Recently there was a change made that gives question askers ten points for each up-vote. Doesn't this reduce the impact of down votes? A person can get 5 upvotes and 4 downvotes - with a reputation net gain of 42 and their question will show a +1.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Yes it reduces the impact, as least from the point of view of reputation points. $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2019 at 22:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The impact of down votes on users or on questions? I'm pretty meh about this change, like Jyrki, but those promoting it might be intentionally having it affect users and questions differently. $\endgroup$
    – JonathanZ
    Nov 18, 2019 at 19:37
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar reputation points matter because a person can end up with pretty high privileges on the site - despite having asked many bad questions $\endgroup$
    – Burt
    Nov 18, 2019 at 21:15
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I guess one cannot get high reputations asking lots of bad questions? (Yes I supppse some users could do that, but it is marginal and the same applies for answer-ers too). In general, reputation points is NOT a reliable metric to measure quality. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2019 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar That being said, plenty of PSQs are upvoting since they are easier to understand, and it is not clear that those askers should be given powers in judging the veracity of other content on the site. Regardless, I don't think the change will make much of a difference. $\endgroup$ Nov 21, 2019 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


It is not exactly clear to me what type of answer you are looking for, but for what it's worth:

Yes, as far as reputation points are concerned the relative impact of downvotes on questions is reduced; now five downvotes cancel one upvote while formerly they canceled two, as the deduction of two points per downvote was not changed.

This is "by design" and not considered as problematic possibly even desirable by those that had the idea to do this.

It might be worth noting that this is not new, but a return to what was done originally. Indeed, originally, downvotes on questions also took a point to cast. Thus, it was still more restricted then it is now.

Side note: Personally I am not keen on that change to say the least, but realistically I think it will not change much anyway, just as the first change that is now reverted did not change much.

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ downvotes on garbage answers can still take a point away from you. $\endgroup$
    – user645636
    Nov 18, 2019 at 0:55
  • 20
    $\begingroup$ +1 for the last paragraph. I don't think this change will achieve all the goals Sara Chipps may have had in mind. But, meh. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2019 at 6:31
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Jyrki It would be helpful to post a link to said goals since many users may not be familiar with such. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2019 at 16:21
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Bill I plead guilty to speculating about her motives (now that doesn't surprise you!). I suspect she wants to do something about this. A worthy goal in a sense, but I think this change won't do much at all. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2019 at 16:27
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ As a further piece of information regarding @Bill request, this is the official announcement stackoverflow.blog/2019/11/13/… which references the text Jyrki mentions. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Nov 18, 2019 at 17:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm curious about the reason why people are not keen on the recent change. I know it's not strictly related to the original question, but why might some people be against it? $\endgroup$
    – Benjamin
    Nov 18, 2019 at 22:32
  • 17
    $\begingroup$ @Benjamin there are some users that got a relevant number of points asking at best mediocre questions. I'd prefer they would not get still more points, and the associated moderation privileges, for this. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Nov 18, 2019 at 23:10
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @quid What I don't understand is why anyone cares about points and badges. Can you explain to me why a bunch of adults (presumably) care so much about little colored shapes on their profile? It seems quite silly how caught up people get with their reputation around here. The only acceptable reason that I can see for caring at all about that stuff is if a user felt that their "reputation" on this site might lead to career opportunity somewhere. I think that scenario applies to an exceedingly small part of the population. For every one else, what gives? $\endgroup$ Nov 19, 2019 at 16:18
  • 20
    $\begingroup$ @rocksNwaves note that in my comment I specifically mention "the associated moderation privileges." For example, users with 3k+ points can vote to close/reopen questions. I don't want users with dubious credentials to have that privilege, as it can causes issues for maintainance of the site. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Nov 19, 2019 at 16:27
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @quid, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for clarifying. $\endgroup$ Nov 19, 2019 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ @quid I think this new change is great. As of writing this, I have 626 Rep (a good amount from the association bonus). My experience with the site is almost entirely asking questions (58 so far) and answering only three. Part of the paradox of the site is that there are two types of questions: those about understanding, and more homeworkish or specific questions. I agree that people asking specific questions shouldn't have moderation privileges and such, but people asking about deeper things should. Unfortunately, the better questions can be harder to word and are riskier and more (cont.) $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2019 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ susceptible to downvotes. To someone who almost entirely answers questions, they'd both just be labeled as "mediocre" and get maybe fewer upvotes. But, as long as you still get some upvotes on those kinds of questions, I think that should count towards privileges. I agree that homework-question askers or people that don't care about math shouldn't have certain abilities, but there are Askers who take the site seriously and respect its wellbeing. From what I've seen the vast majority of people aren't trying to ask bad questions. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2019 at 0:15
  • $\begingroup$ @quid So, I'm fairly confident that MOST people who get that much rep truly care about the site, even if their questions are mediocre. (also this is a different Benjamin than the one earlier in these comments) $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2019 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen I think it will do something. Most of my questions have no or very low upvotes. Some are pretty solid, some have net downvotes, but nothing crazy. I remember a lot of questions that I've spent hours trying to write and they receive no upvotes - or worse, downvotes. The more time you spend on a question, obviously the better you can make it and often the more you can be assured that it's likely to get voted higher. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2019 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ Many times, I've started typing questions only to abandon it because it seems too risky and not worth it (and to fix it would be really hard and time-consuming, as in I feel like I'd have to read more things off MSE like books or Wiki or other websites because I'm confused - which is exactly why I'm coming to MSE in the first place, and defeats its purpose, but anyway.). $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2019 at 1:15

To my knowledge, the change doesn't affect the auto-delete feature (aka "roomba"). So in this context, one upvote doesn't cancel out 2.5 5 downvotes.

See: Enable automatic deletion of old, unanswered, zero-score questions after a year?

I asked on meta.SE if it affects question bans, and I was informed it doesn't affect those either.


You must log in to answer this question.

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