We’re Rewarding the Question Askers

In my very first blog post, I wrote about what a personal experience taught me about the Stack Overflow community. I said we were going to step back and re-evaluate how we deliver feedback, how we can improve content quality, and how we can reduce friction between people. I said that our goal is to have the question asking process be painless and beneficial for new people and Stack Overflow veterans alike.    

During this re-evaluation period, we noticed something in our reputation reward system. We give anyone who receives an upvote on an answer ten additional reputation points, but only give five reputation points to people who receive an upvote on a question. 

Here’s the history: When Stack Overflow launched in 2008, we gave equal points to upvotes on answers and questions. Three years later, a decision was made to devalue upvote reputation on questions. The idea was that this change would encourage people to focus on providing good quality answers rather than asking questions.

We can look back on this decision with the benefit of hindsight. This decision may have been the right call then with the information we had at the time, but we have seen the effects it has had on our community. We reward people who give answers at a higher rate than people that ask questions. 

As a long time Stack Overflow community member I know, like many of you, that posting a good question is difficult! It requires thoughtfulness and an attention to how to best convey the issue you are having. You need to take a step back and pretend you are describing your problem to a total stranger that has no context around your situation. They aren’t seeing your compilation logs, and they don’t know what the feature you are building is, what libraries you are using, or what version of the framework is on your machine. 

You also need to be conscious of the fact that there is a lot of information that is extraneous. You need to know what parts of the error message to include and what parts are unique to your machine. You need to include the steps you’ve taken so far and the result of your testing. In short, you need to be an expert question asker to ensure you’re going to get the best answer. That takes skill and experience, it’s valuable, and it’s something we want to celebrate. 

As of today, we’re running it back. We’re changing the reputation earned from getting a question upvote to ten points, making it equal to the reputation earned from an upvote to an answer.

We’re recalculating reputation for every Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange individual based on this change. Every question upvote earned in the past will earn a value of ten reputation points retroactively.

On Stack Overflow, we expect about 2.4 million people will earn more reputation. This change is about more than reputation; we want it to send a clear message—we celebrate the question askers. HOORAY FOR THE ASKERS! 

For those of you that are getting new privileges: we ask you to take the responsibility reverently. You are the question experts. You are the people that can identify a question that is struggling and you know how hard it can be to on the other side of that keyboard. Thank you in advance for gently coaching question askers through their experience. 

We believe that both question askers and answerers are a vital part of our ecosystem. We appreciate how much they have done to make this the largest store of technical Q&A in history, and we want to thank them for every contribution going back to the beginning of the site. 

We’re doing more. 

We’ve rolled out an improved question asking experience across Stack Overflow (Stack Exchange sites, you’ll be getting this in Q1). Meg Risdal previewed the improvements in August and Lisa Park gave you a behind the scenes look at the research that went into developing the improvements in September. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be rolling this out to everyone! 

Yesterday, Julia Silge posted a recap of the results of our A/B test on the new experience. We saw a significant increase in the number of people who started and posted a question. We also looked at question quality because we wanted to make sure we were helping all people write questions that were likely to get answered. We saw no decrease in question quality. 

Takeaway: the changes we made are increasing the number of questions getting posted on Stack Overflow, without decreasing the quality. More high quality questions; this is the community where everyone can thrive.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—myself and the community team are really excited to improve the experience that all levels of coders have on Stack Overflow, from new users that are learning front-end for the first time to our respected moderators who have been coding for 20+ years. These changes—increasing reputation points for question upvotes and the improved question asking experience—along with some new feedback mechanisms we will be announcing next week are an exciting start to working hand in hand with the community to build a better Stack Overflow.

We have something fun for ya. Our latest podcast episode is out!

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  1. Ciro Santilli says:

    Questions are not upvoted by quality. They are upvoted by hitting the right Google keywords 🙂

    1. Plamen Petrov says:

      Spot on! And this is exactly what drives SO revenue up! This is the sole reason to do this. They just want to improve their SEO by inviting you to do it for them. Easy-peasy but also the beginning of the end as far as I am concerned.

      1. Alexander Rossa says:

        Question upvotes having the same amount of reputation as answers is “the beginning of the end”? Dramatic much?

        1. OMG they are making money on our questions?? How dare they! This is really the beginning of the end. People really shouldn’t be getting points just because they asked five years ago the same thing that I just tried to google. I don’t know to tell you why, but it’s really not fair. I have spoken.

          1. People have to UPVOTE the question. Good questions generate good answers. Let’s just take away the question, then guess what? YOU have to ask it – bc when YOU search for it, it’s not there – to continue my headwacking, everything starts with A WELL FORMULATED QUESTION THAT ISN’T OBVICIOUS, OR STOOPED.

    2. Hitting the right keywords for people who are also searching for the same question. If you can optimize your question for search engines so that I find it when I’m looking for an answer to the same question, then that is a quality question.

      1. AlliterativeAlice says:

        The Stack Overflow Blog should implement upvotes so I can upvote this comment.

        1. Or like old GitHub reply +1.

      2. As Ciro wrote above, SEO correlates poorly with post quality.

        One’s ability to create content which drives traffic to SE is a good thing for the network, but the topic here is whether this user’s SEO superskills have anything to do with this user’s trustworthiness, which is what the reputation should represent.

      3. Mateen Ulhaq says:

        Typically, such refinements are done by the editors (who are unrewarded for their efforts), not the original question asker.

        Most popular questions have titles that were carefully and extensively SEO’d by editors. (The OPs tend to be new accounts that are not very good at asking questions.)

        1. This is very true.

        2. Yes 🙂 Editors deserve points too.

          1. Awarding editors points will result in a lot of irrelevant edits from people trying to sneak some points by doing so, I’m afraid. Likewise if upvoting gave points, people would upvote anything to get points. Ideally, you’d award the points to the single edit that made a question (or an answer, for that matter) go from “meh” to “wow”, but creating a metric that is effective, fair, easy and non-gameable – whew, that’s a tough task.

      4. Uh no, this is Stack Overflow not SEO StackExchange. Optimizing one’s coding question phrasing for search engines is NOT an indicator of a quality question! SEO is for marketing purposes, i.e. for the people who are making money from Stack Overflow. That’s their job. (We the users are already providing all the content for free.)

        Also, search engine algorithms change. Every question shouldn’t need to be updated for every version of Google and Bing and DuckDuck search.

    3. My comment is that I can not even find where to upvote a question and posting a comment in this thread without replying is not obvious either.

    4. Up/Down vote is readers prerogative but sometimes due to misinterpretation the post gets trolled even.
      Quality post are always appreciated,, but yes sometimes I’ve experienced it undermined also.

  2. Shadow Wizard says:

    And as with all the recent major changes, you didn’t think to collect feedback from the users before rolling out the change.

    Please don’t be surprised if that makes people angry, even if they agree with the change itself.

    1. Did you not get the Memo ? You need to get with the new reality.

      Users (meta users in particular) have been weighed, measured and found … NOT WANTED.

      1. Warlike Chimpanzee says:

        They should do what’s best for the site. I, for one, am glad that the opinions of the clique of meta users no longer have any bearing on the decisions of StackOverflow.

    2. Well to be fair you can’t please everybody, and maybe they do collect feedback, and you’re not invited? Who knows :p

    3. I wish I could upvote blog entry comments!

      1. Me too! 🤣🤣

      2. me three

      3. Me four

    4. I like that change

  3. Robert Harvey says:

    You can find the guidance and reasons for the decision to reduce rep earned on questions in your own blog post “Optimizing for Pearls, not Sand.” You didn’t mention it here, so I assumed you didn’t consider its points. Its advice is as relevant today as it was then, if not more so.

    1. thisthisthisthis**this**! ([Link](https://stackoverflow.blog/2011/06/13/optimizing-for-pearls-not-sand/) for the lazy.) It’s as if the employees of SO don’t know its raison-d’être or history, both summarized nicely [here](https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/254770/what-is-stack-overflow-s-goal/254973#254973) by Hans Passant.

  4. Interesting although I hardly ever ask questions!
    I might still with my 101 questions versus 4200 answers 100K after all 😉

    1. Hooray for the people who were asking the question

  5. Fabian Röling says:

    I don’t have a problem with this change, but the reasoning is weird:
    “Asking questions is hard”. Answering them is harder.
    And a question without answer is usually worthless, while an additional answer to an already answered question usually provides some additional value. Giving both the same reputation makes it seem (at least by changing this now) as if you wanted the same amount of questions and answers, which would mean at least one unanswered question for every question with multiple answers.
    The real reason why this is a good change: People upvote questions rarely. So giving more reputation for those few upvotes is fair.

    1. > “Asking questions is hard”. Answering them is harder.
      We all have our opinions and I respect yours. Here’s a fact though:
      Without questions, there are no answers.

      1. But the question would be asked anyway. The answer is _or should be_ the reward for the question.

      2. Silvair Leite Soares says:

        Other social networks, such as Quora, also share this same philosophy, that without questions there are no answers.
        So much so that there at Quora, they reward money to the questioners with more pertinent questions.

        1. And Quora has become a bit of a nightmare, with unscrupulous individuals robo-asking 1000s of questions, mostly of low value or repetitive in nature, in pursuit of rewards. It drives away good questions answerers.

        2. To be completely honest, when I google a problem and see the first result is Quora I know for a fact I’ve made an *outstandingly* poor question. Usually poorly phrased, poorly composed, which of course calls for it to be poorly answered as well. If they reward people money for good questions as you say they do, I can only assume it is there because they felt the need to implement a literal bounty program to try to offset how unhinged things have gotten over there. At least Yahoo Answers is self-aware.

        3. “…at Quora, they reward money to questioners…” only if a penny or two is considered a reward.

      3. There are answers without questions. It’s called documentation.

    2. > The real reason why this is a good change: People upvote questions rarely. So giving more reputation for those few upvotes is fair.

      Well said! If I look back and get insights from all the cases in which I upvoted a question, it is either when I found the question to be exceptionally well made (i.e., to reward the asker) or when it lacked enough quality answers (as if to gain more attention to it). Good questions often have something to learn from and I am OK with giving equal reputation for the upvotes. I never upvote to indicate “me too” feeling and many of the highly voted questions seem to be done that way.

    3. Igor Podlesny says:

      > but the reasoning is weird:

      Asking is hard.
      But most of the questions I’m seeing aren’t well thought at all.
      People who have just registered and didn’t bother to read any docs, search over WEB, etc — ask questions that look more like another instance of already solved answered ones. Now they would get even more rewards for that. 🙂

      This is clearly “quantity vs quality” and choice SO made is obvious.

      1. No they wouldn’t. Poor questions don’t usually get upvoted – in fact they usually get downvoted. Maybe change the dv score to encourage more effort in asking questions. But, of course, don’t consult the rest of us before it gets done…

      2. Fabian Röling says:

        Bad questions shouldn’t be upvoted anyway, so I don’t see a big problem in question upvotes getting the regular amount of points.

      3. The point is that the better questions will still get more upvotes than the poor ones, therefore, more reputation. I’m not really seeing the problem…

      4. But you’re not getting rewarded for simply asking a question, it needs to be upvoted for you to gain any rep…

      5. Graeme Perrow says:

        As others have said, people asking “another instance of already solved” questions would presumably not receive many upvotes so they won’t be rewarded.

      6. Keith Thompson says:

        But the additional points will be awarded, not just for questions, but for upvotes on questions. Poorly thought out questions (presumably) don’t get upvotes.

      7. > People who have just registered and didn’t bother to read any docs, search over WEB, etc — ask

        I wonder if _you’ve_ read this article? The user does not automatically get awarded for asking a question, only if that question gets upvoted. From my experience, questions that have been asked previously, don’t show enough research effort, etc, don’t get upvoted here on SO. The opposite in fact.

        > But most of the questions I’m seeing aren’t well thought at all.

        You’ve read every question on SO?

      8. > Now they would get even more rewards for that.

        SO is just making possible other users to decide who they will upvote to give them more rewards. It does not means users will upvote a bad/ugly/stupid question.

        1. ….”bad, ugly, stupid question.”
          Is there any such thing as a “stupid” question?

      9. From the article:
        > We’re changing the reputation earned from getting a question upvote to ten points, making it equal to the reputation earned from an upvote to an answer.

        You’re only getting points if somebody upvotes your question. If you ask a duplicate and nobody upvotes it, then you don’t get any points for asking the question.

    4. Not always. Sometimes phrasing a question is really difficult (not to mention that the question may get downvoted because it couldn’t convey the right message), while sometimes the most correct answer could simply be “No.” or “Yes.” or something alike.

      One time I posted a question and it got downvoted+closed+deleted, then rephrased it and post it again and then again it got downvoted+closed+deleted, then repeated this around 5 times, then last time I decided to put a disclaimer on top of the question saying that I read all related questions on SO and no similar question, then finally it went through and someone answered it (and even with that disclaimer it was still marked as duplicate!). Here it is: https://stackoverflow.com/q/10834393/134824

    5. Jordan Jelinek says:

      90% of the answerers are pricks. If you want to stay relevant, signal to noise. Get rid of the pricks.

      1. I’m not disagreeing, but you’re not giving any solutions (prickometer?). I’m afraid that’s a much more global problem and rather impossible to solve.

