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What should I do if I believe users are just saying things to make me look bad? This happened with NoneOfYourBuisness and now it's happening with me. I don't want to delete my account because I want to help people. What should I do?

I'm done.

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    Have you considered that, perhaps, things are being said about the quality of the content you post, and that that quality could be significantly improved? Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:16
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    You could start by listening to other people when they recommend that you up your quality.
    – user98085
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:16
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    We're not trying to make you look bad, we are responding negatively to posts we think are bad though.
    – fredley
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:17
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    Also, can you provide some examples of where you think we are saying things that make you look bad, so that we're all on the same page.
    – fredley
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:18
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    If it makes you feel better, I like your avatar.
    – user9983
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:19
  • @OrigamiRobot Yeah, I've been wanting to ask where he found that!
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:19
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    Also, we're not just trying to be mean or insult you personally. We just think you should try to improve the quality of your posts so that you can help people better. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:28
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    @Ullallulloo Well, maybe OrigamiRobot is trying to be mean. You can never tell with robots. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:30
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    I think you are getting very nice and constructive advice in this question, I hope you listen to it. Ignore the downvotes and read the comments and answer(s)
    – juan
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:48
  • @jmfsg Down-votes make the question/answer a bad one. Even though the downvoting on this site is 100% opinion based and not whether or not it's constructive. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:59
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    Voting works a little different on Meta. Also people are frustrated.
    – GnomeSlice
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:11
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    @YoungGuilo I think you're confusing cause and effect...
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:11
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    @YoungGuilo Downvotes on a meta question mean very little. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:34
  • @RavenDreamer Then why have it? Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:39
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    Hi, I'm Grace Note, a Community Manager here at Stack Exchange. I'll be taking some extensive look into this situation and would also like to speak with you directly at some point. I'm in the middle of a meeting at the moment so I cannot do it this moment but this should be over in about an hour and I'll be here.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:39

3 Answers 3

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I'm Grace Note, a Stack Exchange Community Manager. I'd like to address the portions of this question that have yet to be addressed by the community... which is to say the whole of it. Let's dispense with specifics of an individual and march onwards to the inquiry given!

I want to start off that at its core, our model behaves like an adaptation of the golden rule of debates - Never target a person, always target the argument. In our case, we'd sub "argument" for "contribution", being questions and answers. Users themselves only have reputation, which can only exist in a positive value. Votes can only be applied to contributions, and the reasoning behind votes should likewise follow suit. The first response to receiving downvotes should be to check if there is work to be done to reverse them. Most users on the network operate within our guidelines.

For the above reasons, thus, personal defamation isn't all that tolerable. In some cases, if not meant to be explicitly malicious, users may go overboard in their treatment without realizing the harm they're causing. If, be it in comments or chats, you feel that users reach a point where they are attacking not your content, but you as a person, then this is not appropriate. What are reasonable approaches to this?

  • Flag obvious toxicity. If comments are unquestionably rude against your person, you can flag them as such.
  • Collect evidence. This is an extremely important portion of handling treatment by other users outside of the direct context that it happens (like if there are comments across multiple posts in multiple weeks). Samples and links to specific incidents of maltreatment are much more valuable than verbal testimonials. By providing these samples, it illustrates the reality of the situation, though take care to listen to if the reality had been intended otherwise.
  • Talk it out. Make it known that it feels like people are insulting or humiliating you. Explain how you feel and try to reason with the community. I've been with this community from the start - we may be ornery folk when it comes to maintaining our quality, but we are all reasonable people and are open to discussion and explaining our position. It stands for this reason that we as a community should offer the same respect back when approached in this manner, and talk things through calmly. No matter how frustrating a situation is for either side, anger never really makes a problem go away, it only has no impact or aggravates the situation for worse.
  • Ask for moderator mediation. If you find yourself at an impasse with the community, or if you have some hesitance about the interpretation of events, the moderator team on Arqade is able to intervene as an impartial observer to overlook the turn of events and try to soften things out. The Community Team from Stack Exchange (which includes myself) is also available to mediate the situation.

Our focus as a network is on content, not people. But this applies to how the mechanics of the site work, and while we're in the realm of the mechanics, we all do our best to follow this. But when we're outside the realm of the mechanics, we're still a community, and one of people. We all have the capability of offering each other due respect, so let us exercise this in our engagements, on both sides of any of these kinds of encounters.

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I'll be blunt: I've noticed a pattern with your contributions, and I don't like what I see. You tend to post several questions and answers within a very small period of time. This means your overall quantity is high, but your average quality is incredibly low. If the serial downvoting script is getting triggered because a single user is posting such quantity of low quality contributions in a short period of time, I'm of the opinion that we, as a community, need to do something. My view is that the problem is your contributions.

You also like to answer bounty questions with answers that don't source anything, and very often turn out to be wrong. That tells me you're not here to help, but to gain rep. This is not the focus you should have, as rep will happen organically with high quality contributions. It will come even faster, actually, than just flooding the site with lots of low quality questions and answers.


