I posted an answer here, and somebody down-voted it but won't defend his action.

He gave one reason which I replied to, but he won't defend it from there.

In this question here

How can I guess if a USB cable will power my devices?


  • 3
    Echoing @Diago's words... it's not a big deal if your question or answers gets downvoted. Move on, and keep answering. Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 17:05
  • not a duplicate. this is about defending downvoting it, not just leaving a comment and wondering off even if the comment doesn't hold water.
    – barlop
    Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 19:01
  • @KronoS Doesn't have to be my question. And if it deserves to be downvoted then it should be but for good defensible reasons. You are misunderstanding the issue.
    – barlop
    Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 19:09
  • 3
    @barlop I understand why no one else here has yet critiqued your linked answer, and I don't wish for this to be seen as confrontational, but it seems to me that you don't really answer the question that was asked. You quote the max USB cable length (which is useful, but not a complete answer), but then the rest of your answer seems fairly irrelevant. The downvotes may be a little harsh, but to me it just doesn't feel like a quality answer.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 9:08
  • @DMA57361 if mentioning usb cable length was relevant then the rest of the answer was relevant too since that mentioned cable lengths. His question was general not just about USB. He asked "My question is: is there a way to guess if a cable will provide enough power for charge/disk drive power? Is it related to the length of the cable, to the build quality of the cable, or the fact that uses intermediary adapters?"
    – barlop
    Commented Jan 15, 2011 at 16:08
  • @barlop, your quote here is entirely out of context, and not representative of the question as a whole. The rest of the question was explicitly about USB, so your quoted section is therefore implicitly about USB. The other cable types have different functions and specifications, knowledge of them doesn't help answer about USB, and therefore is irrelevant.
    – DMA57361
    Commented Jan 15, 2011 at 16:48
  • @DMA57361 fair point in terms of issues with my answer. At the time I thought in that full paragraph I quoted, he was asking a general question.. but looking again, I think he wasn't asking a general question even in that paragraph I quoted where he restated his question. the comments on my answer which I disagreed with and responded to, didn't mention that point you make. so I didn't have that in mind.
    – barlop
    Commented Jan 15, 2011 at 18:39

3 Answers 3


All you can do is defend your answer to the community in the comments, which I think you did.

Beyond that, downvotes are anonymous for a reason, so it's not possible to require an explanation, though as I said -- defending your answer in the comments is great.

(I thought it was a perfectly valid answer, with good followup comments FWIW, and you have my +1 for your troubles.)


Users are under no obligation to provide reasons for downvoting, or to justify why they did. I understand there is a bigger group of the community that believes you should justify it, however voting is anonymous, and if I have the ability to downvote, I should be able to vote as I wish, without having to justify my reasons to anyone, or even, have to be called out and asked why.

  • You don't need to say "move on". I don't know why you would think that my life is now stuck and I can't move on. There is an issue of fairness though. Drive-by downvotes from time to time for example, or even once, wouldn't be disastrous, but they are not fair. I know, the system allows it. Nobody is disputing that. Downvoting affects others and the community and the database.. and a downvote should be justified. If it is correct then it is -very- beneficial and important to say and defend(within reason) why it was downvoted.
    – barlop
    Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 19:14
  • 5
    @barlop You have the right to an opinion, however commenting on a downvote is a choice. I honestly don't see what value complaining about it on meta, or calling anyone out for downvoting actually has in the bigger scheme of things. You gave the impression, with this question, that you can't move on. If I downvote something, I reserve the right not to comment. Commented Jan 11, 2011 at 21:22
  • 3
    Drive-by downvotes from time to time for example, [...] I know, the system allows it. - serial drive-by downvotes will trigger fraud checks and most likely will be revoked
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 6:08
  • This is a tiny bit harsh as a response Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 8:33
  • @Jeff. Fair enough. Toned down the response. Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 9:35
  • Also, downvoting answers affects the reputation of the voter, so the balance of the reward system does (should) discourage serial "drive-by" down-voting.
    – cod3monk3y
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 20:48

There is absolutely no way to tell if the person who downvoted your answer is the same as the person who commented (unless they explicitly say they downvoted in the comments) and @Brad made no such statement.

Also it is well understood that there is no requirement to justify downvotes, although it is nice and appreciated.

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