This is a site where people who are clueless ask question for help. WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE HERE SO MEAN? why do you close questions and downvote them instead of answering?

be nice to others! even if you even think the question is off topic or something DONT DOWNVOTE IT or close it! there are people here with low self esteem that this bad treatment to them can even make them suicidal!

I asked a question here asking for ideas for an app. I knew it could be off topic, but i didnt find any stackexchange site suitable. so I asked, I thought there are some nice people here who would give me ideas. but I got the opposite. I got -6 downvote and it was closed and deleted. and some commented "this is off topic.". they didn't even dare to answer my question. WTF IS THIS TREATEMENT? ARE YOU PEOPLE HERE HUMAN BEINGS? DO YOU HAVE A HEART? I think you don't. ARENT HERE ANY NICE PEOPLE?

I don't really know what you people will get from closing and downvoting questions other than upsetting innocent people and lowering their self esteem. look, if you think a question is offtopic or something, you can kindly comment and tell them that this question is offtopic in a friendly way, but don't downvote innocent questions or close them! whats wrong if innocent people asked for help here? WHY CANT YOU PEOPLE HERE BE NIC FOR ONCE?

like why? why are you all that strict, what would you lose if you were nice to others? please dont downvote or close my question. I am saying an opinion that should be heard and considered.

I am tired of rude people here.

  • 1
    Why is Stack Overflow so negative of late?
    – gnat
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 21:37
  • 3
    There are no nice people here. We're all GIFTs. I personally am a dog and certainly not a human being.
    – DeadMG
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 21:38
  • There is an option to flag someone who is rude - if someone is genuinely rude or offensive I encourage you to use that option. It shows up as a little flag next to the comment and as the word "flag" under an answer. Hope you feel more welcomed. Cheers,
    – Y123
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 21:45
  • 3
    @DeadMG: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f8/Internet_dog.jpg
    – Blrfl
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 22:02
  • 4
    I think the answer you need is "Yep, this site is filled with rude people, you should probably move on elsewhere." Not because that's the truth, but rather because that's the most palatable answer for you. Many, many community members are vested in making sure the site's content is of high quality and there have been many posts provided explaining how to navigate the waters of this site. Invest some time and you'll find some of the brighter minds in the industry, but there is certainly a barrier to entry for active participation. Sorry to see you missed the cues that you should have seen.
    – user53019
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 2:37
  • 1
    If anyone here is being a bit rude, I believe it is you.
    – Chris
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 11:54

2 Answers 2


you can kindly comment and tell them that this question is offtopic in a friendly way, but don't downvote innocent questions or close them

You have come into a fundamental misconception. It's a common one, but it's still a misconception.

Downvotes are not personal.

They are not "attacks", or "hate", or "rudeness".

They are not "punishment" (though they do lose you rep as we'll explore in a moment).

They are a measure of post quality.

If your post is of poor quality (or is simply in the wrong place / on the wrong site), it should have a low score. That's how other visitors, and any automated processes on the site (e.g. rankings, search result filtering) can tell that the post has a poor quality without having to read it and find out for themselves (certainly tricky for those automated processes!).

Similarly, the fact that you lose a little bit of rep when you get downvoted is the reverse consequence of this: you gain a little bit of rep when you get upvoted (in fact, more than you lose from the same number of downvotes!). There's your incentive to instead post good, useful questions that are *gasp* on-topic and *gasp* abide by the rules and values of this Stack Exchange network. It's pretty obvious why the system was designed to encourage you to do that.

It is important to realise that people do not answer questions to help you. This is not a site for you to get help whenever you need it. It is a repository of questions and answers! Your question, and its answers (if any), must be able to help someone else some day. It must be potentially of help for everybody. If it does not, it belongs in a chat room or on a forum. This is not "rude": it is a fact. It is the basis on which the site stands. If that does not suit your needs, you are certainly more than welcome to post the question on a different site that does or, alternatively, hire someone to provide personal training/consultancy.

It is not "rude" to keep the site clean and tidy by downvoting and closevoting when it is appropriate; conversely, it is rather "rude" to come onto the site stomping your feet and shouting at everybody for following all of the above, simply because you failed to research and/or comprehend the purpose of this website.

How do I know you haven't performed that research? Well, it was a bit of a clue when you posted this rant on the main site instead of meta, making it off-topic.