        1. Awesomolocity says:

          We need the ability to upvote and downvote users. I legitimately think that could be used to filter out assholes.

      2. 100%

        I’ve asked a question on SO maybe 2-3 times in my life, and every single time I ended up trolling and getting myself banned because I felt nauseated about engaging with this disgusting culture of narcissistic egomaniacs who think treat their reputation like a second penis. I NEEDED all evidence of my participation erased and forgotten. That’s how sickened I felt.

        I’m glad management has some actual sense and doesn’t listen to these wankers, but IMO they need to do more to stop them from feeling/acting superior just because they have rep/answers.

        Be humble. When this becomes rule #1, I’ll join the SO/SE community.

    6. To the Stack Overflow rules, it’s really hard to ask a question.. I even can learn or solve my problem by reading just the
      question, if the poster wrote it well and did some research on it.

    7. The change is well-reasoned IMO—it often *is* harder to ask a useful question (formulating and articulating tentative thoughts about things you don’t already know/fully understand) than to give a useful answer (articulating something that’s already straightened out in your head). This is especially true on SO where there is a lot of scrutiny, and instant feedback, about the way questions are asked—the recent introduction of the question wizard was motivated by the need to make SO more welcoming (read: less unwelcoming) for new users, and *that* problem was not about the way answers were received, but rather about the way questions were received.

      1. Couldn’t agree more. I don’t ask questions often but the last one I posted took an hour to put together. Most of my answers didn’t take that long. The question was downvoted anyway because of course it was but the point still stands.

      2. Martin Parenteau says:

        The reputation points system should not be based on which one is “harder”, asking or answering questions. It should rather be based on what “reputation” is supposed to mean on SO and what is the purpose of awarding these points.

        I like to see reputation as a level of expertise and as a motivation for experienced users to answer questions. People asking questions are rewarded with answers; they don’t need the extra motivation provided by reputation points.

        I can decide to spend 2 hours playing the “reputation points game” by answering a few questions on SO, but spending that time asking questions to gain reputation points would not make sense.

    8. I have to disagree: as someone who’s asked 5 questions and answered over 1,000, I personally think asking a good question is much harder. I’ve had to work MUCH harder on the few questions I’ve crafted, to ensure they include all the necessary information but no extraneous situational information. When I’m answering a question (especially a good question) it’s just a matter of understanding and solving the problem.

      In other words, when I answer, I just have to write code that works. When I ask a question, I have to write code that *doesn’t work* in the most accessible and meaningful way possible, which I find to be much more challenging.

    9. Sylvain Galibert says:

      Asking questions is objectively harder than answering them:

      When you answer a question, it’s presumably because you understood it and happened to know the answer. Now you just have to explain what you already know. That’s not easy, but still, if you know the answer, explaining it isn’t that hard.

      When you ask a question, you are often in a state of confusion: something isn’t working, you don’t know what, you are not quite sure how to ask or even what to ask, you have to check that there isn’t a duplicate to the question, and if there is, you have to check that the existing answers don’t solve the problem (often times, there are a lot of answers to other questions that sound a bit like yours but aren’t really relevant to your problem). You have to explain what you did exactly and expose yourself to some amount of ridicule in the process.

      Not to mention that if you fail to ask a good question, people will happily downvote and close the question, which is very frustrating.

      You ask questions because you have to. It may not sound like a good question, but you need to find a solution so you ask anyway.

      On the other end, you answer questions because you want to, and if you aren’t sure, you can just skip it without a second thought.

      All in all, answering is a lot easier than asking.

    10. > “Asking questions is hard”. Answering them is harder.
      I have to disagree with this.

    11. What about those questions for which there are no “answers” yet, … after zillions of years?

    12. Jeremy A Holovacs says:

      I don’t think answering questions is harder. For the right person reading the question, it’s usually pretty trivial, as that answerer has worked extensively with similar issues or concepts. The hard part is usually understanding what the OP is actually asking for, and that’s where a good question has value. If it’s easy to understand, coherent, and explains the OP’s thought process, it’s a good question, because it is relatable to other people looking for the same kind of answer, who perhaps couldn’t word it so well. I’ve long believed that a well-formed question is worth way more than a well-formed answer, so I find this encouraging. I even suggested doing this years ago on meta and was summarily dismissed, so it’s a bit vindicating as well.

  6. By giving more points the many many bad questions aren’t improved at all. Repeating over and over to give a minimum of information.

    Also it invites Spam of the point making variety and there are not enough moderators to get rid of the bad questions today with more than 3 downvotes.

    As long as you don’t have an AI that check Questions and insist of adding source code and more information, you can’t improve anything

    1. Not sure you understand the post. You won’t get more points for posting a question. Only when it’s upvoted. If people out there don’t think it’s a good question those askers won’t get any reputation.

      1. Not sure where this assumption originates. But there are plenty of unwarranted upvotes on poor questions. And it’s outright silly to assume that this won’t lead to more clique or pity votes.

      2. But now it only takes TWO question upvotes to get over 15, and upvote rights.

        Depending on the community, there are A LOT OF people out there who want to only get to 15, so that their sock puppets can do what they are supposed to do: contribute to networks of people that just hunt upvotes, totally ignoring quality.

        I have seen plenty of really bad questions that surprisingly head 1, 2 upvotes on them. This means that you need 2.5 MORE downvotes to undo the effects of such totally “undeserved” upvotes.

      3. Its you who don’t understand the consequences.

        I.e. bad questions get down voted. The downvotes are just 2 karma points, but 3 downvotes outwegiht one upvote. There are usally dozens of people who such bad questions as “compensation vote”, and with doubled rewards people will be more encouraged to write bad questions.

        Also honestly, most upvoted questions are the most basic ones. Like how to checkout or switch git branch and cause it gets most search results, but the quality of the question in no means justifies the karma gained.

        This change will just encounrage the low quality questions more. If the real concern was to give people faster access to some of the karma gained features (close votes, less ads) you should have lowered the karma requirements of this priviledges instead.

        Anyways, there should be a cap. Its hillarious that a stupid and not well thought question about how to do a git clone gets 2000 upvotes. It should be capped to something like 100 or so and then recalculate the karma.

        Most of the good questions (and anwsers) don’t even get half as much upvotes as they would deserve, considering the level of expertise required to answer these questions

        1. Additionally to that, it would make a lot more sense that upvotes from experts (people with many (high quality)answers or karma) weights more in calculating the Karma gained vs. people who just landed here via Google.

          Most people landing on StackOverflow can’t quantify the quality of an given Answer

    2. That is what downvoting is meant for. As far as I see, the moderation process at StackOverflow is pretty quick and the moment you add a spam question here, moderators jump in to downvote or flag them. As I am a reviewer at StackOverflow, I can tell you that this is a good move. But the only thing I crave for in this platform is to make it mandatory to add a comment before downvoting a question. Some people exercise their power to cast downvotes on meaningful questions only because they have the power to do so, which is deplorable…

  7. It would be nice to learn how to define a simple, average or difficult question/answer is asked/responds to the original user (OP) and in this regard to introduce differential scores, I do not understand why for the “children’s” and “nonchildren’s” question/answer OP can earn the same 10 points, because OP spends on them different time, the time which is so invaluable for us …:-) …

  8. Hopefully this change will include also similarly increasing the number of points *lost* when a downvote is received on a question, so that the ratio of points received/lost on upvote/downvote remains the same.

    If someone asks a bad question, and gets upvoted once (+10) and downvoted four times (-8) they’re still at a net +2 points. Asking GOOD questions is hard and should be rewarded. Asking BAD questions is easy and should not be.

    1. I think a better solution should be first upvote:+5, 2nd upvote:+6, 3rd upvote:+7, etc. The downvotes will also be the same: first downvote:-2, second downvote:-3, third downvote:-4, etc.

      1. Or maybe have upvotes and downvotes be worth the same amount of imaginary internet points. +10/-10. Just how up- and down- votes cancel each other out on the question itself (eg. if you +1 and I -1 then we end up with a score of 0) so too can the points even themselves out.

        I don’t actually see how a graduated scale of point awards would help, actually.

    2. As per my reply to Igor.

  9. For anyone interested, the 2010 meta post where the weight of question upvotes was reduced is here: https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/42769/307622

    1. And pointedly, the highly upvoted, long-pending, and then suddenly denied progenitor asking to have the weight of downvotes increased was here: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7322/should-the-weight-of-downvotes-be-increased

      Which was a topic of discussion because of a perception that some unhelpful users were getting to significant rep-thresholds by posting a large number of low quality questions.

  10. Beyond the monetary gain, is there really a need for a greater number of questions, as is mentioned as a positive result of the A/B testing? At least within my corner of SO, we have more than enough questions, but not enough with research and thought going into them. I agree that asking questions is hard, but I don’t know that having more questions without *improving* the quality–not just keeping it the same–makes sense as a priority. Except, you know, for ad revenue.

  11. Andrew Allen says:

    So more randoms with ridiculous reputations just because they asked hundreds of questions and one got clout.

    I don’t see the logic in more reputation for questioners, they get rewarded with an answer from the community.

  12. That’s about one of the most weird reasoning ever heared. Asking quesions isn’t hard, asking a good question is. But the way points are attributed has noting to do with the quality of a question or the time put up to make it readable and solvable, but how popular a topic is. A question about something C64 is automaticly guaranteed to get top voting on Retrocomputing, no matter what time has been put into, while a throughtful prepared about some obscure punk age computer will be left at low points – not to mention readership (Which in fact might be a good measure to put upvoting against).

    Only in an ideal world People would vote for the quality of a question. In the real world they vote how much they like the topic touched.

    Also, as well related to ‘hardness’ of a question vs. an answer, A question can be about anything, including any misunderstanding and assumption, while an answer must be founded on facts and research. A question, even a good one can be written in a manner of minutes, a good answer usually takes an hour or more to formulate. I had answers were I worked on for more than a day.

    I can not see any good coming from this change.

  13. Will tag levels get bumped for votes on questions now, too?

  14. In general, I only upvote questions that: a) follow the rules (i.e. clear and precise or provides decent enough details) b) is just useful to be noticed.

    Encouraging people to ask more and awarding them with reputation is okay, but I’m worried that this might inspire more *voting rings* and *sockpuppet-ing* to occur. I think the current award system is good as it is.

  15. StackOverflow User says:

    I was 197k few minutes ago and suddenly I am 203k. You spoiled all the fun of crossing the 200k mark 🙁

    1. I went from 8k to 13k. I ask a lot of questions 🙂

    2. Keith Thompson says:

      I don’t see a jump in my reputation. I have a lot more points from answers than from questions, but I should see an increase of at least several hundred from this. Is it being rolled out gradually? Or is history rewritten to show my past score as if the current policy had been in place?

  16. Is this the “panem et circences” to celebrate your new CEO?

    Why has the community (which is still your user base, whether you like it or not) not been consulted on this?

    What about the troves of terrible questions that have been left alone due to “historical” reasons (and sometimes great *answers*)? Do those users really deserve doubling their fake internet points for some broad request they dumped on the site back when the quality rules weren’t quite there?

    Once again, I feel very disappointed by the methodology, as well as the complete disregard for the opinions of your users.

  17. I’ve answered more than 5000 answers.

    Stack Overflow just betrayed all the answerers and community.

    This is an incredible new low. For the first time I’m seriously considering deleting my account.

    1. good point, but you’re taking it too seriously (or you had too much trust in it in the first place). And your answers will still be there (if you delete it) just grayed out username.

  18. I have one more suggestion for reputation changes.

    Currently, when you downvote an answer, you lose reputation. However, when you downvote a question, you don’t use it.

    I think that this doesn’t make sense. I think that downvoting completely wrong answer is better than downvoting some beginner question. However, for the first thing, you will lose reputation and for the second you won’t. I think that this doesn’t make sense, so I would like if you to change it.

    You could either lose reputation for downvoting question or answer or simply don’t lose any reputation when downvoting.

    1. Totally agreed

    2. preciousbetine says:

      I lose reputation when I am the first to downvote a question or am I the only one?

    3. preciousbetine says:

      I lose reputation anytime I downvote a question or am I the only one?

    4. There is a huge difference:

      – you need 5 close votes to get a question closed
      – the question needs to be at -3 to enable immediate delete votes (and no, I dont want to keep a list of bad questions that need deletion, to come back after two days, when they can be delete voted even when they are > -3).

      Answers on the other hand, a single downvote enables a delete vote.

      In other words: there are complex quality mechanisms in place here.

      I agree that new users dont need to be downvoted to -5 or 10, when they show some effort. But you rarely go that low when “some effort” is there.

      IMHO, at least on SO, the ratio between “bad answers” and “bad questions” is: for every bad answer, you see 10 or 50 bad questions.

    5. Good point that needs addressing.

    6. You lose reputation for voting down answers because people tried to game the system by down voting competing answers so that the answer they just posted appears higher in the list. People are more likely to up vote the first correct answer they see and leave rather than vote on all of them.

      But you can’t game anything by down voting a question so there’s no penalty.

  19. I am neither focused on reputation if I have not too little of it, nor on life at StackOverflow. If I need to ask a question – I ask it. Answering is much more harder. Simple questions get answered by others pretty quickly and tough questions need to be in my knowledge area. It is too hard to find a right question that I could contribute to. I do not want to spend all my time on SO. Actually the happiest days are these when I didn’t visit SO. The website knows all of them.

