So, to summarize the story, there was a perfectly clear question about a feature in demand


looking for a method to block blacklists of known attackers in one firewall-like server software--something others of its kind already included, and network admins in the field had come to expect.

One probably well-meaning commentator decided to run around screaming "It can't be done! It can't be done! There must be a reason nobody's doing it!!" (factual error). etc.

When presented with a compelling analogy to how email spammers are collected into lists, which are then shared as blacklists to protect the rest before they get spammed (a process that did not always exist, but naturally developed eventually), it seemed that obscure rationalization took place to try and maintain the earlier discouragement with further misinformation and as if resistance to innovation.

Then, as if in shock, disapproved the OP's efforts to go ahead and implement a module that was apparently yet missing in this newer software, shooting it down with irrelevant or ignorant statements. Statements which seemed to pick up popularity. His downvotes were naively amplified by lurkers, possibly due to his landslide advantage of site points (derived from activeness over an extended length of time on this particular forum, basically. Apparently not necessarily from competence).

Then, rather than stand aside to let another "go ahead and do the impossible" (in his opinion), after the OP went ahead and designed, tested and released the missing feature to the public, which could prove to be a greatly valued addition to preemptively thwart attacks esp. on still vulnerable machines, he actually immediately downvoted the answer!

Of course, some of what happened behind the scenes is extrapolated based on Occum's Razor. We are not all omniscient admins on this SE to see who votes how on what & why. Still, the end result impression reflects poorly on this SE itself, or that the self-governing community mechanisms are not perfect and need to be reviewed.

In this case, to be specific, a good starting solution born out of a very real need and timely question, got rewarded with punitive downvotes, loss of points, and negative or misleading comments, however which found more popularity and support from the community. Maybe the lower the points the better, in that case? Or perhaps, they actually indicate what this SE is valued to the user, not what value a user has on this SE.

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    It's rarely ever a good idea to post a rant on meta about being downvoted. Unless you're specifically looking for constructive criticism about why you were downvoted and how to avoid it in the future, all it tends to accomplish is drawing more attention (and downvotes) to the topic in question.
    – Andrew B
    Dec 31, 2014 at 16:25
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    I'm going to start off with full disclosure. I don't know anything about fail2ban or RBLs (it's not really my area). However I believe you're misinterpreting the down votes. This isn't that people are saying your idea won't work. It's that they disagree with the idea. These are 2 different concepts. The idea is that this will discourage others from implementing the same if they found the question. It's like saying "Well sure you could police your own neighborhood, but honestly it's dangerous and probably won't work out well".
    – Reaces
    Dec 31, 2014 at 22:36
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    I pine for the return of the "not professional" close reason, and accompanying requirement...
    – MadHatter
    Jan 2, 2015 at 21:08
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    Marcos, I get that you're upset that you created a feature that you wanted and people downvoted you for posting about it. I don't think your post here is going to do anything but draw more downvotes to your original post, though. Jan 2, 2015 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


I strongly disagree with the goal and tone of your post. A user disagreed with your approach and he made civilized arguments and did not "run around and scream". Obviously, others agreed with him and downvoted your question, but it's entirely possible that the user in question didn't vote at all, neither on the question nor the answer.

Did you consider that it might just be the case that you are wrong, that your analogies are not all that compelling after all and that people where right when downvoting you? Or, alternatively, that this is a matter of opinion where more than one viewpoint is valid and a majority of voters don't share yours?

  • Your analogies are not compelling. Spam blocking and fail2ban style blocking are separate things that share only a superficial resemblance but have rather different implications on the operation of a system.
  • I have a different viewpoint and I don't think your solution is useful and I would likely never consider to use it. This is an informed view based on experience with the crappy band-aid called RBLs. I can see that others might disagree and start to use either your solution or something similar, which is their right.

Quite frankly, I don't get why you are so upset that someone disagreed with you and you lost some fake internet points. If you can't live with this, maybe Serverfault is not the site for you.

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