I can see the point for some question, but a lot of these questions are decent, yet have 0 or negative rating. I asked about coupling, cohesion, and using packages - down voted. Now it's in the post graveyard - never to be answered.

It seems that people only want to be asked questions that they like.


4 Answers 4


SE.SE has long had (and still has) the problem that the relative percentage of bad, off-topic, too broad, and opinion-based questions is higher than on other sites, and that the absolute number of such questions is quite high in relation to the relatively small number of active contributors. In short, the individual contributor has to deal with more bad questions than on other sites.

SO, for example, has of course many more bad questions, but it also has orders of magnitude more contributors to deal with them. Plus, it has tools like the Triage queue to handle this, which we on SE.SE don't have, although we asked for it many times.

As a result, we try to do everything we can to make sure that visitors to the site only see on-topic, well-worded, well-crafted, well-written, well-formatted, specific, objective, interesting, answerable questions. In particular, we make sure that our homepage is a repository of examples of how to ask good questions.

The problem is that a homepage which is full of off-topic questions is both off-putting to people trying to ask a good questions as well as inviting people to ask bad questions (after all, they can always point to an existing bad question as an example of what exists on the site).

Questions that are down-voted disappear from the homepage. Also, questions that are down-voted are eligible to be voted on for deletion, which makes them invisible to users with less 10000 reputation points.

As a result of all of the above, down-voting of questions is somewhat more aggressive here on SE.SE than it is on other sites with less questions (where they have other means to effectively and efficiently deal with bad questions) or sites with larger communities (where there are more people available to distribute the load, and also people don't really go the homepage of SO, but people do visit the homepage of SE.SE).

These are special things that apply on this site in addition to what applies in general to the entire Stack Exchange network, which is that down-voting, closure, and deletion are not permanent and not the end of the road, but rather an invitation to improve the question, so that it can be undeleted, re-openend and upvoted.

This question you asked, for example, was completely and utterly off-topic because it had nothing whatsoever to do with Software Engineering. However, for this particular question, there was an even faster way than down-voting and deleting it to get it off the site: migrating it to where it is on-topic.

Your other question suffers from the fact that it is unclear, it is too broad, it hides crucial information in an off-site link instead of presenting it in question where it belongs, plus it even uses techniques which are typical of spammers and hides the target of the link behind a link redirection service. So, if this was my question, I would put all the relevant information in the question, including answering the question raised in the comments, narrow down the question to a concrete, focused, clear example, and try to define my terms better. For example, you identify as a root cause of your problems the fact that Python doesn't have "explicit type declarations", but actually Python does have explicit type declarations for many years now, so you need to explain a) why you think that explicit type declarations would help you, and b) why Python's existing explicit type declarations don't help you.


Bad questions should be downvoted. That helps people know they're considered bad. But I think it's true that many good questions here don't get nearly the voting attention as their answers. When we see an interesting question it's natural to focus on the answer. Which is fine but we should reward good questions if we want more good questions. So vote on them.


One of the biggest problems in this field is that there is so much to learn, we have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes. So often times questions are misguided or would literally require volumes of books to answer thoroughly.

And of course the person making the question is no expert, or otherwise they wouldn't be making the question in the first place.

However let me stress that such questions should be downvoted just the same. Remember that you're downvoting the question, not the asker. Hopefully they will re-evaluate their question and form it differently, with the help of some helpful hints.

  • The problem seems to be that there are no helpful hints provided, just the downvote. Even a simple canned comment on what to improve to make the question better could potentially help a lot here...
    – TommyF
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 8:23
  • 1
    the problem is even canned comments that have been peer reviewed for niceness just tend to draw negative attention to the commenter ( who is assumed to be the downvoter ) so the vote/move on mantra applies here as well as StackOverflow, maybe not a much but still I would rather not see nasty/rude stuff in my inbox from either site.
    – user7519
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 16:47

There's nothing wrong for it. People will downvote poor questions and answers here.

  • 7
    And poor answers...
    – David Arno
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 4:34

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