A while back I asked the question: How can I stop getting notifications when my friends start games?

Given the net score of -2 (+2/-4) I don't think this comes down to Tim losing his keys.

What Arqade says to downvote

Hovering over the down-vote button says:

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful.

The vote down privilege page says the following about when to use down-votes:


Voting down, also known as "casting downvotes", is how the community indicates which questions and answers are least useful.


Use your downvotes whenever you encounter an egregiously sloppy, no-effort-expended post, or an answer that is clearly and perhaps dangerously incorrect.


What are the alternatives to down-voting?

The up-vote privilege comes first because that's what you should focus on: pushing great content to the top. Down-voting should be reserved for extreme cases. It's not meant as a substitute for communication and editing.

Instead of voting down:

The Help Center doesn't mention down voting in the duplicates page. But does say "we love (some) dupes":

One thing I want to be clear about, though, is that duplication is not necessarily bad. Quite the contrary — some duplication is desirable. There’s often benefit to having multiple subtle variants of a question around, as people tend to ask and search using completely different words, and the better our coverage, the better odds people can find the answer they’re looking for. And isn’t that, really, the whole point of this exercise?

Why I don't think my post doesn't fit any of these requirements

And so given my understanding of SE rules in general, and the relevant Arqade rules. I don't understand why I deserve any down votes:

  • I don't think the question is "not useful" or "least useful".
    Given that the duplicate has a question score of 2, and an answer score of 6, Showing it's useful. Also my post now has 758 views and so has come back on a fair amount of searches.
  • I don't think the question is "unclear" or "egregiously sloppy".
    I may however be wrong about this.
  • I don't think the question "does not show any research effort" or "no-effort-expended post".
    I spent a while looking for existing answers. I even linked to a question that is asking roughly the same thing, but is outdated and doesn't work.
  • I don't see how my post is an "extreme cases".
  • As far as I understand the help-center says not to downvote the question, but instead 'flag for moderator intervention'. (This is the 125 rep version of VTC)
  • According to Jeff Atwood, my question may be desirable as it has 758 views, where the duplicate target only has 305.

My Question

Why does my question deserve these down votes? Have I missed some rules or misinterpreted them?

  • 1
    If you're self answering an admitted duplicate, why not just add your answer to the duplicate?
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 2:53
  • Because it's not the same thing? IIRC all the notification information is in the same place and so that's how it's "roughly the same thing". Or are you talking about the dupe target?
    – user136727
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 2:59
  • If it's not the same thing...why did you agree with the duplicate? You even commented it was. It seems like just adding your answer to the dupe target would work best for everybody.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 3:28
  • So you're talking about the dup target. I've previously explained this: "Yes it's a duplicate, that I couldn't find when searching." I'm not sure why you're asking me why I didn't answer something I didn't know existed. Furthermore the answer there was adequate, why should I duplicate my answer?
    – user136727
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 3:32
  • 1
    I think you have not really understood the that other meta post you linked to. Its whole point is that none of us has the necessary information to determine why a post was downvoted. People simply vote for their own reasons and we can't read their minds, or even know who they were. Whether or not a post "deserved" downvotes is basically irrelevant to the question of why people cast those votes. Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 3:35
  • @murgatroid99 I'm not sure I've missed the point, at 4 downvotes the entropy should be a lot lower. And I'm not "sure that your [question] is good". Or at least if it's not the "least useful" "egregiously sloppy" question.
    – user136727
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 3:43
  • 1
    What exactly do you hope to accomplish from posting this question? Your question was downvoted because some people thought it was worthy of a downvote, which is the only reason necessary to downvote any post. If you're asking people to explain their downvotes, that's not going to happen, they're anonymous for a reason. Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 8:08
  • @Wrigglenite I'd like to know if I've missed a rule so in the future I don't make this mistake again, and not post such a poorly received question again. At 4 down votes, the problem should be fairly apparent to a common Arqade user. And so I'm not asking people to explain their votes, but to point me to the error I made. At the SE I contribute to, another user that's never seen a post normally can explain the reasons for a lot of down votes.
    – user136727
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 10:29
  • 2
    Someone downvoted it. If you didn't get any comments, well, them's the breaks. I no longer attempt to explain downvotes, because the chances of askers accepting the reasoning is mighty slim, and part of the reason you don't have to justify them in the first place.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 15:15
  • @Frank I'm assuming you sample size is larger than 1 to determine it as 'is mighty slim'. Also why do you think I wouldn't accept your answer?
    – user136727
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 15:21
  • The point I'm making is, there's literally no reason for voters to justify themselves. I pointed to a recent situation to provide additional context to help explain it. You didn't get any reasons. That's fine. That's the system working as intended. The additional arguments you're making here against that reasoning gives me no confidence that you wouldn't do the same against any other reason voters give.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 15:25
  • 1
    @Frank Ok. Fair enough, I don't think I'd be able to say anything to give you confidence.
    – user136727
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


The reason it was downvoted is probably because it lacks research effort. I did a quick google search with this text:

steam how can I stop getting notifications when my friends start games?

And I came up with multiple hits that answered the question exactly. Additionally, with just a couple minutes of searching on Arqade, I was able to find the question your post was closed as a duplicate of.

I don't know about Arqade, but on Stack Overflow, if something can be answered with a quick 2-minute google search, it gets downvoted and closed because it lacks research effort.

Next time, do more research, don't ask if it's a duplicate, and it'll probably get a fair number of upvotes.

  • 1
    if something can be answered with a quick 2-minute google search ... -> This. Granite I've been guilty in the past for posting questions without researching it first, lack of research is an acceptable means for downvotes. As you mentioned Stack Overflow, I tend to see a lot of comments saying I downvoted because of lack of research, or something along those lines Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 20:02

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