These last few days (let's say maybe a week or two) I feel like every single new post (questions and answers) gets an upvote almost automatically only a few minutes after they are posted and no matter the quality of the post.

I don't know how to quantify that other than with my feeling and the fact that all of the new questions have at least one upvote.

Maybe it is due to the growing number of users on the site and it is nothing odd but what makes me ask this question is that

  • Even some "low quality questions" are upvoted
  • The upvotes seems pretty quick: From what I've observed, the upvote comes less than 5 minutes after the post is published.

I ask that because even if upvotes are pretty harmless, they still are a way for users to easily find good questions and upvoting all the questions would defeat this purpose.

I am aware that this question might seem a little bit weird and is mostly based on feelings but I really feel like something has changed recently so wanted to know if other users had noticed this too or if I'm just victim of a biased observation.

  • 3
    There's no automated system that upvotes posts. But I would not be surprised if a user is upvoting new posts to get a badge. Mar 23 '16 at 15:53
  • 1
    I have seen this happen on Ask Ubuntu, and honestly, if the post gets fairly scored in the long run, I don't think it's much of a problem.
    – muru
    Mar 23 '16 at 16:07
  • 1
    And when you reach 5k, do check out vi.stackexchange.com/site-analytics. :)
    – muru
    Mar 23 '16 at 16:08
  • 1
    @muru well if in the end the score is fair I agree that it's not really a problem, I mainly wanted to confirm that it wasn't just my imagination. And of course when I'll have enough reputation I'll visit this mystery analytics lands :-)
    – statox
    Mar 23 '16 at 16:27

Yes, somebody is.

Is it the same somebody? I quite doubt it. There's no way to tell in any event, and there's really nothing wrong with this (if you think a bad question has been upvoted, you can counter-vote it back down).

What seems more likely to me is that the site is just getting more traffic. The moderators could look at the visits graphs and confirm whether there's an upward or downward trend there, but even if it's downward it's still expected that there's at least a few users who interact with the site via the "new questions" page and look at every one that comes in, and that some subset of those users tends, at one point or another, to find at least one of those new questions worth upvoting.

  • 3
    In case anybody wonders: I cast the first votes on this question and answer. Le unknown serial voter hasn't made an appearance here, yet. :D
    – muru
    Mar 23 '16 at 16:22
  • 2
    @Josh you're probably right: let's just consider it as a part of having a growing community which is pretty positive!
    – statox
    Mar 23 '16 at 16:29

This is not a new phenomenon. I've noticed since the early days of the private beta that pretty much every post gets upvoted. For example, I recently came across an answer that was very obviously wrong yet still had two upvotes and no downvotes... :-/

I don't think this is a single person based on a casual reading of various data. But rather a combination of at least a few people who upvote a lot, and not enough people who actually downvote stuff.

Is the "vote indicates quality" measure is somewhat broken here? Yeah. But then again, it's broken at Stack Overflow too (although it's broken in a different way there).

We don't get that many bad posts here (both questions and answers), in fact, we don't get that many posts at all. So it's not a huge problem. We don't have the "dig through a mound of crap to get at the interesting question to answer"-problem that sometimes plagues sites such as Stack Overflow.

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