Now that apparently we're all going to be getting some sweet rep (or at least those of use who have asked positive questions), is there going to be any change to the rep required for, as an example, privileges? I can see myself suddenly getting a significant chunk of rep, and that may push me past the 25k boundary required for "Access to site analytics". I'm not any more knowledgeable than I was prior to the calculation though, so does this make sense?

Are rep boundaries like those for the association bonus, privileges, commenting etc. going to be adjusted? Or is this adjustment meant to more accurately reflect the site knowledge associated with asking a good question, so no change will happen?

  • 16
    And it begins... Nov 13, 2019 at 18:32
  • 5
    I'm not any more knowledgeable I'm not sure that knowledge is relevant. I think the privileges are based on the level of trust that SE has decided to place in users that have hit a certain reputation target. And if they're bumping people up with new rep, then I think it means they implicitly trust you with those (potential) new privileges.
    – user287266
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:48
  • 2
    "or at least those of use who have asked positive questions" and those who have asked negative questions that haven't been deleted yet. essentially any question that received an upvote will gain as long as it didn't have more than 5 times as many downvotes.
    – Kevin B
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:49
  • 3
    @WebHead: I'm not sure trust is relevant. Anyone can gain significant rep from simply asking a lot of questions.
    – user102937
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:53
  • 3
    @RobertHarvey So? If you ask a lot of questions and you're getting reputation from them, then... yes, the platform trusts you know enough about using the platform to have more privileges for using more parts of the platform. They're literally called "privileges". They are not called "answer rewards".
    – user287266
    Nov 13, 2019 at 19:02
  • 2
    The fear I have is of some of the asinine edit requests I've rejected. Some of them were just flat out terrible, and sometimes, the user never learned (eg I rejected multiple requests from the same user of the span of months who was obsessed with adding tags to titles). I can't wait to get a bunch of crap from 10 years ago bumping to the front page because someone added a comma to text.
    – yhyrcanus
    Nov 13, 2019 at 20:57
  • Automatically giving people privileges based on totally unrelated activities may not have been SE's best decision, but it doesn't seem horrible in practice. Nov 14, 2019 at 3:22

5 Answers 5


I don't think recalculating the boundaries will be necessary since they're already pretty arbitrary - it's not as though a 19k user is clueless as to how the site functions, and magically transforms into a power user once they hit 20k rep.

If there is a concern that users that shouldn't have access to certain privileges are being given access all of a sudden, I would argue that a data-driven approach should be taken, involving evaluating both the correct thresholds for privileges and reputation values for various actions.

In my opinion, this would be overkill - but it's better than inflating all the reputation requirements by some random percentage for fear of the masses getting access to privileges, say, 20% sooner.

  • 10
    The low boundaries seem important though... e.g. up- and downvoting and comments
    – DavidW
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:36
  • 7
    @DavidW Is it important that people who ask good questions progress more slowly towards upvoting and downvoting privileges than people who give good answers? I'm not sure, but I can't think of a reason why this would be beneficial..
    – Cowthulhu
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:38
  • 2
    Personally I'd set the threshold for voting a little higher (probably for both cases) and keep comments where they are. I guess my feeling is that an upvoted answer has probably actually helped someone, whereas an awful question is often upvoted because "I had this problem too"
    – DavidW
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:40
  • 1
    But I guess my point was more that we probably aren't really worried about the 19k->20k boundary, but should be at least thinking about the first few tiers. I'm not exactly sure either though
    – DavidW
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:42
  • 1
    @Cowthulhu I think there are a lot more "me too" or "cool idea" votes on questions than on answers. This change makes it more likely that people who've been taught by example that "me too" votes on poor-quality questions are appropriate will get voting privileges and propagate that voting style forward. That said, sand brings in more advertising dollars than pearls do, so it makes sense we'd start optimizing for that instead.
    – manveti
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:48
  • @manveti speaking from experience, people do not hesitate to downvote bad questions, and bad questions don't get upvoted (even if they reach a bunch of people) ;). My (super embarrassing) question from 7 years ago with 25k+ views is still sitting at a stable -3, despite (I would assume) helping many newbies.
    – Cowthulhu
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:53
  • 4
    @Cowthulhu I see plenty of pity-upvotes, and on sites like Worldbuilding there are a lot of upvotes on way-too-broad questions about something cool. The issue is that this change means that your -3 question may well still be a net rep gain (e.g. if it's 4 downvotes and 1 upvote, it'll be -3 but net +2 rep) -- as long as a question does better than 1 upvote per 5 downvotes it's a win.
    – manveti
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:57
  • @manveti I don't have the data to agree/disagree with that, fair point!
    – Cowthulhu
    Nov 13, 2019 at 19:15
  • I'm reminded by a an observation from the designer of a much more sophisticated reputation system used on a different platform: the majority of your good-faith users cannot be confused about what an action means. Only the designer can be confused about what the users think it means. Nov 14, 2019 at 3:32

I don't think those reputation requirements are going to be changed;

For those of you that are getting new privileges: we ask you to take the responsibility reverently. You are the question experts. You are the people that can identify a question that is struggling and you know how hard it can be to on the other side of that keyboard. Thank you in advance for gently coaching question askers through their experience.

That's directly from the blog post, and it really seems to convey that the requirements are going to be suddenly much easier to achieve due to the recalculation. Hopefully, as a community, we can be responsible with our new privileges.