  20. This is an interesting change, but I cannot understand why this applies retroactively affecting possibly millions of users and years of activity. In real life, the vast majority of law changes do not apply retroactively and I think it make sense.

    When the initial change was made, I saw an “impact study” being made. Is there any similar impact being done for this change as well?

    Also, I agree that the penalty (currently -2) should also be increased to discourage bad questions. Let’s not forget that bad questions is an important impediment for those who want to provide answers and the main goal of the site is to get answers to people’s questions.

    Btw – I am implementing StackOverflow for Teams where I work. Will it be affected by this change?

    1. Peter Wilson says:

      What about all those questioners who never acknowledge legitimate answers, some of whom are habitual non-acknowledgers?

      1. Excellent point.

      2. I agree that many do not accept a good answer, then the question keeps popping back up, there should be something about that included.

    2. I don’t get the retroactive thing either. I think the real reason is that they don’t want to have to code cases like “if upvoteDate < X then upvoteRep=5 else upvoteRep=10", and those kinds of things wouldn't scale across the SE network sites since the changes don't roll out on the same days.

      The last time they did this, it was retroactive. Someone on meta did an analysis of who would lose the most rep from that recalc, and I think I was like #3. It was kind of a slap in the face to take away all my fake internet points, especially since I earned them by seeding their site with questions (basically, if I had a question, I would post it on SO, even if I figured out the answer, because the site needed questions that Googlers would hit), then once the site was big enough they said "we don't need questions anymore, and also we're taking away the rep you got by giving us questions when we did need them." Since then, my activity on SO went way down (hey they took away all my fake internet points because they no longer value my contributions).

      At least this time the retroactive change only boosts scores.

  21. luap42 - Reinstate Monica says:
  22. This will not affect the site, positively or negatively.

    My long experience on SO/SE indicates that question upvotes are perhaps 98% down to *how many people read* the question, and maybe 2% down to the question’s quality.

    The current list of Hot Network Questions (which will get huge numbers of upvotes) includes:
    * “What is the scientific term to describe the operation of a bong?”
    * “When does “The Mandalorian” take place?” – answered in 15 seconds by a Google search, by articles on major and official websites, well predating the question. The actual question was answered in 15 minutes with an excerpt from said search.
    * “Why do new jet engines cost billions to design?” – ok, at least it beats the previous “What is the difference between turbofan and turbojet?”

    I don’t think much comment is necessary. Reputation used to be a tool for to see who answers from knowledge, and who just guessed. Come SE 3.0 (or whatever), it’s simply a search engine popularity ranking. The users asking the simplest, most-textbook questions (which are commonly googled) are to be rated at the top of the userbase.

    Downvotes are essentially non-existent, because they cost the downvoter and have almost no effect on the downvoted, so popularity=reputation.

    Here’s an idea: why not follow up by awarding reputation for comments?

  23. Peter D Carter says:

    This is a great change. The old guard who always hated newbies and attacked people who welcomed them will tell people it degrades the quality of the site but it doesn’t. The old guard who always downvote people for constructive criticism on meta will hate it too. But it will help the site overall and make more people happier.

    1. Can you explain how you think it will help the site overall? Other than letting people reach reputation threshholds faster since each net upvote now is worth more, but downvotes are now worth less. If anything it should *encourage* the pile-on effect of downvotes because now it takes 5 downvotes to counter a single pity upvote.

    2. This change is aimed to incentivize new questions. As technologies stabilize and fewer new questions roll in, SO’s role as an interactive QA site is less important than its role as a host of static, answers questions. In other words – SO isn’t any more useful than any other site which has scraped its content. Particularly to advertisers.

      I feel like the lead was buried here. Improving the question asking experience has been begged for and will be the vehicle that improves the QA aspect of the site.

      – Brian says reinstate Monica

  24. The question is: why? We need this because…

  25. Rewarding questions and answers equally implies that you want to see similar numbers of questions and answers.  Do you?

    A question with a single answer (which would be the average) doesn’t give you a lot of confidence in the answer, nor the context and balance and different viewpoints that multiple answers give (and which is one of the benefits of this site, for me).  And a question with no answers (which many would have) is worse than useless.

    Besides, suddenly and radically changing everyone’s reputation, with no warning, is hardly fair…

  26. Robert Davidson says:

    I find it interesting that some who object to the change cite the lack of criteria for judging the quality of a question, since as far as I know there are no criteria for up voting an answer either. That said, overall I agree with the change. For one thing, it is my understanding that a down vote of a question or answer has the same reputation loss (2 pts). From that perspective, it seems fair then that each should have the same reputation gain from an up vote. Also, the vast majority of questions are asked by new, or relatively new, contributors, and they seem to be one offs (we don’t hear from them again). Perhaps increasing the reward for a good question will encourage continued participation, and that would overall benefit the exchange.

    1. Heretic Monkey says:

      Downvotes of questions cost no rep, only downvotes of answers.

      1. preciousbetine says:

        Downvote of questions cost 2 reps if you are the first and only person that downvotes it.

        1. What happens when I vote down?

          When you vote down, you are nudging that content “down” the page, so it will be seen by fewer people. Voting down answers is not something we want you to take lightly, so it is not free.

          Downvotes remove 2 reputation from the post owner.
          Downvotes on answers remove 1 reputation from you, the voter.
          Downvotes on questions are free. (Why?)
          You can vote 30 times per UTC day. You get an additional 10 votes on questions only. (Why?)


  27. I find it difficult to believe that this change will improve the quality of questions on StackOverflow. People don’t ask questions to get imaginary internet points, they do it because they have a problem to solve. And if the questions aren’t good, it’s most likely because they don’t (yet) know how to ask well.

  28. Because a downvote to a question is presumably staying at -2, and upvotes to questions are increasing from 5 to 10, this will mean that the quality of a question needed to get net positive reputation goes from 1 upvotes/2.5 downvotes to 1 upvotes/5 downvotes. I worry this could mean lower quality questions on a site where low quality questions is an issue.

    Reputation is about positively affecting user behavior, not rewarding users.

    1. Your last sentence is spot on.

  29. Nice! I’m (hopefully) looking forward to passing the 10k mark.

    1. I did exactly that!

      I was just below 10K before the recalc… now I’m above.

  30. Daniel Nissenbaum says:

    To those who say that asking questions is easier than answering them: You are not the ones asking questions. I ask far more questions than I provide answers, and I am in the habit of setting aside a half of a day just to ask the question – to do all of the preparatory work, to make the question concise yet complete, to follow through every link that might answer some aspect of the question, if not the entire question – in anticipation of the flood of eager downvoters who appear not because they want to answer the question, but only because they feed off the StackOverflow culture of “hunting for things to downvote”.

    The culture at StackOverflow presents prohibitive challenges for honest question-askers who use the site because they actually need questions answered for their work life, and not because they are hunting for points and prestige. Many, many questions are downvoted simply because the person asking the question did not have time to clear out every messy detail before posting the question. Honest users suffer because of it, and the site is moving in the wrong direction, not the right direction, because of it.

    I am glad that the issue is being taken seriously, and I am glad this change is being made. As I say – to those of you who say that asking questions is easier than providing answers – that’s a dead giveaway that you don’t ask very many questions on the site.

    1. And will this affect your behavior? You aren’t the only person at SO, and those whom this is most targeted to–newbies–are least likely to put in the effort you do. And making the change retroactive doesn’t affect behavior so it makes no sense under the justification given for this change.

      You say that honest question-askers aren’t hunting for points, but suffer by being downvoted for messiness … this is contradictory in multiple ways. And no change was made to the scoring of downvotes, so this isn’t even relevant.

      “to those of you who say that asking questions is easier than providing answers – that’s a dead giveaway that you don’t ask very many questions on the site.”

      No, it’s a dead giveaway that they are stating an obvious fact. You say that you spend a lot of time composing your questions, but that is rare and isn’t required in order to ask a question. And you refer, correctly, to “honest question-askers who use the site because they actually need questions answered for their work life” — but work life does not generally allow for time to spend half a day preparing a question, and that would be irresponsible. Good answers, OTOH, are a labor of love.

    2. Martin Parenteau says:

      I think that most people asking questions are not reputation point hunters, and that is why this change does not make sense. More reputation points should be given for good answers, since that motivates experienced users to help others. The reward for asking a good question is to get good answers. The reward for a good answer is to get reputation points.

      1. finally someone that makes sense – I thought that was obvious (“The reward for asking a good question is to get good answers…”). The more SO is made to be about ‘points’, the worse is going to get, as it did. But this is ‘market economy’ I guess. If you ask me, I’d get rid of points and downvotes all together (and I do have most of the privileges already, so it’s not about me), have upvotes and have couple ‘levels’ of users, like simple/entry/newbee, regular, advanced, admin/moderator etc. (or those stats about the # of people you’ve reached and affected, that’s much more powerful) People know who Jon Skeet is regardless of his points.

    3. I just wish everyone put the effort in that you do. Clearly many don’t.

    4. I wish I could upvote this comment a 1000 times. You are 100% right Daniel. I have also asked a couple of questions and had written nearly half-page long details just to make sure that my questions are not downvoted and they do not invite nasty, belittling comments from people who feel the question has been asked before or it is not really a question worth being at StackOverflow. I make it a point to google and search for related questions and add a new question here only if that is unique and can’t be related to the already answered questions.

      The need of the hour is to make it mandatory to add a comment explaining the downvote on a particular question. Without adding a valid comment, the moderator or viewer should not be allowed to downvote. In this way we can tell the person who asked the question why exactly the question is not welcome..

    5. And how does more reputation for a question asked … help you getting better answers?

    6. Of course asking is easier than answering; if it was not, you would have solved it yourself.

      And, you see, consider what it means when you say you “need questions answered for their work life”. The person asking is already rewarded; you are *literally paid money* for receiving answers. The answerer, in turn, receives nothing aside from the feeling of having been helpful.

  31. Merlin S Tail says:

    I think good questions should be rewarded, not with points but a good answer.

    More and more questions are of atrocious quality, lacking effort, research or even searching for duplicates before being posted. Good answers go unrewarded and unaccepted. Basically [SE] is pretty broken, this is only going to make matters worse.

    I would like to see some sort of barrier to asking questions, even if it is a “watch this video” before asking. Tick some checkboxes, “I have researched this problem before posting my question”, “I have searched for other answers on [SE] … ” etc.

  32. I primarily ask questions, as I am qualified to answer very, very few.

    One thing that I have noticed is that often, 5 separate questions have exactly the same functional answer.

    When a new question is introduced, and an answer to that question already exists (but as an answer to a DIFFERENT question), the very arrogant stackexchange community descends upon that question with all kinds of votes to close and duplicate question comments, some of which can be very snide.

    I don’t give a rats patooty about little colored imaginary internet badges. It would just be nice if a system was implemented that didn’t provoke arrogance in it’s more capable users. One day, when I’m smart, I hope I’m not a jerk.

    1. I abhor closing a question just because it has the same answer as a different question, and I call it out when I see it happening. Even if the question is similar, having it worded differently increases the odds that someone will find it when searching. A question asked in good faith deserves to be treated with respect.

      The comments about duplicate questions are sometimes auto-generated, and I too find them off somehow. Maybe even snide.

      1. Martin Parenteau says:

        Closing the question quickly provides an answer to the asker, and the closed question can still be found be searching. How is that a problem or a lack of respect?

        1. No it does not provide an answer without references to duplicate ticket.

          1. Martin Parenteau says:

            You can try a Google search for “angular unwrap template”, and go to the first result. The link to the duplicate question is in a nice blue box at the top of the post. Just click it. The answers are there.

      2. Jurgen Jocubeit says:

        Totally agree with your remarks Mark.

      3. No duplicate answer closure without references. How stupid to allow them without references.

        1. Martin Parenteau says:

          My understanding is that Wes is talking about questions closed as duplicates. These always provide a link to the duplicate, don’t they?

      4. Timothy (TRiG) says:

        The auto-generated comments can be snide, sometimes. Duplicate questions should be closed as such; I have no problem with that. The wording “possible duplicate of X” could be improved, though. At least it’s better than the poncy “let us continue this discussion in chat” auto-message.


        1. The auto-generated comment for duplicates also said “Does this answer your question?” which I found snide and unhelpful. I think that might have been a trial which has ended, I don’t remember seeing it on the last duplicate I ran into.

          At least the “continue this discussion in chat” is only temporary and a suggestion rather than a mandate.

      5. Merlin S Tail says:

        If you spread the answers around multiple questions which are effectively the same then the votes on answers are diluted and less indicative of their utility.

        1. But that was the point, the questions weren’t the same. Only the answers. Having two questions with the same answer does not make them the same question.

          I wish I could find an example where I had seen this, it’s much easier to get when you see it for yourself.

      6. Yes, exactly. I want an answer to my question, not someone else’s.

        As for the snideness, maybe that just goes along with the industry and the kind of personalities it attracts. Just a thought.

