I have seen that many good answers and questions have received negative vote without any feedback.


Can someone explain very simplified how the Winternitz OTS/Lamport OTS works?

What are the maths to convert bytes <-> trytes?

What exactly is a snapshot? Why do we need it? And is there always an update when a snapshot occures?

In fact, I have noticed that almost every answer/question has received a negative vote. Kind of a sabotage.

How can the site protect itself from people who just want to give downvotes? Should negative vote need a comment?

Here is an example of a response from me that received a negative vote. Honestly, downvotes without any feedback discourage me from being part of the community.

What is the chance that a supercomputer finds a Seed with money

What is wrong with the following question and with the right answer to receive a negative vote with no feedback?

Will outsourcing POW ever be an issue?

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  • 3
    slightly ironic, that you first got a negative vote without a comment – Benny Müller Dec 11 '17 at 9:26

No, not unless the intention is to demand a comment for every up-vote too.

Voting is a sorting mechanism. I see a lot of positive votes on stuff across the network that barely scratches the surface of the issue being discussed, but nobody demands they justify their input. Ideally, you'd want to see a lot more voting on every post so you get a truer sense of the merits of the information, both good and bad. So rather than demanding an explanation when a lackluster post received a random down-vote, we want to keep that bar low to encourage even more voting as much as possible.

We need to encourage as much voting as possible, up or down. Demanding justification for criticism but not praise would only bias the score towards the upside, and that wouldn't really give you a balanced account of whether what is written is any good.

Comments are always encouraged whenever you feel it is helpful, but every down-vote isn't meant to be some sort of sword to the heart to whomever wrote the original post — that's why the rep penalty is set so low for down-votes — but if the down-voter is really indignant about what the vote signifies, history tells us that semi-anonymous users are typically more than willing to critique whatever is wrong with the post and speak up about it… hopefully to be improved.

See: Why aren't comments mandatory on down-votes?

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While Robert already describes why compulsory down-vote comments are a bad idea I want to address another part of your question. The assumption that everything you deem good is objectively good or will be deemed good by other people. That's just not the case. That's the internet for you.

In fact I think some of your examples aren't particularly good questions. Most of those questions are very generic and are not based on anything resembling an actual problem. Look at the first one:

Can someone explain very simplified how the Winternitz OTS/Lamport OTS works?

I read the Wiki example, but I am still confused to be honest. Could someone provide a really simple example?

That's not a good question. I'd even argue it's the opposite. It's calling for a blanket explanation of a quite complex process. Have a look at what the tool tips from the up vote says. This question shows research effort; it's useful and clear. The question is a literal zero for three. It shows no effort (even less before my edit), it doesn't bother to show the connection to IOTA and it doesn't mention what's unclear with the Wikipedia page—or even what Wikipedia page it is referring to.

In effect it asks for a better Wikipedia page on Lamport Signature Schemes or hash based cryptography or just its section about one time signature schemes? That's not a good Q&A question.

The down vote tool tip says, "This question shows no research effort, it is unclear or not useful". Highscore. I totally get why one would press that button.

Same applies more or less for this question you mentioned. Translation: I heard a word, explain it, put it into context, what's the relation to the other thing I heard. Just put the title into Google and ask yourself if any effort went into that question. It's very much deserving of a downvote.

Remember, private beta sets the scope and tone for the site. Do you want thoughtful questions or do you want drive-by Wikipedia requests?

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