Sometimes I come across a question that has a couple negative votes although it meets the requirements of a good question.

Then I note that it has been edited by some other user different from the OP and that the original question was actually a bad question. Since the edit has not been made by the OP, does it make sense to upvote the question? I see upvoting a question as a "reward" to the original poster for taking his time to elaborate a good question, but maybe that's not the point of upvoting.

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    $\begingroup$ I think that such Questions deserve an upvote, regardless of who made the edits. It is the content that is being upvoted/recommended for future Readers. That the OP may benefit from the process is not so terrible a consequence that I would abstain from voting. But your vote is your own, so I acknowledge that it is not necessarily a commonly held view. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Jul 7, 2018 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ For me, it depends. We currently, at this point in time, have a lot of users suggesting edits (and get 2 rep points per approved edit for doing so) racing to edit posts asap. We also have a number of users who answer questions, no matter the quality, and then, after answering, immediately work to improve the question, likely with the hope that the question, and therefore their answer, will be seen as more credible. So sometimes edits happen so quickly, that an asker isn't allowed much time to use suggestions for improvement, before another edits it. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jul 7, 2018 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ ... So I do look at who did the editing, when the edit occurred, and if it's relatively soon after the submission of the questions that someone else jumped in to edit it, I take the original into account, but I don't hold anything against the asker due to its having been edited. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jul 7, 2018 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ If however, another user tries to rescue a post by editing 1 or more days after the post was submitted, I'll ignore the edit, and evaluate only the original post, keeping in mind that the OP had a chance to edit, but chose not to. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jul 7, 2018 at 22:22
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    $\begingroup$ That said, I think that at times one should upvote or downvote based on the original question, or any further edits from the asker. If you see edits introducing information not provided by the asker, e.g. in a comment(s), then ignore it, and vote based on the askers actual post. At a minimum, do not upvote a question asked by another user, pretending to edit a question as though it is the asker's words. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Jul 9, 2018 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ In those cases, do you get the sense that the people who've edited the question have made reasonable extrapolations from what was there, or do you feel like they're making a lot of assumptions? $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2018 at 3:12

2 Answers 2


Among the reasons for the voting system is that it helps the site software prioritize which questions to show to users. If people don't downvote the questions you don't want to see and upvote the questions you do, the site can't do a good job of this.

On the subject of rewarding the OP... consistently posting questions that get polished into gems is still something unusual enough that it is helpful for the site, and probably should receive some encouragement to continue doing so.


People don't vote mechanically, making sure the question meets all the requirements on their checklist. Such checklists are guidelines that help ask questions that are likely to be well received. They are guidelines for writing, not for voting.

I upvote questions that I find interesting in some way — there are many ways to interest me. If the question is badly written, it can rarely be interesting. If I don't get the question, I can't be interested in it. Satisfying the points on a checklist is an almost necessary condition, but certainly not sufficient.

Although the OP is the only one rewarded when the question is voted up, I recommend ignoring the fact that it may have been edited by someone else. The main reason for scoring questions is to identify good or interesting ones. Rewarding the asker by internet points is a means to this end.

If someone asks something polishable but not quite polished, it is still an achievement. The rugged first version can earn negative votes, but the reward comes when someone polishes it. I think it also works from the rewarding point of view, although I find that secondary.


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