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Question 1: On Superuser, someone had asked how to disable his/her page file in order to free more disk space! Naturally, I (and any technically aware person) know that this is very unwise. A computer without page file will not operate properly.

Should I downvote the question because I think the action is unwise?

Question 2: Someone has written an accurate answer for this question. Should I downvote the answer? (Of course, I didn't. I just edited it and wrote that the author of the answer assumes the OP knows the repercussions of his/her actions. And then upvoted it because it was accurate.)

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    I am removing the part about a specific individual. Your question should be neutral not calling out specific individuals. – DavidPostill Feb 6 '17 at 13:23
  • @DavidPostill There is a difference between a "neutral" and a "neutralized" question. – user477799 Feb 6 '17 at 18:31
  • Whatever. I stand by my comment and edit. – DavidPostill Feb 6 '17 at 18:33
  • @FleetCommand I took a look at every one of your reputation changes, that took place over a year and half, and only one was because of my vote. I accept your apology. – Ramhound Feb 7 '17 at 2:52
  • @FleetCommand if you believe I have unjustly voted one of your answers down then I apologize. – Ramhound Feb 7 '17 at 3:11
  • @Ramhound Of course you didn't find it in my rep log. I deleted the answers. (And the first time I did, it earned me a Peer Pressure achievement!) That said, my message doesn't have the word "unjustly". It was a statement of the fact: You downvoted. Should I too? Somehow, however, you think that I must think that just because you downvote a lot, you must be a bad person. Well, I don't think so. Life is not a fight and we are not here to hate each other. At least, I don't hate you. Do you hate me? – user477799 Feb 7 '17 at 7:52
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    @FleetCommand, asking about an unwise action isn't one of the things downvotes are intended for. If a Google search would show dozens of explanations on the first page that you would have to be nuts to do it, a downvote for lack of research might be warranted. The question is clear, so that probably wouldn't be a downvote reason. The last downvote reason is whether the question is useful. Consider that a question about a stupid, dangerous practice could be useful to other novices, especially if it attracts a good answer. It might be a candidate for an upvote. – fixer1234 Feb 7 '17 at 10:02
  • @fixer1234 That's what I call an answer. Come on, now; post it as a reply instead of a comment and I'll give you the tick mark. – user477799 Feb 7 '17 at 10:07
  • @FleetCommand You are clearly upset about the votes you received, and while I question the reason you think all of those votes were me, I still apologize. If your going to say I do something, and the say something about being neutralized, then you can't say your feelings are not hurt – Ramhound Feb 7 '17 at 12:48
  • @Ramhound Again, that's far less often the case than you are probably imagining. The downvote itself: I have no way of knowing it was you. Your first comment: I have always thought it deserves a response. What happens next: One time you responded by recanting your comment and the vote count went up. Happy ending. In one other time, you said I am having a cow. Yes. I got upset. In our latest interaction, your comment was unfair, but since the OP gave me an upvote, I can't complain. I got +8 rep total. – user477799 Feb 7 '17 at 13:32
  • I grew up watching The Simpsons, "don't have a cow man" or "you are having a cow" is simply a pop culture reference for me. Similar to how I have said in the past, "don't make a mountain out of a molehill", which is a variant of the old idiom. In other words a single vote means almost nothing with regards to the big picture, unless multiple votes follow, but that single vote also should be taken as a small hint that there might be a problem. – Ramhound Feb 7 '17 at 13:53
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Asking about an unwise action isn't one of the things downvotes are intended for. If a Google search would show dozens of explanations on the first page that you would have to be nuts to do it, a downvote for lack of research might be warranted.

The question is clear, so that probably wouldn't be a downvote reason.

The last downvote reason is whether the question is useful. Consider that a question about a stupid, dangerous practice could be useful to other novices, especially if it attracts a good answer. It might be a candidate for an upvote.

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Well, "OP has no idea what he's doing" isn't really something that I've seen in any guidelines.

I'd consider a few things.

Is this a XY problem? OP is clearly trying to solve an underlying 'issue' based on misconceptions. The comments help us work out what's the real issue.

Since there's misconceptions, how best do we deal with that? A simple downvote dosen't really do much in the greater scheme of things in educating the user.

Unrelatedly has the user done any research? If he clearly hasn't, downvoting is fine.

Sometimes, we also need to ask ourselves are we missing something? Here I don't quite see it but its worth considering.

So in this case, downvoting is optional, but not quite as helpful as one would like. The right thing depends on the question and situation.

Answers, well, you'd need to decide on the usefulness for yourself. I do personally prefer not to downvote good faith, on topic answers.

  • First, it is not an XY problem; it is an extension of the famous "what if I press this button?" case, i.e. the OP doesn't have problem, but the thrill of doing this certain thing has taken him. Second, forget the great scheme of things; a downvote has no value whatsoever. It is never helpful. It is a mean thing that we do to each other and I want to learn the rules of it. – user477799 Feb 7 '17 at 8:08
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    Downvotes arn't mean. Downvotes are the clean me scratched in the dusty car of a question. Personally most questions I find bad enough to downvote, I find bad enough to closevote or at least comment so op learns. If I get one, the kindest thing one can do is comment and let me know why so I can do better. – Journeyman Geek Feb 7 '17 at 8:14
  • That's a nice theory. Too bad it isn't the case. See this, for an example: superuser.com/q/1176075/477799 – user477799 Feb 7 '17 at 8:26

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