    2. On some JS, I was seeing unexpected results on `childNodes`, not even knowing that `children` exists, so what I was actually seeing was the difference between the two. It was voted +6/-7 and only received an explanation on what childNodes does, rather than solved the issue (which was basically “use children instead”). When I learned that, I made an answer myself, which was also downvoted. A day later a single gold tag user closed the question as a duplicate.

      When I started SO in 2013, downvotes seemed a lot less flippant. I don’t know what to think about that, but if I was a new user, I’d probably not be coming back.

    3. No duplicate closures without references.

    4. I totally see people being quick-to judge – and not everyone in the programming world is “super friendly” or even “good with people” – so, I think there’s always going to be a gray area here. Everyone is on some spectrum – and text communication leaves a lot to our imagination. The key is – that these questions aren’t about immediate “help” – as much as they are about finding the right question – and the best answer – so that we create a collection of resources (unless I’m wrong about the mission). I haven’t seen your questions – but many times someone will say “why doesn’t my logo go to the left” – or something… and – this is a teachable moment. First of all – they need to learn how to create minimum example – etc… (and they need to kinda come to terms that they don’t know CSS at all) – but often times – people will answer “this has been answered in ‘how does display-inline: block vertical alignment work” – and that might be true – but it doesn’t connect that to the person asking the question. Their mental model might not be there yet. However – many many many times… the question has been asked almost word for word 100+ times / and those need to get combined – or closes etc., right? I agree that we should play nice – and that everyone should feel welcome – but I also agree that StackOverflow should work the way it is intended – and that’s a process. Everyone is on their own path to maturity – and some people aren’t even capable of that standard. I think that SO could teach this stuff with a few videos when you first sign up – or at stages of your ‘badges’ or whatever. I can’t speak for everyone – but I’ve been a little snarky a time or two – and I grew up over time – and that’s part of life. I spend a lot of time helping people – and there’s really only so much that can be done. It’s a great system. We can improve it. Maybe there is a way to lock down on-time-only questions / that aren’t life-long resource worthy – but that are a vital part of how this community helps teach each other? Also – If people want up to the minute answers – then that’s what discord type chatrooms are for, right? I think the mission has been distorted a bit. (I don’t think you’ll end up a jerk ; )

      1. Martin Parenteau says:

        When I close a question as a duplicate, I usually put a short comment like “Try defining the callback as an arrow function: onChange = (id) => { … }”. It gives a hint to the part of the duplicate post that applies to the OP case, without duplicating answers. I have done that many times and it was well received in pretty much all cases.

    5. I agree with Wes.

  33. Reputation develops over time, under the given circumstances. That the company now decides, without consulting the user base, to rewrite history is just wrong. You are breaking trust.

    Rewarding questions as much as answers seems wrong to me as well. Reward for a good answer should be higher than for a good question. The reputation of users should primarily tell me whether those users have good *answers*.

    Recent decisions of Stackoverflow have been disconcerting to say the least.

    1. Martin Parenteau says:

      Since we cannot upvote posts on this blog page, I will just say this: I agree 100%!

  34. Just hoping this doesn’t turn stack into another Quora by incentivizing people asking questions just to ask them…

    1. … Also known as the “Cobra Effect” … See Cobra Effect in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobra_effect

    2. … also known as the Cobra Effect.

    3. I agree there are many ideology driven questions there that are of such low quality i don’t go there often, I may not have the best answers but I try to be helpful and when I see a question that the op tried to lay out well I up vote it, I think this may help them have more interest in this site.

  35. From your own personal experience, you have upvoted 1044 and downvoted 2277 posts. (source: https://data.stackexchange.com/codereview/query/1143016/controversial-users) With every post, you are losing more and more credibility.

  36. Good questions are rewarded with answers. Those are actually worth something.

    1. Too bad we can’t upvote that! +1. Uh, no, +10, actually.

    2. Martin Parenteau says:

      Excellent point! I disagree with the change and that is one more reason for it.

    3. This has always been my opinion on the matter. Questions should garner no reputation at all. The people providing help should be rewarded with rep; the people asking for help are already rewarded with said help.

      1. Martin Parenteau says:

        That would have been the correct move: no reputation points for question upvotes. As much as I like to gain points for my answers, I have never cared about the points awarded to my questions.

  37. Perhaps use the opportunity to add a sentence or two to this blog post to remind the askers of what is expected of them?

    For example, try to find similar answers on Stack Overflow before even thinking about asking a question. This will prevent a lot of pain.

    And/or link to Jon Skeet’s guide.

  38. This has been discussed by your customers, who mostly think it is a bad ideal, see https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/337843/should-the-weight-of-question-upvotes-be-increased-network-wide

  39. There are many obvious problems with this change and with the reasoning for it, most of which have been mentioned above. But here’s another: I will never again upvote a question unless is of such high quality that it blows my socks off.

  40. The link “a recap” sends me to a page on google.com which then asks me if I want to be redirected to stackoverflow.blog. Please fix that.

    1. Fixed the link. Thanks for the QA!

  41. I don’t believe in this coincidence… I believe there are so many fake questions and answers for the Game of Reputations 😉

  42. Bogus.

    It might be hard to ask a good question, but that doesn’t stop the flood or bad questions and their friends (or whoever) upvoting them (or however it is that bad/useless/”should have googled” questions get upvoted). There are thousands of questions that ask the same thing, and many times they are not flagged as dupes because maybe no one noticed/remembered the dupe, or it’s not 100% exactly the same question but the poster can’t be bothered to figure it out.

    And someone else here made a good point, even a good question is worthless w/out a good answer.

    Now there’s even more SO users who have way more rep than me because I don’t ask questions. Even if their only qualification in an area is asking questions. Mediocrity rewarded again… sigh.

    The only benefit I see of more questions is that it does generate traffic and artificial metrics for SO site, which makes the property more valuable.

  43. On a more serious note, I’d appreciate this being followed up by more equality changes:

    – Equal weight for upvotes and downvotes.
    – No reputation effect for the up/down-voter.
    – Comment downvotes, with comment auto-deletion upon a preset threshold (say, at least 5:1 down to upvote ratio with at least 10 downvotes – this basically guarantees only the worst will get deleted).

    Not necessarily all, but some of these would be nice to see.

    Another good idea would be to change the reputation cap from a hard 200 per day to something like 100 per question_or_answer per day. This way, the effect of hype is mitigated, without penalizing users who are actually highly active across the board.

    1. I’m not sure how all of these metrics work – but I think points should be awarded to whoever combines similar questions – because that takes time – and is really valuable.

  44. I don’t think this is an unreasonable change, but making the change retroactive seems like a strange choice.

  45. I hope people who edit questions keep this in mind.
    I find many of my upvoted questions are edited but when I look at the original post it’s terrible. Your efforts will now go to those people even more.

    1. Timothy (TRiG) says:

      I have been known to completely rewrite posts. I prefer a light touch when possible, but when there’s an interesting question under the title “How accurate this claims are” which is completely unreadable without following a link and reading an article and then trying to parse out what’s being asked, then you might need to wield the red pen more decisively.

      (That was on Christianity SE. That user has a history on many sites of writing what at first appears to be complete drivel but actually has an interesting question buried in there if you peer hard enough.)


    2. Great point – would be fair for the mods get a slice of the action! You’d need an AI adjudicator to get this right, though – I can imagine a wave of trivial edits might follow…

  46. “running it back”? Rolling it back.

  47. It’s not that I’m against equal points for questions and answers. Not at all. But I strongly believe that SO should split the reputation into one for questions and one for answers. Yes indeed, a two-figure reputation.

    I’ve seen simple questions earning a zillion upvotes because at the time of asking, it concerned a new feature. While now every beginner is taught in lesson 1. I think reputation should primarily reflect knowledge, which is much better reflected by an Answers Reputation figure.

    But a quality question indeed also has value. Thus: no problem with equal points, but split the reputation.

    1. Yes, this would be great.

      More broadly, it could be done using two already existing reputation counters: “Global reputation”, which is affected by all rep sources from everywhere, and “Site reputation”, which would be converted to “Answer reputation”.

      The former would affect a user’s access to site privileges (perhaps with a rule that limit privileges to those of say 10x site rep) and be displayed under their questions, the latter would be displayed under the answers. That is it. Just displayed under the answer.

      Global reputation is already used in a number of places like the Meta, so it’s not a new thing. Or you could display both reputations always: Global and Answer (only local ever).

      This would solve *TWO* problems: the other one is that someone with 100k rep on SO currently looks like a newbie when they post on a new-to-them SE site.

      The reason why general rep is to be global is that asking questions is a versatile skill. If I can ask good coding questions, I can ask good history or motor vehicle repair questions. And if I’ve handled mod tools on one SE, I know enough to at least edit tags on another.

      For answers, the skill doesn’t transfer well. You have to know. Answer reputation is critical and it has to stay local, as an indication of whether the answerer is likely to know their stuff.

      1. Frank Conijn says:

        @T.J. — Amendment accepted. 😊

  48. I’m neutral about this change. I don’t consider it too important.

    I also agree with Robert that the downvote penalty of -2 for a question needs to be scaled up accordingly as well, perhaps to -5.

    However, I really wish Stack Exchange would put more effort into encouraging askers to accept answers to their questions, or allowing moderators to mark answers as accepted on behalf of the OP if the answer is obviously correct. Roughly half of the questions that I answer and help the asker are only upvoted and not actually marked as accepted. This is very discouraging, and leaves SO’s back-catalog of questions looking rather stale!

    1. Maybe it’s less of an issue on stackoverflow than on other stackexchange sites, but what I find really annoying is when the asker accepts a bad answer, effectively pinning it to the top of the answer list.

    2. Fun fact: but of course it is a total violation of policy when you put a comment under a question and ask about accepting.
      Because “the system” is good enough, and anything else is spam.
      The fact that reminding OPs to accept dramatically increases the number of accepted answers … doesn’t matter here.

  49. There were a lot of things which I didn’t like about SO: too positively-skewed reputation, extremely low quality threshold for questions, generally-accepted reputation farming via answering dups which were asked 10 times already, “accepted answer” feature implementation, etc. and etc. The recent changes doesn’t seem to improve the situation. I’m deleting my profile.

  50. Now we just need something to teach people “how to vote properly”. If we want to make this place welcoming yet curate great content, we need voters to understand when they are incentivizing good posting practices and disincentivizing bad posting practices. There are some voters that think a necroposted answer is instantly a “bad thing” simply due to age and blindly downvote. Some voters think you need to reciprocate the green tick on your answer with an upvote on the question (as a tit-for-tat action regardless of the question quality). And some voters think an under-researched, poorly explained question (that happened to receive a suitable resolving answer) should be upvoted simply because Google found it for them. Perhaps there could be a voting walkthrough that must be completed after earning voting privileges but before you can actually vote. This will largely debunk some of the worst/most-outstanding myths and guide ALL users (new and old) about good voting principles — voting that is helpful to the community versus voting that weakens the community. Rep is a metric for trustworthiness — most communities are extending trust to users that are not fully deserving it. (I can’t see how blindly paying people double rep points for their questions is going to magically improve Stack Exchange content.)

  51. Serdar Suvarierol says:

    As this is a question-answer forum, I think in the total, question upvote points and answer upvote points more or less should be similar. It seems that answer upvote points are much much more than the question upvote points, which was not fair. This change somehow evens this up.

    Another good idea would be to adjust points per question. I see questions with one or two upvote, but tens of upvotes to the answers to the same question. This is not fair. Either the question is low quality, answers shouldn’t be worth too much, or question is high quality, question should be awarded more than the upvote count.

    1. I agree when you see a question that generates a lot of interest. Many answers with dozens of up votes, then only a couple upvotes for the question itself.
      The question should get a “traffic” award of points, I have asked very few questions so I don’t know if this is done like an answer that gets 10 upvotes that gets a nice answer badge.

  52. Stephen Boesch says:

    My “reputation” will benefit strongly from this change – since I ask relatively more questions than I answer. Am I in favor of the change? NO. It is more important to incentivize good *answers* . Also as mentioned by another commenter this gives far too much weight to a person asking an obvious/simple question vs putting in the work for a great answer. And – also as mentioned by an earlier commenter – this change is a big surprise. The surprises that have happened in past few months have *not* been good ones.

  53. Perfect! excellent way to convert new users and encourage them to ask questions, which grows the community.

  54. Pretty obvious making this change and applying it retroactively is to give more users moderation power and hopefully get more volunteer moderation after hemorrhaging community moderators due to a lack of communication and general disrespect for what they do.

  55. This seems like a pretty reasonable change. When I have to ask a question, I sweat for hours trying to ask it just right because I know that neckbeards are going to stream out of their mother’s basement to slap me down if I get _anything_ wrong. Asking questions is much more intimidating than answering.

  56. Cool idea, but I only ask questions when have a need. Have we reached peak question though? I say that cautiously though, as many of the questions these days have answers or redirections saying “This question is already answered here…”

  57. Peter Browne says:

    As a long time question asker, I totally agree with this decision. Not merely for the points though.

    Good questions tend to attact good answers.

    Good questions improve the inherent knowledge and efficacy of SO.

    Asking good questions can be difficult to distill to produce the essence of the problem at hand, which can then attract good answers.

  58. I haven’t seen Sara or any of her colleagues answering any questions here? Anyway I think it’s a great idea but wonder how one sees when and how many points were earned from the policy change?

