Firstly, I'm not asking this question to judge any member's freedom of giving downvotes nor am I judging their decisions. However, I've been wondering why I'm sometimes getting serial downvotes to my questions which takes much interest, get answers and comments such as this one with 3 downvotes

The StackExchange explains downvotes as 'This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful'.

However, the aforementioned question (and the priors encountered the same issue if it's an issue) includes research effort and clear (that would be subjective to decide as an OP whether it is useful or not).

If you provide a possible explanation, that might be helpful for the ELL and English Language StackExchange too because I can self-filter this kind of questions of myself and try to reach answers on another platform maybe. However, that is impossible now as I don't see any problem with it.

1 Answer 1


First off Orhan, in general, I find your questions clear and concise, showing a good amount of effort to try and answer the question yourself first. Further, I went through your last 30 or so questions, and disregarding closed and deleted ones, I only found 1 or 2 downvotes, so I'm not sure what you mean by "serial downvotes".

As for your linked question, it's also fine in my view, and I'm a bit disappointed to see it has received negative attention (though it only has one downvote... maybe some people felt bad after reading this and recanted??).

I don't ask a lot of questions on this site, so I don't know how common downvotes are on questions, or how seriously to take them, but I have a couple guesses about why that linked question once had three downvotes.

My first guess is that you originally posted the question in EL&U, where it was off-topic for being about learning English, and someone there got snippy.

My second guess is that the meaning of "for" in that context is one of the basic common dictionary definitions, and you didn't consider that in your question.

But I'm no mind reader, so who knows. Both of my guesses are things you can close vote for, so maybe your downvoters didn't know the difference between downvoting and close voting, or they don't yet have close vote privileges, so they expressed their disapproval with a downvote instead.

And while we strongly encourage people to leave informative comments along with their downvotes, most people are conflict-averse and would rather stay anonymous, even if it means you never know what the problem was.

So, long story short, in my humble opinion, your questions are high quality, I enjoy answering them as written, and don't see any persistent issues.

  • Thank you @gotube to make the information in my question more clear: it had 3 downvotes and I suppose then it got upvotes.
    – user138449
    Oct 2, 2022 at 21:54
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    I had supposed that "serial downvotes" on SE were consecutive votes maliciously cast in a campaign against an individual, out of spite, revenge for imagined slights, etc, and not necessarily because of quality judgements. Oct 2, 2022 at 22:00
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    @orhantorun This site counts upvotes and downvotes separately. People with high enough reputation can see both. If that question had -3 votes before, it means more than one user has removed their downvote from your question, because right now it has only one downvote, along with 3 upvotes. Have any of your other downvotes disappeared since you asked this Meta question?
    – gotube Mod
    Oct 2, 2022 at 22:37
  • @gotube They have not, as I observed. What I thought was there was '+10' notification and -2 downvotes when I asked this Meta question so I draw on the conclusion that it had 3 downvotes.
    – user138449
    Oct 3, 2022 at 1:04
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    @MichaelHarvey Nope, of course there is nothing maliciously against an individual (me) here. The title might be misleading, sorry, I'm changing it with 'multiple'.
    – user138449
    Oct 3, 2022 at 1:06

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