To @Dan specifically, because his comments are being presented here, but generally, to all who behave in like manner.

Here are Dan's comments attached to my answer concerning Interpretations of Elihu in Job

He said:

Revelation has no place in a question about Job. This is not a Christian site. We stick to the text (in its original context) and must show work for going beyond this. More than a perceived topic must be shared when citing other texts outside of the work asked about (i.e we don't proof-text - stick to the historical, linguistic, and literary aspects of the text - not later religious interpretation)

To which I replied:

@Dan I agree. Thanks. I appreciate "greatly" your constructive comment

He had clearly stated his objection to what he regarded as a Christian point of view, and I was happy to accommodate it.

However, when I realised he had downvoted my answer, I said:

I just noticed the downvote from you. I think there is a significant degree of high handedness happing on this site. What do you think I would have done to my answer, if you had've just commented WITHOUT the downvote. I would have removed the inappropriate reference myself. You would then have taught me something valuable and my answer would no longer be downvotable. You guys should be TEACHERS in the first instance and EDITORS in the second.

To which, he replied (emphasis mine):

my down vote is for this not really doing much to elucidate the original historical, linguistic, or literary context of this passage. Rather than citing scholarly research, it is merely speculative (plus it imposes a much later Christian worldview on the text evidenced by your citation of 'You know, "All have sinned an fallen short of the glory of God".' -which is from the New Testament). My DV and edit are unrelated, however. My edit was to bring this in line with the site policy of showing work, the comment as well. The DV is because as a regular user I don't find this answer helpful.

Firstly: this is such pompous nonsense. This site is not an academic site, and there is nothing that requires anyone to format their answers as if they were presenting a thesis.

Secondly: he still hadn't let go of the reason for his downvote. It's there taking up 1/3 of the space in his comment. But, it was then only a phantom reason.

Thirdly: the last sentence of his comment is really pulling the standards of this site down, and he should repent in dust and ashes for having written it.

He is telling me and the whole community of members here, that regular users should follow his lead and downvote any answer they personally don't find helpful. Come on, guys! I know a banner advertising that as a foundation stone upon which this site is built, would certainly not be helpful in attracting new members to the site.

Moving on...

He then said:

it's always been how things are here

Again the bur under his saddle was confirmed by the destination of his link, but he had already removed the reference that caused him pain.


The behaviour of some of the senior members on this site does the site no credit at all. Dan and Susan and Caleb should be setting a better example to follow than downvote-any-question-that-you-don't-personally-find-helpful.

  • To whomever removed the serial downvoting today, could you please have a look at yesterday's activity as well. I received 8 downvotes (16 reps) on 5 different answers in the space of 3 minutes.
    – enegue
    Nov 23, 2015 at 3:08
  • 2
    Do me a favor, move your mouse over the up arrow for upvoting any post and note what pops up in the tooltip. Voting is purely subjective. My downvote is for the content remaining after the edit. The beauty of a site like this is that others may find it helpful and may upvote it also. I personally do not. The edit has nothing to do with that, as I explained.
    – Dan
    Nov 23, 2015 at 5:30
  • Yes, I know. However, someone needs to investigate this behaviour. Perhaps I should show a jpeg of my reputation graph. Honestly, Dan, I would prefer that this personal attack on my answers could be dealt with in-house, but if that fails, I will use the link that was provided when today's serial downvoting was drawn to my attention, to appeal to a higher authority. I don't care about reputation, I care that people will be discouraged from reading alternative points of view because of the abuse of a tool provided by the parent site. BTW, I have read the intended use statement.
    – enegue
    Nov 23, 2015 at 5:44
  • There is nothing in the intended use of the downvote that relates to whether or not the answer is "helpful" to you.
    – enegue
    Nov 23, 2015 at 5:46
  • I believe it says 'useful' or 'helpful' but I'm on mobile and can't check right now.
    – Dan
    Nov 23, 2015 at 5:49
  • You are looking at the upvote. The downvote has a specific use, which has nothing to do with whether the answer is not useful or helpful to you.
    – enegue
    Nov 23, 2015 at 5:51
  • See this answer for more on worrying about being downvoted, and then you can read my personal philosophy on downvotes here, which I've spelled out throughly ad nauseam
    – Dan
    Nov 23, 2015 at 5:53
  • You may also find this enlightening
    – Dan
    Nov 23, 2015 at 5:54
  • Well, clearly, I should downvote your answer there, because that's not the official line at all. Why should your personal opinion trump that of the parent site?
    – enegue
    Nov 23, 2015 at 5:55
  • 5
    Voting down, also known as "casting downvotes", is how the community indicates which questions and answers are least useful. That's the very first line. To me, someone ignorant of scholarly historical research and contemporary literature around the original context of the text, or someone who doesn't know the language(s) being asked about in a linguistic question has expended little effort learning this field and is giving "an answer that is clearly and perhaps dangerously incorrect."
    – Dan
    Nov 23, 2015 at 6:01
  • Perhaps that explains your behaviour today. Don't stop at the first line of the official policy, Dan. Read on!
    – enegue
    Nov 23, 2015 at 6:03
  • See edit to comment above
    – Dan
    Nov 23, 2015 at 6:04
  • 2
    Anyways, I explain much more in the lengthy post I linked to. No point in repeating myself. I alone can only contribute one DV to an answer. If you're receiving several, rather than attacking voters, perhaps figure out how to make your content more useful. I'm done with this discussion.
    – Dan
    Nov 23, 2015 at 6:06
  • 4
    @enegue The DV's are frustrating, I know. But when I started to participate on this site, I needed the same kind of "tuition" that you're now getting. It's not rare that this is needed -- the SE model is somewhat "different", and it takes some schooling to get into the groove. And, in my case (again like yours), Dan was my primary tutor. I found his input wholly constructive -- my strong hunch is that you would, too, if you sit lightly to the DV's (as cruel as they may seem) and have ears to hear what the ♦ is saying, to coin a phrase ;) ...
    – Dɑvïd
    Nov 23, 2015 at 7:59
  • 6
    @enegue That's exactly what votes are supposed to show. That's exactly how people should be voting. The cumulative effect of lots of people voting this way is that answers get sorted by a crowd-sourced metric of apparent usefulness. The more experts vote to show whether they found posts useful or not the more reliable an indicator the vote count will be to future visitors about whether they should spend their time reading an answer. Perhaps I should also point out that votes are not primarily a feedback mechanism to the poster, they are for other visitors.
    – Caleb
    Nov 23, 2015 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


