This site has had problems with low quality posts getting upvotes on the past, with some of that due to the HNQ (and I’ve seen this happen recently too). This proposal should theoretically reduce the number of low quality posts getting upvoted, because people with some interaction with the site, or have read the meta post about not upvoting bad posts will be less likely to upvote bad posts.

Note: Similar requests asking for upvoting to require gaining reputation on the site (which I’m fairly certain was posted by a high rep user of politics SE) have been posted before on the main meta.

Note 2: I didn’t include downvoting in this suggestion because it already requires gaining some rep on the site.

Note 3: This was originally about the tour instead of that meta post, but Philipp’s answer made a good point that that wouldn’t work, so I’ve changed it to something more relevant

  • Please try to not change the scope of a question after you receive answers if the changes will invalidate existing answers.
    – Joe W
    Dec 2, 2021 at 16:49
  • @JoeW my edit doesn’t really change the meaning of your answer, “tour” can be changed out for “meta post” without losing any of the meaning, and I changed it because of another answer pointing out the flaw in using the tour in my feature-request. Dec 2, 2021 at 16:51
  • I still needed to go in and edit my answer and it seems someone else deleted their answer and added a new one after your edit.
    – Joe W
    Dec 2, 2021 at 17:03

2 Answers 2


To clarify: You need 15 reputation to upvote and 125 reputation to downvote. So the problem are not completely fresh users. The problem are users from other SE communities who come to us with their 100 reputation association bonus. Those users have the privilege to upvote but not the privilege to downvote. This leads to an upvote bias on HNQs, especially on polarizing content.

The problem is simply the disparity between the upvote and the downvote privilege. A question which hits HNQ usually gets about 5000 additional views. If 1% of those people think that some answer is upvote-worthy and 10 times as many people think that the same answer is downvote-worthy, then it's going to receive 50 upvotes and no downvotes. Because those 500 people can't downvote even if they would like to. So even if the number of "clueless upvoters" is a tiny fraction of visitors, they still have a large influence.

If those additional visitors could downvote as well, then we wouldn't have that much of a problem, because those votes would cancel each other out.

Personally I would prefer if the association bonus would either be enough to allow both upvotes and downvotes or be not enough for either. That way HNQs would not be so heavily skewed towards unwarranted positivity. But unfortunately we don't have much influence on this, because it works that way on every SE site.

  • 2
    If that's really the problem, there might be a simpler solution. Temporarily reduce the downvote rep requirement (and remove the -1 penalty on the voter) for HNQ questions and their answers to 15; revert to the old requirements when it's no longer on HNQ.
    – JJJ Mod
    Dec 2, 2021 at 16:35
  • @JJJ This appears to be about questions which there is no downvote penalty on.
    – Joe W
    Dec 2, 2021 at 16:45
  • Re: Personally I would prefer if the association bonus would either be enough to allow both upvotes and downvotes or be not enough for either. Among the feature request which I mentioned in the Agora chatroom, I do like Mad Scientist's proposal: The association bonus should not enable users to vote on every site. Although it is marked (status-declined), I hope SE might reconsider it at some point. This feature request is similar to your suggestion.
    – Martin
    Dec 11, 2021 at 9:38

This is a bad idea, just because you force someone to do the tour or read the meta post doesn't mean that they will actually read it or follow the advice. As for your rep requirement users are already required to have 15 rep before upvoting.

I would also question the idea that it is low rep users who are doing the idea upvotes.

  • Gaining reputation on the site means not including the association bonus, so you would need an upvote or an approved edit. Also, I never said it is low rep users, but low participation users making bad upvotes. Also, reading the tour means you are more likely to understand the site. It is always possible to abuse any system, but the harder the system is to abuse the less upvotes on bad posts we will have. Dec 2, 2021 at 15:41
  • @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica making them go on the tour wouldn't solve anything and it would make it harder for new users to upvote answers on their questions.
    – Joe W
    Dec 2, 2021 at 16:44
  • If somebody posts a question, they’re likely to get enough upvotes (unless the question is really terrible) to either gain 15 rep (if they’re a completely new user) or gain some rep (if they have association bonus). Also, I edited the question to mention the meta post on voting instead of the tour, because like you said, the tour doesn’t do anything. Dec 2, 2021 at 16:46
  • @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica Yes if they get two upvotes they can do that but if you also factor in the association bonus it becomes harder.
    – Joe W
    Dec 2, 2021 at 16:50

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