As a design engineer, when I see major design changes that I don't understand, the question I usually ask of a team is "what problem are you trying to fix?" or "what user need are you trying to better address?".

The recent increase in question upvote score has sent me down the path of asking that question. I think I can feel a problem that needs solving behind this change, but I'm not quite sure of what it is, and I'm not quite sure that the implemented change would fix some of the things I imagine them to be.

So, in the interest of moving forward, I suggest that somewhere in this mix is the need for more and better questions, mixed up with the need to retain users.

Toward this end, I suggest encouraging people to ask better questions by implementing a badge that would be rewarded when a user rescues their own question, either from an initial spate of downvotes or close votes, or manages to get it reopened, by a good edit.

I think the message it sends is "Thanks for working to improve your question. This is behavior we value". I think it might be a mitigator for hurt feelings after a poor first attempt of asking a question of a community, i.e., a "no hard feelings" olive branch.

  • isn't that a bit what curious and its silver and gold buddies tries to do?
    – rene
    Nov 14 '19 at 14:12
  • @rene-- I don't think it's really the same. That is for a well-received question, not the rescue of a bad question. Different goal. Nov 14 '19 at 14:14
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    a bit related but not limited to your own question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/159430/…
    – rene
    Nov 14 '19 at 14:15
  • I think there may have been some edit-based badges in the past, or still may be, but not for your own question. Nov 14 '19 at 14:15
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    I think this would send a better message to a new user than the "Peer Pressure" badge. Nov 14 '19 at 14:20
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    Maybe this could be a silver version of Peer Pressure. Nov 14 '19 at 14:21
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    Or perhaps a sort of dependent downvote: Downvoted with this (anonymously provided) reason, but if fixed it will be semi-automatically be reverted (if not actively maintained after a number of notifications to the downvoter). Nov 14 '19 at 18:47
  • @PeterMortensen -- that's an interesting idea. Another possible route might be to provide a notification to downvoters when the original asker edits their question. I think this might work on a low-volume site like EESE, but your suggestion probably works better on the monster sites. Nov 14 '19 at 18:52
  • I really like a "closing the loop" approach to this, though, regardless of how it's accomplished. I think your suggestion is helping to flesh out the need a bit better, @PeterMortensen Nov 14 '19 at 18:53

On the one hand, I agree that it would be nice to motivate people to try to fix their downvoted questions, but I see some problems with adding a badge like this. Mainly I think this gives wrong motivation for people who are strongly motivated to get badges:

Adding a badge which you only get when you fix a not well-received question of your own means that you can only get the badge when you asked a downvoted question in the first place. So for some people, this would be motivation to ask a bad question first, then edit it shortly after to get in acceptable shape in the hope to get the new badge.

This would increase moderation overhead twice: First, the community would have to handle (let's say close) unnecessarily bad questions, only for the fixed question to go though the reopen queue shortly afterwards. appear again shortly afterward.

But even if we assume that nobody tries to game this badge, it sends a odd message to newcomers who invest a lot of time in getting every question right from the beginning: They are "punished" because their questions never needed work in the first place?! This is especially a problem because we really want to encourage askers to write such good questions.

So I think that while it would send a nice message to affected people, it sends a very bad message to other people and therefore should not be implemented.

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