Of course that’s negative.
John C. Welch
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In the next paragraph I clarify on my understanding of the purpose of downvotes. I think that they are for the community rather than the question asker. I’m not sure that every question needs actionable feedback per se. I also agree that it can seem like a slap in the face and it’s never a good feeling — especially for new users — to get something like a downvote.

I don’t agree that it’s useless except to assert authority. To me it’s not an assertion that the question asker is unworthy, it’s a statement about the question itself… particularly that there is no perceived community benefit from this question.

When you say “You brag about that…” etc., are you referring to me specifically? I’m sorry for how you’ve interpreted my article, but I’m not meaning to brag about anything. I think that I can come off as snarky sometimes when I don’t mean too, and I apologize for that too. I was trying to avoid any snarkiness in this article specifically.

I also don’t understand the need for a personal attack here. I don’t think that anyone who participates on Stack Overflow is lazy since it’s an educational endeavor. It’s really not anyone’s responsibility to answer or improve any particular question. Why would you resort to a character attack when you want to drive out negativity in the community?