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I see that a user requires a minimum reputation of 150 to vote in primaries and the final election. However, users with much less reputation than this can comment.

I have seen at least one example of a user with low reputation posting what are perhaps quite damaging comments. This could be seen as a user that has demonstrated minimal commitment having a disproportionate influence on a nominee with very high commitment.

Should users require the same level of reputation to comment as they do to vote?

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Which comment do you mean? Or shall I scan all and, well, guess? – Jürgen A. Erhard Jan 20 '11 at 12:24
@jae I feel uneasy about pointing out a specific case and therefore user. Am I being over-sensitive? – chibacity Jan 20 '11 at 12:32
Didn't look closely, but I found one comment which was comment upon saying that that user had very low rep (74 when I checked). If that's the one you mean, then you're over-sensitive, in more ways than one: for one, he's been pointed out anyway, and for another, his comments really aren't even close to potentially damaging. – Jürgen A. Erhard Jan 20 '11 at 12:39
@jae I didn't mean over-sensitive by raising this question, I meant by finger pointing at a particular user. I am making a general case. They are potentially damaging as the nominee has actually publicly stated that he is considering withdrawing because of them. No offence, but maybe you're a little under-sensitive on this particular point. – chibacity Jan 20 '11 at 12:42
@jae - I believe the comment in question may be the one on Paul Dixon's nomination that accused him and those supporting him of nationalism, which was ridiculous, but it was upvoted 50 times. It's racking up flags, so it will probably be deleted, but it contaminated the comments on his entry with incendiary and offtopic material. – Brad Larson Jan 20 '11 at 16:23
@Brad You are correct in your assumption. – chibacity Jan 20 '11 at 17:51
I think it's been brought to a close now. I was more concerned about the number of upvotes that comment got :( – Paul Dixon Jan 20 '11 at 21:41
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, that seems logical to me.

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"Damaging comments", huh? Sounds like a comment terrorism, we definitely should neutralize them. "disproportionate influence" is another concept I can't seem to grasp. How exactly are they influencing anybody?

I'm not against introducing the same reputation restriction for comments as for voting (it would be consistent, if not anything else), but I don't see a problem in the current situation either.

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I am not suggesting that comments be banned from non-voters. I am merely suggesting that the required reputation to vote and comment should be symmetrical i.e. the same. This at least means there's a minimal amount of commitment shown from users to SO before they can participate in the election. – chibacity Jan 20 '11 at 12:04
That's exactly how I understood you. I'll correct the post to eliminate confusion. – Nikita Rybak Jan 20 '11 at 12:07
@chibacity: you are not suggesting that... perhaps you see it that way. But truth is, the effect is exactly the same: "if you can't vote, you can't comment." – Jürgen A. Erhard Jan 20 '11 at 12:19
@jae Actually, I see your point. I am saying "if you can't vote, you can't comment.", but am also saying that you can comment and not vote if you don't want to. – chibacity Jan 20 '11 at 12:25
By "disproportionate influence", I am saying that potentially a user can add a comment that is incendiary and give the impression that SO means the world to them, get up-voted perhaps by a bunch of people also with minimal reputation, but at the same time the user doesn't care that much as they have been a member for ages and have not really shown that much commitment. That is disproportionate. I am suggesting that the bar is raised a little for elections. If people with low rep really want to get involved, 150 is not high to reach in 7 days to get involved in the nomination phase. – chibacity Jan 20 '11 at 12:31

Should users require the same level of reputation to comment as they do to vote?

150 rep is not that much, so I'd be inclined to agree with you, however those with only 50 rep are still users of the site, and if they can't vote or comment, what impact can they possibly have on the election which will certainly affect them just as much as any other user?

For the most part, incorrect, illogical, inconsistent comments will be called out and other comments will condemn them. If a comment is abusive, offensive, etc it'll be flagged and deleted as such.

I don't think that anything in particular needs to be done - the system is currently working well as designed.

