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author's profile photo Frederic Girod

I do not understand downvote usage


I could understand sometimes when people post stupid answers it could be a way to indicate, this is really not a good answer.

But I really don't understand downvote on a question. Today I see it, and the question was not "stupid" or anything like this. If the question has been downvote because it has already been asked, just put a comment. (the question)

And personnaly, when you try to help people, and the answer does not work in there context, to see you have been downvoted, for me, it is really demotivating.

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  • Jan 23, 2020 at 08:35 AM

    Agree with you, Even if it is stupid one(not for them, probably they are new to this environment with some bad terminology), still ask for more information or ignore. I too don't like the downvote option, maybe give only upvote? which will filter out better ones. Downvote will surely make some negative impact on the user and I am pretty sure he will think twice before seeking help from the community.

    But again there are some better reasons for providing the downvoting option. If implemented, it should be atleast implemented properly, like in the stackoverflow where downvoting a question or answer will take points away from your account. But, but.., even if it is implemented here, no one cares, because our karma points will not be shown publicly or have any merits kind of system like StalkOverflow.

    • Jan 23, 2020 at 08:38 AM

      BTW, I really like the clap option in the Medium.

    • Jan 23, 2020 at 09:17 AM

      I am agree with you, it is a negative circle, nothing positive result of the usage of the downvote

    • Jan 23, 2020 at 12:53 PM

      So do you share that statement from the first linked article?

      So how can unwanted behaviour be stopped? “Given that users who receive 
      no feedback post less frequently, a potentially effective strategy could
       be to ignore undesired behaviour and provide no feedback at all,” say 
      Cheng and co.

      IMHO, a downvote on a question is helpful if a question receives replies asking for further information or with suggestions for solutions, and apparently the OP ignore those but keeps on asking for more help.

      As oithers have stated in older discussions here, I think a downvote should always be explained via a comment.

  • Jan 23, 2020 at 02:11 PM

    I beg to differ on this - there are questions that are just plain lazy.

    It is not just that the OP does not bother to search. I can understand that for people who are not native English speakers it may be challenging to search in Google, but come on, if you do not know the English SAP term you can at least execute SAPTERM. And if one does not know English enough to read and understand written text, I don't see the point of asking a question in an English forum, but OK...

    If I find questions that can be answered easily by copy/pasting the title in Google (the first few pages of results) then in my book this means that the OP did not put an effort to search. We cannot report such posts as we used to, when inclusiveness was not a hot topic. Other than down-voting (if there are already comments explaining that this is a FAQ) I don't see many options to show that the question quality is very low. Liking some of the comments stating this? Maybe, but then you cannot see this information in the questions list, you can only see the vote count, and I tend to use this to skip certain questions when i do not have much time.

    Or when members post support tickets and ask for solutions without actually trying to describe the problem, then this is lazy. We educate end users to provide screenshots, the exact error message and document examples when they request support assistance and then I see consultants who cannot or would not even try to do this really basic thing and explain what the issue is (even after being asked repeatedly for more information that they do not provide).

    Or when the OP asks a question, for which it could take them minutes to verify in their own system - again, it is lazy.

    I do not mind answering basic questions if it is clear that the OP puts an effort to understand the concept, but needs a bit of guidance.

    Asking to be spoon-fed or requesting a complete detailed solution IMHO deserves a down-vote.

    And yes, I have tried many times to ask members for clarifications, I keep on asking for screenshots, exact error message texts, etc., but seeing that the OP is trying to improve the question quality is rare.

    As to answers - I rarely down-vote these, unless the answer has absolutely nothing to do with the question and/or it is just a link, or if it is a very, very bad solution (of the type that breaks functionalities). In the last case I add a comment explaining why using this is a bad idea.

    • Jan 23, 2020 at 03:08 PM

      There are always examples of people lazy to search. I am agree with you, but look at my example, the question is logic.

      Isn't it not disrupt you to have the avaibility to juge the question, of someone you didn't known, in a public forum ?

      Sometimes I need to code lines in program language I don't know. I know I am asking stupid question for most of the expert in this language, but I don't know this language & even the simple 'Hello world' is a real difficulty for me.

      And just think about the last question your mother ask you about computer/internet/... will you answer "I am sorry mum, but your question is too stupid"

      • Jan 23, 2020 at 03:48 PM

        are you comparing questions a "mother" would ask with questions on a supposedly professional forum ?

      • Jan 23, 2020 at 04:53 PM

        If I have lots of time I might look at questions that are down-voted, it is possible that the down-votes are not always justified.

        Still, this rarely happens in SD-related topics, the few people who look at questions with the intention of answering are fairly experienced and can recognize when some effort has been made from the side of the OP.

        There are not so many newcomers and I try to resist the temptation to down-vote low quality questions by newcomers before asking them kindly to improve the content. Unfortunately, this rarely happens, and even for frequent posters it is rare to see much improvement of the way the questions are asked over time.

