I'm talking about one recent question: Has a carbon compound ever been found having an ionic bond?

The question is quite trivial, so is my answer, and I expected it to get a modest sum of 2-3 upvotes over time. But 12? Flattering as it is, this just doesn't feel right. What kind of flashmob is this?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It's an answer that everybody can understand. I see nothing wrong with that. Just be happy about it. Voting does not always reflect how much effort was put into an answer, and simple answers often get many upvotes (sometimes even when they are wrong). $\endgroup$ Nov 13, 2015 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ Look, it's already +15. Not that I'm unhappy about it, but there must be a reason. Like a link on some popular site, maybe? $\endgroup$ Nov 13, 2015 at 8:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I can fix it by downvoting. :D "-1 because this answer has too many upvotes." $\endgroup$ Nov 13, 2015 at 11:54
  • $\begingroup$ No, that would be a crude workaround. We have to find the true reason behind this. We are scientists, after all. :)) $\endgroup$ Nov 13, 2015 at 12:04
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Your question probably got featured as a "Hot Network Question" and attracted some cross-SE traffic (with 942 views, I'm betting that's the case). This has happened to me on at least 2 occasions. Also, upvoted you to 23 :) $\endgroup$ Nov 13, 2015 at 16:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Improve your answer and make it worth ;) $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Nov 13, 2015 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ Hold my beer :D I also have no idea why my kitchen-chemistry-grade answer received so many upvotes; at least I know I'm not alone. Must be the same reason that makes stupid people popular :| $\endgroup$
    – andselisk Mod
    Oct 9, 2017 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


Posts that gain unusual attention in a short span of time are

  • $95\%$ Hot network questions: A collection of popular questions from around the SE network which are awarded arbitrary "hotness points" according to a formula which is as bizarre as it gets.

  • $\approx 5\%$ Posts suffering/benefiting from the meta effect: For instance, I'm going to downvote your answer because I saw it in meta. Famous final words $\ldots$

  • $0.000\ldots001\%$ Posts getting (un)wanted attention from other social media: Very rare instances, like this drama show. Let's just move on.

So I think what happened is the first few upvotes you got, and it got the question in the HNQ list. Now people are readily generous when they understand the answer, and this was one of the few answers in chem.SE that the majority understood. So!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Incurring the meta effect on a question about the meta effect. How... meta. $\endgroup$
    – ringo
    Nov 14, 2015 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ I'm getting mysterious upvotes on this$\,\ldots$ Seriously, the real meta I wrote didn't get this many upvotes. $\endgroup$
    – M.A.R.
    Nov 18, 2015 at 19:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your mysterious upvotes are coming via the Hot Meta Posts sidebar. It's like HNQ, but with 100% more meta. $\endgroup$ Nov 20, 2015 at 0:20

I complained in German language chat a few weeks ago about a rather mediocre question I posted on Ask Ubuntu that got me my first good question badge, while some posts here or on German I consider well-researched and good stop at 2 or 3 upvotes.

I was advised to stop guessing the final score of a post. You will fail so badly. Accept that upvotes either happen or do not. There is no logic to it. Enjoy the reputation.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ <chuckle> Enter the social media aspect of SE, I guess. :-) $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Nov 18, 2015 at 11:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .