I have an answer here from 4.5 years ago that just got downvoted. Not a work of genius I admit, but workmanlike I'd say. I didn't directly answer the questioner but rather, in the spirit of the site as I understood it, gave some hints.

Reason I'm asking this question on meta is that I have had one or two experiences before of a reasonable answer being downvoted and then very shortly afterwards the whole q&a disappears. Which seems to be an abuse of downvoting an answer in order to be able to remove the q&a as a whole.

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    $\begingroup$ related $\endgroup$ – user99914 Jan 10 '18 at 20:44
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps it's part of a general trend of more aggressive downvoting. I had the same thing happen to me recently (my only answer with a negative score). Anyway, I upvoted your answer since it seems reasonable to me and at the very least does not deserve a downvote. $\endgroup$ – Qudit Jan 10 '18 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ Can I post to meta for every old (like 4 to five or six or six-and-a-half) answer of mine that has been downvoted in the past six months? It's not uncommon, though of course, suspect. Believe it or not there are folks who spend too much time in the past (posts), and other times, could be a newerish, or not new user doing what we hope they do before posting a question: search for it, because more likely than not, it's been asked and answered before. It is not at all surprising that such a user encounters the question you answered 4.5 years ago, and didn't think much of it. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Jan 10 '18 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnMa Your suggested "related link" assumes that the only reason any post, especially those from the days of yore, are likely victims of efforts to delete the question. That's absurd. I think my scenario is far more likely than yours. Or perhaps the asker would like to read the following post about "late downvotes": related $\endgroup$ – amWhy Jan 10 '18 at 22:14
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    $\begingroup$ @TooTone Please answer my question in my first comment. You seem to think that an unexpected downvote gives you immediate access to meta math to let everyone know it. Most likely, someone simply did not think the answer, or the question, were good (having come across it when looking or searching for an answer to a question). But, tell me, would you encourage everyone, ever, who's received a "late" downvote, to post about it to meta, and post for each and every suspected "late" downvote? $\endgroup$ – amWhy Jan 10 '18 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ There are/were no indications that anyone was trying to close, or delete the question. The sole close vote to the question came after you posted here the link to your answer and with it, the question you answered, to complain, and hypothesize that some conspiracy is going on. Perhaps your answer was meh, and someone thought, after searching for answers to a similar question, didn't find your answer helpful or useful. Period. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Jan 10 '18 at 22:26
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    $\begingroup$ Apologies for posting on meta -- it's happened before (more than once I think) which is why I posted. Having apologised I think you are characterising my behaviour: "You seem to think that an unexpected downvote gives you immediate access to meta math to let everyone know it." If you look at my stack exchange profile you will see I've been active on multiple sites, have posted ~10 times on different meta sites, both questions and answers, and this is the first time I've ever complained about downvotes (I've received more than a few, some justified). But I do take your point, nevertheless! $\endgroup$ – TooTone Jan 10 '18 at 22:27
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhy In particular I had an experience (at least) once before where a reasonable answer (actually a decent one, better than the one I referred to here), was downvoted, and then the whole q&a was deleted. But you're right there might be a much more innocent, and simpler :), explanation! $\endgroup$ – TooTone Jan 10 '18 at 22:33
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    $\begingroup$ I'm sorry if I came across too harshly. I last over 250 rep in the first part of December, along with many downvotes, and the deletion of many questions that I answered in 2011, 2012, 2013 ... The responsible culprit, easily identified as the initiator of closes, and the initiator of deletions, plus editing the questions so they'd pop up currently... Flag the answer from so long ago, for moderator attention, and describe your concerns; flag one or two more answers that got downvoted very recently, especially those that are not very current. The mods will be able to review ... $\endgroup$ – amWhy Jan 10 '18 at 22:33
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    $\begingroup$ ... Any pattern in the downvotes of answers that you're receiving, (they can see what has been upvoted or downvoted in any one's rep, just can't easily identify "the who" that voted. If anything looks questionable, in the pattern of downvotes, et al, they can take a closer look and/or investigate. But the results are rarely immediate. And even if someone is found to be at fault, there's no guarantee votes will be reversed. I stayed clear of meta during the December "targeted attack on me". $\endgroup$ – amWhy Jan 10 '18 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy np, you had a legitimate point. I've been inactive for a few years and was aware of what you describe when I was active. Sorry you & the site are still being affected. $\endgroup$ – TooTone Jan 10 '18 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ .... That doesn't mean it's necessarily wrong to post on meta, but people tend to post here the kind of things they see posted here. So my concern is that often more can be accomplished through other channels, like flagging, than can be done on meta. And that helps keep meta less of a complaint forum on downvotes or close votes or delete votes, and more available for issues that aren't necessarily so personalized. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Jan 10 '18 at 22:45
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    $\begingroup$ More than once the following has happened. I find a question somehow, then I vote/comment/answer without realizing it is an old question. I have several "Necromancer" badges to show for this. $\endgroup$ – GEdgar Jan 11 '18 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ This is part of the silent downvotes phenomenon. And its only a matter of time before one gets a silent downvote to a reasonable answer. I think one has to respect the voting right of each user and move on. In the long run such votes don't affect your reputation in a significant manner. $\endgroup$ – Paramanand Singh Jan 12 '18 at 7:38
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    $\begingroup$ Also I always downvote answers with comment. But recently I found in one instance that explicit negative feedback is not taken in positive manner by some users (the answerer responded positively to my feedback, but someone else did not like it and posted a comment which I flagged and it got deleted). So I now think that there is some motivation (not sufficient for me though) for silent downvotes. $\endgroup$ – Paramanand Singh Jan 12 '18 at 7:45

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