I totally agree that any of my answers can be be downvoted. The problem is that there is no way to know why. Is there any manner to ask somebody (may be the moderator) to clarify and tell me what I set wrong?

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    $\begingroup$ Clarification for downvote of this post: this was discussed on meta many times — please use search $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    Dec 26, 2013 at 10:47
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    $\begingroup$ Only the downvoter knows the reason why they downvoted. It makes no sense to ask moderators about the reasons for a downvote. $\endgroup$ Dec 26, 2013 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ Related: meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/4250 $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    Dec 26, 2013 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak. I totally agree with you. The problem is that I do not know either who downvoted nor why. $\endgroup$ Dec 26, 2013 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ This also seems related: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/3153/… $\endgroup$ Dec 26, 2013 at 10:57
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak. Thanks for all these good informations. I must confess that I did not know that this problem has been so often addressed. I am sorry to have disturbed. $\endgroup$ Dec 26, 2013 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


It is much rarer for answers to be downvoted than for questions -- the predominant culture here is to comment when an answer has an error, rather than to silently downvote. Here are a few reasons I might downvote your answer without comment:

  • It shows a lack of presentation effort: there are spelling/capitalization errors, math is not Latexed, etc. I would guess this is the reason your recent answer got the downvote.

  • The answer is wrong. Usually I will comment and point out the error, but if the error is egregious (suggests a hopelessly wrong approach, for instance), or you didn't respond to another user's comment in a timely manner, I might downvote instead.

  • The question asks for a hint, and you spoil the full solution.

If you want to ask, in a comment to your question, why you received the downvote, it is OK to do so. But you won't always get an answer.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes: The question asks for a hint, and you spoil the full solution. Or even: someone has already given a hint, and you step on his toes by giving a full solution. $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Dec 27, 2013 at 14:49

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