First, I think I will get minus too here or blocked

I don't know why I want know this so why when I am looking at question list so many minus point on question here so they are asking about programming not other, so this programmers forum or not?

What is the difference with Stack Overflow? So many question about programmer there but just little question got minus and I know that must got minus because asking about cyber crime or other bad but here so many good question got minus why?

  • 2
    Which question do you mean?
    – Oded
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 9:19
  • 4
    Please review the FAQ both here and on Stack Overflow for information on the difference between the sites
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 9:21
  • 9
    "programmers forum or not?" - the answer is not because this is not a forum to start with
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 10:44
  • 1
    Lots of people seem obsessed with -ve votes on M.P.SE... maybe more constructive would be to encourage better questions?
    – Andrew
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 10:35
  • 2
    @Andrew voting is different on meta
    – Ryathal
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 12:12
  • 1
    @Andrew I agree with you. Its so hard to tell what's a downvote due to disagreement, what's a downvote because users think its a bad idea, and what's a downvote for any other reason (bad grammar, shows no research, dislike the tone, perceived non-issue, etc). I would much rather have a comment instead of a downvote, and have that comment get votes based on the # of people who agree with it. As it is, downvotes could mean any number of things, and its almost impossible to know the actual reason for it. Furthermore, I think they drive users away from using meta, which I view as a bad thing
    – Rachel
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 19:37

2 Answers 2


Programmers, as well as Stack Overflow have their own areas of concern.

These are details in the different FAQ sections of each site - questions get downvotes in these sites for many different reasons:

  • Question may be off topic (as detailed in the FAQ)
  • It may be a bad question (that is, very unclear)
  • A question could be starting an argument (again, against the FAQ)
  • It may be impossible to answer (again, against the FAQ)

People vote to say that they find problems with the question - downvoting is our mechanism to identify questions that do not belong.

  • Thanks for replays,that is my problems because i never look at FAQ on Programmers.stackexchange i think same as stack overflow soz thank you anyway
    – BlackLotus
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 9:25
  • 4
    The downvotes mostly happen because a site that appears at first glance to be about "general programming questions" encourages unanswerable forum-like "questions" such as "which language should I use for project X?", "is language X out of date?", "why don't we see people using language X more often?", "what project should I start next?", etc. Many of these questions are simply unanswerable with objective facts. Also, compared with the straightforward nature of stackoverflow, programmers takes a bit of time to absorb the FAQ to understand exactly what the site is supposed to be about. Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 18:53

I've also noticed that and here is a theory which isn't rosy, but maybe there is some truth:

In an area which has little testable results and which is technical/geeky, there is a lot of polarization. People religiously feel they are right and discredit other opinions.

While there are just as many ill-posed questions in other forums, they don't seem to be downvoted so much as on stackprogrammers. Questions which are perfectly fine (or are even favourited and upvoted a lot later) are downvoted, because some people read the headline only and feel the urge to proof others wrong.

I've seen a similar effect in science. Where results are not conclusive, "experts" start fighting for their own theory and write nasty emails to each other. This can happen because none if them can be proven wrong, but stricly no-one is right either. Really clever experts are absolutely convinced of completely opposing ideas given the same data set.

On stackoverflow you write code, which fails if you get it wrong. On stackprogrammers it's opinions.

To sum up: Untestability + Geek = Discreditation spiral

  • 3
    Some examples of perfectly fine questions that were downvoted?
    – yannis
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 11:53
  • 4
    "none can be proven wrong, but stricly no-one is right either". That means the question deserves a downvote. See this blogpost
    – MSalters
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 13:02
  • 2
    It's a plausible theory, but I haven't noticed it happening myself. Examples might help clarify.
    – psr
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 19:01

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