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Some days ago I asked a question with a bounty (because I hardly ever get any answers, since people only answer to new questions). The first answer I got was absolutely useless, it didn't have anything to do with my question at all. In all, this answer got 4 down-votes, so -8 points. But suddenly some people up-voted it and the user got +10 several times. In all the user "earned" more than 50 points for giving an useless answer. In my opinion, this is not right.

The correct behavior should be that up-votes after down-votes should only correct the down-vote point count by giving +2 and not reward it by giving +10. For example, if the user gets 3 down-votes (-6 points) and 3 up-votes afterwards, he only should get +2 three times instead of +10 three times.

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  • It's all predicated on whether or not the answer is "useless". In your case, it may have been.
    – Tim M.
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:35
  • @TimMedora If the answer doesn't have anything to do with the question, then it's useless. (Obviously some people don't even read the question properly)
    – Bevor
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:36
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    I agree. My counter would be that such an answer should potentially be flagged for deletion if it is truly irrelevant. The community doesn't always get it right. Conversely, sometimes perfectly good answers get downvoted. The standard (which seems to work more than it does not) is that downvotes count for less than upvotes.
    – Tim M.
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:39
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    Related, if not dupe: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5700/downvote-parity
    – Bart
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:40
  • Linking to questions is considered good in such cases. Majorly, to have more downvotes. link btw. :)
    – hjpotter92
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:41
  • @Bart It's not my opinion that down-votes should be punished by -10, but it annoys me that inappropriate answers (some are indeed because of a lot of downvotes) are getting rewarded.
    – Bevor
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:44
  • @Bevor Then a down-vote after a up-vote should deserve -10.
    – mtk
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:48
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    After looking at the answer in question, I agree that it is low quality. It duplicated a large piece of your code and your request for clarification was ignored. I downvoted it on principal; if I saw it in the delete flag queue as "low quality" I would also strongly consider it for deletion...lengthy as it is, it doesn't add value. But I still maintain that +10/-2 the system works as it is.
    – Tim M.
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:49
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    @mtk Oh boy, can you imagine all the "Drive-by downvoters killed all my rep" whine resulting from that? ;)
    – Bart
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:49
  • @mtk Ok, you are right for that case, the vote count is above zero.
    – Bevor
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:52
  • I'd rather compute the rep gain from the total score. Something like if score >= 0 then rep += 10*score else rep += 2*score, which is equivalent with your proposal, if downvotes on positively voted questions count as -10. Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 9:29

1 Answer 1

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I disagree with your proposal; you seem to be assuming that the first votes are the more valid ones. You may be right in your case, but I would say I see more instances where the first votes are actually the wrong ones, because people think an answer applies, but don't see later comments from the asker that indicate it does not.

Either way, the order of the votes should not matter at all. Faster voting is not better. Or worse.

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  • That's a good point. Maybe then it should be like this: If the vote count is above zero, and a down-vote happens, it should subtract -10 (because the answerer got +10 before). If the vote count is below zero, it should add +2 because the answerer got -2 before. In both cases his point count and vote count would be in balance.
    – Bevor
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:51
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    Hm, why are you spending your time on MSO? Until the election is over you should be spending your time in the election chat room making idle promises to your constituents and bad mouthing your opponents. ;P
    – yannis
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:53
  • @Yannis I might be doing that, if I weren't too busy trying to reach 9000 flags by sundown! ;) Actually, I keep meaning to hang out there. Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 8:54

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