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I know once you get a certain amount of reputation, you can see the total up and down votes for questions. Well, my proposal is to always be able to see this on your own questions and answers. You can see it by going to your user page anyway, so why not make it possible to do by simply clicking on the number of votes (like you can when you have the rep)?

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It would take away the thrill of reaching 1000 rep! –  Lance Roberts Feb 24 '10 at 23:38
I would extend this request to include their own questions and their own answers. –  Robert Cartaino Feb 24 '10 at 23:47
Maybe if I'm lucky by putting a bounty on it Jeff may come and say status-declined or status-planned. –  Earlz Mar 22 '10 at 17:59
Quick question, what possible gain do you get from seeing voting breakdown? –  Yawus Jul 9 '12 at 15:50
@Yawus: Would you like to know if your +2 question means you got only 2 upvotes versus 10 upvotes and 8 down votes? The former means you wrote a good, but boring question. The second means you wrote a popular, but controversial question. –  Flimzy Jul 15 '12 at 17:07
@Flimzy While you can infer from the reputation split in your history, I can now see how this might be useful. However, understanding controversy and popularity would be more suited for Meta and that you can infer from comments and answers. –  Yawus Jul 15 '12 at 17:52
@Yawus: The fact that that information can, indeed, be gleaned from ones own history is, in my opinion, all the more reason this feature request ought to be implemented. It's silly to make people jump through hoops for what can be so useful. And of course, the up/down vote count is not a substitute for discussing a question on meta, when appropriate. –  Flimzy Jul 15 '12 at 17:54
I would like to add to this request: Can we see up/down votes on answers to our questions as well? This is especially helpful when accepting an answer on a topic I'm not immensely familiar with--especially on the less technical sites (scifi/movies/religion/etc). I may not have the knowledge to say whether a particular answer is completely accurate. Viewing the up/down votes on an answer would allow me to judge the reception of the community when deciding whether to accept an answer. –  Flimzy Jul 19 '12 at 16:53

6 Answers 6

up vote 65 down vote accepted

That sounds reasonable. The author of a post has the most to gain from seeing the breakdown.

The rep limitation for requesting split votes is primarily to moderate the additional load on the server. If you let users view the vote breakdown on just their own posts (questions and answers), the additional load would be negligible.

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So since Jeff's "no" answer was unpopular, and your "why not?" answer was very popular, and Jeff's word is no longer law, might this actually be implemented now? –  nhinkle Jul 8 '12 at 19:14
I've awarded my bounty; let us hope this gets some more attention. –  Drise Jul 17 '12 at 16:58

why not make it possible to do by simply clicking on the number of votes(like you can when you have the rep)?

It was actually arbitrarily placed as a bonus for 1k rep to make the long slog to 2k seem a little more pleasant since there's a stepping stone in the middle.

Since it's really part of the game, I doubt that's going to change. You can see the up/down for all questions in the data dump, or if you are impatient go to the user's page for the person that posted it and check out their reputation graph for upvotes and downvotes in that post.

