I just noticed, or rather crossed, 1k points on Meta and I got the privilege of seeing the total upvote and downvote counts for every question and answer. However I felt, the reputation needed to get this privilege is way too high. I feel maybe around 300 or max 500 rep points should give this privilege to the users.

Is there any rationale behind this privilege having such a high reputation requirement?

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    I'm guessing that one reason is that it is expensive to work this out so they want to limit the number of users using it. Limiting via rep is an easy way to do this.
    – chibacity
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 10:54
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    ... if you think that's high, how do you feel about the privileges you get at 2,3 and 10k? For a long time there was nothing between 500 and 2000, so it could be worse. Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 10:55
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    @Farseeker - Actually some other privilege can be granted at rep 1k. Also for 10k, I feel that privilege obtained at 10k is still worth the effort. But not the one I mentioned in my question. Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 10:57
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4 Answers 4


Quoting Jeff Atwood:

The total vote count (score) is denormalized, but the individual up/down vote counts are not.

So to display it on every post would incur 2 vote table queries * number of visible questions / answers. Our DB is fast, but the vote table is pretty massive, and not doing a query is always faster than doing it..

It's possibly something we could do on demand [...] but as an "always displayed" it is a non-starter.

Plus, as others have noted already, we wanted to have something to give users who pass that nice threshold; before that, there was a rather large gap between 500 rep points (retagging) and 1500 (creating new tags).

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    I don't think it is a non-starter anymore. This technical limitation argument is outdated by now not only by more powerful hardware but also by possible adjustments of the software. I mean, come on, if its possible to keep track of a single number per post than surely it is also possible to keep track of two with at most double effort. This would be the upper limit here. I don't think Jeff really thought this particular thing through when giving this answer. Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 9:00
  • @Trilarion I am not sure how any of that warrants a downvote. The question asked whether there were any reasons at all. And this answer does provide several reasons. Go harrass Jeff on Twitter if you have nothing better to do with your life, but as far as this question is concerned, my answer is helpful and to the point — as indeed demonstrated by the check mark from the OP. You don't like the status quo, fine with me, go post a new question, get the issue some fresh visibility. But downvoting a five-year old answer on a five-year old question will accomplish exactly nothing at all.
    – ЯegDwight
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 21:27
  • That are quite some ad homimem arguments of you! I don't expect much to change, that's true. But nevertheless I downvoted because I disagree with this answer and because this is second nature on SE, it just doesn't take much time. Maybe you forgot that voting on Meta means (dis-)agreement. Anyway, please take it easy and enjoy life. ;) It's much too short for anything else. Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 22:34
  • @Trilarion You don't seem to know know what ad hominem means. Especially given how much you seem to know about how Meta works. I haven't even mentioned your mom once. All I'm saying is: you have a point, now here's how you get your voice actually heard and not buried in a meaningless comment on a meaningless answer on a meaningless page in the middle of meaningless nowhere. I couldn't care less about the -2. But you could. And do. So do something about it.
    – ЯegDwight
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 22:39
  • I think you are overreacting quite a lot here. Simple as that. Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 8:43

I understand from RegDwight answer that there are technical limitations for this, but if there wasn't, I think these counts shouldn't be hidden from users, even from those with 1 rep.

The reason for this is that seeing the distinction between upvotes and downvotes gives you an indication regarding the potential disagreement within the community on that subject. In turn, this gives readers a hint that they should dig deeper and find other sources of information, instead of assuming that the highest voted answers are more likely to be generally correct.

An +2 answer can come from 2 upvotes or 4 upvotes and 2 downvotes. You could have 4 upvotes coming from voters who know a bit about the subject and think the answers sounds right, combined with 2 downvotes from more expert users. (This can easily happen on specific subjects that have low read counts.)

As a newcomer to a subject, it's useful to be able to see there isn't unanimity.

Even for more expert users, it can be useful. Firstly, the expansion of SE sites to more specific areas can also lead to lower reps in each sub-field (since they're not gathered together). Secondly, expert users who are completely new to SE also have to start with 1. If you're an actual expert in field and you see incorrect answers that are highly upvoted on a site, it gives a bad image of the entire site (why bother joining a community where people don't seem to know what they're talking about). Seeing how votes are spread can help convince those experts it's worth joining.


It is a fun, but not terribly important power, so it's threshold is likewise unimportant.

In it's current pace, it fills in a otherwise pretty empty gap. Leave it be.


I think it is fine where it is. I agree with Farseeker, what else are you going to get at 1000 rep. Also there are plenty of privileges already in the lower rep ranges. If anything we need something between 3k and 10k.

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