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Should we reduce rep bonus for upvotes on posts with a negative score?

This is a refinement of another proposal: Should we reduce rep bonus for upvotes on posts with a negative score?

While the existence of sympathy voting may not be solvable, it's lopsided effect on reputation is. I suggest that while a post's score is in negative territory, upvotes only provide +2 rep to cancel the downvote.

The current system is

reputation += (upvotes * 10) - (downvotes * 2)

Revised proposal is:

upvote() {
    rep += score >= 0 ? 10 : 2

downvote() {
    rep -= 2;

This way when a post is voted down early and then someone comes along and says "it's not that bad" the poster doesn't end up getting a nice sympathy bonus out of it.

marked as duplicate by Brad Mace, Gelatin, Jon Seigel, badp, Jeff Atwood Oct 24 '10 at 19:35

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Ironic that this currently has one up and one down, getting me +8 – Brad Mace Oct 24 '10 at 4:59
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    This has, of course, been discussed before, and I believe the issues is that any such scheme requires a query against a large table every time a vote is cast and there have concerns about performance and scaling. – dmckee Oct 24 '10 at 5:21
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    Query against a large table? Like the one that shows the current detailed score every time we load the page or view the question anywhere else? – Paul McMillan Oct 24 '10 at 6:00
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    Pity upvotes are not even close to being the worst problem with reputation. – Gnome Oct 24 '10 at 8:56
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    This will increase the weight of a downvote from 2 to 10 for most questions and answers (as most have a positive score). – Peter Mortensen Oct 24 '10 at 10:44
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    @Paul - What you see is a denormalized number just for this reason and does not run a large query every load, it's already totaled up. – Nick Craver Oct 24 '10 at 11:42
  • @Peter - that's a good point. I've revised it to see if the idea fares any better with that trait removed – Brad Mace Oct 24 '10 at 14:41
  • Actually, after accounting for peter's point it's become the same as the other proposal, so i'll vote to close – Brad Mace Oct 24 '10 at 14:46
  • @Nick yeah, but the proposal was calling for special behavior only when the question was negatively scored, which is precisely when that number is helpful. – Paul McMillan Oct 24 '10 at 19:47
  • @Paul - I'm not following - I was saying that what you call a query against a large table...isn't, it's a denormalized value so there's no cost when viewing currently. As @dmckee said, the proposal would be a very serious performance problem and introduce a slew of new deadlocks situations (which are already affecting SO to some extent, the team's doing a great job of eliminating them). – Nick Craver Oct 24 '10 at 20:04
  • @Nick I was merely mirroring dmckee's statement that it was against a large table. I agree, getting the current value would be at no cost. I see what you're saying about deadlocks though - up vs. down votes varying in weight could introduce serious complexity. I had thought that the system really did work via a running tally though, which means that if I know what the current value on the question is, an upvote is (at this moment) just an addition of x rep to the total, which would be cheap. – Paul McMillan Oct 24 '10 at 20:14

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