Often times answerers receive more upvotes than the questioner. In addition they receive 10 points per upvote. However questioners only receive 5 points per upvote. I think that questioners should also receive the same amount of points per upvote.


3 Answers 3


Because “שאלת חכם חצי תשובה”; a good question is worth precisely half an answer. ☺


Here's the explanation of why SE switched from +10 per question upvote to +5. Basically, the idea is that high-quality answers are most important.

Here's an update on the same topic. The SE position is "questions are merely the sand that produces the pearl," and "you optimize for pearls, not sand." Read the whole post; there are some interesting insights in it.

  • I do not know about other sites. However for this site I believe good questions are crucial to keep it running. Otherwise there is not enough incentive to ask, and thereby there will be less interesting information available. Jun 13, 2011 at 19:47
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    @Gershon Why do you feel that this is more true for our site than for others?
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:10
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    @Gershon Isn't the potential to get an answer the main incentive for asking a [good] question?
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:11
  • Yes - then maybe no points for questions. However to ask a proper question also requires thought and should be thus rewarded. Jun 13, 2011 at 20:14
  • I feel it is more so for a sight such as mi.yodeya as you do not want to limit questions. Jun 13, 2011 at 20:17
  • @Gershon I still don't get why you think our site is special in this respect. Don't all sites need lots of good questions?
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Jun 13, 2011 at 20:48
  • There are Hundreds of Shaalos Uteshuvos Seforim. The reason is that Jews appreciate a good question. The famous expression is "A good question is already half an answer". Jun 13, 2011 at 20:54
  • @Gershon Yes, that's why the SE format is a good match for Judaism. Do people read ShU"T Seforim for the questions or for the answers? Does "A good question is already half an answer" apply any less in non-Jewish contexts?
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Jun 13, 2011 at 21:00
  • Well I do. Maybe I am not typical. Jun 13, 2011 at 21:02
  • As you know in the Gemara there is often an answer of Taiku. A question is worth it even if there is no good answer. Jun 13, 2011 at 21:05
  • The way I feel is that questions need answers, and to produce answers you need questions. Each adds value and one needs the other. If you will look you will find that in most cases the answer gets upvoted more than the question. I think that is enough of an incentive to try to answer rather than to question. However by giving less points for an upvote to a question it penalizes a questioner and will eventually cause questions to dry up. As we already have a large number of questions on a large variety it is important to keep the questions coming in order to keep the sight fresh. Jun 13, 2011 at 21:11
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    @GershonGold It can't be that gaining rep is a penalty. The theory behind rating people - if I understand correctly - is to indicate to other users how a) active and b) useful a given user is. If so, although questions indeed are the only way to solicit answers and thereby proliferate information, they do not tend to be as direct a measure of a person's informative contributions in terms of b) as answers. "A good question is already half an answer" indeed. And that is why it deserves exactly half the rep.
    – WAF
    Jun 14, 2011 at 1:18
  • The right way to deal with it is 2 seperate point systems, 1 for questions and 1 for answers. Jun 14, 2011 at 17:21
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    @GershonGold, eight months later, it looks like our flow of questions is doing just fine. Feb 15, 2012 at 13:57

This is actually one of the things that changed when we migrated to SE2.0. Here's the why given on the blog:

  • 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.

  • The question asker already enjoys a substantial benefit beyond reputation gain from upvotes on their question — namely, they get great answers to their question! Thus, the asker shouldn’t need as much reputation gain.

  • There are a few users who ask hundreds, sometimes even thousands of questions. Over time, these users generate a fairly sizable reputation entirely through the tiny trickle of upvotes gained by these questions. In a sense, we want to discourage question asking a little bit, and make sure that people who ask questions are doing it for the right reasons and not to generate reputation.

  • I do not know about other sites. However for this site I believe good questions are crucial to keep it running. Otherwise there is not enough incentive to ask, and thereby there will be less interesting information available Jun 13, 2011 at 19:48
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    @Gershon the same is true of any Q&A site...
    – AviD
    Jun 14, 2011 at 7:15

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