I propose an third option - UNDECIDED/NOT SURE.

Sometimes a post leaves me unsure as to whether it is any good or bad, and I wish to make my opinion clear on this, so I propose this as a voting option.



(you'll never guess...)

  • 20
    There already is an option for undecided - not voting on it. What benefit is it to anyone reading a post to know that some people don't have an opinion on it, as opposed to just not having voted on it for some other reason?
    – JonW
    Apr 11, 2015 at 7:29
  • 1
    I live in the UK, our general election is coming up, we have 4 or 5 main parties, does this make anything clear? no!
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 7:31
  • So, adding more options will make things clearer?
    – Oded
    Apr 11, 2015 at 7:39
  • that's the point - why not keep it simple and just have two parties. more than two and i get all confused. its a vote to make my point that i dont care for any of the options
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 7:40
  • "why not keep it simple and just have two" voting options? more than two and i get all confused.
    – Oded
    Apr 11, 2015 at 7:41
  • 2
    @JonMarkPerry: I live in the UK and this still doesn't make any sense. Nor does the political system here, really, but I'm not a native. Apr 11, 2015 at 7:57
  • @MartijnPieters; sorry about that, do you have the right to vote in the UK, and which country do you come from, do you have the right to vote there too?
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 8:01
  • 3
    @JonMarkPerry: lets not make this a political systems discussion. Apr 11, 2015 at 8:02
  • just as a side issue, how come you are eating into my gratis points @MSE
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 8:05
  • 1
    Which gratis points? MSE is a normal siite with normal rep. If you don't want to risk loosing rep ask this on a child-meta instead.
    – rene
    Apr 11, 2015 at 9:31
  • the 100 i got when i joined because i've got 200rep elsewhere
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 9:33
  • 2
    @JonMarkPerry: you got the association bonus, yes. But you are also losing reputation because this feature request is being voted down. Apr 11, 2015 at 9:56
  • so my AB is not protected then? nice. makes me think of JC
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 10:01
  • 5
    @JonMarkPerry: why would the bonus be protected? It is just additional reputation, not a new base level (like a reputation of 1 is). Apr 11, 2015 at 10:54
  • come up with a couple of sources: Philosophy
    – JMP
    Apr 13, 2015 at 6:08

4 Answers 4


There is no need for such an option.

If you are unsure/undecided don't vote.

Suppose we have this - the signal is meaningless. It isn't helpful to anything. It doesn't help others in determining the value of the post and it can't be used internally for anything. It doesn't even tell us whether a post is controversial or not.


People have already pointed out this is effectively already present, by simply not voting you are showing you are neither for or against.

However, it is arguably different to actually having a visible stat or counter showing how many people have (for whatever reason) actively declared themselves as undecided.

As opposed to those who have just not voted at all - up, down, or "undecided".

You stated:

Sometimes a post leaves me unsure as to whether it is any good or bad, and I wish to make my opinion clear on this

Why do you want to make your opinion clear on it?
How does it add any benefit to anyone at all that you have actively declared yourself as "undecided"?

How does being able to see who has actively declared themselves as undecided add any value, change, or improvement over (currently) people simply not voting up or down?

I ask because you have not made any argument towards the usefulness of your proposal, just that you want it.
If you can give a good argument why this would be useful, then perhaps people would be behind it.

People will never be behind "I just want it" unless they want it too, and on face value this just seems 100% entirely pointless, so you'll have to point out why this would be useful.

Consider your question here. It (currently) has 51 views, so 19 downvotes 0 up, would it mean anything to you at all if those 32 other people had been able to vote "undecided"?
What difference does it make?

Also, are those 32 other people all "undecided"? I very much doubt they are all "only" undecided, so there must be other reasons too.

Currently up/down is fine by itself and provides a very strong and clear set of stats as to what people think. X are in favour, Y are against, all other views are simply neither in favour or against.

However, if you add another potential reason other than up and down, then for it to be of any use you would have to also cater for every other eventuality to know what "everyone" thinks.

So for "undecided" to be of any use you'd need to also have (for example):

  • I don't care
  • I don't understand the question
  • I have no time for this
  • This will be/has been handled by other users already, no need for me to be here
  • I do not want to vote because I am tired and had no coffee and might make the wrong decision

We cannot think of all potentials, and this means it would be useless adding more than up or down, because we still wouldn't know what everyone thinks.

People being people, some will be undecided about even voting "undecided". So even if you catered for every eventuality, or even just added "undecided" you will still get people simply not voting either way.

I think if you replaced your word "undecided" with the word "neutral" you might find you are actually deciding on an outcome more than you think.
In that, you are not actually "undecided" you are "neutral" - i.e. you don't want to vote up or down, so your decision is to do neither and not vote at all.

That is a valid decision with the system we have, as the voting is really all about (and useful as) voting up or down.

