I have a question about my Software Engineering Stack Exchange post: Are data attributes good identifiers of certain blocks of HTML code?

What exactly made my question worthy of down-votes? I tried to be as concise as possible, follow the golden-rule for other stacks that seems to work well, that is, repeat what you said just once, but with different words to provide a clearer image, but bang - it didn't work.

On my last account that I lost, no matter what question I'd have to ask the SE people, they'd always down-vote it, even if it's highly "architecture" oriented.

I just don't understand, how can this stack be so different from others and what exactly can I do to improve?

Personally, I don't agree with the decision of a few, that, through their votes decided it's a bad question (given my knowledge of the Stack as of now), but you gotta learn to play ball the way the others want you to if you need their help. In short, to me, even with my past account, where I've had quite some reputation on other stacks, this seems like there's a few hardcore people whose only job is to down-vote anything that's not insanely technical, arcane or can't be answered only by these who can work out the time complexity of an algorithm even before they finished reading a quarter of it.

I've looked at other questions and this seems to be the case. Here are a few:

Negative: Naming convention for Docker images.

A pretty good question, not technical, but it definitely is part of a programmer's day-to-day life and it can have a pretty big impact. Of course, the question has the usual "it's up to you and your team" air around it, but it's not like that. Following PSRs in my PHP code changed the way my code is perceived, for the better, so, as with this person, I would've asked here about it too, had I not known it was the way to go.

Positive: Why is multithreading often preferred for improving performance?

Straight-up, deeply technical answers expected.

Of course, I've looked at many more questions and you can clearly see a trend.

Edit: Just got a few down-votes on SO after writing that / this question. Come on, guys, what is this stack?

2 Answers 2


Are data attributes good identifiers of certain blocks of HTML code?

I'm not sure why this question is being down voted or why it has a close vote. The question before the edit was a little broad, but the edit provided additional data to help justify an approach. It seems like a good fit to me.

Naming convention for Docker images.

This question is not a good fit. It's asking for an industry standard. Although the correct answer is that there isn't an industry standard, we've noticed that questions like this tend to draw opinions. Instead of someone indicating that there isn't a standard, many people tend to post their own opinions on what the correct thing to do is. This leads to a popularity contest and isn't a good fit for the Stack Exchange format.

Why is multithreading often preferred for improving performance?

On the surface, it appears to be too broad. If this question was newly posted today, I think that it would likely get at least some down and close votes from the community. However, it's a 6 year old question. The community had different expectations 6 years ago for what made a good question. The existing answers also prove that good answers can be provided in the space allocated and it doesn't appear to be drawing large numbers of opinions, but fact based answers.

  • regarding that data attributes question, I just clicked through closing dialog to find out more and it looks like someone felt it's about coding help. That seems somewhat reasonable because quickly skimming over question text made the same impression on me. Although after a closer look I think that the vote was cast by mistake and question indeed is a good fit here, especially after the edit (after first skimming I gave it a second, more thorough read to decide whether to add my own close vote on it)
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 9:01

I share the same experience as you do. The best community I'm participating in is UX.SE, where you encourage users. In here though, there are quite a few regular down-voters. The top one must be a user having 83'690 down-votes of his total of 88'819 votes.

That doesn't encourage users, and I'm thinking of letting this site go out of my network profile for good.


However, reading the infamous question Why should I use a factory class instead of direct object construction? with high quality answer makes me want to stay on. Here is so much to learn!

  • 2
    Well, I mean, encouragement or not, it doesn't matter, quality posts should be appreciated more than these who are not deemed as quality, but it just seems to me, after what I believe to be a throughout research, that, indeed, there are some black-belt programmers who despise any "non-challenging" questions.
    – coolpasta
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 12:43
  • @coolpasta Sure! But there's no need to down-vote. We're all here to learn, have different sets of skills and don't need the harrassment from elitists. It drives people away, and the site will eventually die. Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 17:13
  • 3
    Downvotes aren't harrasment. Votes should be indicators of trust/quality/usefulness (see tooltip over vote buttons), and should be used freely in both directions. (The discussion tag on meta is of course the exception, where votes indicate agreement.) I'm super thankful for gnat's voting. Sure it looks bad but he's doing a lion's share of the work of keeping this site on topic. I don't know how you manage as a mod of UX without closing and deleting questions that are off topic.
    – amon
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 20:16
  • @amon Over at UX we sure have our fair share of off topic questions, and we close them as well. But there are signs in this meta that down-voting is an issue. One down-vote isn't harassment, but repeated and targeted down-votes are, which you as mod knows. IMHO most of the post receiving down-votes here doesn't deserve it. Currently you have 10 of the newest 15 questions with negative voting score. To me that isn't a healthy sign. Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 20:38
  • 3
    That's a recurring complaint but I still don't know how to solve it. Many askers seem to think this site is Stack Overflow for opinion-based questions. The rebranding from Programmers to Software Engineering didn't help enough. Ironically, downvoting helps us normal users make the community look less negative: at -3 I can cast fast-delete votes, at -4 a question disappears from the front page. In theory that means more space for good, on-topic questions. Part of the problem is that there are few high-rep users participating in moderation, so many questions wait >20hrs for the final close vote.
    – amon
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 9:16
  • @amon It's hard to prove targeted down-votes. We have the same problem at SharePoint.SE and UX.SE. Not much to do here really, since votes aren't shown to anyone. I'll do my best to help mod, when I have the rep to do so. I'm going to stay since the site is to valuable to me in my new position at work. Thanks for being patient with me :-) Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 9:30

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