I feel like I have a scenario like this, but recently I gave an answer which received a down-vote, as did one other answer to the same question, and then mine got a second down-vote, yet there were no comments explaining the down-vote.

What made the answer "not useful"?

Sub-questions/possible reasons:

  • Was it because I saw the score change and thus didn't report what Roland did ("When I play the quiz, my total score always stays at 0, so there must be something wrong.")

  • was it because the review wasn't very comprehensive?

  • were the suggestions considered bad practice?

  • was it because the suggestions were not accompanied by example code?

Perhaps I am just over-reacting about these down-votes, but it is quite frustrating to not have any constructive feedback. I have been told "Code Review is a participation thing, you should not have to worry about people downvoting you for nothing"1 but not only does it take away rep, it also has adverse affects on progress towards badges like tag-specific badges, the illuminator, etc....

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    \$\begingroup\$ This and most of your downvoted answers are a clear case of tactical-downvoting to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – t3chb0t
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 19:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @t3chb0t IDK, Sam has 6 downvoted post, 1 of which is a quesiton, 1 of which the OP and Sam wrote an answer, 2 of which are solo answers, and finally 2 where there are answers by neither the OP or Sam. In this case, there were problems with their post. And there was a discussion under the other post. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 12:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @techbot I have received down and undownvotes on one post... And last weekend there was a user account created with name HATEUSAM and an answer on one of my posts that was totally against the Be Nice policy, which we of course flagged and has since been deleted, but it makes me wonder what kind of world we live in... are there users who aim to just be omnipotent and/or manipulative??? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 17:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are some odd users around, yes. Although I'm not convinced about the statement by @t3chb0t you're being downvoted for tactical reasons.As 200 points out, it may simply have been due to the issues mentioned.Other answers may have been downvoted because they didn't like your style, the length of the answer or any other reason which only makes sense in the head of the downvoter as long as they don't leave a comment. Since comments aren't always well received (they may lead to non-constructive discussion, although that's more common on SO than CR), I'm not a fan of forcing to comment either. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Jan 20, 2018 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


I didn't downvote, and I can't say that these are the reasons for your downvotes, but I can critique your answer anyway.

You made two main points:

  • Random-number generation. You correctly spotted a bug: that it is possible to accidentally generate duplicated multiple-choice answers.

    However, your explanation is misleading: the possibility of coincidences has nothing to do with the fact that the number generator is pseudorandom; a true random number generator would have the same problem.

    Rather, the problem is that the algorithm involves sampling with replacement, rather than sampling without replacement. Sampling without replacement could be implemented using a Fisher-Yates shuffle with early termination, or it could be simulated using a retry loop that you suggested.

  • CSS color specification. white is a perfectly clear CSS color specification, and in my opinion, the clarity is more important than consistency. If anything, I would suggest doing the opposite, that #81C784 and #FFBA65 should be commented as // light green and // pink, respectively.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Alright - thanks for the feedback. Is there any reason I can't update my answer based on your explanations above? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 23:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Go ahead and update your answer — that's what feedback is for! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 23:15

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