  59. It’s not about “what is easier, questions or answers?” It’s about who gets the benefit.

    The benefit to asking a question well benefits the questioner, both by making the question clear in their head and also the resulting answer which solves their problem.

    The answerer *loses* time in answering the question. They get no benefit other than reputation and a nice feeling.

    This is not fairer. You’re just focusing on a very poorly calculated cost/benefit method. If anything, this now reduces the relative value of giving answers.

    1. This isn’t true though, and is an area of responsibility of SO often overlooked.

      Reputation on SO is a metric commonly used by recruiters. Consider whether you are more interested in a candidate that generates points by asking questions, or answering them.

      1. It is true. You’re adding two additional criteria that aren’t true:

        1) That the OP is looking for a job (I have not needed to look for a job in the 10 years I’ve been on SE).
        2) That employers go only by the points and don’t use the data analysis tools to differentiate candidates.

        SE is *not* a site whose primary intention is as a metric for hiring. The points mechanism should therefore suit the purpose of the site – which is to attract good answers. A site with only good questions, no matter how candidate-worthy it makes the users, is useless to everyone.

  60. Marie-Helene Burle says:

    I think that the change makes sense moving forward. Adjusting reps retroactively however seems a poor decision to me: it is a good think to change the rules of a game to make it a better game. Applying the new rules retroactively however, is really not fair play.

    Personally, I am a relative noob here with 2k rep. So this is not affecting me much at all. But I have a very sincere thought for those who have been contributing to this site for up to 11 years, sometimes on a daily basis: those who spend all their time helping others will suddenly drop in rank, possibly dramatically. If they got caught in the competitive aspect of the site, they may cringe.

    I also agree with the comments criticizing the “cost” difference between questions and answers downvotes: why does downvoting a wrong answer costs more than downvoting a poor beginner question? I think that all downvotes should be “free”: if an answer is wrong, it is not doing the site and the community any favour to penalize those who point this out with a downvote.

  61. It’s fine to make changes, but they should be data driven. And you didn’t give any data to back up the need for this change. You say “we want more questions,” but you didn’t show any data that reducing the amount of points reduced the number of questions. And you definitely don’t appear to have run any tests to see if anything would be improved, let alone whether there might be unforseen consequences.

    You also ignored one of the reasons why the change was made, which was that user were posting a lot of low quality questions to get higher rep quickly. This is obviously a downside that you would need to monitor for.

    There have been many changes like this over the lifetime of Stack Exchange. All of the best ones were made with eyes wide open. All were made either using data or, if that isn’t possible, with the involvement of the community so that problems could be predicted and dealt with before they occurred.

    If you’re going to put your name on the changes without even mentioning anyone else, it’s your reputation on the line. You might want to make sure that things actually go well, unlike last time.

    1. I totally don’t understand either. There is well-established statistical survey methodology that should be used on a test group of users in order to gauge their response to the proposed change. I am an applied statistician. It isn’t expensive to do, e.g. even Wikipedia which is a non-profit does surveys of a sample of editors before changing the Wiki user interface.

      As trkly said, making such a major change to SO should be data-driven, if not by survey then by something else that’s quantifiable. There are ACM and psychology scholarly journal articles written about SO’s gamification approach to motivating user participation. Why would a big change like this be implemented in an ad hoc, naive manner: “Oh wow, this will encourage new users to ask more questions!” What did that new CEO think about this change? Does he even know? Has he ever used SO?

      Also, why are all four of the StackOverflow employee contributors (to this post and project) women? Are there any men–besides the guy who does the podcast about learning HTML (no insult intended, as I enjoy listening to him) who interact with the user community? I am a woman. I am not a misogynist! But the imbalance is weird.

      It feels like things are going off the rails, at an increasing rate, every time I stop by the blog and SO main site in general.

  62. I’m a noobie. I’ve asked 7 questions. The total vote count among them is -5. I don’t care, because I know what this site is like, so I will continue asking questions until I get banned from SO.

    However, if I could write questions that don’t get downvoted I would. The problem is I don’t have a single clue why my questions get downvoted. So, instead of SO throwing more reputation at the questions which happen to have upvotes, they should make it mandatory to write an explanation when downvoting a question. This way, by SO acting more like a teacher, my future questions are guaranteed to be much better.

    1. That won’t work. People will start to give bogus comments then, when forced to comment.

      Beyond that, I can’t relate to your claim. The majority of questions that get to 5 or more downvotes, they usually carry 2, 3 comments explaining what is wrong about them.

      Finally: when you follow the simple rules.

      A) do prior research (for example by searching for existing answers)
      B) to include your own efforts
      C) to be around to quickly respond to feedback

      then you should be good.

      In case you want to: feel free to post a link to your profile, and I wont mind providing a few helpful comments on your questions.

      1. Moderated Up Votes & Down Votes then… So no one Down Votes for “cuz i wanna”. I quick glance from a moderator (or anyone) can easily show if a vote is a legitimate vote or not. They do moderate these comments/reply’s and I doubt it’d be hard to moderate questions votes too. (even if it will… it’s important to many accounts get question banned for no good reason)

        1. There are many thousands per day.

          Your idea is completely impractical.

    2. “I don’t care” – That would be my first clue as to why your questions get downvoted. Perhaps if you did care you’d expend more effort to find out why?

    3. I completely agree with this.

      I also agree with Dawood’s prediction. I think that this could have the unintended consequence of causing “spam questions.”

      I find this resource incredibly valuable. It has saved my butt on numerous occasions, and I have done my best to be a good citizen. I sincerely want to give back.

      Knowing that questions are the raw material of the site, I am careful when writing them; often going to great lengths to explain.

      Sometimes, I have made mistakes, or made bad assumptions, or even misread/not read the documents properly.

      I have been rather disappointed that some folks have chosen to use these mistakes as a platform to scorn or ridicule. I don’t do that to others (I can, but I won’t). I have been happy to admit fault, in public, and have made every effort to correct bad information (that I have created. It’s not my job to go around being the “Correction Police”).

      Mistakes can be just as valuable for teaching as successes.

      “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.”
      – Attributed to Nasrudin

      Rewarding questions is important, but encouraging people to actually treat others with respect and support is every bit as important.

      “A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person’s brow.”
      –Charles Browder

      Personally, I am grateful for this resource, and for every person that participates. I have had “solve the problem” answers given by people with two- or three-digit scores, while the folks with six-digit scores did nothing but throw scorn at me, and lecture me about my methodology.

    4. Merlin S Tail says:

      I tend to link to the How to Ask page (rather than downvoting), unless the question is of spectacularly poor quality or blatently off-topic. If it’s poorly formatted or gramtically poor, I will “edit to educate” and help overall quality. If the above fails and a there is no effort to improve the question, having been shown “the way”, I may consider down-voting.

      It’s all about effort on both sides.

      I hope this helps, if not try asking for assistance on the meta site, linking your question.

    5. What you’re describing is difficult. Giving away points is easy.

    6. You can ask on Meta why a specific question was poorly received. This is generally recommended, and the answers will help you understand how you can make your question stronger/what went wrong with the original.

    7. I started upvoting questions that were down voted with no explanation for this very reason, some of the questions were obviously weak but I have been able to answer many of them and/or ask in a comment a question to get clarification. After doing this for a while I noticed the downvotes really slowed down (i usually commented that I upvoted since no reason for the downvote was provided) if the question is really not a good one I vote to close and provide the reason.

    8. I think you should also have to choose the reason for the downvote. for now – send me some of your questions – and I’ll explain why they are being downvoted (for good or bad reasons.) derek@sheriffderek.consulting — : )

  63. Dawood ibn Kareem says:

    I would be very surprised if this change makes the slightest bit of difference to the quality of questions. Largely speaking, people ask a question on Stack Overflow or Stack Exchange because they have a problem that they want answered; not because they want to earn more unicorn points.

    The only change you might see is people posting loads of questions in the hope of snaring an upvote somewhere. I hope you’ll also be increasing the effect of a downvote, to at least -3 or even -5 to go with this change. Otherwise it could well have the opposite effect from what you want.

    Dawood says reinstate Monica.

  64. Happy to learn that team stackoverflow has decided to change the reputation earning system from getting a question upvote to 10 points, and made it equal to the reputation earned from an upvote to an answer.

    I’ve few suggestion as follow,

    Readers should more generous while reading the question, considering that everyone is not equally qualified and capable to created 100% proper text (content of question).

    Readers should avoid unnecessary downvote, (it discourages the asker).

    To avoid the war of supremacy like situation between answerers, team stackoverflow should create some system for question askers, that they should return to the question and make it clear that who’s answer is correct or even near to it, other than accepting it as an answer or upvote.

  65. In the past I was relatively kind to poor questions – vtc instead of downvote. With this change I feel it will be more important to heavily downvote poor questions to keep the balance.

    1. That’s my feeling too, I have a feeling this might event result in people being more prudent about giving upvotes to “kinda meh” questions, and then downvoting proportionally more to counteract the new weight of the upvotes. Which could alienate new members.

      It’s weird this wasn’t discussed on meta though?

  66. lovachittumuri says:


  67. I think the main incentive for asking a question should be getting an answer. If you give users other reasons for asking questions (like getting more points) then we should expect they to start asking more questions for getting points instead of getting answers. The practical consequences of this is that we’ll start to see more people asking clever questions for which they probably already know the answer. These kind of questions may get the attention of people that read them and they may get a lot of upvotes, but those votes won’t represent how much value that question add to the community since probably no one else will search for that question again.

    I’m talking about this because I’ve been guilty of doing this in the past, like with the following question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/29657304/why-doesnt-this-code-using-printf-and-cout-have-the-expected-output. I already knew what the problem was, but I thought that some people would upvote it since they wouldn’t know how the internals of input/output work in C++. I got 12 votes in that question, should I get 120 points for it? I don’t think so, to be honest I don’t think I even deserve 60 with the previous reward system.

    1. It’s perfectly fine to post questions that you already know the answer to. Go ahead and post both the question and the answer. This is encouraged! You are being helpful to the community. If you’re not, you won’t get upvoted and you won’t get any rep.

    2. Self answering has always been encouraged: https://stackoverflow.com/help/self-answer Stack Overflow is about sharing knowledge. The reputation system is just a way to incentivize quality participation. It’s not really a competition of who “knows” and who doesn’t.

    3. If they want to compete with Q&A / FAQ style sites, they obviously also want the most-google searched ones

      as long as they’re not duplicates it doesn’t harm to collect them paired with good answers

    4. Timothy (TRiG) says:

      Asking and self-answering has always been an option on Stack Exchange. If this change encourages that behaviour, and we get some interesting nuggets of information as a result, then that’s cool.


    5. You do realise that SO actively encourage this sort of behaviour? If your question gets upvotes it’s because it’s valuable or interesting. SO runs on adverts, so valuable or interesting questions is what keeps them afloat.

  68. I thought something went wrong and I was going to report a bug. Ha ha ha..
    Thanks anyway @Stackoverflow.

  69. In my opinion, the next step should be to remove the ability to downvote questions. I think it absolutely destroys the community and paints StackOverflow as a harsh, judging place that scares off newcomers. Too often I see perfectly innocent questions by those who just don’t have the skills to know what they need to ask, or perhaps a good enough command of the English language to ask a great question. Those questions, sadly, are downvoted into oblivion. It sends the message, “Come back to StackOverflow when you’re smart enough to be here.” If a question is bad, it should simply be “closed” with a valid reason that helps the author improve. Great questions should be upvoted, bad questions should be closed. Just my opinion, I’m sure not many agree.

  70. So, we’re rewarding help vampires now?

    I agree that great questions deserves a reward, but I think that the best reward for a great question is getting a great answer.

    Currently, I have 16 questions and and 2852 answers – The change you’re suggesting is that if it was the other way around, I should still have more or less the current reputation points I have – Personally, I think that’s absurd.

  71. All of these comments are coming from a SO perspective. I am from one of the science SEs. So I can say I have mixed feelings about this. It does not really change the way science SE works on a day to day basis. Will it bring new users since we are still on beta ? I doubt it.
    Good questions and good answers should be rewarded perhaps differently. Maybe best for the experts on the site to upvote and downvote and do it anonymously.

  72. Adeel Ansari says:

    To me, or better say, for many, this is simply outrageous and nonsensical.

  73. The major problem I see with giving the original poster of a question 10 reputations points for every upvote is that in my experience most questions became good questions only after a power Stack Overflow member edited the question to give it a good formatting and quite often describe the issue better. Many new questioners don’t have ever read the help topics on how to ask and how to format a question well. They just post a quick question to get a quick answer for their issue and are not really interested in gaining reputation points. Most often additional communication with comments is needed to clarify what is the issue at all. Then one or more good or even excellent answers are written and one of the answer writers edit the question which makes the not good question of original poster finally a very good or even excellent question. Then the original poster having not written a good question gets 10 reputation points on each upvote for the question being made good by a power member of Stack Overflow. I don’t think this is really fair for those SO members who change not good or even awful questions to good or even excellent questions. Such a fairness problem does not exist for answers which are often not significantly edited in content by others as often done for questions. Well, it would be hard to find out scripted who is really responsible for content of a good question and so should earn the reputation points. For that reason I think giving just 5 reputation points for an upvote of a question while 10 reputation points for an upvote of a answer was okay and fair for all Stack Overflow users.

