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What is with everyone down-voting reasonable posts in the discussions?

I often scroll through the discussions to see people's questions and I am not understanding why so many of these posts get down-voted! I find a lot of these post very useful and help me with learning. I think people need to be a bit more mindful about what you down-vote because often these questions help other people learn. Even though you may find them irrelevant they may be beneficial to learners who are at a different level.

For example, there is one post that is from 4 hours ago where a user asked "I am new to Duolingo - What language do you suggest I learn?" This question already has 4 down-votes! This is a reasonable thing for someone to ask! Why are you down-voting it?

This is a problem because once a post receives 5 down-votes Duolingo removes it. This is unfair to the person who is posting the question AND other learners that might benefit from the people's responses.

All I am asking is that you think twice before you down-vote. Thank you :)

August 5, 2017



Some of the very basic grammar questions probably get downvoted because the "Tips and Notes" or a minute on google could have answered them. I think your example of "what language should I learn" probably got downvoted, because this question gets asked very often and because it can't really be answered, being a highly subjective topic. Other posts probably get downvoted, because similar posts exist already and had the person done some searching of the forums they would have found the info they needed. I'm not saying that downvoting is the way to go in any of these cases, but I do think "People are mean" is a bit too simplistic.


True but a person just getting Duolingo may not know about this search feature and most people just ignore the and downvoted whereas it would be much more helpful if we explained the search tool to them and redirected them to similar posts that may answer their question, instead most people ignore it so they will not learn this.

It is a bad circle : people are annoying by these questions, they downvote and don't answer, new people are not taught the rules, more of these questions are made.
So by being unhelpful in this people are creating more of the very thing they are annoyed at and trying to get rid of


The search feature is right at the top of the stream, though... The FAQ and forum guidelines are at the top of the sticky list and should be the first thing a newcomer sees. I really don't think it's too much to ask to familiarise yourself with the rules and workings of a forum before posting in it.

Again, I want to emphasise that I never claimed that downvoting these posts was useful or helpful.


But to be honest: The search implementation here is really simple and to find a specific older topic is nearly impossible or at least very time consuming. Aside from this, the forum is flat, which makes it more difficult to find something.

I can understand, when someone posts his question instead of using the search or after a frustrating and unsuccessful search.

  • 1805

If everybody who is new to Duolingo came to say "I am new, what should I learn" there would be too many of these posts, so people are allergic to them, not to mention that asking "what language should I learn?" is a really silly question, since the best language is the best language for that specific person (depending on location, employment, abilities, interest ...) and nobody else can answer that.

There is a set of typically downvoted posts such as: my fluency is too low, my tree is losing its golden colour and there is too many strengthening exercises to do, what language should I learn, why are there more ways to say one thing in XY language, why do you say "ich habe Hunger" in German (and similar questions for other languages), there is too many exercises asking to translate to English rather than from English to my target language, why does English course show USA and not British flag, why is German (or other language) so hard, which one is the easiest language to learn... and tons of other questions that just repeat every day so people tend to downvote them to get rid of them and clean the discussion a bit...

EDIT: I also forgot: "Will I be fluent after finishing the tree?" :-)


There is also "When is Duolingo going to have Chinese, Arabic, Finnish, etc. in the incubator?"

  • 1805

YES... and Latin :-D


ally.x, I'm chuckling, that is an awesome rundown! thank you for making the compilation of all these repeat questions!!!

  • 1805

Thanks :-)


While there are many threads on Duo that should be downvoted, there are also people who downvote ANYTHING, even useful threads. I wish these people could be voted off the island. :-)


I agree. However, sometimes the purported ability level does not match the question. That leaves me to believe that person is messing around. Also, we did suffer a long period of children posting ridiculous comments. I was a down voter in that case. Furthermore, Duolingo is sometimes subject to "hookup" syndrome, and games. Which is a bit of a gray area for me. I assume that the priority is language education first. When that seems to be a distant thought I will use my vote. I like the fact that my vote empowers me to influence the whole community. :)


Here is an example of a very old post that got 10 downvotes. I guess it would fall into the category of "idle chit chat" but I liked it and upvoted it.


Here is a post by Usagiboy7 from 2 years ago, entitled "[Request] Please do not down vote discussions without reading them"


I strongly suggest reading that post, because it was so hilarious that I nearly died laughing. It has 41 downvotes.


Wow I am shocked that it has so many downvotes! I basically posted the same thing lol


LOL! Oh my goodness, I had forgotten all about that, Susanstory! I think at one point it was over 50 down votes. And then people started upvoting it. Also, it was before posts were hidden by votes. Wow, I have certainly been getting a walk through Duo history yesterday and today. Do you remember when people were just saying "points" instead of "XP"? I forgot there ever was such a time until this post came up again in my notifications: Why 100 points a day?. And looking up I recall there wasn't always a blue bar at the top of the screen, nor a check mark for the streak. Duo nostalgia moment.


I still remember that post. When I originally read it, I was laughing my head off. It was so funny.


Or it's just repetitive. I can easily say the progress quiz was asked about probably 200 times since it was deleted, despite being said about almost every day. People still ask about it :)

  • 1805

Good point.


They probably need to have an extra button for reporting spam/inappropriate posts. I've never downvoted anyone but if you were not familiar with the system maybe you could just see a downvote as disagreeing with someone. I had no idea until I read the above post that 5 down votes results in a post being removed. There is a lot to learn from others mistakes and from healthy debates.


"They probably need to have an extra button for reporting spam/inappropriate posts."

That's what the moderators are for.

"I had no idea until I read the above post that 5 down votes results in a post being removed."

