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I took the tour and looked around the site, but couldn't find an answer to this. What is the protocol for down-voting an answer on Puzzling just because it is not the correct answer? I would assume it is not encouraged since puzzles by definition are meant to be tricky, and meant to elude a correct answer.

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While I don't DV for answers being wrong (-and I don't think I've DV (m)any answers at all-), I would DV an answer which gives reasoning against logic (or the logic of the puzzle.), i.e. if there is a riddle, and I's see an answer giving 'explanations' to each clue which are just totally out of the blue etc.

In other words, being just wrong is not a reason for DV, but bad quality answer can mean more than just "missing text". A very long and detailed answer can still be of very bad quality, although I have not yet come across any.

Another example would be an answer which clearly ignores instructions from the puzzle. i.e. if the puzzle askes for a mathematical solution in an image, and the answer just is of type ...if I look at it, I could imagine seeing..., then this would get a DV from me.

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    $\begingroup$ I'd also like to request that both of the above are flagged as not-an-answer: answers with little to no explanation, and answers that don't bother to answer the question as asked. Neither of these really have a place as an answer. $\endgroup$ – user20 Aug 28 '15 at 15:37
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I'm assuming this is in line with the recent surge of downvotes without any reasoning on several questions asked recently. (The note of anger you may detect is because I got downvoted myself and it really pisses me off when it isn't warranted)

Rant finished.

I guess: You should downvote if an answer is not explained, or off topic (not an answer to the question asked). You should always explain in the comments WHY you downvoted, unless it already has been explained by someone else. Most common downvotes are normally as A E said, a lack of explanation often on incoherent answers. Occasionnaly you'll get somewhat 'stupid' answers meant to be humoristic etc.. those can be downvoted - people who post em normally know to expect them. Allthough I wouldnt (downvote). It's all supposed to be in good fun isn't it?

Let's not turn SE into youtube debates. (if you are downvoting based on your personal opinions, it's for the wrong reasons)

EDIT: as an additional note,
Puzzling differs from some of the other SE sites (notably Stack Overflow) in that a wrong answer doesn't really lead to any consequences. Wrong answers are common on Puzzling because of the nature of the questions asked, and we encourage (most of the time) attempts to answer.
On Stack Overflow, wrong answers can mislead people and basically waste time - they are downvoted to discourage people from talking out of their hats and leading people astray.

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  • $\begingroup$ yes, actually referring to the riddle you and myself were down-voted on without comment. Is this a hard rule? As in, when I feel I have given sufficient explanation behind my answer and still receive a down-vote, should the question be flagged to be reviewed? $\endgroup$ – wizloc Aug 27 '15 at 19:41
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    $\begingroup$ @cshanno Best thing to do if you're down voted for no good reason is shrug and ignore it IMO. Happens to us all. And it's only imaginary internet points anyway, who cares? $\endgroup$ – A E Aug 27 '15 at 19:57
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    $\begingroup$ I like imagining the 'hit and run' downvoters in their mom's basement eating cheetohs and drinking gatorade and basically spending their time being human waste. But that's just me, and I think I might have issues - when I get up too early in the morning. ; ) $\endgroup$ – Spacemonkey Aug 27 '15 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ I do find it funny that this response got downvoted for no reason. I have seen a bit of this going around. I think it's just newcomers to the site who wander around a bit before reading the rules or getting a feel for the status quo. I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. $\endgroup$ – Kingrames Aug 28 '15 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ @AE I mostly care because I don't find myself answering very often, and rep grants privileges. It's discouraging to be 'punished' for attempting to solve a puzzle, is all. $\endgroup$ – wizloc Aug 28 '15 at 12:57
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    $\begingroup$ In my case, trolling me slowly transforms me into... a troll. My hair grows out, my teeth go bad, I start grunting a lot, downvoting a lot, and leaving snarky comments all over the place. In turn, others also react similarly to my trolling and a pattern of degradation and negativity emerges... $\endgroup$ – Spacemonkey Aug 28 '15 at 13:00
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    $\begingroup$ @cshanno I understand the lure, but the privs are really not anything to write home about. It's not like you get free ice-cream or a ride in the p.se mazerati. $\endgroup$ – A E Aug 28 '15 at 14:27
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    $\begingroup$ @AE What?! No mazerati? When did that happen? ; ) $\endgroup$ – Aggie Kidd Aug 28 '15 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @AE one should keep in mind how hard it is to get 'everybody' to conform to posting and answering rules on site - and that is with their name in the open. Voting is anonymously done. Never expect that to be always justified and correct. It happens. It feels bad. Ignore it (or think if there might be a valid reason.) $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Aug 28 '15 at 16:44
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Yeah, the convention is we don't down-vote just for being incorrect.

What sometimes will get a down vote is an answer without any reasoning or explanation, eg just consisting of "is it X?" (with no explanation of why it might be X).

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    $\begingroup$ That won't just get a downvote, that'll get firmly deleted by the mods (even if it's right!) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 27 '15 at 21:29

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