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I just noticed, or rather crossed, 1k points on Meta and I got the privilege of seeing the total upvote and downvote counts for every question and answer. However I felt, the reputation needed to get this privilege is way too high. I feel maybe around 300 or max 500 rep points should give this privilege to the users.

Is there any rationale behind this privilege having such a high reputation requirement?

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I'm guessing that one reason is that it is expensive to work this out so they want to limit the number of users using it. Limiting via rep is an easy way to do this. – chibacity Feb 4 '11 at 10:54
... if you think that's high, how do you feel about the privileges you get at 2,3 and 10k? For a long time there was nothing between 500 and 2000, so it could be worse. – Mark Henderson Feb 4 '11 at 10:55
@Farseeker - Actually some other privilege can be granted at rep 1k. Also for 10k, I feel that privilege obtained at 10k is still worth the effort. But not the one I mentioned in my question. – Sachin Shanbhag Feb 4 '11 at 10:57
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Quoting Jeff Atwood:

The total vote count (score) is denormalized, but the individual up/down vote counts are not.

So to display it on every post would incur 2 vote table queries * number of visible questions / answers. Our DB is fast, but the vote table is pretty massive, and not doing a query is always faster than doing it..

It's possibly something we could do on demand [...] but as an "always displayed" it is a non-starter.

Plus, as others have noted already, we wanted to have something to give users who pass that nice threshold; before that, there was a rather large gap between 500 rep points (retagging) and 1500 (creating new tags).

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I understand from RegDwight answer that there are technical limitations for this, but if there wasn't, I think these counts shouldn't be hidden from users, even from those with 1 rep.

The reason for this is that seeing the distinction between upvotes and downvotes gives you an indication regarding the potential disagreement within the community on that subject. In turn, this gives readers a hint that they should dig deeper and find other sources of information, instead of assuming that the highest voted answers are more likely to be generally correct.

An +2 answer can come from 2 upvotes or 4 upvotes and 2 downvotes. You could have 4 upvotes coming from voters who know a bit about the subject and think the answers sounds right, combined with 2 downvotes from more expert users. (This can easily happen on specific subjects that have low read counts.)

As a newcomer to a subject, it's useful to be able to see there isn't unanimity.

Even for more expert users, it can be useful. Firstly, the expansion of SE sites to more specific areas can also lead to lower reps in each sub-field (since they're not gathered together). Secondly, expert users who are completely new to SE also have to start with 1. If you're an actual expert in field and you see incorrect answers that are highly upvoted on a site, it gives a bad image of the entire site (why bother joining a community where people don't seem to know what they're talking about). Seeing how votes are spread can help convince those experts it's worth joining.

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It is a fun, but not terribly important power, so it's threshold is likewise unimportant.

In it's current pace, it fills in a otherwise pretty empty gap. Leave it be.

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I think it is fine where it is. I agree with Farseeker, what else are you going to get at 1000 rep. Also there are plenty of privileges already in the lower rep ranges. If anything we need something between 3k and 10k.

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