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Some time ago I decided to employ a policy for upvoting the questions:

  • When I answer the question, it means that it was worth answering, so I automatically upvote it. There are some minor exceptions when there are issues with the question or it doesn't show much research from OP, but I still decide to answer with no +1, but those are rare.
  • I upvote all the questions by new users if they follow some minimum quality standards.

Why? It encourages participation. It also promotes visibility for the question (both psychologically "others voted for it" and in terms of the recommender system behind it). The +1's also come with moderation privileges on the site, so we have more people that vote, edit, create tags, etc, so the site works better as a whole.

Just wanted to share it.

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  • $\begingroup$ It is interesting that our Tour does not suggest any criteria for upvoting. $\endgroup$ Apr 13 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ @RichardHardy personally, I wouldn't find such criteria neither needed nor useful. It is up to every user themselves to vote how and on whatever they want. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Mod
    Apr 13 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, one can think that way. But I think I remember there being some criteria previously, and now they seem to have been removed. Or am I mistaken? $\endgroup$ Apr 13 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ @kjetilbhalvorsen I admit that I probably should upvote questions more often than I do. However, I participate in CV and SO primarily to support my R packages, and sometimes I can tell just enough in a question to know that the person posting the question does not understand what they are doing. In such cases, I am able to answer and try to set them straight. I will try to remember to upvote reasonable questions. However, I will not upvote a question that reveals that the asker is lost at sea and doing things completely wrong. And I did not appreciate your policing me on this recently. $\endgroup$
    – Russ Lenth
    Apr 27 at 19:18

1 Answer 1

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I have been using a similar policy since our site was in beta. (I might have stricter minimum quality standards, though ;-), because we are mature enough that many new questions can be answered with just a little research.)

It especially bothers me when I see an answered question with no upvotes, because it means the respondents are neglecting to vote for questions that nevertheless were good enough to answer.

Bear in mind that we are a kind of micro-economy in which reputation is the currency. Voting is like printing money: it's essentially free and creates the supply needed to reward people with bounties and visibility.

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    $\begingroup$ Is that mico or micro? $\endgroup$
    – Nick Cox
    Apr 7 at 17:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Nick Or maybe "myco," as in a mushroom-like economy? :-) $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Apr 7 at 18:47
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    $\begingroup$ The following search answers:1 score:0 closed:no duplicate:no shows that there are (as of april 7 2022) on this site 24,467 posts with at least one answer, and 0 (net) upvotes! $\endgroup$ Apr 7 at 22:19
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    $\begingroup$ I confess every now and then I run across a question I answered, but did not upvote, and I am most often like "Huh?! What was I thinking?" In general I am sympathetic to your and Tim's takes. $\endgroup$
    – Alexis
    Apr 8 at 16:36
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    $\begingroup$ Regarding It especially bothers me when I see an answered question with no upvotes..., I have a different view. I have answered a ton of questions that I think did not deserve an answer based on the quality of the question. I just felt like helping the person. Yet I cannot with good conscience upvote a question that hardly shows any effort and is riddled with typos. It is a bit like showing mercy to a criminal (for lack of a better example!) by not punishing them proportionately to how much harm they have caused. Mercy is not supposed to imply the crime was negligible. $\endgroup$ Apr 13 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Richard Might I suggest improving the question -- either before or after answering it -- so that it does merit an upvote? $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Apr 13 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ @whuber, I do routinely fix typos, add relevant tags and improve titles. In some cases (under 50%) this does elevate the question to a level where it could be worthy of an upvote. I have been reluctant to upvote such questions as I view voting not only as a form of evaluation of the quality of the post but also as a form of attributing credit to the author. (I do not mind other users upvoting an edited post, though.) Perhaps I have been wrong about including the latter in my consideration. $\endgroup$ Apr 13 at 15:39
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    $\begingroup$ @RichardHardy I understand your feelings. But after I answer a question, I reason there must have been something worthwhile to prompt that answer and so, despite any misgivings, I upvote the question. Almost all the time I have no regrets. The (very rare) exceptions are when the point of my answer is to explain why the question doesn't work. $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Apr 13 at 16:41
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your thoughtful comments! $\endgroup$ Apr 13 at 17:22
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    $\begingroup$ @kjetilbhalvorsen I admit that I probably should upvote questions more often than I do. However, I participate in CV and SO primarily to support my R packages, and sometimes I can tell just enough in a question to know that the person posting the question does not understand what they are doing. In such cases, I am able to answer and try to set them straight. I will try to remember to upvote reasonable questions. However, I will not upvote a question that reveals that the asker is lost at sea and doing things completely wrong. And I did not appreciate your policing me on this recently. $\endgroup$
    – Russ Lenth
    Apr 27 at 19:16

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