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Should Voting Rights Be Earned

We don’t have children voting in elections because they lack the maturity and judgement to do so. Should we not adapt the same criteria? This would eliminate much of the issues we are currently having. As it is, anyone can join and totally disrupt the voting system.

If we had about a 500 point level it would give the newbies something to shoot for and prevent a lot of headaches.

Once you reach the 500 level, if you drop below it, voting rights would no longer be granted.

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Sounds like a clever proposal that I believe could be implemented without any major effort. I would increase the threshold to 1000 level and put the limit to right of downvotes only as most forum users are more or less occasional. If possible I'd also inhibit downvote right to users who have given more downvotes than upvotes, or figure out an appropriate up/down ratio..if they don't appreciate the content generated by the forum they should head elsewhere, we have no need for sterile criticism in my opinion. Just my 2c :)

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While I agree with @mayer that some people don’t deserve to have voting rights, I don’t like the idea of limiting votes before a certain threshold because some first-time/one time “askers” do like to vote and select answers. I know those people are not common, not as common as we would like, but they do exist and they shouldn’t be penalized because of some bad apples. By limiting them, they will never have an opportunity to “express themselves” via the voting system.

That said, I do like the idea of limiting downvotes before a certain threshold as that will eliminate all of the haters and nuisance accounts. Downvoting should be an acquired privilege. This is something StackExchange does well; privileges are earned. The other thing I find bothersome is multiple downvotes per session. Mayer has been victim of this, as have I (and I’m certain many others as well). There is no need for this kind of power to be granted to users. After you’ve downvoted a particular user more than once, the system should flag or stop this and the downvoter should be encouraged to have the answer moderated by more experienced and level headed mods that way when someone deserves multiple downvotes, it will be handled properly.

What bothers me is that this has been discussed ad nauseam in the past in Meta yet nothing ever really happens. Why is that? There is only so much we, as mods can do and it would be a whole lot simpler if some automated protocols were put into place (talking to you @kristen :>). I don’t have any issues with giving my time to help others but when we chase our tails because of nuisance users, it doesn’t benefit anyone. Bullying, intimidation and vengeance is no longer tolerated in any social or professional situation, why do we accept it here?

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I'm the noob here, didn't even realized a Meta existed for quite some time and that explains why I was unaware that this topic was already debated in the past. Your post comes as a surprise..I can't really figure out why such a disrupting issue as haters and time wasters creating havoc hasn't been properly addressed if the matter was already raised. As technically it's certainly not a problem to implement a couple of algorithms then why not ? This is not a rethorical question.

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I’ve had to deal with this a few times myself but not as often as others so I consider myself lucky. However, it always seems to happen on the answers and questions I need to know who did it and what went wrong.

How I would handle it is at 1-500, you can’t downvote but can upvote 30 times a day. At 1,000 you can upvote 50 times but get 10 donvotes. At 2,000+ there are no limitations on your account.

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Votes—primarily upvotes—are an important signal to the system. We use post scores for all kinds of things, including surfacing relevant posts to new members and for telling Google which pages are important. Historically, the biggest problem that we have is that people are not voting enough! The more votes, the more signal that the system has.

We currently disallow downvoting until you have 200 reputation, and limit everyone to 15 downvotes per day at a cost of -2 reputation for each down vote that you cast.

Are you proposing raising the reputation requirement for casting a downvote?

We also have a separate upvote limit per day for new users of 15 votes. Another option would be to lower this to something like 5 votes per day.

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No issues with the upvoting and I wholeheartedly agree that beyond points, this allows good answers to rise to the top. I always mention this to users whenever I have to offer an "intervention".

But as Nick mentions in his answers, downvotes used as a form of retaliation should be discouraged harshly which is why I proposed that it may not even be possible. While it's rare, it is very disruptive.

Beyond moderators, who really needs 15 downvotes in a day? If someone is logging in and downvoting fifteen times, what real value are they bringing to the website? Sure there are a lot of bad answers on the Forum but I would much rather the good ones raised and the truly bad ones be moderated than to allow some haters to spread more hate. Besides, lots of bad answers aren't really bad, they're just a different point of view and technical people can be the worst when it comes to accepting differing opinions.

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@kyle No one needs or should ever use 15 down votes in a day. I don't remember ever giving more than about three maybe four in a day. My average over 9.5 years is 3.7 per month. @oldturkey03 average is 4.7 per month and we do probably the majority of all the voting.

I would raise voting rights to 500. Those that set up multiple account and vote themselves up hit 200 in a day.

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@refectio I don't even like to downvote obvious bad answers unless it's genuinely worthless or the OP doesn't fix it quickly. It's a total waste when you can let it sink.