It appears that in the span of 3 minutes, you had 5 answers which were downvoted yesterday. Each downvote counts for -2 reputation. One answer was downvoted by 4 separate users. This resulted in a total of -16 reputation. Often times flagging an answer can result in an answer being placed into the review queue. You will gain the ability to see the review queue at 350 reputation (So you only have +58 more to go!). When this happens, it is possible that many with a reputation above 350 will view your answer and downvote it if it is seen to be a particularly low quality and can result in a rapid loss of reputation.

I do not believe that even a moderator can cast a vote against you more than once. Therefore, if 4 seperate moderators downvoted your answer, it probably wasn't very good (sorry - no offense meant. I honestly haven't even read the answer in question, but I can tell you that you can get a badge for deleting it, and plenty of us have done so.)

Because so many answers were downvoted in such a short time period, the answers were placed into a moderator queue for review as clearly no one could possibly read all 5 answers in 3 minutes. The note about serial voting states

When a single user continually votes (up or down) on many of your posts within a short period of time, the system considers these votes to be invalid and removes them. This could happen for a variety of reasons, such as a user finding a user's great answer and visiting all of their posts to upvote them, or a user getting into an argument with another user and downvoting their posts indiscriminately in revenge. No matter the cause, this sort of systematic targeted voting is not considered normal behavior and the system will not allow it.

If such a voting pattern continues to happen between two users mutually or from one user towards another, or otherwise falls outside of normal voting patterns, moderators and/or developers may investigate the matter; intentionally voting merely to reduce or inflate another user's reputation is considered abuse.

Such votes will generally be invalidated as part of an automated process that runs every day, but may also be invalidated manually by the staff after an investigation.

I do know that you cannot see who votes on your questions (up or down) but I CAN tell you that it could not have been Dan, Susan AND Caleb, but at most one of them, as only a single user voting could kick off a serial downvoting review or reversal. Blaming all of them really isn't fair. All of them have worked very hard to earn their reputations and moderator status. Even Dan, who I think you are really trying to finger and blame for this. Furthermore, for every downvote, you lose one reputation. Dan did not lose 5 reputation yesterday near as I can tell, but the reporting appears to be delayed a bit. You might check back tomorrow. You may find you owe him an apology. Unfortunately (in my opinion) bad actors do not receive a penalty for this bad behavior.

Instead of blaming moderators for answers that multiple community members found to be poor (all of your questions still had -2 or more after serial downvoting was removed) perhaps you should just accept the constructive criticism that seasoned members of the site are trying to give you. Regarding Dan's comments in particular, the purpose of this site is to determine the meaning of the passage in the original context and a Christian interpretation (in the case of the Old Testament) is always the wrong one and the older Jewish interpretation should be preferred where interpretations differ because the Christian interpretation is not how it was viewed in the original context - hence Dan's (correct) downvote.

If you still do not agree with Dan's edit, as the Original Poster, you can revert it (something which I did do to one of Dan's edit on one occasion - and for a similar reason,) However this site does have academic expectations (though participation is not limited to academics) and you are expected to post high quality answers which show your work and follow site guidelines. If you are unclear on those - this is the right place to ask.

In the future, if you have a problem with a moderator, you might also try the library chat room where many of them hang out. If you ask respectfully, they are probably willing to justify their downvotes, offer constructive criticism and help you figure out site complexities like serial downvotes and offer other general guidance. I can assure you they are all nice people who are generally willing to help.

  • Thanks, @James. I didn't see the need to revert Dan's edit. I have no reason to antagonise the people who would prefer not to have NT references in questions dealing with the OT. However, Dan's poor behaviour today, as I demonstrated in my question, doesn't deserve to be defended by you. He should be reproved appropriately, and the matter laid to rest.
    – enegue
    Nov 23, 2015 at 6:23
  • 2
    If his voting history as it appears is correct, then he does deserve to be defended and you should apologize for a baseless accusation and he intended nothing but constructive criticism. Nov 23, 2015 at 6:27
  • Do I have access to such statistics? No. How about you identify the member that was responsible for the serial downvoting that I was notified of today.
    – enegue
    Nov 23, 2015 at 6:29
  • I linked to Dan's stats in my answer (you can only view for a specific individual.) I have no way to group search all of the stats - I believe only a developer has that power. Nov 23, 2015 at 6:30
  • Well, @James, I have indicated that if the matter can't be dealt with satisfactorily in-house, I will take draw it to the attention of the parent site. They will have no trouble identifying who the downvoters are. If I have to appologise for getting it wrong, I will not hesitate to do so.
    – enegue
    Nov 23, 2015 at 6:33
  • 2
    Because these two Meta Q&As kind of got mixed together, I will link this to the resolution to the above concerns from a Community Manager who investigated the matter.
    – Susan
    Nov 23, 2015 at 8:33

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