line and the comment describes it and makes me scroll. I don't like scrolling. Maybe someone dislikes it so much, they downvoted you.
  • From the The general section, my only sin was the last. I've removed the comment.
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 18, 2015 at 18:19
  • From The particular section, I think that touch file does the same that echo > file and does not use >, please correct me if I'm wrong. About the second suggestion, yes, I'll fix it. About the third, please, can you say me how to put the comments?
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 18, 2015 at 18:22
  • @Helio in-line comments are nicer to read directly above the code it refers to, with the same indent. Apr 18, 2015 at 18:24
  • @JacobVlijm: Thanks. Do I need to put newlines to isolate command-comment groups?
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 18, 2015 at 18:25
  • @Helio for in-line comments, I would put them above the code with no line between comment and code. Apr 18, 2015 at 18:29
  • @JacobVlijm: I refered to this: paste.ubuntu.com/10846263
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 18, 2015 at 18:39
  • 1
    @Helio there is no reason to use touch file or echo > file or > file or anything. These will empty the file if it exists (well, not touch, the other two) but are not needed to create it. There is absolutely no need to create a file before using it on Linux. If you attempt to write (using any method) to a non-existent file, that file will be created. The main point I was making in the "General" section is that downvotes happen, they can happen for any reason at all. Don't take them so seriously.
    – terdon
    Apr 18, 2015 at 18:47
  • @terdon: I reviewed the code and, yes, you have reason. Only that I'm confused because the OP uses tee.
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 18, 2015 at 19:02
  • @EliahKagan slip of the pen, I was referring to echo > file and > file. You're quite right, touch file wouldn't empty it.
    – terdon
    Apr 18, 2015 at 21:55
  • @terdon: I hate you: It doesn't mean I downvote your answers! ;-)
    – Fabby
    Apr 19, 2015 at 0:19


  1. Removed the function because you thought it unnecessary.
  2. Removed some unnecessary elifs
  3. Changed the order of the conditionals

Those are the 3 downvotes, right there because:

  1. The OP very probably used a function because he/she/it had his/her/its reasons
  2. The code very probably has a bunch of stuff taken out to simplify the question
  3. The code very probably had that logic because other stuff was going on

So, for the future, when someone asks for help with their baby, don't go radically doing plastic surgery on it! ;-) You can rewrite it completely for yourself to better understand the logic, but then you translate it back to what the other person needs...

The downvotes were not a dismissal on your coding skills, but just that 3 people saw something that was radically different from the original code, got irked and downvoted... Your code is elegant, works, is smaller, will probably run faster, ... but it's not what the OP needs!

Feel free to downvote this answer, though it comes closest to the actual reality of what happened! ;-)

  • 1
    +1: I undestood (and kept understanding) that the OP's code is a entire script. However I think that your answer covers openly and sincerely some of the possible reasons. I'm a compulsive bash code optimizer ;-).
    – 0x2b3bfa0
    Apr 19, 2015 at 9:24
  • 1
    @Helio: Good to know if I ever post a question as I'm a compulsive documenter of code, so performance is secondary to readability... ;-) (+1 returned)
    – Fabby
    Apr 19, 2015 at 12:15

I don't think you can do anything except leaving a comment below your answer and ask for explanations on the downvote reasons.

But probably you will not get a response as those who just vote down without leaving an explanatory comment usually don't come back to check it again later... Sorry!


It is just simply sad how someone sits behind his computer and does stuffs to just simply see his or her fellow drown to depression. I mean, there are rules to this forum thing and before somebody posts a question, it means that person has been facing a difficult time and has tried all he thought he knows, to solve the problem, and could not get it that is why he brings it up to to the forum, for help, obviously.

Those who have already gone through such troubles and have it resolved are now a step up to help this person but that is not an icing on a cake. You must present your answer in such a way that the fellow with the problem would read, understand and follow correctly, to resolve his bottle-necks. Now, there sits another person, who is not really willing to take his time to read through the provided answer, only to just downvote it. This is an online forum and nobody is being paid for giving answers to our fellow online users. Does anyone think that if this form of downvoting, without a reasonable cause of action, at least, somebody else would be willing to take time out of his busy schedule to help anyone with any of such problems?

Let us be reasonable, at least for a split second, before giving such votes. Any efforts are resolving another user's problem is enough to earn a reputation because it is not easy. Why are people charged and prosecuted guilty of murder at an attempted murder as actual murder in the court of law? Let us give credit due those providing answers to our problems so we can keep this forum running into unforeseeable future. There is a post about how to resolve unmet dependencies here that I followed when I was having the same problem. I followed through step by step but still never got my problem fixed. That does not mean the provided answer was wrong or bogus, it must have helped someone else but not me. I just move on to the next answer that may help solve my case.

Now, I made a post rhetorically asking if Ubuntu is at war with VLC here and that got a 2 downvotes. Obviously, the person who downvoted that has never read why I asked that question. But you know one funny aspect of the case, I was referred to read the post about how to resolve unmet dependencies, which I have already tried to no avail.

So now somebody tell me, what was it that I said or asked that was not supposed to be asked or said about the problem that I am still having? Is this voting helping any of us or someone people just don't want you to reach the same reputation as they have reached, so you can continue being under them in terms of Online Forum Reputation (OFRs). I could have started a completely different new post with this but I feel I should add it, just so people who are bent on downvoting others should have another opportunity to down another comment.

Happy down-voting!!

  • 2
    I am not sure what you are suggesting; ban the downvote in general? We've got upvotes to mark what we think are the good posts, downvotes to mark what we think are the bad ones, the dangerous ones or the useless ones. It all serves the quality and usability of the site. On the average it will work well and be useful. Every now and then someone will get frustrated by a downvote. Life ain't perfect. Apr 20, 2015 at 17:41
  • So given the instances that I have been through, a post not solving my situation does not render it dangerous or bad because it may work for somebody else or perhaps it is what it is from the source code that someone copied and pasted verbatim. I'm only to learn but I do not understand is why post of mine about problems I'm facing while using a distro got downvoted? Was the question irrelevant as to what I'm going through or was it some kind of my fault to have encountered such problems? If questions could be downvoted, how would anyone learn to take care of his own daily Ubuntu problems?
    – Mr One ZED
    Apr 20, 2015 at 17:58

You must log in to answer this question.

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