I noticed that most, if not all of the answers on Vowels up, consonants down are being downvoted. I raised a mod-flag but there's only one mod and I'm guessing they're already stressed with the load of dealing with all the mod-flags and comment-flags.

Some speculation as to why this is happening:

  • The OP might be revenge-downvoting because their question was closed.
  • Someone else might have been downvoting all the answers because the question was closed at one point, but that's a practice that's more commonly (if not only) seen on Stack Overflow.

None of the answers are invalid as far as I know.

Can the person that did this come forward and explain why?

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm curious why you think the perpetrator would come forward. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adám
    Mar 22, 2020 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


I am the person who downvoted. I am not afraid "to come forward", as many have speculated. I don't believe that I have done anything wrong, and I am rather certain I have not broken any rules.

So why?

The short is that I think that all those answers are bad. I'm not interested in hurting any persons rep or feelings.

My reasoning for thinking these answers are bad varies from answer to answer.

But as a blanket, I think that answering questions that are clearly unclear is not answering in good faith and harms the site, that is quite clearly bad.

I also do not like low-effort fastest-guns-in-the-west type answers. These answers to me seem to just exist to catch random upvotes on a question likely to hit the HNQ. They don't feel like they have even earned the space to exist.

This makes questions like this a perfect storm for answers that I do not like. The question itself is incredibly trivial, and fails to even outline the basic requirements. Answers there already start in the red there because they encourage these sorts of lazy questions. But a really clever answer that makes me think, "wow I never would have thought of that" could get out of the red even to an upvote by my metrics.

And the thing is, having read the answers, they are by in large not good. Some of them are in my opinion so lazy that they would warrant a downvote even if they were not already encouraging bad questions.

So why no comments?

I usually leave a comment when I think that there is something that I would change to make the thing I downvoted better. I don't really have suggestions for these answers. What I would like is for them to be more inventive or clever, or to not exist at all. In short I would like them to be less bad, which is to me what a downvote says on its own.

To me I feel that leaving comments that don't offer anything constructive can come off as vindictive or targeting. I really don't have a personal issue with anyone there, nor do I want to start any sort of argument.

Maybe I am wrong to think that I cannot be constructive here. Maybe you can help me be more constructive. If you know how I can do this then I am all ears.

You are of course free to disagree with me. I am fully aware what I say is good or bad is just my personal opinion. You might think that these answers are not bad. You are free to upvote them, I'd rather you not, I secretly like it when people agree with me, but you are free to do so.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry if you took "wrong" (in my comment) the wrong way. I had considered option 1 much more likely than option 2 at the time of writing. As noted elsewhere, you acted well within your rights. \$\endgroup\$
    – S.S. Anne
    Mar 23, 2020 at 2:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Different languages require different approaches to code golf, a clever and short answer in C (rightfully upvoted) cannot be translated to a short solution in Python or Ruby. Some language can mix integers, characters and booleans, some can't. I understand your point of view, and you have the right to up- and downvote as you want, but for simple problems, sometimes the straightforward solution is shorter than a Duff's device. \$\endgroup\$
    – G B
    Mar 23, 2020 at 16:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GB My philosophy is that we don't need an answer in every possible language. If the best answer would be the one that any golfer would come up with immediately then it probably is not worth posting. Obviously there are shades of gray here, there is a vast gulf between innovative and obvious, but I do feel answers on the obvious end of the spectrum are not worth the space they take up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wheat Wizard Mod
    Mar 23, 2020 at 19:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AdHocGarfHunter if we don't need an answer in every language, then why do we actively encourage such? Why don't all of those who write in a practical language just leave the place to those coding in Jelly or Pyth? \$\endgroup\$
    – Xcali
    Mar 24, 2020 at 22:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Xcali I don't think we need lazy answers regardless of language. I don't know how that is related to Jelly or Pyth. At this point I don't really see why we need to have a discussion about my opinions as to what makes a good answer. I feel I should be allowed to dislike things without being put on trial. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wheat Wizard Mod
    Mar 24, 2020 at 22:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AdHocGarfHunter - I understand your view even if I don't agree with all of it. By all means, downvote a bad question. I have done that (rarely) myself. Normally I just ignore questions that I don't like. I'm not so convinced that downvoting answers to bad questions is going to prevent bad questions from being posted though, besides which, many of the people who answered may have considered it to be a good question and worth answering (personally I didn't answer for whatever reason). I'm not criticizing your viewpoint and I respect you for responding to OP. Just offering a different one. \$\endgroup\$
    – ElPedro
    Mar 25, 2020 at 17:56

You shouldn't use moderator flags for this purpose -- I don't know what you expect me to do. Information about individual votes is private, even for moderators.

Presumably whoever cast these votes is unlikely to look for a meta post asking them to explain their reasoning. Since there's no way to tell what motivated this, my suggestion is to shrug and move on.


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