You have probably seen the featured Meta.SE post: Stack Exchange is piloting a new rule, where there are no reputation barriers before newly registered users can vote. They are calling for volunteer sites who wish to try out the new rule.

If more users could vote, would they engage more? Testing 1 reputation voting on some sites

As a community, it's our decision whether to be included or not. So please share your thoughts and preferences here.

  • I'm considering how to make the voting clearest. Maybe I'll put simple "yes" and "no" answers to count votes. But if y'all would want to write up your thoughts as answers, that would be more informative. Or should we keep to the Meta convention that upvotes to the question are "yes" and downvotes are "no"?
    – rumtscho Mod
    Sep 22, 2023 at 12:17
  • If we decide it's detrimental can we opt back out? Will the votes from too-low rep users be reverted should this occur? Sep 22, 2023 at 19:35
  • @rumtscho Facing the same dilemma - wanting to upvote the question for being good and for bringing it up, but personally not being a fan of the no-limit vote experiment. Added a second answer so that we get two options to vote on.
    – Stephie Mod
    Sep 23, 2023 at 6:17
  • 1
    I would also like to add that participating in the experiment requires the mods to work closely with CM to monitor the experiment and evaluate the results. I am not sure we as the current mod team are able to do so - I certainly don’t have the time right now and in the foreseeable future.
    – Stephie Mod
    Sep 23, 2023 at 6:38
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    I think we'd be fine on monitoring - the CMs are the primary ones doing the monitoring, and the mods' role is more reactive.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Sep 25, 2023 at 22:35

2 Answers 2



Reason: This SE already gets a lot of observable up/down voting that is unrelated to the actual quality of an answer (that is, how good the actual cooking information is), but is instead based on some other popularity characteristic, most often speed of answering. Lowering the rep required to vote would increase that, and decrease the value of the scores as an indicator of answer quality.

I believe that it would also do zero to improve the core issue faced by this SE, which is needing more quality questions and answers. There is no reason to believe that a user who has not gotten enough reputation to vote, because of not asking or answering, would suddenly start asking or answering because they had gotten the ability to vote. If I'm wrong, then we'll find out from the sites who already volunteered.

If we wanted to increase asking/answering participation, the thing I'd experiment with decreasing the threshold for is commenting. There's a pretty clear path from commenting to answering.

  • 3
    This does feel like a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to me; I don't think it's necessarily wrong but voting does matter. New users get encouraged to stick around by votes, and it's certainly possible for that to outweigh the downside of having some slightly noisier voting added in across the board. (I would also argue that the clear path from commenting to answering is... people being told they should write an answer instead, which new users rarely do. I'd be far more worried about the increase in noise from new user comments than from voting.)
    – Cascabel Mod
    Sep 25, 2023 at 22:34
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    It’s the “free downvotes” which has me worried a bit. The Internet isn’t exactly known as an overly friendly and inclusive space. Registering is fast and even mandatory comments aren’t much of a deterrent. 125 rep (> association bonus) plus cost means something. But this is about whether we want to be part of the pilot, not my general stance.
    – Stephie Mod
    Sep 27, 2023 at 9:48
  • Cascabel: I'd feel better about it if the mods had some ability to set thresholds, rather than it being a choice of "1 or 125". Like: what it it was set to 10? With downvotes at 50?
    – FuzzyChef
    Sep 27, 2023 at 17:20

Disclaimer: posted just to have a complete set of options (yes and no), not because I personally am in favor of the idea


We should support CM in the experiment.

The severity of negative side effects is probably low enough to warrant participating. The results can be helpful across the network and sometimes you have to try something different to see what happens.

Independent of how the measured results turn out, we gain insights. We might be surprised (and gain new active users) or we may prove (instead of assume) that lowering the threshold is not conducive to the goal of increasing the active user base in a positive way.

  • Have you been able to confirm that we get to decide if we want to exit the experiment? In the public issue, they were kinda vague about that.
    – FuzzyChef
    Sep 25, 2023 at 17:09
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    @FuzzyChef From the original post: “We are interested in finding 2-3 Stack Exchange sites willing to volunteer to test lowering the reputation required to upvote and downvote to 1 (..)” Which means sites are asked to opt-in, not out, at least for now. For one-sided exits, it’s probably more not much of an option, but the experiment can be stopped if company & mods say so.
    – Stephie Mod
    Sep 25, 2023 at 17:50
  • Right, I mean: if we joined the experiment, and got overwhelmed with BS voting, would we be able to immediately exit, or would we be forced to "complete" the experiment?
    – FuzzyChef
    Sep 25, 2023 at 17:56
  • Just edited my comment above. It’s the “experiment is closely monitored” that worries me - I don’t have the resources to do so atm. Both w/r to time and (emotional) energy. CM promises help for really bad effects, but I suppose it’s more about “better” tools (whatever that may be) than hands-on work. They have been pretty swamped lately, not counting the strike.
    – Stephie Mod
    Sep 25, 2023 at 18:02
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    Sounds like a "never mind, not possible" then.
    – FuzzyChef
    Sep 25, 2023 at 18:03
  • We have three more mods. So if they say yes and the community wants it… but looking at the current state of votes, nah, probably not the most likely scenario.
    – Stephie Mod
    Sep 25, 2023 at 18:06
  • When we establish the test, we will define cases that indicate ending the experiment immediately is necessary. As far as I'm aware, actually changing the reputation required to vote is a site setting that can be changed very quickly.
    – Catija
    Sep 28, 2023 at 21:08
  • To be clear, I'm not a fan of this whole idea really & have voiced such opinion on MSE under the original question. However, I think this site is about the perfect size to participate in the experiment. Using sites I'm on as examples - SO would be ridiculous, Ask Different or SuperUser also far too busy. At the other end of the scale Sound Design gets maybe a question a week - usually off-topic:\ If anything, a mid-sized site such as this might just be enough to test the results, without being totally swamped if it didn't go to plan.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 30, 2023 at 17:11

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