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This post is a request to re-consider the question "Please enable low-rep users to easily breakout up and down votes on their own questions", which was declined in 2010. This is not a duplicate post.

This is a request to allow new users to view the breakdown of up- and down-votes on their own questions and answers. Normally this is a privilege earned at 1000 reputation, but for your own posts, this information is already available by searching through your reputation history for a post. This request simply seeks to enable the break-out feature so that new users can easily see the voting record of their posts.

This is very useful, as it helps new users (or users new to a particular site) more easily see how their posts are being received by the community. If I see a +2 on a post, I interpret that as meaning my post was alright, and it probably hasn't gotten a lot of attention. If I see that it's +4/-2, then it tells me that while some people like it, there's some that see something actively wrong with it, so I may want to consider fixing it. At one point after this question was first posted it had a net score of 0, which was actually +5/-5. That is the difference between a question that hasn't been seen and a question that is somewhat contentious.

When this feature was previously requested, two employees responded. The first employee response from Robert Cartaino was that it sounded like a reasonable request, and he agreed that it would benefit new users. Given that this privilege was initially created for database performance reasons, he also agreed that the extra load for this would be fairly negligible.

Jeff Atwood responded by marking the post , and gave the reason of "I still think it's an ability you should earn," which in my opinion is not really an explanation at all.

Given that it has been 9 years since the initial request, and that there were initially two conflicting responses, I would like to request that this feature be re-considered.

Another option suggested by user1271772 is to simply reduce the reputation needed to be 100 or less so that it comes with the association bonus. This privilege is something that really should be earned SE-wide, rather than on a site-by-site basis. This would also address the concerns that new users would get too hung-up on down-votes they wouldn't have been able to see before.


A secondary question to consider, is this privilege even necessary anymore? As described in one of the linked answers, the main purpose of this privilege was to help moderate additional load on the server. Given that it has been 10 years since it was initially required, I would assume that SE's server technology has improved since then. Has it improved enough that the servers could now sustain the additional load from allowing all users to break-out vote counts? I don't have enough technical or inside knowledge to understand how this all works though, so this is an honest question. If the primary reasoning is obsolete, I would also propose enabling this privilege for everyone, across all SE sites.

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    Anyone can already see the up/down votes in the timeline, there's even a userscript: stackapps.com/questions/3082/view-vote-totals-without-1000-rep – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask May 13 '19 at 14:03
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    Jeff wasn't a moderator; he was a co-founder. At the time, his opinion held greater weight than anyone else. I don't mind trying to revisit it, but I'm not seeing why the breakout will be that useful; they see the net, which already tells them how their post is being received. – fbueckert May 13 '19 at 14:05
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    @fbueckert If I see a +2 on a post, I interpret that as meaning my post was alright, and it probably hasn't gotten a lot of attention. If I see that it's +4/-2, then it tells me that while some people like it, there's some that see something actively wrong with it, so I may want to consider fixing it. On this question right now, there's a net score of 0, but I know from my notifications that it's actually +2/-2, which is the difference between a question that hasn't been seen and a question that is somewhat contentious. – David K May 13 '19 at 14:20
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    @ShadowWizard The timeline summarizes votes for a certain time period. For example, the timeline for this post just says it has a net score of -1 for the day, when I know it's actually +2/-3. Additionally, not all users are able to, or know how to use userscripts. I am on a work computer, and I can't install Chrome extensions. Other types of userscripts are not something I would have the knowledge to be able to use easily. Part of this is that the functionality already exists in SE, it would just need to be enabled for certain conditions. – David K May 13 '19 at 14:24
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    Heh, turns out the timeline for users with 1k rep show the split, while he timeline for <1k users isn't. Didn't know it, sorry. So yeah, the userscript which reads from API is the only option and while I agree it's not ideal, it's still a way to see the vote split, and I doubt SE will change this feature any time soon. (More due to lack of time/resources, not because it's not a good or popular idea) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask May 13 '19 at 14:47
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    ...and if the reason is for database performance reasons, the client-side code similar to that found in the user script should be served to new users, while 1k+ users get the server-side code. (A similar thing is done for the inline editor; only 2k+ users get that while lower-rep users editing their own posts don't.) (cc @forest) – Sonic the Masked Werehog May 13 '19 at 23:23
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    @Shadow The old timeline before it was revamped did show it to <1k users, so that's why you may find some old posts floating around claiming that they can see it there. – Sonic the Masked Werehog May 13 '19 at 23:24
  • @DavidK If it's your post, you would have received notifications for every single up/down vote – Voldemort's Wrath May 28 '19 at 3:25
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    @INTERESTING You're right, and I can see individual up/down votes in my reputation history too, but that's part of the point. This information is already available to me, but in order to find it I have to dig through my reputation history and manually count up every vote for that particular question, which is especially hard if I have multiple posts active at a time. All I'm suggesting is making this information more easily accessible by enabling a feature which is already available to a large portion of users. – David K May 28 '19 at 12:02
  • I guess this question is related to a feature request, but it itself is actually not a feature request. It is more like, you are asking for the status declined tag to be removed from the original feature request. – jxh Nov 1 '19 at 20:07
  • @ShadowTheBurningWizard -- I'm new to StackApps. How do I use this? – Voldemort's Wrath Jan 6 at 15:00
  • @Voldemort'sWrath depends on browser, e.g. in Chrome go to the link provided in the post (here it is), and click "Add to Chrome". I don't use userscripts myself so can't tell from experience, but it should be the only step you need, and you'll automatically get the ability to click the score to see vote split, same as high rep users can do. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 6 at 15:12
  • I LOVE the answer from 2010 on the original thread about how downvotes are rare!! meta.stackexchange.com/a/43337/274872. The responders name seems apt! – Scott Seidman Feb 18 at 17:37
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+50

I agree. It's the low rep users that need to learn how the sites work that need this information the most. Intentionally crippling part of an easy-to-understand UI seems a bit hostile to new users.

Saying "you can get this info anyway" in a way that forces them down a path they wouldn't need to take seems antithetical to good UI design.

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    I disagree, and think there should be more such features that you earn, not less. We want people to be invested in their accounts, let them earn features they didn't know they needed but don't want to go without. – user400654 Feb 18 at 17:01
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    It looks like this is a pretty contentious post, +2/-2 as of the posting of this comment. – Robert Columbia Feb 18 at 17:12
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Perhaps the reputation requirement to see the individual up/down votes could be reduced. Currently I have 15k points in the stack exchange network, but I cannot see the up/down points on Meta SE for example.

I do not think that the ability to see up/down votes is going to be something that people will strive aggressively to earn. When I first joined Stack Exchange, I used to go looking for questions that I could answer, in order to earn my right to comment, up-vote, down-vote, re-open questions etc. I do not think that the ability to see up/down votes is something that people would go out of their way to earn. So perhaps the reputation requirement could be reduced for this.

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    +1 -- the association bonus is nice, but when I have a question suitable for a stack I don't belong to and join to ask, without any intention of committing to the stack, it's pretty annoying not to be able to conveniently see the votes. (and yes, I know I can actually see them if I hit the timeline. It's still annoying.) – Scott Seidman Feb 18 at 19:26
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    Agreed, if it came along with the association bonus that would help a lot too. It's a privilege that should really be SE-wide, rather than site-specific. That would also address the concerns of new users getting hung up on seeing their down-votes. – David K Feb 18 at 19:32

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