  • 1
    Yes, I just reread the blog post and caught that. I didn't think it skimmed it that poorly on the first read, but apparently I did. Nov 13, 2019 at 18:33
  • 1
    @Carcigenicate Still, good to get it out in writing for the community's benefit. :)
    – user45266
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:34
  • But if your rep is decreased, you can lose access to those privileges.
    – user447378
    Nov 27, 2019 at 3:14
  • @Maika_Sakuran0miya I don't believe it's possible to lose reputation from an increase in the value of an upvote. Downvotes didn't change in value, right?
    – user45266
    Nov 27, 2019 at 21:40

As this comment says, the boundaries for privileges at the low end, e.g., for up voting, flagging, down voting, etc., are likely more important to consider possibly changing. Now, by asking just one or two questions with some positive up votes, it'll be that much easier to get those privileges than before. I suggest considering increasing some of these, although I'm not sure what an appropriate amount would be.

However, one thing I think should be increased is for up voting. Also, as snakecharmerb's comment says, the threshold for "protected" questions should possibly be bumped up, say to 20, with the later comment making several good points in favor of this, e.g.,

... it not only stops very new users from adding low quality answers to popular questions, it also protects them from the consequences of doing so: downvotes and answer deletion. So upping the the protection limit would help new users onboarding experience I think. (Also, it would prevent the protection privilege, which requires 15,000 rep to earn - from being completely devalued.)

Also the minimum reputation of 5 for "participate in meta", can now be achieved even with a net negative score, so perhaps it should be increased to 10 or so as well, to make it more appropriate. Finally, if they're considering examining the reputation system, perhaps some privileges that are currently combined at one level, e.g., "Post more links, answer protected questions", should now have different privilege levels.

  • 1
    The threshold on "protected" questions might possibly be an area of concern - maybe it could be bumped to 20? Nov 13, 2019 at 18:42
  • @JohnOmielan I probably won't be too worried about "participate in meta". As with everything it deserves a bit of thought, but I suspect it's unlikely to be too abused
    – DavidW
    Nov 13, 2019 at 18:49
  • 1
    @DavidW I'm not overly worried about the "participate in meta" privilege either, but I think it should be considered if it's still appropriate, along with at least most of the other lower-level privileges. There are members here on this meta site, and overall in SE, who have far more experience & knowledge than I do regarding what might be best. Unfortunately, from past experience, I don't think that SE is very likely to listen to them very much, if at all. Nonetheless, I still hope they do consider it and, if they possibly make some changes, I also hope it'll have an overall positive effect. Nov 13, 2019 at 18:53
  • 1
    Expanding on protected questions: on SO protected questions can only answered by users with > 10 rep. This is a low bar but it not only stops very new users from adding low quality answers to popular questions, it also protects them from the consequences of doing so: downvotes and answer deletion. So upping the the protection limit would help new users onboarding experience I think. (Also, it would prevent the protection privilege, which requires 15,000 rep to earn - from being completely devalued.) Nov 13, 2019 at 18:59
  • @snakecharmerb Thank you for your suggestions. You made several excellent points. I've updated my answer to include part of what you wrote. Nov 13, 2019 at 19:07
  • @snakecharmerb I doubt it makes much of a difference if a new users needs 2 question upvotes or 1 to contribute to a protected question. That bar is really only there to guard against entirely new users. Nov 13, 2019 at 19:19
  • @ChrissaysReinstateMonica yes, it's not that big a deal, but still worth some consideration I think. There was a recent, inconclusive, discussion here Nov 13, 2019 at 19:47
  • 1
    Meta is one of our primary support channels, so ideally it wouldn't have a rep requirement at all. In reality, the main reason "participate in meta" is even a privilege with a rep requirement is because it's fairly common for folks to get confused and post programming questions on MSO instead of SO at first.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Nov 13, 2019 at 20:14
  • 3
    Similarly, the rep needed to answer a protected question is there to prevent spam answers from brand new users. If someone really wants to answer a protected question and goes to the trouble of asking a question that is worth upvoting... that's a net win for everyone, really.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Nov 13, 2019 at 20:15
  • @AdamLear Thanks for your feedback & details. One point you mention is "... goes to the trouble of asking a question that is worth upvoting... that's a net win for everyone, really". My concern is that if people upvote questions the same as before, it'll be that much easier to get enough reputation, even with poor questions, than before. It'll be interesting to see, and I hope I do at some point, how question upvoting changes from now on compared to before today. Nov 13, 2019 at 20:40

At this time, we don't have plans on our roadmap to adjust privileges.

Our moderators are aware that people will be receiving new privileges.

If we, or our moderators, discover anything concerning from the data we're monitoring, we will evaluate our next steps.


As a moderator - with a few exceptions, on a healthy site, with a good number of additional mods - its not that likely to matter.

On the broad scope of things - users who matter, either being exceptionally good, or requiring a fair amount of babysitting are actually relatively small compared to our overall userbase on SU or even MSE (which has been getting a lot more of my attention the past few weeks).

Practically - the worst users, who have their posts at zero or negative score, won't likely benefit too much from it. The rare user who has successfully managed to grind asking questions to reasonable reputation might - but from my experience, these are monumentally uncommon.

So practically speaking - hopefully I don't foresee much issues that I wouldn't have seen anyway. It's as much about the people as the numbers

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .