I'm not asking why a specific answer get downvoted but specifically why would you normally downvote an answer.

This should help newbies understanding why their answers were downvoted even though nobody commented.

My reasons of downvoting:

  1. Technically inaccuracies (this doesn't include typos).
  2. Missing the specifics of the question.
  3. The answer has nothing to do with the question.
  4. Link only answers.
  5. The answer doesn't have proper warnings about what it is being done. Or poor explanation why something dangerous (rm -r and similar) should be done.
  6. The question is unanswerable in their current form. Any post attempting to answer those questions, offering specific solutions, will not answer the question. Answering questions that don't offer more details that "don't work" could potentially damage the system. You should ask for clarification instead in comments.
  7. Depending my mood or votes left.

If you want you could add your reasons to upvoting answers. Note, this is limited to answers.

  • I think that you will need to create a post asking for "What are the reasons to downvote MY questions?" :)
    – Lucio
    Jan 9, 2014 at 21:35
  • @Lucio be my guess, sir ;)
    – Braiam
    Jan 9, 2014 at 22:18
  • @EliahKagan btw, I was asking other reasons for DV answers. And I was exposing mines. If you don't agree with them ok, I'm not going to change my voting policy. Just put yours below. Is not a question about changing anyones votes habits but exposing why people normally downvote posts.
    – Braiam
    Jan 10, 2014 at 1:34
  • An example maybe here. In this case, I'd wonder about the upvote especially in light of EliahKagan's comment. I can't see the timeline of votes, but IIRC, the upvote came after two downvotes (and after EliahKagan's comment).
    – user25656
    Jan 10, 2014 at 3:54
  • @vasa1 I don't want to pull things too off-topic here... but I wonder if there's an effective way to search for (so as to then comment on or, where appropriate, edit) posts that have easily mis-entered rm commands using the Data Explorer. Since they involve "punctuation" and take a few forms (the -r/-R can be just about anywhere), I haven't had much luck searching for them with AU search or ordinary search engines. I think that advice to recursively rm paths starting with ~ used to be ubiquitous and mostly unchallenged; there's probably lots of this. Jan 10, 2014 at 5:22
  • @EliahKagan, okay, but after reading your comment I've decided to use rm -I for safety :)
    – user25656
    Jan 10, 2014 at 6:19
  • @EliahKagan did you tried askubuntu.com/search?q=is%3Aa+%22rm+-r%22?
    – Braiam
    Jan 10, 2014 at 14:29
  • 1
    @Braiam Instead of posting your answer in the question, can you post it as an 'answer' below so that it can be properly vetted, and to encourage others to contribute to that collection, too? Thanks. Jan 10, 2014 at 15:34
  • 1
    @RobertCartaino I was hopping that something like this ocurr meta.stackexchange.com/q/2451/213575
    – Braiam
    Jan 10, 2014 at 19:16


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