Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

Some days ago I asked a question with a bounty (because I hardly ever get any answers, since people only answer to new questions). The first answer I got was absolutely useless, it didn't have anything to do with my question at all. In all, this answer got 4 down-votes, so -8 points. But suddenly some people up-voted it and the user got +10 several times. In all the user "earned" more than 50 points for giving an useless answer. In my opinion, this is not right.

The correct behavior should be that up-votes after down-votes should only correct the down-vote point count by giving +2 and not reward it by giving +10. For example, if the user gets 3 down-votes (-6 points) and 3 up-votes afterwards, he only should get +2 three times instead of +10 three times.

share|improve this question
It's all predicated on whether or not the answer is "useless". In your case, it may have been. – Tim Medora Feb 27 '13 at 8:35
@TimMedora If the answer doesn't have anything to do with the question, then it's useless. (Obviously some people don't even read the question properly) – Bevor Feb 27 '13 at 8:36
I agree. My counter would be that such an answer should potentially be flagged for deletion if it is truly irrelevant. The community doesn't always get it right. Conversely, sometimes perfectly good answers get downvoted. The standard (which seems to work more than it does not) is that downvotes count for less than upvotes. – Tim Medora Feb 27 '13 at 8:39
Related, if not dupe: – Bart Feb 27 '13 at 8:40
Linking to questions is considered good in such cases. Majorly, to have more downvotes. link btw. :) – hjpotter92 Feb 27 '13 at 8:41
@Bart It's not my opinion that down-votes should be punished by -10, but it annoys me that inappropriate answers (some are indeed because of a lot of downvotes) are getting rewarded. – Bevor Feb 27 '13 at 8:44
@Bevor Then a down-vote after a up-vote should deserve -10. – mtk Feb 27 '13 at 8:48
After looking at the answer in question, I agree that it is low quality. It duplicated a large piece of your code and your request for clarification was ignored. I downvoted it on principal; if I saw it in the delete flag queue as "low quality" I would also strongly consider it for deletion...lengthy as it is, it doesn't add value. But I still maintain that +10/-2 the system works as it is. – Tim Medora Feb 27 '13 at 8:49
@mtk Oh boy, can you imagine all the "Drive-by downvoters killed all my rep" whine resulting from that? ;) – Bart Feb 27 '13 at 8:49
@mtk Ok, you are right for that case, the vote count is above zero. – Bevor Feb 27 '13 at 8:52
I'd rather compute the rep gain from the total score. Something like if score >= 0 then rep += 10*score else rep += 2*score, which is equivalent with your proposal, if downvotes on positively voted questions count as -10. – CodesInChaos Feb 27 '13 at 9:29

I disagree with your proposal; you seem to be assuming that the first votes are the more valid ones. You may be right in your case, but I would say I see more instances where the first votes are actually the wrong ones, because people think an answer applies, but don't see later comments from the asker that indicate it does not.

Either way, the order of the votes should not matter at all. Faster voting is not better. Or worse.

share|improve this answer
That's a good point. Maybe then it should be like this: If the vote count is above zero, and a down-vote happens, it should subtract -10 (because the answerer got +10 before). If the vote count is below zero, it should add +2 because the answerer got -2 before. In both cases his point count and vote count would be in balance. – Bevor Feb 27 '13 at 8:51
Hm, why are you spending your time on MSO? Until the election is over you should be spending your time in the election chat room making idle promises to your constituents and bad mouthing your opponents. ;P – Yannis Feb 27 '13 at 8:53
@Yannis I might be doing that, if I weren't too busy trying to reach 9000 flags by sundown! ;) Actually, I keep meaning to hang out there. – Andrew Barber Feb 27 '13 at 8:54

You must log in to answer this question.

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