A while ago, I posted an answer to this question, and since then my answer has been downvoted multiple times for reasons I cannot discern. I'm not too bothered by any aspect of this other than the lack of reason. Here's what I mean:

When one hovers over the downvote arrow, a box displays saying "This is answer is not useful." I will call this the Official motivation for downvoting an answer. My answer was, I believe, useful. Barring malice, which is unlikely, the only other reasonable possibility I can imagine are the voters' (or my own) skewed perception of utility.

One thing that I can imagine warranting a downvote is if my answer was posted significantly after another complete answer. This is not the case, however. Another, more likely, possibility is that the downvoters found my answer useless because it had less information than the other answer.

This is true. However, I provided all the information requested by the questioner. The more popular answer provided more information, but it wasn't necessary; it seemed more an exercise of the researching muscles than in efficient questioning-and-answering.

EDIT: Unsure whether this could be remotely construed as poor form, but in my answer I referenced how the asker did not specify which game of a series of games they were asking about. See my answer for specifics.


TLDR: My answer was called "useless," and yet it was not. Is this through misinterpretation of the voting system, or something else?

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    "the asker did not specify which game of a series of games they were asking about." did they need too? they used the danganronpa tag and the first game is just called danganronpa, just like how the first Kingdom Hearts game is just Kingdom Hearts and the first Final Fantasy game is just Final Fantasy – Memor-X Sep 3 at 14:54
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    @Memor-x: The first game is not just called "Danganronpa," it is in fact called Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, with sequels titled in the form Danganronpa: <subtitle>, but "Danganronpa" may be colloquially used to refer to the first. I was not versed in this colloquial. Your comment brings up a good point, though: my mention of a lack of specificity was not necessary. – Mushroom Man Sep 3 at 20:05
  • i give you that, however since danganronpa-trigger-happy-havoc is 31 characters and it wasn't until roughly mid 2017 that the tag limit was increased from 25 to 35 characters it wouldn't have been possible to include the entire subtitle in 2016 as such dropping the subtitle is perfectly fine – Memor-X Sep 3 at 23:13
  • True, but they could have put the full title in the title of the question, or at least the body of the question. – Mushroom Man Sep 3 at 23:17
  • As an answerer, you'll almost always have a bias that your answer is useful (otherwise, why does someone answer?), though others might not look that way. Aside of that... how about... try to improve your answer now since it's currently on the spotlight here? Maybe by expanding and clarifying each good ending on each game... or anything that you feel you can improve the answer.... but you're free to leave it as of current though... – antimo Sep 4 at 10:28
  • @antimo: I could do that, but seeing as it's very old it won't do anyone much good, especially since I'd just be repeating the same information as the other answer. The reason I didn't add such information initially is because no one asked for it. – Mushroom Man Sep 4 at 14:27

Well, the answer is two years old at this point. It's generally anybody's guess as to why it was downvoted so long ago, but it looks like I was one of the ones that downvoted it so long ago.

After reviewing your answer and the existing one, it's pretty obvious why it was downvoted; it's providing nothing of value. It's at first expressing uncertainty which game, and then providing an extremely generic answer. An answer that doesn't provide any information should be downvoted.

  • It may have been "extremely generic," but I think it's fairly obvious that it did provide information. The asker requested the number of endings, I provided the number of endings, as well as what occurs when the bad one occurs. I didn't provide any more information because they didn't ask for it. Can you help me understand what you mean? – Mushroom Man Sep 3 at 19:55
  • Compared to the other answer, it provided nothing of value. Only in the most pedantic sense did it actually answer the question. From an actual gameplay perspective, it was useless. – Frank Sep 3 at 20:00
  • Compared to the other answer, it provided less value. In an obvious sense it answered the question. It was not useless from any perspective, this is only hyperbole. And what is an "actual gameplay perspective?" – Mushroom Man Sep 3 at 20:08
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    No, comparing your answer to the other one, yours provided nothing of value. It's too generic to actually help anyone, whereas the other answer is specific, tells you how to get both endings, and where the split occurs. My downvote stands. If you're not willing to be receptive to criticism, there's no point in explaining it any further. – Frank Sep 3 at 20:16
  • You haven't proved a lack of use, but through this rapport you have successfully implied the reason for one of the downvotes. For that, I thank you. Like you said, it's extremely difficult to discern all motivations, but yours provides an adequate model for reasonably suspecting the others. – Mushroom Man Sep 3 at 20:29
  • I am willing to accept criticism, but I will neither credit nor act upon it if it is unreasonable. I have requested your reasoning, but you have not provided it, instead just repeating things said before with different wording and more emphasis. The only new relevant thing you've said is that it's "too generic to actually help anyone." Can you prove this? – Mushroom Man Sep 4 at 14:38
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    I gave you a reason, and you decided you didn't like it. At that point, there's no reason to continue the conversation. You don't have to like it. I didn't have to justify it. This is exactly why down votes are anonymous. – Frank Sep 4 at 14:42
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    So the answer is no, then, like I thought before. – Mushroom Man Sep 4 at 14:52
up vote -8 down vote accepted

While discovering the motivations behind bi-perennial Nay! votes is about as difficult as pre-Big Bang archaeology, a conversation has revealed that these downvotes were most likely due to a skewed (at least in my eyes) perception of utility. Not the answer I was looking for, but it provides closure.

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