I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions and voting on Questions and Answers is a private thing - but my understanding on the casting of Up and Down votes on Main is supposed to be with regards to how well a Question is posed and how well an Answer addresses the Question (with documentation) - correct? Up and Down votes aren't supposed to be the Facebook equivalent of personal Likes and Dislikes - correct? Those are my assumptions, which lead me to my question here.

In response to the Question Did the Soviet Union hand over thousands of Jews to the Nazis in the spirit of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact? I offered this Answer and received three down votes (thus far) which I interpret to mean three voters see something technically wrong or unhelpful with my answer. I reviewed the Meta Question on Why Did My Question Get a Downvote (which doesn't really address Answers, but looking for clues anyway) and Why did my answer get a downvote? - so far I'm stuck with no guidance on what to do to improve.

Can anyone offer suggestions on how my Answer can be improved?

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    I have no idea why those three users downvoted your answer, but with a net +13 votes, I would suggest perhaps there's no need for you to improve anything. Sometimes downvotes just happens. – Semaphore Oct 20 '18 at 16:50
  • Currently standing at 14 upvotes; what makes you think you need to improve it? – Mark C. Wallace Oct 22 '18 at 16:39
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    @MarkC.Wallace some valid objections and good critiques have been shared here - I want to improve the quality of my contributions on H:SE and this has been a valuable learning opportunity for me. I appreciate the feedback I have received. I love Italian food but I don't want spaghetti in my answers! :-) – Kerry L Oct 22 '18 at 16:41
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    Well spoken; just keep your expectations realistic. Acknowledge that although there are attractors, a significant part of the community is stochastic. That is an inevitable consequence of being a community moderated site. Keep up the good work. – Mark C. Wallace Oct 22 '18 at 16:44

Like Pieter, I have not voted on your answer, and since you ask for improvement tips, this would be my opinion.

Stick to the question. Comments sometime run amuck and lead to further questions, but the core question in this case (as I see it) is did the Soviets hand over Jews to the Nazis.

I originally like your short version answer. The current version seems to contain answers not asked for. We know the Soviets committed their own atrocities, but to me that section could have been handled with a single line along the lines of 'there is no evidence that, though not innocent of atrocities while controlling this region, the Soviets directly handed any Jews over to the Nazis for extermination...'

(Also, your short answer/ long answer sections, the short answer part should actually contain the short answer. Yours to me says read the long answer...)

Avoid sensationalism. When the question was updated to include the graphic images, the answer lost my respect. At this point I probably would have added a downvote, except for the earlier portion of the answer which was essentially correct. These images represent Nazi atrocities while the region was under Nazi control and in my opinion are completely irrelevant to the question as asked. I would bet that you received your downvotes after the addition of these images. The reddit post you found your second image from asked (unanswered) for a source. An unsourced image from another forum is not strong evidence (no proof of who when and where), and considering the link to this atrocity contains the phrase 'historyPorn' I find it offensive.

All considered, I would probably downvote this answer, were it not for the fact you seem to be making an effort to provide good answers, and I detect nothing 'wrong', just the last half of the answer is not relevant to the question. Sorry, but you did ask.

  • Revision 2 complete - I know there will be no Answer that will satisfy everyone, but hopefully this constructive criticism is leading to a better Answer. Yes, I addressed some points that weren't raised directly by the Question, but the Question was asked within the context of a larger theme as presented in the entire body of the Italian Documentary. I am attempting to be thorough. – Kerry L Oct 22 '18 at 16:08
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    Better. Both clarified question and more concise answer now have my votes. – justCal Oct 22 '18 at 16:09
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    Sometimes clarification of the question is necessary, (and sometimes it changes after our answers.) Downvotes happen, and I usually look to see what I could have said better, or better documented. Sometimes people just don't like the topic, and the Holocaust is definable a 'sensitive' topic here. Just make sure on questions concerning the holocaust you dot all your I's and cross your Ts. – justCal Oct 22 '18 at 16:14
  • Just a personal note on the graphic content (hidden as Spoilers in Rev 1, removed entirely in Rev 2)... not intended as sensationalism on my part. My uncle was a tank driver in Patton's Third Army and was present at the liberation of one of the smaller death camps. He never spoke of it until just a few years ago, and then only in somber, haunted tones. The Holocaust is so repugnant to me that I want no one to ever forget how ugly and graphic it was, and we should not shy away from looking at it because the sight may be offensive. (cont'd)... – Kerry L Oct 22 '18 at 16:39
  • ... It darn well should be offensive. And never forgotten. But I take your point, and I don't want any to mistake its inclusion as sensationalism, and thus have removed it. – Kerry L Oct 22 '18 at 16:39

Note: I have refrained from voting at all on your answer, either way, so far. My comments are:

  1. You are over relying on long quotes without using any emphasis to aid the reader.

  2. Your overall thesis is unclear. The answer feels like spaghetti thrown against the wall to see what sticks. There are only a few contributors on this site who can consistently build strong extremely long answers, and I would advise against attempting to copy that style early on as a contributor. (P.S. I do not regard myself as one of those contributors. A few of my answers have grown beyond one screen full, but they are neither my best nor best received answers.)

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    Thanks for the analysis and feedback - it helps. I will work on a revision this week. – Kerry L Oct 21 '18 at 23:01
  • I have revised my answer with emphasis added within quoted text, removed other non-relevant portions of some of the quotations, reformatted to better outline the four main points of my thesis, and hidden the graphic content behind Spoiler tags. – Kerry L Oct 22 '18 at 14:23

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