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It's often noticeable in various SE communities, that a post by high rep user attracts more votes & less scrutiny compared to a low rep users. That is nicely discussed in below post:
The problem with reputation: does high reputation attract too many upvotes?
Also, in SO & certain smaller SE communities, many don't utilise their [up]votes to reward the efforts of other users. Long back, I had even asked a little 'naive' question in that regard as well.

The core theme of SE network is that, "we vote for the posts, not the people". If that's the case then,
Why do we display the user information below every post (Q&A)?

Anyone who is visiting the SO for help, will be interested in the content of the Q&A. Of course, at times the contributor also might be interesting. Is that the sole reason of displaying the username for a post?

This is Not a duplicate of below long ago (pending) feature-request:
Should there be anonymous answers (and questions)?
Yes it's strongly related. But this post is intended to know the reasons of not implementing that or similar feature.


My intention of asking this question is that, I see the problem of "upvoting the posts written by high-rep users & underestimating low-rep users" getting solved to some extent -- if hypothetically, those who are interested to know the contributor, can vote the post. Once the vote is locked, the contributor will be displayed. There can be other ways too. In any case, the voting based disclosing, increases the chances of fair platform to all the contributors.

  • Already seeing a downvote! Just to clarify, this Qn is intended to know the reason/philosophy behind why is the "user-profile" being displayed to everyone, when the voters are expected to vote for the posts and not the users. For example, if there is a voting based "user info display", then it's quite possible that the downvoter might have rather upvoted this post. ;-) Please consider this post as a "discussion", & not a "feature request". – iammilind Dec 26 '16 at 6:55
  • People probably disagree with your premises that there is biased voting and/or that it is much of a problem. They express that disagreement with a down vote. – rene Dec 26 '16 at 6:58
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    IIRC in the early design stages of SO, it was considered to not show the usercard at all. Maybe that topic is discussed in one of the early podcasts and you'll find the answer there. – rene Dec 26 '16 at 7:46
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One reason is for moderation.

If a user posts spam or something inappropriate in some way, moderators will know exactly who posted the post and who gets dealt with immediately. No one can just become anonymous and do whatever they want to do without the moderators knowing about it. It also helps with pinging the original poster for some reason. "@OP" doesn't work and the only way to know is through the usercard. There are probably other reasons I can't think of that others can add later...


I believe that more rep doesn't always mean more upvotes. The reason you probably are thinking of this is because users with more rep understand the site more and know what a good post is. It also means that they know a lot about the topics covered by that site. Lower rep users need more time to understand the site fully to truly develop a good post constantly while showing their knowledge.

I still gets tons of downvotes even though I have 11k rep. For example, a recent answer of mine got 3 downvotes and got a complaint in a comment by someone with only 3.6k rep, 3 times less than me. And I still got pummeled. Thus people with high amounts of rep aren't immune to downvotes.

Also, if users are voting solely based on the user who was the original poster, they are not doing what they are supposed to do with their votes. From the Help Center:

Voting up a question or answer signals to the rest of the community that a post is interesting, well-researched, and useful, while voting down a post signals the opposite: that the post contains wrong information, is poorly researched, or fails to communicate information. The more that people vote on a post, the more certain future visitors can be of the quality of information contained within that post – not to mention that upvotes are a great way to thank the author of a good post for the time and effort put into writing it!

I really don't see anything that says, "if the user has lots of rep, immediately give upvotes" or "if the user has little amounts of rep, ignore or downvote immediately". Rep only shows how good your previous posts were received by the community (that's why it's a rough estimate of trust; it changes and varies) thus rep isn't that much of a factor at all when judging the quality of a post.

Also remember, if viewing old posts, it may be those upvotes that helped that user gain all that rep over time.

Quoting Jeff Atwood now:

This question may be more on-topic than it looks, though. One of the major reasons we created Stack Overflow to give every programmer a chance to be recognized by their peers. Recognized for their knowledge, their passion, and their willingness to help their fellow programmers get better at their craft.

  • Thanks. BTW, "User posting spam and should be noticeable by a Mod" seems like a no-issue or a very trivial issue at the max. Suppose if the Mods are allowed to see the users, then this issue is fixed. There can be better ways too. Also, the notion of "high rep user getting more upvotes" is inspired only from a popular observation. It's just a premise, but not the main Qn. The main issue is that, if the theme/concept of SO sites is: "A voter should vote the posts, not the posters", then why can't we make it apparent by hiding the posters' info? – iammilind Dec 27 '16 at 7:17
  • Please read my edit – Anthony Pham Dec 27 '16 at 16:13
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    I think some of the moderators have become far too pedantic in their duties though, not to mention these other issues. It is a problem. Wait 5 more years when you have people so entrenched that they 'rule' an SE. – dyasta Dec 27 '16 at 16:29
  • Well Community Managers and SE Employees can deal with the elected moderators – Anthony Pham Dec 27 '16 at 16:30
  • @iammilind Remember though that SEs are moderated by the community, not just the elected mods. That means that regular users also need to know who is who, to use their moderation powers too. – SevenSidedDie Dec 27 '16 at 16:59

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