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Why did my question get a downvote?

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Currently, there is no consensus about whether to provide tooltips for the voting buttons (especially the downvote one). However, the community now includes quite a lot of questions that attracted downvotes and sometimes this created long debates in comments and flagging.

I would like for us to define a few answers for the "Why did my question get a downvote?".

This should help us in providing a reference to a downvote reason, if one "standard" one is appropriate.

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2 answers

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For me the following reasons might lead to downvoting:

  • Posts that are not related to a specific programming issue, but are rather meant to start a discussion. Example

  • Asking for software products differences, unless it is directly connected to software development and asks about one or very few product features. Example

  • There are virtually no attempts of trying a library or framework to solve the problem (pseudocode is fine for the very beginners) Example 1, example 2, example 3.

  • Asking for resources without showing any effort and/or connection to a software development goal. Example

  • The question can be easily answered by a simple copy-paste from the library or framework documentation

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2nd point should be narrowed down further imo (2 comments)
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I believe this should be answered by the downvoters on a case by case basis. Only they know the particular reason they downvoted that particular question.

I am not a fan of canned feedback, because it often is overly generic and subject to interpretation. Often, more concrete feedback is both clearer and more useful.

For instance, consider this example:

The question shows too little research effort. Showing your work is important because ...

versus

Isn't this answered by the Wikipedia article on data compression?

The generic feedback leaves OP in the lurch, because it doesn't tell him where he should have searched.

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2 comment threads

On the other hand, if it isn't obvious what the OP should have searched, then IMHO the downvote is no... (4 comments)
Purpose of this post (1 comment)

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