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Please don't just vote bad posts up because you feel sorry for people who got voted down, it completely undermines the point of voting and wastes other peoples votes.

Today I voted this post down, it is bad, there is no way anyone can think it is good. It is vague, off topic, shows a lack of research.

Shortly after someone else voted this up, they left no comment and the post is not good, so only received an upvote because someone thought down voting is mean.

This is one of the things I hate most on SE, people who think downvoting is mean and we should not do it voting to cancel out downvotes, it wastes my vote, your vote, gives to OP rep for a bad post.

Sorry this is a bit of a rant but this gets on my nerves, don't vote because you feel sorry for people, you should vote on the quality of the post and not the person.

I would love to here from the person who voted that up.

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    I somehow doubt that higher rep users , who have experience on the site would vote that up. It likely came from inexperienced user. – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Aug 20 '16 at 9:06
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    Point of order: being a duplicate is no reason to downvote a post. That question certainly deserves to be downvoted, don't get me wrong, just not for being a dupe. It's often hard to find dupes even for experienced users. We shouldn't penalize people for posting dupes, only for posting crap. – terdon Aug 20 '16 at 11:06
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    I always thought they were from badge-seekers. Every so often, there's about an hour-long period I'm around to witness, where every single new question is upvoted literally as soon as it's posted, no matter the quality. There are probably a few sympathy voters, but in my mind, most of the weird upvotes are from people who just want that copper circle. – TheWanderer Aug 21 '16 at 4:55
  • @Zacharee1 What about posting a bad thing to get a -3 score (preferably answer) and then deleting it, just to get a "Peer Pressure" badge? – EKons Aug 24 '16 at 17:40
  • @ΈρικΚωνσταντόπουλος I don't think that's really the same case :p – TheWanderer Aug 24 '16 at 17:43
  • It is possible that he has another account. So, he uses two accounts to vote each other. – Ceda EI Aug 29 '16 at 11:52
  • @CedaEI It sure is possible, there are things in place to track that but you never know. – Mark Kirby Aug 29 '16 at 11:58
  • never, ever tell someone how to vote. This is what democracy looks like. Voting as you wish – Kalamalka Kid Sep 1 '16 at 3:16
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    @KalamalkaKid Don't be ridiculous, people can vote as they wish but there are rules for voting and you can even get banned for abusing the voting system. Democracy? I don't think a website, with a very specific topic and a pre defined set of rules counts as a democracy, even by the very loosest definition of the word. – Mark Kirby Sep 1 '16 at 7:16
  • Either way I'l cast my votes as I see fit, and will do so on whatever terms I desire. If I want to vote with empathy so be it. I don't see how anyone could be banned for casting a vote – Kalamalka Kid Sep 1 '16 at 7:22
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    @KalamalkaKid Then you are contributing to undermine the systems on this site, you are supposed to vote on the quality of content in a post and nothing else. This is a meritocracy, you get rep for good contributions and content, if you want somewhere where feelings are more important than merit and facts, you might have a better time on Tumblr. – Mark Kirby Sep 1 '16 at 7:25
  • Quality is subjective. Read Robert Persig. Cheers – Kalamalka Kid Sep 1 '16 at 7:26
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    @KalamalkaKid You are welcome :) – Mark Kirby Sep 1 '16 at 7:49
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    @KalamalkaKid you should reread Pirsig. "Quality is subjective" is close to the exact opposite of Pirsig's position. It's a good thing comments aren't answers, 'cause that one would get you a downvote. For low objective quality. :p – zwets Sep 1 '16 at 13:25
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    Downvoting this post since it has many upvotes... :D Just joking, you are absolutely right. We vote posts, not people. We can be sorry about people, but posts do deserve to be treated as a separate instance, no matter what people did before with it. – fedorqui Sep 2 '16 at 10:35
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This is one of the things I hate most on SE, people who think downvoting is mean and we should not do it voting to cancel out downvotes, it wastes my vote, your vote, gives to OP rep for a bad post.

Just like silly downvotes exist, silly upvotes exist. The first one probably more often than the latter. I never ever heard of someone, voting to eliminate a downvote however. I doubt it happens, and even if it does, it won't be more then occasionally.

I am having a bit of difficulty therefore with your assumption that the vote was done out of pity and to compensate "being mean". What makes you think this vote was motivated like that, and not a random vote, like we see a lot, both up and down?

Although I agree with:

don't vote because you feel sorry for people, you should vote on the quality of the post and not the person.

...I doubt if your anger has a substantially existing target.

Even if it exists, the damage is limited:

it wastes my vote, your vote, gives to OP rep for a bad post.