  • Sometimes a post leaves me unsure as to whether it is any good or bad, and I wish to make my opinion clear on this Why do you want to make your opinion clear on it? - because sometimes the post is neither up or downable, amongst numerous other reasons. not voting is also associated with not actually caring to vote, i would like to vote that I don't care
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 14:50
  • "leaves me unsure as to whether it is any good or bad" but that is your decision to make, and telling others "I am not sure whether to vote up or down" is pointless. If you cannot decide, then there's nothing you can do but leave it. To be really honest, I don't recall ever not knowing. I either want to upvote a post, downvote, or don't think it needs or deserves or warrants (etc) either, for whatever reasons I decide on. If it is "neither up or downable" then surely just leaving it is your vote?
    – James
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:07
  • If you cannot decide whether to upvote or downvote, then that surely is your decision? As in, you do not want to up or down, so you are "neutral".
    – James
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:10
  • and i wish to be able to declare that fact
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:20
  • Huh? You want to tell everyone "I do not yet know what I want to vote"? I can only ask "why" so many times. You have given no reason at all why you would want to do this. What benefit to the site and other users does it bring us all telling each other we don't know what to vote? So far, your answer to this is "because I want to".
    – James
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:26
  • not true, i said the post was undecidable
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:27
  • 2
    I do not understand you. "the post" is undecidable, not you? The post is virtual text, it's just a post. It is you who cannot decide to vote up or down, and you want to tell everyone this. You have not stated why you want to tell everyone you are undecided.
    – James
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:30
  • i'm not undecided, the post was neither
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:30
  • I have no idea what you are saying, sorry
    – James
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:32
  • so why answer then?
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:32
  • 1
    What are you smoking? I answered based on your feature request, which even though you didn't make clear "why" you wanted it, it was still obvious "what" you wanted, so an answer is possible. However, when I stated "I do not understand you" we were in the middle of a discussion in comments, so, likely my statement was in context within the comments - no? So, I do not understand what these tiny cryptic messages mean: "not true, i said the post was undecidable" and "i'm not undecided, the post was neither". It's simple: Do you have a reason why you want to tell everyone you are undecided?
    – James
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:37
  • i am undecided about what?
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:38
  • I think you are undecided about how the thing goes in where it has to for every time in thing's vote on questions and answer without being undecided.
    – James
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:42
  • now who smokin ' what - if you read one of my early comments from my original post, this point of view was explained as not all voting systems have just 2 options, we in the UK are currently being expected to make a multi-way vote of the magnitude 4/5 majors plus varying minors.
    – JMP
    Apr 11, 2015 at 15:47
  • 2
    I give up. You are making no sense at all. Yes, there are different parties. Are you going to vote: Up , Down, and Undecided ?? Or just put a single X in a single box? There are no voting system "options".
    – James
    Apr 11, 2015 at 16:14

Jon Mark Perry, this ain't the UK for a lot of us, and this is not the official voting site for any political election. For me, it's useless. Okay, you didn't vote up or down. So what? We have to vote on a post now?

Users can vote up if the post in their opinion is a good quality post. Correct? Users can vote down if the post in question is very bad quality. Correct? Being neutral is okay. But we don't need so many neutral votes on a post. That means that the post is neither bad or good. Or it is just not good or bad enough to earn either vote from you. Do you realize how many neutral votes there will be on a popular question with lots of views? Tens to hundreds to thousands!

If you can't decide, leave it. That's final. No need to vote on every single post and say: "I really don't think this deserves an upvote or downvote". You don't vote, we get it. Anyways, most people aren't going to see whether you voted on that post or not. Most votes are anonymous, unless said so in the comments.

The votes on a question is determined by the community. That means that you plus everyone else has decided to give the user's post x net votes. If you don't vote, that's fine. Just continue your life and move with it. Anyways, some people can't do that because they don't have the privilege to vote up and/or down.

You seem to have a lot of politics involved when making this request. This is not an election! We are not going to force you to vote. That's final, already applied, non-negotiable. You can argue with me and @James and anyone else. But that's final. No politics here and !

  • Your current suggested edit on the question is the same as the one you suggested 15 mins before it. If you have a suggested edit rejected, instead of "trying again" with the exact same edit, you should raise a support question, or pop into Meta chat (ie perhaps tavern) and ask about it.
    – James
    Apr 12, 2015 at 16:22
  • I'm sorry! I thought there was a bug and my edit wasn't saved so I redid my edit. Sorry @James! Apr 12, 2015 at 16:25
  • Fair enough :) In your profile "Activity" tab, click "all actions" then "suggestions" for your suggestion history :) If the user wants to state "Not an April Fool's joke" even though it was 10 days after Aprils Fool's day, that it's up to them really. I agree, it's largely pointless, and some other reviewers might have accepted your edit suggestion. But my stance is, where do you draw the line at stating other people's words are "pointless" without it becoming our own opinion? Some things are obvious, some things are a grey area. It's not harmful, so I feel there's no need to remove it.
    – James
    Apr 12, 2015 at 16:42
  • FWIW In the same vein, I recently rejected an edit suggestion someone placed on one of your answers, because your using the "status-declined" tag in your answer text was flagged as "passive aggressive". So I do (try to) have a logical/fair view for everyone. Incidentally, I didn't fully disagree with the edit suggestion, as your use of the tags is a little pointless at times, but again, that's my opinion and who am I to say you cannot have your own say in your own answers, if it's not against the rules.
    – James
    Apr 12, 2015 at 16:50
  • is it not like a 5-star rating system then? 1 is no, 5 is YES, and 3 is ...
    – JMP
    Apr 12, 2015 at 17:18
  • 2
    Nope. It is either Good or Bad. Apr 12, 2015 at 17:23

I propose an third option - UNDECIDED/NOT SURE.

I think this is where the proposal fell apart. In my mind, this shouldn't about being indecisive... it's about declaring the post as "reviewed".

It would be nice to anonymously announce that I am a voter, but I don't upvote this post (nor downvote it). I'd use these for "likely correct, but unevidenced" answers.

In this way, the OP can see that voters are choosing to not upvote their post, i.e., they missed out on an upvote. However, without the ability to vote a post as "reviewed", my non-vote is indistinguishable from the crowd (who wouldn't or couldn't vote regardless of how good the post is).

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