This question is posted by a new contributor describing an extremely rare situation and although the answers are useful for the OP, hardly anyone else is helped by the questions/answers (I guess - does anyone disagree with me that this is a unique situation?). Still this question has received 535 upvotes as we speak which makes it a top-3 question on the whole site as well as provide the OP with a lot of privileges on this and possible other SE-sites.

Isn't the intention with the voting system that questions that are relevant for a lot of people or situations should end up in the top (and questions/answers covering narrow subjects should just be upvoted by the few persons who are affected by a similar situation)?

And if a new contributor manage to post a question like this, (s)he immediately achieve ≈ top 150 (This users personal page claims his reputation is 891 but doesn't 535 upvotes equal 5350 reputation? Is the number on the personal page updated with a delay?) although (s)he hasn't really contributed anything useful to the site. Is that really desirable?

  • 2
    You don't seem too bothered by the fact that your one answer rode that same popularity train. Jan 21, 2019 at 13:58
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    "Although (s)he hasn't really contributed anything useful to the site" -That seems pretty insulting to OP
    – Richard
    Jan 21, 2019 at 15:47
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    @Richard that's a good point, but then again, you do have a trustworthy name. Jan 21, 2019 at 17:25
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    "Is that really desirable?" - Yes. It is desirable to have questions that 535 folks feel is useful. I don't understand why that would be a problem. Jan 21, 2019 at 20:09
  • @JoeStrazzere Let me doubt your premises. I think a large chunk of these 535 users found the question funny or interestning, but not useful.
    – d-b
    Jan 21, 2019 at 22:42
  • @d-b - You are entitled to your guess. All we know is that these people clicked the upvote button (which has a tooltip saying "it is useful and clear"). That's the way the system is designed. Seems to me that is how the system is supposed to work. You are free to suggest an alternative mechanism for voting - StackExchange employees do read some of these questions and answers. Jan 21, 2019 at 23:51
  • @JoeStrazzere Weak argument. What do you think Occham's would say about this?
    – d-b
    Jan 22, 2019 at 21:28
  • @d-b - is Occham a moderator or an employee of Stack Exchange? (ie, I don't care much). You don't like the way the feature works. But to me it's pretty clear that it works the way it was intended to work. We could argue if gamification of a site is a good thing or not (for me: not much), but this is indeed how the site is supposed to work. Jan 22, 2019 at 22:26
  • @JoeStrazzere Another weak argument. Besides, as has been pointed out several times in this thread - usefulness is the main reason to reward a question or answer. This question is not useful.
    – d-b
    Jan 23, 2019 at 12:57
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    @d-b - apparently, over 600 voters disagree. Oh well. Jan 23, 2019 at 13:03
  • Does it matter if the OP got a lot of reputation for that question? They haven't returned to the site since asking the question. I am more concerned about follow up questions in the comments remaining unanswered, which means certain details about the sequence of events leading to the situation in the question are unclear.
    – kasperd
    Jan 26, 2019 at 13:49
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    @Richard You are breaking Hume's law with your reasoning, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is%E2%80%93ought_problem . I hope you have an excellent motivation for that.
    – d-b
    Jan 29, 2019 at 14:53

4 Answers 4


This is a Hot Network Questions thing.

A click-baity subject line coupled with views and votes tend to steamroller somewhat and rise up the HNQ rankings.

This happened because not enough people in the community thought it was a bad quality question and therefore it stayed open and active.

Yes, votes are supposed to be there as an indication of quality, but many people treat it as a popularity thing. Popular questions that people find interesting (for whatever reason) are upvoted, the same goes for answers.

And no, 535 upvotes doesn't equal 5350. As an asker, you get 5 reps per uptick - you get 10 reps per answer vote. There's also a daily rep cap of 200 to prevent these kinds of runaway rep increases.

We don't know whether these kinds of questions are real or whether they're contrived for the purposes of gaining rep/votes.

Many people try to overlook the triviality of the details of the question and address the heart of the matter. In this case its:

The company I interviewed for didn't complete their agreed post-interview obligation after I failed to interview well. Is this acceptable? What can I do?

However, this kind of runaway question doesn't occur that often, and when they do they're usually short-lived.

I wouldn't worry about it too much, they're just spikes in an otherwise productive and helpful stack.

Before answering or commenting on these kinds of questions, users should really see whether the asker is responding to other answers or comments. In this case, the asker posted the question and made no attempt to interact with anyone else afterward.


Another answer addressed most of your question. I want to add something not covered there:

Votes are not an "I'm having this problem too" button. You should upvote posts that are useful. For questions, this means they're asked clearly, are on-topic, have all the details that are needed (and aren't loaded down with lots of irrelevant text), are framed well to elicit good answers, and are interesting. For answers, you should upvote if they're clear, correct, and supported (not just random opinions). On the flip side, you should downvote posts that substantially violate these norms.

I have upvoted well-asked questions about problems I've never had, and I have downvoted badly-asked questions about problems I also have -- even though I want an answer, that question isn't going to help me get it.

If people only voted for questions that affect them too, then only the most common situations would gain traction. But we're not here to be a popularity contest; we're here to help people with problems common and uncommon. Questions about relieving letters in India or maternity leave in France or labor unions in Australia or unsafe workplaces in the construction industry should not be any more buried than they already are in the US software-industry presumption.

We all vote for our own reasons, of course, but these are the factors that SE promotes, and I find that they work well most of the time.

  • On top of that it can be useful to know about what problems other have experienced to avoid getting into those problems yourself.
    – kasperd
    Jan 26, 2019 at 13:47

Is this really how things are supposed to work?

Yes, otherwise there would be caveats and filters on votes. Currently we can vote for whatever the heck we want.


I probably have one of, if not the most diverse work backgrounds here at TWP, having done everything from blue collar to white collar, from the mop to the top.

Yes, there is a blatant IT bias which I have actively railed against myself. In this case, however, you are barking up the wrong tree.

The voting is simply to identify what you think is a good question.

If I ask a question about whether to see the shop steward of my union on the manufacturing floor, or how to approach my manager for a new coding standard, the votes should be for how good of a question it is.

-Not scope

-Not popularity

-Not appeal

-Not nationality

A question on navigating Brazilian import requirements should get as much weight as a question about "right to work" states in America should get as much weight as a question on the German Protection Against Dismissal Act.

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