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Suffrage abuse?

I'm new to Stack Overflow. I like the reputation system. But I believe that some badges are counterproductive. For instance, Suffrage. I think this badge encourages people to vote unnecessarily.

And there are many badges like this. What do you think?

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@Michael Petrotta Oh, my bad English make me cannot tell what I want. Thank for your edit. Very clear :) –  hqt Feb 19 '12 at 6:00
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What does it mean to "vote unnecessarily"? It doesn't matter if you upvote or downvote, you can still qualify for the badge. So I can't understand why this would be a real problem. It's not forcing people to upvote bad content, just encouraging them to vote. –  Cody Gray Feb 19 '12 at 8:19
    
Personally, I'm completely opposed to suffrage. In fact, I think it should be banned. Are you with me? –  Won't Feb 20 '12 at 18:40
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marked as duplicate by Cody Gray, Shadow Wizard, Flexo, Lorem Ipsum, ChrisF Feb 19 '12 at 22:52

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

This is the great thing about Stack Exchange sites. The community self-regulates itself with this kind of thing. There's enough users that really care about providing great content that a few discrepancies here and there will be sorted out in the long run by the people who vote appropriately.

Also, most people simply are not going to put forth the effort needed to get a badge just because. They're going to get the badge because they care about the site. The badge you speak of, for example, only has 8712 winners at the time of the post. That's about 0.028% of the people who've been awarded the Student badge. If people were eager to game the system on easy badges I'm sure you'd see this number a lot higher.

After Jeff's comment I headed over to the SE API and queried for the total Stack Overflow Student and Suffrage badge count since the Suffrage badge became available. My date range was: Oct 1, 2010 to Feb 21, 2012. The number of Student badges was 202457. The number of Suffrage badges was 8726. This is still a paltry 0.043% and an extremely small portion of the overall Stack Overflow user base.

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Yes. I agree your comment: That's about 0.028% of the people who've been awarded the Student badge. I think this is the most clearest example that not many people do this trick :) –  hqt Feb 19 '12 at 6:05
    
well, to be fair, this is a relatively new badge so that should be factored in. –  Jeff Atwood Feb 21 '12 at 9:17
    
@JeffAtwood You're absolutely right. Consider it factored...or something. –  cspray Feb 21 '12 at 14:51
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Welcome to StackOverflow!

The term you're looking for is badges, and every site has them. While I do agree that in some cases, a desire to earn this badge can make a user a little too cocky with their voting, there's really nothing to worry about. The badges were made to encourage good behavior, not bad, so I'm sure the ones who came up with it had this in mind.

Either way, in my opinion, to vote effectively and appropriately, one needs at least 125 reputation points. This is the threshold for the downvoting privilege on Stack Exchange sites. Users who have the privilege to downvote will likely already or almost understand te voting system completely.

Likewise, users who understand the voting system will be the ones who earn this badge, because by the time you know how the voting system works, you would also have the experience necessary to vote effectively.

And more often than not, a user that throws votes around like garbage will probably be noticed by either some very lonely and attentive user or an automated script that catches odd voting patterns.

So ultimately, you shouldn't worry about it. The people that can get the badge will do so fairly, I think. And, personally, it's harder than it looks. I think most users won't waste the effort. I don't vote too often so it'll be a while before I get that one.

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Oh. me, too. I read many topics, but rarely I vote for ones answer, except special good answer. (And I never vote down, because I hate this :D ). –  hqt Feb 19 '12 at 6:07
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