I was wondering why there is question upvotes. The obvious reason would be that the question is useful, clear, and has a positive impact towards the community. Also, the question asker has researched extensively towards the answer of the question.

But at the same time, there is no clear boundary to do nothing or to upvote the question. For example, a well written question that is extensively researched but has bad grammar might get one downvote and one upvote, as people have different ideas of what an upvote consists of. Is there a clear boundary between upvote and novote?

Also, upvotes are, to my understanding, based off some categories, the ones I have stated above. If a question satisfies them, it gets upvotes. But that would not be very useful because the question asker does not need a hundred people telling them that the question is good, they only need to know that it is good, many people think that, and having people tell them how it could be improved is even better.

So perhaps, we should make upvotes tag based and this way people will know what question is good. New tags give you points, this way simply getting views is not enough for points, but to make your question satisfy all the big signposts saying what you should do.

Now to the question downvotes. This is more clear: downvotes=not enough effort, bad question, dumb question, etc. The problem is, most times the people looking at the questions are more knowledgeable that the person asking them, because they went into there to answer the question. This way, something that seems simple may be complex to the people asking the question. Also, for the people who know the answer, the vocabulary doesn't matter, but for the asker, they might search up their question on Google, then get nothing back because they don't know the special vocabulary! This shouldn't get downvoted, but simply being linked to the right vocabulary and information.

Downvotes should probably be because the question yields many search results on Google already. They should also be tag based as well, this way, the asker would know how to make the question better and not just know that their question is bad. Also, some questions are just flawed in one part, but gain many downvotes because of the large number of views, then many people downvote for the same reason. Neither upvotes nor downvotes should be rewarding or punishing because of the number of views, but to improve the question.

Also, edits should now be able (they don't have to) to address downvote tags. When the asker addresses the tag someone posted, they would get a notification to check. After two days of not verifying the downvote, it is removed. This way, people would not have their questions be bad, change it to be good, and still get downvotes because no one did anything to the questions. Also, the people who downvote because of their mood would have to be responsible now to their downvotes. To avoid spam editing we should have this feature only used twice for every tag.

So: we should have tag based systems, and let the readers and askers of the question know: how many people upvoted or downvoted, how many different upvote or downvote tags, and what are the tags. A sum of them to get the current number would also be good.

(edit) The OP is using the word "tag" in a different way to its usual interpretation on SE. They propose that instead of simple upvote & downvote buttons that there are a series of categories (eg good grammar, clear, etc) that voters can tick to indicate how valuable a question is.

PM2Ring Nice Explanation!

  • 2
    I'm not clear what "tag based" means? Do you mean you'd not be able to vote unless you had a certain score in a tag? Questions on new/rare tags would get no votes ever then. Or that upvotes/downvotes have lots of categories. If so that sounds unwieldy. Most questions struggle to get any votes, now nobody would likely bother at all except on the most brilliant or egregious questions. Oct 6, 2019 at 6:14
  • I mean that you vote on tags and not simply voting, for example you upvote a question tagging it as clear and well written.
    – Aphrodite
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:15
  • 1
    tags identify question categories, e.g. the feature-request tag on this question. How would I vote on the down-votes tag in this question and how/why would I vote differently on the reputation tag? Oct 6, 2019 at 6:17
  • I mean another type of tags. A tag specifically for upvotes. You tag your own upvote as saying that the question is well researched etc.
    – Aphrodite
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:25
  • 6
    I think you need to think of another word/term than tags then because that term is already used for another thing here. Oct 6, 2019 at 6:25
  • @RobertLongson The OP is using the word "tag" in a different way to its usual interpretation on SE. They propose that instead of simple upvote & downvote buttons that there are a series of categories (eg good grammar, clear, etc) that voters can tick to indicate how valuable a question is.
    – PM 2Ring
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:26
  • 8
    downvotes=not enough effort, bad question, dumb question, etc. that is not what down votes are for. A down vote is for "no research, unclear, not useful". You can ask dumb questions as long as it is clear how you got to that "dumbness". Because that allows us to write an answer that teaches the OP and future visitors where their line of thought went wrong.
    – rene
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:26
  • 1
    It's an interesting concept, because it potentially makes post scores much more merit-based, rather than a popularity contest. However, we can't impose such a radically different scoring system without invalidating the scores on the existing questions, which literally number in the millions.
    – PM 2Ring
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:29
  • Well, we can always just put the new system on the new stackexchanges only.
    – Aphrodite
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:31
  • 2
    related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/114476/…
    – rene
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:33
  • Grammar is most often over looked if the basic context is understandable. There are a significant percentage of users whose native language is not english and that is well recognized by most people
    – charlietfl
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:36
  • 2
    Another potential benefit to Aphrodite's system is that it gives the OP clear & immediate feedback about their question & how to fix it (if necessary). The downside is that voting becomes more laborious: I just want to click a simple button, I don't want to complete a mini-questionaire every time I up or down vote. OTOH, something that's at the level of complexity used in the dialog for close votes would be acceptable.
    – PM 2Ring
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:45
  • 3
    Partly duplicate from 2010: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/50030/…
    – rene
    Oct 6, 2019 at 6:46

1 Answer 1


The idea of votes is that they tell someone who comes along later and sees the question (or answer) what the community thinks of it. They're not primarily for giving feedback to the person who posted.

A lot of upvotes means lots of people thought it was a good question - clear, useful, etc. Downvotes mean the opposite, not such a good question. This works best when a lot of people vote, because then it's very likely that a questions or answer with lots of votes is great, questions with a few (net) upvotes are good but not as good...

In practice, since not many people vote very much, having multiple vote categories would "dilute" the voting - you'd likely have fewer votes overall, which would then make it harder to tell a good question from a so-so one.

  • So what prevents people from voting then not coming back to it?
    – Aphrodite
    Oct 6, 2019 at 7:49
  • 1
    @Aphrodite Probably because there are an awful lot of questions, and the newer questions in the feed attract more interest.
    – Zev Spitz
    Oct 6, 2019 at 8:10

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