Over on stack-overflow, I have 2 or 3 questions that have over 1000 page views and its hard for me to believe that they only have 1 up-vote each. I am not saying my questions deserve it, but I have seen some really stupid questions that have way more, with less views. No examples at the moment, but I am sure you have all seen them... This is either due to my questions not being useful at all except for myself, or there are a lot of lurkers out there that find them in search but never take the time to sign and up-vote if they were helpful.

SO should implement a sign in after X amount of web site visits or something similar. That feature is really annoying but if cache isn't cleared then the login will persist... I don't think questions are getting represented accurately enough both positively and negatively. Who knows, maybe all my questions suck and I would be getting 100 down votes.

  • 1
    I'm upvoting this because I like the idea of nuking lurkers, but I'm not so sure about requiring voting. Also, I don't want to be a lurker. ;)
    – Cole Tobin
    Oct 9, 2013 at 3:37
  • agreed, just not sure how to implement.
    – ebel
    Oct 9, 2013 at 3:38
  • 26
    Why exactly do we need to get rid of lurkers? What harm are they doing? Oct 9, 2013 at 3:38
  • 2
    the ecosystem of accurate up/down voting is being compromised.
    – ebel
    Oct 9, 2013 at 3:39
  • 6
    @BilltheLizard lurking
    – Cole Tobin
    Oct 9, 2013 at 3:39
  • 12
    By lurkers? That is a completely baseless claim. It doesn't even make sense. Oct 9, 2013 at 3:42
  • 17
    @ebel The ecosystem is working fine. People did not upvote your questions because they did not find them useful or clear, or enough so to be worth upvoting, or your question wasn't what they were looking for so they moved on, or they did not feel they understood your question well enough to vote either way. Visits don't mean any of the visitors should have upvoted. Oct 9, 2013 at 3:43
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    So every one coming in from a Google or DuckDuckGo search should register before they can view the question and then again forced to vote?
    – random
    Oct 9, 2013 at 3:46
  • @all, wouldn't they of been closed as useless or bad questions or some other SO reason by someone by now? When I was really new to the site that would happen to me immediately if it was stupid question that was not constructive, but these have been hanging around for along time.
    – ebel
    Oct 9, 2013 at 3:48
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    You don't even have any evidence that the people who looked at your questions and then didn't cast a vote don't cast votes regularly on other posts. Oct 9, 2013 at 3:49
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    @ebel: It's quite possible that they're not bad questions (and therefore are not closed); it's just that the people stopping by to look at them (incrementing your views) aren't that interested in the question although it superficially appears relevant.
    – icktoofay
    Oct 9, 2013 at 3:50
  • 17
    You also can't upvote until you have 15 rep. So should we ban everyone who doesn't get 15 rep from the site after X views, or should we just give it to them for free? Oct 9, 2013 at 3:55
  • 1
    OMG, lurking has been a fundamental piece of the Internet since year zero. Why, wh y, y ¿?
    – brasofilo
    Oct 9, 2013 at 5:31
  • 1
    removing lurkers to view => remove lurkers to answer, not OK
    – gnat
    Oct 9, 2013 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


This is either due to my questions not being useful at all except for myself, or there are a lot of lurkers out there that find them in search but never take the time to sign and up-vote if they were helpful.

So...I'm interpreting this statement as, "Either my questions are only useful for me, or everyone else doesn't appreciate or understand the value in the question. And there's no way that these questions aren't just useful for me."

And you might be right. But isn't that the point? Stack Exchange was always built on a free, no signup required model. Sure, it's nice if someone decides to pay it forward, but under no circumstances are they obligated to.

I wouldn't lash out at the "lurkers", either. They're doing their role by driving attention to your question. In all honesty though, if you're more concerned about the reputation than you are the knowledge...then perhaps your focus is skewed?

  • Regarding your last sentance: isn't that what gameification does?
    – Cole Tobin
    Oct 9, 2013 at 13:20
  • I won't deny that the gameification does drive interaction with the site, but the focus of the site is to provide meaningful answers for users, not to gain hundreds of thousands of reputation points. Of course, you won't get much participation without some kind of gameification system, but I maintain that shouldn't be the absolute focus of participants.
    – Makoto
    Oct 10, 2013 at 5:39

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