I saw a thread discussing rep loss based on downvoters rep. But I find the situation in my question to make sense.

Its certain a SO heavyweight wont ask questions like this. But the point gained by answering a simple question and a difficult question is the same. Shouldn't we give proper weight to the quality of posts?

I see at times, users with low rep (under 1000, say) answering the questions of OP with much much higher rep. Doesn't that indicate the answerer is not worth what he is owning now, but capable of much more, provided his answer is getting upvotes or being marked as answer. I would say this way, rep becomes more indicative of capability than time spent on SO. It at the same time bridges the rep divide (like digital divide) and also but widens the gap.

  • @Martin yes that's my point. Wouldnt it be justified? I would say an answer to "how to display a messagebox" deserves less points than something more difficult. And in my experience, the standard of questions by newbies like me had only gone up with time, but so went the reputation. A low level question wont be asked by a more knowledgable person/higher rep user
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 10:40
  • 3
    So, you think that answering the question of someone with +100k is worth more than for one with 1 point? Even if the question is a complete newbie question on a topic the +100k user knows nothing about?
    – Oded
    Dec 29, 2011 at 10:45
  • @Oded I get your point. That's nice. But I haven't seen such things happening.
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 10:57
  • "I haven't seen such things happening" - what things? Even +100k users have areas that they know nothing about.
    – Oded
    Dec 29, 2011 at 12:17
  • @Oded I mean 100k user coming up with a silly question, but you're right, its possible. Like in scenarios where he is learning a new language or so. Accepted.
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


High reputation isn't necessarily an indicator that the user asks very high quality questions. The reputation could have been gained from answers.

But either way, an answer is an answer—the amount of rep it gains depends on how good it is. An amazing answer will gain more rep because it gets more upvotes whereas a decent answer won't gain as much because it didn't receive as many upvotes.

The "weight" is already implicit in the quality of the answer.

The fact is that answers to "higher level" questions are likely to get more upvotes than answers to "newbie" questions. The latter tend to attract less attention because of their lower quality.

  • I have not seen a high rep user asking something silly. So I took that rep is indicative of quality of questions. But I have seen low rep users answering high rep users' questions and getting upvoted. Nevertheless @Oded makes a nice point about it, but mostly I dont see that happening..
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 11:05
  • @nawfal There's a lot that goes on you aren't aware of. And what you have seen seems to show your suggestion isn't at all needed. Dec 29, 2011 at 11:27
  • @AndrewBarber so you mean, indeed high rep users do ask easy questions?
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 11:31
  • I'm saying it does not matter. Good answers get good votes. It does not matter who asked it... in fact, even the quality of the question being asked should not matter. Dec 29, 2011 at 11:34
  • @nawfal you haven't been around long enough, the mods can definitely offer examples of closed/downvoted questions from HRUs
    – prusswan
    Dec 29, 2011 at 12:18
  • Here is the most downvoted question on Meta and it was asked by the 15th all-time highest rep user. Of course Meta doesn't work the same way with votes, but there's an excellent example.
    – Someone
    Dec 29, 2011 at 12:23
  • @AndrewBarber, I get the point by prusswan. But to say it doesnt matter is something I do not get. Let me ask you, suppose if I answer a newbie question and someone answers a higher level question, do you feel its fair to get equal points for both of us?
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 12:23
  • @nawfal: But you can't be certain you will get the same points. If the higher level answer is great, it'll receive more upvotes than the "newbie" answer. The likelihood is that this will happen, of course, because "newbie" questions, if I understand that term properly, get less attention than the "higher level" ones.
    – Someone
    Dec 29, 2011 at 12:25
  • @Purmou thats a valid point to be frank. I wouldnt mind marking this as answer had you put up the point in the answer :)
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 12:28
  • @nawfal: I should've had that there to begin with, but anyway, it's added now.
    – Someone
    Dec 29, 2011 at 12:32

The rep of the questioner should not have anything at all to do with the quality (and therefore votes) of the answers.

