Some of you may have seen the Meta feed message in /dev/chat, but for those who haven't: If more users could vote, would they engage more? Testing 1 reputation voting on some sites.

I am not in a position to summarize the pros & cons of this change, so I'd encourage you to read the linked post for a better understanding. It sounds like this would be a "permanent" change, unless:

... we see evidence they're causing negative impacts that we can't address quickly by making changes to tooling or automations

I'm posting here to get this community's feedback because I think we're an "established, larger site" and so we could be a good candidate; however, SE has not reached out to us directly, so I might be mistaken!

For background, the current requirements are:

Please post your "yea" or "nay" perspectives on this change as Answers below; thank you!


7 Answers 7



Personally, I think this is a horrible idea, one that will not help increase participation but that will instead increase vote fraud and decrease the value of the votes we have. My vote is that no, we do not want to be the guinea pigs for this, I cannot see any way that it would be beneficial and I can see many ways that it would be harmful.

Please note that I am posting this in my capacity as a regular user of U&L, not as a moderator. If people disagree, have different opinions, please post an answer!

  • 2
    1000% agree. Bad idea all the way around.
    – slm Mod
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 1:34


Voting is a privilege that is earned by positive contribution to the site through posing well-written and interesting questions, through writing clear and well-supported answers, or by helping out by editing questions and answers in such a way that they become "better".

By removing the threshold to voting, I believe that we would see many more instances of voting fraud (sock-puppet voting, voting rings). Users who have earned an amount of reputation are more likely to understand the importance of fair and unbiased voting, as they've likely received both up and down votes themselves. Maintaining a reputation threshold helps in preventing gaming of the voting system, while removing the threshold may lead to instability and conflict, and to much more work for the moderation team.

I also strongly believe that a user that earns the privilege to vote is more aware of the responsibility that this privilege brings (they have been on the receiving end of both up and down votes), than a user that is much newer to the site. They are more likely to vote responsibly, considering the quality and relevance of content. Removing the threshold might lead to more casual or uninformed voting, which could affect the overall quality of the site.



The form this is being suggested in wouldn't be good here. I've already seen too much evidence of sock-puppet voting as it is, opening it up so that people can create many sock puppet's too easily would be destructive. Smart people can already dodge the detection.

Iff SE cannot catch the ChatGPT answers themselves, without moderator intervention, then they've got no chance of developing a dashboard that can help moderators catch sock-puppet voting under a +1 rep voting system. The latter much harder to achieve computationally with much less information available.

There's only one way I'd consider seeing this would be if the +1 rep user score was a wholly separate score from the main score. Hypothetically this could show some interesting information about answers and questions in parallel to the way Rotten Tomatoes has both a "Critic's Score" and "Audience Score".

But +1 rep users shouldn't be handing out rep to other users. Nor should their input be changing the order of answers presented on a page. Either of those things would be a recipe for disaster.


Not directly, no

I used to work at an organisation where IT staff regularly benefitted from the expertise on the Stack websites (including this one, U&L). However, the staff generally didn't log in - and may have not even had accounts, I don't know. As a result there was no trivially easy opportunity for them to say thanks for useful solutions.

Having read other answers to this question my overall feeling is that two approaches could be better than that now being offered:

  1. Require users to log in to see answers. There are various ways of implementing this, such as giving one or two answers a week/month without authentication but then locking down. However, although this approach is taken by some subscription sites, I don't believe this is wanted by the community or the company.

  2. Provide two different vote values. Community members get the same voting privileges as now (it's easy to vote up but you need a little more time before you can vote down). People who have not logged in, or those who have logged in but without a sufficient score, can vote up a different score value. (This display value would be shown alongside but separate to the main score.) Create a "Did you find this useful [Yes] [No]" banner at the bottom of each question and answer that allows someone to respond trivially without needing to scroll back up to the existing voting buttons.

    Why? I'm curious to know how many people find (my) answers helpful. I have answers with X-thousand views but only three or four votes. Is the answer wrong or is the barrier to saying "thanks" too big? I don't believe either, but it would surely be interesting to provide a really easy way for someone to acknowledge an answer was helpful.

  • I like the idea behind "Provide two different vote values" -- I think it nicely solves "both" "problems". It's my understanding that SE collects something like this today with the anonymous feedback tool (10k users only!). I like the additional aspect of showing these new users their own feedback. We could even merge that feedback into standard votes once they reach a certain ("trusted") threshold.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 12:49


Because this (about upvotes) may make a lot of people to use proxies and fake mails to upvote own posts.

Same about downvotes - people may want "revenge/punishment" about someone they do not like.


