A few minutes ago I saw a question with at least two standard answers, I mean, plain answers to the question, without warnings/cautions/etc. The weird thing (at least to me) is that such question had not (up)votes!.

My etiquette and/or common sense dictates me that if I am answering a question is because I consider such question minimally "worthy", so I upvote the question. When I don't consider the question "interesting" I simply close it (the browser tab, not the question!), even when I am able to give an answer.

Summarizing, I think that it is "morally mandatory" to upvote any question to which you are providing a "normal" answer, but I would like to know the point of view of other people about that.

Edit: English is not my cradle tongue. "morally mandatory" was a very improvised and unfortunate choice of words. After some hours of thoughts (and digging in some online English dictionaries ;-) ) I can honestly say that the word that reflects more accurately my feelings about this matter is "consistent" instead to that dogmatic term "morally mandatory".

• I find this odd too. I think people should upvote by default when they answer a question. (But not always, because I agree with AGs sentiment.) – user1729 Sep 11 '13 at 9:11
• I answer a question because I feel like answering it. I upvote a question because the author has put in some work (or very occasionally for other reasons, e.g., compensating for downvotes). These are completely independent of each other. – Brian M. Scott Sep 12 '13 at 2:58
• (Although maybe I try to answer question which I would upvote anyway.) – user1729 Sep 12 '13 at 9:35
• You can have a look at opinions on this issue expressed on "network-wide meta" (if I may call meta.SO like that): Why don't people upvote questions they answer? – Martin Sleziak Sep 13 '13 at 5:23
• I appreciate the sentiment, @BrianM.Scott, but are we certain that two thought processes in the same individual can be "independent" (with any reasonable definition of the word)? – The Chaz 2.0 Sep 18 '13 at 1:32
• @TheChaz2.0: We may not be, but I am — at any rate sufficiently for all practical purposes. :-) – Brian M. Scott Sep 18 '13 at 1:47
• @BrianM.Scott More precisely, locally sufficient :-) – Matemáticos Chibchas Sep 18 '13 at 19:28

Sometimes I think a question is sort of crappy but feel like writing about the topic, so I write a quick answer, don't upvote, and move on to the next one. I guess I just like hearing the sound of my own voice. I see where you're coming from, but I think calling it "morally mandatory" might be taking Math StackExchange votes a little too seriously.

• Hear hear, especially for the last sentence! – Asaf Karagila Sep 11 '13 at 6:07

I upvote questions only if they way it is asked is "very good". That means the OP shows that he has put a lot of thought into it and the question is actually of interest (i.e. Google / W|A wouldn't tell you).
I don't feel obliged to upvote just because I know the answer and the question is understandable. </my 2 cents>

• Good! I also deem that allotting rₑp5 per upvote of a question, i.e. half of rₑp10 we get per upvote of an answer, does not encourage routine upvotes of questions. Do not know why established users are damn silent about it and do not call for economy of upvotes on questions (except highly valuable ones, of course). – Incnis Mrsi Dec 15 '14 at 20:53
• @IncnisMrsi In fact there are a few badges to be earned by specifically voting on questions but apart from that there seems no particular interest in voting on questions, since the votes don't have such an impact on the visibility of a question (-3 hides it from the front page, but I'm unaware of other 'sorting' going on) compared to votes on answers. – AlexR Dec 15 '14 at 21:29
• Yes, there is such sorting option (details), although I wonder how a non-IT user can find such a link. Not very surprisingly, value of highly upvoted question looks dubious. IMHO an answer to my previous question is here: since StackExchange system exposes the site to mass upvotes, various popular chaff will be blatantly overrated independently of voting of experts. With the present system unfair reps gained through various “hot questions” are unavoidable. – Incnis Mrsi Dec 15 '14 at 23:19
• @IncnisMrsi See here i.stack.imgur.com/O92Hv.png there is a (not very visible) filter bar. – AlexR Dec 16 '14 at 16:59

Probably about 90% of the time, I will upvote the question if I answer it. However, there are some times that I think the question is very poorly described and/or the person asking didn't provide any effort at all. In these rare situations, I won't upvote the question.

So, in short, I believe that most questions that one answers, one should upvote--after all, it was enough to warrant your time. However, there will always be some exceptions.

• I agree with the general notion. However 10% doesn't strike me as "rare". :) – Asaf Karagila Sep 12 '13 at 0:58
• @AsafKaragila Yeah... I left out the not-so-rare times when I just honestly forget. :) There's a good number of questions I mean to upvote, but get sidetracked writing an answer... – apnorton Sep 12 '13 at 1:02
• I unaccepted your answer because it's kinda "you are saying what I want to hear". This is in fact the case $;$-$)$ but I find the other answers quite valuable as well. Besides, this question of mine has not "definitive" answer after all. However thanks for your answer, which captures my opinion on this matter. – Matemáticos Chibchas Sep 13 '13 at 0:13

I will answer because I believe that my answer might help the person who asked the question. I will upvote because I believe that the question and its answers are likely to benefit others. These two do not neccessarily coincide.

Speaking of morality: When I was still a beginner at this site, I tried not to upvote a question that I answered, because the act of upvoting made me feel that I was desperate to seek attention from the others to the question, and hopefully also attention to my answer. So, in short, I felt like upvoting a question I answered is an immoral way of advertising my answer.

Certainly I don't feel that way now. Now I will upvote a question that (a) is at least moderately interesting, (b) is very well written, or (c) shows very much effort from the OP. I may not always upvote the questions I answer, but usually they deserve upvotes.

The point is, there are so many people on the main site and they all have different thoughts. If people didn't upvote the questions they answered, there are always some non-mathematical (and possibly very weird ;-D) reasons that you can hardly imagine.