Why does the data explorer have columns that do not return visible results? For example, the column Votes.UserId does not return any information. This makes sense to me. I just don't understand why the column exists in the first place.

  • They cleared the colomn, but didnt delete it when they sanitized the data set?
    – Cole Tobin
    Aug 21, 2013 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


the column Votes.UserId does not return any information

That is not correct. While most content in that column is sanitized (because most voting is anonymous),

select distinct VoteTypeId from Votes where UserId is not null

gives you two results: 5 (Favorite) and 8 (BountyStart), because these kinds of votes are not anonymous. I don't actually know why we don't also leave 1 (AcceptedByOriginator) intact; after all it's not secret (and easily found out) who the voter in that case is.

But either way: The Vote.UserId column is not empty.

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