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The wisdom on the site seems to be that we should ignore downvotes when there is no good reason for them. I'm trying to be wise. But twice in the last 2 days I've been downvoted on answers that were both correct and quite nice because they were simple and didn't rely on any advanced theorems. In both cases the comments tell me that the user really did not understand what he/she was reading (maybe it was too simple?).

Can you offer any advice? Is it good for the site to have correct answers downvoted by people who don't know what they are doing? Is there anything that counterbalances this? Shall I stick to the site-wisdom and ignore this?

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    $\begingroup$ It's not all about correctness, you need to also be clear. The fact that people don't understand your answers to the extent that they think you are wrong indicates that you should take some additional time and make sure your formatting is sensible, you have a good paragraph structure, etc. This is especially true if, as you claim, your answers are elementary. $\endgroup$ – Karl Kronenfeld Sep 13 '13 at 0:53
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    $\begingroup$ I looked at some of your downvoted answers. One had several typos and not quite correct statements, even if the general idea was correct. Others were phrased in rather confusing terms. I agree with Karl's suggestions. $\endgroup$ – Andrés E. Caicedo Sep 13 '13 at 1:01
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    $\begingroup$ @KarlKronenfeld, naturally I try to be clear. Evidently I do not always succeed. $\endgroup$ – Betty Mock Sep 13 '13 at 7:37
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    $\begingroup$ I will withdraw the complaint. Thanks to all who helped. $\endgroup$ – Betty Mock Sep 13 '13 at 7:37
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Sometimes criticism is actually correct.

Checking your recent answers, I see two with a -2 score, which I assume are the answers you refer to.

  • One question, while factually correct (if you fix what are presumably typos), is an answer to an (IMO) extremely unlikely interpretation of an unclear problem statement.
  • The other question has a factual error: $a^2 = b^2$ does not imply $ab^{-1} = ba^{-1}$. Your comment has a factual error as well: none of its subgroups of $S_3$ of order 2 are normal. (the order 3 subgroup is the only proper normal subgroup)
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    $\begingroup$ that is correct, and when pointed out I am happy to accept that I made an error. $\endgroup$ – Betty Mock Sep 13 '13 at 7:35

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