An upvote for an answer gives you 10 reputation points. A down vote gives you -2 reputation points. Say for example you get two upvotes and five downvotes, then you would have a vote count of -3 and still gain 10 reputation points.

Was this intentionally done by MSE? Do you really still deserve to gain 10 reputation points if your vote count is -3?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ SE is clearly aware of this side effect, but there are no plans to change: Should the weight of downvotes be increased?. $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Aug 30, 2015 at 14:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The effect of down votes is not really to change reputation (they would have essentially the same effect if they did not affect the reputation of the person who wrote the question/answer). Downvotes indicate to posters and readers that there is an issue, and they are part of the process of deleting low-quality posts. Actually, because downvotes are not shown to posters in the little rep gage at the top of the window, most posters probably don't even know when a downvote affects their reputation. $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2015 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


A main design-goal is to have incentives for participation and activity. Thus, to have the point-system skewed upwards is certainly by design.

I agree that this can have some odd side-effects and at some point I was more concerned about this than now, but at the end of the day it is likely better than alternatives.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ What if the alternative is just to shut down the internet, so all of us procrastinators will have to get back to work? $\vphantom{Trick question, us procrastinators are strong people. We will find a way to persevere and not work!}$ :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 30, 2015 at 14:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Asaf While tempting, I think it's better to just tell everyone that despite the resulting procrastination, the internet increases your working efficiency enough to make for a net increase in work done per day. "Procrastinating actually makes me more efficient." :) $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Aug 30, 2015 at 15:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Lord Farin: In a true procrastinating manner, I just tell them that the use of procrastination will be revealed later. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 30, 2015 at 16:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Asaf: Then somebody will have to find new ways to organize their supply of pickles. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Aug 30, 2015 at 17:19

You must log in to answer this question.

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