In What techniques can I use to be more productive with Ruby on Rails , the OP says in a comment:

PS: Those interested in this question might want to upvote it so it doesn't get closed.

At first I thought that there's no correlation between whether a question is upvoted and whether it gets closed, but I'm wondering if there's a U-shaped correlation.

Heavily downvoted questions generally should be closed, because there's usually a good reason it got heavily downvoted.

But is being heavily upvoted usually the result of being a polling / subjective / overly broad, and therefore a potential indicator that the question may need to be closed?

  • 7
    Shouldn't that question be closed as "Not Constructive"? – Chris Frederick Oct 27 '11 at 1:38
  • Is it? I don't know. Check for yourself at stackoverflow.com/questions?sort=votes. – Kevin Vermeer Oct 27 '11 at 1:53
  • 2
    @KevinVermeer: in my opinion, the first definitely constructive, appropriate question on that list is item #6. But even that has gotten its upvotes (mostly) for style and not for substance. – Joachim Sauer Oct 27 '11 at 7:10

PS: Those interested in this question might want to upvote it so it doesn't get closed.

Someone commenting as such is simply stating that they are unaware of how things work. I have never seen a moderator step in and say, "this question is popular, give it carte blanche." Whether 3K+ users would use a high vote count as a criterion for not voting to close is up to the individual, but I've observed that it doesn't seem to discourage people from voting.

Could you turn that around and say high votes implies a subjective, polling, etc. type question? I don't necessarily think so. It would probably depend on the tag of the question. A tag with a large following is going to have a larger population willing to upvote a good post. Also, a good question that gets posted on any popular blog would receive a ton of votes. I grant you that sometimes these questions are simply spectacle, but automatically assuming that would jeopardize the future of a question which has quality and popularity.


No. Up- or down-voting is no indication of anything. These are two completely different beasts.

Just because something is heavily up-voted doesn't mean it is a valid question...it only means that many people liked the question. On the other hand, a heavily down-voted question does mean that the question is bad, not that it is invalid. Though, both are correlating to a certain extent, they cannot be safely used as an indicator.

F.e. if you flip through the highest up-voted questions on Stack Overflow, you'll find many questions which are either invalid or not very good questions, but there are also some real, on-topic pearls in there. Also, some of these questions only gained the popularity because of links from Reddit or momentum through other means.

This (if heavily up-voted questions should be automatically valid) has also been partly discussed in "Do we really want to automatically close every “subjective” question - like asking for resources?". And I can only repeat myself:

What the community wants != What's best for the community != What's best for Stack Exchange.


Note that many upvotes will protect a question by non-moderator delete: Determining how many deletion votes are required so in the end upvotes will give "survivability" to the question.

  • 1
    Nice catch! Of course, it still takes the same number of votes (5) to close it, right? – Chris Frederick Oct 27 '11 at 15:01
  • Yes absolutely. But many persons don't go about closing questions with many upvotes (me for example)... So he IS right... If you collect enough votes it becomes a problem of the mods. – xanatos Oct 27 '11 at 15:06

You must log in to answer this question.

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