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The answer is excellent. So is the question.

Isn't it embarrassing, though, that the answer should get all those upvotes, but not the question?

Wouldn't it be NICE if people who find that a question deserves an answer (and post one) would acknowledge it by upvoting the question? Wouldn't it be ... well ... decent? ... polite? ...

Wouldn't it be even nicer (even more decent) if folks lavishing upvotes on an answer would at least consider upvoting the question that inspired it as well?

  • The emphasis on SE, unfortunately, has always been on the answers. It's inbuilt into the system, 10 points when an answer is upvoted, 5 points when it is a question. And yet a downvote is -2 for both posts. Now, how come? Answers are more highly valued, which is a great shame.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 5, 2016 at 13:23
  • 1
    A little history: While we value good questions (and asking a great question is absolutely an art), we want to explicitly encourage people to provide the best possible answers. Without people interested in providing good answers, the questions are moot. We know that answers have more intrinsic value than questions, and the reputation balance should reflect that
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 5, 2016 at 13:28
  • 1
    Dude, calm down.
    – Mitch
    Jan 5, 2016 at 13:40
  • I've just upvoted the question. Sorry I was not a user at the time. Ricky, slow down, please. There are so many questions that deserve to be closed and there are so many questions/answers that deserve to be upvoted.
    – user140086
    Jan 5, 2016 at 19:49
  • 3
    I upvoted the answer to the linked question because it was inarguably correct, but I downvoted the question itself because I thought it was trivial (I can't remember if I also closevoted, but if so I obviously had little support here). The relevant etymological chronology can easily be established using online resources, and the question of why the English use connoisseur more than the French use their currently-corresponding connaisseur is bordering on meaningless. Jan 5, 2016 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


No. Upvote questions that are good, clear and show research effort, and downvote questions which don't. Upvote answers which are clear, actually answer the question itself rather than some related topic, and which are support with quotes or data. Downvote answers which are confusing, or don't support themselves with evidence. And don't forget to flag both questions and answers (or vote to close questions if you have 3000+ rep.)

There are tons of good answers on terrible questions. There is nothing wrong with downvoting the question and upvoting its answers.

This site isn't about being nice and polite at the expense of making the voting system meaningless.

And to be frank, someone with only 186 votes might want to vote more before lecturing others how to vote. You have 0 downvotes, you might want to start there. Can you honestly say you've never seen an unclear question, a question with no research, or an answer making bold claims without a shred of evidence?

The top voter so far this year has only voted 113 times. We could all catch up in three days!

  • Uh ... two points. One, as it stands right now, the voting system is meaningless. The site has evolved; the system hasn't. Two, I don't downvote. There's something humiliating about it, almost like being a secret gloater, or a snitch. Ew. The vast majority of questions here these days are unclear, poorly worded, etc, and some of them are downright stupid. As are a lot of answers. The current state of the voting system is certainly at fault, at least in part. ... As for those good answers to terrible questions: why not edit the question before answering it, then? Et voila.
    – Ricky
    Jan 5, 2016 at 11:44
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    @Ricky The voting system doesn't seem broken to me, the problem is most people aren't using it enough. And those terrible questions can only rarely be edited in a way that will save them. They need to be voted closed instead. Jan 5, 2016 at 11:47
  • This year is only five days old... Is that what you mean? Is that last line sarcasm?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 5, 2016 at 16:55
  • @Mari-LouA No I mean that we all could actually catch up in only three days if we voted the maximum allowed. It's early in the year and if you feel like you want to make your mark via voting, then it's relatively easy to do so. Jan 5, 2016 at 22:54

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