No, I think this is a bad idea. I used Stack Exchange for a while without even a user account and was perfectly happy with being unable to vote. Even if it doesn't result in mayhem, it wouldn't be particularly useful in my opinion, and more than likely it's going to result in at least trouble, maybe big trouble.

One concern I've not seen raised is that, the fact that SE announced publicly that they wanted to test 1-reputation voting means that every spammer and their brother is going to be ready to wreak havoc the day the change goes into effect. This would have been better IMO if it had been revealed only to moderators, not the whole entire Internet.



  • Because I can remember the first question I have asked here.
    I had received what I considered being a great answer and was just feeling sad not being capable to reward its author because of my, at that time, close to null reputation.
  • Because I have the opinion that the capability of voting should not be based on reputation :
    As a matter of fact, everybody agrees on the fact that some reputation earned on whatever SE site is (rightly) not transferable on another SE site.
    v.g : if I get enough reputation to vote on U&L_SE Q&As, this capability is (rightly) not transferable anywhere else. In these conditions why would X Kudos earned by any contributor by answering only to bash related questions (no disrespect meant) enable this contributor to vote on kernel related questions ?
    Is this actually coherent ?
  • Because if being able to vote sooner would at the end of the day not have increased my motivation to participate here, it possibly could decrease the willingness of some Kudos-addict (no disrespect meant) to answer questions from OPs displaying not enough reputation to vote.
  • 1
    Your second point doesn't make sense to me. If you suggest that only having knowledge of the specific subject should allow you to vote, then you should really not want to allow new users with no idea about site scope or norms to vote either. Your point is arguing for making voting even more restricted, not completely open. And remember the association bonus: if you have 200 rep on one site, which is far more than needed to vote, you will automatically get a bonus 100 rep on any new site you join.
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 9:37
  • 1
    Your third is also dubious. Do you have any evidence whatsoever to support the accusation that there are users who don't answer questions by people who don't have the rep to vote? Are you taking into account the fact that everyone can accept an answer to their question and that gives more rep than an upvote? In any case, even if the OP cannot upvote. everyone else can. It would be profoundly foolish for anyone to refuse to answer based on that.
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 9:39
  • @terdon : With all due respect, may I hold your last comment unfair ? A/ I never "accused" only suspected conditionally. B/ You are the one wording some strong value judgement (foolish) for some possible human behaviour. BTW 1, I, of course cannot give any sort of evidence of my suspicion in the context of U&L_SE only my non summarizeable experience of human beings contributing on a 150K+ members tech forum I used to administrate.
    – MC68020
    Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 10:22
  • @terdon : BTW 2 : Yes I know that one can earn 15 credits when answer is accepted, but answers are not necessarily accepted, particularly by those fire&forgetting questions. And of course I know that 15 + 10 = 25 > 15.
    – MC68020
    Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 10:24
  • 1
    It read like an accusation. You are saying people refuse to answer because they fear the OP might not upvote. Since accepting gives more rep than upvoting and since anyone can upvote, not just the OP, if anyone does indeed feel that way, then yes, it would be foolish. It just makes no sense at all. I can't rule it out, people can and do act foolishly, but it would be really odd.
    – terdon Mod
    Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 10:26
  • @ilkkachu : I hardly understand how whatever personal feeling can be qualified "questionable". OK ! I'm old enough to admit that I am alone with it as well as to detect the moment when best is to stop arguing. Fair enough, let's forget it. No hardfeeling of course. !
    – MC68020
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 11:05
  • @MC68020, äch, sorry, I didn't mean to reject the feeling you'd got. I meant that as far as I can see, it's not really true that a new user wouldn't have ways of rewarding an answer. Aaand now I see you'd also discussed accepting an answer before, something I missed. Sorry again.
    – ilkkachu
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 11:27
  • 2
    Though yeah, you have a point in that it might not be a bad idea to allow question authors to also upvote answers on their question, since even if they're not "general experts" on the whole wider subject (which rep tries to measure), they likely are somewhat knowledgeable on the subject they asked about... Now a different thing is how likely it is that something like that could (would) be implemented, and it'd still be quite a different idea than the one here about letting any new user upvote...
    – ilkkachu
    Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 11:38
  • @ilkkachu If anything, the "reputation" is a function of "time on the site" and "contribution to the site". I would argue that a master on a particular subject, who created an account today, should not be able to vote until they have proved that they know what the point of the site is, how it works, and has made positive contributions to it. Getting the necessary reputation should not be too difficult for them to do. I don't think new users should be able to up/downvote answers to their questions until they have a degree of contribution to the site.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 8:25

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