I stumbled upon this question.

The person's English is obviously not good, yet the question is understandable and has two answers that make sense, too.

From these two answers I concluded such a question on SO would get edited and optionally upvoted. Yet that one currently has rating of -7 with no upvotes.

It feels just wrong to me. Is there a way to actually encourage the community to do the intended thing (editing) without downvoting absentmindedly?

  • 3
    7×-2 + 13×5 = 51 rep instead of 30. Bad english pays! :P
    – badp
    Jul 24, 2010 at 14:57

3 Answers 3


Offering badges for editing is supposed to encourage people to edit, and charging rep for downvoting is supposed to discourage absentminded downvoting. It works for the most part, although it apparently didn't in that case


This shouldn't have happened.

A valid question getting downvoted this badly is a rather rare occurrence, maybe owing to the fact that it's the weekend, I don't know.

The correct policy is in fact to edit the question.


Crowdsourced moderation will screw up from time to time, and history suggests that this is one of the more common cases for screwing up.

Consider a gentle and aspecific chiding in the comments with links to appropriate meta discussions.

But also see Is atrocious English a possible sign of rudeness?.

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