I use many of the SE sites, all the time. I know the drill. Good question, follow the guidelines, be specific, etc. I know. I googled, I read the similar questions here on LSE to see whether any of them could be applied to my question. I failed to mention that I had done that preliminary research. I got an auto-message saying that I need to explain how my question is not a duplicate. I fixed that.

Since then, downvotes. Followed by a comment that says, "this is a ridiculous question" -- which I found rather unkind, by the way -- upvoted six times. I didn't find any indication in the guidelines that "ridiculous" is against the rules.

So, I'm being punished, not for breaking the rules, but for annoying the group. I feel bullied and humiliated. I'm not blaming anyone. It's just what came up for me when I saw what was happening.

I don't really have a question. I'm just lamely taking advantage of the fact that here, the downvotes I get for lodging a (non-trollish, non-abusive) complaint won't result in my banishment. Sorry, nothing personal.

Peace and luck to all of you

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't rush to draw a connection between your question being called ridiculous and your question being downvoted.

In any case, it's not against the site rules to ask a ridiculous question. I don't think we can do anything about the downvotes though, since we don't know who cast what votes, or why.


This sort of down vote behavior does tend to occur as a problem across all Stack Exchanges. The gist of things on this site is that, to those with a certain level of understanding of the law and its application, there is a class of questions which are painfully obvious to them but inobvious to those with less experience, or those who approach things from a particular emotional attachment.

In your particular case, the downvoters may have seen this as a "of course, that's an obvious requirement for being able to perform their job safely or at all" thing, while your question seems to come at things more from the emotional, parental perspective of "this is my baby, this sounds like a danger to them, I'm going to protect them, and I should be allowed to protect my baby".

Ultimately, you should view whether or not your question is "ridiculous" or ill-received by also accounting for the quality of responses from people trying to answer your question or trying to find the diamond in the rough in the comments. And your question has a solid answer and some nice comments that find some really good issues in the mix.

On any given stack exchange there will be some questions that attract very few (net) upvotes, but generate some very exceptional answers. Such a question might not have been phrased or structured in the ideal way, but the answer makes it clear that there is something very interesting going on with that question.

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