I have seen numerous examples of users who ask lots of questions, but almost never care to upvote any answers.

I think asking a lot and providing little if any answers is OK, but you should show your care for the community by upvoting some answers you like.

Is there a way we can encourage these users to upvote more?


Jeff - Is there a way to politely notify the user that he has upvoted very little? Perhaps something like the banner that appears when you've received new answer or comment? I am convinced that at least some of these users are not intentionally abusing the system, just misunderstanding it.


  • 3
    Burn some rep and downvote all their questions. I know people will flame me for this because it's kindof abuse in itself, but Stackoverflow does nothing about these kinds of users so why not use what little power you do have.
    – U62
    Dec 8, 2009 at 12:08
  • 12
    U62, only downvote the questions that are "unclear or not useful" as the downvote tooltip says. Dec 8, 2009 at 14:48
  • @U62: Because it's an inappropriate response and the damage will just be undone by the suspicious voting pattern bots.
    – John Rudy
    Dec 8, 2009 at 14:57
  • @Jeff - Is there a way to politely notify the user that he has upvoted very little? Perhaps something like the banner that appears when you've received new answer or comment?
    – Adam Matan
    Dec 8, 2009 at 15:27
  • @U62: Considering that the person in question has 131 rep, it seems likely that rep doesn't mean all that much to him or her. Moreover, just downvoting isn't going to send a message. Comments work better for communication. Dec 8, 2009 at 15:36
  • Mostly a dupe. See other questions tagged [users] [behavior].
    – Ether
    Dec 8, 2009 at 16:04
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    Downvoting such user's questions is a service to other users so they don't waste their time on them.
    – U62
    Dec 8, 2009 at 17:15
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    @U62 A sure fire way to get yourself suspended. It is abusing power by down-voting them, and in this case, the OP's idea of abuse and mine differs, therefore down-voting them would have caused a legit user to lose reputation for no valid reason. Dec 8, 2009 at 18:11
  • I think this is a waste of time, since other users who come across the questions should eventually upvote the answers and the question anyway if the questions and answers are useful. It's not like stackexchange is a private site where you must give some sort of tip to answerers, it's a public site where people come and go, a gift economy, perhaps. google.com/…
    – user194867
    Feb 20, 2013 at 4:44

4 Answers 4


In this case, considering that the user does accept a lot of answers, and since that accept is worth 15 reputation, I can overlook the voting on answers bit. I would not necessarily classify this case as abuse.

I would suggest you maybe comment on a question by the OP, and make the OP aware that up-voting an answer is encouraged. Also possible make the user aware of the badges he can gain for voting.

Apart from giving reputation when voting, very little will encourage users to vote unless they strongly agree with an answer, and it is very much user preference what criteria they use to vote.

I think there are worse examples of abuse on the Trilogy than this particular user, but this is only my opinion.


FWIW, I've seen much worse. He does ask a lot of questions, but:

  • they're mostly intelligible, from the ones I clicked through to
  • he accepts answers

Note that our system does remind new users to accept answers with a popup <div> when they upvote an answer, but not the other way around.

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    Perhaps it should work the other way around for users with extremely low upvote/question ratio.
    – Adam Matan
    Dec 9, 2009 at 8:13

There is no law or rule, "Thou shalt upvote answers to your questions that are useful or be punished, yea, even unto banishment!"

I mean, you think of this as abuse?


It's polite to 'repay' others who have taken time and effort to help you, and voting is the primary feedback mechanism, but it's not required for basic site usage.

At most it may be reasonable to add a note to the bottom of the question after 2 days if none of the answers are voted up, "You haven't voted on any of the answers below. Please consider upvoting any answers that are useful so others viewing your question later can easily find what helped."

I don't think there's any need to 'ding' them.

  • Actually we do take action if users asks a lot of questions without every up-voting or accepting them. We also deal with users who continually ask senseless questions or abuse the system in different ways. There has been a few cases of this in the past. Dec 8, 2009 at 18:06
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    It's not about dinging, but about auto-reminding the extreme none-upvoters.
    – Adam Matan
    Dec 9, 2009 at 8:14

I've already given up on expecting users to be 'kind' and contribute to the community by giving and participation and not just taking.

No matter what you can come out with, there will be tons of guys out there coming in here to 'suck' the knowledge and not doing anything back.

Adding more rules might just simply shut off more users (even 'good' ones). Not an easy balance to handle.

  • 2
    I disagree with this. You're saying that "providing answers" is giving and "asking questions" is taking. Isn't "providing questions" giving to the community? And aren't people who don't ask questions - and thus not soliciting responses which increase the SO knowledge base - taking? I guess my point is that there is no evidence that there are so many questions that none are being answers, and nor are there too few questions that the community isn't worthwhile. So defining "giving" by "answering questions" seems really arbitrary to me.
    – user3788
    Dec 8, 2009 at 16:18
  • @rascher: No, I don't mean "asking question" is taking". I meant "asking question and not bothering to vote/accept answers" is taking.
    – o.k.w
    Dec 9, 2009 at 0:00

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