It doesn't, it just gets hidden


And once its hidden others are unable to see it and benefit from the question another user had


I quite agree with you, posts should really only be downvoted if they are spam. But it seems that more advanced people more look at basic questions as if they are spam despite everyone once being at the same stage of not knowing a lot about this site or how to use it


Thank you for understanding - This is exactly how I feel


Not just if they're spam- they should also be downvoted if they're irrelevant or in breach of the forum guidelines in some other way.


Your example post is not very good as it is not asking a useful question. Learning a language requires a lot of motivation (you really need to want to speak your chosen language). Asking for suggestions from total strangers will not give you that motivation and is considered by many as idle chat and is therefore downvoted.


Here is an example of something I posted that I feel was a reasonable question. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23834426

Someone was very helpful and explained why I was having that problem. But for some reason, the post got 5 downvotes.


You got your answer. It's a question asked an untold number of times. There are users who downvote such uber-repetitive things if they see they've gotten an answer, because then the poster has been helped and the forum is made clearer for everybody else. There are probably even some who will answer the question WHILE downvoting the post for this reason. Obviously, I have no knowledge of the habits of those who responded to you.

You also posted that question in the wrong forum, indicating you hadn't read the posts stickied at the top of the forum before posting. Didn't win you any points.


Conversely, what is the thing with overly sensitive people being upset about having posts downvoted? It's a sign of agreement or disagreement with what's stated, not a vote on a person's individual quality. And Duolingo doesn't remove a post that receives five downvotes; it just hides the post.


I totally agree!!


Personally, I pretty much never downvote unless it's obvious trolling. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so I don't downvote when I disagree with someone. It's better to reply and try to explain why he/she is wrong about something


I agree with you! My first post has already 6 downvotes and I'm pretty sure it was a normal post.. :(


I think it's because the world is full of "A-Holes" of many nationalities and Duolingo is no exception. It might help if Duolingo could check it's database for persistent "down-voters" and possibly remove their pointless votes and even strike them off from the community...


Yh it would be difficult to tell if they were downvoted actual spam or not with out paying people to go through the down votes individuay and see if it was justified. Otherwise you ban a user who was just doing their part and downvoting all the free movie ads


That is actually a really good idea. I hope it gets implemented in the near future :)


Wow this is impressive. I already got 10 downvotes. This is a record for me. I am just sharing my opinion -_-


Which a lot of people disagree with. That's the point of downvotes. Nothing personal - people just don't agree with you.


That is a stupid idea. Downvotes and upvotes are just a way that users have of expressing their opinion. You seem to be suggesting that people who express an opinion that differs from yours should be banned from the site.


but the thing is that people are downvoting people who actually need help. note : i am not agreeing with the people in this dicsussion talking about introductions and stuff this is purely about what is stated in this comment

If someone posts something saying 'how do i use la or el in spanish' every advanced user rolls their eyes and downvotes because its their opinion that it is too basic to need a question for yet i can say with certainity that at some point in Spanish class almost everyone put their hand up and asked the stupidest question that everyone else understood, but the teacher didnt roll her eyes an say that is basic i have already told you go sit outside....she explained it and helped us and was patient

I disagree with blocking because you could never tell but i think people need to think more careful about what they doing but because this is the internet we think we dont have the same responsibility as if in a class where we could see and know the person who needed help. so i suppose there will always be there annoyong ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ in the back who doesn't speak a lick of Spanish but laughs at your question and yells idiot but i personally want to be the teacher not him.


That would be very time consuming... And a huge mistake in general. Unfortunately, Duolingo is just one of those places where only five people can make a very helpful post disappear, but the reason why there is even a voting system is that the users can express their liking or disliking towards a post. Appropriate and helpful posts will usually be upvoted, and I have seen many cases where a downvoted wonderful post got upvoted because the people recognized the abuse that was occurring. If a "persistent downvoter" was downvoting posts that broke the guidelines, why would you want to punish them? Yes, there will be those people who downvote everything for no reason, but there has to be a sense of cleanliness so that the forums aren't filled with spam, irrelevant posts, etc; hence the voting system. It's truly a shame that helpful, abiding people often have to suffer the system as well.


The very first thing any new user sees on entering Duo's forums is a moderator's FAQ post. This includes a link to forum guidelines and appropriate posts.

Take a look at the part which mentions self-introductions, which applies to the type of post you talk about.

[deactivated user]

    You are assuming most of these posts are reasonable. Many are not. I upvote posts that I think really add to the content on the site. I downvote all spam posts, posts about the fluency meter, posts asking for a new language to be added, posts requesting chat buddies, and several other types of posts. As others have said, many posts can and should be avoided by using the search function first. I love this site and application and I want to help it be good and discouraging spam posts is one way to help.


    Spam is only one element that affects the atmosphere of our community. When new people join, there is a learning curve. While they are bumping along learning how it works here, they will be getting an impression of how receptive the community is to their joining. If they feel rejection, they might not return. New members are essential. And, there is some room to be gentle with those with good intentions but who have acquired some bad habits from other communities, or who may not be familiar with internet communities at all.

    The very first thing I posted when I arrived was an inquiry into when Japanese would be arriving. The only comment I received was a toothy chastisement. Hopefully, if people are going to down vote new members who are oblivious to our norms, some of the first will enter and gently and warmly mentor them.

    [deactivated user]

      I understand completely. For example, if they post their contact information while asking for speaking partners I advise them against doing so and I will direct them to other apps that do exactly what they want, like using HelloTalk, for example. If it is just spam like "Hey, what's happening" I will tell them how the forum is to be used, and it's not for conversations, it's for language related questions and to alert the community to language related content, etc. I do try to do it with as much tact as possible while also helping to keep the forum clean. Unlike some people who simply downvote, I also let them know why the community is likely downvoting them, and how to fix it.

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