I recently had a post about Different mechanism for votes on questions and votes on answers, Some of the suggested features were repeated but there was a feature which can be considered as novel, so it needs further discussion and a separate proposal.

In the following I propose that feature.

I have tried to make distinct the meaning of votes on questions and votes on answers. Votes on answers can show how well the answer addressed and solved the problem. Since they are candidate answers for one question choosing the better one is also possible.

Votes on questions are somehow ambiguous and opinion based. The number of up-votes may indicate the number of people who have the same questions (In fact they select it as useful). Otherwise, I think when a question has the basic merit of a question, then we can't compare it with another question because they are distinct things.

I might ask a common general question and gain hundreds of up votes, but if I ask a more technical and specialized question few members may vote it up. So, we can't say the former is necessarily better than the later but more common, However, please note that I have no problem with up-votes.

For down-votes on questions the situation is worse and can only imply that the question is not well-stated or lacks the merit of a question, otherwise any question may be searched by somebody and there are some people who have a similar problem.

Also note that since up and down votes on a question have different meanings, a common but bad-written question can still have high up-votes. (Votes don't negate each others)

As I understood, down-votes on questions are mainly used to judge it against the site rules and to notify moderators and OP for the required moderation and modifications. They arr also for the answerers to avoid bad questions to answer.

According to the above arguments, I suggest that if a question already have been established (moderated) and have an accepted answer then down-votes on the question to be restricted because they loose their main function. Please note that I am talking about down-votes and not up-votes, a post can be always voted up.

You may argue that this may lead to a skewed voting system.In fact, a question doesn't need votes (up or down), just an up-vote in that case means add to favorite or how popular a question is.

From a technical viewpoint, an intelligent system can check the votes on the accepted answer, the votes on the question, the time since the question has been asked, the number of modifications and moderations and labels it as an established question. Then it can decrease the effects of down votes or even disable it. Note that if the question really needs a treatment it can be done by moderators yet.

To sum it up there are good answers, bad answers and useful questions for some people. There aren't bad questions but closed ones. Established questions are those which there is no reason to close them.

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    Members will vote any way they wish, practically speaking – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 12:09
  • @Gone but when its not meaningful should not be allowed too. you can not vote to change a selected president before next election – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 12:12
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    It is unenforceable to try and impose these kind of philosophies, people will vote how they see fit. As for the 'president' analogy, apples and oranges.. – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 12:13
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    How will that be enforced? People will still vote as they see fit. – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 12:16
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    People will downvote as they see fit. – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 12:26
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    I am disappointed is all I can say. Really, the entire Tavern explained how voting works and requested you to use the site for a few days before you go on making such posts again and again and again on MSO, now MSE. – Infinite Recursion Nov 1 '14 at 12:54
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    Given that it is at -10, it is becoming fairly clear that the community do not support this proposal – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 13:01
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    @Ahmad It does not matter from whom the suggestion originally came from. It does not matter if it came form someone with > 100K rep. It does not matter if it came from a moderator. (Well, that would be entertaining.) People are going to vote according to whether or not they agree with the proposal. – Louis Nov 1 '14 at 13:03
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    On meta, downvote often means disagreement – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 13:03
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    Not a bug, but just the way it works on meta - and they are fake internet points. – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 13:12
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    @ahmad: it is not a poll. Good proposals are appreciated with upvotes. Bad proposals are 'appreciated' with downvotes. – Patrick Hofman Nov 1 '14 at 15:31
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    Just for the record; I said this feature was the only thing he could really request out of the old post. I did not say it would be received well, or that he should actually post it; just that he could. – BradleyDotNET Nov 1 '14 at 17:59
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    The community is quite able to close questions without moderator intervention: close voting is just a reputation privilege like downvoting and upvoting are. It's just a more powerful tool. – JonK Nov 1 '14 at 20:04
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    @Ahmad Asking a genuinely good question is extremely difficult on certain sites - especially the older, more established ones. There are useful links in that regard in each site's FAQ. Stack Overflow's How to Ask page also has a link to an excellent article written by Jon Skeet that goes into more detail - though it's most applicable to programming questions there are a number of related concepts that can be applied across all SE sites. I would definitely recommend reading it. – JonK Nov 1 '14 at 21:07
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    Unless you actually restrict upvotes the same way as downvotes, you are skewing the voting patterns. Since you're explicitly saying upvotes are fine, I totally disagree with this proposal, as it would give a false value of usefulness. – fbueckert Nov 3 '14 at 17:51

According to the above I suggest if a question already have been established (moderated) and have an accepted answer then down-vote to the question loose its main functionality, and I suggest to be restricted.

I don't know what you mean exactly by "established (moderated)". However, the presence of an accepted answer on a question is in no way indicative of the quality of the question. A question may be written in a way that does not state a clear problem, but someone manages somehow to guess what the actual problem was and this answer is accepted. The answer does not in any way make the unclear question clear. (If it needs be said: the question itself needs to be able to stand on its own.)

Or a question may be opinion-based (e.g "should I learn C# or Python"). And someone posts an opinion that the OP likes and accept. The question does not suddenly cease to be opinion-based because someone gave an opinion.

Such questions can be downvoted as not being of the quality we want for the site. The presence of an accepted answer does not change this in any way.

