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Let me reward a good edit on my question/answer

This question made me think. When you up- or downvote a question (or an answer) all the points go to the original poster. But there have been plenty of occasions where I thought a question was worthy of an upvote, except that when I looked at the edit history, the original version wasn't nearly as good.

So my question is, would it be possible to divide the upvote points among the people who edited the post, instead of giving the points all to the OP? It would be fairer, especially in cases where it's clear the OP didn't even do most of the work. This question for instance.

  • The question remains, though, how do we determine objectively which ones contributed substantially to the quality of the post? – gobernador Jun 13 '12 at 14:43
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    (FWIW, I don't view this as an exact duplicate--me saying "Dude you saved my question" is different than automagically rewarding an arbitrary set of content editors. The former is user-user gifting.) – Dave Newton Jun 13 '12 at 14:53
  • @DaveNewton Agreed. This is not a duplicate of the question I linked to. Otherwise I wouldn't have asked! – Mr Reenlist'er Jun 13 '12 at 14:54
  • @clo - the question in not a duplicate. The answers to the linked question can also answer this question - that's what makes it a dupe... – Lix Jun 13 '12 at 14:58
  • I love the sentiment and the principle. Unfortunately, I think there are too many details that would make it undoable (as have been detailed here and at the dupe) – Andrew Barber Jun 13 '12 at 15:30

IMO the ROI wouldn't be worth it.

Ultimately, votes are for content, not people, even though rep goes to specific users.

And, fractional points, anyone?

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    "Fractional points", you've got a point there. A whole one. – Mr Reenlist'er Jun 13 '12 at 14:58
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    Well, it would be cool to actually select the amount of rep we'd want to give per upvote: Well, you tried, here are 6.81249965 rep with my upvote! – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 13 '12 at 15:02

Two major flows:

  1. People would stop editing bad answers or questions, because they'd fear they'd get a share of the downvotes.
  2. People would start editing perfectly okay and good questions and answers just to get a share of the upvotes.
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  • People would think twice before vandalising a post! – Mr Reenlist'er Jun 13 '12 at 14:53
  • @CloistertheStupid I don't believe vandalism is a huge issue, though; do you have evidence that suggests otherwise? – Dave Newton Jun 13 '12 at 14:54
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    @CloistertheStupid Most of the vandalism comes from anonymous users. (Source: informal count after spending a lot of time reviewing suggested edits.) That, plus people vandalising their own content when they're dissatisfied with the community' response. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 13 '12 at 14:55
  • People who vandalize posts (the hard way) are not an issue, they get a cup of tea, a nice padding on the shoulder and a neat sticker slapped on the forehead which reads "timed suspension". – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 13 '12 at 14:55

I think this would be a cool feature.

It would be really hard to make it fair. What if an edit was simply changing some capitalization? or punctuation? Should the editor get rep for that? There would, I think, have to be some kind of gage for the significance of the edit, maybe the number of characters changed/added.

On the flip side. I don't think an editor should lose rep when an answer is down voted. They are doing their best to salvage an answer, and shouldn't be punished.

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  • The system knows how much of the post was changed during an edit, so it's easy to calculate mow many points should go to the OP and how many to the editor. – Mr Reenlist'er Jun 13 '12 at 14:52
  • And losing rep when an answer you edited is downvoted, that would be a good thing, an incentive to make good edits! – Mr Reenlist'er Jun 13 '12 at 14:52
  • @CloistertheStupid Quantity of edit(s) is a very different metric than quality. – Dave Newton Jun 13 '12 at 14:53

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