On this question: Why can't I cd to a quoted tilde ('~')?

I noticed this morning that four out of the six answers were all down voted for no apparent reason. They were all good in their own way:

OK maybe the rep 1 user answer is rep 1 level type of answer. It's unique but could use some polishing.

As far as I can remember they were all down-voted at the same time and probably by the same person.

Is there a phrase for this type of behavior?

  • 1
    Looking at the question, it seems, to me, someone took a dislike to the question (it is downvoted too) and because of that decided to downvote all the answers. That may seem a bit petty but I have seen and been on the reciving side of this kind of behavior. Someone will vote down because "you should not answer bad/poorly written/easy questions, OP should make an effort/try harder etc...". I don't know why some people are so offended by some posts but they are, nothing you can about it though, so don't stress about it :)
    – Mark Kirby
    May 9, 2018 at 12:11
  • I didn't think the question was worth 29 upvotes myself but would never dream of down voting it. I'm not expecting to change such down voting behavior I'm just wondering if their is a name for such behavior? Also to contest your "petty" theory only 4 out of 6 answers were down voted at the same time. Unfortunately I didn't check if question was down voted at the same time, ie by the same user. May 9, 2018 at 12:18

2 Answers 2


The term I would use for such behaviour is voting (i.e. there's nothing special about it).
Voting imho is a subset of moderation.

The only restriction on voting is that it must not be personal, i.e. targeted at a user.

Downvoting multiple answers to the same question is entirely reasonable. If we think an answer is bad, wrong, misleading, not useful, is not an answer, etc, we should downvote it.

Here are some possible reasons why those answers might have been downvoted:

caioquirino's (now deleted) answer shows how things behave differently if we create an actual directory called ~, without explanation. This is actually quite a nice illuminating example imho and I don't think this post should have been deleted, but lacking explanation is a possible reason for downvoting.

d a i s y's (now deleted) answer, although it adds some interesting (if basic) material, does not directly answer the question, which is about why '~' does not expand and why we can't cd to it.

Your answer shows a way of investigating what's going on, which is helpful, but again is rather basic (appropriate to the question in that regard) and introduces extraneous and potentially confusing material (backticks for command substitution).

karel's answer explains the problem very directly, (and I think short answers like this are valuable because sometimes you just want a TL;DR so you can get on with your life) but the other answers explain the same thing in more detail, so this answer might be seen by a voter as unnecessary given the existence of more comprehensive ones.

  • I included the backticks because when I was a newbie I didn't realize the significant difference from single quotes. May 9, 2018 at 11:34
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix that makes sense :) I'm not critiquing, just suggesting why someone else might downvote. The downvoter was not me
    – Zanna Mod
    May 9, 2018 at 12:28

Serial downvoting is explained here and seems to be the downvoting of multiple questions / answers from a single user so that leads me to believe that Parallel downvoting would be the expression you're looking for: One user that downvotes all answers.

However I've not seem it happen much here on this site and I wouldn't worry about it as most high-rep users here have the sportsmanship badge which means they upvoted another answer to a question they answered as well 100 times...

Unfortunately, neither you nor me are in that list, but Zanna is whereas I'm only halfway there:

Sportsmanship progress

I thought I'd have more of those, but maybe first upvoting and then answering doesn't count as a sportsmanship vote...

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    "Parallel Downvoting" sounds close to the phrase... May 9, 2018 at 11:33
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix :-)
    – Fabby
    May 9, 2018 at 11:38

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