This question - How to install bully and mdk3 on ubuntu 16.04 - has received at the time this was posted four downvotes as well as three close votes for being unclear, however there is nothing unclear about the question. I saw the train coming after the first close vote and posted a comment to future close voters as well as a screenshot in my answer to the question which has the words "Bully" and "mdk3" in it illustrating the question, but this only aggravated the situation and now it appears that the question has been designated to be closed.

Leaving aside the question of close voting, is it really necessary to railroad a clear question closed by repeatedly downvoting it too? It's not a duplicate of anything. It's not the least bit unclear. Under the circumstances I think the four downvotes that this question received are bogus.

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    I didn't add any meaning to the question. I tagged with kali-linux-tools because both bully and mdk3 are Kali linux tools and rather tricky to install as well. Look at my screenshot it's as clear as day. In addition Terdon just edited it. I want you to believe that bully and mdk3 really are Kali linux tools and it was the intent of the OP to install these two tools.
    – karel
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 16:43
  • 2
    You are right it was not you who changed the post extensively, that is my mistake and I have no issue with your answer. My issue here is the ludicrous claim that, as one of the close voters, this is bullying. How is this bullying?
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 16:49
  • Downvoting not close voting is the issue I am addressing in this Meta question. Thank you for posting a correction to your first comment,
    – karel
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 16:50
  • I agree -4 is a bit much sure but bullying?
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 16:52
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    If you hover over the downvote arrow, you'll see this message: This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful. I downvoted for precisely that reason; the question showed no research effort. I have removed my downvote and CV, as the edits have improved the post, but I do not think "bullying" is an appropriate description of what has happened here. I don't think anyone is targeting this user out of spite. It isn't as if we all teamed up to downvote. Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 16:54
  • Thank you for admitting that 4 downvotes are excessive in this case, especially for a new user who may have uncertainties about the way Ask Ubuntu works.
    – karel
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 16:54
  • It only had one when I voted, I do 100% agree with that and would not have voted at -2 or -3
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 16:55

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure I should be answering this question, but here goes.

I can't comment on why other people downvote, but I sometimes do downvote questions as well as vote to close them if they are unclear.

In my opinion this question was no worse or more unclear than any other question saying nothing but "How can I install foo?" If foo is not in Ubuntu repositories, or widely known among Ubuntu users, then the question is unclear, and should be edited to include information about what the software is.

However, I strongly feel that we should apply our own google-foo before voting to close such questions, or take a look to see if there is an answer that clarifies the question so that we can edit it. I strongly urge everyone: before voting as unclear, please make some efforts to see if you can edit the post to make it clear. As terdon explains extremely well here edits that make a question more clear and more answerable are the best kinds of edit. All users can edit or suggest an edit - that is one of the most valuable ways to improve the site, in my humble opinion.

Terdon also said, I think, in comments here (I think it was here - the comment has been deleted I think), that we should be voting on the post and not the author, edits or editor. I strongly agree that voting should be on the post in its current state (very occasionally context or history stops me from voting as I normally would, for example some outright rudeness by OP has been edited out, but that does not apply here) since, as your effort to explain the value of that post in your own answer implies, the value of questions (and answers) on Ask Ubuntu is for all of us and our visitors and for as long as AU lives; it's not just about one OP and how well or badly they handled their question today.

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    +1 You definitely should be answering this question. Journeyman Geek already edited the original question, but I missed the subtlety in his logic until you (indirectly) pointed it out to me. Journeyman Geek has helped me a lot as moderator of Super User to be a better reviewer there, and this also helps me to be a better reviewer at Ask Ubuntu. I don't want to let any of his contributions go to waste.
    – karel
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 10:13
  • @karel Thanks! Yes I thought that was an excellent edit :) I was in chat at the time and saw it get fixed. You yourself have helped me to review better - I think you try harder than most people to see value in posts and I try to emulate that and edit if possible rather than take negative actions (somewhat against my unfortunate personal inclination to delete everything)
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 10:43
  • I personally disagree. Help Center states that use of 3rd party software is on-topic here. There's no requirement for software to be in Ubuntu repositories. "Well-known" is also a vague term. Software for electrical engineering, for example, may be well known by users in its respective fields , but not by text-processing people. I can agree,though, about applying the last two paragraphs Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 4:38
  • @Serg I'm confused - I didn't say such software is off-topic at all, only that the question should give information about software (like a link) if it's not something in repo
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 5:27

