To recognize and encourage Derekh Eretz (good manners), should we define and award the custom Derekh Eretz Badge? Here are some possible automatable criteria:

  1. Voted on 100+ questions before or within 1 hour of posting your answer.
  2. Granted more reputation than you received (at 100, 1000, and/or 10000).
  3. Voted on 100+ answers to your own questions.
  4. Voted on all answers to 100+ of your questions.

Encouraging these positive behaviors would hopefully discourage notable oversights. Many questions have fewer votes than answers .. the Mi Yodeya Series is the most egregious example of this. Shouldn't the Answerer upvote the question, L'Chatchilah (as a matter of course / at least) concurrent with posting an answer? Since someone who posts questions or answers is implicitly asking for reputation, is it not proper to grant reputation to anyone who provided the soapbox (the asker) or made it more valuable (an answerer)?

BTW, why not be Chumradik (stringent) and give credit on your previous questions & answers?

This meta discussion is extracted from Are You Obligated to Vote a Question You Answer? on the main site.

  • 2
    +1, great proposal Jul 16, 2012 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


I have no particular view on the badge proposals except to say that they needn't be custom: they can apply as well to any Stack Exchange site. Rather, I'm mainly writing to disagree with the implied premise that it's always, or even as a general rule, appropriate to upvote a question one answers. Questions should include enough context that someone happening across them at any time can understand it; some questions on our site are about the weekly parasha (Torah portion) or upcoming holiday but don't indicate as much, giving no context. Questions should not include unnecessary jargon; some questions on our site (including, alas, some of mine) do. Questions should be written in readable English (when posted by a native, of course); some questions on our site are in SMS slang or in full-caps or without punctuation. Questions should mention the postulates (axioms) the asker is starting with, what assumptions he's bringing to the question (the relevant ones); some questions on our site do not. Questions should be polite; some questions on our site are demanding or dismissive. Questions should include mention of what work (including research or thought) the asker has already done toward finding an answer, if any; some questions on our site do not.

Any of these are reasons someone might downvote — or not upvote — a question. Even if he has an answer to it that he's willing to share.

Three additional notes closely related to the above:

  1. Note that the up arrow has the tooltip "This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear". The down arrow has "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful". While people may upvote or downvote for any or no reason, those are, if you will, the official reasons for the votes. And, as I noted above, they can apply even if someone's answering.
  2. You say in your question "anyone who posts [e.g. an answer] is implicitly asking for reputation". Well, he might get reputation, but surely that's not the main reason for answering. People answer to supply information. Otherwise, (a) they'd never join the site (reputation's only meaningful to a SE user, not to someone considering joining) and (b) they wouldn't answer questions on meta (no rep accrues). So your corollary, that it's therefore "proper to grant reputation to anyone [e.g. the asker] who provided the soapbox" for the answerer to accrue that rep, is not all that strong.
  3. You say in your question "anyone who posts [e.g. an answer] is implicitly asking for reputation" so should "grant reputation to anyone [e.g. the asker] who provided the soapbox". Logically equivalent to that is that if the answerer is unwilling to upvote the question, he shouldn't answer. Really? Forgo providing the asker (and others) with the answer because, per my main point above (or for some other reason), he doesn't feel like upvoting?

And I have the same views, mutatis mutandis, about the necessity of an asker's upvoting answers he gets. (There, there's the additional counter that the answer may not be correct, or sourced, or the like, though not every reason for which one might not upvote a question applies to answers.)

  • 2
    +1 Votes (up or down) affect/serve the poster but also the site; we should be generous with voting up quality, but to blindly vote up everything you touch (any question you answer, all answers to your question even if bad) can harm the community, which we should also care about. And some questions (like the mi yodea series) are clearly designed to solicit lots of answers; that doesn't, de facto, make them questions worthy of that many votes. Dec 12, 2011 at 13:39
  • +1, these are some great ideas Jul 16, 2012 at 14:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .