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I just got rid of a question ban, after doing some stupid stuff when I just got on meta. I asked a question which got closed because it was a dupe of a whole lot of other questions. After that, I posted a suggestion, which had 1 upvote, and four downvotes. That was all my activity on meta.

After posting some constructive answers here again, I regained the right to ask questions. Although I know that I'm risking to get downvoted into oblivion again, I'd like to suggest an 'agree/disagree' button. This time, I have searched meta, and was not able to find any suggestion like this.

When I had been banned, I was looking at a lot of questions discussing penalties and meanings of downvotes on meta; Some say that a downvote has an ambiguous meaning, they can mean either that your question is low quality, or that people disagree with it. Some say that it is just unclear what it means. To clean this meaning up, I'm suggesting these buttons. They could be a thumbs up and a thumbs down buton or something, to distinguish between agreement and question quality.

Disagreement would only remove 1 rep from the asker, and would be free for the downvoter, while downvotes remove 2 rep, or as suggested in other feature requests, 5 or 10.

The only problem I can see, is that this goes against the 'don't make me think' rule in UI design. Users now need to learn even more, because they need to know the difference between those icons.

Another way this could be implemented, is by changing the influence of votes based on the , and tags.

share|improve this question
Why would disagreement remove 1 reputation in this case? – talnicolas Dec 14 '11 at 17:11
because, as pointed out in other discssions, it's only fair that a user who posts a lot of feature requests that get downvoted, it is probably because the asker doesn't think through his suggestions enough. – bigblind Dec 14 '11 at 17:13
Its not clear to me what the end goal here is.What's the official explanation of votes on meta? Avoiding question bans? A fairer reputation system on meta? – Some Helpful Commenter Dec 14 '11 at 17:40
the 2 goals are a fairer reputation system on meta, and a clearer meaning to what a downvote means, this meaning could be of great value to the asker, for asking future questions. – bigblind Dec 14 '11 at 17:45
Before anyone can consider how unfair the current system is, someone needs to provide some info on just how bad previous feature requests have to be to get the OP banned. – Adam Rackis Dec 14 '11 at 17:50
They don't have to be "bad", they just have to be seen by a lot of people that dislike it enough to downvote it. – Toomai Dec 14 '11 at 17:52
The alternative I see is calibrating the question ban on Meta Stack Overflow. I don't like those questions that are asked here instead of Stack Overflow, but I would not question ban a user just for suggesting something that was not liked from other users. – kiamlaluno Jan 29 '13 at 3:05
Di you mind if I add the mockups from this question into this feature request? – Richard Tingle Nov 29 '13 at 19:52
up vote 18 down vote accepted

I personally think the voting buttons on meta should just be changed to a thumbs up and thumbs down, to more accurately suggest their actual usage.

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I can agree with that. What is your oppinion regarding the reputation associated with these votes? – bigblind Dec 14 '11 at 18:08
The rep is OK. Providing clarity for the buttons would also clarify the rep. – Robert Harvey Dec 14 '11 at 18:09
@FrederikCreemers - reputation on meta is an odd thing. It's best just to not think about it :) – Adam Rackis Dec 14 '11 at 18:12
How does this solve the problem of downvotes in 'feature-requests' having dual meaning and the effects to the poster are the same? That is, whether downvoted for quality or disagreement, Meta-SO banns them the same? – ThunderGr Feb 13 '14 at 10:22

I both disagree and agree with the goals of this request

Fairer Reputation System - Disagree

What does meta rep mean any way. Do you really want to be recognized for

  • your knowledge of SE
  • your ability to request awesome features
  • ability to draw freehand circles
  • ability to reference SO memes (see previous)

The silliness of Meta rep is evidenced by the fact that rep on the meta 2.0 sites reputation is entirely derived from the parent website. I suspect that the only reason Meta.SO doesn't do the same is related to its history and that its essentially the same as

Clearer meaning to what a downvote means - Agree

The Current Tool Tips on the voting arrows always seemed wrong. They currently read:

This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear (click again to undo)

This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful (click again to undo)

Perhaps somthing that was in line with the FAQ e.g.

I agree with this bug/feature request/disussion (click again to undo)

I disagree with this bug/feature request/disussion (click again to undo)

I also think Robert's suggestion to change the button images is good idea too.

However as @Bobby points out Jeff doesn't want to do it so its probably not going to happen

share|improve this answer
See here. – Time Traveling Bobby Dec 15 '11 at 7:33

IMO, the problem is not how much reputation you lose when you get down-voted on Meta Stack Overflow; the problem is having a question ban for asking a feature request other users didn't like.

Being down-voted could mean not having understood exactly the purpose of an existing feature, but it could also mean that other users don't see the need of the proposed feature, or they think that feature would be take more bad effects than good ones. In both the cases, nothing is said about the quality of the question.
Vice versa, the fact a question is closed as off-topic, or not constructive says more about the quality of the question. In the first case (especially if the user has more questions closed for that reason), it means the user doesn't understand the purpose of the site; question banning a user with too much questions closed as off-topic avoids the user keeps asking questions that should not be asked on this very site.

The question ban should be differently calibrated for Meta Stack Overflow.
I would not question ban a user because he asked four feature requests that were down-voted, and got a score of -4. IMO, having questions closed as not constructive is worse than a feature request that was negatively received from the other users.

share|improve this answer

There's a very big difference between asking a bad question, and making a suggestion or a discussion comment that people disagree with.

The rep system on meta confuses the two. We should differentiate between:

a. I don't value your opinion b. I value your opinion but disagree

Low rep = ban from asking questions. There are places in the world where they ban people with opinions different from their own (or the majority for that matter). There's a reason I don't live there.

Bottom line, I feel your pain and agree :)

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Why don't they Have a "Quality" and a "Agree" sections? They will be manged separately. I know this is what everybody else is saying, but I just wanted to point out that you could make it easy to use, too. I would put this in a comment box, but it wouldn't fit. I think the "Quality" one is like the current voting system with the reputation, and the "Agree" is just like a public opinion of agreeing/disagreeing with the post. However, I think someone should not lose reputation just because someone disagrees with them. This makes people on Meta reluctant to post in fear that they will lose their hard earned reputation.

Just Clarifying: No one will lose/gain reputation for "Agree" but they still will in "Quality".

Suggested UI Format:

  +---+   +---+
  |   |   |   |
  | + |   | + |
  |   |   |   |
  +---+   +---+
 Quality  Agree
  +---+   +---+
  |   |   |   |
  | - |   | - |
  |   |   |   |
  +---+   +---+
   +22     -12

I am not saying this should be the exact format and look, but it is a general representaion of what it should be. I made this chart on .

This could be implemented on other Stack Exchange sites for things like poor coding, etc.

share|improve this answer
Sorry, you can't post an answer and then not let the voting do its work. – simchona Jan 29 '13 at 2:14
Asking not to be downvoted is like asking to be downvoted, to some people. If you made your answer community wiki, you'd suffer no numerical consequences. We're entitled to disagree with you. =) – J. Steen Jan 29 '13 at 9:04

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