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I don't think it is working as well as you perhaps think it is - look at Paul Dixon's nomination. A user with 74 rep (gaining over 1.5 years I might add so hardly denoting any sort of real commitment) has made some pretty incendiary and inaccurate remarks which have completely high-jacked the nearly 40 comments. A moderator has already noted that he is sick of the 50-100 flags that have been received which are being dismissed. They are not being "flagged and deleted as such". – chibacity Jan 21 '11 at 14:21
Low rep users should obviously have a voice, but 150 rep to comment is hardly unachievable and I think represents the added commitment that should be demonstrated in order to get involved in the elections. The reputation required to vote is higher than normal, so I think the reputation to comment should be higher. Indeed, for normal SO activity you need more reputation to comment than you do to vote. Why should it be the opposite for elections? – chibacity Jan 21 '11 at 14:24
@chibacity - 1) If a person with 151 rep made that same comment, would there still be a problem? 2) If the comment isn't bad, in and of itself (as the moderators appear to believe) then why is it bad that someone with a low rep said it? – Adam Davis Jan 21 '11 at 14:28
Or, in other words, at what reputation level do you honestly think so called "bad" comments would magically disappear? Shall we really change our policy due to one incident? – Adam Davis Jan 21 '11 at 14:30
@Pollyanna The point I'm making is that on SO a large dimension is reputation. You have to work at things to get reputation to earn the right to be able to do things, and reputation levels have to be set somewhere. I think it would be bad if users with 50 reputation could delete posts. I think it's bad that users with 50 reputation are entitled to have have an undue influence in the elections, writing a "bad" comment is one form of influence. I just don't think they've earned it yet at 50 rep. – chibacity Jan 21 '11 at 14:36
@chibacity Well then we're simply talking about arbitrary limits. I can gain 150 rep with 20 minutes of my time and a day of waiting for the votes to come in. Does 20 minutes of my time seem reasonable to give me power to vote in moderator elections? Why not make it count, and set the limit at 1,000 rep? If it's going to be an arbitrary measure of participation, honestly 50 is the same as 150 in terms of effort one needs to expend. The difference is a mere 10 answer votes or 20 question votes. – Adam Davis Jan 21 '11 at 14:44
@Pollyanna That's the point I'm making. If it really matters to someone that much, they can easily get the reputation. They just have to show a minimal amount of commitment to SO. If a user has not managed to get 150 rep in 1.5 years, then I think that says a lot. I just think that the reputation required to vote and comment should be the same. – chibacity Jan 21 '11 at 14:48
@Pollyanna For normal SO questions you actually require more reputation to comment. – chibacity Jan 21 '11 at 14:54
@chibacity - According to the FAQ, only 50 rep is required to comment on posts other than your own: - Is the FAQ wrong? – Adam Davis Jan 21 '11 at 15:00
@Pollyanna Yes you need 50 to comment, but you only need 15 to vote. You need more rep to comment than you do to vote. It's the opposite way around for the elections. That's what I'm getting at. The figures may be "arbitrary" but they are relative. – chibacity Jan 21 '11 at 15:02
@Chibacity - Voting down still requires 125rep, so full voting rights don't really occur until you reach 125 rep, but you can still comment at 50, but we're entering the bike shed discussion. I understand your position, and I disagree. I don't strongly disagree, but remain unconvinced that there's a compelling argument for changing things in the middle of the nomination phase, especially since the sample set that demonstrates the problem is too small to be statistically significant. – Adam Davis Jan 21 '11 at 15:49
@Pollyanna You cannot down-vote in the election, but anyway I have no desire to discuss "bikesheds" either. – chibacity Jan 21 '11 at 15:55
@chibacity - (see sidebar) "Any community member with 150 reputation may vote in the primary...There is no commenting in this phase, only one up or down vote per candidate." The final election will permit anonymous votes for candidates (ie, the voting record and number of votes is not publicized until after the election is complete) so one could say there are no down votes there, but certainly the primary allows downvotes. – Adam Davis Jan 21 '11 at 16:03
@Pollyanna Ah yes, I stand corrected. Thanks. – chibacity Jan 21 '11 at 16:04

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