On my first 10 posts I have got over 80% of downvoting (by the same guy!). Though I am more repelled by the anonymous downvoting.

Now, after over 100 posts I have downvoting over 300%.

A few guys have over 60-95% rate of downvoting of all my posts.

SF should have a sanity check filter for downvoting newcomers. It just repels new professionals from SF

  • 6
    How can you possibly know who down-voted you since voting is anonymous ?
    – Zoredache
    Commented Aug 14, 2010 at 20:51
  • I'm fairly certain he believes that I'm the one downvoting all of his stuff (I'm not).
    – GregD
    Commented Aug 15, 2010 at 4:26
  • From what I've seen, newcomers who ask and answer sensibly and with knowledge don't have a problem with downvotes. Does this give you any clues? Commented Aug 15, 2010 at 22:19
  • @GregD, there's probably a few of us he thinks are downvoting him who haven't actually done it a single time... like those who comment/answer his "questions".
    – Chris S
    Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 16:32

3 Answers 3


This is definitely not a good idea, if anything SF users are not aggressive enough in down voting poor questions and a restriction like this would only make sense if there was a real pattern of down voting simply because the question was being asked by a newcomer - that is not something I've ever noticed.

What SF has is a definite pattern of down voting poorly constructed, rambling, off topic or otherwise defective questions and that is as it should be. That description covers all of the questions in the sample of the down-voted and closed questions of yours that I've just looked at.

If you want to avoid downvotes then pay attention to the comments that folks have left on your questions - if you listened to even half of the advice that I've just read in comments to your questions then you would probably not get downvoted at all.

SF is a SysAdmin site for asking professional Systems Administration questions - when you add in comments like the following you are going to get a negative reaction. If your questions were clear, concise and useful you might just get away with this but when you seem to bring nothing to the table this is a bad way to encourage your readers to upvote rather than downvote your content.

I respect sysadmins but they usually do not care what devs need and from this discussion and other my exps I can make even worse generalizations abnout their cognitive abilities. There is no point to waste the time for more complicate configurations and deployments if sysadmins cannot help/answer even with simplest/primitive questions
Original here.

There is a valid question in there - it can be asked in a single, short and clear paragraph. If you did it that way it would get a more positive response.


I'm not sure you understand quite how much time and effort some of the SF users put into their answers. It's significant. When you give flippant responses to their advice, and/or don't bother to thoroughly read what they've pointed you toward - you're telling them, "My time is more important than yours".

My advice is to kill with kindness. Treat everyone who's posted an answer as if they are helping you to do your job FOR FREE. Be sincere, appreciative, and spend a lot of time making sure you've studied what they've said/linked before responding. Re-read what you write, to make sure it can't be interpreted as rude (this is a valuable and difficult skill).

Reputation is intended to represent the community's view of the user's technical skill, true. But let's be honest - we're human. It also reflects that person's ability to communicate clearly and effectively. If you are very talented technically, a low reputation score may reflect the community impression that your communication skills need some work.

How to Ask Smart Questions has been linked here in the past, and it's quite helpful in understanding the unique culture of forums of this kind, though some of it can be skipped, the "How to Interpret Answers" section is something I try to re-read from time to time.

  • 1
    +1 "But let's be honest - we're human. It also reflects that person's ability to communicate clearly and effectively." I would go as far as saying that the ability to communicate clearly and effectively is part of what makes a good sysadmin. If something is unclear or confusing, it could very well cause more damage than good.
    – MDMarra
    Commented Aug 15, 2010 at 0:12
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    "Strong written and oral communication skills," is a line-item on nearly all sysadmin job postings I've ever seen. It's because the datacenter-troll version of sysadmin is not useful for most companies.
    – sysadmin1138 Mod
    Commented Aug 15, 2010 at 0:29

It's unlikely that it's just one or two people doing all the downvoting. It's obvious from the comments you've gotten that many people find your questions be rambling and hard to decipher, and they've voted accordingly. Since you keep posting the same sort of questions and comments, it's no surprise that you continue to get downvotes.

What it comes down to is that multiple people have indicated they have problems with your posts, so if keep posting the same way, you're going to keep getting downvotes.

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