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@mayer I crossed one of those just a few days back and another one on the italian side a couple weeks earlier, 4/5 accounts created at once with the only purpose to upvote. Although it's not a morally disruptive behavior such as revenge voting, it encourages forum exploitation and manipulating practices, most times used just to artificially increase reputation at the expense of serious contributors. Not sure how this may help users and in my opinion reduces, even if slightly, forum effectiveness. I appreciate @refectio approach, rights and priviledges have to be earned, isn't that what life teaches all of us every day ?

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@nick considering that you have been on the forum for 10 years and yet you only have ~220 votes in total, nearly 15% of which are downvotes, I think it's fair to say you are a heavy downvoter, at least proportionally speaking. @oldturkey03 has only about 1.7% of downvotes and @mayer only 1.6%, despite having voted over 100 000 times.

I mean no offense but you really need to step up on this front. You bring a wealth of expertise in printers and PC's and you should be voting up good answers when you see them. It's not normal for a veteran contributor to have so few votes, and as Kyle mentioned, this is an important element in placing iFixit front and center in Google searches.

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@mayer @refectio @arbaman @nick I do agree with the general idea. Yes, I get it.It’s a PITA for the individual but is it really a widespread issue? Are retaliatory downvotes really that much of an issue for Answers? Maybe we can come up with a way of moderating those away. Like some kind of override for the mods to cancel those downvotes. I believe that we should not make it to complicated and allow people the right to pass a vote; up or down, no matter. It would be great if we were at a point where votes will have to be explained before being cast.

@kyle to compromise maybe the upvoting could remain as you outlined. The downvoting should be 0 until a reputation of 500 points has been achieved. After that limit downvotes to 5 per day.

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I'm for this because while it's not entirely common it is a nuisance that has a bad habit of being hard to recover from. I know about the points being secondary but losing points over retaliation is where I draw a line.

I got lucky with my last one that I could fix the answer and cancel it out but that doesn't always happen. Realistically I just want it to stop because I'm sick of it so I'm also okay with your compromise.

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I think we can all do a better job on this. Based on @arbaman suggestion I figured I check our own U/D ratio and overall we are really not much better than the general user. Here are our (mods plus Nick) own ratios:

oldturkey03 (100/66014)*1174 = 1.78%

arbaman (100/876)*28 = 3.19%

Minho (100/6480)*0 = 0.0%

mayer (100/44264)*724 = 1.63%

jayeff (100/3591)*3 = 0.08%

Dan (100/4205)*484 = 11.5%

Nick (100/189)*29 = 15.3%

pollytintop (100/2919)*53 = 1.82%

This makes me think that limiting downvotes based on a ratio would not work because what would be a just ratio? Like @nick said "losing points over retaliation is where I draw a line" I think that's maybe where @kyle can implement that the mods have the option of cancelling a negative vote which is based on retaliation,/maliciousness etc. (something like an override button)

My proposal would be to initially decline downvote rights until the user has 500 reputation points. After that, no more than 5 downvotes per 24/hr period. I think that should be the maximum for everybody anyway.

As for not voting enough, we are not leading by example either. I think we all can do a better job in upvoting (that goes for answers but good questions as well). I think we are lacking with rewarding those that do post awesome questions.

Just my 2c :>)

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@oldturkey03 That's interesting, analytical approach. From the way I see it, beside the two 0% we have, that are clearly no downvote positions, we have some moderate and some more critical views. However waaay far from the 600% ratio sported by some users, that were the ones I had in mind when proposing some kind of acceptable ratio. Maybe not terribly disruptive, but an indication of a mind disposition towards the community. BTW, I'll try to do better, especially on the questions voting side.

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@oldturkey03 My grievances really lie with the lack of a means to cancel these malicious downvotes out more so then anything else. The problem with the current setup is I can revise it and ask the downvoter to come forward in a comment, but they don't have to and I may never get the points back unless it's cancelled out by someone else.

If there was a means to cancel it like what you're suggesting, that would be an acceptable solution for me. I think it's a good split of retaliation (as in the other party missed the question, so devalue the answer they wanted to put out with a downvote) and trolling - BUT I lean more towards trolling. I don't divide one as being lesser then the other because it's malicious either way.

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@arbaman I totally agree with you on that. Even 100% ratio would be total malarki and should be viewed as bogus. Is there anything that we all can agree on that we can present to @kyle and the ifixit team? At least for the time being until the devteam can develop the algorithm to not allow downvotes without explanation?

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@mayer @oldturkey03 @refectio @arbaman @nick Thanks for voicing your concerns and suggestions! This is a great discussion—there are lots of things to consider here. I think the final decision will rest with @kyle and the devs, but I am in favor of Mayer’s proposal:

“1. No downs can be given until 500 rep points are earned.

2. Only a moderator can give more than 5 down votes per day.

3. Moderators can negate down votes if they feel they are vindictive.”

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@mayer @oldturkey03 @refectio @arbaman @nick I agree with Kristen on this, I think Mayer's idea is very thoughtful and I think it would work well.

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I like this, kudos to @mayer for the specific suggestions.

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mayer will be eternally grateful.
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