As per this question, on "Launched" sites, the privilege to see upvote/downvote counts is awarded at 1000 reputation, while casting close/reopen votes is awarded at 3000 reputation.

On Beta sites (and on graduated sites without a design), the order in which these privileges are earned is reversed. I can cast close/reopen votes at 500 reputation, but I have to wait until 750 reputation to see upvote/downvote counts.

Casting close votes is a somewhat powerful privilege, and at 500 reputation one might still not be sure what the community's policy on closing questions is. It would have helped me to be able to see how "controversial" a question is (by seeing upvote/downvote totals) before deciding whether to vote to close it.

What is the motivation behind the different order of these two privileges on Beta and Launched sites? Can it be changed so that upvote/downvote counts can be seen before earning more powerful moderation privileges such as casting close votes?


What is the motivation behind the different order of these two privileges on Beta and Launched sites?

I've taken an educated guess at an answer here:

I think this is still a remnant from the time that sites were expected to be in Beta for a short period of time (6-8 weeks instead of 6-8 years). During that time, it was vital to settle on a scope quickly, and give the community the tools to enforce this scope. Therefore, the privilege for close votes (and reopen votes) was drastically lowered.

I agree with your feature request; in the meantime, note that there are some ways to see the vote breakdown even without the necessary privilege, via userscripts like this one. There have been several other requests like this one to lower the requirements everywhere, including launched sites.

  • Has the "timeline" feature been "fixed"? It shows me daily vote summaries with up/down vote counts on sites where I have enough reputation, but it only shows daily summaries with aggregate "score" on sites where I do not have enough reputation to see vote counts. – wimi Dec 14 '19 at 12:40
  • You're right, I just checked, that won't work. I'm not sure if it ever did; I don't think there have been any recent changes. – Glorfindel Dec 14 '19 at 12:44

While I agree that upvote/downvote counts should be more accessible (I find the usual reason for the current reputation requirements, "number of downvotes is very low, so no point in seeing them", dishonest), I disagree with your reasoning. Ideally, posts should be judged based on their content, not on votes of others which are too often based on emotion, bandwagon effect and other factors which don't reflect whether the post in question is within the rules of a website.

In an ideal world, nobody would even see a score before any voting and would judge every post after reading it in full and purely based on its contents. This would obviously be highly impractical and cause problems, so we see scores of posts, and that's already a huge shortcut already.

On Beta sites with low traffic, aiming for ideal moderation over curiosity is a good idea. With low number of posts, it's within the realm of reality to read every post without need for shortcuts.

Overall, a question being "controversial" based purely on upvote/downvote ratio is a bad reason for considering closing a question. This is especially important for Beta sites (quality over quantity) and especially applicable and practical (moderation is easier), so I think the current state where closing becomes accessible before seeing upvote/downvote ratio is perfectly fine.

  • 1
    This is a valid point, I also thought of this. It is a difficult question whether I should moderate purely based on what I want to see on the site, or whether moderation should consist of "enforcing the policy that the community has set for itself". I guess it is somewhere in between. Maybe part of my doubts arise from coming to an 8-year-old site and so quickly being able to moderate, then I feel insecure about applying purely my own criterion. I am happy to have the opposite opinion as an answer, then we can see what is more popular. – wimi Dec 14 '19 at 12:58

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