Meta-users should already know this: Why is voting important?
…good content rises to the top …incorrect content falls to the bottom
But looking into the questions by vote yields almost ridiculous results. Some posts are there for historical reasons, as I understand. But the top hits are unnavigable wiki-posts containing much outdated information, several pages long. As I understand current regulations for what is or isn't off-topic here most of them violate more or less these rules. (That also implies that this tab features way too much bad examples for new users wanting to orient themselves by past good questions.)
Many of the more recent ones are also of very questionable quality, either in form or in content?
List of all packages of a package manager? Really? No-one answered something like RTFM? If this question does not show very little research effort, then what does?
Meta-users have this problem discussed before: Why does Ask Different have such a low voting percentage? Last post being from 2012 means: this is accepted fact of life here?
In the short time I have been active here I am very much impressed how much the voting behaviour of the users presently active fails.
Voting up a question or answer signals to the rest of the community that a post is interesting, well-researched, and useful, while voting down a post signals the opposite: that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information.
Was this ever the case here?
After reading through some meta-posts and reviewing my own activity for quality control I just found the opposite in the wild majority of cases. Someone gave me the feedback:
"Sometimes people really don’t like short answers or people don’t like long answers. I’ll get downvotes lots of times based on length alone."
If that is true as written then that alone should be somehow addressed? Someone able to give that kind of feedback will surely not post "Me too", "There's an app for that", "Gotta link"-answer? And "We expect long answers…" is also in contradiction to this kind of voting behaviour.
And while upvoting good information seems to be at the usual low I can not shed the impression that some users with high enough rep to spend it quite aggressively keep downvoting certain content.
Only based on my own answers I keep wondering why I only received only one helpful downvote. On that, I received the notification for the downvote (prbably cast in ignorance or for arbitrary reasons?), revisited the question, had to grumpily realise I made a mistake/was misreading the question and corrected the answer.
For the entire rest of my contributions to this site I fail to see how they should be in violation of the rules or "contain wrong information, are poorly researched, or fail to communicate information"?
While it may be that my own communication skills are to blame for so many people misreading things I thought I made clear enough, some things are just inexplicable to me. Examples may be found:
- How to Restore the Default Permissions in Sierra?
- How do I disable System Integrity Protection (SIP) AKA “rootless” on OS X 10.11, El Capitan?
Trying to give context and prior research was criticised as noise in the first case. In the second: Trying to differentiate why I added to an old post and what differentiates this answer from the others (that were not wrong) was cut, but why it was downvoted in the first place when it was technically correct information from the start?
My personal highlight is this locate command with regex equivalent in OSX There are two answers and a lot of opinion. One answer with a 3 vote distance upwards basically just says "no werky". My answer addresses the general audience for such a question in general and in particular the exact situation, goals and level of understanding displayed by the OP's question. Have I posted incorrect information there? Was it not useful, was it rude to anyone, devoid of information? If it were, and if that info were conveyed in comment…
Now I do not care that much for the lost rep incurred to me by that. The posts quoted are only meant as an example, where I am convinced of their fair quality and know their comment and edit history quite well.
There are others like that. Examples after just skimming them quickly again:
Prevent update notifications in OS X 10.10.2 (Legitimate question? No bad comments indicating problems, edited, downvotes stayed.)
How to get a list of available
defaults write terminal commands (not too broad imho and similar Q&A abound.)
How can I disable auto-play blocking on a per-site basis? (Illegitmate question? Progress to be observed and finally an least halfway useful answer.)
“Permission error” when creating files on a new hard drive in Mac Pro (Serious problems with the question and the answer remain. Apparently several comments and edits. Comments partly removed, large discrepancy between Q and A despite being of similar quality.)
Is it possible to install Mountain Lion on a Mac mini that is older than 2009? (Ignoring the quality of the final question (now: just like for the package-manager question as used above as an example) Progress towards shape very noticeable, votes remain negative.)
How to reinstall macOS Sierra after formatting by Ubuntu (Strange scenario and description, yet the situation occurs, question heavily punished, yet an answer that is very probably wrong/incorrect in this situation gets upvoted (Recovery partition is likely gone in this scenario?) Scenario especially pressing since El Capitan and Sierra are not so easily available as previous systems.)
What I care about is that this behaviour seems contrafactual to the stated rules and goals here.
The quality-content buoyancy theory of site design seems to be failing for years now. This whole post is less about the editing vs voting trope as it was driven to in the last paragraphs. It is about the dysfunctional voting in general and hereby reduced usability of the site; now.
Does anyone here has any idea on how to fix this frustrating voting behaviour?