Is over conformity an issue on philosophy stackexchange?

I think so, that people are downvoting because that's not what they want to see on the site, rather than poor research. Almost nothing I ask is an easily researchable question (I've had a lot of downvotes).

  • 3
    The whole idea of downvotes is to cast them on posts which one "does not want on the site", no? That's how the site's focus is shaped. The machine needs our human judgment to work properly.
    – Dan Bron
    Sep 14 '16 at 12:04
  • 8
    I think a big part of the issue is that a lot of the questions we get here are very ill-posed/ambiguous/vague/unclear, although to the asker it's always transparent exactly what they meant. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that, the more you do philosophy, the more you understand how hard it can be to pose a clear question. What, to an asker, seems like a trivial crack in the facade of a question, can look like a catastrophic ambiguity to someone who's been trained to analyze any question with the strictest assiduousness.
    – commando
    Sep 14 '16 at 16:56
  • @commando good comment. i suppose i only mean that those who have done a lot of philosophy ought to explain their downvotes more
    – user6917
    Sep 15 '16 at 2:59
  • 1
    @DanBron all bad questions aren't wanted -/-> all unwanted questions are bad
    – user6917
    Sep 15 '16 at 3:04

There are several mechanisms in place to prevent, detect and act on hostile downvoting. Think about someone downvoting all your posts because of a dispute, or 'tactical downvoting': when someone downvotes the other answers of a question he has answered, so that his post is better visible.

Downvoting is a privilege that is awarded to users at 125 reputation, because they are considered to know the SE format and this site well enough to use it wisely. It is not defined what exactly deserves a downvote (that would be impossible), but there are guidelines. From the help center:

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.

I have had a look at your reputation history and it seems you have had 3-4 downvotes over the past couple of weeks. That is a very normal, perhaps even relatively low number of downvotes for a user who is as active as you are. Indeed, it is common to receive a downvote now and then, and they cannot always be explained. So I wouldn't worry about them - until one particular post starts to attract many downvotes, perhaps.

Since downvotes are anonymous and nobody is required to explain them (which is a good thing), it is impossible to answer your question if there is this issue. Unless you have a clear idea that some kind of questions (about some topic / in some writing style / etc.) attracts more questions than others, it isn't very meaningful to discuss it, I think.

  • hey. i don't really mean hostility. not sure if my complaint can be well defined.
    – user6917
    Sep 15 '16 at 2:58
  • part of the issue i think is when people who are unfamiliar with questions of this sort, etc., downvote a question because they don't understand it
    – user6917
    Sep 15 '16 at 3:54
  • about 12 now. that's like a 10,000% increase in downvotes. is anything going on?
    – user6917
    Sep 15 '16 at 15:23

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