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I think that soon my account will be banned due to several harshly downvoted questions. I doubt I will be back, but when I look at the Sites questions in general, there are not many new questions, and many are closed/downvoted.

This is just a smurf account, I am active in several stack exchanges on my "real" account, so I know a little bit about community vibes. I just thought I would mention some things I have noticed, and you can do what you want with it, you can even just skip to downvoting this post.

  1. There is a common misconception I have seen repeatedly that if a person doesn't know the criteria, or how to solve a question, that a criteria does not exist and/or there is no solution.

I have a serious problem with this. Just because you and the "usual first responders" don't know a solution, and you pile on the upvotes on each others comments, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Secondly, it seems to be said the most by people whose accounts say they are coders/developers. Maybe folks who do computer work all day (heck, I do ;) ) think the same, but the thing is, it is no surprise that a developer doesn't know how to spot, for example, a satanic ritual, and 5 minutes of googling won't get you any nearer to knowing. If this site is just for easily google-able answers, count me out anyways.

My point here however also has another subtlety - there are alot of the same people - you should consider that perhaps your structure only works for a certain type of person, possibly by unintended design. Over time, the only people willing to put up with this site were i.e., computer type people used to following an almost binary logic. Of course, not everyone is a coder/developer... just 9/10 profiles I checked. 10 is an incredibly small sample size.

  1. Another point I have found is that for some reason, the comments seem to affect the voting. This is bloody stupid in my opinion. But I found that by digging myself a hole in the comments, the downvotes came in faster. There seems to be a sinister amount of bias related to perceived impressions of the question asker. What does anyones personality or mentality have to do with your answer to their question? Many times a downvote would come in instantly after a comment I made. Now, I may not have much data for many things, but I have enough downvotes to almost make a Gaussian distribution (will stick to Student t-test for now). It certainly could be chance, but, it happened a lot.

Maybe there are a lot of trolls here, or just too many innocently off topic questions, but jaded would describe the atmosphere. I don't care about fuzzy bunny sentiments, but this site is not a welcoming one, and I think some people have to some degree, found themselves susceptible to a Skeptic echo chamber.

Do with this what you will, I could just be out to lunch, but I am tired of trying. I will say that this site has many very interesting questions, and also, incredibly well articulated answers.

If I had any advice it would be to downvote less and just move along to the next question. What is the purpose of being the 8th downvote. It crushes the legitimate question asker, and a troll doesn't give a fuck.

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    "But I found that by digging myself a hole in the comments, the downvotes came in faster." It's well known across the Interwebs that complaining about downvotes only brings more downvotes. Not that it's fair ... Thanks for sharing your thoughts. – fredsbend Jun 19 at 1:53
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    For the record, I think your COViD answer is great, so I'd like to see you stick around. Maybe answer for a while, then you'll pick up the details on making well-received questions. – fredsbend Jun 19 at 1:59
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So I'm going to do a quick critique of your profile, just to give you an idea of why you might be getting downvoted and how to improve yourself in the future. I'm going to start with your most negative post and work my way up.


Are Donald J. Trump's policies negatively impacting minorities in a fashion that could be considered racism? [closed]

As some pointed out in the comments, personal intent is not something we can prove or disprove unless the person in question explicitly came out and said that it was done with racist intent.

Your original version of the question didn't have any links to any source of information. This is an almost-automatic downvote and close reason on this site. We require notable sources on this site simply as a matter of stopping this site from being a sounding board for every 2-bit conspiracy that someone makes up in their head. Even in it's current form, your question contains no notable sources.

President Trump has been widely touted by critics as being racist.

This may be true, but there's not really a claim there that can be proven or disproven. A better version of the question would have asked something like this

(John Doe) of (Recognized News Source, Inc) has claimed that President Trump's policy of (Trump Policy) is discriminatory against (Specific Demographic).

Your link to the Quinnipiac Poll simply states "51% of Americans think Trump is racist". This says nothing about his actual policies and is only what Americans think of Trump.


Was the celebration of the Gotthard tunnel a satanic ritual? [closed]

Your original version of the question didn't link to the correct Tunnel and links two videos, coming in at 17 and 63 minutes long. Once again, no notable source, and nothing taken from the videos other than "Just watch this" with both vidoes claiming "SHOCKING SATANIC RITUAL".

This question, again, is almost guaranteed downvote fodder. No specific claim to examine other than "This performance is satanist". If you had linked to the correct wikipedia article, you may have found the section where the performance was celebrating local culture, including a myth where Satan was tricked by the local populace and defeated by a holy man. Indeed, watching the longer video through to the end, the figure that supposedly represented Satan is defeated in the end by a holy woman.


Was George Floyd a Masonic Sacrifice or even a Mason?

This question needed work in it's original form, but is much better than the previous two questions. As opposed to the previous two questions, we had a notable figure (Former NFL RB Larry Johnson) making a claim (admittedly hard to test) that Stephen Jackson was a Freemason who sacrificed George Floyd.

I have a feeling you were initially downvoted (and I fully admit I reflexively downvoted you initially before upvoting) for the following reasons

  1. The "notable source" initially appeared to be a 16 year old Malaysian girl on a website nobody had ever heard of.
  2. The interchanging of "Satanism" and "Freemasonry" as if they were one in the same, which is a hallmark of certain conspiratorially minded individuals linking any group they don't like in as part of a single super-group of evil
  3. The Gish Gallop nature of the question. Instead of one strong argument, we had a bunch of weak arguments. This is a dishonest form of argument as it takes the answering an order of magnitude more time to examine the claim. I'm going to specifically point to this comment you made

What are the chances that Chauvin would work at the same bar as Floyd?

It seems to imply "Chauvin worked at the same bar as Floyd, therefore Chauvin would involve himself with a Black Masonic Lodge conspiracy". Does that argument sound insane? Yes it does. If you believe this argument, then that is a point in favor of you arguing in bad faith and your downvotes are deserved. If you do not believe this argument, then why bring it up?

Cite a giant wall of text, or a three hour long [Y]ou[T]ube video, and then claim it as irrefutable proof.

When they ask for the relevant excerpt, whine about how it's not your job to do the research for them.

When they go through the video and start explaining why the video is wrong, accuse them of cherry picking […] because they aren't addressing the "important" arguments.

When they ask you what the important arguments are, insist that it's not your job to do the research for them.

And… repeat."


Can cremating bodies cause black rain?

This is a good question, and I've upvoted it. However, again, you are running into issues with the Gish Gallop in the comments.

Yes, around this time there was also the reports of 21 million missing cell phone users, which really fueled this. However, I remember seeing recently that a probably reason for the cell phones was due to people cancelling their second phone during covid. I am not sure if this quite makes sense, but it seems at least somewhat "reasonable". During covid I would expect phone use to go up though.

Again, what does this have to do with the original question? By asking this question, you are giving off the appearance not of someone who is interested in finding out whether or not cremating bodies produces black rain, but as someone who is convinced that 21 million are dead in China and you want us to all agree with you and give you pats on the back.


I will say you've definitely gotten better about including notable sources in your questions, and as long as you have a clearly defined notable source your questions should be better received. However, I would strongly recommend staying on topic within the boundaries of a single question. Attempting to change the argument in the middle of it does not present yourself as a good faith poster and will lead to downvotes in the future.

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  • I agree with 99% of what your wrote. I have one additional observation: the last q doesn't actually quote a claim and so it is potentially rather interpretative of the sources. (I've been rather inactive recently, so this is actually the first time I've looked at any of the OP's questions here...) – SX welcomes ageist gossip Jun 22 at 23:04

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