  74. We believe that both question askers and answerers are a vital part of our ecosystem.

    Not true, questions are closed as duplicate with no references. That practice has zero value to those looking for answers. Duplicates without references should be banned along with Nazi moderators.

  75. Why didn’t you make a site-poll to see what people think about it?

    In my opinion *the equal point criterion is not valid for all sites/topics*; at least in a research-level site like cstheory.stackexchange.com (one of my favourite) writing a good (upvoted/accepted) answer is far more difficult to ask a good question!!!

  76. “You need to take a step back and pretend you are describing your problem to a total stranger that has no context around your situation.” – You don’t need to *pretend* that. That is literally, exactly what you are doing – describing your problem to total strangers. And asking them to spend their time helping you.

    If this change makes askers more likely to actually realise what they are doing, which is not “asking some abstract Stack Overflow”, but “asking concrete real-life people to spend their time helping them”, if it makes them invest their time first and provide good, answerable questions, it will be a benefit for askers and answerers alike.

  77. “You need to take a step back and pretend you are describing your problem to a total stranger that has no context around your situation.”

    You don’t need to pretend. That’s precisely what you are doing when posting a question on Stackoverflow.

    But, in fact, explaining a problem carefully to a total stranger is a recommended problem solving strategy in general, as it causes rethinking that could lead to the solution already. This explains why questions whose askers had done their work are a minority. A lot of them are already solved before posting.

  78. Atilla Karaca says:

    You can’t change the rules while playing the game.
    I don’t think changing the rewarding system will be beneficial for your purpose.
    This is not a platform for newbies.

  79. Very confused. I was at 9718 or something and now I’m bumped up to 11k? I guess thanks for the rank upgrade so I have access to mod tools?

  80. The best reward a asker has, is an answer to their question. As SE knows, and Shog has always come around to say it, most users only ask 1 question over their entire lifetime. It’s not because they feel threatened, but because that was the one question that they didn’t find.

    If someone doesn’t believe that, try to respond to a question with something other than an answer, either the OP is cooperative or aggressive, but both of those response are fueled by the desire of an answer. Trying to manipulate the reputation system, wouldn’t change that, but instead make sourer the relationship with the value providers, which are answerers. (BTW, did anyone know that if asker didn’t expect someone to answer their questions they wouldn’t ask them?)

  81. I mainly asking questions in Christianity SE, and it’s not to get points.

    So I don’t care much to know why if my question is down voted as I keep on asking what I want to know without worrying I am banned if there are too many down votes on my questions.

    The things that I do care is when I saw my question has a “close suggestion” which mostly is the “unclear what you’re asking”, so then I try hard to reworded my question in order that my question can be clearer to the reader.

    Anyway, since the change of the SO rewarding system is rising my point, I want to say thank you on this :).

  82. Not a great policy change. I’ve seen so many one-liner questions that take absolutely no effort, nor thought, and are basically asking for some very basic explanation. The highest voted question on stackoverflow for C# is:

    “What is the difference between String and string in C#?” 6211 upvotes (more than any answer to it, btw)

    People just upvote the question (understandably), because they have the same question. Asking questions can be very easy, especially if you are a beginner and ask whatever pops in your head. These are the questions which get rewarded the most. Any actual complex and thoughtful question will never get a lot of reputation. So the reasoning “asking questions is hard” doesn’t hold up.

    Also, answering questions is almost always more of an effort, and HARDER, than asking them, so I don’t get this equalisation at all.

  83. Rewarding question askers eh? Do those “rewards” include arbitrary firing and slandering to the press? Not sure I’d want those “rewards”.

  84. I think that the reason of change is that SO User https://stackoverflow.com/users/4140/sara-chipps posted more questions that answers and got more upvotes on questions.
    I’ve read somewhere( unfortunately I couldn’t find a reference now) that Sara regretted about her low answer to question ratio and Jon Skeet politely replied that it is not too bad.

  85. I appreciate that there are conflicting views on the particular issue of awarding points for questions. I think the greater significance of this message from StackExchange management may be that the organization has finally become aware of its hostility toward outsiders. I did wonder why, after 12 years of blogging on computer issues, suddenly — just within the past month or two — I have finally started to get points for participating in SuperUser, instead of actually being penalized for asking seemingly reasonable questions.

    I don’t know whether gender has anything to do with it, but I did notice the predominance of female names in this message. I am a critic of female privilege. But I welcome the possibility that this development heralds greater openness to female (as distinct from feminist) priorities in the executive suite at StackExchange.

  86. I applaud this — even though my reputation only went up a whopping 10 points. I rarely ask questions, because I take a few minutes to search for a similar question first. Once I find the question, I *always* upvote it, even if there isn’t an acceptable answer, because that person took the time to ask the question and (hopefully) provide a good example. The OP saved *me* time and it’s my way of thanking them.

  87. I think that the reason of change is that SO User https://stackoverflow.com/users/4140/sara-chipps posted more questions that answers and got more upvotes on questions . On discussion https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/30411/what-can-stack-overflow-do-to-persuade-female-programmers-to-participate-more/30555#30555 in 2009 Sara regretted that “ my question/answer ratio on SO is DEPLORABLE” and  Marc Gravell politely replied ”That Q/A rate isn’t terrible”

  88. That’s interesting. I will start in earnest and ask the following question:

    Will SE repair to the damage done to Monica Cellio? Isn’t the way she was treated, as a valued member and moderator of various SE’s sites, rude, unprofessional and uncalled for?


    Thanks for your time.

  89. It’s good that you focus on who asks good questions!

    The number one thing that I hear from colleagues who tried to start questions but got turned off is that the duplicate closes need a closer look. I understand it’s not valuable for Stack Overflow to have duplicates. But this confuses the production of good Q&A with the selling of good Q&A. For people to train and practice, they need to do actual Q&A, which is now often blocked because the question has been asked before.

    For production of good Q&A, it helps to have people of all levels growing and discussing programming questions. Of course duplicates shouldn’t be repetitive, but they shouldn’t be a means to keep youngsters out either. A duplicate vote shouldn’t be allowed to point at an answer older than a week as the canonical answer.

  90. This is a great thing.

    Questions are the raw materials of SO.


  91. Answers are typically upvoted either because they’re great quality or because they answer a question someone else was also pondering.

    Questions are typically upvoted because someone else was wondering the same thing. In my experience, quality plays less of a role in upvotes for questions, and it therefore makes sense they generate less XP than upvotes for questions.

    This is yet another policy change that is questionable to say the least. SO looks more eager than ever to make itself irrelevant and piss off its loyal user base…

  92. “to our respected moderators who have been coding for 20+ years” – So the only respected moderators are the ones that can code? Nice way to let us know that the trilogy sites are the only ones that matter and the veteran users and mods of the 100+ non-programming sites aren’t worth noticing.

  93. I ask to get an answer. I answer to get reputation points. It is easier to ask than answer. So should I stop answering and start asking? 🙂

  94. It’s good to know that Stack Overflow are not only admitting to wanting quantity over quality in questions, you’re now actively rewarding it.

  95. Just some StackExchange user says:

    “an exciting start to working hand in hand with the community to build a better Stack Overflow”

    So, unilateral decision-making and decrees by blog post are the way you “work hand in hand” with us? Wonderful

    1. Martin Parenteau says:

      +10 for this one. 🙂

  96. So, who is the new Jon Skeet? I’m so excited!
    Jon Skeet has ~100.000 answers or so.
    Someone who has ~100.000 questions might take the lead now.

  97. I have 6k reputation and I’m terrified to ask questions, so I generally don’t. This topic has come up around the office and everyone feels the same way. The reasons for not asking questions are 1) concern that no one will see or answer, 2) rabid moderator lashings.

    If you want more good questions, people need to feel like it is safe and worthwhile to invest the time to write good questions. I could care less about 5 reputation.

  98. You would catch the rod from the middle, to only give 10 up vote for good questions. For example questions that exceeds 5 or 7 up votes.

  99. Why’s it so hard to get this math down? Answerers: You need questions to exist. SO got this right. Simply bizarre to look down an askers.

  100. In general I agree: A good question is worth the same reward. But I doubt the voters motivations…

    – Often a vote is given by answeres, just to trigger the OP to come back to vote and accept their answer.
    – Often a *very complicated question* has a lot of views, but no votes and no answers. People just don’t understand it. Than someone provides a long and comprehensive answer. The OP is excited, millions of thanks, but no extra votes.
    – *Most votes we find at beginner questions*. Even if the quality is low. That’s simply a mass effect
    – *Many beginner questions are duplicates* but answered with a lot of votes.
    – *Most votes we find on OLD questions* with out-dated answers. Often enough a question is closed “as duplicate” with a link to such an old question with a really bad (outdated) accepted answer.
    – We can find TOP-Users, gold-badgers at tags, who gave just 3 highly rated contributions.

    What I would appreciate:

    – A privilege for highly rated users, to mark contributions as “outdated”.
    – A privilege for highly rated users, to mark contributions as “outstanding”.
    – Something like a “community-bounty”, which does not take away the user’s points (in connection with the “outstanding” mark?).
    – And eventually some “fading away” of old points (in connection with the “outdated” mark?…
    – And eventually an upper limit. Earning 1000 points with a single contribution smells a bit.

  101. This post reads like the author has a different sense of what makes a good question then the founding values of StackOverflow.

    Asking a good question isn’t just about “How do I make it easy for people to help me?” It’s not as egocentric. It’s about writing a question that’s going to help other people who have a similar problem in the future.

  102. I’ll ask a question just to see if I’m rewarded with an answer:

    Why all my comments on this blog (in this post and in all other posts in which I made a comment) were censored and rejected?

  103. Please add bounties in questions

    Q: Why is this working this way

    Bounty: 5$

    A: Because of B

    (Answser accepted -> he get 5$)

  104. I’m against this change! Even good question will never be as much worth as good answer.
    Does lack of knowladge should be priced as same as years of learning!?

    Is this fair???

    I think that award for the question is to get the answer becasue it solves the problem – not question – even best question!
    Most of us getting paid for solving the problems. There are few questions that are worth the same.

    1. I’m favourable to any change. Just to see. Because the site is a nightmare right now.

  105. This does not address the issue which I wish would have been addressed. What is a good question in SO? Currently, questions that arise when you try understand the code of some popular open source application, not yet writing your own code are typically considered inappropriate for SO, because they are asked at a early stage in which you are often confused, unclear and try to understand. Good programmers can be at this stage to improve their skill in some area of programming that is new for them. SO does not help them at this stage. Actually, it helps, because some people understand the situation, they care and answer, but you have to suffer being down voted, etc. by many others.

  106. Continuing… The kind of questions that you ask when you try to understand code might be related to your specific misunderstanding and not necessarily useful to others. Also, often, after you know the answer, you realize it was “not a good question”, though that makes no sense – there aren’t such things as bad questions, only people not willing to help. You cannot know that in advance, because you need the answer to get rid of your misunderstanding. The questions that arise at this stage of learning are not welcome in SO, but asking questions at this stage of learning is very important. If not SO, some other sites should find a way to address that need.

  107. Hi Sara very good point, i totally agree with you. As a long time member of a german site activevb.de we make the same experiences, the askers are running the machine as much as the answerers.

  108. Peter Wilson says:

    What about those questioners who keep asking but are never bothered to acknowledgement legitimate answers?

  109. Hahahaha…. I have an email thread of me and Jeff going back and forth about this when it was first cut about 10 years ago. Nice to see you guys are finally coming back around my thoughts on the subject and honoring your side of the bargain.

  110. Has anyone used Quora lately? It’s full of “How do I HTML?” type questions – because they say they’ll pay you for “great questions.” It’s really yucky. It’s a dumpster fire.

    This blog post made my brain go foggy? What are you saying? Can you just tell us what is happening? In like, 2 sentences?

    I certainly don’t think we should be ‘rude’ or ‘mean’ to people who haven’t leveled up their respect and understanding / question-asking skills – but this whole / “We have to fix stack-overflow for the new people” doesn’t seem to make any sense to me. I had to learn to ask questions well. I’m so thankful that StackOverflow people held me accountable – and helped me learn to write thoughtful questions and create thoughtful examples. It works great. We get help with things – and in-return – basically work for you for free. It’s working great.

    Are you rewarding people for asking _good_ questions? Or just questions that got lots of upvotes? Because “How do I get more better at CSS. My thing doesn’t work.” might get a billion upvotes – but it’s a terrible question.

  111. I benefited heavily, yet imposter syndrome pops up. My “money-maker” question contributes accounts for half of my total score; it’s a trivial question. It feels bad. Giving qualitative answers should be promoted equal or more.

  112. This is a bad idea and is simply going to incentivize even more horrid and duplicate questions. I think StackOverflow Inc. is conflating the goal of growing the site’s size and users with the quite different goal of growing the site’s usefulness to it’s community.

    Look, it’s really very simple. StackOverflow is the crowd-sourced help system and has become the go-to place for developers to get help. Questions request help, and answers provide help. The reward for providing free help is reputation on the site, usually very well deserved at that. The reward for requesting help is, well, *getting help*.

