I'll preface by saying I've only been active on this site for a few weeks. Other than a solid trolling from one user, I've enjoyed it. Like most 'answerers' I get value from filling in the gaps in my knowledge, or relearning things, by answering questions.

In that context, my question - why does superuser, specifically, appear to have almost non existent up voting on answers? There are a certain number of Qs that get large #s of upvotes on both the Q and the As, with some correlation to quality and a higher correlation to the general appeal of the content (meaning the topic is understood by and applicable to a high % of users), but there are hundreds of Q and A(s) with solid, in scope content and accurate responses where the entire thread is 0'd, and the OP doesn't even acknowledge the answer. Or does, but doesn't upvote it.

I'm a newb, and what do I know, but it seems like an odd culture for this sort of platform. I'm curious if the # of upvotes is actually higher than the down votes.

The lack of confirmed answers leaves people searching the history in a bit of a spot as well - was it right? Wrong? Etc.

So downvote this and tell me why I'm stupid ;) Edit to clarify - I'm not terribly interested in karma or rep; beyond a 'thats nice' sort of perspective - but I think its a good community with which I share technical interests and I'm really just curious about this aspect of things. I've consumed content from this site and other related sites for years now (crap this broke, google --> superuser --> answer --> fix) and it's interesting having spent time answering questions for 'inconsiderate jerks', like myself, who just hit and run and can't spare a nod to help 'grade' the content.

  • New users (with < 15 rep) can accept answers but are not able to upvote.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented May 14, 2016 at 12:42
  • Like this question. This is the most upvoted question in SU? Why? Commented May 14, 2016 at 12:44
  • 3
    "There are a certain number of Qs that get large #s of upvotes on both the Q and the As" or they hit HNQ or otherwise go viral. In some cases they get lots of upvotes cause they are a trainwreck and/or the answers are amusing.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented May 14, 2016 at 12:44
  • You're describing human nature. For some insight, what are the characteristics of posts you personally upvote or downvote, and why? SU isn't a place where trophies are given just for showing up. Upvotes and downvotes normally reflect exceptions, and what people find useful or problematic.
    – fixer1234
    Commented May 14, 2016 at 19:14
  • @fixer1234 I upvote if the question is well asked, relevant, and not extremely specific to a rare situation. Answers I up vote for the same criteria (except specificity), and only if they are accurate. I was asking this question because that did not seem to be the criteria others used. I think you captured what must the majority view on the issue, and thats what I was curious about.
    – Argonauts
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 17:15
  • Up votes are supposed to be based on "this answer is useful and shows research effort" but anyone can vote for any reason if they have the rep.
    – Moab
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 23:09

1 Answer 1


It comes down to voting culture. Which is based on the site culture.

I only really end upvoting questions that are in my favorite tags. SU doesn't have the same voting culture as, say, arqade or puzzling where traffic is a bit slower and you don't need to rely on favorite tags to highlight what you want to answer.

This has been discussed at other sites as something to use to increase traffic and encourage new users to stay.





Biblical hermenuetics I didn't even know this was a site



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