After a research, and finding no solution to the problem I faced on my Ubuntu machine, I made and posted a detailed question to Ask Ubuntu. To my surprise, what I have is a bug (not sure if known or not). At the comment I've been guided to report about it, and got the instructions about where and how to do that.

I've read about Poorly Written Questions - Is it okay to downvote?, But in my case it is clearly not a poor question.

That the question have been put on Hold it is reasonably OK, but I am getting doubt about this, Is this kind of question (Bug description) should be downvoted?

  • 5
    It is possible that the downvote is automatic from the Community user in reaction to a question being closed.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 13:08
  • @Oli Since currently it has just one downvote, and it was put on hold as off-topic, I believe it is certain that the downvote was from the Community bot. Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 23:21
  • 1
    Vote often and however you feel a post should be voted. We're not here to govern how you vote. If you want to down/up vote a closed post. Do it. If we didn't want you to we'd disable voting on closed posts. Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 6:55

2 Answers 2


The only upvoting or downvoting that is improper is voting that targets a specific user. Other than that, people may vote as they choose. So yes, if someone had downvoted your question, it would have been fine.

Furthermore, off-topic questions are good examples of the sort of thing that is reasonable to downvote. Remember, the vote is about the post, not about you personally. Neither the on-hold status of your post, nor votes on the post, necessarily mean you shouldn't have posted it originally. Your post turned out to be off-topic because it turned out to be a bug; at the time you posted it, it made sense to do so. It was not wrong for you to have posted it; neither on-hold status nor voting is generally a way of judging people.

As I am writing this, your on-hold question has one downvote. (The vote total expands to one upvote and one downvote.) As Oli eluded to, when a question is put on-hold as off-topic, the system downvotes the question. (This is not the case for all close reasons, but is the case for the off-topic close reason.) Therefore, no actual user of Ask Ubuntu downvoted your question.

As a concluding thought: The fact that the system automatically downvotes questions that are put on hold as off-topic makes it pretty clear that the designers of this system think it is acceptable to downvote any off-topic question.

  • I'm not sure why a question that transpires is reporting a new bug is off topic? If the best answer explains it is a new bug and where to go to learn how to file that bug, and better still gives guidance on finding work around, then surely the question and answer will be useful to someone else who experiences the same bug. I don't want to suggest au becomes a bug reporting system, but all bugs will start out as a 'when I perform 'xyz' my system prevents any further 'ABC' activity, what can I do?' So why close them when they are identified as actual bugs.
    – DaveM
    Commented May 7, 2015 at 20:21

As a new user myself can see your concern and where you are coming from. Perhaps using forums to ask questions would provide more help and just use ask ubuntu for searching. Some more experienced users seem to have a what appears to be a very elitist view of what is acceptable here.
How can a new user use launchpad to file or search for bugs due to their inexperience? How can a bug be identified if new user unfamiliar with system? ie they do not know how it should work neither have knowledge of the things that do make it work

Ask Ubuntu is for experts and developers or any body else with expertisism at least in theory. Try looking up some of the users here some of whom are gaining huge amounts of rep for very menial answers without actually adding anything that is not in site already and they are not editing answers to questions that already cover the topic. REP WHORES

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    If you think this place is about earning rep then you're at the wrong site. :) Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 18:29
  • So, an inexperienced user posts a bug report as a question on Ask Ubuntu. We provide them instructions for reporting the bug in a way that will make it possible for it to be fixed (and for them to get information about workarounds, if any are available). We close their question. The system automatically downvotes it. Maybe human users downvote it too (though that did not happen in the situation described in this question). How does that in any way interfere with the user getting help? The most important purpose of Ask Ubuntu is to help people; downvotes rarely are incompatible with that. Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 23:38

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