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On Security Stack Exchange, voting is heavily influenced by hot network questions. As a recent example, one of my answers which I consider to be mediocre at best is currently on +82. Contrast this to another user's answer which is much better, but currently on +3. I expect this applies to other sites, although I don't have personal experience.

I can see why this happens - hot network questions are viewed largely by people who are not specialists in security, so simple answers are well received. I think hot network questions are a good thing - I've enjoyed dipping into unfamiliar groups like Aviation and Physics.

However, I think these voting patterns create undesirable incentives. There is no reputation incentive to write detailed technical answer - they don't get attention. Instead this encourages "rep whoring" - writing simple answers that appeal to people outside the speciality.

I've thought about this a bit and I'd like to suggest a solution: Once a question or answer goes above +10, if there are further votes from people outside the community, those votes only provide +1 reputation. By "outside the community" I mean people who would not be able to answer a protected question.

I realise this is quite a major change to how voting works, but I think the community should seriously consider it. The rep cap provides a similar effect, but I think it works better on Stack Overflow. The effect is slightly different for non-SO sites, and I think distinguishing between community members and non-members will work better.


Alternative solution from Rathony: make the association bonus not count towards the upvoting privilege.

marked as duplicate by ShaWiz discussion Oct 10 '16 at 10:31

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    We already have this in place. – Oded Oct 10 '16 at 9:37
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    Upvotes on SE are a big joke. It doesn't always work as they have been designed to work. The best solution is getting rid of upvoting rights to those who don't have a certain reputation point, especially those who blindly upvote with the 101 association bonus points. – Rathony Oct 10 '16 at 9:39
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    @Oded - That is a good thing, but doesn't address inconsistent voting. – paj28 Oct 10 '16 at 9:42
  • @Rathony - That would do it! Make the association bonus not count for the upvoting privilege – paj28 Oct 10 '16 at 9:51
  • @paj28 Well, would you and I be the only ones who think this way? The bigger problem is if you earn only 15 points, you can upvote any post. Wait a minute, can asking one question with three upvotes, or one answer with 2 upvotes, or any combination prove you have the knowledge and judgement on how to upvote a post on any SE site? I seriously doubt it. It should be increased to at least 500 or 1,000 points or even higher. Until they reach these points, they don't necessarily need to upvote any post. They can just read some posts and learn how things work. – Rathony Oct 10 '16 at 9:56
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    @Rathony - I don't like the idea of a higher bar, it would make the site an "old boys club" – paj28 Oct 10 '16 at 10:05
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    @paj28 I agree, but If you are interested in the subject and various topics on any SE site, it is not difficult to get 500 or 1,000 reputation points. I don't like the idea of an "old boys club", but there is no way to solve the issue you raised here other than raising the bar. How high could be discussed. Anything like 200 or 300 would do better than just 15 which seems to be too low. – Rathony Oct 10 '16 at 10:16

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