Why doesn't an answer have two vote buttons, one for the effort and one for the accuracy?

You know some people spend some time to answer questions and probably they answer the wrong way. So, why give them only down votes?

  • 2
    See also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/210840/… Jan 18 '17 at 23:28
  • ..because the attempt at an answer is often misleading, even if a considerable effort is put in. This makes it BAD. Example: stackoverflow.com/q/41549653/758133 , where all the answers, and many of the comments, do not answer the question and/or are grossly misleading, if not actually incorrect, but have nevertheless managed to acquire upvotes, presumably for 'effort' :( Jan 18 '17 at 23:48
  • I'd downvote this twice if I could, that's for sure.
    – user1228
    Jan 19 '17 at 15:14
  • 2
    I'd love to help you and down vote it for you but I couldn't. @Won't
    – Zir
    Jan 19 '17 at 21:06

Effort is worthless.

Someone who tries hard but fails to do anything useful? We don't want their stuff. It's junk. We don't care about the process much, only the results, because it's only the results that will actually help people, and we care about helping lots of people a lot more than we care about the feelings of any individual contributor.

Stack Exchange is about building a library of reference material, not a site for individual tutoring or encouraging struggling artists to keep going when things seem rough. Not that those are bad things, but that's just not where our focus is, and a project is defined entirely by the things it is not.

Now, all that said, there is a way I could support this idea, and that's if the button did nothing at all. That way, anyone with qualms about SE's relentless focus on quality could press it to ease their feelings about how harsh everyone's being by downvoting (without explanation!), which might well encourage more of them to actually downvote or at least not upvote, but it wouldn't hinder quality control at all.

And make no mistake, voting is crucial to maintain quality. If there's no way to tell what's good and what's bad, how are readers supposed to make use of the mix? How are answerers supposed to get better if they never have to face the reality that they didn't actually produce something good?

I am sympathetic to the need for encouragement and the desire for reassurance; I could use more of that myself. But we can't let it take over everything, and, specifically, not expertise-based sites like Stack Exchange.

  • 1
    Well not completely worthless; effort should always be seen in an post Jan 19 '17 at 0:30
  • 3
    Perhaps "Effort is worthless when result is poor quality"
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 19 '17 at 0:37
  • 1
    @AnthonyPham: I'm not sure that's the case, actually; a post that is easy to produce but still extremely helpful is still valuable, and is (and probably should be) rewarded accordingly. Take the old story of the consultant called in to fix a sophisticated system who walked in, examined the complicated machinery for a while, and tapped it once with a hammer to get it working again, then charged $50000. It's not the hammer-tapping you reward. Jan 19 '17 at 0:40

Effort is definitely considered before giving out a vote, especially for questions. But here in Stack Exchange, we care more of how good the answer is content wise rather than just the length and research used to create the post.

For example, if I wrote a 10,000 character answer to your question with tons of citations and research with graphs, visuals, examples, all the things you would find in an informative post (in this case answer) but it was all about how black holes got their names, my answer is practically nothing helpful to answering the question even compared to a 2-line answer that is clear, direct, straight-to-the-point, and actually solves the problem.

That being said, how would you balance the votes and how would new users and even older users like me know which one is accuracy and the other one is effort? What would be rough estimates of how much "effort" and "accuracy" it takes or not reach to get an upvote or downvote? We want quality not quantity.

The point of a Q/A site is to get answers to your questions, not well-researched answers but very wrong answers to your questions.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .