Everytime I vote on something I see the message that the vote is counted but it won't be displayed.

Why is this so? Why are you hiding such votes? I cannot come up with any reasonable explanation for that.

I thought the purpose of voting is to see them but if nobody can't, why vote (as a low rep user)?

2 Answers 2


You don't actually earn the privilege to vote down until 125 reputation (with voting up awarded at 15). Votes you attempt to cast before that are recorded as anonymous feedback instead, which do not affect the post score.

  • "Votes from <100 rep users are recorded, but do not affect the score" very strongly implies that the user is actually casting a vote. I'd recommend changing the wording of that message. Also, the user was likely attempting to vote on Meta, where the downvoting threshold is 100. Jul 6, 2018 at 18:45
  • 2
    @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog If you have a better suggestion, go for it. The votes are recorded as anonymous feedback. It's not an inaccurate message.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jul 6, 2018 at 18:46
  • Not saying that it's inaccurate, just saying that it indirectly implies something different. Jul 6, 2018 at 18:47

animuson's answer covers the how, but not all of the why.

To quote the help pages of our network, "We're a little bit different from other sites." The system is designed to be a little worried about people who are accustomed to other sites, and may not understand what votes on Stack Exchange are intended to mean.

To prevent potentially misleading votes from skewing displayed vote counts, votes from people we don't know or users who are very new don't get recorded/shown as "real" votes. (However, as noted, they are still recorded. Sometimes they get used for analysis or fun.)

The threshold for downvotes is much higher than the one for upvotes for a few reasons. Primarily, I'd say, because downvotes are psychologically different, and in particular, can be pretty damaging/painful to recipients. Also, more practically, it's because we don't want new people blowing all their hard-earned initial rep on downvotes before they get to experience the other benefits that rep unlocks.

  • 2
    Just stats. This feedback is not related to any reputation change of any kind. Ever.
    – SOLO
    Jul 6, 2018 at 18:51
  • This still doesn't answer the question. SOLO, "to prevent potentially misleading votes from skewing displayed vote counts" is not enough. Jul 7, 2018 at 7:08
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    Moreover it also facilitates artificially skewing the voting towards upvotes which sustains the "hotness" for HNQ, because association bonus is conveniently placed above the upvote privilege and below the downvote privilege. More visitors to "HNQ" questions means more moolah for the company. ... also missing from animuson's answer, which is not surprising coming from a company employee.
    – Masked Man
    Jul 7, 2018 at 11:15
  • @JohnDuffield I'd be happy to elaborate or clarify, but I don't understand what you find confusing or insufficient. Why is that "not enough"?
    – SOLO
    Jul 9, 2018 at 13:52
  • @MaskedMan what you said about HNQ is an accurate description of an unfortunate side effect, but it is a side effect, not the purpose of the design. As for the "moolah" thing... I dunno, most of these sites aren't generating any revenue for the company. See meta.stackexchange.com/a/79448. Obviously I have no numbers, but I can't imagine the relatively small number of additional eyes on a few given posts on a sliver of the sites would do much, financially.
    – SOLO
    Jul 9, 2018 at 13:58
  • @SOLO One word: advertisements. That is all.
    – Masked Man
    Jul 9, 2018 at 14:27
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    SOLO: what's not enough is "To prevent potentially misleading votes from skewing displayed vote counts, votes from people we don't know or users who are very new don't get recorded/shown as "real" votes". They are real votes, from real people. Why should they be classed as "potentially misleading" just because some voter is new? Doesn't stack exchange want new people? Jul 9, 2018 at 21:12
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    That's a logical fallacy; SE surely wants new people, but not indiscriminately. First-time and new voters are more likely than long-time users to vote for reasons like "I don't know if this is right, but I don't like it" or "this correct answer contains one typo" or "this isn't helpful but my friend wrote it". AKA "even if most new user votes aren't bad, most votes that are bad are from new users" theory. Also, I've seen the argument that this gives an incentive to register and participate more, which leads to engaged new people, rather than "drive-bys"... which is what SE really wants.
    – SOLO
    Jul 10, 2018 at 12:00

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