  • For these reasons I used Established and offered a way to check it, also I told it has been moderated, then the question is accepted and nothing is with it (you ignored that), and its quality is ok. Moreover what do you mean by quality of a question? a well-stated question is a question – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 12:45
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    Moderation is done by the community. – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 12:47
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    @Ahmad a) You're still unclear. The only "established" I know of is a privilege given to users. b) You keep saying "has been moderated" as if moderation is some sort of event bounded in time. Moderation has no end. – Louis Nov 1 '14 at 12:48
  • @Louis, we may need to redefine the functions and goals of this site and also the definition of question and answer. Some here look it as a game, but its just a site to solve the problems and answers questins. when a question has an answer and well-stated then let it go. You can always up-vote and rise up the questions you like – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 12:55
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    @Ahmad, I seriously doubt that your proposal would be implemented. – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 13:00
  • @Gone wish have given some reasons – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 13:05
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    They do not have to, usually due to the risk of 'revenge-downvoting' – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 13:11
  • revenge-downvoting ? didn't I say its a game? and I just like to eliminate these parts – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 13:12
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    Not possible, unless you propose to somehow control the intentions of literally millions of community members – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 13:13

Votes are placed as a user wishes. Even a totally useful question can be downvoted, and the other way around.

On the preventing of voting after 'it has been established': On meta, we often see the good results of delayed voting. Some questions / feature questions which were intially downvoted, gain upvotes through the time when other sympathize with the opinion of OP.

Therefore, and for a lot of other reasons, I see no use for blocking voting in any way.

  • Please note I am talking about down-votes not up-votes, they can vote it up always – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 12:28
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    I see no use for that. If people like or dislike a post, let them vote as they feel it is appropriate. Period. – Patrick Hofman Nov 1 '14 at 12:29
  • Vote to what? dislike of what? here is not a place of like or dislike. when something is approved then down-voting loose its meaning – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 12:31
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    No. If a post is useful or I useful to me one or two years from now, why shouldn't I be able to vote on it? – Patrick Hofman Nov 1 '14 at 12:34
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    @Ahmad regardless of whether you find it meaningless to downvote after acceptance, people will still downvote, as they have every right to. – user273376 Nov 1 '14 at 12:35
  • @PatrickHofman you can up-vote it, please read the proposal – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 12:41
  • @Gone I can't understand that right here! its just a system, and people do what the system offer, otherwise why I can't do many things here? for example to advertise my product – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 12:47
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    I explained a few times already I think we should have both upvote and downvote available through time. – Patrick Hofman Nov 1 '14 at 12:49
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    @Ahmad If you remove one of the voting options (up or down, it doesn't matter which), then you're effectively saying "it is the opinion of an infallible group of people that this is a good/bad question, and your opinion on the quality of this content is less important/meaningful/valid than theirs. So you can either not vote, or you can agree with them. But you can't disagree. Because you're wrong if you do." – JonK Nov 1 '14 at 13:49
  • @JonK, good point but I did my best to say we have good questions and good answers, we don't have bad questions just closed ones. – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 18:50
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    @Ahmad That's community moderation doing its job properly. The few "bad" questions that stick around for the long term are because they have one or more exceptionally good answers. – JonK Nov 1 '14 at 19:36
  • @JonK You had some points in your comments regarding the points of the post, I suggest to make an answer by them here, at least that was more acceptable to me – Ahmad Nov 1 '14 at 19:49

There were some points in comments and answers which helped me to reach a conclusion.

I concluded the answer as this to myself. the system is a representative democracy. There is not a fixed higher or lower fractions, or good and bad in essence but all members decide which is good for them which is bad, who should be high reputed and who shouldn't.

  • I hope get convinced ;) – Ahmad Nov 2 '14 at 8:03
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    This answer contains truths, misleading statements, and some falsehoods. For instance, "Voting down doesn't mean it shouldn't be asked [...]" Sometimes a downvote means exactly this. If someone asks a question about baking cakes on SO, they are going to be downvoted not because the question should be better asked but because it should not be asked on SO. It is misleading to call the SE sites "representative democracies". They have democratic features but a representative democracy works quite differently from SE sites. Etc... – Louis Nov 2 '14 at 12:24
  • @Louis Ooops, I added necessarily before doesn't mean.. you could notice I immediately said they could help to close a question. you ignored many good points in the answer and pedantically stick to that sentence. About your next misleading statement I must add its exactly in the help center "Our sites are all intended to be a sort of representative democracy" stackoverflow.com/help/why-vote – Ahmad Nov 2 '14 at 16:44
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    In this instance I'd say the help center is misleading. Remember when I said that it does not matter if an idea originates from someone with rep > 100k or from a moderator? Same thing applies here. (At the same time I'd say there's a difference between saying (you) "the system is a representative democracy" and (help center) "Our sites are intended to be a sort of representative democracy". (Emphasis added by me in both cases.)) – Louis Nov 2 '14 at 16:51
  • @Louis I don't know, anyway it was my best to justify the main question, as I said there is nothing good or bad about questions in essence just the view of these community toward them and the way a question express a problem. I feel you are not fair with different posts here. I mentioned many points and Others had points too but people behavior is biased – Ahmad Nov 2 '14 at 16:59
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    This answer is same as the question – Infinite Recursion Nov 3 '14 at 18:51
  • @InfiniteRecursion you even don't accept you own Help Center guides! what can I say to you – Ahmad Nov 4 '14 at 14:09
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    We explained to you in the Tavern, in case of any doubts, you are always welcome :) – Infinite Recursion Nov 4 '14 at 14:22
  • @InfiniteRecursion either I don't know what is it representative democracy, or you should edit your help center before decide on this post. – Ahmad Nov 4 '14 at 14:24
  • After 33 downvotes you still don't get it. – Patrick Hofman Nov 4 '14 at 14:24
  • @PatrickHofman You even don't get which is support and what is answer, I answered my own question and admitted your points, but you just look who's the writer, you even reject your own help center – Ahmad Nov 4 '14 at 14:26

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