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Question votes not reflective of total votes on all answers to said question

Maybe I am missing something, but I am reading this thread: Why are questions not being voted on?

I am wondering, if a question is already answered, why not make up-votes to the answers give a fraction of the vote to the question? After all, if a person found the answer helpful, doesn't that mean that the question was pretty helpful too?

Maybe it doesn't need to be visibly-upvoted, but at least for the purposes of ranking that should be quite similar. What else is the question rating used for?

  • 4
    Because bad questions can still have good answers. May 7, 2011 at 2:05
  • 1
    “By this metric, 'What is Your Favorite Programming Cartoon?' is now the best question any human being has ever asked in the entirety of recorded time.” — Jeff's reply to a similar proposal in the comments on the latest blog post.
    – ЯegDwight
    May 7, 2011 at 2:06
  • 1
    @dmckee and vice-versa! May 7, 2011 at 8:02
  • Still doesn't answer my question which is not an exact duplicate: "What else is the question rating used for?"
    – Artem
    May 8, 2011 at 4:56

2 Answers 2


How do you propose to treat questions without answers? In that case, upvotes on the question are very important, since a higher voted question is more likely to attract people to answer it. (And similarly, downvotes help bury bad questions.)

Having answers contribute to the question score would mean that the "questions" are of high quality, which they isn't necessarily true. For example, most of the top-voted questions on Stack Overflow that have high-voted answers aren't even really questions in the first place.

  • If something is not a question, how can it have a good answer? I would then argue that those answers are not good.
    – Artem
    May 8, 2011 at 5:00
  • @Artem Generally, I agree, but they can still get upvoted, which under your system would then upvote the question. A non-question, if it's popular enough, can attract responses (even good ones) that quickly get upvoted.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    May 8, 2011 at 5:09

Voting on a question is feedback on the quality of the question.

Voting on an answer is feedback on the quality of the answer.

The quality of a question is not very dependent on the quality of any particular answer. Tying the two would be a mistake.

  • Can you still clarify what the votes on the question itself are used for?
    – Artem
    May 8, 2011 at 4:56
  • Also, don't you think if a question generated good answers, then it was a "good" question? For some measure of good?
    – Artem
    May 8, 2011 at 5:02

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