I regularly see people up-vote questions that are about to get closed. Usually the question is an obvious duplicate or a "where to get started" question. I think it's a good idea to try to set the OP straight in the comments and get them pointed to the help they need. Also, if I can see that the OP is really trying to create a good question (albeit off topic) or apologetic about their mistake, I can see not down voting. But wouldn't up voting such a question only give people the wrong idea? Should we discourage people from up voting questions that are "bad"?



Easiest way to create a 2d game in Java?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Secondary question: "How should 'pity upvotes' be discouraged?" \$\endgroup\$
    – Jimmy
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 17:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose just by asking. But that's a good question, since it's not clear who up votes. \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ For every pity upvote there's a knee-jerk down vote that needs to be countered sometimes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim Holt
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


0) It has already been discussed here Almost every question get's at least one up, even if they are bad

1) It may or may not be a systemic issue: Is there an actual "pity" or "sympathy" upvote problem?

2) The opinions all over the place Towards Preventing "Pity Up Votes"

Opinions regarding "Is pity-voting a problem?" from that thread:

  • "Yes it's a problem, and the problem is that a pity upvote counteracts 10 downvotes. We should rebalance the score, either by making downvotes more punishing or by making upvotes on negative scores less rewarding"
  • "No; I upvote a -5 question because it's actually a -2 question"
  • "No; I want to encourage a new user to participate. The negative score is enough to indicate an issue"
  • "Mu; People will vote how they will"
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Jimmy, I looked around gamedev meta, but not the main SE. Oops. This is as answered as it's going to get in those threads. Thanks for looking into that. \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 0:12

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