Note that this is NOT only about points. The "duplicate" question is asking for a SO reputation-based limitation. This is asking rather for a more sophisticated conditions.

I have had a very bad experience with some newbies in different areas which clutter my question with invalid answers and comments on an expert topic, then start a useless discussion, and vote down in the end.

I don't mind them voting down, but I am getting tired of asking people not to answer with "Wrong and obvious answer 1" or "Wrong and obvious answer 2", and then explaining to them why their answer is not what I need, because they don't even know enough about the topic to get the question. This is simply not how Stack Overflow should work.

I'd like to be able to set some (per-question) limits on ratio of accepted answers to certain tags, or ratio of upvotes vs. downvotes on some tags, or other criteria, to allow the user to answer (NOT vote). I'm okay with getting fewer but higher-quality answers rather than (just as a made up example) something like "You can't do sqrt(-1)", which ignores irrational numbers.

Is that possible now? If not, may I suggest that?

  • You're indeed suggesting something slightly different, but the answer is the same: it won't be implemented, for the reasons given in the answers to the other question.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 11:49
  • That's your answer. Others may have different opinion, thus the question should be reopened, since it's a different question. Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 14:39

2 Answers 2


The problem with this idea is that reputation and other activity on the site doesn't necessarily correlate with real-world experience.

When $YOUR_PROGRAMMING_HERO signs up for Stack Overflow, he or she will have to start at 1 reputation just like everyone else, but it's quite likely that person will be able to answer your questions, and that you want those answers.

There's an actual example of this on SO right now: Ronald Oussoren is an author and the maintainer of the PyObjC framework. He's verifiably an expert in this domain. At this moment, he's only got 733 reputation and no tag badges, not even in . That's simply because he spends his time doing other things.

Then there's the flip side: users who get all their reputation from asking questions, or posting lots and lots of low-quality answers that just pick up an upvote here and there. There are even extreme cases where thousands of rep points come from plagiarism or vote fraud.

Status on Stack Overflow is indicative that you know what you're talking about, but it's far from conclusive. I don't think there's anything to be gained from this proposal.

  • I'm aware of this, but I'd rely on the knowledge of those who already gained some reputation. Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 0:28
  • Anyway, it wouldn't be a global limit, it would be per-question. Not sure if that was understood from this question. Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 0:30
  • 2
    Not all those who have lots of reputation have lots of knowledge, either. It's indicative, but not quite conclusive.
    – jscs
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 0:32
  • Right, but from my experience, wrong answers come from those under ~600 (at SO) Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 0:34
  • 7
    I've personally posted plenty of correct answers when I was under 600, and continue to post wrong answers now that I'm over 20k. I sympathize with your concern, but I don't think there's anything to be gained by your proposal.
    – jscs
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 0:35
  • Well, I expect nothing, but at least the proposal exists :) Thanks for sympathies, let's see Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 0:37
  • PS: By the way you Made a mistake of reducing My question Where I talk about Multiple criteria to Just Points. If I was able to set some criteria like ratio of accepted answers for Some tag, that would be helpful. Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 10:04

I find this topic/question interesting in that reputation on SO could be something that seemingly defines who you are and what experience you have. Simply, this isn't true and nor will it ever be (as Josh Caswell has alluded to in his example).

I've only been on SO for about 8(ish) months - but I've used SO for years as a valuable resource... My experience counts for nothing on here other than what I post in terms of questions and answers - and that's really how it should be. Effectively, you're judged on your merits on a level playing-field.

It's not possible to judge anyone otherwise and whilst I sometimes dispare at questions and answers from userXXXXXXX with 1 rep, sometimes they can be incredibly well written and I'm more than willing to reward where appropriate.

Personally, the idea of setting thresholds or limits on rep would be a bad move. It would create a dichotomy or segregation of sorts.

Whilst I agree on some level that the noise can be louder than the signal at times, I think most users (high-rep or not) develop in-built filters that allow them to discard the noise.

  • Again, it would be a per-question, optional, limit. I don't say users with low rep can't provide a good, or even the best, answer. I say that for some kind of questions, such users clutter the question with "noise" as you call it. Typically, I know which question will end up like that when I'm writing it. And it does. And at such times, I'd apply these optional limits. Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 7:27

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