Previously I posted a question in this meta stack exchange about lack of up votes of questions, especially questions that have answers. Based on the answers in that post, it seems like multiple people on the meta site have the general philosophy that if the question was clear enough to answer, and showed a minimal amount of research effort, it is clear enough to up-vote. The philosophy has come up in other posts as well. So my question is, would it be inappropriate to let others on this exchange (who don't use the meta) know about this unspoken norm to encourage up-voting. Basically would it be inappropriate to post below an answer in a comment "Please consider up-voting all questions you answer. If the question is good enough to answer, it's likely good enough to up-vote. If you don't think an up-vote is appropriate you might want to consider asking a question in a comment, as opposed to providing an answer to an unclear, or obviously un-researched question." I suspect many users would find this comment offensive. Is this a really bad idea? I can definitely see downsides, like potentially it discourages answers. We already have a problem of posting answers in comments anyways.

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    $\begingroup$ You could: It's a request within a democracy. In fact, I've seen similar comments. If you did it repeatedly and wherever people don't vote the way you suggest (which as was pointed out gently is not the way you vote either!) then it might be counter-productive. At least, if you did it repeatedly, some people would get irritated ("offended" too strong a word here?). (P.S. I don't know what you can infer about "most people on the meta site" from that thread. The answer most up-voted was mine, which isn't strongly supportive of your views, but in effect says it's fine to vote as you like.) $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Jan 19, 2014 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ What was gently pointed out is that I don't up-vote on this site while I'm not physically on this site, if that is what you are referring to. I have up-voted every question I have answered (that's a fact), and up-voted almost every question I have read on CV (that wasn't offensively un researched or a duplicate), so I'm not sure what you are talking about by "not the way you vote either"- it's pretty clear that I vote the way I describe. But yes that is good advice, and changed most to multiple. Sorry to be defensive, but that user tried to infer something he couldn't given the data. $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2014 at 19:45
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks; that's helpful explanation. Note either way that plenty of people around here tend to ask "What are the data? What do they show?" That's our foible and our forte. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Jan 20, 2014 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ You have (both times you've posted on meta) gone to some pains to point out that you are rarely on CV. There's no doubt that it's reasonable to ask such questions - but perhaps if you could give some context that would explain the motivation for these questions (how they arise for you as matters of concern given your emphasis that you're rarely here), it might be easier to give responses that address those particular motivations, and so would hopefully be more satisfying. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Jan 22, 2014 at 3:05
  • $\begingroup$ That is a good question. As the record shows, I discovered CV very recently (past few weeks or so). I think you may be misinterpreting my answers as saying "rarely here" when in fact I said I just wasn't here in the few days that user was taking my voting record over and that I got the rep to up vote on this site by going over 200 rep on another stack exchange and hence getting the +100 bonus here. Perhaps you interpret a weeklong hiatuses as not on here that often. I'd interpret 1 visit a week as pretty active use. $\endgroup$ Jan 22, 2014 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ I first discovered CV when I was trying to ask a question about statistics and was frustrated that I couldn't comment on some other people's recent related questions due to my lack of reputation. It's the first time I have felt that way on any SE site. It is my opinion that after a single "not horrible" question one should be able to comment, and thats why I really want people to vote up single digit rep users. I think it will help them avoid asking duplicates in the future. That's been my main motivation from the start. $\endgroup$ Jan 22, 2014 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ If it has seemed like me painfully explaining my situation, please note that that first user effectively called my a hypocrite. You must understand that no matter how politely one accuses someone of such things the response will be painfully defensive. $\endgroup$ Jan 22, 2014 at 3:42
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    $\begingroup$ The word "hypocrite" is much stronger than anyone used until now, even when used indirectly. It's best to assume goodwill on CV unless evidence to the contrary really is obvious (which is very, very rare). In this case, it is only natural that when someone says a site is out-of-line we look at the data on who they are and what they have done. None of that invalidates or validates what you suggest, naturally. "Pretty active" use for me would mean visiting the site daily, including weekends. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Jan 22, 2014 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ You don't vote how you are asking others to vote is pretty much the exact definition. You must understand how frustrating it was to hear that user's post used against me when it was pretty clear you didn't verify any of its claims (which would have only taken a few seconds). It appeared you didn't read the comment below his on that page too. By the time you posted I had 40 or so up-votes for questions on this site compared to only 1 answer. Your statement based on the available data was wrong. I know you had good intentions, I'm talking about how it made me feel. $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2014 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ I have to disagree politely, as I did read your profile and all the comments you refer to. @Glen_b's point that in your time on CV you could have voted much more was entirely factual, as was your reply that you don't visit the site very often. No one is trying to hurt your feelings, I'm sure. As Glen_b's answer clearly indicates, we're just trying to get a picture of who you are and where you're coming from, given that you're making very strong assertions about the site being out of line. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Jan 25, 2014 at 10:07

2 Answers 2


Thanks for explaining the background and motivation; I think that helps with a picture of why you are asking as you do.

I know myself it can sometimes be frustrating at first, especially for motivated contributors, who may often be - very reasonably - wanting to participate in ways the software doesn't allow them to.

On your question, I'd think it reasonable only to a fairly limited extent: in particular, for users that answer many questions, and who show a pattern of not upvoting quite a few questions they answer (which, if you were able to look at my votes on my last ten answers, sure looks to be the case - I have not upvoted at least three of them), I think it may be okay to encourage them to consider it, once.

The difficulty, of course, is that you won't be able to see their votes, I think, only how many times they have voted, and how many net votes an answered question has received (with 1000 reputation you can see the split into up and down votes, though if you're clever you may be able to figure it out before then, with a bit of effort); so sometimes you'll be guessing.

So I'd be the ideal candidate for such a reminder, by the look of it, though in fact last year I was one of the top handful of voters on the site (I don't know exactly where that would be because I wasn't really paying close attention, maybe in the top 5, but it was between 3000 and 3200 upvotes over 2012, and I believe more than 60 percent of those up votes were on questions).

Interestingly, at one point last year, the site itself said something along the lines of "You have been upvoting a lot of answers just lately, but it's a while since you upvoted many questions, consider upvoting more questions"... which I have worked on since (and that's why my rate on questions is now over 60% of total upvotes).

So for some users at least, the site itself may remind them to upvote questions.

I think it would be good if the site encouraged the relatively new users to simply vote more (in what ways they're able, as they're able); many don't seem to remember to do it at all.

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    $\begingroup$ What anyone can spot if no-one is voting (much) for a question or answer is that people answering or commenting are not doing so either. I presume this is what was meant and that those are the people who might get these reminders. $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Jan 22, 2014 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ @NickCox Yes, thanks for that, I was trying to get at that in my answer. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Jan 22, 2014 at 21:52
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    $\begingroup$ +1 When I run across a thread that has a decent question and an answer but the question has no upvotes I just shake my head ... . $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Jan 23, 2014 at 23:27

I think it is inappropriate to leave comments advising for voting (so +1 if I want to answer your title question).

On Meta we discuss and exchange ideas about many subjects in an attempt to promote and create guidelines that can help the site to develop.

People can have different interpretations, for example, about what a good question/answer is. Comments (repeatedly) pro-voting would probably annoy users and cause disagreements.

It is better when people come here spontaneously to take a second opinion and make comparisons with what they already think.

I rarely see comments which asks/advises voting. What I sporadically see are comments asking for the OP to accept an answer when he/she clearly speaks through comments that a specific answer solved his/her problem.

See this thread for more info: Is it wrong to ask a user to accept an answer?

  • $\begingroup$ Yes this is what I thought, which is why I asked the question. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2014 at 22:27

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