The "upvote", by definition, should be made when: "The question shows research effort; it is useful and clear".

Often times, there are questions which hardly satisfy these conditions, but they get upvoted because the problem is interesting. So is this the real use of the upvote? Is there anyone who actually upvotes a question because "it shows research effort; it is useful and clear", though not really interesting to him/her?

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    $\begingroup$ I upvote question which aren't interesting to me if the OP put in work. However, I don't do this often since I usually don't click those post. I usually encounter these questions in review queues. $\endgroup$
    – dustin
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 3:37
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    $\begingroup$ I ran into the same thing and asked the same question. Basically there's no way to enforce people using the system as intended, but enough do, hopefully. And I downvote any time I see an upvoted question that seems to be upvoted unintended purposes. And yes, I upvote things that seem to be well researched that I have no clue about, because I hope that will help that person get an answer! $\endgroup$
    – Alan
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 4:07
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    $\begingroup$ What are upvotes used for? To increase someone's reputation. That is your title. This is different than the question, when should upvotes be made. $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 14:01

3 Answers 3


You ask what the upvotes are actually used for... they are used for everything. Users upvote a question because

  • it shows research effort,
  • or maybe there's no effort but the problem looks interesting,
  • or maybe it's not interesting but it's clearly stated,
  • or at least it's typed out, instead of being a picture,
  • or if it's a picture, at least it's not sideways
  • ... oh well, it's important to be nice

My point is, everything can get upvoted.

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    $\begingroup$ Not to forget: "it made them laugh." $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 1:46

I often upvote if I'm interested in the answer to the question. Sometimes the questions are badly written but I upvote them anyways if the problem is interesting or important to me. I do that in order to encourage others to answer the question. I always assumed that question upvote demonstrates how many other people had similar question/problems (i.e. preferred alternative to duplicate questions).


If people like your question, answer or comment, they upvote it. It's as simple as that.


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