        Maybe for ABAP Development the situation is different. As to the question which you mentioned - I cannot really tell if it is basic, or illogical or a valid one, and this is totally fine, because I do not down-vote on topics where I lack the understanding to evaluate the content.

        Regarding a potential question from my mother - she is a journalist, not an IT expert, she is not getting paid by innocent folks to support their systems. And I will definitely not land on the same project with her as an IT person. It is a bit different, right?

        By the way, my dad is also not an IT person, but he has learned to explain to me clearly what kind of problem he has with his laptop (prepares a reproducible test case, takes screenshots of error messages and so on). He does this because I cannot always visit him when there is an issue, I use remote desktop software, and also, because he usually has problems with software with which I am not very familiar and I cannot reproduce the case on my own without guidance. If a 70 year old non-IT person can understand and do this, then this should be feasible for 20-30 year old youngsters working in IT.

        • Jan 24, 2020 at 06:44 AM

          Veselina Peykova I see some of your answers, and I was really impressed by the quality of your answer. You should have took a lot of time to answer clearly with a lot of details to people.

          I could understand, you feel bored when you see someone asking question without details, without taking the time to expose clearly the issue, without searching, ...

          My comment was not on these specific cases, but on "normal question", "normal proposal answer" downvoted. Because there are also people asking question, downvoting answers not working in there specific case.

        • Jan 24, 2020 at 12:04 PM

          I was going to comment on "innocens" of those we work for, but decided not to :)

      • Jan 24, 2020 at 09:13 PM

        In that specific question, one of the answers has a link to almost exactly the same question already answered on SCN. I typed "how to view table created in HANA directly" (phrase from OP) into Google and, sure enough, the answer was on the first page.


  • Jan 23, 2020 at 04:12 PM

    Some previous discussions on this topic: Down-voting Newbie Question and Downvoting Answers

    Downvote on a question usually indicates it's a low-effort question, i.e. the person asking didn't make an effort to help themselves. I agree with Veselina Peykova on this. When anyone can literally copy-paste the exact same keywords from the question into Google and find an answer then what is preventing OP from doing that?

    There is some value in simply ignoring undesirable behavior, but when others downvote low-effort questions it helps others to avoid wasting time on them. Instead, we can focus on helping those who (1) can actually be helped; (2) are more likely to return the favor to the community. That seems more effective to me. (Similarly, upvoting questions helps too because others would be more likely to answer them.)

    On downvoting answers I also agree with Veselina. I rarely downvote them because I don't want to discourage others from helping. If I have to downvote some complete nonsense, I add a comment 90% of the time to let them know the reason. If someone wants to add functionality on SCN that will ask for a comment when downvoting that's fine.

    Note that many comparisons with StackOverflow don't work simply because of the volume of participation. Despite showing almost 3 million members on the front page, SCN votes are in single digits. That's a real issue IMHO.

    P.S. Out of curiosity checked the profile of the OP in the linked question. Obviously fake name, copyrighted image as an avatar, 3 out of 533 (!) questions closed. Wow, goodness forbid we loose this member.

    • Jan 24, 2020 at 06:49 AM

      thanks Jelena Perfiljeva for these two discussions, it was exactly my purpose (and a failed to search from me :) ).

      • Jan 24, 2020 at 08:33 AM

        Oops, Frederic, a failed attempt to search – fortunately CC discussions don't allow down votes at all:)

      • Jan 24, 2020 at 09:31 PM

        Interesting fact: I was just re-reading the old discussion and the same account ("Daniel basis") is already mentioned there as an example of the highest count of non-closed questions on SCN. How ironic...

  • Jan 25, 2020 at 02:17 PM

    By the way,

    I understand what a vote on answers is for (answers below a question are sorted by the number of votes),

    but I don't understand what a vote on questions is for, I mean, nobody looks at it, and there is no technical feature implemented to use the number of votes.

    Except that it's possible to sort ALL the questions by the number of votes, but I don't see what is the interest to see that the question DIFFERENCE B/W CHECK & IF STATEMENT has the biggest number of votes.

    PS: I downvote a question if the OP didn't search and doesn't show to have searched.

    • Jan 27, 2020 at 06:58 AM

      I am agree with you, we certainly downvote more often the question than we are voting for.

    • Jan 27, 2020 at 07:10 AM

      I see upvotes for questions as a sign that others see it as an interesting and/or well-worded question, basically a quality statement. As it increases the Karma-votes for the poster it also is a kind of "well done" and "thank you" feedback for the person who published it.



      • Jan 27, 2020 at 02:05 PM

        Bärbel Winkler Thanks, you're right. I didn't know that.

        Maybe adding points to the karma of the voter (for upvotes) would encourage the votes too. In that case, points should be granted only if two votes are given, one upvote and one downvote so that to prevent people to upvote everything. Or, instead, allowing a maximum of 5 rewarded votes per day for instance.

        I agree with Mahesh concerning the usefulness of the downvoting logic of stackoverflow.

        Again, sorting the results by the number of votes is a priority for me. But It has an interest only if the system is widely used, which is not the case currently.

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