I've taken the liberty of going through a few of your contributions to give some critique on them:

What are the rules of spawning zombie pigmen from nether portals? +1/-5

I honestly have no idea if this answer is correct or not; I haven't voted on it at all. I've tried to point you in the right direction, but you seem to focus more on appeasing the commenters than providing correct information.

You then deleted it and re-posted it, which is exactly the wrong thing to do. Your duplicate answer I did downvote, because you didn't re-post it to make it better. You reposted it to get rid of the downvotes already on it. That's a straightforward abuse of the system, and a classic example of bounty hunting.

How do I pick up an Ectoplasmer in Runescape +0/-0

This one's kinda borderline. You've shown what you've tried, so that's good. What's bad is that you've repeated the title in the body, and without that, your question is a one-liner. We like a little more context and effort shown than just that. It doesn't need to be much, but if your entire question can fit into a single line, that's usually a good indicator that you need to flesh it out a little more.

What are the actual names of the stages in Centipede? +3/-5

This one I did downvote, because I see no usefulness at all to it. Add in the lack of effort prior to asking, and we have the reason why this is at a negative score. Doing a little bit of research before asking would've prevented this.

Why is my level decreasing during inactivity? +1/0

This one's alright. It displays a misunderstanding of how the system works, which gets resolved in the answer. We specialize in ensuring people get their facts straight when they misunderstand them. You could flesh this out a bit more, but adding more details would've probably indicated that what you think is happening, wasn't.

Is it possible to fire a lock-on Rocket Launcher in “Dumbfire” mode? +4/-12

This one is out and out wrong. You did barely any research before answering, and didn't provide a source for your information at all. Most likely because I believe you didn't actually do any. If anything, this answer should be deleted.

How can I easily select an enemy colony with a large space station in orbit? (10K only)

You answered this question with zero research. You don't play the game at all, as the answer makes rather obvious. This, too, was a case of bounty hunting.


For the most part, you ARE gaining rep, in spite of your contributions. If you want to be a valued member of the community, try to follow these steps:

  1. Put more effort into your questions. They should be more than one line. They should tell us what you tried. They should not be easily Googled.
  2. Put a lot more effort into your answers. When possible, include a link to where you pulled it from. If you tested it in game, tell us how you tested it.
  3. Don't answer questions of games you don't play. If you do, try to put more than five minutes of research into doing so.
  4. Focus on helping people with high quality contributions. A few paragraphs would not be amiss. Add in some sources if you can.

All of this boils down to investing effort into your contributions. We WANT users that spend time making the best answers they can. We DON'T want users that answer stuff solely to gain rep.

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    Note: This is a well researched, well presented and thoughtful answer. Clearly quite some effort went into it. It is getting lots of upvotes.
    – fredley
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:26
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    I am a power hungry mod, so I'll delete your comments and I love mod abuse so here I am, in ur comment furthering ur joke -badp
    – juan
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:43
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    Just to be clear: I would not have asked questions if I know where to find the answers. I couldn't care about bounties or reputation. I'm for helping the people. I have a youtube channel with guides and such. I know how to help. When I do it gets downvoted because of "No research". I know the answer. I don't need to research. The question on Dumbfire mode is technically correct since the weapon he was using didn't have that capability. OrigamiRobot is babying the fredley's comment which makes this entire thing seem like a joke. I don't appreciate jokes. -10 on a serious question. Seems legit. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:54
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    @YoungGuilo When ten people think your question is bad, there might just be something to it, you know?
    – user98085
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:58
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    @YoungGuilo Votes on meta don't mean the same thing as votes on the main site. They're often used to express disagreement or agreement. These users disagree that users are trying to make you look bad, and vote accordingly. There's no Rep gain/loss here.
    – Sconibulus
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:59
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    @YoungGuilo The problem is, nowhere in your questions do you ever allude to that. All we get are one-liners that can be boiled down to, "I have this problem. How do I fix it?". Adding in context is a good thing. And if you know the answer, where did you get it from? Did you research it in-game? How? Find it online? Add the link. Technically correct is bad when you allude to all weapons of that type working like that. Restrict it to that specific weapon. Add some effort, dude! That's all we're asking!
    – Frank
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 16:59
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    @YoungGuilo You don't know how to google?
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:00
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    And as a sidenote, "I don't need to research" is something the community doesn't agree with. Prove your claims.
    – Frank
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:00
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    @YoungGuilo I don't know if anyone else has pointed it out at all, but votes on Meta generally mean I agree/I disagree with whatever is being proposed, and they don't actually affect your site rep. Just so you know. :)
    – user11502
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:01
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    @YoungGuilo Whether your questions are genuine has no bearing on those downvotes, I assume. It's more that your questions are oneliners with hardly any information. How do you expect anyone to answer that?
    – user98085
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:02
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    @YoungGuilo As far as I can tell, no one but you can find that wiki evidence.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:04
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    @YoungGuilo Yelling in the comments like this is incredibly unhelpful to everyone involved. I understand you are obviously feeling distress over this stuff, but I think maybe stepping away for a bit to collect your thoughts and calm down some might be best.
    – user11502
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 17:11
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    @YoungGuilo I've been keeping quiet all this time, but this: "I couldn't care about bounties or reputation" is an outright lie. Yes you do care about reputation as evidenced by the various meta questions on how to maximize your reputation and you care about it more than many of the regulars on this site. We are not stupid, so don't assume that we are. Commented Aug 11, 2013 at 5:03
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    That said, it's fine to care about reputation. Encouraged even. But perspective is important. One upvote can erase five downvotes. Commented Aug 11, 2013 at 14:02
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    I care about my reputation, but not so much the points, if that makes sense. I don't believe it matters if you've got 15 rep or 150k, people can make mistakes. Decisions can be the wrong one. At the same time I've met people with 100 rep who post clear, concise Q&As, and people with 5000 who don't seem to care either way (usually they got lucky and got a highly visible question or two, or avoid answering anything but the top tags)
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 11:49
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For the record, I like you. You seem to be a pretty decent member of this community, you actively try and find out what it is that you're doing wrong so you can fix it (such as this question here), and you seem to love , which in my books is a big plus :).

