I was thinking a bit ago that I down vote a lot, so I checked my current numbers on Stack Overflow, and they surprised me:

1965 up : 1428 down

I doubt I would qualify for the supreme Grinch award here, but I'd guess I am quite a bit out of the norm as far as how many down votes I have, compared to up votes.

Does anyone have a query handy that could shed some light, or have anecdotes about users with low (high?) ratios?

I would guess that there are far more users with lots of up votes and very few down votes than the reverse.

p.s. I'm really not the old curmudgeon(sp?) my voting might suggest!

p.p.s. I think I should be voted on this question in equal proportion to my voting ratio!

p.p.p.s. My voting ratio on meta is much "nicer": 1098:276


I'm also curious about the average ratio. My wild guess would put the average at about 8:1 or even 10:1. I get the feeling that more casual users will tend to down vote very rarely, and the voting habits of casual users will add up more than active ones, simply due to numbers.

An average of "more active" users would be interesting to see as well. Of course, the criteria to apply there would be up to the query-er. Perhaps number of days logged in to the site (that is, number of days as counted by the Fanatic badge; though not consecutive, for these purposes)

  • Ooh, interesting side note: My SO numbers for voting on answers/questions are within 2 of up/down, yet my reputation report is littered with -1 entries from answer DVs. Mar 27, 2012 at 8:20
  • 2
    real Grinches occupy P.SE: +2068 : -1765, +1582 : -1740. On SO, there are guys like that, too +1608 : -3440
    – gnat
    Mar 27, 2012 at 8:22
  • 2
  • 1
    And I thought, I am a "mean" downvoter with more than 7% of my votes being downvotes (3197:259)!
    – stema
    Mar 27, 2012 at 8:43
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    Since downvotes on questions was changed to not effect reputation, I have found myself downvoting loads more questions.
    – Oded
    Mar 27, 2012 at 8:44
  • 1
    I can't seem to find a reference for it right now, but sometime during the recent rep changes votes on deleted posts where included in the profile counts.
    – yannis
    Mar 27, 2012 at 8:57
  • 1
    It also occurs to me that questions/answers that get downvoted would normally have a higher deletion rate than those with upvotes, so there is a bit of a survivor bias here as well (assuming that votes on deleted posts are no longer counted in the profile page).
    – Oded
    Mar 27, 2012 at 9:17
  • 1
    This may not be an accurate judge of Grinchiness. Case in point: my upvotes outnumber my downvotes by over 7 to 1.
    – Cody Gray
    Mar 28, 2012 at 4:22
  • @YannisRizos I believe you are correct about down votes on deleted questions being added back into our totals; I think that explains my surprise at my own numbers. The last time I looked at them, I recall that my ratio would have been about 2:1. Certainly, I have not voted so often to have changed it that much. In fact, I've been somewhat less active on the SE network the past few weeks. Your assumption seems the best explanation there. Mar 28, 2012 at 16:56
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    That's nothing. If SO ever had a grinch, it was Neil Butterworth. I remember before he deleted his account he had about 3800 downvotes on it. Mar 28, 2012 at 17:16
  • Don't know if you know, but there was a time when Jeff thought having more -votes than +votes wasn't such a good thing.
    – yannis
    Mar 30, 2012 at 9:39

2 Answers 2


According to this little query, the ten users with the largest down / up ratio are:

User Link           du_ratio         DownVotes UpVotes totalVotes 
---------           ---------------- --------- ------- ---------- 
Eric Lippert        280              280       1       281        
Heidelbergensis     54.9             549       10      559        
MrKWatkins          9.26666666666667 417       45      462        
Azeem.Butt          5.92857142857143 249       42      291        
X Slash             4.90789473684211 373       76      449        
Glenn Maynard       4.78723404255319 450       94      544        
Will Den            4.36477987421384 694       159     853        
BNL                 4.21369863013699 1538      365     1903       
vascowhite          3.42603550295858 579       169     748        
ThinkingMonkey      3.41237113402062 331       97      428        

Of course, with a ratio of 0.7267175572519084 you are nowhere near the Supreme Grinch award, at least on Stack Overflow. You could try your luck on Programmers:

User Link         du_ratio           DownVotes UpVotes totalVotes 
----------------- ------------------ --------- ------- ---------- 
Oded              2.39175257731959   232       97      329        
Mark Trapp        2.13848202396804   1606      751     2357       
Aaronaught        2.04511278195489   272       133     405        
Blaise Doughan    1.23711340206186   240       194     434        
Yannis Rizos      1.05391527599487   1642      1558    3200       
Jarrod Roberson   0.825242718446602  425       515     940        
gnat              0.74883480062144   1446      1931    3377       
Brandon Moretz    0.525280898876405  374       712     1086       
Bill the Lizard   0.466453674121406  438       939     1377       
clrod             0.457142857142857  208       455     663   

Obviously the data aren't current, I'm at 1,582 up / 1,740 down right now, with a ratio of 1.099873577749684. I thought I'd top that list, but it seems I need to try a bit harder.

