I have a question. How moderators and administrators fight (if) with very poisoned atmosphere in Photography forum? My personal observation show in (almost) any photography forum is wide spread hate and very negative behaviors. And here there is no difference.

I see so many negative votes here, IMHO much more than positive and much more (as percentage) compared to Superuser, Security, UNIX/Linux and other SE forums.

Maybe administration should somehow change for this forum the rules and get -20 for each negative vote (instead of -2)

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    Since you're asking about negative votes, you should know that down votes in [meta] don't indicate a bad question or answer so much as one that people disagree with. – Caleb Jul 19 '15 at 2:34
  • @Caleb, thank you for clarification. I had such idea as i did not saw change in my scores when get up or down votes in meta :) – Romeo Ninov Jul 20 '15 at 5:58

I don't see an overall negative attitude here, nor more downvoting than upvoting. Our ratio of upvotes to downvotes is about 7.8:1 over all time. It was higher in the past, but has been pretty consistent over the past year — see chart:

from data stack exchange

This is much more positive than Superuser, where the ratio is only 2.5:1, and quite a bit more positive than Security (5.2:1), although not as positive-skewed as Unix/Linux which comes in at 16.1:1. But especially compared to the bigger sites, I don't think we have a "poison" tendency at all.

However, looking over your posts in specific, I see a general trend towards very short answers, often commenting on or extending other answers. Often you barely address the question. Many explain what you do without explaining the reasoning or why the question asker should care — basically, discussion forum posts rather than answers.

This is why your posts have few upvotes, and sometimes get downvotes. To get more upvotes:

  1. Write complete answers, rather than just answering a small part of the question.
  2. Address your answers to the question itself, rather than treating them as commentary on existing answers.
  3. Don't just give a script to follow or a setting to use — explain why.
  4. If there's more than one way to do it, say so, and if you can't list every possible way and just give one, explain why you chose that one as the best.

Of course, it isn't all about the votes (or the badges, or other aspects of the Stack Exchange game), but, ultimately, the point of all of those things is to encourage great answers to interesting questions. And to me, at least, that seems to be working just fine here.

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  • If you're concerned about the number of upvotes overall, not just on your own posts, one thing you can do is vote up more. I see that you've been a member for 7 months, but only upvoted 100 times. You have 40 votes a day to use — put them to use! – mattdm Jul 16 '15 at 9:08
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    Mattdm, let me first answer to your comment: If i do not understand the subject and/or answer I can't judge it. So I use upvote only where I am sure this is good answer. About point 3 of your answer: let me give you example where i mention 4 points (before the answer, who get 2 upvotes), put some clarifications and explanations. And still do not get any vote. So still have feeling about such nonpositive environment here: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/65288/… – Romeo Ninov Jul 16 '15 at 9:16
  • The answer you link is a great example. You start off with "as suggested already", which is weird if that's the first answer I read, and then you don't explain why to do any of these the things you suggest — or even if they'll actually help. On top of that, the formatting is weird and hard to follow. Meanwhile, the post you're complaining about is short, but also to the point and almost certainly correct about the root of the problem. If that got fifty upvotes very quickly, I'd be surprised, but... two? That's not worth complaining. – mattdm Jul 16 '15 at 9:22
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    In general, if you wrote an answer you feel good about, but it isn't getting the attention you feel it deserves, improve it. Add depth, add further explanation, improve the formatting, make the language more clear, add an image, add links to related questions on the site — there's almost always something that can be done. – mattdm Jul 16 '15 at 9:44
  • Matt, 1. Do not mentioning "as suggested already" will be nonpolite, because if your sort answers by time/date you will see someone before me mention it. I do not want to steal other's answers! 2. Are there some rules of formatting? Are we obligated to use ugly style with bolded several words at the begin of paragraph? 3. "Only two votes"? Most of the answers I see have average two or three upvotes. It's rare to see more. – Romeo Ninov Jul 16 '15 at 9:51
  • It's fine to refer to other answers. It's confusing to start with it. Are there rules of formatting? Not per se, but... some things work and some things don't. And as for it being rare to see more than two or three upvotes.... I think you're looking at a limited dataset. It's very common for decent answers to go right to ten votes, and good ones to go to 25. – mattdm Jul 16 '15 at 14:12
  • My first point was about RAW/JPEG so my very limited knowledge of English do not permit me to use different way, sorry. About formatting: please do not start this discussion, the way of formatting some people use here is very anti many rules of typography :) And at the end I try to be always polite, but seems like this is not very appreciated here... IMHO some moderators expressions here are quite harsh.., (do not ask me about examples) – Romeo Ninov Jul 16 '15 at 14:47
  • I don't think this is an English-language knowledge problem. Your answer is terse in any language. As I said above, you give a list of points, but don't explain any of them. And this is one you pick as an example of a good answer! At the end of the day, you can choose to sit here arguing with me about how great it actually is, or you can try something different to see if it helps. – mattdm Jul 16 '15 at 14:54
  • No, I do not argue how good is this answer, I talk how informative and helpful it is. Because good amount of so named "good" answers are mostly flood of words. And in between valued information. And because this is international community (please correct me if I am wrong) is expected to provide answer so most of the readers can understand. Or there is rule of SE, which said here are not permitted 4-5 lines of answer and it is expected to be 50 or 100 lines? At the end I give those points as reference, not as detailed point and subpoints manual how to do the work. – Romeo Ninov Jul 16 '15 at 15:03
  • P.S. give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime – Romeo Ninov Jul 16 '15 at 15:04
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    My point is that upvotes and downvotes are generally indicative of how well the rest of the site's users think your answers "teach how to fish". If you want, you can continue as you are and blame everyone else for not understanding your methods. That's fine, but unlikely to change anything. You could decide you don't care about votes and just go ahead. Or, if you do want to play the reputation game, you could look at how you could improve what you're doing. – mattdm Jul 16 '15 at 17:31
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    @RomeoNinov I'm a professional technical writer. The one true mark of an amateur is thinking their stuff is "golden", finished, and never capable of being improved. SE allows you to edit like hell, and to allow for evolving answers. This isn't static. It isn't one-and-done. Note how most of us edit multiple times to get the job done, and take on board critical comments as help, not as condemnation/personal attack. – inkista Jul 17 '15 at 19:07

