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Should the weight of downvotes be increased?
Should we reduce rep bonus for upvotes on posts with a negative score?

OK, this may sound like a big change but this is something that I believe could have good impact on the quality of the users questions and answers and would result in reputation being more fair.

The problem:

Currently if a question/answer gets up-voted to poster earns rep of 10 points, when it gets down-voted 2 points are being deducted. That scenario works pretty well for answers but unfortunately when it comes to questions there is some areas where I think it fails. For example: poor questions, controversial questions and average questions

Here is the scenario:

Someone asks very poor question,

  • it gets down-voted: say it gets 3 down-votes
  • some nice and patient so user comes along and edits that question to improve it
  • other so users see question with 3 downvotes and say: "hey it does not deserve to have minus vote, lets upvote"
  • the question ends up with the rep 0, but the OP of that poor question ends up with the reputation of: +24!

They are some users that frequently ask rather poor quality questions, and end up with a pretty high reputation

similarly average question: - a question that is being initially down-voted and up-voted only because other users think that it did not deserve to have -1 rep. The OP ends with higher reputation

controversial question: - a question that attract many up-votes and down-votes earns the user many rep points

controversial answer: - same as controversial question

Basically it seems that this type reputation system in some scenarios rewards people for the behaviour that should not really be encouraged.

I think there is a simple solution to that:

Instead of earning reputation for each up-vote and down-vote recorded it could be earned based on the overall vote balance for the question or answer.

Currently if a question gets 3 downvotes and 2 upvotes the question shows "vote balance" -1 but the OP earns +14 points on reputation (-6 for 3 downvotes, +20 for 2 upvotes). In proposed solution he would have got -2 points as question shows "vote balance" -1

For example

user1 - someone asking rather poor questions,has 3 questions and 1 answer

    Vote Balance   up-votes    down-votes   reputation earned
Q1:      -1             2            3               +14 (+20 -6)
Q2:      -1             0            1                -2
Q3:       0             3            3               +24 (+30 -6)
A1:      -1             0            1                -2
--------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Total Reputation: +34

user2 - a new user, asking ok questions, but ones that do not bring that much attention

    Vote Balance   up-votes    down-votes   reputation earned
Q1:       0             0            0                 0
Q2:       0             0            0                 0
Q3:       0             0            0                 0 
A1:       1             1            0               +10
--------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Total Reputation: +10

user3 - providing controversial answers

    Vote Balance   up-votes    down-votes   reputation earned
A1:       1             11          10               +90 (+110 -20)
A2:      -1             4            5               +30 (+40 - 10)  
--------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Total Reputation: +120

If we applied the logic on awarding the reputation based on each question overall performance then it would be as below

user1 - someone asking rather poor questions,has 3 questions and 1 answer

    Vote Balance   up-votes    down-votes   reputation earned
Q1:      -1             2            3                -2
Q2:      -1             0            1                -2
Q3:       0             3            3                 0
A1:      -1             0            1                -2
--------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Total Reputation:  -6 (perhaps rep less then +1 could be allowed)

user2 - a new user, asking ok questions, but ones that do not bring that much attention

    Vote Balance   up-votes    down-votes   reputation earned
Q1:       0             0            0                 0
Q2:       0             0            0                 0
Q3:       0             0            0                 0 
A1:       1             1            0               +10
--------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Total Reputation: +10

user3 - providing controversial answers

    Vote Balance   up-votes    down-votes   reputation earned
A1:       1             11          10               +10
A2:      -1             4            5                -2
--------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Total Reputation:  +8

It think that it would better represent the user's contribution.

Also it could be a part of the solution for Handling “Problematic” Stack Overflow participants as the users that continuously ask poor question would end up with reputation less then 0 (if allowed)

I have added this solution as an answer to Should the weight of downvotes be increased?

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marked as duplicate by random, fretje, Ladybug Killer, jmfsg, mmyers Jan 15 '10 at 16:01

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.

1  
Are you talking about questions (original version) or answers (current version)? –  random Jan 15 '10 at 14:29
    
I am sorry, I made a mistake in edit, I should have been Questions –  kristof Jan 15 '10 at 14:37
3  
I lost you at "simple solution". Rephrase or be prepared to be downvoted to hell. No, that's not a threat, that's Meta. –  Ladybug Killer Jan 15 '10 at 14:40
3  
This question is actually a good illustration of the problem, currently at -1: 2 dowwnvotes, 1 upvote and still earned me +6 reputation ;) –  kristof Jan 15 '10 at 14:47
    
@John, my apology - I have edited the the question a bit, hopefully it will be easier to follow now. –  kristof Jan 15 '10 at 14:51
    
@kristof, for now: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7322 –  jmfsg Feb 11 '10 at 13:06
    

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is due to be addressed sometime soon I believe:

Should the weight of downvotes be increased?

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for pointing this out. I am not a frequent visitor on meta and did not see it before asking the question –  kristof Jan 15 '10 at 14:36
    
@kristof: 1. don't apologize, but you will learn the Meta way soon enough. 2. this is one of the top 5 feature-requests asked on this site. At least it's status-planned :) –  perbert Jan 15 '10 at 17:45
    
Nope, apparently that's not going to be addressed soon. (it's status-declined) –  romkyns Aug 9 '10 at 19:35

I think the weight of votes in general on questions should be modified, maybe even to a semi-log scale where one-or-two votes don't mean much as the question is reasonable, but if it goes stellar then you get good rep.

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