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At various times, my questions have received answers not properly addressing the original question, but instead targeted at a different question. Often, the user posting the answer will decline explicitly to revise it, despite requests, given as comments, toward such effect. When the author of an answer has declined to revise it, I often have invoked a down vote. I feel that it is unhelpful for users not to attempt to follow such requests, and that such cases give rise to the appropriate use of my voting power.

I tend to observe that my own question receives a down vote shortly after I cast my vote against an answer, suggesting a kind of retaliation.

In principle, I feel I should be permitted freely to cast a down vote, as a final resort against a question author not sincerely seeking to be helpful with respect to the actual circumstances giving rise to the original question.

Although it may be conceived abstractly that other visitors would notice the problem, and develop their own answers, or cast their own votes, accordingly, I tend rather to find that bad answers often determine the course of the entire discussion, taking a life of their own, mutating the collective perception of the question. Furthermore, many questions generate such little interest that a single vote is quite significant. Such limitation may be more common in particular communities, such as the current.

It is frustrating to post a question that becomes hijacked toward different ends, and I have wondered about an optimal solution. For example, one might consider how the dynamic would change if users who post answers would forfeit implicitly the right, past or future, to vote on the question. Alternatively, perhaps posting an answer would be counted also as casting an irrevocable up vote for the question on behalf of the same user, since posting an answer is implicitly giving some affirmation toward the validity of the question.

What are potential solutions to the broader issue, inside or outside of the existing automated rules?

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    So you want to freely be able to downvote people yourself while denying other people that same right?
    – Mokubai Mod
    Nov 1 at 6:25
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    Likely downvotes stem from your adversarial "just answer my damn question" and "my hardware should only do what I want" attitude. Microsoft made their operating system do a lot of things you do not realise or know the purpose of behind the scenes, do you expect them to have consulted you before enabling wifi scanning of printers for example or do you simply accept that as a convenience feature? Why is that different to requiring some space on disk for another feature you (currently) do not understand? If you require control of every thing your computer does then Windows may not be for you.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Nov 1 at 7:13
  • It's irritating to try to stimulate thought on a subject, but to get down votes because of a perception that any represented idea should express some final, overarching solution.
    – brainchild
    Nov 3 at 6:40

1 Answer 1

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At various times, my questions have received answers not properly addressing the original question, but instead targeted at a different question. Often, the user posting the answer will decline explicitly to revise it, despite requests, given as comments, toward such effect.

If you find an answer unhelpful because the author will not improve it, and there isn’t a way anyone else can improve it, downvote the answer. Unhelpful answers should be downvoted. Additionally, you are under no obligation to explain or defend your downvote, in fact you are almost encouraged NOT to defend your vote. If your helpful feedback is otherwise ignored don’t feel bad about downvoting an a answer that is unhelpful.

When the author of an answer has declined to revise it, I often have invoked a down vote. I feel that it is unhelpful for users not to attempt to follow such requests, and that such cases give rise to the appropriate use of my voting power.

Good

I tend to observe that my own question receives a down vote shortly after I cast my vote against an answer, suggesting a kind of retaliation.

In principle, I feel I should be permitted freely to cast a down vote, as a final resort against a question author not sincerely seeking to be helpful with respect to the actual circumstances giving rise to the original question.

I take those votes as an opportunity to improve my already established high quality contributions. By doing so I typically attract upvotes which are worth more than a single downvote from a frustrated and discouraged user.

It is frustrating to post a question that becomes hijacked toward different ends, and I have wondered about an optimal solution. I have wondered whether it would be useful if users who post answers would forfeit implicitly the right, past or future, to vote on the question. Alternatively, perhaps posting an answer would be counted also as casting an irrevocable up vote for the question on behalf of the same user, since posting an answer is implicitly giving some affirmation toward the validity of the question.

You lost me there, that’s a horrible idea, not even worth trying to explain so I will just downvote the question as a means to show my disapproval towards your suggested feature.

I can find a question helpful, then after a couple interactions with the author, determine the question actually is not helpful. A question can also be helpful but not well researched but still worth answering for everyone else’s curiosity.

Posting an answer to a question is in a sense giving the question the legitimacy. If someone feels a question in its original purpose is not legitimate, then perhaps the objection should not be given in the form of an answer. Otherwise, it may appear that the question is truly answered. I feel that situation is a kind of conflict, that might be best if it may be avoided.

A bad question can still be worth answering if it’s within scope of the community. Of course in some cases, feature suggestions that would impact the entire Stack Exchange network, are sometimes not submitted to the correct community. Some answer authors can also submit an answer expecting it to be migrated to a different more relevant community.

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  • I will just downvote the question as a means to show my disapproval towards your suggested feature. That seems rather callus. Do you interpret the overall intention of the post to garner enthusiasm for a specific feature proposal, more than simply to stimulate productive conversation?
    – brainchild
    Nov 2 at 5:14
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    @epl - 1. That’s how meta voting works, a downvote is an indicator, the user disapproves of the feature suggestion. 2. I intentionally wrote the answer with a certain irony in mind, answering a question, that isn’t the greatest on purpose. 3. I won’t be replying to additional commentary.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 2 at 12:04

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