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I have interacted with a few new user recently who are very disgruntled due to getting a lot of down-votes on there questions for been duplicates.

I don't down-vote these myself but I can vote to close, so I feel I don't have to.

I think it may be very counter productive, the down-votes without the context of explaining why (the users are new, they don't understand duplicates) are annoying these users and some will not come back, no matter how much someone tries to explain after the fact.

Not all duplicates are obvious, especially to those without experience or technical knowledge. I think it would be good for these first timers to get an explanation of what they did wrong rather than just down-voting them in to oblivion.

I know this is a duplicate but it is becoming an issue again and I did not know how else to bring it back up.

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    I don't downvote something just because it is a duplicate, but I may if it is a low quality one. For example, someone asked in chat recently "how to add directory to my path", I punched their exact sentence into Google and the first result was a good AU post. I would have downvoted that if it were a question. It is also worth noting that this is the internet. There are a lot if people here. Some will take a different view. – Seth Jun 7 '16 at 20:53
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    I agree there are times when a lack of research is obvious and these deserve downvotes but not all are bad, some are well written and the duplicates, at a glance can be quite different or the solutions are the same but the questions different. I think the issue is more the lack of context on the votes rather than the votes there self. I just feel a bit bad for them really, we have all been to those horrible forums where you get shot down for even daring to ask a question. – Mark Kirby Jun 7 '16 at 20:59
  • I like the setup on Stack Overflow (by far the largest Stack Exchange site). When you click the "Ask Question" button, it brings up stackoverflow.com/questions/ask/advice explaining that you should search for your question before asking a new question. This hopefully discourages people from bogging down the site with so many duplicate questions. – TallChuck Jun 8 '16 at 5:05
  • @TallChuck Is that just for first timers? I don't get that. Perhaps because of the automatic 101 rep? – Mark Kirby Jun 8 '16 at 7:40
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    Oh okay well it says "We’d love to help you, but the reality is that not every question gets answered. To improve your chances, here are some tips:" and displays a search bar and says "Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question?" and below that says to be on topic, be specific, make it relevant to others, keep an open mind, and some explanation on each of those, and finally has a checkbox saying "thanks, I will keep these tips in mind when asking" before it lets you through to be able to ask your question – TallChuck Jun 8 '16 at 19:16
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Yes this down-vote mania has become more of a problem lately, I agree. As far my opinion is asked I would like to list a few things which will make me down-vote a post or what actions I would take with the powers I have right now.

If a post is duplicate but a well clear formulated question which shows some research effort:

  • Flag/Close vote it as duplicate
    • If someone already pointed out it is a duplicate don't comment (one of those is enough, except you think its a duplicate of an other topic)

If a post is duplicate but shows blatantly ignorance to the search abilities provided by the page and Internet:

  • Flag/Close vote it as duplicate
    • If someone already pointed out it is a duplicate don't comment (one of those is enough, except you think its a duplicate of an other topic)
    • Leave a comment about the research facilities everyone has at their hands

If a post is duplicate, shows blatantly ignorance and is poorly formulated or even unclear up to it:

  • Flag/Close vote it as duplicate or unclear
    • If someone already pointed out it is a duplicate don't comment (one of those is enough, except you think its a duplicate of an other topic)
    • Leave a comment about the research facilities everyone has at their hands
    • Down-vote

I think that should be the proper way to act on such questions, just down-voting because it is a duplicate hurts the sites and Ubuntu's credo.

  • Thats quite good advice but I would not recommend people flag the first two reasons. Just been a duplicate or not researching correctly is not something flags are for, we should only flag the really bad stuff that needs a mod to get rid of it, instead users should use comments to express there opinions. – Mark Kirby Jun 8 '16 at 7:45
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I have interacted with a few new user recently who are very disgruntled due to getting a lot of down-votes on there questions...

People downvotes for a wide variety of reasons and frankly a sane community has to have limits on what it accepts to just keep going:

The fastest way to kill any Q&A site, is to flood it with low-quality questions.

And votes are the signals designated to make the system know that this is a low quality post and other users should just stay away from them. About new users, you have to be aware that we aren't downvoting the user, we are downvoting the post. As deceze puts it:

The main problem I see here is that downvotes are taken so damn personal. A downvote does not mean "you are a bad person and you should feel bad, go die in a corner". [...]

What that user wants is the most useful article which is both not too specific to somebody else's code but fits their problem perfectly. They do not want to sift through a ton of vague single-sentence questions with code walls to figure out whether that particular article fits their problem or not. But that's what most downvoted questions are: they're either too specific or too vague or too long to comprehend or have some other criterium which makes them unsuitable to be a highly visible knowledge base article.

That's what votes are for, to unclog the system from the regular stream of low-quality input that makes it less usable as a global reference. They are not there to insult anyone. If your question got downvoted, you should try to reevaluate it from the POV described above and improve it yourself. Don't expect others to jump in and do it for you, that's simply unrealistic and impractical.

So, if someone downvote your post, take a step back and evaluate what were you doing wrong with the post that you can improve, or maybe try to explain your problem to the duck before asking us. He doesn't judge you.

Oh, btw, I'm one that thinks that actually we are not downvoting enough.

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