However, as other people are saying, your questions & answers could use some improvement. I'm going to lay out how I write questions and answers as an example - there are other ways to phrase your Q&As, but generally this is what works for me:

Questions

  • Title: It generally should be phrased as a question. Also, people shoud be able to read your title and instantly know what the problem is. Compare
    • Problem with Redstone, to
    • How can I get three Pistons to activate using the same Redstone line?
  • Body: The body should be composed of three main sections: Context, Research and Question. This is kind of like writing a short essay, with an Introduction, Body (which shows research) and Conclusion:
    • Context: Where does this problem occur?
    • Research: What have you done to try and solve the problem, or what have you found whilst researching? If it's a technical problem, list some specifications (Java version number, amount of RAM, CPU speed etc)
    • Question: Pretty much should sum up what you've just described. "Even with all this info at my disposal, my Pistons still won't activate. Is there something I'm missing?"

Example (bold are links):

How do I do the thing?

In Awesome Game Title 2: Extreme Edition, there is a section of the level where X happens. You can get here by opening 3 doors, talking to Mr Z, and performing a somersault into this wall.

Here is some stuff online, that relates to the question about the thing. I've also tried blorking the thing, sporking the thing, and even torqing the thing, but to no avail.

Even knowing XYZ about the thing, it still doesn't Blork correctly. Is there something I'm missing?

As a real-world example: Is it possible to stop the Madman from escaping his yacht?

Answers

Generally, I try to remember that we are trying to solve a problem the user is facing. Even if the answer is "No, it's not possible", I at least try and find a workaround solution that may help them. In some cases, it even may be exactly what they're after anyway, and they just couldn't phrase it that way in the question themselves!

Again, this can be a lot like writing an essay (Introduction, Body, Conclusion), however, if the answer boils down to Yes/No, I generally put that in the first sentence. After all, that's what they're after. In any case, just make sure to back up your answer with links, and quotes (and links to the quotes). Images and videos are nice, but should only add to your answer, not be the sole source of it.

Examples (bold are links again):

Q: How do I do the thing?

A:

You've got to have the Sword of Neverending Awesome before attempting to Blork the Thing. Otherwise, Mr Z won't open the fourth door, which is key to all of this.

To get the Sword of Neverending Awesome, head to QwertyTown, and order a mead from the local innkeeper. Perform 5 somersaults, one on each table in the Pub. You'll get the achievement "Move your body" (If you haven't already), and one of the QwertyTownians will present you with the sword.

Here is a short video, detailing the process: (Video embed)

Or:

Q: Is it possible to jump the mountain?

(This question technically calls for a Yes/No answer)

A:

Yes, it is possible. You'll need the Boots of Extreme Comfiness, and need to have levelled your charater's Springiness attribute to 11.

(Most people would stop here, however, as I mentioned earlier, we're here to solve a problem the user is facing. I would then continue:

You can get the boots from the Shopkeeper in QwertyTown on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Here's the wiki link for the boots.

As for levelling your character's springiness, I've found it easiest to complete the training grounds in the Krazy Kaverns first (an instant +5 to both Springiness and Awesomeness). The rest you can gain through side quests. See the attributes wiki, which lists ways to increase stats quickly

Some examples:

Every answer is different of course. This is just a general guide.

One last point: Humor can go a long way (but shouldn't be the entire focus of the question/answer). See:

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    Thanks, +1 for torqing. Oh I liked the help too :) Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 10:56

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