    A high reputation from answers means, this person is likely competent, and is certainly a team-player as well. A high reputation from questions means, this person is lacking in knowledge, and/or lazy, and may not be very competent. A high reputation from both… means very little.

    1. Finally somebody made some serious sense.

    2. And what about the duplicate questions that are not duplicate?

      That’s a real problem. In some Stackechange, people are very nice, and try to understand what you mean before flagging as “duplicate”.

      In some other ones (I think most of them!), they simply flag as duplicate, when there’s a common topic, and don’t bother to know if the questions are really the same.

  113. Well I think it’s fantastic. Good questions are even more important than good answers.

  114. Chaitanya Birudavolu says:

    From my own experience, there’s a strong urge to upvote based on the “Me Too” feeling. (The burst of sheer joy upon seeing your exact same question already asked by someone, or your exact same problem already experienced by someone). And “Me Too” is definitely a BAD reason to upvote, because (A) it is biased in favor of NEWBIE questions that are frequently asked or questions (B) It becomes a perpetual source of reputation growth for the newbie who asked the question — I have seen many people who seem to have built a huge rep-score based on lots of newbie questions that were asked long ago. MY RECOMMENDATION would be to tweak the user-interface so that up-voting isn’t driven by the “Me Too” factor, and purely upon the quality of the asking (since that’s the purported reason for the change your bringing now).

  115. Up votes … down votes … points for everyone (aka ‘participation trophy’) … meh … doesn’t matter to me until I’m able to cash in my SO/SE reputation points for something of value … some BC maybe? or perhaps a (Amazon) gift card?

    1. Reputation is important when you are a new comer, it gives you privilege, as the privilege to be able to comment. So, it’s not only virtual points.

      And you have a low reputation, you are only a sh*t for other users, they show it.

  116. My primary problem with SO that it’s so “gameified”. Your reputation is up top. You gain reputation by asking good questions. You lose reputation by asking something “wrong”, whatever that’s supposed to be. You see the effects on reload, your reputation goes up or down, your question was upvoted, you get a tiny dopamine rush. Your question was drive-by downvoted, it goes down to a negative score, your amygdala receives signals of hostility and rejection by the community… Your total score goes down. Gameification at its purest.

    I mine StackOverflow for answers via Google (and it is a rich resource indeed), answer and moderate when I’m in the mood to, and pretty much ask a question as an absolute _last_ freaking resort. This WordPress blog is the only place in the SO community where I feel like contributing actual opinions, because doesn’t put me through a Skinner box just for bringing up a topic.

  117. The last line should read “By the way, thanks for asking the SO users ….”

    1. Martin Parenteau says:

      Wow. Thanks a lot for this. I suspected that this kind of stuff was going on but I could not believe that this was happening to Stackoverflow.

  118. BaMnup-negepacm says:

    Know what? I do not care. Totally. I do not need a repuration here, because it has no sense. Your personal marketing attempts are silly and are not tolerated here. Those reading your answers and questions are NOT your customers.

    Inspiration comes from the personal feeling of satisfaction when you know someone solved their tough (or not so tough) problem by listening to you. All the rest is marketing and profit into SO’s basket. Or just ego pleasure when one can not achieve something significant in his real life any more.

    I have a suggestion: make separate website for so perceived “bad questions”. badquestions.stackoverflow.com. You will be surprised that it will be rocking more than “good questions” ones.

  119. An old memeber says:

    J’etait un memebre actif mais la communauté est tellement toxique , j’ai commencer doucement a ne plus commenter et repondre aux questions

    1. Effectivement, et le Stackexchange français, c’est même pas la peine d’en parler. Toxique est le mot.

      Tu devrais revenir, à plusieurs utilisateurs avec un esprit positif, on aurait pu changer les choses. C’est parce qu’ils font partir les gens bienveillants qu’ils restent entre aigris agressifs.

  120. New users complain about their questions being closed as unclear or duplicates.
    New users don’t return because their poor questions aren’t answered, and won’t be answered since they are closed.

    Stackoverflow responds by giving new users more magical unicorn points in the (rare) case that the question manages to get an upvote.

    I’m not seeing how the change helps – at all.

    The problem is a basic misunderstanding on the part of new users of how the Stack system works. They come in expecting a forum style “ask anything and discuss it to death” setup, and are severely stunned by the different concept here.

    Stunned, not to say hurt and insulted. People react that way when they run into things that are different than what they expected. Stackoverflow is different, and better than, a typical forum. New users don’t care, though. To them Stackoverflow is a forum. Except, it isn’t. Then expectations aren’t met, and new users go away complaining that Stackoverflow users are jerks who don’t want to talk to newcomers.

    You’ll not fix that disconnect by giving away free points to new users.

    Folks expect something different than what StackOverflow is, and go away angry and disappointed when they get what StackOverflow has on offer.

    Your only way to avoid cheesing off new users is to deliver what they expect – the typical give and take and useless BS of a typical forum where quality is of no concern.

    You could do that with the Stack-System. Make all new users happy, and have them come back all the time.

    Just turn off anything to do with quality management. No downvotes, no closing, no editing from other users. Allow anyone and everyone to ask anything, and anyone and everyone to reply.

    You’ll get all the new users you could ever want – and your advertisers would be happy with all the new victims.

    And, you’ll lose all the contributors who have written good content. You’ll have a typical forum full of typical drivel which will quickly lose relevance. Then, no one will come to the site anymore except by accident or by finding a link to an old answer. The advertisers won’t pay anymore because there aren’t enough (new) users anymore.

    Stackoverflow then goes down the tubes, and ends up like all the other failed forums that drown in drivel.

    1. Well, I’m not wise enough to advise about what’s good for SO and what isn’t. But I would like to comment that I’ve been hurt and disappointed several times by the down voting and closing of my questions.

      New – 10 years, 5 months – SO member 🙁

    2. Their “poor” questions? Typically disdainful.

      On any community, there is a learning curve. You don’t know in the beginning how to behave, how to ask questions, and there are always helpful and nice mods to guide beginners or people, with a lot of good will.

      On this site, it’s only “Downvote”, and move on.

      “The problem is a basic misunderstanding on the part of new users of how”

      No, the real problem is about experienced users not knowing how to guide respectfully and usefully new users.
      It’s the only site where I have a membership that does that, and it’s the only site that is such hatred.

      So you can always say “Hey, it’s other people’s fault”. It doesn’t help. Your attitude doesn’t help if you are not ready to consider that a new user cannot know how things work.

      Bunches of real questions could be reopen, *simply* by guiding the users.

      I see aberrant things, sometimes a partially good question got a rain of downvotes, only because something is missing. When it’s possible to edit it, and not downvote it, people prefer to downvote it, and let bitter comments about the missing part. They prefer to mention the missing part in comment and downvoting, rather than helping the user by editing.

    3. So basically “SO and all the people who ”get it” don’t need to change, it’s just those bloody clueless people with all their questions.” SO will hit a death spiral when its answers drop to lower quality because qualified people stop participating. We need look no further than the attitude on display here as to why.

    4. One cannot deny that SO offers something that typical forums do not offer. Still, there is something very basic that SO people should acknowledge: in the context of teaching, there is no such a thing as a bad question, as long as the desire to learn is sincere. It’s fine in a normal teaching context that there is an exchange in both directions and that a question get progressively clearer. Excellent questions could be obtained in this way. In fact, not only in a teaching context, but also in communication between experts, such a process is necessary. There is no attempt to give room for such a process in SO at this time. A question that could start such process is immediately down voted and ignored. Even the asker goes away, because the context is not good. Your argument is that such process will make SO like a forum. This is not true. Forums are obviously not like SO + possibility of a progression in the questions, without suffering immediate down votes. So SO will still be different and most likely only better. My guess is that SO people wants to quickly have points and be visible so they are not interested in the process that leads to a useful questions, because that would have to be kept in the background and it requires too much effort and returns too little visibility in exchange. It is also possible that the majority of SO people are not able to sustain such a process. So, it could be that these down votings are their unfortunate way to react to their own ineptitude – if they could help, they would.

  121. This is very “Quora” like, and like Quora, the result will be that people are going to be asking questions for the points, whether or not they are interested in the answers.

    The value of SO to me are the ANSWERS to questions people may not ask “expertly”.

  122. The thing I wonder about is that the -2 for a bad question remains the same. Therefore, if 5 people think it is bad and 1 good, the question is a wash. Intuitively, this does not seem right, because I would judge such questions bad. I think that penalty for a downvote should be at least 5 and perhaps even 10 so that we are in fact also highlighting bad questions. I would only go with -5 because there is no penalty still to downvote a question

    1. Penalities for downvote is a joke.

      For instance, in the beginning, when I came to StackExchange, I asked questions about programming, I didn’t find the answer is previously asked question.

      I got a bunch of downvote from experienced programmers, because my questions wasn’t challenging to them.

      My reputation got very low, and it hurts a lot when you are a new comer. I asked why this is downvoted, could I try to improve it?

      People told me that the downvoters lose reputations, so if it was downvoted, there is a good reason (but didn’t explain this one!)

      Later, I got a high reputation on some Stacks, and I see now how easy it’s to downvote, and to lose even 10 points it’s a joke.
      It hurts only beginners.

      This system is a joke, because people are not nice enough to be ashamed about downvotes. When I downvote someone, I always try to make a comment, to help the beginner for instance, to understand what is expected in a question, in a comment, etc…

      But doing that, I get also rude comments. The last one was “if you are not happy of the way the community welcome the new comers… etc”. It was when I protested about a close vote, that didn’t let any comments and chance of improvements.

      So, rude and jerk they are, rude and jerk they’ll stay.
      If they cannot understand what downvoting someone could hurt, and downvote should be avoided with good guidance, we cannot do anything for this site, it’s rotten.

  123. Felipe Mullen says:

    What is happening to S.O.?
    This irks of the philosophy of inclusion > cohesion (as if S.O. with its millions of users isn’t an inclusive place)

    It just doesn’t make sense for a site that works well, and has worked well since the beginning. Why are you fixing what isn’t broken?

    To reiterate what someone said in another comment: reputation typically reflects how well someone can answer questions, meaning a high reputation belongs to someone you can trust has quality answers.

    Now, it could mean simply “asks way too many questions”

    1. Martin Parenteau says:

      The answer to your question is in Jessica’s comment above. They want to boost women reputation points on StackOverflow.

  124. David Digiambattista says:

    The reality is it takes more work to write a good answer than to ask a good question. In some cases,a lot more work. The underlying problem is the failure of users to upvote a good question.

  125. People coming here with a question want help, they deserve upvotes for well written questions, ie not just pile their thoughts and bugs on the page.
    People who answer are here to help others with their free time, they absolutely deserve more points than someone getting the help they need.

    This is bonkers

    1. That makes a lot of sense. Those who answer are putting in far more effort than those who submit questions – which, in a lot of cases, with that bit more effort, they could have found answers themselves.

    2. You are wise.

  126. Piyush Patel says:

    First thing first. People are reluctant to ask questions because they are afraid of being blocked forever. So, I don’t know what changes you would make, but I wish reviewers were little more considerate.

  127. I really don’t like to be pointed out that ‘Your question has been asked HERE[link]’ …That’s the major reason that I refrain myself from asking questions. Maybe it’s okay to ask duplicated questions?

  128. Koi Dali Poznavam says:

    Well, you are not rewarding them you are muting them. Today i asked my first question and to be honest it’ll probably be my last. The community is toxic!

  129. Matthew Harris says:

    I really feel like you just don’t get it. You have the keys to a site that confuses you. It seems so obvious that the reward for asking the question is getting your technical problem solved. Its specifically restricted to only individual code level issues so that is all that people are looking for.

    People are not asking questions to build rep and if they are then they should be kicked off the site because they are wasting peoples time.

    The negative part of the community that you should have been fixing was stopping them from feeling awful when they got their question wrong. It should have pulled them out of the system, and the criticism, and put them in training camp, rather than leaving them to get abused.

    I don’t even really blame the offensive people answering. It’s tiring to have people come along and not take the time to understand the civilities of asking strangers to help them for free.

    The fake internet points are incredibly valuable to the people answering questions though. It’s a way of helping people and a permanent record of your usefulness and eminence in the community.

    Giving the same points to the person that is just asking a question demotivates the people that are answering.

    Why should askers get the full reward + the answer. Its the people replying that not only have the *hard-earned* technical skill but are also sharing it with the community, unpaid, while you make money off the platform, and the askers get free consulting.

    I think I kind of see the picture behind this, you just want more “bums on seats”. Let anyone and everyone flood the platform with questions. Anything to keep the targets ticking over and increase the chance of converting the people that come through the door into paying customers.

    The feel good team might have good intentions but they are just “useful idiots”, a cia term for people that work for the cia without even realising it.

    The business people behind this are just bumping it along to extract the profit.

    This fluff-policy on the top is just the latest trend to try to maximise that profit.

  130. The real actual problem with stackoverflow is that anybody can ask. It’s so boring go to review questions and find more and more newbies questions. From people that can’t stop a little while an try to resolve by theirselves. From people that doesn’t apply any debugging skill. From people that try to build something before get a proper knowledge. From people that directly ask a question instead of search for a similar one in stackoverflow.