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The user would still gain new abilities at 1K... lifting the limitation of seeing only their own posts (i.e. see vote split on all posts). –  Robert Cartaino Feb 24 '10 at 23:51
You can vote to close/open your own questions at 250 rep and you can edit your own posts at 1 rep. Does that make the long slog to 10k seem less pleasant because the 2k/3k bonuses are less powerful? –  mmyers Feb 25 '10 at 16:19
@Rob @mmyers - I suspect that the majority of the usage of this feature is already for people to look at their own scores. So yes, making it available for one's own scores earlier does significantly lessen the value of the 1k transition. Regardless, it's just a part of the game. As far as I can tell it just makes navel-gazing easier, so why not make people work for it? How does having this feature improve stackoverflow? –  Adam Davis Feb 25 '10 at 19:33
I'm not sure about the premise that we simply need something to happen at 1K (may or may not be true, I don't know). That seems arbitrary to me. Most rep-limited features are withheld to allow users to gain enough experience to use them properly... except this. I don't have a strong personal feeling about it either way. I was under the assumption the 1K limitation was a server-load issue (see my post). "How does this feature improve SO" is pretty much whatever argument you make as to why it is available in the first place... only now extended to another small group where it is "needed." –  Robert Cartaino Feb 25 '10 at 19:57
@Robert - So we can conclude that there's no good reason for it at any level? Once we conclude that there's no reason to have it, then it's just eye candy or navel gazing, which can be simply used as a minor feature one can gain at an arbitrary level. Given that, explain again how SO will benefit if the arbitrary level is moved down from 1k. –  Adam Davis Mar 22 '10 at 1:50
@Pollyanna - I don't conclude that "there's no good reason for it." It was my feature request (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/747/…). If I had my magic wand, I'd just make it available to everybody. I was questioning whether "we need something to happen at 1K" is the actual reason the rep limitation is in place. –  Robert Cartaino Mar 22 '10 at 3:23

It was decided a reputation requirement was needed for performance reasons, as showing the individual votes requires a query in the votes table (counting them) instead of just fetching the score field in the post's entry.

Now I personally think this is ridiculous; such a query would require a fraction of the time needed to perform all the operations of - for example - a single, uncached page view. And users with less than 1,000 rep can view pages, can't they?

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I was of the understanding that SO denormalized the vote counts... –  waiwai933 Feb 25 '10 at 2:07
@waiwai: it keeps a field in the post table, score, that is the one displayed (upvotes + downvotes). The individual number of upvotes and downvotes is in the votes table. –  Andreas Bonini Feb 25 '10 at 2:14
If that's what's causing the performance issue, what's keeping them from adding separate up/down totals to the post table? The votes have to be totaled for the combined result anyway. –  RobH Jul 9 '12 at 16:22

We already get complaints from people when they see one of their questions was downvoted with no comment explaining why.

Allowing new users who are not used to the system to immediately see that their post is getting downvotes even when it's overall positive will only amplify that effect.

Further, downvotes are relatively rare. It's certainly more interesting on meta to have this information, but on SO most users are content to upvote the good answers, leave the poor answers alone, and only downvote wrong answers.

Lastly, a downvote doesn't tell you anything. It could be a bad vote - and even if it was valid you're still at a loss as to why your post was considered bad enough to get a downvote. A lot of downvotes are probably improperly cast - as the recent up/down voting ratio limit is intended to help with.

  • How will having the vote split available to all users really going to improve SO in any measurable way?
  • What useful or actionable information does the vote split provide that the overall vote value does not provide?

It's only a "nice to have" or "navel gazing" feature, and one that would simply cause more complaints if given to everyone, even if restricted to their own posts. Yes, they can see that information now, but they have to look for it, and learn about the system to get there. With this feature it's easy to find (lots of people confused about it at first when they stumbled on it by missing the up or down vote button), and actually not intuitive. If someone intends to vote something up, thinks they hit the upvote button, and suddenly gets the split view it's only going to confuse them, especially as a new user.

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Seeing that your question has a vote count of +8/-6 is a lot more valuable than seeing that your question has +2. It tells you that your question is controversial, and not necessarily a good question. As @RobertCartaino said in his answer, the OP has the most to gain from this information. –  Flimzy Jul 8 '12 at 19:25

I still think it's an ability you should earn.

(at least to do it the easy point and click way)

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So you have to earn the ability to have information you already have presented nice to you? You might as well earn the ability to use formatting shortcuts in the editor instead of typing tags. –  Gordon Gustafson Aug 18 '10 at 22:57

This is now possible. See here:


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Only works for questions. –  Artefacto Aug 18 '10 at 1:24
@Artefacto The OP requested this feature for questions. If you want this feature for answers as well, have a look at: “View Vote totals” without 1000 rep. –  Rob W Feb 19 '12 at 14:45

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