Voting down nodes for the pure reason that they were written by someone is stupid. Whether to vote + or - should only depend on the content of the particular node.

I'll admit it - sometimes I do go through the new writeups of a noder or two (or three) to see what kind of new crap they've written. Often I can't bring myself to downvote a number of their nodes and sometimes I end up even upvoting a couple.

The bottom line is - vote for the quality of the writeup, do not vote based on spite.

Cloth - E2 nuke requests are a strong statement. Especially for nodes which are not yours. Voting is democratic.

Nobody actually took the time to explain exactly what it is...

Systematic downvoting is just voting down large numbers of writeups due to who the author is, without regard for the content. Often done by going to the user search and just looking at one writeup after another, voting on each in sequence, though sometimes it is more random, and may just be a grudge held by a noder causing them to downvote each writeup they run across without hunting for them.

Suppose, just suppose...

I'm not saying I systematically downvote, mind you - because I don't. Still, just for the sake of argument, consider the fact that every user has a finite number of votes.

I tend to use my allotment of votes to upvote good WUs. I like to encourage the good writers, rather than chastise the duffers. But I always reserve a fraction of my votes (call it one or two votes) for downvotes, to be used on especially deserving WUs. When I come across something that is just miserably bad, and not worthy of the time it took me to read it, I try to do my best for the general quality of E2 by downvoting it. I don't indulge in asking the editors to nuke it - the editors decide that. However, if lots of other E2ians feel the same way as me, I feel confident that it will be zapped, sooner or later.

So, how does this tie in with systematic downvoting? Well, it happens that I encounter a particular noder whose talent might be better spent elsewhere (say, on the walls of his high school's bathrooms). Then, having learned that this person is incapable of writing something that lives up to even the lowest standards, I make it a point to look at what else he has done. If his other work is as bad, it gets my daily downvote.

Is this systematic downvoting? Some would call it that. But, trust me, there is no rancour involved. I generally /msg the person in question to advise him what I think is wrong with the WU, before using the downvote. However, characteristically, most of the people to whom this rule applies never reply, nor do they take steps to improve the quality of their WU.

In which case, I say - that is a downvote well spent.

How To Be a Systematic Downvoter


Now, you're wondering, is this one of those for Dummies books, that doesn't tell me anything useful? No, it isn't. You've decided to be a systematic downvoter, because someone pissed you off in the catbox or in a writeup. Here is a step by step guide in your new quest.

Find a target

Ideally, your target should be reasonably prolific, otherwise, you won't be able to vote them down enough. If they are too prolific, you may not have enough votes to bother them.

Don't fall into the trap

Most DVers fall into a trap of downvoting each and every writeup ever noded by the target. Don't do this. Doing this quickly reveals yourself to them, and now the target will mentally add "1" to all her nodes' reputation, and get to brag in the catbox about her stalker.

Also, beware the clever noder! They may apply detective skills to tracking you down!

Find the target's best nodes

Learn her style. Understand what nodes get chinged. Don't ever downvote these writeups, especially not within moments of appearance in ENN. A writeup that drops to -1 and then to 4 is evidence of your existence.

Now you can strike

When you see a new writeup by your target, go read it. Does it look like it'll get a lot of upvotes? If so, pass on it. Is it more of a mediocre, filling in the nodegel sort of writeup? DV it!

Your goal

Remember, your goal isn't to make the target lose XP. If the target is spending all of her votes, she'll expect to gain 70% of her votes back as XP. You're only causing her 33% of your votes as a loss in XP - and she has less writeups for you to spend on than she has writeups to spend on. And each of her new writeups gets another free XP.

Your goal is to make her question, every time she hits the Create it as a: Person/Place/Idea/Thing, whether or not she'd be better off posting to Slashdot.

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