On average, we have about 10 times as many up votes vs down here and the month over month stats are about the same for the last year. I can't say what that ratio is like in comparison to other very mature sites, I only moderate on this site and the Pets one, which is in beta, but that doesn't seem totally out of whack really.

With respect to negativity... Well, I think any mechanism that is written without the ability to see expression, especially when many participants have English as a second language, creates a challenging atmosphere with respect to perceived tone in a message. In other words, a response or comment that I see as perfectly okay may be taken as insulting or derogatory by another. It's often hard to tell when you don't hear it.

It should be noted, however, that this is not a discussion forum site, it's for questions and answers. So, because of that, it will lead to to people judging and rating both and it is designed for that. If down votes are "expensive" to use, people won't use them even when it is appropriate and so bad information will not look as though it is bad to a new visiter. Nor will there be much in the way of motivation for the author of the information to correct it. Bear in mind, a corrected post can allow for the original voter to reverse their decision and even up vote.

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    John, from your statistic I can conclude I am somehow the magnet for negative votes. Yesterday i post and answer with new information about the right to shoot architecture in Europe. With link to the comment outside SE. And today I get negative vote. This just confirm my words about poison between photographers. About English: So you confirm good mount of votes are because someone do not like the language? This is absurd, this mean only votes have nothing to do with the value of information and relation to photography. – Romeo Ninov Jul 11 '15 at 18:51
  • About "expensive" votes: I see your point, but having only small downscore for negative vote somehow make such votes too easy. I understand that this (and other SE communities) are for facts (i.e. not like social networks) but for sure there is solution to mitigate the strictly negative feeling from those votes. For example limit the number per month also is interesting idea to consider and/or make negative votes somehow "heavy" and/or make negative votes to have mandatory comment (longer than current limits for comment). – Romeo Ninov Jul 11 '15 at 18:57
  • P.S. About statistic: I count votes (I see) on the first page with questions and answers and it do not confirm your words. I saw 13 positive votes and 3 negative. Of course this is not representative extract, but is show the trend – Romeo Ninov Jul 11 '15 at 19:04
  • @RomeoNinov - Well, case in point: " So you confirm good mount of votes are because someone do not like the language?" I didn't say that at all, what I did say is that tone is very hard to convey when written and even harder when one is not a native English speaker. I did not say that ESL is a reason for down votes. – John Cavan Jul 11 '15 at 19:05
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    I have access to stats and have looked at the monthly average for a year. You're looking at a narrow point in time. I think it's entirely unfair to paint the entire community on the basis of a day or two. – John Cavan Jul 11 '15 at 19:06
  • John, OK, but there is always way to comment and ask for clarification. Anyway I see examples where broken english is one of the reasons of negative attitude to the OP or answer. And this is one more argument to change the rules – Romeo Ninov Jul 11 '15 at 19:11
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    @RomeoNinov - The system has flags for rude or improper behavior that will alert a moderator to an issue. We have tools available, including suspension, to discipline users that are not behaving according the rules outlined in the help guides. The biggest thing to avoid is getting into a "debate" in that circumstance, use a flag. – John Cavan Jul 11 '15 at 19:13
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    Aa I try to explain my words are not representative extract. But neither is yours. Because of very sample fact: many people who receive negative votes to their answer(s) just delete own post. And this make statistic VERY "positive" – Romeo Ninov Jul 11 '15 at 19:14
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    @RomeoNinov - I have access to much better information in the moderator tools of the site. My stats are actually very accurate and post deletion doesn't skew things. As an aside, the voting system is designed to encourage correction or deletion of bad information so, in some sense, you're arguing against the very purpose of the mechanism. – John Cavan Jul 11 '15 at 19:16
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    John, I have some idea about the flags. But this have nothing to do with votes. Many people just vote negatively (w/o any flag or comment). And this will not improve the community – Romeo Ninov Jul 11 '15 at 19:16
  • No, John, I do not argue against the mechanism. I want to propose the way to improve it. And as you have much more info can you please explain who some two line answer (only one point commented) have positive votes and other, mentioning more points, strictly related to the question do not have ANY vote. No, forgive me, but I see there something is wrong – Romeo Ninov Jul 11 '15 at 19:20
  • Well, the question of commenting on votes has been debated endlessly on the Stack Exchange network and it as been decided multiple time that nothing should change. If nothing else, there is absolutely nothing a moderator or community member can do to enforce it anyways. Nor would I really want to, to be honest. – John Cavan Jul 11 '15 at 19:22
  • Sorry, I have to admit that I have no idea what you're talking about at this point. I think we may need to move this to chat. – John Cavan Jul 11 '15 at 19:23
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Romeo Ninov Jul 11 '15 at 19:23

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