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I recently asked this question about SpamAssassin and its sa-learn utility. I thought it was a very well written, but yet it has a negative vote. In fact, It's been downvoted multiple times. How do I make this question better so I can get more REPs? Is there anything wrong with this question per se?

  • One possible reason for the downvotes is a loyalty to Microsoft that I think ServerFault has. It's possible it isn't me anyway so maybe we need to think outside of the box. – Evan Carroll Feb 27 '12 at 22:59
  • It's because of the sand gnomes, they're not a fan of flippantry. – Tablemaker Feb 27 '12 at 23:02
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    @EvanCarroll - are you serious? Do you not see the masses of Linux/BeOS/HP-UX/FreeBSD questions we get (Ok, so maybe not BeOS) – Mark Henderson Feb 27 '12 at 23:04
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    @EvanCarroll Umm no. That's all I have to say about that. – EEAA Feb 27 '12 at 23:06
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    R andomly E xclamatory P hrases? R eally E vil P orcupines? R ampant E lfin P anache? – Wesley Feb 27 '12 at 23:07
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    Please don't just make crap up to be annoying. I think the number of linux(12,878) questions versus the number of windows(5950) seems to completely contradict that comment. For the record I upvoted or sa-learn question, and how down-voted this because your complaining about it is getting annoying. – Zoredache Feb 27 '12 at 23:07
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    @EvanCarroll - also, don't concentrate on REP. You'll drive yourself nuts if you do. Just concentrate on the content of your questions and answers, and rep will follow. – EEAA Feb 27 '12 at 23:09
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    All intentioned reform - personal and external - starts with a compliant. Stop being so impatient. If you don't like it, no need to dwell it on it or downvote. Just move on. – Evan Carroll Feb 27 '12 at 23:09
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    @EvanCarroll - Votes are placed not because we like or dislike a certain question or answer. They are placed because a question or answer is or isn't good or on-topic. – EEAA Feb 27 '12 at 23:15
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    @ErikA I thought meta votes were because we like/dislike? – Andrew Feb 28 '12 at 3:14
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    @Andrew - yes, that is indeed the case on meta, but not on the main site. – EEAA Feb 28 '12 at 3:19
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This was said in chat by many people, in many ways. I will repeat it here amplified for clarity:

If the only reason you are coming to Server Fault is to gain REPutation, you have come to the wrong Stack Exchange site.
Upvotes on Server Fault are very rare and precious things - We reward the intricate and interesting questions, and the technically elegant solutions, and we do so disproportionately when compared to simpler questions or quick-and-dirty solutions.


We want users who are here to ask questions (learn), answer questions (help others learn), or read the questions and answers they find interesting(learn even more).

It is very nice if users upvote questions and answers that they find interesting or helpful.

It is very nice if users downvote questions and answers that:
(a) Do not meet our quality standards (do not show any research effort, are unclear, or are otherwise not useful)
or (b) Are blatantly wrong, dangerous, etc.
We would like it if these users would leave comments saying why they downvoted, but this is not mandatory.

We would prefer our users not downvote for other reasons, but ultimately their reasons are theirs. We don't get to pry (and for my part I don't want to).


I will point out that your question was edited about an hour ago. If anyone cast a downvote prior to that and wants to change their vote (clear it or upvote) at this time they should be able to do so...

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    Nice synthesis. – EEAA Feb 27 '12 at 23:22
  • I aim to please – voretaq7 Feb 27 '12 at 23:26
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I down voted your question, simply because of the comments you made.

I didn't believe what I was reading when I saw you respond to an answer with (and I can't remember exactly what you said), words to the effect of 'You liked my question as you've answered it, What is wrong with you, why didn't you up vote my question, I'm not doing this for nothing'.

I considered that to be quite rude, and not the type of discussion I want to read when I participate here on server fault (or any SE site for that matter).

I flagged your comment, and when it was deleted, you entered another comment which I quote you using the term 'lame', which I perceived as an insult. Again, comment flagged and deleted.

As for you requesting that the person who down voted your question be banned, well, if the moderators agree, I'd quite happily take a ban if they believe I deserve one for down voting your question (and this meta question).

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    If people got banned for downvoting a question, then there would be no users of the SE network; not even the creators would be allowed on their own site. – Tablemaker Feb 27 '12 at 23:29
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The downvotes were for now-deleted content. However, the question as it stands now looks just fine to me.

  • So wait, someone is downvoting the question for something else, and you know that? Is that even permitted, can we just ban them? – Evan Carroll Feb 27 '12 at 23:01
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    @EvanCarroll People can vote for anything. If we banned people for upvoting answers that were only funny, but not useful in any way, we'd be short a lot of people. The same goes for "I don't like your attitude" downvotes. Policing the reasons people vote is a fundamentally hard problem, and StackExchange has chosen not to tackle it beyond outlier cases like voting-rings. – sysadmin1138 Feb 27 '12 at 23:04
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    @EvanCarroll - Though we hope users have good reasons for issuing down-votes, we don't require a valid reason. That said, there are algorithms in place that detect and act on abuse of the voting system. Those wouldn't be applicable here, though. – EEAA Feb 27 '12 at 23:05
  • @EvanCarroll - even if we wanted to, we can't see who voted on what. So... no. – Mark Henderson Feb 27 '12 at 23:07
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    Sounds like we need to get Miniluv involved. – Wesley Feb 27 '12 at 23:09
  • What is miniluv? – Evan Carroll Feb 27 '12 at 23:13
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    @EvanCarroll Pay no attention, simply drop that reference down the nearest memory hole... – voretaq7 Feb 27 '12 at 23:19
  • I accidentally upvoted that comment, can I get that upvote back then? – Evan Carroll Feb 27 '12 at 23:26
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    It went to the sand gophers, they feed off your votes – Tablemaker Feb 27 '12 at 23:31

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