I asked a bad question. It happens. I'm sorry, I learned my lesson. As soon as I understood it was bad (a few downvotes and two answers within two minutes of each other telling me I misread), so of course I'm trying to do something about it. I check the question, and there is no way to fix it because it is inherently integrating the bad reading.

I believe that this question is legit because several people I know (including myself) all made the amalgam between PHB and the core three books in the notice. This is therefore why I disagree with the "didn't do research" sentiment shown on the question page. But now that my nose is on that paragraph, I can't unsee it and I understand why people might think it's a bad question. But in my eyes, it's a good faith amalgam, which happens a lot.

So I believe that we're better with the question than without because it's common to misread that paragraph as explained above or as seen numerous times on Reddit.

Therefore I'm trying to delete it, but I can't (because of reasons outside of my reach: one answer, I can delete, two answers I can't). I'm trying to make a community wiki of it, but I can't. I tried to flag it to get it deleted by a mod then community-wikied, but both flags were dismissed.

So what am I supposed to do about it? Suck it up, take any downvote that comes, though I learned my lesson? How is that fair?

I'm aware of the Streisand effect that I will get more downvotes by posting this question, but at this point, I just want to know how this should be handled in this community compared to Stack Overflow where such a question would have been deleted on the first flag.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Specifically: any one positively scored answer prevents question deletion. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2022 at 10:20
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ "I just want to know how this should be handled in this community compared to Stack Overflow where such a question would have been deleted on the first flag." I don't think it would have been. You'd have to be very convincing that the question causes active harm right now and thus needs to be removed right now. \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Aug 25, 2022 at 13:19

2 Answers 2


Don't worry about it

Getting downvotes sucks, so I can sympathise with you concern but ultimately this isn't something you should stress over.

You have actually gained rep from that question

At time of writing your question is at +2/-8 meaning while 8 users have downvoted, two have upvoted. As upvotes give +10 rep and downvotes -2 rep you have actually gained 4 reputation, despite the downvotes.

Why we won't delete the question

Once you post a question you are asking others to volunteer their time and energy to solve a problem for you. They are compensated for that in the form of reputation from their answer and the satisfaction of helping someone. If you delete your question it also removes their answers, wasting the time they spent on them and removing any reputation they might gain for their efforts.

Deletion is worse for you than downvotes

There is a system to automatically block repeat low-quality question. The exact formula for this isn't published to prevent users from gaming the system but we know that it punishes deleted questions far more than downvoted ones.

You have enough reputation and a solid track record of good questions so this won't really be a concern for you. But it is a reflection of how we should regard the two. A downvoted but open question is far more valuable and desirable to the site than a deleted one.

Edit to improve the question

The best way to avoid future downvotes (and maybe reverse previous ones) is to edit your question to improve it. Explain why you had the understanding you did. To put it another way; show your work. Downvoters have stated it is due to lack of research so try to show what research you did do and how that led to you asking the question.

Personally I don't see the issue with the question as presented as it is based on an reasonable misunderstanding, but engaging with the comments to improve rather than delete is your best course of action.


So what am I supposed to do about it? Suck it up, take any downvote that comes, though I learned my lesson? How is that fair?

I fail to see:

  1. unfairness
  2. why you are required to do anything here

You got 6 downvotes. A drop in the bucket. And you got two upvotes which more than compensates for the lost reputation. Over time you might get more votes in either direction but probably a lot less as time progresses.

It might even turn out that you accumulate a lot of upvotes as time goes on. Who knows - perhaps in time, it turns out the question was really useful. Initial reception can often be misleading or not quite accurate. There are many questions that started out with negative score only to get quite a high score in later years.

Even if that does not happen, there is hardly anything to lose. Maybe some reputation but it matters very little - each upvote you get "negates" the reputation lost from 5 downvotes. Even if you end up with 20 downvotes on the question, 4 upvotes on any of your posts will offset that. And judging from your posts, getting upvotes is not an issue.

Most of all, it is important to remember that you are not being punished with downvotes. Voting has always been about content rating. A post, as presented, is judged by the community to be useful or not useful. It is not you who is being rated.

Just taking your ball and going home seems far more "unfair" than having a single question with a negative score.


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