Vote ratio is also displayed on the Stack Exchange Moderator Candidate Statistics page, amongst other stats that may or may not be important for candidates.

  • 1
    I bow to your query goodness. I curse you for making it one up vote harder for me to be scroogish here on Meta, though! Mar 28, 2012 at 16:53
  • I'm surprised Col. Shrapnel / Your Common Sense didn't make this list with less than 2000 upvotes and more than 6000 downvotes. Mar 28, 2012 at 17:31
  • @BoltClock He's #11, check the query. Your Common Sense, ratio 3.39809096013476, -6052/+1781. You're way down, at 0.0464091262639357 (weak).
    – yannis
    Mar 28, 2012 at 17:35
  • @Yannis Rizos: Heh... I don't really like casting downvotes :) Mar 28, 2012 at 17:36
  • @BoltClock I love downvotes! Yesterday I even begged for one...
    – yannis
    Mar 28, 2012 at 17:40
  • Would you like another? :P Mar 28, 2012 at 17:42
  • Do downvotes on deleted questions appear in your results? If not then your real ratio may rival Eric Lippert's. At minimum he has an unfair advantage.
    – psr
    Aug 29, 2013 at 18:54

In terms of a ratio, I suspect Eric Lippert wins: 1 up, 301 down. IIRC, the upvote was an accident.

(I don't think it makes Eric a "grinch" at all - given his position, I think it's reasonable for him to downvote "dangerous" answers or poorly-written questions, but not want to show "favouritism" in up-votes.)

  • I forgot to specify a floor! But 1:301 is still quite admirably scroogish! Mar 27, 2012 at 8:28
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    I've wondered for a long time what the one stellar post was that got an upvote from eric. Mar 27, 2012 at 8:29
  • @codeinchaos I bet it was a Ruby question. Mar 27, 2012 at 8:30
  • Oh... and I agree with your thoughts about Eric's DVs, Jon. Mar 27, 2012 at 8:32
  • Doesn't someone like stackoverflow.com/users/911508/ravi "beat" this? (Ratio: 0:1)
    – Mat
    Mar 27, 2012 at 8:40
  • the single upvote from Eric might be to the question he pointed to as excellent in this Meta post
    – gnat
    Mar 27, 2012 at 8:53
  • @Jon Since you seem to have surpassed all other goals here, I suggest you now strive to be the Grinch-iest guy on SO!! =P Mar 27, 2012 at 10:57
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    @Manishearth: Unfortunately, given the number of upvotes I've already cast, I'd have to cast 3,211,535 downvotes in order to surpass Eric's ratio. That could take a while.
    – Jon Skeet
    Mar 27, 2012 at 10:58
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    I was trying to clear a downvote after an edit and accidentally turned it into an upvote. Mar 27, 2012 at 18:02
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    Also, I note that I make on average about two downvotes a week. That's hardly "grinchy". If I actually downvoted everything I saw that was poorly written or incorrect then that number would be a lot higher. I exercise considerable restraint. Mar 27, 2012 at 18:06
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    @EricLippert More restraint than I have, I'm sure. I've found that SO has been good for improving my skills not just in positive communication, but also passive-aggressive messages...
    – Jon Skeet
    Mar 27, 2012 at 18:08
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    No doubt! There are some days I could do fifteen downvotes on a single question, like this one which has fifteen wrong answers, which is I think the largest number of wrong answers I've seen yet: stackoverflow.com/questions/9896413/…. Mar 27, 2012 at 21:25
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    @EricLippert I absolutely agree that considering your activity on the site, you definitely show restraint with your voting. 300 is quite a modest number of down votes. And I'm using "Grinchy" or "Scroogy" in a light-hearted way, to be clear :) I'm sure Jon is, too. Mar 28, 2012 at 16:51
  • Jon - any more info on why you think that upvote was an accident? Like many people I've often wondered what that one post was. Mar 28, 2012 at 17:13
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    I'm assuming the upvote is when he tried to downvote John Skeet and the system rejected it.
    – psr
    Aug 29, 2013 at 18:55

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