I found this Stack Overflow question:

Error “Unable to use the video in an ad creative.

That has 40,000 views and only two upvotes shared between the question and answer. How did it get so big if no one ever upvotes it? (I checked the vote count, and it's not a controversial post with lots of upvotes and downvotes balancing each other.)

Compare it with this question, found in 'hot'. 25k views, over 200 total up votes across question and answer.

I can't think of a straightforward explanation for this except that it could be highly contested and the votes on question an answers have balanced out.

Is it possible this is a bug or abuse of the Stack Overflow views calculation?


After a bit of exploring in the data explorer I have found that yes this question is rare, but not alarmingly rare, there are ~80 other questions on SO like it.


  • 2
    Was there anything about that question or answer that you found particularly interesting that made you want to upvote them? Probably not, huh? Well, a lot of people felt the same way you did. Plus like Glorfindel said, most arrived at that the post via Google search and didn't have an account or rep necessary to vote. Stack Overflow has a ton of hit and run visitors.
    – n8te
    Apr 4, 2019 at 5:08
  • First you are looking at the score not the number of upvote. A question can be at 0 score and have X downvote and X upvote with arbritary X. Second vote are not random and based on the quality, it's not like getting only 2 heads after 40k+ coin toss. Apr 4, 2019 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


As you can see for example here, almost all traffic to the Stack Exchange network comes from Google. Those are, for a huge part, anonymous users, people who aren't registered, let alone have the reputation to (up)vote. But their visits do count towards the number of views. (And by the way you're right: only two upvotes, no downvotes.)

I'd say it's normal for a Stack Overflow question to have such a view/vote ratio; at the very least more normal than the other example you found, which as you guessed has been a Hot Network Question.

I tried to dig up some numbers from the Data Explorer; unfortunately, a query like this one will time out on a database the size of Stack Overflow's. So I decided to check just the questions with 40.000 views (±10%), which can be done with this query:

enter image description here
(note the logarithmic scale: 0 on the y-axis means 1 upvote, 1 means 10 and 2 means 100)

You see that questions with approximately that number of views and only one upvote (left freehand circle) are just as frequent (1.5%) as with 100 or more upvotes (right freehand circle). So, the two questions you've been looking at are two unusual, but not extremely rare cases.

  • 2
    Good point, I can see how the numbers can easily be explained if you are comparing questions found largely via search engines with questions found linked from within SE. Thanks for showing me the Data Explorer, I'm interested to explore further there now. Apr 4, 2019 at 5:12
  • 3
    @JesseRezaKhorasanee Also the post and its answer has lots of anonymous feedback. The higher number of down feedback is likely because many users (notably those with only the association bonus) can't downvote. Apr 4, 2019 at 5:29

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