Today, there was this question posted on the main site asking about the probability of passing a genetic disease expressed by a dominant allele.

However, as soon as it was posted a few users came and asked the OP, what they had tried, and there were 2 downvotes (and maybe close flags/votes) before you knew what happened.

Now, this would normally be alright if used to influence the asker of a poor question into improving it, but in this case the OP had already given what seemed like sufficient context.

So, I came to raise the question of whether this was an example of over hasty downvoting by (presumably well-meaning) users or whether there was indeed a sufficient requirement for greater context to justify this?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Note that the "hover text" for the downvote button says "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful." Currently the Question linked has two upvotes and two downvotes, which by the way reputation is counted nets the OP a positive number of points. While "hasty downvoting" is connected to your account of the post, it is less clear what you think is "unfair" about the voting. Editing contributed by others (and in your case, an Answer) can conceivably influence the impression of a Question's quality. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Oct 23, 2018 at 14:16
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ There is much context missing - the source of the problem included. As it stands, this looks like a homework problem rather than a question about mathematics. Problems like this are often downvoted, and answers to homework problems are also sometimes downvoted. $\endgroup$ Oct 23, 2018 at 18:50
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The question is missing an explanation of what Autosomal Dominant Inheritance is. I know what it is, but that's not the issue. This is a math site; people shouldn't be expected to be familiar with jargon from biology. The ruleset behind this inheritance scheme should be explained, as well as the meaning of symbols $a$ and $A$. (i.e. that $A$ is dominant). $\endgroup$
    – Myridium
    Oct 24, 2018 at 3:13
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Well I think it's a matter of luck. I've seen questions with absolutely no effort at all (its just the statement) receiving upvotes & more than a answer. Meanwhile there are other users that do the same and get lots of downvotes and sometimes a really quick [on hold].. I don't know what the criteria really is. $\endgroup$
    – user486983
    Oct 24, 2018 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ @hardmath I said unfair as it seemed that the downvoters had hastily given downvotes where they were not needed. I put the title as a question, and not a claim, since I was not sure whether this would indeed be considered incorrect (as I stated in the post). Indeed, I can now see that many (though by no means all) users agree with the downvoters. $\endgroup$
    – user0
    Oct 25, 2018 at 4:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Carl I do agree that sources should be included in questions. My objection was that there seemed (to me) to be sufficient context for the question to be acceptable. $\endgroup$
    – user0
    Oct 25, 2018 at 4:14
  • $\begingroup$ I have a low bar for sufficient context to Leave Open a question, but a higher bar for context to earn an upvote. But as we seem to agree, hasty voting either up or down is not intrinsically unfair. There is a "fire hose" of new Questions being posted, so putting off a vote carries a heavy opportunity cost. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Oct 25, 2018 at 4:24
  • $\begingroup$ @hardmath Yes, I agree that it is usually not possible to keep going back to questions to see if they have been improved, especially as we have no easy way of telling whether (new) users are even interested in improving their questions. I guess, there is indeed no easy solution here. $\endgroup$
    – user0
    Oct 25, 2018 at 4:52


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