Would it be possible to prevent upvoting of questions when they reach an (equalized) rating of +10? Since you get only five votes on each proposal, why would you waste them on bringing a question to 11 when only 10 are needed?

  • 6
    Then someone downvotes it and then it will be "unlocked" where someone else can upvote.
    – anon
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 15:39
  • 2
    @ColeJohnson That would require people to watch their favorite proposals just in case they get downvoted.
    – Josh Mein
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 15:40
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    @Josh not really. A new follower comes in and upvoted it back. Plus, there are some people who watch proposals.
    – anon
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 15:42
  • You still are not getting a true conceunsus of what the community thinks as you are not allowing everyone to vote.
    – Josh Mein
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 15:50
  • @Josh ok, but it would be nice if people would stop downvoting me as I don't want to take away the answerer's new rep
    – anon
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 15:53
  • Don't worry about the 10 rep. You will gain it back in no time. :)
    – Josh Mein
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 15:57
  • @Josh not really. If you look at my reputation comparison, it goes from ~3k on Stack Overflow ~500 on Area 51 to ~350 on Super User.
    – anon
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:01
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    As for the downvotes: see the faq; votes on MSO are different from the regular Stack Exchange websites. People are voting on your proposal. Don't worry about rep here on MSO, it's fairly meaningless. Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 16:08
  • 3
    @Martijn rep = privileges
    – anon
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 17:00

3 Answers 3


No, you want to give the community a chance to vote for all questions, both up and down. The score needs to reflect (budding) community opinion.

By locking a question to a score of max 10, you remove that option. Downvoters would gain an unfair advantage, as their downvote would suddenly weigh more than the upvotes.

The voting process defines the community, locking the score to 10 would also remove the ability to find consensus as to what makes a great question versus one that is merely a nice one. They'd all look the same, stuck at +10.

  • What about : allow one to vote "freely" on any questions that reached 10 (ie, voting a question from 15 to 16 is "free"), so that very good questions can little by little have their "true" value (maybe 150, if it's exceptionnaly good), and the 5 points can still be spent on promoting "other questions", ie ones with a score lower than 10 ? I see that it seems to have the downside of allowing people to report a vote on "any ok enough question" to reach the number of question at 10, but it's already the case with the current system (ie, one can already ignore ">10" questions and vote "any" other) Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 15:28
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    @OlivierDulac: I refer you to Robert's answer; votes are limited for a reason. If you can't get the community together to provide enough votes, then you are not yet ready for creating a site either. 'Free' votes would give a false sense of there being a community when really there isn't one yet. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 15:31
  • See my edit : I think the current system can already be "gamed", and the drawback of the current system is that very good questions are like honeypots, detracting the community from other valuable questions that look "less good"... so to me, after a question reaches 10, counting the upvotes in the pool of available upvotes is counterproductive : one can't set a question to its "true" value and still vote on good other questions, they have to ignore one or the other... whereas my proposal seems to keep the current system idea, and still allow very good questions to rise to their true value Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 15:36
  • oops, it's already proposed here : SF. post is the same idea. I upvote it ^^ Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 15:44

Martijn's post pretty much covers the pragmatic considerations, but you also have to consider the purpose of voting on questions. It's to show that is a sufficient breadth of high-quality questions to start a site. If (hypothetically) a proposal had only one decent question, you wouldn't want to simply shuffle people's votes the the next "least-objectionable" question in the line up.

We need 40 questions you would judge as "high-quality"; not just 400 votes on… whatever.

Getting a proposal through Area 51 is tough going. It takes a lot of support, engagement, and quality contribution — That is by design. Shuffling the votes around to optimize the process into a production line somewhat defeats the purpose of Area 51. Every vote counts and no one should be told their vote is being wasted. In our evaluation, such efforts do not bode well for the proposal.

  • 6
    So should we flag comments that discourage further upvotes on questions simply because they're already at 10? Would you consider these flags noise or would you delete such comments? I see this behavior more and more frequently, and I must say I'm not a fan. :)
    – jmort253
    Commented Feb 3, 2013 at 2:37
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    @jmort, it is one thing to say users shouldn't be allowed to vote on a +10 questions, and another thing to say that users shouldn't be encouraged to vote on other questions instead. There is nothing wrong with the latter. Users ultimately make up their own mind, but it is good for them to be informed that unless more down-votes occur on that question, their vote will be useless for the progress of the proposal.
    – Kenshin
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 22:28
  • @Chris there's nothing like useless vote. You have completely misunderstood Robert's answer.
    – FolksLord
    Commented May 28, 2013 at 5:20
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    @volkerjaan, I notice that you have your own sites proposed. Soon you will see that with the 2 year proposal reset date, it is virtually impossible to get a proposal off the ground without encouraging intelligent voting. (i.e. not encouraging everyone to vote a few questions at +100, and not get the required 40 questions at +10)
    – Kenshin
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 14:06
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    "not just 400 votes on… whatever." I think this is a strawman argument. The suggestion is not you simply upvote each and every question as to bring it above the threshold, but that rather that you recognize that of the 80 or so example questions, some of the ones below the threshold are warranting your limited upvotes.
    – dwjohnston
    Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 22:34

I wonder about yet another option:

Votes on questions that have score of 10 or more don't count towards the 5 upvotes limit.

That way we get the best of both worlds and more:

People won't feel they "lose/waste" their votes on questions that are already above 10. They can still differentiate between best questions and ones "marginally fitting". We'd finally see which questions are the embodiment of spirit of given site, instead of uniform row of +10, +10, +10... and simultaneously "far pages" would get more attention. (note this might lower the threshold for a site to reach commitment phase.)

Also, authors of good questions wouldn't lose deserved karma. I often move my vote from a "+11" to a "+9" question. Not that the "+9" is better than the one at "+11" but the firm threshold is what counts for the system - even though the +11 didn't deserve losing a point.

How to implement that remains to be decided - e.g. whether voting to +11 leaves no impact on the current voter's vote pool ("stack"), or costs the voter one of the 5 questions but returns a vote to the pool of votes of the one who cast the first vote on that question, allowing them to upvote yet another question upon revisit ("fifo").

  • +1 from me, I came here to propose just that ^^ (see comments below the accepted answer, which is, to me, not the right idea) : like you say, very good questinos won't get upvoted to their true value because it doesn't allow one to vote to other good questions, and those ones are needed to have the site up, so very good questions "lose" votes to the "less than 10" ones. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 15:46

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