Voting plays a crucial role in the health of a Stack Exchange community. I'd like to see some improvements in how we vote and what we vote for. How can we improve it?

In other words, how can we encourage more learners to vote and discourage blind-voting (voting based on anything other than the merit of the content of the post)?

  • 2
    There's no practical solution to this. Voting comes from your own thinking and knowledge; you cannot encourage it. I've seen brilliant answers getting a couple of upvotes and simplest answers getting flood of them!
    – Maulik V
    Dec 15, 2015 at 13:23
  • @Maulik are you sure we can't encourage voting, since that's what the very aim of badges like 'electorate' and 'civic duty' are and what some hats aim at?
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 15, 2015 at 13:25
  • BTW your observances are valid. What concerned me and a bunch of other chatters is that wrong answers got upvotes despite numerous comments pointing out that they were wrong.
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 15, 2015 at 13:28
  • About "wrong answers that got upvotes despite numerous comments pointing out that they were wrong:" Oftentimes, those upvotes happen before the comments come in, so I don't know if much can be done about that. As for discouraging blind-voting (voting based on anything other than the merit of the content of the post) – I'm not sure why we'd want to do that. Wouldn't we want voting to happen primarily based on the merits of the content of the post? What else would it be based on?
    – J.R. Mod
    Dec 15, 2015 at 16:58
  • Well, @J.R. I don't wish to discuss that very case, hence I came up with a general meta post so we'd gather ideas on what to do, but note that the votes came after the wrong answers were commented on. The blind-voting thingy I added, since the solutions would optimally teach us how to teach learners not to vote when they don't understand the answer and can't by any means judge its correctness.
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 15, 2015 at 17:01
  • @Ϻ.Λ.Ʀ. - Okay, I see what you're getting at by "blind voting" now. As for "that very case," I didn't have any case in mind when I made my comment. That's just something I've seen rather often all across the SE (not just on ELL), and it goes in both directions. I once submitted an answer on ELU that was a little different from most of the answers already given. It initially got two downvotes – and then the O.P. selected my answer! After that, it got more than 10 upvotes, but, alas, the downvotes never disappeared. C'est la vie. :^)
    – J.R. Mod
    Dec 15, 2015 at 17:06
  • Indeed @J.R., but the problem is I feel that it's more evident on ELL; and I say it as someone who frequents 4 SEs and has read about or observed many 'voting cultures'. Anyhow, the point of this post is not that the voting system on ELL is bad. We're just trying to find out if there are people who can give good ideas on how we could improve it, and if we can't, why.
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 15, 2015 at 17:22
  • It seems to me that we should focus on encouraging more voting in general than a specific type of voting. There's no practical way to prevent outliers, but more votes can reduce their impact. What if we had a "use all your votes" event where folks are encouraged to look for posts to vote on instead of questions to answer or answers to learn from? A query for posts with low views might be help folks find things to vote on.
    – ColleenV
    Dec 15, 2015 at 17:25
  • Seems like a good idea @Colleen, if we could get ELLers to participate. I'll sleep on it. Though I wanted to tilt a little towards non-deliberate blind-voting than actively harmful down-/upvoting. I wanted to see if anyone knows how we should stop ELLers from voting where they can't have the slightest idea whether an answer is correct or accurate.
    – M.A.R.
    Dec 15, 2015 at 17:31
  • There's no practical way that I can think of to get folks to change their voting habits when votes are anonymous. All we can do is encourage everyone to vote on more posts, and count on the conscientious voters to outnumber the less careful voters.
    – ColleenV
    Dec 15, 2015 at 17:37
  • @ColleenV - I'd be afraid that a "use all your votes" day would encourage more blind voting, not less of it. Besides, there are already badges issued for casting 30 or 40 votes in a day, so SE already a built-in incentives, I guess. That said, I've never earned either of those badges – call me a slacker :^)
    – J.R. Mod
    Dec 15, 2015 at 18:43
  • 4
    IMHO, I wish the knowledgeable users would lower their bars and vote more often, and at the same time the learners would vote questions more often, and would raise their bars and be more careful when they vote answers. Dec 15, 2015 at 18:58
  • @J.R I see what you're saying, and I still think the answer is to encourage folks to look for posts they can in good conscience vote on (whether up or down). Maybe "vote on all the things!" isn't exactly the right approach though. :)
    – ColleenV
    Dec 15, 2015 at 19:01
  • since the word 'blind' is discussed, I've observed blind closevoting as well! A user is triggered to hit 'close' button if it already has 'close (1)' there! Human mentality.
    – Maulik V
    Dec 16, 2015 at 5:09


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .