I think more reputation points should be required to add a new answer than to upvote an existing answer. I don't continually watch for new questions, so usually when I find a question it has already been answered. It seems bit inappropriate to answer an already-answered question in order to contribute to the conversation, but until you earn reputation, you can't upvote or comment; you can only add new answers, which prevents me from contributing at the moment as much as I would like to.

This seems backwards to me. If someone incorrectly upvotes a bad answer, the damage is minimal, as other users can down vote it and upvote the correct answers. On the other hand, an incorrect answer wastes the time of everyone who reads it. So, IMHO, it should require more reputation points to add an answer than to upvote or comment on an existing answer.

I wouldn't say say that users should be prevented from answering unanswered questions until they have x reputation points, as that might prevent users who have answers from providing them, but perhaps it should be required if the question is already answered, to discourage users from reiterating previously given answers.

What do you think?

  • There is the "protected question" feature.
    – User 23415
    Commented May 21 at 21:01

2 Answers 2


Probably to prevent people from upvoting themselves with a large number of new accounts.

  • 5
    This is probably the intent but the threshold is way too low. I bet I could get 15+ rep by re-asking, word for word, an existing question ;-) Commented Mar 5, 2010 at 21:47
  • 2
    @Cory Probably. But you'd need to do it for every single vote you wanted. Which might allow you to "dominate" an individual question, but would be a pretty steep impediment to increasing your rep.
    – AaronSieb
    Commented Mar 5, 2010 at 21:54
  • 3
    So what prevents spam bots from adding answers to existing questions?
    – user144266
    Commented Mar 5, 2010 at 21:56
  • 1
    @Cory: yeah, but you'll also get the attention of the mods. Besides, its hard to encourage people to contribute if there's a higher barrier to answer than to up-vote.
    – AnonJr
    Commented Mar 5, 2010 at 22:02
  • 3
    @Kurt There's some throttling in place on SO to catch bots. The more activities a bot needs to perform, the more likely it is to run afoul of that. In addition, rep takes non-zero time to accumulate, so the accounts have to be kept track of. I doubt that it's bullet proof, so much as it's intended to make the process harder.
    – AaronSieb
    Commented Mar 5, 2010 at 22:11

This would essentially bar anybody from participating who hasn't asked a question worth a few upvotes. A newcomer has to get reputation somehow, and for an experienced person the usual way is to start answering questions. This is not only instant participation, but it allows the newcomer to start gaining rep.

I don't see any reason to bar answers over questions or questions over answers for a newcomer. Either will be annoying if bad.

  • It is not logical, that somebody first has to answer a question before he/she can upvote a good answer. I usually search for answers on issues I have with different topics (linux, latex etc) and find useful information on stackexchange sites. I simply want to contribute to the community by telling them "this helped me / this works", so I want to upvote. So why do I need to place a "dummy" question first? It has come so far, that now I cannot even contribute to this discussion by an answer but only as a comment, as I need 10 rep first to add an answer...
    – marc
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 11:58
  • 1
    @marc: This is the exact problem I'm having. There are many answers I've found helpful but have been unable to upvote because of my 6 SO reputation. And I can't answer questions either, because I'm beneath 10. At this point I'm thinking of just making up a question just to get me over this hump. Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 19:03
  • 1
    I too experienced the same problem. As a new comer when i found the solution for my query, i tried to upvote it for the answer. but i am unable to do that :(. Really it disappointed me. Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 11:22
  • 1
    @KrishenGreenwell - You can answer any question that isn't protected. You can't tell me with a straight face that you only know answers to protected questions.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 14:26

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