Excessive downvoting on what appears to be a legitimate question by new users is a bad thing. It's unreasonable to expect a new user to understand why a question that had depth and subtlety was repeatedly downvoted. It would be more appropriate if whoever disapproved of the line of reasoning taken by the author of the question stopped at the first downvote. No one asked for more information from the OP, perhaps because none was needed, the OP was left out of the loop, and was left defenseless to eat his four downvotes until I intervened in Meta and the question got four upvotes after that.

Four downvotes is lot of downvotes for a good question to get, even though now it is reduced to three downvotes, so it should be interesting to read what follows about why I think the original question was a good one. To be fair the original question now has four upvotes and three downvotes, which shows that the issue under discussion has at least two sides. Two sides, not one side.

I'm not sure that it was the intent of the author of the question to post a good question, but that is what he did, even though it was badly written initially. I upvoted the question and here is the explanation for why I upvoted it.

The author wanted to install two Kali linux tools in Ubuntu. There are two alternatives that are available.

  1. Automatic - Install the script in Ubuntu and install the two packages he wants from the Katoolin interface.

  2. Manual - Search for the two packages, install required dependencies for the packages if necessary and install the packages.

Method 1 can be hazardous to the stability of the operating system, so it may be overkill to install Katoolin for the purpose of installing only two packages. However the author of the question may be installing more than just two Kali linux tools, so he should be offered that alternative.

Method 2 can be too difficult for some users, especially if package If you dependencies have to be manually installed too. However the author of the question may have experience in compiling and resolving package dependency issues, so he should be offered that alternative too.

What a person who is trying to force close this question by multiply downvoting it would say without thinking is that this proves that the question is unclear because we should compel the author to state precisely his level of expertise as a user and his future intentions regarding installing other Kali linux tool in Ubuntu. In fact the contrary works just as well for the purpose of all users of Ask Ubuntu who want know about how to install only one or two Kali linux tools without destroying their operating systems.

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    That last paragraph: Multiple downvotes on a question is not serial voting. Serial voting is one person voting excessively (up or down) on another's posts. You seem to think that the question was being CVed out of malice; it wasn't. At least, there's absolutely no evidence it was, and multiple statements by two people (Mark and I) who voted to close that it was done because the question was unclear. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 1:44
  • Malice is a hard thing to prove. Mark Kirby claimed in a comment that he didn't believe that either bully or mdk3 are kali-linux-tools, I tagged the original question with kali-linux-tools, but after that two moderators edited the question and didn't undo the tag. Under the circumstances it would be fair to say that I don't trust Mark, but I wouldn't claim malice. You have been more ethical than Mark, saying only that you support multiple downvoting which is a legitimate opinion, although not appropriate imo for questions that are regarded by some users as good questions.
    – karel
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 9:00
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    "Mark Kirby claimed in a comment that he didn't believe that either bully or mdk3 are kali-linux-tools," No I did not. I said YOU did not know for a fact it was what OP wanted. How was I unethical? First you accuse everyone of bulling, now I am unethical because I disagree with you? even though you misrepresented me in the comment above? Stop crying because people tried to close a question you answered, you have a victim complex,
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 10:37
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    @karel how is downvoting not appropriate for questions others think are good? I should throw away my opinion because someone else has a different one? That makes no sense. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 10:59
  • I explained it in the above answer which I edited.
    – karel
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 11:08

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