The new thanks feature on Stack Overflow is terrible.

But there's a reasonable problem that has been identified: non-signed-in users don't get to say anything. For obvious reasons, we have avoided letting them change the publicly displayed score or cast votes which award rep.

But instead of letting the vote numbers pass into the void, we could simply display the number of <15 rep votes cast to the author of the post.

Or it could be a high-rep feature, like vote counts, which is fetched upon request. That solves the problem without putting too many confusing numbers in front of users who may not know what exactly is going on, and without introducing any new 'reaction'-like features which disrupt the user's flow.

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    These "votes" are known as "anonymous feedback", and can be queried for in the Stack Exchange Data Explorer by anyone, including the post author: Is the count of anonymous feedback available in the schema? – Sonic the Curiouser Hedgehog Jun 23 '20 at 2:04
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    I don't think this is a duplicate. One of the duplicates says that the anonymous feedback feature exists and one says how to find it in the data explorer, but none are feature requests asking to display those votes. – Donald Duck Jun 24 '20 at 1:27
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    "there's a reasonable problem [...]: non-signed-in users don't get to say anything" I don't​see why this is a "problem". It may seem a bit harsh, but if you're not willing to take part in the site (here, by simply creating an account), why should you have a say? This isn't restricted to Stack Overflow... Even if you're just a costumer of a service provided by a community, if you have something to say about said service, you're going to have to talk at some point... Which means going to the community (registering an account). – Jenayah Jun 24 '20 at 9:54

I could see some value in this being visible to 10k+ users (when you unlock the anonymous vote count statistics anyway), but for 'fresh' users it's going to be unnecessarily confusing (just like you already mention in your last paragraph).

If this would be implemented for everyone, I can about guarantee you the meta sites will be flooded by people asking why votes aren't counted towards their reputation and/or why there are multiple types of upvotes and downvotes on their questions.

However, regardless of this idea having merit, I don't think SO/SE will consider this a viable alternative to their current path. It doesn't have the same goal as what the feature test has in mind:

We hope that this test will have a positive impact on our community and reduce:

  • Friction for users whose comments are deleted,
  • The burden on moderators, and
  • The time active users spend flagging/deleting comments.

Your suggestion addresses neither of those.

Considering this is currently being trialled at Stack Overflow and not network-wide, I suspect the suggestion would've been better posted on Meta Stack Overflow instead of here. That, or consider it a stand-alone unrelated to the feature test on SO.

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