  131. Why do I think this could be a way to appease the thousands who have been offended by the actions of those at the top?

  132. Peter Schneider says:

    None of my comments seem to make it through the revision hurdle, but here is another attempt. You write “We couldn’t be more thrilled”. Specifically, you say “myself and the community team are really excited to improve the experience that all levels of coders have on Stack Overflow” and it is an “exciting start to working hand in hand with the community to build a better Stack Overflow”

    Sara, let me tell you that these tittle adjustments of the reputation algorithm are irrelevant.

    What *is* relevant is the bitter conflict between you and the community which you do not address at all, directly or indirectly. Contradicting your flowery assertions, there has been no sign that SE would revert to “working hand in hand with the community” as it may have in the past. You must be aware that this droning silence continues to make things worse.

    I cannot help but feeling that your affirmations of “excitement” and “thrill” are insincere considering the ongoing confrontation with the SE community in which you played a central part.

  133. Michael Freidgeim says:

    “some new feedback mechanisms we will be announcing next week”
    Why new feedback mechanisms should be surprise? There is a proven way to get feedback via SE Meta. Suggest your new feedback mechanisms and convince community that they are good.

  134. dunno if this applies to all sites but on physics, the problem is the toxic moderators who keep freezing and deleting all questions that are not phrased as in the way they wish the problems to be asked.

    If you want to ask a question when it has already been asked before and answered in a way you are not satisfied with, you can’t. You’ll just end up being marked as duplicate.

  135. Thanks for the update! I am both a question asker and answerer on SO. To me this is a positive change. Rewarding questions, especially ones that are detailed and specify the problem, via upvotes helps me when I am trying to ask my own question. Upvoted questions to me signify that there are others who have had the same issue, and the question and answers lead to the solution. The rep reward of an upvote is just icing on the cake now. 🙂

  136. Malò Skrylevò says:

    I believe this affects to quality and wish to answer in worse direction, so yuo’ll get more questions even best, but no answer for them.

    Second thing: if you event apply it, the old scheme costing for question should not be recalculated, because it affects the answering people, and some of the just will leave SO.

  137. This place used to be great, the reputation limits have made it unusable. Far too much emphasis is placed on “correct” or perfect answers, to the point of gramar police level. We seem to have completely forgotten, that there is no such thing as a stupid question, and that there is no such thing as a wrong answer in your context. I have been penalized for this even though I am a long time user, and I frankly cannot even help fix it, because the positive atmosphere pressure has been removed.

    This atmosphere removal is so bad, to the point now, of any question that tries to seek advice instead of a correct answer is guaranteed to get a downvote, we need to get over the idea of correct answers, not everyone is in the same context.

  138. political science says:

    one of my accounts got blocked on stack overflow for asking questions.

  139. “Reverently” Really, “reverently” !?! I hope “Responsibly” was the word you wanted and that “reverently” was a hiccup. How can SE which is as secular as one can get, evoke reverence in anyone?

  140. The reputation system is pointless because most people that are new just want information because they are learning. The reputation system works fine for experienced programmers that are good enough to answer questions. So why not have a user register as which side they are on? A learner or teacher.

    Now you can begin to distribute reputation built upon these Roles. Reward reputation for newcomers asking questions by them editing poorly asked questions (Even if a teacher has to explain how to ask the question better, the student has learned something and makes he or she better for the community).

    You can reward reputation for the teachers based upon their activity: daily login and (x) amount of Answers/ Comments per day.

    The ultimate goal is for the teachers to train the students to one day grow into a teacher themselves. I would go as far as certain Teacher reputation allows a user to put ads on their profile and students can click on their profile in order to send a personal message, The teacher will get monthly ad payments based upon clicks.

    This will also give students one-on-one time with a personal tutor and the incentive for the student to contact the person.

    Reward high reputation question “asker’s” with free question boost abilities. This way question threads don’t just die unanswered and unresponded to. A teacher should drop in and help the “asker” reformat the question or make it more answerable.

    Currently your reputation system is useless and pointless; it lacks any true incentive. This community is far from dead but people are getting bored with it.

  141. Great article!
    I’m glad question askers are appreciated.
    Btw, small grammar mistake:
    “myself and the community team are really excited…” should be “The community team and I are really excited…”

  142. I spent almost 6 years with reputation of 1. I couldn’t do anything to increase my reputation because I didn’t have any reputation. As a result, I avoided stack overflow. I excluded it from my google search; it was simply a waste for me.

    It’s easy to assume that question answerers drive the value but without questions there are no answers.

    On top of that, Stack Overflow limits the things a low-reputation person can do so much that there’s no sense of community to get started.

    Last point, as long as I took this time to vent about points and this does affect low-reputation members who can only ask questions. One of the main features of Stack Overflow to differentiate from other forums is strict policies about staying on topic – and then, just like all other tech forums, half the posts are from the senior posters blocking and changing, and griping about posts that don’t meet some standard or another so the result is that Stack Overflow ends up not being so different after all. Combine that different that is not so different with the strict limited access for low reputation members, and it’s really not all that attractive as a tech forum – though this gets better once you get enough points to get to participate. With my measly 31 points now, I still can’t do much but it’s getting closer to being good; far better than the 6 years I spent at 1 point.

    Another hundred or so reputation points and I can do on Stack Overflow the things I can do on virtually any other forum after just joining or a post or two.

  143. How about the ability to down vote some of the nastiness? I’m tired of having to make new accounts to prevent losing the one I use to up vote and comment.

    Every time I even contemplate asking a question I here in my head the admonishment from old maps: “Here be dragons.”

    “This Question has been asked before, because it has a comma in it like another question.” “This question is closed because it’s off some esoteric topic that only the mods know about.” “This question is vague because we mods are geniuses and have never encountered such a thing.” “We edited you question to conform to every style manual we have in our possession.”

    I’ve looked behind the curtain, and I’m not impressed with the moderator wizards. “I am the great and powerful moderator!!!”

  144. There is a constant marking of %30-50 of questions with the regex tag as duplicate. Started about 6 months ago and is primarily done by one person with a gold badge in that tag. I see complaints from the questioners about this.
    Does not promote a good user experience for questioners.
    I could believe these are really duplicates if more that one person were marking
    them, but that’s not the case.
    A single person is ruining a classic category tag REGEX and it is spiraling out of control.

  145. Scared me for a bit – based on the title “We’re Rewarding the Question Askers” I thought you were going to starting paying $$$ to the askers – in a similar fashion Quora does.

    Extra points is the way to go.

  146. I find the whole concept of points pointless. The purpose should be for people to find the answers they are looking for. I find questions that say they are a repeat of another question when it’s not the case. I find questions that deal with lower level or more complex rarely used issues down-voted because someone doesn’t understand it.

  147. Welp… I’m Question Banned so… If my questions are bad in any way (which they aren’t), then can you at least tell me what I’ve done wrong or how to fix it? rather than me just seeing “You’ve reached your Question Limit” one day I need help.

  148. so basically, reputation is no longer an indication of someone’s technical prowess, but instead it represents their lack of knowledge. Was this change introduced by Homer Simpson by any chance?

  149. i think we need more badges for answers.

    i never ask questions on SO. most of the time i end up creating github issues / pull requests.
    i do how ever write alot of answers

  150. Wouldn’t be better to split the experience in two? It is not the same posting a good difficult question than actually giving an good answer to a good difficult question?

    Imho, giving good answers to good questions is more difficult to ask good questions. Bear in mind that asking a good question involves certain knowledge, but giving a very good answer demands a considerable amount of knowledge over the question.

    I think we should have 2 types of experience… one green for answers and one blue(??) for questions.

    What do you think?

  151. Jeffrey Hawkins says:

    If comprehensively reevaluating the reputation system, you should consider the following:
    1) Cross-site reputation. A person with a reputation for positive interaction in multiple stack-exchange sites should not be blocked from participating in other stack exchange sites unless some evidence (downvotes) is discovered to suggest they behave differently depending on the site.

    2) Graduated penalties (by distinct interaction). Clearly a person who has had multiple unhelpful interactions should be blocked from continuing to create noise. But a new user who writes one weak post should not be pushed off the site. Either cutting users some slack for their first poor performance, or having an increasing rate of penalty for each additional case would solve the problem of noise while mitigating the impact on new users of making their first post on a bad day.

    3) Consider dropping the rep requirement for commenting to 0 or 1. Jerks would get one or maybe two lame posts and then be gone forever. But all of the new non-jerks who come here and need clarification, or who can add value to an existing question would be able to interact positively with the site, instead of being pushed away for a year or more until the next time they randomly stumble onto another post here.

    1. In fact, they’ve already implemented cross-site reputation. Whenever I sign up for a new stackexchange site I get +100 reputation because I am trusted on their other sites.

  152. I got downvotes on questions I asked on the Chemistry forum that I think were undeserved. People’s issue with my questions was me confusing concepts, but this should be tolerated since I’m no chemist. I was forced to ask my questions somewhere else to get answers, and they were fairly simple answers to boot.

    I don’t think the system should work like that. Discouraging people to ask questions.

  153. Is the recalculation complete? I didn’t see any change in my score.

  154. Downvotes are given without explanation!
    Sometimes (but too often) I think its a mistake of the downvoter.
    I suggest that downvote will have some way of providing explanation

  155. The initiative can be considered in many respects.
    As for the questions, in my opinion they need to drastically change the entry form.
    It is difficult to interpret, stupid to insert spaces when just one button per code, does not allow you to remedy any errors, etc.

  156. Satyajay Mandal says:

    Hi, I have recently answered M Farooq’s question on Spectroscopy [Empirical Evidence and Assignment of Orbital Energies (Electron Filling)] in https://chemistry.stackexchange.com, Can you tell him to award my answer a bounty worth +100 reputation ASAP

    1. ☝️Exhibit A about gamification right here ☝️

  157. Charles Robertson says:

    Asking a question is an organic process. You come across a problem, you cannot solve, so you ask a question. It is also an issue of motivation. Asking a question requires zero motivation. It is always in your best interest to receive an answer to an issue, that you cannot resolve by yourself.

    An answer on the other hand, requires more effort, in terms of initial motivation and also in construction.

    Therefore, I submit that answers should always receive more points than a question.

  158. Funny, the most upvoted questions are mostly the dumbest questions.

    I didn’t want to attack anybody. But the number of total beginners asking and answering very basic questions is very high.

  159. Antonio Juan says:

    When will be the update in reputation done?

  160. The whole reputation/points system is wonky and dumb. Forbidding people from contributing just because they don’t have enough “points” yet is asinine. That person might have had something very valuable to contributed and you just cut him off. Stupid!

    And the gamification of things is only good for players. I’m not here to play games. I’m here to get answers…

    1. Martin Parenteau says:

      The reputation point system gives experienced users a little incentive to answer questions. If your goal is to get answers, you better keep it. The question askers may not care much about reputation points as long as they get answers, but the people who answer questions don’t get any benefit except the reputation points.

      By the way, that is also why I think the change (to favor question askers with more reputation points) does not make sense.

  161. If you want to measure question quality by the number of upvotes, then it needs to be normalised by number of views.

    Number of upvotes is fine if what you want is quality multiplied by ‘findability’. But I think that is a far less useful metric.

  162. Frankie Culpepper says:

    Where’s my reeeward?

  163. This update pushed my reputation over 1000, granting me new privileges. Even so, I strongly disagree with this recalculation. Even before this update, I have seen multiple users on stackexchange who batch-ask barrages of questions in a grab for reputation. Their questions are many times off-topic or clearly don’t want/require/need an answer, they just want a few upvotes. Their reputation still grows rapidly. And the reason they post questions, not answers, is because questions are just so easy to ask; you don’t have to know much to ask a question, but you do in order to answer one. This is not to say that this fundamental imbalance is bad; however it’s very wise to limit the reputation given to users for questions, due to the lesser effort required to ask them. I am very concerned that doubling the reward for questions will only encourage and habilitate stackexchange to become a site flooded with questions that don’t need answers, and even the occasional quality question will receive little incentive to be answered. Simply my take on the matter.

  164. Jeremy A Holovacs says:

    as of a little bit ago, it seems most Meta people disagreed with this: https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/300848/there-are-lots-of-bad-questions-out-there-is-the-rep-reward-for-asking-good-que

    I find it interesting that the leadership at SO agreed with me when I was clearly in the minority… or has there been an attitude shift lately?

  165. I totally disagree (even though it pushed our rep about 1K) . I have once EVEN OPENED META poll to decrease the votes for questions.

    The SO users reputation should have been some kind of mark about users’ expertise/experience. Asking means that user doesn’t know, while answering means user knows.
    and they shouldnt be equal.

    1. Asking could mean user knows more, because often you don’t ask some kind of questions because you don’t know enough to ask them.

  166. posting a good question is difficult! It requires thoughtfulness and an attention to how to best convey the issue you are having. You need to take a step back and pretend you are describing your problem to a total stranger that has no context around your situation. They aren’t seeing your compilation logs

  167. Posting good questions is difficult, it needs thoughtfulness and more attention to how to best convey the issue you are having, yes it is true………..

  168. Felipe Centeno says:

    How long will the reputation update take? It’s been over a month now, and I haven’t seen any changes in my reputation (and yes I do have upvotes from questions).

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