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4.38/5 (7 votes)
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... edit/update ...

Well, this is interesting: it appears that "experiments" indicate a vote of #3 does not affect reputation, and Chris M.'s words as quoted by ThatRaja here reinforce that conclusion; but, some people strongly claim that a vote of #3 has resulted in their losing points on a QA solution/answer.

I think there is a broader issue here which is: what is the meaning of a vote of #3: if it has no meaning, then, one could argue, why have a vote of #3 possible ?

So: does voting #3 mean a negative vote, or does it mean that it's a good post, but not of the quality to get a higher vote ?

It is clear to me that there can be posts which have good, even excellent, technical content, but they do not relate to the question the OP asked, or their problem in code.

In fact there are far too many kind-of "canned answers" posted in QA which are indiscriminately posted again, and again, whether they are truly relevant to the OP or not. Perhaps those should get a down-vote ... not a "neutral" vote ?

I am now less certain of what to use a vote of #3 for: I find ... in the technical arena ... that uncertainty is often quite valuable; it can lead to keener vigilance ! Demons can smell certainty from a great distance, and swarm to it like bees to honey :)

... end edit/update ...

I've been told by a senior CP member that a vote of #3 on a QA question answer/solution is a down-vote; I have assumed that a #3 is a "neutral" vote in QA, kind of equivalent to "adequate;" indicating some effort in the response, some valuable content, perhaps a positively helpful intent.

I cannot find any information in the QA FAQ about this.

I'd appreciate being "enlightened" in this regard.

thanks, Bill

p.s. Once this is clarified, could we move on to the really important question: how many angels can dance on the head of a pin ?
Updated 12-Mar-14 19:40pm
Jörgen Andersson 9-Mar-14 8:33am    
It is neutral, some people just finds any vote below five to be a downvote, because it pulls the average down.
Four votes of five gives you an average of five, four votes of five and one vote of four gives you a mere 4.80 in average which of course is humiliating.
OriginalGriff 9-Mar-14 8:45am    
I don't know, but I'm going to have to vote this as abuse because it isn't a question: you should know this kind of thing! :laugh:
BillWoodruff 9-Mar-14 8:51am    
Plz send me the question should I be ask ?
OriginalGriff 9-Mar-14 8:55am    

Is the norm, I believe.
Kornfeld Eliyahu Peter 9-Mar-14 8:59am    
I can see that it's a fake - you use fare too less ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ in your question...:-)

The discussion in comment was distracting from your question. You could call some vote "down-vote" if it adds a negative value to reputation score, and "up-vote" if this is positive. The votes of 3 are pretty rare (most vote either 1 or 5 :-)). But, as far as I remember, 1-3 are down-votes, in this respect ([EDIT] by ProgramFOX maintains that vote of 3 adds zero, so may by I'm wrong [END EDIT]). If you really wants to check it up using present-day settings, we can make a little non-destructive experiment. :-) Alternatively, ask here:[^].


We performed a little experiment with Maciej. The result tells us that the vote of 3 does not affect the member's reputation score at all.

Additionally, we could see that, if, say, I voted 5 (my vote added +40), and then re-vote to 3, previously added reputation points are not removed. In effect, 3 only affects the score on a separate post, not affecting the member's score in any way.

We tested it only on the answer score, not on a question.

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Thomas Daniels 9-Mar-14 13:18pm    
Reason for my vote of 4: a vote of 3 doesn't add a negative value to the reputation score.
Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov 9-Mar-14 13:24pm    
Thank you for your vote and the information. So, what does it add? Zero?
Thomas Daniels 9-Mar-14 13:25pm    
Yes, it adds or substracts nothing, because a vote of 3 is considered a neutral vote.
Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov 9-Mar-14 13:26pm    
All right, thank you; that would make it an answer.
Maciej Los 9-Mar-14 13:29pm    
ProgramFox, let's find out ;)
Direct from my observation: depending on member level (gold, silver, etc.)[^] the negative value of 3 stars is: -1 to -16. In this meaning 3 stars is a down-vote.

We did the experiment with Sergey and ProgramFox. It's strange, but 3 stars changes nothing. How we tested it, you can find out by reading our comments the the answers.

Bill, thank you. Let's say: i was the reason of this question.
If i was wrong (but i can promise that your vote of 3 stars gave me -16 points), i'm sorry.

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Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov 9-Mar-14 13:41pm    
Phase 1: voted 5, to start with. Please record you reputation score list and report back.
(Next vote will be 3. Additionally, we will observe what happens to original score...)
Maciej Los 9-Mar-14 13:43pm    
My latest reputation
9 Mar 2014 6:40pm 40 Authority Answer Upvoted Answer 2 Is a vote of #3 on a QA post a down-vote ?
Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov 9-Mar-14 14:18pm    
Sure. Now, voted 3. What do you see?
Maciej Los 9-Mar-14 14:23pm    
Strange... No changes, no negative points ;(
Does it means reputation system delay?
Sergey Alexandrovich Kryukov 9-Mar-14 14:24pm    
I think this is the real behavior. Do you think we need to wait?
A vote of 3 is specifically meant to be neutral, a non-event.
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