Good answers get more rep because they inspire people to vote for them. How much rep they get should not be based on whether it was a "heavyweight" who asked.

If we did that, newbie questions could quite possibly get ignored.

Further: You keep mentioning the assumed quality of the question. That, again, should not have anything to do with it. There can be very good answers to very bad questions.

  • 1
    +1 for the remark about newbies
    – Rune FS
    Dec 29, 2011 at 10:41
  • I strongly disagree with your last line, because newbie questions stil wil have some points to offer and none would disregard that, that too when you get it so easily without whacking your brain much. Moreover newbies like me only answers newbie questions..
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 10:42
  • 1
    @nawfal Newbies like you would do well to only answer "heavyweight" questions, under your suggestion. Everyone would. It would be a harmful emphasis on the questions of highly repped users. Dec 29, 2011 at 10:45
  • The "only" in my question is not universal. I mean "mostly". I do not see how your point counters mine..
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 10:50
  • @nawfal I have no clue what you are talking about. The word "only" does not appear in your question. It remains that your suggestion would be harmful to questions asked by low rep users, without any demonstrated reason. Dec 29, 2011 at 10:54
  • Your above comment re-iterates what u mentioned in the last line of your answer. I countered saying "because newbie questions stil wil have some points to offer and none would disregard that, that too when you get it so easily without whacking your brain much. Moreover newbies like me only answers newbie questions". I did not get you what you meant by "Newbies like you would do well to only answer "heavyweight" questions, under your suggestion"
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 11:02
  • @nawfal are you saying you don't think people would consciously seek out and prefer to answer questions from highly repped users? Also, you haven't really demonstrated any reason at all for this. Dec 29, 2011 at 11:06
  • @AndrewBarber people would, but just preferring wont help, they need to have the quality to answer as well. That doesnt leave newbie questions ignored as long as they offer points. As i said you can get cheap points by answering them always. And there is always lesser knowledged users to help. Lets say bounties offer more points, but did that help getting normal questions ignored?
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 11:11
  • @nawfal Yes, really, it does leave them at a disadvantage. I can't believe you won't admit that. As for "cheap points"... why would I waste my limited daily votes on lesser value questions/answers, too? I would prefer to vote where I know it will have more effect. Yet another negative effect it could have. And still no good reason to do it... high rep users don't need any help getting their questions answered! Dec 29, 2011 at 11:15
  • @AndrewBarber I think you mistook me, the same rule for votes was never in my questions. It was just answers and points gained. Regarding the bounty thing, I never experienced it. May be I'm not knowing the traffic in bounty questions since I'm always getting answered on my normal questions. I'm sure that this trend will continue. The good reason is that, as I stated in question, higher quality answers always get its due than silly answers. The only real issue here is, that its not possible to judge quality of question by rep, but very mostly we can. Just my view
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 11:23
  • @nawfal I did not misunderstand you at all; you are not thinking through the logical effects of your proposal. Dec 29, 2011 at 11:25
  • @nawfal as for bounty questions: those cost rep to even offer; it actually takes the rep from the person offering it. Dec 29, 2011 at 11:26
  • @AndrewBarber I dont see the suggestion i put forward would translate to voting as u say. There is bounty for you, and the scheme didnt affect voting/answering to a noticeable level. What is your point by saying bounties cost rep to offer?
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 11:42
  • 1
    @nawfal They cost rep, so people rarely do it. Compared to lots and lots of questions posted every day by high rep users. I would really advise learning more about how the site works. You don't seem to understand a great many very basic aspects when suggesting what could be a quite destructive change. Dec 29, 2011 at 11:46
  • @AndrewBarber mm, I felt such an idea wouldnt lessen the traffic to newbie questions (not to a notice-able level), but you say otherwise. You know better..
    – nawfal
    Dec 29, 2011 at 12:34

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