A while back, I asked the question Leading zeros in IPv4 address; is that a no-no by convention or standard?, which in hindsight could possibly have gone on another Stack Exchange, maybe Networking. However, it was not downvoted, moved, and ultimately received answers, themselves getting upvotes.

Some time later, I posted an answer to a similar question. I don't recall why I posted that answer, but I just noticed that I received negative reputation for the answer.

Why would that answer receive downvotes? I'm sure I would have preferred to list it as a comment, but I still don't have the comment privilege here on SuperUser.

Why downvotes with no comments to explain why it was downvoted?

I just went through the tour (potentially again), and looked at the on topic and off topic pages and don't understand.


I found this article and the page on down votes. These confirm what I expected.

Edit 2

Apparently this question generated more traffic and more downvotes. I've since edited the answer for clarity.

  • Your answer has several problems. One your statement, indicating the addresses are different, is factually incorrect. The only helpful part of your answer is a link, which is normally frowned upon, since you didn't quote the relevant information from the answer you talked about. Third given the lack of the quality of the answer, and the fact there is incorrect information contained in it, its a poor answer to an old question.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 8, 2016 at 15:37
  • @Ramhound, I don't think you understand the phenomenon at play if you think the addresses are different. There are plenty of answers and commentary on that question explaining why they are different, including my recently edited answer. Feb 8, 2016 at 18:13
  • The addresses are not different. Just because software treats them differently is immaterial to that fact. Furthermore my comment is based on your original revision, not an updated revision, you submitted after my comment was posted. I fully understand the phenomenon by the way. I actually have a problem with all the commentary to be honest in that question. Only a couple of those answers are "helpful" in my opinion.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 8, 2016 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


I didn't downvote you, but this is why people might have:

  • The opening of the answer is kind of confusing - how can people consider them the same if they're different? Some people would consider your statement incorrect, and that is a perfectly legitimate reason to downvote.
  • Essentially all of the information in the answer was already to be found in answers on the same question posted up to a year earlier. Duplication is bad/unhelpful and, in particularly egregious cases, is grounds for flagging.
  • I, personally, feel kind of torn when users link to their own questions/answers. The information might be useful, but people might think you're trawling for question upvotes. I know it's discriminatory, but that feeling for me is particularly strong when the user is new/low-rep.

The question was perfectly reasonable, but nobody felt strongly about it, so it gained no votes one way or the other.

In the future, I'd avoid answering questions that already have many very good answers saying effectively what you're going to. Once you have sufficient rep, you'll be able to comment to share tidbits of extra info. (You're almost there!) Thanks for asking how to be a better contributor.

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