Related (but not duplicate): The association bonus should not enable users to vote on every site

Recently, I have been considering voting on site-specific meta discussions (not meta.SE or main sites). Anyone with the account association bonus can upvote on these discussions, regardless of how much they have contributed to the site. You could register a new account, vote, and never log into the main site.

It seems this misrepresents voting on meta sites. Drive by voting can be only be positive, which is problematic since site metas are where site policy and overall site opinion is generated and documented.

In my opinion, the goal of meta sites should be to get opinions from users who are invested in the site. Not just anyone on the network.

Anyone with an account association bonus can artificially impact this. This is not ideal because a site meta being used to determine site scope should be defined by users of the site: not by anyone.

My suggestion is to prevent the account association bonus from allowing voting on site metas. This will mean site metas better reflect the opinions and perspective of users who are actually invested in those sites.

  • 1
    I agree. This can also be a (lesser, perhaps) problem when posting nominations for community promotion ads. A site could, in theory, post their proposed ad on a graduated site, then create accounts and all upvote the post to +6, making the ad visible - even though the community on the graduated site might feel differently!
    – HDE 226868
    Nov 14, 2015 at 19:19
  • Practically-speaking, this would mean either raising the vote-privilege threshold to > 101, or restructuring how meta-rep works (right now it's just sync'd with main-site rep - this would mean a recalc that excludes the assoc bonus - which would also restrict folks with only the assoc-bonus from doing rather a lot of other things on metas). So... take that into account.
    – Shog9
    Nov 14, 2015 at 19:21
  • 4
    @Shog9 but there is already the concept of Protected question, which excludes the association bonus. So in theory, the same mechanism used there can also be used for voting. Unless I miss something? Nov 14, 2015 at 19:44
  • 1
    So, I'm pretty sure Protect doesn't actually behave that way on child meta sites, @ShadowWizard. Although it probably could (with some additional work), that'd be something else we'd have to solve first.
    – Shog9
    Nov 14, 2015 at 20:06
  • @Shog9 one of the things that continues to confuse me on Meta.Programmers.SE is the users sorted by participation and votes... I know how much I've participated there, and how often I've voted on things... and the most "participated" and "voted" user left one comment, and up voted 1,418 times (and no down votes).
    – user213963
    Nov 15, 2015 at 0:56
  • Yeah, voting counts pretty heavily toward that particular metric, @MichaelT. It's essentially a stand-in for "read stuff".
    – Shog9
    Nov 15, 2015 at 2:04
  • 1
    @Shog9 given the tracked badge on M.P.SE, and commentary on another question about an individual on a beta site up voting every question - would it be something to consider removing the Electorate badge on metas? It seems that this badge in particular is inspiring less than desirable behavior. With a minor bit of meta stalking, the person I was referring to on M.P.SE, is tracking (or has) Electorate on every single meta site he is on. This is thousands of (up) votes across the network that are suggesting being part of the community, but aren't - they're just up votes.
    – user213963
    Nov 15, 2015 at 21:25


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