If you cannot vote up or down your own questions and answers then why are these options shown when you ask something or answer a question ?

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    $\begingroup$ Quick search on meta.SE leads to Remove vote UI elements beside own question and answer posts, which is marked as status-declined. You can probably find some discussion about this there and on the linked questions. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 11:02
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    $\begingroup$ I'm actually enjoying that. It happened to me once or twice that I ran across my longer answers, and didn't recognize my own writing until I tried to vote up! (after reading the first two-three paragraphs, of course that when I scrolled down I saw my name) :-D $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 11:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf: I respect that you post content of high enough quality to meet your standards. I remember at least once I wanted to downvote my own answer (it was wrong and I couldn't delete because it was accepted), but I did know it was mine. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Jonas: Oh, I wish that everything was of such quality. My guess is that those were the exceptionally good answers, amongst the 3600+ ones I've posted by now. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 12:58

1 Answer 1


The main reason for the visibility of the vote UI is visual consistency logic. Votes are pretty much the strongest pillar and foundation upon which the entire system is built upon. Even more than reputation, the idea of these sites is founded on the merits of posts, and this is indicated by votes. The arrows point out that not only are people responsible for voting up content that is useful, but also for voting down content that is not useful. They are, in some perspectives, more of a symbol of what we are than the our own logo. They are a symbol that scores are constantly able to be changed - they're under constant review by one's peers in the community.

There is only one situation, currently, that voting arrows are not displayed. That is for locked posts such as this one. This is a significant point because these posts are a detraction from the norm. Absolutely no one can vote on these, and the lack of voting arrows is an immediate sign of the distinction here. It's visually different from any other post on the network.

That's the founding difference here, alluded to in my opening. The presence of the arrows is an indication that this post's score can go up and go down. It may not be something you, yourself, can vote on, but someone else on the site is still able to vote. Which means that the score can still change.

This is, as it were, the base reasoning, that visual consistency logic. I personally like it, mostly because I like that the lack of arrows is a very immediate sign that "This post is locked". I'd rather have my own posts confused for something I can vote on, than something that is locked.

For similar reasons as with your own posts, the vote arrows are visible even before you have privileges, and even when you're not even logged in. We've since adapted so that in the case of anonymous users, we store feedback from "attempted votes", so to speak, but even before this, we kept the voting arrows visible in a deliberate design decision. This is because with them serving such a central component of the site's purpose, we want them easily discoverable, we want people to see them and know that they are a thing. This particular reasoning isn't as much applicable with regards to why it's shown on your own posts, but it's related to the matter of why we show them to individuals who can't vote, as long as the post itself remains something that can be voted on.


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