I'm honestly confused why this would be so popular: How to perform integer division and get the remainder in JavaScript?

Why was this short, not thought-out, question that had no evidence of any attempt get so many up votes? Were things just that different 2 years ago?

  • 5
    Somebody with a popular blog probably linked to it, or it was featured in a podcast or some such.
    – Oded
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:21
  • Similar to the LOGO question by Joel - stackoverflow.com/questions/1003841/…
    – Oded
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:23
  • 1
    There are plenty of other questions with 50 votes that have had ~15,000 views (stackoverflow.com/questions?page=60&sort=votes)
    – Matt
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:23
  • 1
    May these be your problems ;)
    – Lix
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:26
  • 6
    If this question bothers you, you've never seen the other hundreds of worthless questions with hundreds of upvotes. This one is at least not a joke and likely to be honestly helpful to somebody in the future.
    – user7116
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:28
  • 3
    More importantly, how did this question get so highly upvoted in such a short amount of time? Usually, it gets posted somewhere (Reddit, /., etc) and then it gets views which will equate to votes. Remember though, that's not an indicator of quality, just that people are easily amused.
    – casperOne
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:29
  • 1
    @casperOne - I think it getting migrated, complained about then migration reverted did it ;)
    – Oded
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:32
  • @Oded: any PR is good PR right?
    – user7116
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:33
  • @sixlettervariables - not sure about that...
    – Oded
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:35
  • @Oded It got 90+ votes on SO before all that happened.
    – casperOne
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:42
  • @casperOne - I know... I know...
    – Oded
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


If you check out the timeline of this fairly interesting Programmers question on the Tanenbaum-Torvalds debates you'll notice that it exploded vote wise on March 22, when I posted it on Reddit.

Same with the UX question Do we need good-looking design for a program internal only to our company? which I posted on Reddit on April 16 (notice the spike in its timeline).

Obviously I can't be certain that all their traffic came from my Reddit posts, but I did get gold Publicist badges for both questions so at least 1000 unique visits on each are my fault ;P

But there aren't really any vote spikes in the integer division question, the most votes it got in a month were 9 in Nov 10, when it was first posted. Although I don't consider it a good question by any standard, it's age and noobesque quality probably account for its votes. Questions like this are a good reminder that votes are not always a sign of quality, as they can be so easily manipulated.

  • 1
    I'd say it's better than a lot of the other questions with similar votes. (1) It's not about a comic (2) It has a real answer with code (3) It'll help future JS users. I think it gets votes because it is easy to understand and quick to read, high quality usually means the voting public won't understand.
    – user7116
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 15:10
  • @six Agreed. I had a couple of examples in there of extremely high voted but utterly crap questions, but I decided to remove them because I really don't care for yet another comment war on how they are interesting and useful to the programming community... And yes, you already guessed my first example. - I think it gets votes because it is easy to understand and quick to read, high quality usually means the voting public won't understand That's what I meant by "noobesque quality", I didn't mean it in a derogatory way, we are all noobs in something.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 15:13
  • The question got 2 votes in November. The 9 you see on that date includes votes on answers. This date.se query makes the vote history by month a little clearer Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 15:22
  • @some The 16/4 spike I mention is on the UX question not the SO one. And yes all spikes I mention include votes on the question and its answers, I don't think there's any point in drilling any deeper, the message of the answer is: Post on Reddit, get some cheap exposure, although that doesn't seem to be the case with the question in question (the SO one).
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 15:27
  • @Yahoo: indeed, simple is often better; I guess in a roundabout way I meant to say, votes != quality rather votes == votes. Or as my grandfather always said, "all you know if someone has their turn signal on, is that they have their turn signal on."
    – user7116
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 15:30
  • @YahooAnswersenthusiast Yeah I realized I misunderstood the point about the spike (hence my nija edit on the comment) but yeah you're right we don't need to drill any further although I'm surprised no one mentioned Bike Shed yet Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 15:33
  • Another thing to consider before starting to use Reddit.. so many friends are saying I should. I dare you to post this on there. It's so far done better than anything else I've posted and was rather simple. But I'm interested to see if it would get the same attention as a question of more merit.
    – RyanS
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 17:07
  • @YahooAnswersenthusiast how do you ensure you get the credit for a link? they dont appear to be unique..
    – RyanS
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 18:23
  • @RyanS If you click the "link" link under every post (q/a), you get a link that includes your user ID.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 18:28

I think it is the phenomenon of herd and badges.

I see it a lot on Stack Overflow, when question, answer or comment gets high scoring or high view suddenly in a few seconds a lot of people also upvote/downvote/view this.

It's too weird that in a short period of time everybody thinks alike.

Another reason on voting up question is because of people who want to achieve badges like Civic Duty, Electorate, Sportsmanship, Suffrage and Vox Populi.

  • Voting on questions doesn't count towards Sportsmanship
    – yoozer8
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 18:03
  • @Jim I guess you didn't understand the general idea of my answer. I gave as an example all badges that related to up vote questions or answers,, Sportmanship is about voting up compting answers..
    – Dor Cohen
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 19:11

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