How does Stack Exchange control mean vindictive members?

I pointed out that a member used the phrase “3-days” instead of “3-ton” when he was answering a question about heat pumps. So he told me how smart he is and then downvoted 6 of my answers in less than 5 minutes.

How is this handled? I thought the rules said “Be nice”.


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  • Done. I see...thanks. – Lee Sam Sep 6 '19 at 3:30

I saw that discussion, and it seemed a little bit testy/snappish - apropos to the "Be Nice" policy. Honestly, both of you are high reppers, and when you've been around on a platform for awhile, you ought to get a feel of the people around you. For a fellow high-repper like you, I'd pause and ask myself I know this person, they're no moron, they must mean something by that. What might it be? Maybe I'm missing something. It makes matters worse that in fact, you were.

I wasn't the only person who thought you were testy, as a third party gave your salt right back to you.

I also hope you know that we have a very gentle community standard, where the regulars are VERY slow to downvote. I for one don't do it unless somebody's giving advice that'll get people hurt. People sometimes arrive and don't realize this, and give us StackOverflow style feedback; we try to gently correct them. When a person is intractable with the hair-trigger downvotes, some of us will mirror that policy right back at them. So if you are getting a lot of downvotes, maybe you're giving them.

But do keep in mind that every one of us is a personality, including you. So you have to give people space to be who they are, without taking things too personally or invading their space with your own stuff. And especially, don't get in negative feedback loops of your uniqueness vs theirs. It's a bit of a dance. And sometimes you just have to get used to people. And them to you.

  • Regardless of whether I was “too sensitive” to the 3-ton or 3-week issue, I was not the person who downvoted another person 6 times in 5 minutes. (Seems a bit vindictive...and that was the point of my original question on this meta site where it can be discussed.) Also, I find it odd that “you don’t do it (DV) unless...people could get hurt.” I don’t think that’s the intent of downvoting. If the Home Improvement site is to help people find a solution to their problem, downvoting a silly or irresponsible answer seems just as important as upvoting a good answer. – Lee Sam Oct 16 '19 at 1:09

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