  • 3
    "This is not a site for you to get help whenever you need it." That's just... so wrong.
    – Columbo
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 21:47
  • @DonLarynx: Tell the person who wrote it! Commented May 12, 2015 at 21:49
  • "Downvotes are not personal." In most cases, yeah, but to say emotions are never involved is incorrect. Ever heard of the "meta effect"? :)
    – nick
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 21:50
  • okay, at least thank you in explaining to me in a way that is not rude. but you should know that many people are very "sensitive" and they take it very personally. just consider them.
    – Angel
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 22:02
  • 1
    @Columbo That's just... Optimizing For Pearls, Not Sand "We feel that the world is awash in questions..."
    – gnat
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 22:07
  • @gnat If not for your benefit primarily, who are you asking questions for? Do you seriously think such an enormous amount of questions would have been asked for the "gain of the community" itself, and to produce brilliant answers? The majority exists because someone needed help with an issue, e.g. understand or fix sth. Perhaps I just didn't the consider the context of that phrase, either.
    – Columbo
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 22:11
  • 1
    @Columbo borrowing from prior comment, "Tell the person who wrote it!"
    – gnat
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 22:14
  • @Angel: To be perfectly blunt, we cannot optimise for them or we'd have no time left over for our families after spending twice as long trying to keep SE relevant, tidy and useful. I'm not apathetic to the overly-sensitive, but honestly that's their responsibility to deal with, not mine. :) Commented May 12, 2015 at 22:15
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    @Columbo If you look at my network profile you will see I have asked 51 questions across the entire SE network. I would guess that for every question I have asked, I have searched for two more that already had an answer. I am guessing around 67% of the time someone else's question and answer solved my problem. Think about all the people who type their problem into Google and up comes SO, Programmers, or another SE site with the same question answered. That is what this answer is about.
    – user22815
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 2:02
  • "downvotes are taken so damn personal..."
    – gnat
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 23:00
  • 1
    Huh, mods have silently modified my prior comments. WTF. Commented May 14, 2015 at 23:24
  • This clears up some of my own misconceptions across the stack community. I was always confused why some of my questions could fall in the scope of site rules, but still be down-voted, now I get it. That said, I don't necessarily agree with that dynamic, if the question is a site fit then it should be acceptable. However, there seems to be a level of subjectivity across stack sites which users need to conform too.. it is what it is I guess.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 18:53

I'm going to pick a particular bit out to address:

I asked a question here asking for ideas for an app. I knew it could be off topic, but i didnt find any stackexchange site suitable

If you knew it was going to be off topic, and there aren't any Stack Exchange sites suitable, it should come as no surprise that if it was asked on one it would be down voted and closed.

Stack Exchange is a Q&A site - not a discussion forum. We really don't do polls (which you are looking for) or discussions well. The layout of the site, the way it works just doesn't make a good way to handle those questions.

It does work for the Q&A where there is a problem and a solution. That particular aspect of it makes it so that it attracts the people who are here for asking, reading, and writing such material.

If you want ideas for what to write, there are other avenues (rather than a Q&A site). There are numerous discussion forums and chat networks where such questions would be appropriate (they also, incidentally, tend not to do Q&A well).

The Q&A format optimizes for one type of question at the cost of making others not appropriate to ask in the format. I've yet to find a site that does all things well.

Since you were asking a poll, the question was down voted, closed, and deleted because it wouldn't generate good material for the site.

Down voting and closing are the two things that most users can do to moderate questions. They are not statements about the person who posted the question and should not be taken as such.

Down votes help show people what is worth their time to read and possibly answer. It also helps serve as some feedback to the person who asked the question about the applicability of the post on the site.

Closing questions is an essential part of moderating questions that either are inappropriate to the site to prevent them from getting answers (this isn't rude but rather an essential part of site maintenance, possibly giving the person time to fix the question so that it is appropriate for the site - its easier to do if there are no answers).

Open questions that are polls tend to inevitably get lots of poor answers. While having a question closed quickly may be a bad experience for one user, having a question closed and deleted in a few days that is a poll that has a dozen answers is a bad experience for a dozen people. We'd rather avoid that second situation if possible.

Again, with this understanding, predicting the outcome for asking a question known to be off topic shouldn't be surprising and is certainly not indicative of malicious intent or rudeness.

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