I have no idea why this question here


has been downvoted in spite of many people answering it and I gave the answer myself got upvotes too but for some weird reason I got downvotes and I can't even ask on Mathematics section of Stack Exchange. Please see for yourself and if you find the question appropriate and inside the guidelines of the site, which it is please upvote it so that I can ask more questions on here. Thanks in advance!

No question in my account is on suspension and no question is on on hold. So I don't know why I'm not allowed to ask. Stack Exchange would certainly not disallow me to ask questions due to just two downvotes.

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    $\begingroup$ This question is entirely unclear. You've tagged this as a bug. What is the bug? That you got two downvotes? Complaining about downvotes on meta is a sure way to attract more downvotes. If something else is the issue, please be clear about it, and don't focus on the fact your question has been downvoted. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 9 '16 at 13:02
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    $\begingroup$ Could you be more specific about this: I can't even ask on Mathematics section of stackexchange? What exactly is the message you get when you try to post a new question? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jul 9 '16 at 13:11
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    $\begingroup$ One reason could be it is perceived as strange you answer this question a couple minutes after you had asked it. Also two of your questions in fact are closed. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 9 '16 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ You talk about "not being able to ask" -- you can't post new questions to the site? You should ask that as a separate question from "why was I downvoted". $\endgroup$ – user14972 Jul 10 '16 at 7:20

It sounds like there are several issues going on here.

  • The votes on the question itself. In its original state, it was rather unclear: The formatting was bad, the title was vague, it was mistagged, you didn't say how you got the derivative, and it ended with a request for "reach[ing] to any confusion." Although these issues were pretty much fixed by revision 4, that's enough time to get some downvotes. The question went back downhill with revision 5, because of the complaint about votes and the unnecessary inclusion of the all-caps "SOLVED" in the title.

  • All that being said, the question is now in a pretty fine state - it's reasonably clear and concise. A lot of the downvotes it currently has are due to this meta post, I assume. People frequently pile on questions when the author complains about negative votes on meta. In this case, your request for upvotes in this meta question makes it even more likely that people will downvote the main question.

  • Answering your own question doesn't exempt the original post from downvotes. Bad questions can have good answers and vice-versa - and a lot of the time, people vote on questions and answers pretty independently.

  • The question ban that you seem to be under is not due to a couple of downvotes. Out of your nine questions on main, two are closed and only one out of nine is positively scored. Six are at zero score and two are negatively scored. The details of the question ban algorithm are not public, but several negative responses with almost no consistent positive response is probably going to trigger it.


Let's be honest here. The downvotes are because the question is easy, and in retaliation for asking about it on meta.

To anyone who doesn't believe this, consider the following two thought experiments:

  • is there any conceivable way this question could have been asked, such that it wouldn't get downvoted to oblivion?

  • is there any conceivable way a person could ask about why they got downvoted (either here on meta, or in the original question), without getting downvoted even more?

It's not fair, and it's contradictory to the site platform (we're supposed to be open to mathematical questions at any level), but this is the reality of the current voting culture on this website.

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    $\begingroup$ Questions a lot simpler than the one in question get asked; sometimes there are problems for them but it can work well too. I explained a specific issue that seems like a quite plausible cause to me. It feels not quite honest from you to ignore this. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 9 '16 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ The second point is admittedly very hard to get right (and I agree it can be unfortunate), but it is also not an automatism that there is a backlash. You can see a recent example that worked very well for the asker; the math involved is not that much harder. The reaction does depend on how the asker goes about the problem. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 9 '16 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ Well, answering your own questions is allowed and even explicitly encouraged (see here), so if that is the reason, then it is perhaps even a worse reason to downvote. $\endgroup$ – Nick Alger Jul 9 '16 at 23:02
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    $\begingroup$ This is besides the point, as it is well known that some users (not me btw) see this differently on principle. Moreover, and more importantly, there are several ways to go about this. Good ways include: post Q&A at the same time; post A with significant delay. To post the A like 10 minutes after posting the Q, and 5 minutes after having received two answers and selfacc is a strange thing to do. You can read other specific problems with the post in question in T. Bongers answer; do check out the revision and the timeline. The site can be harsh, but almost always the harshness is not arbitrary. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 9 '16 at 23:06

Unexplained down-votes are useless as a method of making known to the poster what is objectionable about the posting and thus improving the quality of postings. It is more plausible that someone down-voted your posting because he mistakenly thinks you're having an affair with his wife than that he had a good reason that he's not willing to explain. Of course, what is more plausible than either the "affair" explanation or the good-reason explanation is that there's a bad reason: he was in a bad mood or he thought that he should down-vote all postings in which the poster made a mistake in mathematics, or yet another, less innocent. (The bad reasons I just cited are not altogether innocent. The first is a minor sin; the second is weightier.) I think some posters here think they should make a habit of going about from posting to posting down-voting everything they think at first glance is bad. Maybe they rationalize it to themselves with the specious reasoning that if bad things get down-voted, they might occur less often. People who've actually thought about that will readily see reasons why that is not true.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not your down-voter, but this doesn't seem to address either of the two issues the OP seems to me to ask about, at least not directly. $\endgroup$ – hardmath Jul 9 '16 at 22:55
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    $\begingroup$ If other people downvote bad things, I'll see them less often. $\endgroup$ – user14972 Jul 10 '16 at 7:02
  • $\begingroup$ @hardmath : It does address the question. $\qquad$ $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Jul 10 '16 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ To eliminate any confusion, "I'll see them less often" is an assertion about the frequency with which I'll see them, not about the frequency with which they get posted. $\endgroup$ – user14972 Jul 10 '16 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ Why would others' downvoting things prevent you from seeing them? $\qquad$ $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Jul 10 '16 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ For answers, you can sort by votes. For questions, meta.stackexchange.com/questions/138366/… ; if I understand the description, enough downvotes and it won't be considered at all in the default display, and otherwise downvotes bump a question down in the ordering. (also, I can avoid clicking on downvoted questions that survive this if I still don't want to open them) $\endgroup$ – user14972 Jul 10 '16 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Hurkyl : There is such a thing as morality. Your comment evades that fact. If you need to comment on this, can you tell me with specificity whether something is incorrect in what I posted above? $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Aug 7 '17 at 5:26
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelHardy: Is morality involved here? A year after the fact (and with all temporal context lost), this answer simply looks like an acrimonious rant to me, and strongly indicative that you had completely missed a point. The comment thread (from which some comments seem to have been deleted) seems aimed at correcting that, and furthermore seems to have been successful in making you aware of a relevant feature. I understand neither the point of reviving this in situ, nor of attacking the thread. $\endgroup$ – user14972 Aug 7 '17 at 6:55
  • $\begingroup$ (mind you, when I say that I don't understand, I'm deliberately overlooking some of the less flattering avenues of understanding, such as the possibility you're trolling) $\endgroup$ – user14972 Aug 7 '17 at 7:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Hurkyl : There seems to be a clique of self-appointed enforcers of quality who down-vote and close things and usually get decisions right in the easiest cases, but not unusually get them wrong, and cases involving any little bit of subtlety are over their heads, and they seem not to suspect that. And they are intolerant of disagreement with their behavior. They frequently bite newbies and sometimes are disrespectful to others, all as a result of their unawareness that some situations are not as cut-and-dried as those that are. $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Aug 7 '17 at 19:58

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