  • Although incorrect, a single misplaced upvote will not eliminate multiple downvotes.
  • The rep is the least of our problems. If someone repeatedly posts bad posts, a single upvote won't make him or her an established user. If it was "an accident", the single upvote is meaningless as well.
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    :D :D :D Just like silly downvotes exist, silly upvotes exist. ;-) – Fabby Aug 20 '16 at 22:13
  • I upvoted your answer, but fyi I was in chat when this question popped up, and someone said "I do that!" ;) – Zanna Aug 21 '16 at 20:48
  • @Zanna Ah, thanks. Good to know! Even then though, I consider it an exception, don't think it is an issue in general. – Jacob Vlijm Aug 21 '16 at 20:50
  • Yes, I agree :) – Zanna Aug 21 '16 at 20:51
  • «I never ever heard of someone, voting to eliminate a downvote however.» I actually did it a few times when I saw a completely correct answer being downvoted for no reason, ranking it to -1. Of course, I wouldn't do that for a question which has quality issues or for a wrong answer. – Andrea Lazzarotto Aug 22 '16 at 16:04
  • @AndreaLazzarotto exactly, voting on "a completely correct answer " is not a silly upvote :) – Jacob Vlijm Aug 22 '16 at 18:26
  • Ok but I mean: I sometimes vote to correct silly (or dare I say "idiotic") downvotes. :) – Andrea Lazzarotto Aug 22 '16 at 18:28
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    @AndreaLazzarotto I can' t say I never do, but that's quite different from a pity vote. The latter is messing with the voting system imo, the first one isn't. – Jacob Vlijm Aug 22 '16 at 18:29
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    Alright I guess we are saying the same thing actually. – Andrea Lazzarotto Aug 22 '16 at 18:32
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    Although incorrect, a single misplaced upvote will not eliminate multiple downvotes. For rep, on a question, 2 upvotes eliminate 5 downvotes, on an answer, 1 upvote eliminates 5 downvotes. That does not mean, however, that the score will be 0 if the vote tally is +1/-5. It will be -4. I think this wrongfully encourages people to write VLQs (because there might be that one upvoter who actually gave 10 rep for a bad answer, with the vote tally being +1/-4 (i.e. +2 rep)). So, this is what this question tries to partially address. – EKons Aug 24 '16 at 17:36
  • @ΈρικΚωνσταντόπουλος On average, I am pretty sure people with many vlq posts will have low reputation. – Jacob Vlijm Aug 24 '16 at 17:51
  • @JacobVlijm IKR, this is just an edge-case. – EKons Aug 24 '16 at 17:53
2

Conversely if you read an answer that with up-vote(s) don't vote it down because it doesn't meet your literary standards or you think you could have answered it better. That's mean spirited. Add a polite (or at least neutral) comment to the answer instead.

I think greed/envy/judgement is a more likely occurrence with down votes than empathy/sympathy/guilt with up-votes. But I'm new here and might be wrong :). The interesting up/down votes will be on Nov 8/16.

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    This is exactly the mentality I am trying to discourage. It is not mean spirited to downvote a post, if it does not meet the standards of the site it should be downvoted, don't downvote if you could answer better, just answer in that case. I don't see how greed is a reason to downvote, it costs you rep, envey, sure but judgement is EXACTLY the reason you should downvote, that is what it is for. What happens nov 8/16 that makes voting on that day special? – Mark Kirby Aug 25 '16 at 8:41
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    @MarkKirby Nov 8 = US president voting day..haha – WinEunuuchs2Unix Aug 25 '16 at 10:10
  • Oh, I'm not American, so that went right over my head :) Good luck with your new president Donald Trump. – Mark Kirby Aug 25 '16 at 10:15
  • Oh, well I'm Canadian so he won't be my president. But the US is Canada's largest trading partner, and vice versa. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Aug 25 '16 at 23:16
  • -1. If we stop down-voting lack of research in the questions and sloppiness in the answers, the site will simply stop being useful. I already happen to ask myself if I should ask Ubuntu questions at U&L because of better signal to noise ratio there. – Dmitry Grigoryev Aug 29 '16 at 8:18
  • You down voted me for "sloppy research" into my own opinion? Signal to noise ratio hints at a electrical background which is black and white so the neophyte questions recently in AskUbuntu and the grey comments seeking more information must be driving you nuts. I stand by my opinion that it's wrong to down vote because you have a better answer, simply post your answer instead. My second point is because you hate someone it's wrong to repeatedly down vote them. My hunch is condescending down votes are more prevalent than sympathetic up votes. Of course both are wrong. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Aug 30 '16 at 4:44

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